XL-1 Issues

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    • #47928

      Hey everyone I’m new here and really excited to get going. I have a Canon XL-1 and recently had to have a little work done too it. Replaced supply reel,mech base assembly and the load arm assembly but when I got it back the lens wasn’t getting any power so I sent it back to the shop for them to fix what ever they messed up. Anyways I’m just curious if there is anything else that could give me issues? Should I be good to go until I can get a new XL in HD or should I be ditching this thing as fast as I can?

      Thanks for the help.


    • #197182

      I have had a pair of XL1 Canons for years and have had both serviced with what you’ve just had done – more than once. One of them came back onboard and has never caused me another moment’s grief, the other one had multiple hospital visits before settling down. For the last few years they both have worked beautifully. My GL2 on the other hand, has worked super since day one and all-in-all is generally superior to the XL1 in production quality.

      I thought the premium for interchangeable lenses (HA) and the adaptor for XLR were worth the investment when I purchased the XL1 but with hindsight, and had the GL2 been available at the time I purchased the XL models I’d have been better off with a trio of GL2’s. I don’t particularly regret the purchase, just wish things had worked out better when I was investing so heavily, and that I’d made some different choices.

      Canon glass (the lens) is IMHO vastly superior to any other camera lens in the same category. And Canon reigns supreme among the big operations and networks, cable companies, etc. – sure you see Fujinon, etc, but you’ll see CANON blazed on more lens housings than pretty much any other in the higher ranks of sports and ESPN type productions.

      That being said: if you have further problems with the XL (well, it is pretty much a dinosaur at this point, technologically speaking) it is probably NOT worth MORE investment beyond what you have done. If, however, it settles down and doesn’t give you more problems (and I cannot think of anything else for you to worry about over what has been done – they ARE GREAT cameras overall) then it will be serviceable to you for a long long time.

      And, with the host of solutions “out there” for recording to media other than tape, you don’t have to really worry about the tape transport system because so long as the circuitry is primo you can output your camera visuals and audio to an external system, even one that utilizes SDHC cards.

      Good luck!

    • #197183

      Thank you.

      I understand the XL-1 is well old now but I was hoping to learn all the in’s and outs before stepping up to the HD versions. Now with all the changes going on I’m thinking of riding this out until they get all the tweeks out of the HD stuff. But if the XL-1 is going to be a nightmare of repair I rather dump the money in the HD and learn there.

      Sounds like I should be done with issues and we will be good to go though. Thanks for the info.

    • #197184


      Though I’ve moved on to HD, I still have an XL1s on ‘active duty’. Unlike Earl, the interchangeable lenses were always a plus for me and I can still do timelapse and NVG stuff with it, I’ll hang onto it. Haven’t had it serviced since I bought it in 2002. I just run regular head cleanings and keep it clean. It’s still a great camera for training vids and straight to DVD/internet projects. In fact, I like the 1s over the 2 simply because with some accessories you can pro rig it like a full-on ENG rig to be balanced on your shoulder and what not.

    • #197185

      I recently bought a brand new XL1 (for a great price) that somehow never got sold untilI found it. What I would like to know is the SD – HD issue. How long will standard definition video be accepted?

      Also, I’m not sure what editing software to use. I have an old Sony vegas 5 program.How does that compare to Adobe Premier and others?

      Many thanks !


    • #197186

      “How long will standard definition video be accepted?”


      If you’re doing stuff for broadcast, SD is rapidly disappearing. Some small outlets still making the change will accept SD footage, but even outfits that are still broadcasting in SD are taking in HD footage for conversion. Now if you’re doing your own thing and are going straight to the web or DVD distribution, you’ve still got a lot more life left. However, Blu-Ray is starting to take hold as prices are coming down on both gear and movies using the format. DVD is still around and still a viable option, but it’s time is running out. But like I said, for the web no prob unless having HD quality video available is a selling point for you.

      Far as Premiere vs Vegas 5, not much of a comparison if you’re talking about Premiere (CS3 and later.) If you want to know how the two programs compare since Vegas7 and later, that’s a whole other thread.

    • #197187

      I bought an XL1s (used) 3 months ago, and I have to say it’s the hardest thing to use. I’ve been shooting sports, and the 16x lens is difficult to keep in focus. I have a TRV900 that seems to take better videos just because when I put it to manual focus, it stays exactly where I have it set. Canon’s doesn’t do that (not for me, at least). Also, the TRV900 has the viewfinder in the rear, above where the battery is set. With the XL1s, the viewfinder is up front, where the lens connects, which is fine when the camcorder is on your shoulder (I can’t hold it there for a whole game), but when the thing is on a tripod, the eye-piece is too far forward… so I have to move somewhat to the left so my right eye can see…. which makes for an awkward position when the tripod/tripod legs are there, especially when panning the camera. Also, I’m fairly short (5’4″), and with the TRV900, I can raise the tripod to max height above everyone who doesn’t care to walk in front of my lens. I angle the LCD down, and I can look up at the lcd and use my remote to zoom in/out and keep up with the game. I can’t do that with the XL1s, since the viewfinder realy is to small to see from, and if I attach the LCD, it sits above, and I can’t view from below. Has anyone else had this issue, and what have you done to fix/alleviate the problem?

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