Is the Canon XL1s that bad? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old June 26th, 2002, 09:06 AM   #1
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Is the Canon XL1s that bad?

I have this camera also the Gl1, I am just tired of reading post after post in different forums that make this camera look like crap! Is it that bad??? I ve been very happy with it after all it does not cost 15000 or more dollars .
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Old June 26th, 2002, 09:24 AM   #2
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George,

I've been using the XL since early 99 and it's a great camera. Most of the people you hear constantly complaining about it probably bought it expecting a $15000 camera for under $5000. It's not perfect, but what can you expect for the price. It has issues, but then what camera dosen't. I guess it's a result of the something for nothing mentality our society has become.

Take what you have, add a little bit of imagination to make up for what ever percieved shortcomings the camera has, and shoot shoot shoot.
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Old June 26th, 2002, 09:27 AM   #3
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Right on!
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Old June 26th, 2002, 01:10 PM   #4
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George,

Ditto Adrian's remarks for me; they're dead-center. I have the GL-1, the XL-1 and the XL-1s and they are all fine pieces of equipment, particularly for an amatuer/hobbyist like me. In fact, they're almost too good for me ;-) . The next step up would be a 7+kg shoulder brick which might be fun to use but would (a) cost 3x-4x what the XL cams cost, and (b) scare he heck out of any casual subject.
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Old June 26th, 2002, 01:27 PM   #5
 
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you get what you pay for....sometimes you get a little less...sometimes a little more. In a world of profit vs competitive performance, it's a continual trade-off. Everything's a compromise. What compromises are you willing to make? Only you can decide. When a product is deficient because of some manager's poor decision, the marketplace will not buy that product. When a product has a little added value, the marketplace will buy it. You decide. Customer support is a value added feature. A manufacturer needs to be sensitive to the buyer or else it won't stay in business for long. Caveat emptor.

If users don't complain, how is a manufacturer to know anything? Except when his sales drop....then it's too late. I support anyone with the courage to speak up instead of rolling over and turning belly up.
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Old June 26th, 2002, 07:11 PM   #6
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Along the same lines as what Bill said, people are posting here because they have encountered a problem. Like going to the Doctors office, guess what you find sick people. These forums provide help and support 24/7 (Thank You Very Much, Chris & Sponsors). Something that no manufacture can provide, or at least not in this detail. So, it shouldn't suprise someone that people have complaints and problems. This is the place for them!

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Old June 27th, 2002, 12:36 AM   #7
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George, I don't think I have heard anyone saying that the output
of the camera is crap. I personally think it is very good. What it
outputs has very much to do with your talent and settings etc.

As the others have point out, there might (and the emphasis is
on might here) be some slight problems. I for one haven't found
much of it to be a problem at this point. It all depends on what
you want to do with it.
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Old June 27th, 2002, 03:16 PM   #8
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Beware of a nasty tendency on the internet to go to extremes with brand loyalty, to the point where "fans" of a certain manufacturer will go to great lengths to discredit the products of another manufacturer. A large portion of "anti-XL1" posts that I read elsewhere on the net are coming from people who don't even own one, but instead own a competing product. This is the type of person who gets an insecurity fix by slamming the other guy's gear. Watch out for this sort of nonsense. It's far too common. The truth is that *all* of these little affordable DV camcorders are simply amazing for what they do for the money, regardless of which Japanese company is making them. Hope this helps,
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Old June 27th, 2002, 04:49 PM   #9
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A local pro used a Gl-1 for his livihood and decided to get the new XL-1s. It was bad out of the box and he has had to send it back 3 times.
Now here's the kicker, He absolutly loves the camera and says it's the best he's ever seen for the price. He shots a 1/2 hr. outdoors show, shown every week on cable, hunting fishing, hunting dogs, etc.

Bruce
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Old June 27th, 2002, 08:35 PM   #10
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XLs are just fine.

One of the best kept secrets about 3-chip camcorders is that they are all good. You simply cannot get a lousy one.

Some cams are better than others, but frequently that is determined by the application.

As far as the digs go, you finally learn to shrug your shoulders and ignore them. There is one bomb thrower over at Video University forum (no dig at Hal, he runs a very good board) who announced that he was getting a VX2000 because of everything he read about GLs and XLs. He did this in the XL-1 /GL-1 forum. Oddly though, he never posted any messages in the VX2000 forum...ever. I'll bet a dollar he never bought a VX2000 either.

The important thing to do is learn how to read a board, never believe anything posted on the Internet until you have verified it, and understand that people repeat problems as current when they were resolved long ago (Sony's ++FIXED++ audio problems with VX2000 and PD150 still shows up from time to time as new problem).

If I had to do all this all over again I still would have bought an XL-1, I just would have bought a better tripod, a compact leveler, wireless mic, Sears travel box, and visited the Watchdog sooner!!

Nathan Gifford

P.S. I might have gotten 3X lens too.
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Old June 27th, 2002, 10:04 PM   #11
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The Xl1S is a wonderful camera. Ergonomically it's just about perfect. Most of the sour grapes and brand bashing come from people that are stuck in a dream world of manuals , specification and navel gazing. If they do own a camera they most likely never got it out of the box.

I know I've taken some poetic license here so please cut me some slack.

Nathan is absolutely right, pretty well all the 3 chippers are decent offerings and it just gets down to taste , price and availability.
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Old June 28th, 2002, 08:23 AM   #12
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Thanks

Thanks to all of you for your imputs, I really do like this camera very much and agree with all of your comments and I guess i should not get upset with all the bashing I read about, after all only the users of this cam really know what its all about.
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Old June 28th, 2002, 10:31 AM   #13
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George:

I can only speak for my own use of both the XL1-S and the GL-1. Both are excellent cams (especially when you factor in the price). I use the XL1-S as my primary and the GL-1 as a backup and B-roll shooter and neither has let me down. The compromises are what I would expect for vidcams that cost a fraction of the top end models but the quality that both deliver is outstanding.

As for complaints, get used to hearing them. I use both a Nikon D1H and D1X for my still photography and the forums are filled with the same kind of invectives about quality, service, etc. Yet Nikons have been the tools of my trade for 30+ years and have never let me down. I'm sure there are lemons that managed to get through both Canon's and Nikon's manufacturing process but I've never had one from either manufacturer.

Doug
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Old June 28th, 2002, 02:45 PM   #14
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We own two XL-1 - a plain one and an "s". We just got through what by any standard can be considerd a major production using the two cameras. This was not a documentary where flaws can often be hidden, but a full fledged drama where any imperfection shows up like a sore thumb. The cameras have to handle different lighting setups well while making the actors look good. The stability of the cameras to hold a setting becomes very critical because there's often no chance for anoter "perfect" take. Most of all, the cameras have to be rugged enough to take the rough handling they will inevitably get from crews that don't own them and who won't treat the gear with kid gloves. In all we put about 100 DV cassettes through the cameras in 20 production days, none of which was less than 12 hours.

The two XL-1s came through all this admirably. Sure there are problems, but as has already been pointed out, these are $3500 cameras and not $45,000. If I have any critiques of the cameras is because they ARE good, very good. If they were worthless no critique would be worth the effort.

In fact we are continuing to use these cameras and are gradually switching to a production setup composed of two XL-1s and an Avid DV editing system. Our production costs need to come down and these systems allow us to produce material of almost the same technical quality as Beta SP but at a fraction of the cost.

If we, who are paid a lot of money to deliver the goods, trust these cameras, then anyone who's using them for less demanding tasks should have no hesitation using them.
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Old June 28th, 2002, 10:18 PM   #15
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There you go. If a guy like Ozzie thinks the XL1/1s is a good camera then it has to be. Ozzie knows from experience the good and bad of the XL series and using them for professional productions.

Ozzie I have a question for you. What was the outcome of the kids production shoot. Did the black line issue end up costing the job? I hope not. John Locke and I are having the problem with it now as we are putting XL DV into Flash MX for online courses. It's not to much of a big deal as we are dealing with compressed web video so the loss of resolution when cropping isn't too big a deal.
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