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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 06:48 AM   #1
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Manual Focus XL1

I have an XL1 and have always had dramas when using Manual Focus.
IE: This is with the standard lens that comes with the camera.

For instance when in Manual Mode I zoom in - focus! The focus tends to hold for a moment and then slides out of focus. Is seems to be breathing. I am yet to feel confident or comfortable with the Manual Focus on this camera. I am sure it is largely due to my experience but is it also the nature of having a hybrid auto / manual focus lens?

Outside selecting the manual switch on the actually lens to go into manual mode is there any particular menu setting I need to adjust to have this function?

One final question: For Manual Focus mode do you normally shoot with the Stabilizer on or off?

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Old December 3rd, 2006, 11:57 AM   #2
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I always shoot with all of the auto features off. if it's "breathing focus", your auto focus is probably turned on...off switch is on the left side of the lens. I've made this mistake before...and didn't notice until I was importing the footage :(
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 02:13 PM   #3
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Thanks Cole

Yeh I do have the auto focus turned off but it just seems to not have the control I really want or expect.

I have never had the chance to use or compare it against a fully manual lens but it just feels soft and not exact.

Especially when I zoom in to something focus and then try and hold that focus.

Outside lack of pro audio that is about the only thing I dislike about this camera. I am looking at moving into a HDV camera in the not too distant future.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 04:32 PM   #4
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If autofocus is off,
and the focus is changing,
and you do not have your hand anywhere near the focus ring,
and you are not zooming,
Then you lens or camera is not working properly.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 06:56 PM   #5
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You may want to take the camera to an authorized canon dealer for a tune up...they should check the back focus. Keep in mind that your exposure changes when you zoom in past a certain point...so your focal range will shift with it. But here's what I hear from you:

1) Manual focus is selected.
2) Zoom in to you subject to get solid focus as you've learned to do with other cameras.
3) Zoom back out to get the shot of your subject.

then either:

4a) Subject is no longer in focus.
-or-
4b) Camera shifts focus back and forth without your interaction.

if 4a), back focus is out of whack, focus should hold through zooming
------
authorized canon dealership can get this fixed for you
-or-
local photo/video shop can do it if you trust them not to screw up your camera)
-or-
you can do it if you're daring or experienced.

if 4b), something is screwy
------
check the clock battery in the handle
-or-
get the camera serviced by an authorized canon dealership
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Old December 4th, 2006, 05:51 AM   #6
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Thanks Cole,

My camera is getting pretty old now and I bought it 2nd hand in 2003. I have never had it serviced which maybe it is well over due for.

Is there anyway to find out on the camera how many hours have been recorded on the camera? Or is this something an authorized Canon Service would be able to tell you when they service it?

2nd what would a service actually do? Meaning what is their checklist of requirements when you send it to a Service Center? Is it like a car in that when they return it it has a full check list of service sections with data related?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Simon
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Old December 4th, 2006, 06:56 AM   #7
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Double check which camcorder mode do you have selected on the power dial (not just the lens)? In the "Easy Recording" (aka: Green Box) mode all of the manual settings, (including the lens) are disabled and everything is automatic.

As far an anyone around here knows, there is no way to tell the hours on the camcorder, no one havs ever reported discovering any internal counter.

Than Canon manual lenses for the XL1 are fully manual focus, and users tend to love them. There was a (now discontinued) 14x and there is 16x.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 05:39 PM   #8
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Definitely high time to have Canon service the camera. Only Canon service technicians know how many hours are on the camera. It is not a user selectable option in the menu. Ask for number of hours on the camera when you have it serviced. They may not tell you, however.

When Canon services the camera they give it a thorough going over and bring it up to original specifications.

Follow the service application on to the letter. Make an error and your camera's repair will be delayed. You will get an online quote based upon your service request. If Canon finds other things wrong they will advise you and get additional repairs authorized before proceeding. Canon is quick. Only 14 days from the day I shipped it out to its return.

Check the manufacture date on your XL1. Canon only supports service for a specific time, something like five or seven years. You will be advised should this situation be relevant.

On my XL1s I had tape transport and back focus issues. I was quoted $62.00 for repair. When the camera was returned to me the invoice listed repair costs of $400.00 with a $338.00 credit. The camera has been behaving flawlessly.



There is no checklist of services performed on the final statement.
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