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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old March 28th, 2003, 01:52 AM   #1
Tourist
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Is it just bad luck?

I‘ve been a Canon fan for many years. So I decided to buy a GL1 year and a half ago to record the birth of my first child. All I can say is I’ve been very happy with it and am constantly asked what it is. Anyway I was asked to shoot some product for a good friend. While helping him I found a very small dot (almost in the middle but slightly to the right) in the picture. It is noticeable when hooked to a video monitor, when recording, and on recorded footage. It is very difficult to see in the viewfinder and virtually impossible to see on the LCD screen. I believe it is a “burnt pixel”. I did call Canon tech support and they seemed to agree it was a pixel problem and said that it can be repaired but at my expense.

I got to thinking, since my GL1 looks like the day I unpackaged it and is still very usable maybe I will not repair it and just put the money into a XL1s (wanted a XL1 from the day they came out, I just couldn’t afford it). So after a week of thinking, I called B&H and ordered the XL1s with next day delivery. Well arrived today and I couldn’t wait to try it out. So I carefully assembled it and just sat and looked at it for a moment. This bad boy even amazed my 1-½ year old son.

So as I sat looking at it, suddenly I thought; boy I hope this puppy doesn’t have a pixel problem like my GL1. So I slipped in a fresh battery, plugged in the S-video cable to my TV, and switched the power on! I looked through the viewfinder and then remembered to remove the lens cap. After a few minutes of getting used to it, I figured I better check to make sure I all is well and have no pixels problems. So I looked and looked and looked, then my eyes begin to water and I began to sweat. I could see a burnt pixel! Thinking this cannot be happing I grabbed a piece of black and white foam core board and rechecked on each color. Yep, sure enough luck was not on my side today. Let me tell you guys I was ready to puke, thank god my son was there to help me through this moment of terror.

We all know when this kind of stuff happens you’re in for a bumpy ride. Just thinking about having to re-box everything, the phone calls, and having to ship it out, all at your expense is enough to drive someone of the deep end for a day or two. So I quickly called B&H and explained what happened. They asked a few simple questions, had me listen to a recorded message about sending items back for exchange or return and then said, “you’re RMA is xxxxx and FedEx will be there in the morning to pick it up. But I remembered I needed it by the weekend and mentioned that’s why I paid the extra shipping to begin with. So with a few more quick questions and being put on hold they ended up sending me a new unit out FedEx. I should have it in the morning!

I have to say aside from ordering over the phone (I didn’t like being transferred to different departments while ordering.) B&H so far has given me very good customer service. I just hope the new one is good to go.

So as I wait for my new XL1s I had a few questions:

1. Is this pixel problem common with Canon Camcorders?

2. Has anyone had this problem with his or her XL1, XL1s, GL1, or GL2? If so what was the cost to have it repaired once out of warranty?

3. I was wondering if anyone has used the Mack 2 or 4 –Year extended warranty offered through B&H? If so what was the outcome?


Thanks

Jamie
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Old March 28th, 2003, 05:28 AM   #2
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Hot and cold pixels are common on CCDs. Most folks never notice them because they are masked at the factory. Some do develop over time. Hot pixels may be seen in dark settings because the high gain setting amplifies differences in sensitivity of the pixels. In fact, the GL1 manual makes mention of this in somewhat different terms, stating that there should be no hot pixels visible at 0 dB gain.

They are most likley to be apparent when a camcorder is operating a high gain settings. Consider that NTSC black level is 7.5 IRE. A pixel that is 3 IRE at 0 dB gain will be deep black. At 12 dB gain is is 12 IRE - into gray, and at 18 dB gain it will be 24 IRE.

Yours is the first report of hot/dead pixels I recall reading in the XL1 series. They are more common in the GL1,
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Old March 28th, 2003, 05:40 AM   #3
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I must say, that I never had that happen to either my XL1s or GL1. Knock on simulated wood grain. With the luck you seem to be having, get the extended warantee!

On the bright side, B&H is doing an excellent service for you. Believe me, that doesn't happen every day. You should stick with them.
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Old March 28th, 2003, 05:45 AM   #4
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I've had three Canon DV cameras and none of them have had hot pixel problems. I guess it's just the luck of the draw.

Chris Hurd and others have recommended that Canon build-in user-controllable hot pixel masking feature into the XL2--let's hope Canon takes the hint!
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Old March 28th, 2003, 11:50 PM   #5
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my xl1-s had same thing

Hello,all

Hi all, newbe hear, under 10 post's. well i got my xl1-s for x-mas 2002. I to sat and just looked at the bad mamma jamma. i rememmber when the xl1 came out and the pro company's i worked for just loved it they all wanted one. now i got one. well, after shooting with it for a few day's "i was away from home. after the 2nd day i culd see a burned out pix. just to the lower right. I was sooooo bumed out. well just about a weak ago i sent it to canon to get fixed. i mad shur to become part of the canon xl club befor i sent it off. just in a holding patern till it come's back.
hope this helps.

L8ter: Josh
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Old March 28th, 2003, 11:55 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info guys.

I did receive the new replacement today. First thing I did was check for any pixel problems right away. I'm happy to say; I found no problems with a quick inspection. I can't wait to try this baby out over the weekend.

Thanks again

Jamie
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Old March 29th, 2003, 12:05 AM   #7
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Josh John,

Sorry to hear about your Xl1s. I guess I was lucky finding the problem within 1/2 hour of owning it.

If you don't mind me asking, did they give you a price to fix it yet? I was just wondering what the repair bill would be.


Jamie
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Old March 29th, 2003, 12:18 AM   #8
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still under warranty

Hi,

it is still under warranty, i just got it for x-mas 2002. i dont exspect to pay anything but it was 50 bucks to ship insherd, god guys im sory i am the worst spell any one has ever met! so im sayin sory now ok.


l8ter-Josh-PEACE NO WAR!
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