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


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Old December 13th, 2006, 01:03 PM   #1
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Need Service - What do I tell Canon?

Ok, here's the deal.

I have 3 Canon GL1 cameras. They are all used, various ages and head time.

I want to send them all somewhere to get serviced, you know that standard cleaning and checking to make sure everything is good to go. I have already had some problems with banding and one camera killed a tape (alignment issue?).

A few months ago when I got my first GL1, I called the nearest canon service center to request this service. The guy basically refused saying it was not needed and that i should only send my camera in if there is something wrong with it (there were no issues at the time, i just wanted to prevent issues).

So, my question is when I call Canon again - what is the actual service I should ask for? I originally asked for "Maintenance Cleaning" and the guy said there's no such thing.

Hope this question doesn't sound too stupid, but the customer service guy sounded like i was a complete moron when i talked to him.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 03:25 PM   #2
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I don't know what to make of that situation. I have returned an XL1s numerous times for the same type of service. In those cases I called Canon (not the service center itself) and obtained a RMA as I belong to the XL-1 club and the RMA was required in order to send the camera in under the terms of the club. The camera was always sent to the Jamesburg, facility and it has always been serviced and returned promptly. Usually within a week or so. On a few occassions there were issues that needed corrected, but it was mostly an annual cleaning and check-up.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 09:56 AM   #3
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same as Lisa

I have almost the same issue as Lisa, several bad dropouts per tape and one totally "eaten" tape (except mine are GL-2's). How do we handle this with Canon? What should we expect to pay per camera?
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Old February 21st, 2007, 11:38 AM   #4
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Minimum Charges for Basic Services

Canon charges a minimum fee for basic services plus shipping. I have always paid $272.XX for a GL1 and GL2, but your fee will be slightly different depending on the cost of shipping to your location. The minimum fee includes cleaning, alignment, and even replacement of some parts. It does not include replacing the CCD which will run approximately $700 including shipping--all the basic services are also included in the $700.

I have not sent in a camera for 16 months, so the minimum fee made have gone up a little.

The process is: 1) Send in your camera with an explanation for what you want done and any problems encountered, 2) Wait for an estimate 3) Approve the estimate and make payment, 4) They make the authorized repair and return the camera. It usually took about three weeks to get a camera back. Its not uncommon for a breakdown to occur in the communication chain at the Canon service center. So it pays to call the Service several times during the entire process, especially after authorizing payment. Otherwise, the return of your camera might be delayed. Eg. If you authorized payment via a reply to an email from Canon, I suggest you call them a couple of days later. And if you give payment over the phone, also call them a couple of days later.

Note: They have an online system for tracking the repair process, but the information is NOT available online until there is a estimate for the repair. That might not be until 7-10 days after they receive your camera.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 06:38 PM   #5
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In general, the original XL-1 club provided professional-level service. A similar option was not instituted for the GL series, so they are is treated as consumer gear, and do not have as fast a turn-around time.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 10:02 PM   #6
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Thanks for the response, guys. I called a pro cam cleaner in Memphis today and told him about my problem: 1 or 2 frames per hour of extreme digital noise on both the audio and video channels, like a sudden glitch and hiss for 1 frame. It can really ruin that perfect shot if it happens in the wrong place.

He said it sounded less like an issue of dirty tape heads and more like I needed the Canon PM kit. What's that all about? He said this kit is needed when cameras have run 1000-2000 hours, but mine are still sub-200. I dunno what to do.

[Edit: I notice with that post I just crossed over from New Boot to Regular Crew. Looks like 25 posts is when you get regular. Feels pretty good.]

Last edited by Luke Duncan; February 21st, 2007 at 10:03 PM. Reason: for fun
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 08:51 PM   #7
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I've never heard of a Canon "PM Kit" as such.

The 1000-2000 hour thing might be a head drum replacement due the head wear given that it is in the range of typical head life on many camcorders and VCRs.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 05:18 AM   #8
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Mike is right on with the repair process. If you mark the box XL-1 RUSH it will get in and worked on right away. You can "push" them a bit on the phone and explain that you own 3 of them and you are a pro shooter, and they should let you do it. If they don't, do it anyway. The worst that can happen is they don't work on it first.
Their pricing system is works on levels--level1, level 2, etc. I am not sure of the prices on that camera at each level, but you can ask when sending it in.

Good Luck !
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