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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.

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Old February 5th, 2006, 11:03 AM   #16
Obstreperous Rex
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
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Originally Posted by Mick Jenner
Maybe Chris can help out here.
I'm afraid there's not much I can do, except to confirm that there is no way to check head & drum hours, or number of eject cycles on any Canon camcorder, nor will Canon service provide this information to the camera owner (not a very good policy if you ask me). There should be a little note with every camera about the LCD display or viewfinder, that states something like 99.97% of the pixels are guaranteed to be good, so if there are 2 or 3 bad pixels, that's considered within the fault tolerance of their quality control. 99.97% certainly sounds like a very high standard, until you run into one of those dead pixels.

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Old February 5th, 2006, 11:40 AM   #17
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Replacement cameras

Hi Guys

More heat, less light.

I had three XL2's, yes three, from Jessops. Fortunately for me they were all brand new. However, I lost an excellent tape which was jammed in the drive because the camera would not come out of standby. What was far worse for me: no bugger seemed to care about my tape.

In my other career I have shot stills jobs where the film was worth more than the camera, so losing a film on a job, either personally - or in the lab, just ain't funny; though in twenty years shooting, I guess the loss of a film is almost inevitable. Experience taught me that cameras can be replaced, creative work often can't be.

With this in mind, I developed the habit of putting film directly into my trousers pocket once it was exposed, so at the end of the shoot I had great bulging pockets. So, when it came to video, imagine my chagrin when I lost my first Mini DV tape on my first commission. I had used the same technique, but somehow tapes were more fugitive than rolls of film. Fortunately for me the project was just a school day trip for my Kid, but I felt so bad that I drove the fifty miles back to site and shot the whole project again the next day- minus the kids; they were included as a cutaway feature from the stills that one of the other parents had taken.

After many years working with quite expensive stills kit, one becomes really blase, throwing cameras and lenses worth thousands into holdalls and bags without much thought as one rushes between shots - it's getting the pictures that counts. If I saw an assistant caressing a camera with undue interest, I more or less knew he was more interested in 'technics' than in images. I would then know what to expect and try to steer him in a more creative direction.

I am sorry to have to admit that I feel the same way about video cameras. Some of the first moving images I ever shot were on a 16mm Eclaire and the camera was so old, had it been a car, it would not have got an MOT. Nevertheless, the series won an award - but not because it was shot on a new, or even up to date, camera.

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Old February 5th, 2006, 11:38 PM   #18
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Atlanta GA
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Rod I think you make a good point about a trap that I perpetually find myself falling into. Let's be honest the majority of the people reading this forum are, if ever so slightly, gear heads. I mean it comes with the nature of the name of the site. Wouldn't be much to discuss if the only question asked was "can it take a pretty picture?"

I'd probably get kicked off of every other job I work for if someone reads this, (I'm a Camera Utility/Engineer) but you're right at the end of the day who cares what the specs are if you can't get the shot. Of course once I get the whole "screw caressing the camera, get the shot" out of my head, then I'll have to work on the whole "screw the shot, get the story" but that's a whole new ball of wax.

However, I think that your ability to "get the shot" is severly hindered if you don't "know your gear" or even (and sadly in my case) "love your gear" If you're shutter locks up because you jammed it in transport, then you won't ge tthe shot. If you bust a lens, you can't use it on the next shoot (and you know that'll be the lens you reach for). And if you miss something critical because your eye is distracted by a large clump of pixels in the viewfinder, well, how much is that missed shot worth?
I have a dream that one day canon will release a 35mm ef to xl adapter and I'll have iris control and a 35mm dof of all my ef lenses, and it will be awesome...
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