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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old June 7th, 2009, 04:16 PM   #1
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XL1 with head problem

Hey everyone, im looking at buying an XL1 used. I wanted some feedback from avid users like yourselves. The seller is asking $600 with a pelican case and the camera. However the camera, as he stated, needs to have the heads cleaned and reset, and the tape deck lid needs repair. I havent had a chance to go and look at the camera yet but does this sound like a good deal. I already have a JVC HD7 but i would like to get the XL1 to learn more about manual camera controls.
Any and all advice is appreciated!
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Old June 9th, 2009, 05:00 AM   #2
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The original XL1 came out in about 1997 and was replaced by the XL1s about 3 years later. It is beyond the period of assured factory maintenance and parts support, so before you invest an a machine that is known to need work, be sure you can find reasonably priced service and repair for it.

While a working XL1 can take good video, considering the age, and that it is SD, be sure you really want a camcorder this old and this technology, before you invest.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 01:52 PM   #3
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I would be tempted to look elsewhere. The XL1 is well worth owning if you want high quality SD in 4:3 format and don't need HD; but it isn't worth buying into trouble.

There are a lot of XL1 camcorders for sale, so I'd look around for a near perfect one in full working order at a decent price, or go for the later XL1s if you can. If you prefer widescreen 16:9 go for the XL2, but this of course will be pricier than the XL1.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #4
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Dirty Heads

So my xl1s is flashing "dirty heads" is the cleaning cassette tape effective? Just wondering if anyones had problems using the tape to clean the heads.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 04:55 AM   #5
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Generally the dry cleaning tape is effective. Best to use a brand name tape. Clean per the instructions in the user manual. Excessive cleaning does cause head wear. If the head are super clogged, the tape may not do it and professional servicing may be indicated.

Do not use wet process cleaning, it can actually make things worse.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 01:24 PM   #6
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I concur with Don.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #7
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It looks like im now having trouble with playing back the tape, I've used the cleaning cassete a couple of times, and now when i put my camera in VCR mode and try to rewind the tape it gets jammed up and says "Eject tape" and then the tape is all distorted and the picture is all chopped up like it would look from a dirty head, does this mean I need to get it cleaned professionally?
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Old September 30th, 2009, 04:49 PM   #8
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Try run the cleaning tape once more following the instruction. Then try a "waste" tape (one you can spare if it gets trashed in the test process). Try FF, play, RW, and then record/playback. That that cycle fails, time for real, professional repair.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 11:31 AM   #9
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Are you using a fresh tape to record with? If you are using an old tape, that might be a problem too. I would be curious to know whether the tape will play normally in another vcr.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 04:14 PM   #10
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ive been using new tapes, I am going to try and play the tape somewhere else to see if its still distorted.
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