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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old March 18th, 2010, 04:40 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Philippines
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Degrading LCD Viewfinder

Hi,

We have a 1st generation XL1 that has developed a viewfinder problem. White specs/grains filled up the screen making shooting impossible.

PLEASE SEE IMAGES HERE

Has anyone experienced this?
Do you know any fix?
How about an affordable alternate/replacement EVF unit?..please provide links.


Thank you.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 09:27 PM   #2
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(i respectfully bump...)
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Old March 20th, 2010, 12:17 AM   #3
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Hi Ervz............

Never seen the problem before.

If used in the tropics it could be either accelerated decomposition of the LCD material in the viewfinder (terminal affliction), circuit board degradation due to humidity problems or a host of other age/ humidity related problems too numerous to mention or a simple contact problem with the plug.

I'd try a good contact cleaning spray (NOT oil!) on the plug/ socket set and see if a bit of in/ out manipulation makes any difference.

As you're probably aware, the first generation of XL1's are now practically octogenarians in technology terms and getting parts is nigh on impossible.

If the above doesn't fix the problem (and I'm not holding my breath) you have four options:

1. Ditch the camera and upgrade a couple of generations of technology.

2. Buy a second/ third hand XL1 and use it's viewfinder on your original camera, keep the rest of the "new" unit for parts, or some combination.

3. Buy a used XL1s and ditch the current camera, keep it on hand for parts that MAY fit the XL1s (tape drive etc).

3. Use the AV Out terminal and connect it to a 7" LCD panel mounted on the hot shoe for focus etc.

Can't think of any other alternative.


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; March 20th, 2010 at 12:33 AM. Reason: ++Update
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Old March 21st, 2010, 08:51 AM   #4
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I've seen a sort of similar effect on an old tube-type B&W viewfinder on a 1980's vintage A1Digital taht sat for a long time without use. Probably was the result of a deteriorated capacitor in the electronics. I believe this resulted in unstable/noisy the black levels in the luminance signal. Leaving it powered on for a while (several hours with no tape in it) allowed the capacitor to reform and it improved a bit, but not totally. However, there is no assurance that a similar issue is the case with you camcorder.

Your problem may be in the Color View Finder (CVF) or in the camcorder body, but I would guess the CVF. Can you get your hands on a second CVF known to work on another camcorder and try it? This will isolate the issue to the body or CVF.

The XL1 dates to about 1997. Look to auction sites and used equipment sources for a possible replacement. Might find a CVF alone, or a body kit with CVF cheaper than a camcorder with lens. Good luck in you request. As suggested above, an external LCR monitor may be a good option.
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