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Old July 9th, 2004, 10:01 AM   #1
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Reasons Optura XI Discontinued?

Greetings all,
This has been an informative group for me, and two weeks ago I purchased the XI - then got word from here it was discontinued.
The discontinuance raises a red flag. Today is the last day for me to return the XI.

First of all I like it, except for the lack of real 16:9. I wonder why the dicontinuance?
(1) Lack of sales
(2) The technology is shifting to the next wave (ie, Panasonic has a new cam coming out ) and Canon must get on board.

Any ideas on this would be appreciated and might help me decide to keep it or return it tonight.
Thanks,
Earon Kavanagh
Vancouver, BC
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Old July 9th, 2004, 03:20 PM   #2
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Keep it! You will find nothing else out there like it for the money. I bought mine about a month ago, and I consider myself very lucky for getting one in time. I really like this camera.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 04:04 PM   #3
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Earon, the 16:9 mode in the Xi is indeed "real," it is higher resolution than 4:3 mode. The only drawback is that the 16:9 mode is not letterboxed in the LCD display, but it is real 16:9.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 11:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback, you guys. I managed to get a two week extension from the dealer tonight, so I can actually hang onto it a while longer. I've looked at some frame grabs posted here and a little of "Indecision: The Movie". I compared them with frame grabs from the Panasonic DVX100 and was pretty impressed with the clarity of the Oprura XI outputs. I also found a a free 46 mm wide-angle converter (nothing special, an Optex) and am going to test it tomorrow. It fits the Optura.

I wonder if anyone can recommend any other wide-angle converter lenses besides the Canon WDH-46 that are priced for good value.
Thanks,
Earon
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Old July 10th, 2004, 09:16 AM   #5
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Earon, I've posted this here before, but here's a link to a webpage I made a few days after getting thr camera. This may help you in your decision.

http://home.wi.rr.com/kevinsturges/opturaxiframegrabs.html

All the pictures here are 16/9 video frame grabs, not stills, although I've discovered the camcorder takes surprisingly good 2 mg stills too.

What I like most about the Xi is the startling resolution in 16/9 mode ( a satisfying pre-HD look?) almost NO artificial edge enhancement, and the very unigue way it softly handles blow-outs on contrasting edges - all of which, to me contribute to a very non video, almost film-like look to it's output.

The addition of the very smooth optical stabilizer make it even better.

Also, play around with the 1/30 shutter speed setting in TV Mode. Watch the output in your computer monitor, and keep hitting the pause button on scenes with horizontal motion. What do you see? Liquidy smooth film-like motion, and NO INTERLACING done without loss in resolution! What's going on here? I have no idea, but it looks and feels exactly like progressive scan.

This is not a gimmick, and combined with it's great big quality lens (not a tiny one hidden in a big ring of plastic, like another very popular camcorder) make what has to be the best find out there in a consumer cam. Buy this classic before they all dissapear, and everbody starts talking about wanting to find the mysterious Optura Xi.
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Old July 10th, 2004, 01:31 PM   #6
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Earon, that's great you get to keep it for 2 more weeks.

DV Expo is next week and everyone's wondering if Canon will be announcing any new cameras. So wait until the Expo is over, and you'll be able to make a better decision then.
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Old July 15th, 2004, 04:16 PM   #7
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I asked the product manager at Canon USA, he says the Optura Xi is not discontinued, it will remain current throughout the rest of 2004. Canon has no idea where the "discontinued" rumor comes from.

Kevin -- nice frame grabs, man! Thanks for sharing them,
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