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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old March 14th, 2005, 12:40 AM   #1
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New Canon XL1-S Owner - Need the Low Down

Hey all!

I just got my Canon XL1-S on Friday after wanting an XL1 for almost 6 years. I sold my GL2 and a few other stuff to buy it and now it's mine! (I'm freekin' happer than a pig in shite!)

So here's the deal. I bought it from a guy on eBay for $2,400. I picked it up so it wasn't shipped. I feel like I saved this baby as the person gave it to me all dusty. I felt a little uneasy about that, being that for all I know, this thing could've been abused emmensly. But I've been using it since then, and she hasn't let me know of any abuse yet. Seems like a work horse. I cleaned it all up and I swear, it looks brand new now. The one thing I did notice though, was a hum when recording/recorded footage. But I came to the conclusion that this is from the viewfinder/mic piece attached to the camera, as I detatched the mic and it was gone. So I'm not sweating it. Looks like there are no visually dead pixels or distortions on the tape.

I want to know how you guys are making out with yours. It's pros, and it's cons. I mean, I've read almost every thread on here, so if there's anything that isn't listed, hook me up.

Also, I've found (after digging and digging) the users manual for the S. It's at http://media-server.amazon.com/exec/drm/digital/moleproxy.cgi?name=Q2Fub24gWEwxUyBNaW5pRFYgRGlnaXRhbCBDYW1jb3JkZXIgTWFudWFs&file=TUFOVUFMMDAwMDAwMjQ 5LnBkZg== (copy and paste).

Thanks a lot!
-Nick
www.electricvertigo.com
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Old March 14th, 2005, 02:22 PM   #2
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I dont know what your using it for or how mission critical it's performance is. But you might want to send it in to canon repair just for a checkup, alignment, cleaning, figuring out what that hum is, etc. since, as you said you dont know how it was abused before you got it.

My biggest con with the xl1s is that its heavy and that I cant afford every accessory I want. (and I want them all)

The biggest pro is it's multi lense capabilities that you can use specificly for different situations, the four channels of xlr audio, and that most all the accessories are forward compatable with the xl2, and therefore didnt take a nose dive in value it was released, only the camera itself became older.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 12:38 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply!
well, im a filmmaker, and previously used the GL2, which I kinda grew out of. you can see the stuff I did with it at www.electricvertigo.com

The hum definatly comes from the viewfinder/mic attachment. thats an awesome idea though about sending it top canon. and yes, you are absolutly right- i just used it today to do some shooting for a tv show and my arm feels like a freekin' dead limb! hahaha.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 01:52 AM   #4
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It seems strange that you mention that the Xl1s is 'heavy', as I find it extremely lightweight. In some ways I wish the body itself was even more solid.

I think a lot of the 'arm-strain' can be caused by the unbalanced front-heavy weight, especially with a 16X manual lens + wide optic on the front. The XL series was mainly designed to be used on a sturdy tripod, but it can be quite comfortable for long periods of on-the-shoulder shooting if you add weight to the back of the XL, such as MA-200 and dual battery pack.
The MA-200 also shifts the fulcrum slightly forward, so as to even the balance. I also have just bought an extra padded Pro shoulder support to grip the shoulder more.

Regarding the 'hum', it might be worth you investing in the Light Waves Systems SI-XL1 isolater & MM-XL1 mini-mount to remove the hum of the mic, viewfinder, and tape movement noises.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 03:12 PM   #5
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I don't know how people think the XL1s or XL2 are heavy either. But then again, I work out all the time so I can't say much. But I'm wondering why you would dump the GL2 for the XL1S as the GL2 is supposed to be a little bit higher resolution than the XL1S from what I hear. Not that you've made a bad decision or anything, I'm stuck with a GL1 myself, so almost anything would be better ^_^, I know how you feel.

All I can say is to be sure to eventually buy the 14x/16x manual lens and the 3x Wide Angle lens. That should be about it, unless you want the EOS adapter for nature filming or something. I'm waiting to buy an XL1S myself, but I'll buy one when it's old and outdated or I'll just do the same for the XL2 as I'm looking forward to Panasonic's new HD camera for my next one. Right now I'm having fun looking at the Canon L2's on eBay, though they're Hi-8, they look fun to play with. Still too expensive though, they go up to about $800 still =P, weird.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 08:49 PM   #6
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Shite, L2 huh? Well, Adorama.com has one for 400. Yea Im getting the Nikon to XL adapter. Now my question is this: If I get a Nikon lens, will it be macro? Im new to the whole interchangable thing- so forgive me. Honestly, I feel like I grew out of the GL2. Great camera, but its limited. I got the XL1S figuring that Id get the lenses and stuff.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 04:49 PM   #7
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Josh;
Your 35mm Nikon camera lenses with the xl adapter will be magnified 7.3 times. 50mm = 365mm in the XL1s, 300mm = 2190 in the XL1s. etc. The XL2 is even greater. It's tough to get macro with 35mm lenses in your XL1s. A 17mm 35mm lens will become the equivilant of a 124mm lens in your XL1s.
Take a look at my website for some examples of 35mm lenses used on the XL series cameras. These are long lenses that can take advantage of the higher magnification. But will give you an idea of what can be done with the various extenders.

Ron
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Old March 16th, 2005, 11:06 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Josh Parra : Thanks for the reply!
well, im a filmmaker, and previously used the GL2, which I kinda grew out of. you can see the stuff I did with it at www.electricvertigo.com

The hum definatly comes from the viewfinder/mic attachment. thats an awesome idea though about sending it top canon. and yes, you are absolutly right- i just used it today to do some shooting for a tv show and my arm feels like a freekin' dead limb! hahaha. -->>>

Aside from buying the two Lightwave accesories for isolation, you can also loosen the clamp screw to the point where the mic just begins to be movable. This will help somewhat. I used that trick on my XL-1 and it cut down on the hum quite a bit. A lot of folks think that clamp screw needs to be really tight. In reality, all you will accomplish is a more 'direct' coupling of the mic to the camera body.

Congrats on your new camera!

-gb-
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Old March 19th, 2005, 05:19 AM   #9
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Hey Josh, congradulations. You bought the best. I just got back from videoing eagles and osprey in Florida, I used the 16x with 1.6 extender. BEAUTIFUL. Look, about that hum. You have to make sure that the mic is lined up perfectly on the bracket. There is a mark on the end of the mic that has to line up with the mark on the bracket. Try that. But, even if that removes the hum, still send it in to Canon for a check up. Also, I suggest the 1.6 extender and the 3x lens as your next goal. Enjoy the XL-1s. Bob
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Old March 19th, 2005, 11:36 AM   #10
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Bobby boy-

thanks man!
yea i tried lining it up to the markers, but it's still there. i know its nothing internal because if i take the mic off of the bracket, its gone. and this only happenbs when there is a tape in the deck in pause/record more. its just noise hum travelling. no biggie. but listen, whats the deal with the extender? iver been reading up on it lately. does it give more depth of field? i need as much depth of field without zooming in/focus to get it. is that what I need?
thanks alot, and if you can, send me some stills of what you shot with the extender. i'd love to see it.
evfilms@gmail.com
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Old March 19th, 2005, 12:04 PM   #11
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Josh;
Your camera came with a rubber cushion between the locking nut and viewfinder frame. Most of these have been lost or thrown away with the packing material. It is a valuable accessory to help reduce the vibration transmission to the mic. It doesn't stop it all; But it does help! If yours is lost, Canon has them as a replacement part, around $6.00 as I recall. The hum is not an unusual problem, and is remedied by aftermarket accessories, as previously stated. Another solution is to get a rubber mic bracket from your guitar store and mount it on the hotshoe. There are various hotshoe brackets available. I use this method for a Sennhieser ME67 in conjunction with the standard mic and Litewave system. Works great with the limited times I use two mics.

Ron
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Old March 19th, 2005, 12:08 PM   #12
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Just noticed. Are we talking to Nic or Josh?
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Old April 20th, 2005, 05:33 PM   #13
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Ok i think that is it heavy as well and its becuse the bulk of the rig is over your arm and not centered over your shoulder. So you end up holding up your rig mostly with your arm.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 09:29 PM   #14
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Allow yourself the time to thoroughly get used to your new camera. A visit to Cannon is highly recommended, but note that the fee starts around $400 US and easily goes up from there. I upgraded to an XL1s in january from a GL1 (which I continue to use), but have not generated enough revenue yet to send mine off for examination.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 09:28 PM   #15
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Congrats on the camera purchase!

I also love my XL1S. And I too feel it's a true workhorse with excellent output quality. My only real complaint is also with it's poor balnce, it's a mutha to shoot with over extended periods of time, an arm/shoulder killer. The pivot is too far to the rear. Otherwise I would not trade it for another camera... except perhaps the XL2, that's next for me regardless.

Be sure to post some of your shoots and share.
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