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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 11th, 2002, 11:50 AM   #1
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XL-1s Tape Hiss?

Greetings,

I just recently 'thought' I purchased a new XL-1s online from a company called Digital E-tailer. The problem occurred when I called them to confirm my order. The salesman said he could send me one, but he has had three of them returned in the past week because during playback, there is a large amount of "hiss" on the tape. I asked him if it was an audio hiss and he said yes. He mentioned that there is an un-publicized recall on the XL-1s due to this problem. Is this true?
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Old January 12th, 2002, 06:15 AM   #2
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I haven't heard about a recall but i sent my XL1s back to Canon on January 2nd for them to hopefully fix this hiss in my new camera. Its hard to tell how much hiss is normal. I expected to hear no hiss at all, like the pure digital silence on a CD between tracks.
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Old January 12th, 2002, 08:02 AM   #3
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Hmmmm. Wonder if Sony unloaded their early PD150 mic preamps on Canon <g>. With no input connectd, the XL1 family should be very quiet.
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Old January 14th, 2002, 08:44 PM   #4
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Morbid666,

You name and your responce have got me concerned. I figured there would be an outcry, or at least more responces to my thread if this was a major problem. However, you said that this is the case with your newly purchased XL-1s. Is it a loud hiss during playback, and does it render your footage unusable? I don't want to have to go the hassle of sending my camera back.

Woody
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Old January 14th, 2002, 09:13 PM   #5
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I have not heard of any such recall. I'll check with my sources at Canon and try to get the straight dope. In the future for your own protection, I really recommend purchasing cameras only from authorized DVinfoNet Sponsors. Hope this helps,

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Old January 15th, 2002, 06:18 PM   #6
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my user name is not for you to be concerned about.
I have a 3 month old XL1s with Senn K6Me66 mic setup, but i get audio hiss even with the on camera mic. Turn camera on, put on headphones = quite an audible hiss. this hiss gets onto the tape and is very noticable in FCP particularly in quite sections of footage. I didn't want the delays to my schedule but like i said i sent it to Canon. They rang me yesterday and said they compared it with another new XL1s and thought that my hiss was louder so he will replace "the drum" or something in my XL1s. I am expecting the camera back any day now and will post an update if you are interested.

I went to my camera shop 2 weeks ago and plugged my headphones (new Sony Professional) into a Canon MV X1i and it seemed to have less hiss then my XL1s. hard to tell really though as that cameras headphone amp maybe just weaker.
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Old January 19th, 2002, 06:49 PM   #7
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I got my XL1s back from canon.

They replaced The Drum Assy #DY1-8265-000 and Cushion #DA2-0773-000 and said it is now fixed.

It sounds a bit better to me but not as clear as I hoped.
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Old January 23rd, 2002, 10:16 AM   #8
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More of a hum than a hiss?

Dear all:

I dare to hazard a guess that this hiss is actually the much discussed hum problem... In my view, this comes from poorly balanced head drums in the XL-1 drives.

To test if this is it, compare the audio signal in standard configuration (i.e. microphone in its intended spot) to that when the microphone is detached from the EVF-assembly and held by hand. If it is indeed the hum problem, the hiss/hum will almost completely vanish when the mic is removed from the clamp on the EVF-assembly.

If that's the problem you have, the Universal Mini-Mount (MM-XL1) from Light Wave Systems helps a lot! Using external (off-camera) mics does too, of course...

Just a thought...

Cheers,

Ron
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Old January 24th, 2002, 04:05 AM   #9
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I'm a little confused at this point, could one of you clarify this for me - Does this hiss appear only on a recording from the tape, or even if you plug your headphones in and listen while not recording?
If it's the latter, there's no way it's the drum assembly.... It only affects the recording/playback from tape.

I have noticed that pumping up the gain produces an incredible amount of hiss, but I was thinking that this isn't entirely unexpected.

Paul
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Old January 24th, 2002, 04:22 AM   #10
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vibrations...

Paul,

Not really: the poorly balanced drum causes vibrations when rotating. These vibrations are efficiently transported through the rigid cast body of the XL-1 and are only poorly absorbed by the mic clamp. Therefore, they are audible as long as the drum spins. You don't necessarily have to be recording for this to be the case. A tape has to be in the drive, though...

HTH,

Ron
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Old January 24th, 2002, 09:46 AM   #11
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Well, I appreciate all the feedback on this problem. I just opened my camera last night and I do hear some "noise", but is not substantial enough for a return. I am sure at this point that the recall was an unsubstantiated rumor from an unreputable deler. Please forgive my ignorance, but what is the purpose of the attenuator on the microphone. I've noticed that putting it on decreases the noise substantially. I do have another unrelated question. When I am in full manual mode, I will set my fstop to a certain level. However, when I zoom in to a darker subject, the iris will auto adjust, and then remain at the same level when I zoom out. I DON'T want any help with my iris. Is thre a way around this. If I remember correctly the Xl-1 won't do this and I know the Gl-1 won't. Could this be a problem?

Rock On,
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Old January 24th, 2002, 10:15 AM   #12
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Woody,

AFAIK, the attenuation switch is used to reduce mic sensitivity when working in very noisy environments.

As far as the iris problem is concerned, I think it's a different problem. The iris - or aperture - remains at the same setting throughout the zoom range when in manual (M) or aperture priority (Av) mode. I think what you're seeing is a change in gain. You probably have the gain set to automatic (A). Set it to a fixed value, and the symptom will go away...

HTH,

Ron
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Old January 24th, 2002, 06:20 PM   #13
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The MIC ATT setting reduces the gain of the audio input preamps by something like 20 dB. It does not change the sensitivity of the mic.
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