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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old July 27th, 2006, 10:23 PM   #1
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Lifespan of a XM1/GL1

My XM1 that I have purchased 3 years ago starts to have minor problems. I originally intended to use it for 10 years. Perhaps it is not realistic now. What is the expected life span of it under general use? Is it about time for me to save money to buy another 3CCD cam?

Do you think a Sony cam is much more durable?


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Old July 27th, 2006, 10:49 PM   #2
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You can make it last a long time if you send it in to Canon Service on a regular basis for cleaning, inspection and tweaking. Do this once per year and your camcorder just might hold out for an entire decade. Sounds like it should go to Canon Service right now. Hope this helps,
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Old July 28th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #3
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Thank you Chris!
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Old July 28th, 2006, 05:35 AM   #4
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10 years is probably a good estimate for the product life including support. As I understand it, Canon, like many electronics companies, provide factory support for about 7 years after a product production is discontinued. After taht service and parts may be hard to find. The GL1 was in production for about 3 years. That adds to 10 years. As a point of reference, my Canon A1 Digital Hi8 worked for 10+ years, as has my Canon L2 Hi8 camcorder. My XL1 just passed 8 years old.

As Chris notes, good care and maintenance is important to the life of any mechanical beast.
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Old July 30th, 2006, 09:17 PM   #5
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Life span of GL1

The recent minor problem on my XM1 upsets me for a while. It was temporarily fixed and in the long run I should go the Canon Service Ctr. The XM1 is really a very good machine. The quality of the images are excellent. It is worthwhile to carry this heavy machine everywhere for recording my family. I just don't know why people would go for a one chip DVD cam instead of a 3 CCD?? I think the mini DV system will last longer than DVD. The blu ray are coming.


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Old September 1st, 2006, 02:58 AM   #6
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XM1 sent to Canon Service Center

Thank you Don and Chris.

I finally have to send my XM1 to Hong Kong Canon Service Centre for repair on :

(1) main zoom rocker - sometimes zooms to wide angle by itself;
(2) handle top zoom button - not sensitive to my press &
(3) the images keeps going up when palyback and sometimes in recording (the major problem).

I sent it on 29.8.06 and they phoned me today (1.9.06) and said the main zoom rocker had to be replaced and also some parts for the tape transportation be replaced. The total cost for fixing all 3 problems (1) to (3) is HK$1,231.

I am satisfied with the service of Canon. I hope it will be good for another 3 years.

I also went to the Canon display centre one floor below the Service Centre. There was not any "XM3" on display so I just played with the XM2 for a while. A good machine. If I have the $, I may buy one XM2 and the old XM1 can be the back up cam.
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Old September 7th, 2006, 08:41 PM   #7
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The zoom rocker is like new!

I have just taken my XM-1 back from Cannon Service Ctr. I tried the zoom rocker and the zoom button on handle, both work perfectly. The tape transport mechanism is also OK. I can use it for my daughter's birthday party the day aftter tomorrow. The above problems appeared after 4 years of use. (Not 3 years as I have mentioned in the 1st message)

I have mentioned the above problems to some DV users who are parents of my daughter's school and they also said that their cams had some problems ( e.g. stop during recording, tape rewind problems, etc). I recalled that the Hi-8 cams do not have so many tape problems.

I should not have blamed Cannon for putting inferior parts to their cams. Cannon did not do that. I almost have forgotten the advantages of DV : lossless transfer, digital editing, cheap and small size of DV tapes.

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Old September 8th, 2006, 05:24 AM   #8
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Hi-8/8mm tape is 33% wider larger cassette than MiniDV, thus can be physically more robust. Actual experience seems to depend on individual units and how they age, and perhaps how they are handled. They do contain moving parts that wear. Had a Hi8 machine in which the mechanism position sensing switch wore out and needed to be replaced.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 01:41 AM   #9
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Use of old Hi-8 Cam

Hi Don.

Your explanation about Hi8 is great.

I have a question. I already have an XM1 and MV450i DVs for general use. I have a Sony Hi-8 (my first cam when my daughter was born in 1995) that is still good but it gives out some squeaking sound recently when I open or close it for tape loading. But it records & plays tapes fine. Is it still worth sending it to Sony for repair / checking? I already have a Hi-8 deck for play back of my old Hi-8 tapes. I seldom use the Hi-8 cam but I still recharge it and play it once in a few months so as to make sure that it is still OK. I am not sure if I may need it one day. What is the possible use of this Hi-8 cam in this digital world today? I can only sell it for HK$200!

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Old September 12th, 2006, 05:44 PM   #10
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Only you can answer whether or not it is worth repairing/keeping for you. Most people would probably forget it.

The used value of it says it all. You can buy a new 1-CCD MiniDV camcorder that will probably give better video for the cost of getting it repaired, if repairs is still available for a machine of this age. Or you might be able to pick up a used Hi8 maching that works for not much money. Reparing it for back-up playback purposes is a decision only you can make.

You might want to consider transfering the important Hi8 video to DV tape (and/or to DVD) as backup given that over time it will become more difficult to find working Hi8 gear, or have Hi8 gear repaired. Copying from Hi8 to MiniDV will result in very little image quality loss.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 02:24 AM   #11
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I'm real pleased you got your camera ready for the Birthday Girl! - Nice post Kenneth!

I'm real glad you are sorted out now. And I like what you say about DV too. Nice point - well said.
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