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Canon XL1 Digital Camcorder Kit

by Canon
| 12 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • Broadcast-quality 3 CCD Mini DV camcorder
  • Interchangeable lenses--can use Canon EOS SLR lenses with adapter
  • Pixel-shift technology enhances image quality
  • Included lens features optical image stabilization
  • PCM digital stereo audio
15 used from $449.95 1 refurbished from $604.00
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Technical Details

  • CompactFlash Memory Card
  • Interchangeable Lens

Read about our customers' top-rated camcorders on our review page: Camcorders

Product Details

Product Manual [3.30mb PDF]
  • Item Weight: 6 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 18 pounds
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B000050FA5
  • Item model number: XL1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,015 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: September 4, 1973

Product Description

Amazon.com

The Canon XL1 is helping to blur the line between consumer and professional video equipment. Though it's small enough to carry around and doesn't cost much more than a top-of-the-line consumer camcorder, the XL1 produces such high-quality results that many independent filmmakers have started using it instead of a traditional film camera.

Great movies start with great CCD sensors, and Canon cuts no corners here. For the best possible picture quality, they use three separate 270,000 pixel CCDs (one for each primary color). To further improve image detail, Canon has intentionally shifted the green CCD half a pixel horizontally and vertically. This shift allows more accurate interpolation, resulting in an image that Canon claims rivals those from cameras with 410,000 pixel CCDs. Each pixel is 72 square microns, which is about 1.5 times the size as those in competing camcorders. This increased size increases light sensitivity, allowing you to shoot in lower-light situations. Ultimately, the larger pixel size results in an improvement of 4 dB in sensitivity.

The XL1's body is based on a magnesium-alloy frame for maximum durability. It ships with a 16x optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization, but is also compatible with other XL camcorder lenses. With an optional adapter, you can use Canon EF (EOS) still camera lenses--some of which also feature optical image stabilization.

Though the camera's built-in microphone has a great frequency response, the XL1 can also accept balanced microphones with the optional MA-100 microphone adapter/shoulder pad. The XL1 records digital audio, with two channels of 16 bit/48 KHz sound or 4 channels of 12 bit/32 KHz sound.

The electronics of the XL1 have many advanced features, including a number of programmed AE modes, as well as both shutter and aperture priority modes. There are two different auto modes, one of which allows you to adjust any setting manually, if you want, and the other, which adjusts every setting automatically and lets you adjust nothing. A spotlight mode automatically compensates for difficulties when shooting a subject bathed in a spotlight. There are also three different shooting modes: Normal Movie, Digital Photo, and Frame Movie. Normal Movie mode is for any time you want to shoot video footage. Digital photo mode records a still image for six seconds on the mini DV tape and also captures any audio, such as a commentary. The Frame Movie Mode records 30 noninterlaced still images per second, instead of capturing 60 fps interlaced images. This mode isn't intended to be used for shooting video (playback may not look completely smooth). Rather, Frame Movie mode should be used as a burst, or continuous, shooting mode, like you'd find on a still camera.

The XL1 uses an IEEE 1394 port for digital editing and for transferring footage to and from other IEEE 1394 compliant devices. The camcorder also has RCA (composite) audio and video ports, and an S-Video out. The XL1 features a LANC terminal for editing with compatible controllers.

Product Description

This mini DV offers great image quality and full digital power. The XL1's design and manual controls offer the widest range of picture possibilities. In daylight or lowlight, if your subject is near or far, this cutting edge camera adjusts its settings to offer the finest in resolution, magnification and color reproduction. Additional features include top grip with recording controls, standard optical 16x zoom lens with SuperRange optical image stabilizer and 3 shooting modes.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Beware of anything that seems suspicious.
trailblazer95
I have owned one of these for over a year and a half and love this thing.
"twonami"
I definitely recommend this camera if you want some high-quality stuff.
B. Billings

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 121 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 2001
I have used this camera at a few weddings, along with a Canon GL1, and I personally own a Canon Optura. I have also used a Sony TRV1000, and TRV20.
First off, let me mention that progressive scan is absolutely incredible. I can no longer stand the home-userish look of interlaced video. What progressive scan (or "frame mode") does is it takes 30 full frames per second. Interlaced records 60 FIELDS per second, creating a supposed 30 fps (giving it that unrealistic, slimy-smooth motion like a home Hi8 camera). What FULL frames do is make it have a somewhat "jerkier" effect which gives the footage a much more film like look. It's beautiful, you've got to see the difference side by side, sometime (or just switch between interlaced and frame on the XL1, or some other Canon).
The Color: There are many sites with side by side comparisons of the XL1 and the VX1000 (perhaps the VX2000, too). The thing is, there is no comparison. Sony's lenses lean toward the blues, giving it a very cold, unnatural feeling (not to mention interlaced un-naturalness!). The blueness is so apparent, that at times you must add color corrections, wasting time in post. Canon leans towards the reds, giving it a much warmer, more realistic coloring, and shading. But, what do you expect? Canon has been in the business of lens making for a long time. Who ever heard of Sony making a 35MM cinematic lens? Yes, some Sony cameras have Carl Ziess lenses, but they still have the blue tint to it. In fact, those are the lenses I was speaking of earlier as being cold, and blue.
Optical Stabilization: The stabilization is incredible to see when zoomed all the way! There is virtually no visible shake, whatsoever. Of course, this does not replace the rock solidness of a tripod shot...
Read more ›
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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful By James Costa on October 9, 2000
The Canon XL1 is a great piece of equipment. My company uses this very same camera to do most of our commercials. Since its got such great graphic quality (~360,000 pixels per frame) and can capture at high speeds, its the clear choice for our high-speed shooting. The sound quality and zoom on the mic is also incredible. If youre still not sure on buying it, I suggest you find a local video or camera store and rent and play with one for a day, its a tremendously worthy investment...
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By "twonami" on August 15, 2001
I have owned one of these for over a year and a half and love this thing. I work at a full digital TV station with a the latest equipment and the first thing I did was do a side by side comparo against a ...Panasonic DVCPRO broadcast camera. The technicians and cameramen were shocked at the image being equal to their cameras. When we explored the camera further and found the ability to also use the ANTON BAUER battery packs it only got better. They looked at the lens quality and lens swapping ability, plenty of manual setting available for video and audio, hundreds of accesories for the proshooter, and the frame mode made it shine brighter in their eyes. The general manager and chief engineer evaluated the camera and said at the same time "imagine what this could do for our budget!". I use this camera for personal use and have also used it for news gathering, Many requests from the news department have come my way to go on a shoot due to lack of cameras. If you are looking for a camcorder to have many bells and whistles, this is not for you. This is a serious tool. I have read reviews where it dosent take very good still pictures, it lacks the LCD viewer!, It wont shoot in total darkness or see through womens clothes. They forget serious shooters have a main priority in their camera and that is the choice of different lenses. No current consumer camcorder has a interchangable lens system. Something to remember many tools have the ability to do many tasks but they never exceed at one. The Canon XL1 EXCEEDS at shooting video to a professional level....
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By "running_wolf" on November 20, 2000
I've used Digital Betacam that isn't as nice as this puppy. Recently shot behind-the-scenes at an Indy Racing League event, and this camera easily kept up with the 220+ racecars. I can't say enough nice things about this camera!
The only negative... I think it could be a little more comfortable to shoot with. Get a better shoulder brace or the balanced audio input, the Balanced Audio adaptor makes a better shoulder pad than the standard one... and gives you better sound quality to boot! That's saying a bunch cause the standard mic is pretty damn fine!
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53 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Five Jay Dad on February 8, 2001
For high-end amateur applications, I returned my XL1 in favor of the Sony DCR-VX2000. The XL1 image quality is superb; however, the image quality of many less expensive cameras these days is so impressive that after shooting a lot of test video at various lux, close-up and zoom scenarios I was hard pressed to see *any* difference between the XL1 and my Panasonic DV600 and Sony PC-5.
Online reviews typically give XL1 and Sony VX2000 image quality equal ratings.
Although my XL1 was manufactured in August 2000, the model itself appears to be a couple of years old and lacks some of the Sony's electronic features and an LCD viewfinder.
I was also disappointed in the XL1 still photo quality. Most Sony models perform much better in this area.
The XL1 zoom motor is so loud as to interfere with sound recording, and the manual zoom apparently invokes a proxy mechanism rather than controlling the zoom directly, resulting in a latency which is perceived as lack of responsiveness.
Several online DV sites mention rumors of a Canon XL2. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the XL1 is near the end of its product cycle.
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