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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
Can't find it on the XL1 Watchdog site? Discuss it here.


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Old August 5th, 2002, 02:56 AM   #1
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How to decipher the Serial Number?

In the December 2001 issue of DV Magazine, Bruce A. Johnson wrote a review of the (then) new XL1s. There was a paragraph that caught my interest in particular:

"You know how to tell the age of a Canon XL1, right? No, you don't count the rings; just remove the battery and look inside the mount. You'll see the month and year it was built."

Erm, I don't exactly see that. There is a 12-digit serial number on my XL1s, but I can't work out a possible combination of either dd/mm/yy or dd/mm/yyyy.

Does anyone know how to decipher the serial number in order to find out month & year of manufacture?
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Old August 5th, 2002, 08:16 AM   #2
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That trick refers to the XL1, not the XL1S, I'm pretty sure. Anyway, Canon isn't giving out any details about their serial number codes, so we're left in the dark. I'm told that the code reveals which assembly line and which shift produced the camera, so there's a lot of detail in it. Sorry,
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Old August 5th, 2002, 10:43 AM   #3
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I've also heard that the serial number identifies for which market the camcorder was produced.
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Old August 5th, 2002, 12:43 PM   #4
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Indeed, the XL1 showed the month and year of manufacture in the battery seat. Thee XL1s has the identical "Manufactured" tag field in the same location but, at least on mine, it simply says "P L". Gee, I wonder if that means "Pretty Lousey". <g>

I think most manufacturers attempt to encode reference details within their serial numbers, often much to the dismay of their IT staffs who often plead futilely that the inevitable arbitrary mid-production changes to that format will wreak havoc with data base indexing systems and related dependencies.
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Old August 5th, 2002, 09:06 PM   #5
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One field to parce to learn all about the camcorder.

Consider all the data contained in a VIN (vehicle identification number)
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