Hardware Product Review - Canon XL-1S

July 23, 2001

The New Canon XL-1S

Canon XL1S
The new Canon XL1S kit will be available in late August
Review by
Larry Kausch

Well...after much fiddling and testing with the new "XL1s" it looks like Canon has a winner.

Although the manual lens is something I was hoping to test there were plenty of other features to keep me busy.

Let's just go down the list.

1. DV control is great. It actually works. Allows a slave deck to be controlled by the camera.

2. Personally I love the new 30db gain feature as I do reality shoots at night using ambient light.

3. The 16:9 guide in the viewfinder is great for composing your shot in a 4:3 space with the possibility of displaying on a 16:9 monitor.

4. Now we can all shoot the roses going into bloom by using the "Interval Recording" feature.

5. The "ClearScan" feature was not enabled on this prototype demo unit.

6. New SMPTE color bars - "woopie" - Now I can use the vectorscope in FCP.

7. I love the "Power Save" feature as I often shoot with a switcher and had to leave the tape out or the tape bay open to keep the XL1 from shutting down.

8. The permanent window burn is nice for "Legal Videographers".

9. Assuming we get a good shot we can now mark it with an "Index Mark".

10. Variable Zebra is neat but will take some practice to get tuned into.

11."Picture Adjustments" combined with "User Presets" will come in handy for adjusting to other camcorders such as Sony in a multi camera shoot.

12. Three white balance presets. What a luxury!

13. Audio dub is going to be useful for doing things like field voice over or add on music tracks when they need to view the video simultaneously.

14. "FOUR" XLR inputs. Now that is pure extravagance.

15. AV inserts...Frame accurate... We will experiment further with that one.

16."Analog input" It's about time. What were they thinking in 1997 anyway?

17.Two hours on a stock battery versus about 45 minutes sounds great...we'll see.

18. Easy Menu...Hey it feels like a Sony!

19. The picture quality of the XL1s was better than with the XL1 - a subjective statement that the eye of the beholder will need to prove.

20. The XL1 or the XL1s does not handle high contrast lighting as well as other camcorders such as the Sony DSR-PD150 or the DSR-250 for example.

21. The new lens seems more solid and we did not experience "jumps" during zooming.

The comments above by Larry Kausch - ProMax Instructor, Support, and Demo Artist.


Charles F. McConathy

copyright Larry Kausch 2001
copyright Charles F. McConathy 2001


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