check out! very bad lines from sun on XL1s (and XM2) at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 27th, 2003, 12:37 PM   #1
Tourist
 
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check out! very bad lines from sun on XL1s (and XM2)

Iīve got a problem, and Iīm quite sure there is somebody else with the same problem out there.

When I have sun in the frame, or a very bright light (not all that bright, actually) i get a quite thick (3 to 5 pixels, Iīd say) white vertical line going trhough the whole frame. And whatīs worse (and looks even uglier) is that when the sun is on the upper margin of the frame, the lines become three! one for each primary color, and they are quite spaced from each other (letīs say 10 pixels). This is probably due to a diffraction effect on the margins of the lens, but why is it happening only on the upper margin of the image? or maybe itīs a problem with the prism? And if I look a bit better, I can see that the normal "glow" of the sun is divided into small horizontal lines.

Anyway, before giving it back I thought of checking some other cameras (unluckily I donīt know anybody with another XL1s), so I tried a small Sony (a TRV-17) and the line was there, yes, but it was so tiny and light that you couldnīt even notice it. Then I try with a brand new XM2 and what do I see? exactly the same! maybe a bit lighter, but the same!!!

I know that I shouldnīt point the camera directly at the sun, but I also know that if I do it on F32 with ND filter and for short times it wonīt be a problem. My XL1s is new and I noticed this since the first time I used it (and if I had fu**ed up the CCDs I would have burned some pixels, or all of them, and I wouldnīt be able to see much).
I mean: a shallow, tiny line comes with every digital camera, but this seems like a manufacturing problem... maybe with all of the new Canon 3 CCDs cameras?

I would like to know if anybody else has ever noticed anything like that before, because I tried all kind of everything: polarizer, ND, UV... and Iīm afraid that if I give my camera back and get a new one Iīll have the same problem.
thanks to all.
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Old January 27th, 2003, 05:35 PM   #2
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Hi Nicola,

This effect is common with *all* 3CCD camcorders, not just the XL1S or XM2. It is less obvious on the TRV17 because that is a 1CCD camcorder. It's brighter and more obvious on 3CCD camcorders because you're overloading all three CCD's as opposed to just one.

There GL2/XM2 owner's manual contains a specific warning to never point the camcorder at the sun. In fact I believe most all camcorder manuals carry this warning, and if they don't, they should.

CCD electronics are delicate and sensitive. Pointing them at the sun overloads the shift registers and you risk permanent damage to the image sensors in the form of burnt-out pixels or pixel groups. This is true for *any* camcorder, not just Canon.

This isn't considered a manufacturing problem. It's simply a function of how a CCD works. You wouldn't overload your car to the point where its operation becomes dangerous... think of the camcorder pointed at the sun as the same thing as exceeding the manufacturer's specified limits. Hope this helps,
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Old February 2nd, 2003, 03:03 AM   #3
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Can you do it if you shut down the iris and/or use ND filters until there are no more lines, indicating that it is no longer being overloaded?
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Old February 3rd, 2003, 09:58 AM   #4
Obstreperous Rex
 
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Yes, with the proper care, expertise, and filters, you can easily and safely include the sun in your shots with superb results. Hope this helps,
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