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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old November 14th, 2001, 10:23 PM   #16
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XL1 Focus Probs with Picture link...

Well, the last few days I have been trying to figure out if it was just me or my new XL-1s that was having problems. I have shot the GL-1 for over a year and never had problems focusing against Canon autofocus lenses. Currently though, my new XL-1s is not doing so well - very soft under most situations. I assume if I can foucs the GL-1 with that little viewfinder I should be able to focus the new camera.

I have included a couple examples for reference, using my GL-1 and the XL-1s. PLEASE take a look and see if anyone has any thoughts. I assume that with the number of satisfied XL-1 users I know and have talked to that this is the exception and not the rule.

I will cut off here and wait for a few comments and see where this goes. I have seen a few other posts on this topic but never read any resolutions yet.

And don't get me started on the zoom servo noise the on camera mic picks up. Geez, how can they even expect people not to notice! Maybe the foucs and overly loud zoom motor noise are related and the lens is actually faulty. ????

I appreciate the help and really appreciate this site as a resource Thanks Chris. (Yeah, I am brown nosing to try and get more response :).

Will be calling Canon in the a.m. and will post any feedback.

http://www.azuho.com/waveform/camtest.html
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Old November 15th, 2001, 10:18 AM   #17
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Updated pictures and info...

Talked to Canon and was told to just send the unit in, and that the XL-1s should look much cleaner and sharper than the GL-1. I will most likely just send for a replacement unit from the dealer.

Still curious if anyone else has this problem or if I just got the unit that was worked on after the Halloween party.

Thanks again.

http://www.azuho.com/waveform/camtest.html
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Old January 9th, 2002, 08:11 PM   #18
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Hunting Focus XL1s

I know this has been discussed before, but I wanted to share my experience on the hunting focus problem.

I just bought 2 brand new XL1s camcorders and one of them exhibits the hunting focus problem. I tested both camcorders in two locations at the same time, thus in the same light as each other. One of them was perfect. The other kept hunting for the subject when I was zoomed in about 75%. It wasn't constantly out of focus. But it would drift often enough (at least once every 30-60 seconds) then come back to focus. Pretty hard on the eyes after a few minutes.

I swapped the lenses between the chasis and the problem stayed with the chasis. I also made sure the settings between the units were identical. And I remove the backup battery on the bad unit overnight so I could reset the settings back to factory default just in case I had set something wrong. But after configuring the date and time stuff, the unit still misbehaved.

I called Canon and spoke with their technical support. After explaining the problem and what I had done so far, he suggested that I visit my dealer and exhange it. I've called them and I will have a new unit tomorrow. Hopefully that unit works as wonderfully as the other.

Ron
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Old January 9th, 2002, 09:37 PM   #19
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Thats good Hope you didn't send them the good one back.
:)
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Old January 10th, 2002, 04:45 PM   #20
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Keep the standard lenses matched too, that should ensure a better back focus setting.
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Old January 10th, 2002, 10:54 PM   #21
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I exchanged my new XL1s (only 3 days old) with another new one, and the new one still exhibits the hunting focus. Since others have mentioned this behavior I guess I must just learn to use the manual focus more often. I'm very amature at all this, so it will be a learning curve. It's interesting though that my other XL1s seems to handle the auto focus much better than the other two XL1s's.

Dpalomaki, what do you mean by keeping the standard lenses matched?
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Old January 11th, 2002, 12:07 AM   #22
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I jokingly refer to the "autofocus" mechanism as the "out of focus" mechanism. It's one of the things I'll turn off and never (ever) turn back on. That goes for auto exposure and automatic gain as well.

With a camera like the XL1 you'll get the best results when you work it as a manual camera, thus avoiding wandering planes of focus or unexpected changes in exposure.
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Old January 11th, 2002, 07:11 AM   #23
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"autofocus" / "out of focus" - that's funny. I'll take your advice. I agree that manually taking control of the settings will be the best decision. I just have to learn a ton of stuff since I've never done any video stuff before.

Thanks.
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Old January 12th, 2002, 08:11 AM   #24
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By keep lens and body matched I mean that you can expect best focus results if you keep the body matched to the lens that came with it. This is because the backfocus settings are based on a specific lens-body combination and could be slightly differnt with a diferent combination.

For satisfactory performance auto focus requires about 50 lux light level (the XL1 spec) and contrasting vertical edges inthe image. Subject with low contrast or only horizontal wedge (venetian blinds) do not auto focus well.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 08:29 PM   #25
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Soft (unsharp) focus in XL 1S ??

Hello everyone,

I've had my XL1S under a month and have noticed it simply can't acquire sharp focus...it is very noticeable at the far reaches of it's zoom range- is this typical of the XL1S? I am somewhat dissatisfied at this point as I have spent a considerable amount of time at the park today videotaping a local NYC red-tail hawk and didn't get sharp images at all. I tried using the AF and manual and neither would give a sharp image- this is most troublesome- can anyone tell me if there's something that can be done to improve picture sharpness? ( I was using Tv mode at 1/250th second to help with flight blur- tried both IS on & off- nothing seems to improve)
My photography with a Kodak DCS620 (Nikon F5 digital) of these local red-tail hawks has led to my becoming chosen by the NYC parks Dept for a "Hawk Festival" of which I volunteered "video" as well as photos to be showcased- I'm afraid now the video wont be up to par with the photography....

...bummed out.

(if this is typical XL1S video quality- anyone wanna buy a 1 month old XL1S??)

Steve Nunez
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Final Cut Pro/Commotion DV/Canon XL 1S
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Old February 7th, 2002, 09:19 PM   #26
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Hi Steve,

I don't know about the "S", but it certainly is typical of the standard lens that came on the XL1.

I struggled with focus problems for a while (much of my video is nature related as well), then picked up the new 16X manual lens.

Problem solved.

While it might be impractical (i.e. costly) after just buying a new camera, I bet the manual lens would be a big improvement.

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Old February 7th, 2002, 09:43 PM   #27
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Thanks Mike,

Do you think the EF adapter with a Canon EF lens would yeild better results-- I need to be far away from the hawks to catch their natural behaviour- (ideally 150 feet or so) and am desperately trying to capture good flight footage....

The standard lens seems to do fine at up to about 75% of it's total focal range- but when reaching far out- the lens goes soft- usually an indicator of low quality optics as per photo glass (colors are becoming desaturated as well)....why couldn't Canon put a top quality lens on the XL1S- the GL has a great lens with Flourite- why not do the same for the XL?

I'm always amazed when watching the "Big Cat Diary" on Animal Planet when scenes are shown with the guys and their jeep-top mounted cameras and their superior images at amazingly far distances to the big cats- was hoping I could get decent results with the XL as well ( I know some of you are gonna say- "yeah well those cams cost in excess of $50,000"- just making an observation )

..thanks for any hints- tips or comments anyone can contribute.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 09:48 PM   #28
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It's not so much the XL-1 as the glass you put in front of it. Slap a 600 mm lens on it and you'll be amazed at the clarity and range of sharpness.

I realize you'll have to mortgage your home to buy one...but there's always rental.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 10:27 PM   #29
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..I've read Chris' page on "Softness with the XL" and am sure I had tried a complete range of aperature settings- will try again the next 45 degree + day......hopefully an increase in aperature will help ale my soft images....f5.6-8 seems to be the "sweet" spot for XL1S IS lens...stay tuned.

(I'm hoping this will work-)
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Old February 7th, 2002, 10:30 PM   #30
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Z, Mike, others:

But what about Steve's question about the EF adapater. Is that a viable alternative to either the 16x Standard or 16X Manual lens? Is it viable to forgo either of those lenses, sink the money into the adpater and just buy the Canon EOS lenses?

What would be the tradeoff to doing so (I don't own a camcorder yet, but am hoping to get the XL1S -- I was planning on the 16x Manual)

Thanks!
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