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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old March 19th, 2004, 06:19 AM   #1
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XL1 or XL1s the key differences

I'm in the market for an XL1s and I have an opportunity to buy an XL1 with only 60 hours use. I've looked around to find the differences between the two cameras and still I'm not totally clear. Can anyone give me a detailed list of the advantages of the "s" over the XL1? The new camera will cost me arond $7K in Australia with the second hand one at half that price. Is the "s" really worth twice the price?
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Old March 19th, 2004, 09:05 AM   #2
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Run, don't walk, to my XL1S Skinny page. It tells you whay you need to know. Hope this helps,
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Old March 19th, 2004, 09:08 AM   #3
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Re: XL1 or XL1s the key differences

<<<-- Originally posted by Rod Monk : I'm in the market for an XL1s and I have an opportunity to buy an XL1 with only 60 hours use. Is the "s" really worth twice the price? -->>>

That depends on you, and how valuable the extra features of the 's' are to you. In my case it wasn't. I bought two (barely) used xl1 cameras for the price of one new XL1s. No one has ever asked me on a shoot if I should be using the XL1s instead of the XL1. :)

ANd for what its worth, I've mixed footage between both cameras many times, and never been able to tell the difference.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 11:12 AM   #4
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When did Canon initially release the XL1S that replaced the previous XL1 model?
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Old March 20th, 2004, 11:34 AM   #5
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Old March 20th, 2004, 12:06 PM   #6
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Yeah, it was the last quarter of 2001.

One difference not mentioned on Chris's Skinny page is the border pixel issue. The XL1 has black bars on the left and right sides of the image; the XL1S recovers most of those pixels but instead produces several bright, bluish rows of pixels on the bottom and on the left. See this thread.

My outrage over this problem has certainly mellowed since that thread was active, but the fact does remain that neither camera delivers all the pixels it advertises, for reasons that seem to have been fixable design issues.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 02:40 PM   #7
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The big differences for me (and that justified my going through the bother to upgrade) were:

Not having the camera "auto-shutoff" every 5 minutes. Very annoying while lighting and using a monitor. Ejecting the tape every time to prevent this was not an option.

Being able to completely eliminate the text in the viewfinder. It was beyond counter-intuitive to me to have timecode positioned on screen right across the subject's eyes.

The 16:9 guides are great. I used to do painstaking surgery, masking off that teeny viewfinder.

Improved image. Not a massive difference, but nice on top of everything else.

Those were the biggies for me. Real color bars, extra gain, custom presets and multiple color balances, all useful at one time or another as well.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 06:44 PM   #8
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History 101: Shortly after buying my GL1, Canon came out with the "new & improved" GL2. Since then I have lived in denial... "Gee, I really don't care that the GL2 has several new and very useful features that are lacking on the GL1."

Oddly, I noticed that I started grinding my teeth shortly after that.

So, now, I am "ready" to step up to the XL1S level but I couldn't help but notice that there has been a lot of talk about a new XL version, maybe called the XL2? Okay, I know, the subject has already been beaten to death on the forum and besides, anyone who might know if Canon is planning on releasing a new, improved XL1S --- can't say anything about it without violating a strictly enforced confidentiality agreement. That is, IF there even is a new XL version in the pipeline...

I find it most interesting, however, that Canon had a promotion on the original XL1 offering a $500 rebate shortly before the XL1S was released!

Now, Canon has another $500 rebate offer on the XL1S. A really great offer it is too! It's possible right now to buy a brand-new XL1S from a reputable and well-known forum sponsor for just $3,039.00 plus shipping after the rebate. Wow, what a great deal!

But, the thought of buying another "new" Canon camcorder and shortly thereafter seeing a new improved version released at basically the same price gives me The Jitters. As you surely know, The Jitters make it very difficult to video anything --- even with image stabilization turned on...

I don't HAVE to get the XL1S right now because I have my trusty "old" GL1 to use... Sure, it isn't as good as the GL2 but...

I see that a little-used XL1S (but over a year old) just sold here on the forum for $2,550. (evidently these don't depreciate much at all?). But, if a new XL is released, Shirley the value of the "old" XL1S models will plummet drastically?

So, my question: Can anyone recommend a good group therapist who specializes in audio/video trauma --- here my area of Florida???

Ed Baatz
Sarasota, Florida

I think I will just flip a coin... Heads I buy now. Tails I wait.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 07:45 PM   #9
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Old March 20th, 2004, 07:47 PM   #10
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Maybe I could tape the sessions? ;o)

(using my GL1?)

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