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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 October 9th, 2006, 12:42 PM   #1
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viewfinder problem

The viewfinder port on the H1 is poorly designed. It is much worse than the XL2. If you look at the cable coming off of the camera it does a 90 Degree bend straight up. Then it makes another 90 Degree bend straight ahead, taking the cable under the viewfinder and wrapping it into the finder. This undo stress on the connector causes the port to wear out and no longer keep a tight hold on the cable. adjusting the finder also adds to the stress point. One of our units is now constantly having the connector pop out' I can only imagine what the factory is going to charge us to replace this.

The XL2's design at least has the molded 90 degree bend slightly angled toward the front of the camera, and we have never had this problem with these much older units.

This is a design flaw, however the factory will call it wear and will probably not cover it under any circumstance.

I'll keep you posted on this.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 01:23 PM   #2
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Craig have you guys considered getting the optional B&W CRT viewfinder instead. It is actually an Ikegami unit even though it's branded Canon. Well worth the $1500 in my opinion.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 07:58 PM   #3
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Have you noticed the viewfinder cable stay (cable holder), almost directly under the pivot point of the color viewfinder?

If the cable is routed under the viewfinder, then this holds the cable in place.

I do not know if this will help or not. I just found this cable holder last week.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 07:31 PM   #4
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My viewfinder just quit working on me today. It has gone very dark but still shows a picture although one that is impossible to work with. I have to film tomorrow so for now will be doing it blindly :( Anyone have any recommendations on a good color replacement? Thanks!
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Old October 20th, 2006, 09:02 PM   #5
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since the H1 has been available for less than a year you will be under warranty, i recently had to have that cable replaced due to a bad grounding, they also did a firmware upgrade and did a thorough cleaning, they also told me the hours on the tape transport as requested. you may have to pay for one way shipping to the nearest canon service center but they will ship it back for free, the 3 times I have taken my H1 into the service center in Irvine they have never kept it more than 3 days.

everything about that viewfinder sucks

-Jon
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Old October 21st, 2006, 02:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah Thompson
I have to film tomorrow so for now will be doing it blindly :(
Let us know how that turns out. ;)

That might be a fun experiment...try to shoot something without a viewfinder or monitor and see how well you can do on the focus and exposure. ;)
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Old October 21st, 2006, 06:13 AM   #7
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I believe all of the information comes up through the component output, so if you can dig up some small component monitor that might be able to tide you over until you can get your viewfinder fixed.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 06:44 AM   #8
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I have some problem with the EVFs connection - it's easy to get a small glitch in the connection - could it be so?

Otherwise take any monitor or TV, should be better then the darkness.

Or just go for it, you may get sharpest cutting edge creative auteur footage ever seen.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 07:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Hiltgen
I believe all of the information comes up through the component output, so if you can dig up some small component monitor that might be able to tide you over until you can get your viewfinder fixed.
Never tried it with the component output but the composite output output echoes the VF (downconverted to SD). It's probably easier to find a monitor with composite input (e.g. Radio Shack has some portable DVD players).
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Old October 21st, 2006, 09:03 AM   #10
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I have an XL2 with the fu 100 b+w viewfinder. I'm hoping to get an H1 soon, and will definately keep the fu 1000. The stock viewfinders suck!
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Old October 21st, 2006, 09:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Murphy
Let us know how that turns out. ;)

That might be a fun experiment...try to shoot something without a viewfinder or monitor and see how well you can do on the focus and exposure. ;)
Last year I had to send in my XL2 viewfinder. I shot 10 minutes of footage of a party in my backyard without a viewfinder. Of course I had the auto iris on, and I was using the 16x manual lens. You can set the zoom to full wide and then set the focus to infinity and know everything is in focus. The footage didn't turn out too bad!

I only tried this because there were a few relatives from out of state that were there and I won't see them for years to come. It was funny actually!

Never try this for anything serious though. The results weren't that good!

Peace!
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Old November 6th, 2006, 05:48 AM   #12
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How much of an improvement is this viewfinder over the supplied one?
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Old November 6th, 2006, 06:22 AM   #13
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Floris,
The fU 1000 is not only a crt, but it's also bigger. It's a lot easier to focus with,but of course you have no color reference. I've used the H1 now on two jobs, but I left the stock viewfinder on, just to try it. It was harder on focusing, but nice to have color, especially to check white balance. I was shooting a wedding with four different locations, indoors and out,with lots of different types of light. having a color refernce (after using the FU 1000 on my XL2 for a year) was nice.
I've thought about getting an inexpensive on cam lcd, if for nothing more than simple wb color reference. But I also use a Frezzi light w/ softbox for weddings, and adding an on cam monitor would be pretty crowded.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 11:23 PM   #14
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Update. viewfinder port replaced under warranty. However I feel that this will be an ongoing occurance and will be quite an out of pocket cost next time.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 11:34 PM   #15
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Craig, you guys have gotta buckle down and get that B&W CRT viewfinder. Most of your renters would appreciate it anyway... they're used to those monochrome Ike EVF's.
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