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Directional mic on my Canon XL1

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Ryan Santos
Directional mic on my Canon XL1
on Oct 3, 2007 at 9:06:54 am

Is the original mic attached to the Canon XL1 directional or omni-directional? I want to attach an Azden ECZ-990 directional mic to it but am not sure if the jack will fit, or if it will work on the XL1. The original Canon mic has a different looking jack (actually, two jacks in one cable). Thanks.


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Directional mic on my Canon XL1
on Oct 3, 2007 at 2:10:37 pm

Hi Ryan...

The original mic on the XL1 is directional. It's not an extremely narrow shotgun, but it's pretty decent. I have to say it is probably a better mic for on-camera use than the Azden, which is pretty low-end mic.

Yes, the on-camera mic plugs in via a kinda funky two-prog plug. You must remember that the stock on-camera mic is a STEREO mic. I'm not sure if you are really even supposed to try to use a different mic via those inputs (although it probably can be done). For any other mic the real recommendation is to use the rear audio inputs... eiher the RCA connectors on the back of the camera body... or use the MA-100 or MA-200 adapter if you are attaching mics that have XLR connectors.

From a couple of your recent posts, I'm suspecting you bought a used XL1, and do not have a manual for it. Is that a good guess? If so, you might like to know that you can download an XL1 manual from the Canon archives.

Go to:

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=DownloadIndexAct

...and in the drop-down boxes select 1) camcorders 2) MiniDV camcorders 3) XL1... then click "GO." That will take you to the XL1 page where you can click the red link that says "Product / Software Manuals" (it pops up in a new window, so turn off any blocker.) On the pop-up page there are instructions to download a PDF of the manual.

Sorry for the long instructions, but I can't give you a direct link right to the page, for some reason it doesn't work.

I give you that link not to say, "Hey go look it up yourself"... everyone here is always glad to help. Just thought it might be something you need.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Don Greening
Re: Directional mic on my Canon XL1
on Oct 3, 2007 at 5:25:05 pm

[Todd at Fantastic Plastic] "Sorry for the long instructions, but I can't give you a direct link right to the page, for some reason it doesn't work."

The Canon site has been that way for years, Todd. It's a pain. I think they need to hire a new web master.

- Don



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Ryan Santos
Re: Directional mic on my Canon XL1
on Oct 4, 2007 at 7:12:50 am

Thanks. I actually downloaded a copy of the manual (even before buying the camera) but can't find answers to my questions. For example, the Canon mic is described as "stereo electret condenser microphone." Was looking for the word "directional" but there was none. Since it was "stereo" (and since I'm an amateur), I pressumed it was an omni-directional mic since stereo mics tend to pick up sounds in all direction (at least that's how I know it).

Now, I've seen a VHF Azden WLX-PRO in the web and would like to use it. But the plug is a 1/8" mini plug unlike that of the Canon mic (which also looks like a 1/8" mini plug with an even smaller brother at its side). So i'm not sure if the Azden plug would fit right into the jack designed for the Canon mic. If it fits, will it work? The connectors at the back are RCA so it wouldn't fit also. I can't find a WLX-PRO here so I will buy online. The problem is if it will not work, then I'll be owning something that I will never use.

Thanks Todd, I've been taking notes of your answers (and your answers to other members' questions) and they have been very helpful.


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Directional mic on my Canon XL1
on Oct 4, 2007 at 2:01:36 pm

Ryan you just need a connector/adapter (four bucks and a trip to Radio Shack... or order from Markertek, etc), and you can use your 1/8" mini plug in the back of your XL1 like the good Lord intended. I wouldn't try to use it via the on-handle mounted mic input (by the way if you want decent sound, unless you are going run-and-gun news-typle footage, actually attaching a mic TO the camera is almost never the best place for it).

You need a female 1/8" mono mini-plug to male RCA adapter.

In other words, you need this:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103708&cp

Hope this helps,


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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