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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 28th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #1
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Quality of the XLH1

Hi folks

As owner of the XL1 and GL2, I'm planning on getting the XLH1. However, my experience with the XL1 and GL2 is making me nervous in getting the XLH1.

How is the XLH1 quality-wise?

My XL1 is falling apart (purchased in June 2001).
- The eyepiece that rotates broke (cheap plastic - Used Crazy glue to fix)
- Handgrip breaks (luckily my left hand was holding onto the camera) - used Crazy glue to fix.
- Kept sending the camera back to Canon regarding the famous shift-focusing problem (does not keep focus when zooming in or zooming out). Problem not fixed.
- Had to send the camera back twice in regards to the "Eject Tape" problem. They had to change the tape transport mechanism. It seems that the XL1/XL1s/XL2/GL1/GL2 family share the same tape transport mechanism. What about the XLH1?
- Starts to shut down when temperature hits 10-15 degrees celcius. Can the XLH1 operate in cold temperature?

My GL2 is starting to have problems (purchased last July, 2006)
- Send the camera back to Canon for the famous "Tape Eject" problem
- Starting to experience sound distortion on the left channel only.

Now I'm about to spend $10K on the XLH1 but nervous about the quality. Has anyone used this camera long enough to comment on the physical/operating quaility?

Thanks in advance.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 04:29 PM   #2
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Mine has worked fine since I received it in June 2006.

I take very good care of it and it returns the favor.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #3
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I got mine in May 2006 and have run about 25 tapes through it (I also use it as a playback deck). with no probs. I am going to pick up an HV10 or 20 soon so I don't have to use it as a deck.

Some of the guys here (Per Johan, Mike Devlin, Didi Schoeman), are really stressings theirs in the bitter cold of Norway (Per), Charter fishing boat (Mike), and the heat and dust of Africa (Didi).

I think you will find that the Canon XL's are built to handle more stress than most cams, though your XL1 is starting to wear. They have rubberized dust caps, buttons that recess, etc.

I've heard of relatively very few probs with the H1 compared to others in their class. (oops! I don't want to start anything).
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Old March 1st, 2007, 05:49 AM   #4
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My original xl1 / bought 1997 served me for 10 years without one single
problem that i could recall / African conditions / dust.

I have never used a head cleaner / never send it for service in 10 years.
Completed app. 240 fast in and out corporate productions. 2 x 13 episode
Broadcast productions and app. 40 music videos.

I have also used it as slave deck for the past 10 years. I only used new
tape stock and one brand tapes.

The one thing that i did practice as a rule was to blow my tape compartment with air after every shoot.

Recently bought an XLH1 / App. 25 hours on clock. NO PROBLEMO !

Herman / South-Africa
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Old March 1st, 2007, 10:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herman Van Deventer View Post
My original xl1 / bought 1997 served me for 10 years without one single
problem that i could recall / African conditions / dust.

I have never used a head cleaner / never send it for service in 10 years.
Completed app. 240 fast in and out corporate productions. 2 x 13 episode
Broadcast productions and app. 40 music videos.

I have also used it as slave deck for the past 10 years. I only used new
tape stock and one brand tapes.

The one thing that i did practice as a rule was to blow my tape compartment with air after every shoot.

Recently bought an XLH1 / App. 25 hours on clock. NO PROBLEMO !

Herman / South-Africa
Herman,

Man, that's impressive. Did you use that 'canned' air that you use for spraying out keyboards? I bought some the other day and used it on the outside of the H1 (around the buttons and stuff). I thought about using it in the tape compartment, but wasn't sure.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 01:36 PM   #6
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compressed air / cannisters

KEN

Nope / I use a small compressor with a in line filter (water-moist).

Also blow my bags and other equipment.


I decided upon this years ago working in the camera retail industry been
able to get acces to a camera service centre where a technician showed
me the bottom/inside of a tape compartment and the ammount of metal
particles coming from tape / head / transport friction.

Greetings Herman / I had the original XL1 up for sale but decided against
it. Instead i have mounted it in my studio as part of my soul.

Greetings / .Herman
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Old March 1st, 2007, 01:47 PM   #7
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I would be cautious with using "Canned Air".

A Director friend of mine was using "Canned Air" to clean his lenses. He stated that he would never use all of the air in the can. This, he said, came from experience. One time he emptied a can while blowing off his lenses, and out came some type of goo which was hard to remove.

Personally, I have not tested this myself, but I have no reason to doubt his story. So, I have avoided using commercial "Canned Air" altogether.

I would like to hear if anyone else has had a bad expeience with "Canned Air".
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Old March 1st, 2007, 02:17 PM   #8
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Always blow the first squirt away from the lens. Sometimes the liquid air can come out first. The liquid is extremely cold and can shatter the lens.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 03:38 PM   #9
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Yeah, it's cold alright.... What do you guys think about using it in the tape compartment?
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Old March 1st, 2007, 04:13 PM   #10
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Personally, I would not risk getting any sticky goo in the tape compartment.

I would use regular compressed air, not canned air.

You can purchase a small tank at an auto supply place and fill it up anywhere you can get your tires inflated.

Of course, this is not as portable, but in the long run it would cost less than "Canned Air" and might be safer.

I would be careful not to use excessive air pressure when blowing out the tape compartment.

When using this approach, I would be concerned about the moisture in the tank and thus in the air stream. However, I do not think this will be a problem.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 04:18 PM   #11
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Just use a "hurricane blower" squeeze bulb instead. The propellant in the Dust Gun can squirt out.

Don't tilt Canned Air sideways while trying to get into a difficult spot. Guess how I found this out!
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:41 AM   #12
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Thanks for the warning. i've been using canned compressed air sold for cleaning computers on my cameras for some time now. Have not had the misfortunate experience of solids or liquids exiting the can - but I will no longer take the chance based on these reports.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 10:08 AM   #13
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FIrst choice, a 'squeeze bulb' to blow out the compartment while the compartment is tilted to allow stuff to fall out.

Second choice, canned 'air' but DON'T Tilt the can, as you can spray the propellant.

LAST choice, "Compressed air" for a filling station. This air contains water, dirt and oil vapor. More nasty stuff to be blowing onto your heads/transport. IF you wan't to use 'compressed air' then get your tank filled at a scuba shop. The air there is free of dirt and oil.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 10:59 AM   #14
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I think Richard makes a good point, as one definitely wants to blow out the transport area with clean air.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 11:30 AM   #15
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I've got three XL-H1s that are about a year old. They go out with university students, so they certainly aren't treated gently. We had one go back to canon when the viewfinder started jumping around. That's been it for problems. No clogged heads or other issues. They've each shot hundreds of hours of tapes at this point. Assuming you treat it like a sane person, I think the XL-H1 will serve you well.
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