XL-1s doesn't like the cold at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old October 26th, 2005, 04:32 PM   #1
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XL-1s doesn't like the cold

I've had a XL-1s for several years now and throughout my ownership of it I have had continous problems when shooting outdoors in cold weather. We shoot an outdoors show and it requires us to be shooting outside all day on frozen lakes in North Dakota and Canada every winter, in like down to 20 below zero! Our older Betacam does just fine in the cold, but the XL-1 will re-set its timecode, record with black bands through the picture or just not record any picture at all (even thought the timecode says that it is recording). I know that the recommended temp is olnk down to 32f, but we need to be in these evironments.

Has any one else had problems when shooting in colder weather? We have sent the cameras in several times to Canon for repair, and it will occur in temps as warm as 40f.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 05:07 PM   #2
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The recommended operating temperature for the XL-1s is 30-104 degrees F / 0-40 deg C. I have had similar problems with the GL2, in the middle of winter here in NYC, when the camera was fully exposed to the cold.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 05:47 PM   #3
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Attempting to operate the camcorder outside the rated operating environment (i.e., 32-104 F) is at your own risk and not guaranteed. Also, batteries often loose their ability to provide rated power at low temperatures. So at -20 F, good luck. Profesional gear that costs much more may well have a wider range of operating environments, perhaps in part supported by internal heat generations.

One possible work around is to keep it in rain cover of some sort, and provide a heat source in the rain cover to keep the camcorder above freezing.

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Old October 26th, 2005, 08:19 PM   #4
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Some of the severe weather cam covers have pockets to puts heating pads into. I remember seeing this but not sure which brand. Maybe Kata? Check into it. They do exist.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 08:54 PM   #5
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I have shot wildlife for hours with an XL1 at 30 below, not all day ,however. Fortunately it warms up in the afternoon. I have run into a problem at times with bars and lost timecode, although not often. The hand warmers do help, even for hands. I wonder if the difference in wet or dry tape lubricants have an affect on tape problems. Which tapes do you use?
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Old October 27th, 2005, 10:39 AM   #6
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For my XM2, I use a Portabrace Polar Mitten heating cover.
Have used it in temperatures as low as -10F without any trouble at all.

Portabrace also have models for XL1 and XL2.
www.portabrace.com
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Old November 19th, 2005, 09:20 PM   #7
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Cold use

Just wondering Could it be the tape causing the problem? I do not know a spec. on tape use in cold weather. If it gets reel cold the backing on tge tape may cause a problem. And also the head speed is about 9000rpm on mini dv.
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