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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old May 25th, 2006, 05:50 PM   #1
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The Best Way to Record?

I am about as new as one can get to using the xl-2. It is still on its way via UPS. What I need is to settle on the most reliable way to record. From what I have read, there are some problems with the firewire port on the xl-2. So, do I record to minidv then move that tape to another inexpensive camera that I can connect via firewire to the computer. Do I ignore the reported problems, connect the xl-2 to the computer via firewire and go for it, or do I look into recording to the Firestore FS-4 in a mode that can be used directly by my NLE?
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Old May 25th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #2
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From what I have read, there are some problems with the firewire port on the xl-2.
Hi Rick,

Can you be more specific? What problems exactly? I've never had trouble with the FW jack on the XL2.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #3
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Rick, I was one of those that had prob's with the firewire. I found out much later that it was a computer problem, where my computer was sending a signal back up the line to the camera (during the capture process when it was connected) and shorting out the cam. At the end of the day, I did three things,
1: Replaced the motherboard.
2: Made sure my FW was a 4 pin to 4pin. A 6 pin FW carries an electrical charge or current and can cause the short.
3: (This one really worked) I bought a cheap $300.00 dv camera and use it just for playback for capture. This last solution has all sorts of advantages...
You'll never fry your XL2, becuase it doesn't connect to the computer, and of course, you save lots of wear and tear on the heads for that playback process.
The signal from the dv cam still carries all the XL2 encoding -- 24P, 30P, 60I, 16X9, etc and it plays that back just fine into the capturing software. You will still need a FW of some sort, just because you will want the cam to communicate with the computer to download presets, etc. Just make sure you have a 4 pin to 4 pin.

It's been about a year now, and there hasn't been a hint of a problem...

Bill
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Old May 25th, 2006, 07:09 PM   #4
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Curt,

I tried, but I cannot relocate the specific thread that addressed the problem. But, from what I recall, some folks had problems blowing out the xl-2's firewire port when connecting/disconnecting to the computer. Some one mentioned that Canon support had recommended not "hot swapping" and a couple of people had gone to using an old camera or other means of transport for connecting to the computer firewire port.

Since I am a beginner insofar as digital video is concerned, I was a bit put off by the comments. That's the reason for the "best way to record" question. (should probably have been "best way to record and transfer") It's not that I have any real first hand knowledge of problems. So, I need to know before making any further purchases. Is there a consensus regarding the best way to record.? Is the fs-4 worth the price? Should I purchase a dedicated minidv player of some sort to leave connected to my computer? Or, should i just record to minidv then hookup the xl-2 to the computer via firewire for transfer? What is the best AND most reliable method?
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Old May 25th, 2006, 08:10 PM   #5
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The thread...

Here's the thread

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=38679

Just know that there were a couple problems mentioned ih the thread...early on it was primarily about the EVF. I hitchhiked along with my probs, in about the third page of the thread.
This thread makes the problem sound far worse than it was, and IMO somewhat unfairly points the blame at Canon(Although at the time it didn't appear that way.) I really believe the cause of the problem had nothing to do with the XL2, and everything to do with the computer and cable. Canon, nonetheless, was very cooperative with fixing my camera, and except for multiple freight bills I never got charged.
(That said, I still cross my fingers when plugging the XL2 into the system...)
Bill
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Old May 25th, 2006, 08:17 PM   #6
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Also...
Best way to record...Internally is just fine if you want. FS4 is great for other things such as fast transfer to your computer if that's what you want.

After my problems, I swear by the cheapo dv as playback/capture deck as noted above.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 09:12 PM   #7
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Bill,

Wouldn't you have to use a 6 to 4 pin anyway to hook the camera to the computer? If the port on the computer is a 6 pin port, you have to use that style connector even if it's a 4 pin on the camera. The power connections shouldn't come into play because they don't get coupled into the 4 pin data lines. In fact, on a 6 to 4 pin cable, those power pins shouldn't even have any connection to the cable internally. The six pin plug is only there to fit the 6 pin jack on the computer (IOW, the power leads are a dead end).

Just wondering,

-gb-
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Old May 26th, 2006, 12:15 PM   #8
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Thanks to all for your help!
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Old May 26th, 2006, 12:39 PM   #9
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For what its worth, you described the way I do it. Shoot on Mini DV with the XL2, then I use my old ZR10 as the "transfer deck". It has been said many times before, but your XL2 video tape transport isn't designed for the rigors of editing, so you're better off using a deck or cheap camera for that purpose.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 07:17 PM   #10
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Greg, you're right about 6-4 and 4-4 FW. I was told that something in my MB got messed up and started sending the hot power down one of the info lines. This power is what cooked the goose. After I replaced the MB, I still used the XL2 for a while as a playback deck, always with a great deal of trepidation. Although I never had any problems after the rebuild, it didn't take too long to get the other camera/playback deck.

Bill
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