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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old November 1st, 2006, 10:24 AM   #1
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My XL1 footage is dark

Ever since I bought my used XL1 about 6-7 years ago I felt that it shot a bit darker than I thought it should. I now teach production at a college where we have an XL1. At a weddng recently I had both cams and set them to auto. My camera is dramatically darker than the other XL1. I'd say it is 1 or 2 stops difference. I've gotten used to playing with slower shutter speeds etc to work around dark scenes with mine, but I'd really like to have it working properly. Has anyone had a similar issue? If so, what was the issue and what did it cost to have it fixed? (BTW: I DO Love the great images the Canon can get when you have good light)

Here's my current situation: I'm starting up a company that will do mostly weddings (so light sensitivity is important) as well as other commercial/industrial projects. I'm budgeting about 5,000 to get new cams. I've considered the FX1 but the more I think of it the more I'm leaning toward a PD170 and a VX2100.

This leaves me worndering what I should do with my Canon. Should I send it to Canon (New Jersey, I believe) and have them fix it and keep the XL1as a spare camera? Should I just sell it and just use the Sonys I plan on buying?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

-Don
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Old November 1st, 2006, 05:18 PM   #2
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For the weddings/low light situations you only want the sony's. They're in a league of their own in the low light and the canon won't even be close in matching their footage.

However, for industrial/corporate, where lighting can be controlled, the canon will produce a more preferrable image. The xl1 has a better lens than the sony's and will deliver a better image if used properly.

For the little money you'll get out of the xl1 you should just hold onto it and use it in controlled lighting environments or take it along as a backup in case one of the sonys breaks.

Ben
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Old November 1st, 2006, 05:21 PM   #3
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2 stops is a lot of difference.

Does the AE shift dial do anything?
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 08:17 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. My thinking is just as Ben has posted. I think I'll get the 2 Sonys and keep the XL1 for situations where I can control light. I agree that the lens makes a big difference. It's good to have my thoughts supported/confirmed by others.

I have tried the AE shift in the past but it doesn't really seem to make any difference. I'll take a second look at that.

Thanks again for the input.

-Don
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 04:34 PM   #5
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Can you get matching exposures in manual mode?

Just a thought: If the AE Shift control is inpoerative (bad connection, broken control, etc.) it might cause the 2-stop bias when the camcorder is operated in modes where the AE Shift control is active (i.e., Auto, Tv and Av)
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 08:03 PM   #6
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Good point Don. I'll try them together in manual. I (almost) always shoot in manual mode. I just figured I'd see how they both look in auto. I believe that when they were both in manual I had to go to a slower shutter speed to get (roughly) the same exposure. I'm going to bring the school's XL home next week to comapare the two some more. I'll post here if I find anything interesting.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 05:01 AM   #7
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Also check the gain setting, and check what appears as settings in the view finder, both the text and the manual exposure meter indicatons.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 10:43 AM   #8
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Gain: Will do. I do know that in low light situations (inside a church) I find I generally need the gain cranked to get anything. I hope to get a chance to comapare the 2 cams next week.
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