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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old June 10th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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XL2: No VIDEO OUT signal


I zip through these forums almost everyday. Wanting to keep up with any kind of creative camera solutions. Never heard of this problem I am having before.

So I am in PAL land and film only in 25p. Therefore I rely entirely on manual focus. I use a lightweight shoulder piece to balance the camera. I modified it to also carry a 7" screen for easier setting manual focus. And because how the XL2 and most other semiprofessional cameras handle progressive mode and auto focus I am totally dependent on this external screen.

I have lost the signal out from the XL2:s S-Video-terminal, and can't use my field monitor.

How did it happen?

I was helping my wife to digitalize an art video from a DVD. To make a long story short, I used the XL2s AV to DV mode and connected an S-VHS cable from my DVD-player to the XL2. The whole process worked fine. But afterwards when I switched the S-Video cable from the DVD-player back to the TV, which I do to get VIDEO OUT from my computer (firewire + XL2) when I am running Final Cut Pro, something strange happened. The camera's viewfinder showed the film frame that was showing at my computer, but the TV-monitor showed only like a white, overexposed picture.

The other Video (RCA &BNC) terminals?

I tried to use the RCA Video port in the beginning when I bought the camera 15 months ago. But I never got a signal out. I thought then that it was a bad cable. Since then I have never had any reason to check until now. Well, it was also dead.

At the repairman.

This guy had never seen a problem like this with either an XL1 or XL2 or any other camera for that matter. He couldn't get any of the XL2's three VIDEO OUT port to work. He opened the camera to see if there were any bad connections but didn't find any.

The repairman's conclusion.

He would either have to change the VIDEO board or, worse, the MAIN board. Since I still have RCA-audio out he was leaning to an exchange of the main board. But, as I said, he was very unsure since he had no previous documentation of this kind problem with the XL2. I already know and he assured me too that the XL2 is a durable machine. (Fortunately for me I got a 4-years guarantee when I bought the camera. But sending it away will take time.)

What did I do?

I didn't leave my camera at the repairman because I needed the camera later the same day. My temporary fix was to shoot in 25i mode and switch back and forth between auto and manual focus. 25i is okay but not like I want it. Canon's 25fps is more beautiful compared to doing de-interlaced 25i in the post work. I also realized how much I have began relying on the external screen for composition.

My questions:
Does any one know of this problem of not getting VIDEO OUT, and have a solution?
There's no little button or something I forgot to press?
Would this kind of problem be connected to the VIDEO board or the MAIN board? (The repairman would first order parts for a new VIDEO board, test it and if it doesn't work order a new MAIN board. All in all, switching the MAIN board would take at least double the amount of time.)

Of course I could rent a camera, while my own being fixed, but I am might be filming in a very far away place this summer. And I don't want to bring a rented camera there.

I hope you can help me.

Best wishes and thanks Chris for creating this supertool,

Carl Dieker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 10th, 2006, 03:10 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Posts: 2,614

Check the RCA/BNC switch next to the connections, to make sure it is set to the correct possition for whar you have the camera plugged to. See page 10 and 88 of the English section of my manual. If you have it in the wrong position, it will not work.

Chapter one, line one. The BH.
Mike Teutsch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 10th, 2006, 03:29 PM   #3
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The switch is set right. But thanks for quick reply. As I wrote in my clarification, the S-VIDEO OUT signal is heavily distorted.
Carl Dieker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 10th, 2006, 03:31 PM   #4
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clarification: Distorted S-VIDEO out
I should have written S-VIDEO OUT with distortion.

There is a signal coming out from the S-Video terminal but it is very distorted. I just connected my camera to the TV-monitor. It looks, like I wrote earlier, overexposed. Like someone has added a filter of very light disney colors to the frame. The camera is also connected to the computer thorugh the fire wire port. I just had a sequence up on the timeline in the OfflineRT PAL-format (compressed DV PAL, frame size 320x240). The VIDEO OUT signal coming from the computer to the XL2 shows a picture on the TV-monitor without almost no saturated colors. When I pick a sequence with uncompressed DV-PAL clips the distortions is as bad as before. It is like the thing in my camera, which displays S-VIDEO OUT signals, has become too sensitive to hold up to the uncompressed DV PAL-signal.


PS: I have also tried with playing a tape directly from the XL2 connected with S-VIDEO to a TV. The result of distortion is the same.
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