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Canon Removes "Film Grain" Feature from XL2
by Chris Hurd

Canon USA notified its network of authorized dealers on Wednesday, 29 December 2004, stating that the Film Grain feature on the XL2 will be discontinued immediately. This feature was toggled by an external button located on the left front panel of the XL2 body. It added a stationary (unmoving) film grain effect over live video. The Watchdog salutes this move by Canon, since (in his opinion) the Film Grain "feature" was perhaps the least desirable and most useless facet of the XL2 anyway.

Here's the statement from Canon USA:

The technology that produces the Film Grain feature on the XL2 camcorder is no longer obtainable by Canon. Therefore beginning December 21, 2004 new XL2 models available for sale will not include the Film Grain feature.

The location of the Film Grain button on the left front body panel.However, this highly applaudable decision poses some questions regarding the labeling of the left front panel button layout. Previously, the XL2's Film Grain button shared its function with the Color Bars, and a separate button below this one toggled the feature on or off. With the disappearance of the Film Grain feature, there seems to be a button left over without a function (since only one button is required to turn Color Bars on or off). How Canon Inc. chooses to handle this will be most interesting. They've got the potential to assign some other feature to that extraneous button!

For those who haven't bought an XL2 but are still thinking about it, rest assured that you're not missing anything now that Film Grain has gone away. It wasn't worth having to begin with. I'll have some examples up here shortly to demonstrate how you're much better off adding this effect in post anyway.


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