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Questions concerning the Bauer S 709 XL Microcomputer


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#1 Greg Britting

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:01 AM

I've been shooting super 8 for a while now, but recently I've gotten a bit more serious about my film projects and find myself in need of a good low light camera. The initial thought was a Canon 1014 XL-S, but I already have a 1014E and I figured if not just for the sake of variety, I could at least save a reasonable amount of money by selecting some alternative highend model. Then I started really getting into these more exotic European cameras the more I read about them, particularly the higher-end Bauers of which the S709XL/S715XL seem to be top of the heap.

So I found a very reasonably priced S709XL, but before I take the plunge I figured I'd check up on it here. My main question: is the motor reliable? I'm concerned as I read that they are belt driven, like those later model Nizos that are known to break down. I assume that belts are likely to snap in these late model Bauers as well... has anyone found this to be the case? Is the repair difficult--are replacement belts available?

Also, I was just kind of wondering how the S709XL compares to the A512... I basically hear the A512 is the most unsung classic ever but I can find little info on it. I realize the A512 is a silent non-XL model, but I'm just wondering about it's other features compared to the Microcomputer features. For instance, the time exposure which I believe the S709XL does not have... any other special goodies on the A512? Thanks!
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:32 PM

You've basically mentioned three cameras that illustrate the flexibility of Super-8, the Canon 814XLS is a real time workhouse, the Bauer 709 microcomputer offers a ton of options, but I don't think it offers time lapse, then A512 I think has a 12 to 1 zoom and time-exposure as well.

You should decide what type of filmmaker you like being, and go with the camera that closest matches your curiosity. One intriguing aspect of time-exposure is that it can eat up a lot of time, but not a lot film, so if you have time to spare, creative time-exposure is a lot of fun to explore.

I've never used the Bauer 709 micro computer but one of the micro's has either a 12 to 1 or 15 to 1 zoom. I have heard that the computers on these cameras can stop working.
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#3 Miguel Loredo

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 04:31 AM

If you are looking for a "Low light camera" then the 1014 Autozoom Electronic and the 1014 XL-S are very different cameras. Go for the 1014 XL-S with no doubt.

I don't know if it's the case of the 709 Microcomputer, but most Bauers cannot recognize automatically the 100D cartridges and there's no way to trick the camera. This was good explained by an ex-worker of the Bauer factory who now runs a Super8 website in France.
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#4 Greg Britting

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:45 AM

Thanks for your replies. Yes, the 1014 XL-S is a very fine camera no doubt. I certainly plan on owning one someday... but it's something I don't mind working up to... especially with so many fine highend cameras of other makes that sell so cheap comparatively. Not just cheap compared to the Canons, but cheap by any standards. I mean $100 isn't very much to pay for a nice camera--you'd probably pay more for a very lowend digital camera. And I've seen many top end super 8 cameras sell for less. At those prices I wouldn't mind owning a variety of nice cameras... besides, having a variety of quality tools to work with makes the hobby much more fun! (I think)

On that note, it seems Bauers can be found at bargain prices these days. The Microcomputer seems so cool, but I'd like to keep maintenance to a minimum as I'm not very technically inclined--and shipping it off for repairs probably wouldn't be very cost effective. I imagine it's only a matter of time where those little rubber belts are concerned. Not to mention potential "microcomputer" issues...

For these reasons I decided to go with another model I'd been considering--the Elmo 1012S-XL. It was pretty cheap--cheaper than the Bauer and probably a 3rd the price of a 1014 XL-S. Plus it came with accessories and a quality flight case, so I was sold. Like the Bauer, it too cannot auto meter 100D--but this is ok because it has manual override (Microcomputers have that too BTW). And I'm using it mostly in lowlight situations where the iris is wide open anyway. I did shoot some film in broad daylight using the auto meter though, just to test--I have seen 100D footage shot in a 1012S-XL using auto exposure by daylight that came out just fine (to my eye anyway). I have yet to develop any film I've shot with it though, so I'll just have to wait and see.
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