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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old September 14th, 2005, 05:41 PM   #1
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Problems with small lithium battery...cause major headaches!

I was on location at an event shoot Saturday with my XL2 in tow. It has been working great. I put it in standby and wait. When it comes out of standby it tells me to set the date and time. Also the little red battery indicator is flashing like it did when there was no battery in there when you first get it from the factory. So I skip over the setting the time because I have no time. I choose my Custom Preset and the name is intact and so are the settings. I assume all other settings are intact if it saved this one. I shoot the event figuring that I will set the clock later.

Problem 1: The 24P modes defaulted back to 2:3 instead of 2:3:3:2 so my editor cannot remove the duplicate fields. Didn't realize this til too late.

Problem 2: The zebra patterns were automatcially turned to off. Which I didn't realize until too late. Lots of overexposed areas that I didn't realize when shooting.

Problem 3: When capturing using scene detect....well it can't because not time date info on the DV tape.

Problem 4: The darned battery just started to work again and I have no idea why it did this......it kept the CP's but none of the other camera info.

As a final kick in my butt....for some reason the backfocus was off! I don;t know if this could be affected by this at all. I had meticulaously set it manually on a pro monitor (16x manual lens here) just before the event. Every wide shot is a little soft. I hooked the camera up to the monitor and checked and sure enough the backfoucs was off. At full wide and focus on infinity the image was soft.

The flange-back was tight and to my knowledge hadn't moved. I tweaked and all is well.

A series of small problems that added up to one bad day at the office.

Anyone have any insight on the battery issue? It is about 9 months old.

Also a fair warning to those that have battery issues like this. Check all of your settings as the factory defaults are not so useful. Zebra's off by default??? Mama Mia!!!
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Old September 15th, 2005, 08:52 PM   #2
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Nobody has any words of wisdom for me here? No one has a had a lithium battery flake out on em?
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Old September 15th, 2005, 09:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik
Nobody has any words of wisdom for me here? No one has a had a lithium battery flake out on em?
Not yet, but I would recommend that you take the battery out, gently clean the contacts and the battery. You may have a slight build up of oxide on the contacts or the battery. This would cause the scenario you have described. Have you ever taken a standard 2 cell flashlight and turned it on to find a dim output then banged it against your hand and noticed the bulb would momentarily brighten? Oxidized contacts can cause many headaches like this.

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Old September 17th, 2005, 12:15 AM   #4
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The batteries and camera don't have gold-plated contacts? Gold does not oxidize. Silver does, but conducts all the same. Anything else, though, such as the flashlight batteries you alluded to, which are nickel plated, will oxidize and cause trouble. More likely there was some dirt or grease on the contact surfaces.
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Old September 17th, 2005, 12:50 AM   #5
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How would dirt and grease get inside that cavity? I have never opened it since I installed the battery and I have not been in any rough climates. Not desert sand, no arctic cold and not humid jungles. JUst seems odd. I had my XL1 for 4 years and never changed the battery once.

Anyway as a precaution I changed to a brand new battery on the off chance that the one that shipped with the camera was bad. All is okay for now but I now fear this happening again.

Thanks
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Old September 17th, 2005, 08:03 AM   #6
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Marty.

There is no way the battery could have changed the back focus on the 16x manual, so there's no connection there.

I had my Xl2 fail on me after shooting 12 hours. (Do a search under my name for the full post). Bottom line, the main circuit board fried. Canon's initial excuse was that I had 'mismounted' the lens. Despite my arguements to the contrary (The camera was working, I put it in standby, I went to take it out and nothing happened). I paid $650 for a replaced CCD block and main board fuse. They shipped cam back, and one hour later it blew again. At which point I argued for a replacement camera and lens. I got them. No problems since.

I point this out... on the OFF chance that while chainging the 16x, you 'mismounted' the lens. That is to say, you put it on or took it off while the camera is ON. The hot contacts on the back of the lens will drag across the camera contacts... 'short circuiting' them. This MIGHT be the cause of the scrambled settings.

ALL of that is pure conjecture on my part. I'm not a camera tech, and have never played one on TV. Just looking at possible scenarios between the camera lens, back focus and scrambled presets.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
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Old September 17th, 2005, 08:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Boze
The batteries and camera don't have gold-plated contacts? Gold does not oxidize. Silver does, but conducts all the same. Anything else, though, such as the flashlight batteries you alluded to, which are nickel plated, will oxidize and cause trouble. More likely there was some dirt or grease on the contact surfaces.
I'm sorry Doug, but that's incorrect. Gold will oxidize as will any other metal over time. However, gold oxidization isn't that visible and so most folks don't think to remove it. With plated contacts, the standard method is to gently rub the contacts with a clean pencil eraser, blow away crumbs, and wipe with isopropyl alcohol (which is a degreasing agent itself).

Any oxidization on any conductive metal be it gold, silver, iron, lead, etc will interfere with electrical conductivity. I have been an electronics technician for over 25 years in the semiconductor industry. Trust me, gold will oxidize, many wafers have been scrapped because the metal didn't get etched (surface cleaned) properly before the next layer was placed on it. They fail for metal to metal conductivity at test probe.

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Old September 20th, 2005, 08:43 PM   #8
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Marty, I also have a problem with my batteries. I just got my XL-2 and every time I turn it on even after I set the Date and Time, it resets it. Along with the red light indicating a problem with the battery. Now, I have the stock battery as well as another Power2000 BP-945 battery that does the same exact thing.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 08:45 PM   #9
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Guys,
Are you sure it's not the little nicad battery in the body that's going bad?
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Old September 20th, 2005, 09:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez
Guys,
Are you sure it's not the little nicad battery in the body that's going bad?
That is what I am talking about. The little "watch" battery. We always used to call them lithium bateries back when they were almost exclusively used for watches. I am sorry if this got confused as the "lithium Ion" battery. Despite the confusion I thought my description was pretty clear. None the less My camera is 10 months old. That good old "watch" battery should last longer than that! I has my XL1 for 3.5 years and never changed it once and never had this problem. FWIW.

TO michael: make sure that you out the ni-cad/watch battery in or your camera will definitely not hold settings. The first thing you should do when you get your new camera.

Forgive me if you have done this and it sounds stupid...but I had to at least suggest it. SOmetime the simplet thing can be the answer to a big problem.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 11:52 PM   #11
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Those time/date batteries cost all of 75 cents apiece... or less... buy a pack of 'em at your local discount store and throw 'em in the gear bag. Replace every six months or three months or whatever. Problem solved.

Panasonic CR2025 is the product number.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 07:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Those time/date batteries cost all of 75 cents apiece... or less... buy a pack of 'em at your local discount store and throw 'em in the gear bag. Replace every six months or three months or whatever. Problem solved.

Panasonic CR2025 is the product number.
The cost is not the point Chris. I am asking because I have never had one go bad on me in such a short time. Since 1998 I have never had to replace one in any of my cameras. IF 10 months is what I can epect from one in the XL2 that is fine...just different than my experience in other cameras. However I replaced it immediately as to avoid any further problems. Asking if others have had similar "life" cycles with their batteries is just so I know what to expect. Maybe I am reading your message the wrong way but it sounds like going to a mechanic and asking him why your car is going through oil faster than you expect and having him say "grab a case of oil, throw it in your trunk and add oil as needed and shut up about it!"
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Old September 21st, 2005, 08:16 AM   #13
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Marty,
Mine is still good going on ten months... so I don't know what to tell you. Theres an old saying, "It takes two points to make a line, but three to make a 'row'." In terms of data for this problem, we don't have three points yet. Might have been a single bad battery for you. Let us know how long the new one lasts. The problem could be with the battery manufacturer, and not with canon. We just don't have enough data at this time. Sorry.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 08:44 AM   #14
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All Batteries Not Created Equal!

So far you have not talked about this being a recurrant problem, so could be a one time problem with the battery. All batteries are not equal.

I will relate a short story on this. Years ago I had one of those little data-base PDA type things. I had all of my addresses, phone numbers and a lot of other info in it and used it all of the time, and it went everywhere I did.

After about a year and a half, it started messing up and was time for a battery replacement. It had two CR2025s just like the cameras use, and also another smaller battery to save the info during battery changes.

I followed the directions and changed the memory battery before taking out the main batteries. I put in the new CR2025s and expected the device to work fine, but it did not, and in fact looked just like before. I gave up and threw the unit away, loosing all of my info. I did however save the three new batteries I had put into it.

About two months later I needed a battery for another device and it was the same CR2025 batteries. What good luck I thought, no need to buy more batteries. So I put one in it and guess what, it did not work. Put the other battery in it and it did not work either. Checked both batteries with a voltmeter and found them both dead! Bought another battery and fixed the second device.

The first batteries had been bad from the factory and had cost me my PDA and all of its info, not to mention the cost of the batteries.

So one battery may last you 3 years, and one might last 6 months, and hopefully you won't get one that is bad when it is new.

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Old September 21st, 2005, 08:57 AM   #15
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I had my XL sytems for 3 years before my batteries went out too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik
Problem 2: The zebra patterns were automatcially turned to off. Which I didn't realize until too late. Lots of overexposed areas that I didn't realize when shooting.
The undetectable loss of preset IRE levels is understandable with battery failure but the abscence of Zebra stripes is obvious.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Those time/date batteries cost all of 75 cents apiece... or less... buy a pack of 'em at your local discount store and throw 'em in the gear bag. Replace every six months or three months or whatever. Problem solved.

Panasonic CR2025 is the product number.
Chris, where did you find those batteries for 75 cents? The prices I have seen at Wal-Mart, Staples and Office Depot are around $3.00 a piece, highway robbery!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik
it sounds like going to a mechanic and asking him why your car is going through oil faster than you expect and having him say "grab a case of oil, throw it in your trunk and add oil as needed and shut up about it!"
LMFAO!!! l like that one!!
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