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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 09:57 AM   #1
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Broken XL1-s - Please Help.

Hi all.

Syntoms:
When I try to power it up, on the viewfinder I can see the image going from total black to grey ( as it used to do), but instead of having a picture some seconds after, it continues to flicker (the viewfinder) as it wouldn't be able to complete the powerup sequence. Besides that, sometimes it gave me an "eject tape message" and chewing up tapes when in rewind.

So, send it to Canon's agent in Portugal and they are talking about a 2.000 (a bit less then 2.000$) repair, for a camera bought in 2003 and used for weddings. It was used only by me with great care and right now I feel a bit disgusted with Canon.

I'm waiting for them to send me the detailed info for the repair, but I want to do some homework in advance. Enter you people to help me figure out if it is within reason or if they are stretching things a bit to far.

Please post the amounts paid in repairs, and what was repaired, so I can judge if i.e. they want to charge X amount of money for a transport assembly and heads, that they are correct or not.

Your help will be greatly apreciated as this is (at least for me beeing a small outfit with limited resources) a problem wich I must solve with great care.

Many thanks in advance,
Arnaldo
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 12:30 PM   #2
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Hi Arnaldo,

I too have had the dreaded 'eject the tape' message and chewed up tapes when rewinding. VERY frustrating as my XL1s was only 14 months old with very little use when it started happening.

I trip to the service centre and they replaced the idle gears - cost 80 GBP (about 120 Euros). Worked fine for the next 8 months (say 15-20 hours use maximum), and then the stomach churning 'eject the tape', producing a chewed up wedding video cassette - NOT happy.

I have always cleaning the heads after 10 hours use, and only ever stuck to Panasonic MQ tapes.

Second trip to Canon and the XL1s is not yet 2 years old, and they had to replace the whole transport mechanism - cost 250 (about 370 Euros).

Six months on, all is OK, but there's always a niggling doubt it may happen again. Canon service told me that there's no design problems with the original transport mechanism, but just scanning the net seems to reveal a lot of people who have had similar problems not just with the XL1s but other models too.

Hope this was useful to you, good luck.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 04:59 AM   #3
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Hi Carl.
Thank you for your reply.
The price you mention about the transport mechanism, is it parts and labour?
Anyway, that is allready some help.

Hope some others will chime in with some repair values so I can have a better notion.

Thanks again,

Arnaldo
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Old September 25th, 2006, 05:54 AM   #4
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Update.

Been on the fone with Canon Service. The first value they gave me was wrong. The correct value is way less: 1200 for new main electronic PCB, new mechanic assembly, tune up and labour. Altough it seems to me a more fair value, I still apreciate any feed back you fellows can give on this, before I decide anything.

Best regrds,
Arnaldo
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Old September 25th, 2006, 10:36 AM   #5
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Hi Arnaldo....yes 250 was parts, labour, job done.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #6
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Thank you Carl.

Best regards,
Arnaldo
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Old September 26th, 2006, 10:21 AM   #7
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If you do a search here on the "Eject Tape" error message, particularly when rewinding tape, you should find several[ comments. The XL1s cameras of a certain vintage experience this quite regularly. It started happening to me last year. For a long hile I used my GL1 for rewinding purposes until this summer when the problem started affecting both video and audio. My Xl1s recorded time code, but no image or audio. That is when it went back to Canon in California for repair.

I was quoted $62 US (48.63 Euro) for repair. When I received the camera the repair invoice noted a repair cost of $400 US with a credit for $338 US. The camera is working fine thus far.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 11:55 AM   #8
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Thank you Waldemar.

Do you have de repair details (X for parts and Y for labour), and what parts were replaced?

Thank you again for your help.
Arnaldo
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Old September 30th, 2006, 03:51 AM   #9
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Hi Arnaldo. had the chewed tapes nightmare happen on a 4 month old camera during a wedding, sent it to Canon Spain (Madrid?) under warranty, back a month later.... no sound playback on my little Panasonic which I use for ALL rewinds and input to PC..misaligned heads by Canon service?
Two weeks later, chewed tapes during a Christmas play,had the dealer replace camera body, don't trust Canon service around these parts any more, might be a good idea to ship to other parts of the world for quality service and prices. :((
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 05:05 AM   #10
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Hi Joe.

That's a bit my feeling right now. Thank you very much for your feedback.

Best regards,
Arnaldo
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Old October 30th, 2006, 04:19 AM   #11
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Follow up.

For a little more than the quoted repair, I traded my broken XL1-s for an used (not much as I can tell) XL2.
So far, been very happy with the switch. As a FS4 user, I find this camera to work much better with it. In fact my advice to XL1-s + FS4 users, is to switch to the XL2. Aside from beeing a superior camera in other aspects, the way it interacts much better with the FS4, is reason enough.

XL1-s - I'v lost count of the times I'v had to reset both camera and FS4 because of lost comunication. XL2 - Rocksolid.

XL1-s - The indication it would give that it was comunicating with the FS4 was a bit vage. XL2 - No indication --> Not connected, green square --> FS4 ready to record, red circle --> recording.

XL1-s - To mount the FS4 cradle on the camera, I had to drill holes and preform other adaptations to the mounting plate wich is suplied with the dual charger. XL2 - The mounting plate wich comes with the camera, allready has the right holes and threads to mount the FS4 cradle.

XL1-s The firewire port was located in a #$#%&&$$# place (you all know what I'm talking about). XL2 - Locate a the back of the camera, close to where you can mount the FS4.

Besides the FS4 issue:

The new EVF is a blessing for indoor shooting. Around here you get upwards to 38 C in the summer. Inside a crouded church, sweating like mad and your XL1-s viewfinder getting foggy... You know the picture.

I'm using the Lightwave MiniMount and the System Isolator. You can use the MiniMount per si. If you use the System Isolator, you must also use the MiniMount (facing the back of the camera) or you wont be able to connect the included microphone as the cable is rather short.

Best regards,
Arnaldo
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