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-   Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/)
-   -   Jumping in with both feet! (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/105067-jumping-both-feet.html)

Steve McKenna October 5th, 2007 01:28 PM

Jumping in with both feet!

I am really new to the boards and just entering the world of video. I have been a long time photographer and am hoping to leverage my current camera gear with the purchase of an XL2. The big debate is.... new or used. I have already checked out a wide number of dealers (Zotz will probably get my business as they seem to have great prices and accessories).

I am a little wary to purchase a used unit off of ebay (actually even a new unit off of ebay is pretty crazy with all of the shady merchants and general grifters floating about) and was curious as to what a used XL2 is worth on these forums? I have been following things here for a while and only recently registered, so I do not have access to the classified section yet. Purchasing a used unit from here does not seem such a mad proposal as buying off ebay.

The big deciding factor will be the difference in price for a new unit versus a used unit that is in excellent condition. If there is enough savings it will allow me to pick up a bunch of the extra components that I am looking to purchase (an EF adapter for my current Canon lenses and extra lighting).

Anyways, thanks for your time and I look forward to being a member of this online community in the future.


Martin Catt October 5th, 2007 07:02 PM

My personal policy is that I wouldn't touch a used XL2 on eBay. Since there's no drum counter, you can't tell how long the camera's been run. You also can't check that the Firewire port hasn't been broken off, or that there are no sunburned pixels on the LCD viewfinder. It's a great camera, but there are too many ways careless handling can damage it to buy one sight unseen.

The only way I'd buy a used XL2 is either where I can examine the camera directly (like in my hands) so I can check function, or possibly through the classified ads on this site. Even then, I'd only buy from someone here with a considerable number of posts (definitely more than my post count right now).

I bought mine new from a local camera store because I could play with it before hand and see how well it "fit", plus I believe in supporting local business whenever practical. I saw them listed on the internet for a thousand or so bucks less than I paid (plus sales tax), but I got the security of knowing exactly what was in the box, plus the ability to walk back in with the unit and say it doesn't work and get either a replacement or refund (it's that kind of store).


Michael Nistler October 6th, 2007 04:45 AM

Hi Steve,

Martin brings up some good points, but if you're careful choosing the reputation of folks you're dealing with, you should be okay buying on eBay. I got my first XL-2 on eBay from someone in my area where I could check it out before the PayPal transfer. I got the next one on eBay from a trustworty guy in Malaysia - I very carefully checked out his credentials, ratings by others, time selling on eBay, and went several rounds of EMAILs to get to know him. When he went to send me the XL-2 via my selected carrier (DHL), they wouldn't accept the original XL-2 carton so when he custom packed the camera in a smaller box, the shipping charges were half his original quote. The seller insisted on using PayPal to wire me back the difference in the quoted charges I already sent him.

Anyway, I've spent five figures for dozens of items on eBay with good results, BUT I am careful. Right now I have a NRG light and battery belt in route and the seller promises to accept a return if I feel the battery pack doesn't hold a good charge. The only so-so exerience I had was a guy who didn't send me the XL-2 3X lens for about 10 days because he was away on a shoot. Finally, be very wary of buying things of Craigs-list unless you can see, hear, touch, smell and taste the gear and seller at his/her home. IMHO, Craigs List gets more than its share of dishonest and shrewd sellers. But then I've driven 400 miles to get the perfect lighting gear from a college professor that I found off CL - but I was VERY careful.

Good luck, Michael

Steve McKenna October 6th, 2007 03:18 PM

Awesome...thanks for the input.

I am really dubious about buying a unit unseen. I have been checking out the local camera shops in Calgary. There are 3 dealers here that I have spoken with in regards to the XL2 and one shop has a demo model on display. The frustrating thing is that the Canadian dollar has finally topped the US buck (I will note for the first time since the Sex Pistols released Anarchy in the UK...but that probably in no direct relationship) and the Canadian dealers are all still stuck on the 25% difference in the dollar that used to exist. I have been put on a couple of watch lists for when the price corrects, but as it stands I would end up paying an extra grand to buy the base camera system from a local shop.

That being said, that extra grand would get me a really nice tripod and head system. The local shop that had the XL2 has a really nice 503 head and tripod in their used section for under $300. The tripod is a bit of a battle axe... aluminum telescoping frame work and a chain set to link things together, but that being said I have a pretty sweet Gitzo tripod atm that I am using with my digital slr. If it comes to serious hiking and upper mountain stuff I would carry that along with me and run the XL2 off that.

Sorry bit of a ramble there...

I am now really not going to go the ebay route. As awesome as the savings might be, its to much of a risk of getting a lemon. I am still interested in finding out the going prices on the local forums and being able to purchase a used one from someone that I can develop a good rapport with, to do it on a 7 day auction does not seem that wise.

I would also add, its been awesome to join this community. I am really looking forward to throwing up some stuff thru the fall and winter when I actually get the camera. I have put in to the company budget the costs of the camera and checked with Canadian customs. Apparently to import camera equipment into Canuck land, you only need to pay the local sales tax (which as a part owner of said company we can claim back at tax time). I guess its off to the local sponsor list to window shop for a little bit and then jump down the rabbit hole both feet first.

Michael Nistler October 6th, 2007 09:25 PM

Happy Hunting
Rehi Steve,

Sounds like new equipment from the dealer is the best way for you. But if you're concern is primarily with eBay buying and selling, you still may want to consider doing business at dvinfo (and dvxuser) with reputable folks. I've bought tons of stuff from really great guys that I've come to trust over the years. But then again, you still might feel fuzzy about the whole concept. But don't be misled into thinking everything has to go well buying from a dealer. Just yesterday Videoguys sent me a used Firewire board without even putting it in a factory box instead of the new one I ordered - it will be interesting to see if it works... Four weeks ago I ordered two Motorola bluetooth headsets and both were defective - I returned them and after a two weeks I only get one headset back that's rattling around inside a big box with no packing. Yeah, after some nagging Motorola admitted the mistake but I've spent way too much time dealing with them - after all, time is money.

Maybe it's just me but I often have better luck doing careful purchases of used equipment from reputable videographers.

Good luck, Michael

PS - and buy the way, since you're talking about getting a 503, I got my new Bogen 503 sticks along with a great bag for $500 on eBay (from a dealer).

Jeff Anselmo October 7th, 2007 12:03 AM

Welcome to the forums Steve!

Both Michael and Martin have great advice regarding ebay (although, like most everyone, I've bought used stuff from ebay :).

Just to chime in about Zotz Digital: we bought our XL2 and some accessories from Brian (almost a year ago--yikes!). He guided me thru the confusing, and frustrating process of buying our first cam for our business. And that type of customer service is something you can't put a price on.

Good luck!


Martin Catt October 7th, 2007 12:52 AM

There's nothing wrong with buying off eBay as long as you're willing to eat whatever doesn't work. The question becomes, what are you willing to lose? As mentioned, it depends a lot on the seller and their history, though sellers with a large history of good sales doesn't always mean you'll do well with them. I bought a wide-angle adapter from an operation called panwebi that had literally tens of thousands of sales, mostly good feedback. The problem is that a lot of minor sales can skew the satisfaction average, where a hundred unsatisfactory feedbacks get swamped by the 9000 satisfied customers who purchased a UV filter. Panwebi shipped a different adapter than what was listed, which had a rear element that stuck out too far to mount on the XL2 20x zoom, and couldn't understand why I wouldn't withdraw the unsatisfactory feedback until I got my money back. Once you withdraw the feedback, you can't reinstate it if they don't come through with the refund. I still have the adapter sitting on the shelf as a reminder not to do business with them. I ate the $90 as part of the learning experience. That's about my limit.

On the other hand, I got my 3x wide angle from eBay, dealing with an individual, rather than a company. It was all smooth sailing, and saved me about $900 over a new lens. I've found that individuals tend to be more reliable and honorable than eBay companies.


Dale Stoltzfus October 11th, 2007 12:18 PM

Just to let you know, I am know in the midst of a third transaction with members of this board. The first was an xl2 (great deal and great transaction), the second was a 16x Manual lens (another great deal and very smooth transaction) and am in the process of recieving an FU 1000 viewfinder from yet another member of this board (again, great deal and so far great transaction). I used to be a huge Ebay fan, but in the future if I can get what I want here, I will.

Steve McKenna October 11th, 2007 12:40 PM

Well I am finalizing my financing right now and should have the money in hand to purchase by the end of October. If I do go the used route I hope to be able to do it thru these boards, otherwise I think I am pretty settled on a new XL2 from Zotz.

I have checked over both Ebay and Amazon as well as several other online listing services and am amazed at the number of shady dealers about. Basically 90% of the 'larger' (multiple listings) stores that I came across on Ebay and Amazon turned out to be bait and switch operations and or just grifters. I did several searches on each store on google and was amazed to find the vast number of articles detailing high pressure sales tactics and upselling, shipping of used or broken items that were listed as new, not shipping items at all, shipping incorrect items and charging huge restocking fees and finally the cancellation of orders when buyers didn't agree to purchase a lot of overpriced/underquality extras.

I have done a lot of purchasing and selling on Ebay in the past and have had pretty good experiences, but its pretty scary when so many of the larger ticket camera merchants are so shady. It also makes me wonder why these listing/auction services don't police their vendors better.

Anyways, thanks everyone for your input. Waiting for my loot to get in my hands and then its off to purchase.

Michael Nistler October 11th, 2007 12:58 PM

Rehi Steve,

Good for you - it pays to be careful yet don't be afraid to look around and "kick the tires" a bit. As discussed in another thread, this week I bought a used NRG light and battery belt for $375 from an eBay store. Of course, I was concerned with the battery condition but the seller had a great track record and judging by our email correspondence before the sale, I knew he'd make good on the sale. Sure enough, after I received the unit and charged it for 8 hours, I was disappointed that the battery only lasted 30 minutes before discharging. The seller said no problemo and agreed to refund my money and pay shipping for the return (and the sucker is HEAVY). Still, I wanted to give it a second chance and tried a 24 hour charge - to my amazement, this time the battery belt lasted over 50 minutes (right up to specs).


The point is, if we are careful doing biz we usually get good products and service. And yes, certainly most of our regular contributors here that have demonstrated a good track record are great sellers/buyers. And while I've personally had good luck buying from leading web-based stores (like B&H Video), we've heard of those who have had bad experiences dealing with them via the phone (as opposed to online ordering). FYI - B&H sells the new XL-2 for $3500, minus the $300 cash rebate.

Finally, if you do get a used XL-2, pay particular attention to the lens care by the owner, nicks and scratches on the camera (possible abuse), hours of use (wear-n-tear on recording head), etc. FYI, I'm amused by so many suspicious sellers that cite only 20 hours of use - geez, do they think we just got off the turnip truck? Most serious videographers will log 5-10 hours of usage each week!

Good luck, Michael

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