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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 18th, 2004, 01:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Conway, NH
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XL1S questions from a non-user

For those using the Canon XL1S (not the older XL1), could you give me your opinions/comments on the following:

1) Does the sharpness control bring it to a level of sharpness comparable to the Sony PD150 (et al)?
2) Is the viewfinder adequate for focusing and being held at arm's length?
3) Low light...you know the drill...
4) Durability/reliability
5) what lens do you use as your primary lens?

Thank you!
Bill Edmunds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 18th, 2004, 03:49 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
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I own an XL1S myself. I can't comment too much on sharpness
since I'm not using it at all. I rarely had trouble focussing with
the color viewfinder (B&W is optional). I can't really use it too
much at arm's length. Doesn't work for me. Durability and
realibility are quite high in my opinion, although I'm not using
the camera daily as some people do. I use the standard 16x
lens. It works good enough for me now and I don't have any
money to buy another one (wideangle lens would be nice to

I'll leave the other questions for other people to answer. A lot
of the short comings of the camera can be helped by using
additional stuff (TFT onboard monitor, XLR inputs, support
systems, different lenses, B&W viewfinder etc.)

One of our sponsers, ZGC also sells custom
XL1S packages if you want a different lens or viewfinder (without
buying the original ones).

For more information regarding them, the B&W viewfinder and
the 16x manual lens see this thread and the links therein.

Till the end of the month you can get $500 back from Canon if
you buy an XL1S (new).

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

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Old January 18th, 2004, 09:11 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Chicago,Il
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I have been using my XL1s for about two years now and have nothing but praise and love for it. I have used the PD150 off and on over the last couple years and like the camera but it doesn't really measure up with the XL1s in a couple different ways.
1. the XL1s has done noticably better in low light settings. THe PD grains out way quicker, while the Canon holds a beautiful picture even at 6db gain.
2. The picture quality of the XL1s is more pleasing to the eye not having the harsh DV look that the PD seems to give.
3. I have had no problem focusing with the color viewfinder, although everything takes a little adjustment time in order to perfect one's self. I use the Nebtek LCD monitor sold by ZGC for most of my shoots and just love it.
4. My XL1s has proven to be very durable yet with the changable lenses and such it is a little more delicate. I would feel that the PD would probably hold up a little better in rough situation do to the fact that it is more compact.
Matt Polcyn
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Old January 18th, 2004, 10:15 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,788
My 2 sheckels is that I am not a fan of the color viewfinder, but I should immediately point out that I have used B&W viewfinders for years on Betacams and their predecessors, so that is what I am used to. Focusing is not so much the problem (although I still find it easier with the B&W) but judging exposure and framing is more of an issue--being an LCD, you can't really trust the density of the image because it changes as your head (really, eye) position shifts; and it only seems to show about 80% of the image whereas the B&W shows full raster, in other words about 110% of the image.

I'm a 14x manual lens user, sold my auto lens a while back and don't miss it.
Charles Papert
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