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Mini-DV Camcorders

Canon XL1S

BCS Price: $2,990.00
Item #:EQ437791U
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Model Description:
3CCD Digital Video Camcorder

Model Details

The Canon XL1S is not one, but many different cameras. Interchangeable lenses and viewfinders allow the XL1S to be tailored for optimal performance in any shooting condition. Incorporating high precision optics, full manual control, and features found only previously on top-end professional gear, the XL1S raises the standard for others to follow.

3-CCD Image Sensor 3-CCDs with 270,000 pixels each, create true-to-life quality images. A beam splitting prism separates the light passing through the lens into individual color components (RGB), and each is sent to its own CCD to achieve outstanding detail and highly accurate color reproduction. Although, it uses 270,00 pixels CCDs, the XL1S employs advanced Pixel Shift CCD technology to rival 410,000-pixel systems. Using Pixel Shift, the camcorder achieves 530 lines of resolution while applying significant improvements to the video signal. This results in a wider dynamic range, low color noise, excellent color reproduction, a high signal-to-noise ratio, reduced vertical smear and remarkable performance in low-light. • Interchangeable XL Lens Mount System Proprietary interchangeable XL Lens Mount system provides unsurpassed flexibility, superior range and opens up a dynamic world of imaging perspectives ranging from extra wide to super telephoto. Designed for the performance requirements of a 3-CCD system and the maximum potential of the DV format, the XL lenses incorporate the highest quality multi-coated optical elements to achieve 600 lines of horizontal resolution. By exceeding the DV format resolution, the lenses deliver greater visual "sharpness" through its higher sensitivity in the all important 100 to 250 TV line resolution area. The lenses also integrate high speed driving motors for faster response of the internal auto-focusing system and variable zoom speeds. • 16:1 Optical Zoom The supplied 16:1 optical zoom lens has a focal length range of 5.5mm to 88mm (35mm focal length equivalent of 39 to 633mm). It has high speed motors for auto-focus and zooming, a six-blade Iris and a 1.5x ND filter. Externally, the lens provides a variable speed zoom, manual zoom, manual focus control options and a one-push auto-focus button. • SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer The 16:1 lens incorporates an improvement of Canon's vari-angle prism optical image stabilization system. Until now, optical image stabilizers have used a gyro sensor to detect camcorder vibration. SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization takes it a step further, using a motion vector to examine the image after it is received by the CCD, and it detects any low frequency vibration missed by the gyro. This data is fed back to accelerate and refine the movement of the stabilizer's vari-angle prism. The process significantly improves performance for low frequency vibration effectively eliminating image shake, resulting in the most advanced optical image stabilization system. • Three Recording Modes • Three recording options for virtually any imaging need include capture of high resolution full motion video (Normal Movie Mode), high resolution stop action images of moving subjects (Frame Movie Mode) and picture perfect single images (Digital Photo Mode). • Frame Movie Mode lets you continuously record an incredible 30 frame images a second, while effectively eliminating motion flicker by capturing a full image with every scan. The Frame Movie mode allows you to record high speed action for the purpose of extracting high resolution frame video images, which can then be displayed, printed or digitized. • For SLR-style flash photography, the Digital Photo mode will accommodate the Canon speedlite E-TTL flashes, using an optional FA-200 flash adapter. • Step Up Features From XL1 • The same popular camera body of the Canon XL1 has been maintained. It is a style that professionals prefer for portability, comfort and functionality. The magnesium alloy body provides rigidity and shock resistance, and it permits considerable accessories with lenses, inputs and other filmmaking equipment. The key differences, therefore, between the new Canon XL1S and the original Canon XL1 are not on the outside but, rather, inside of the camcorder. • Enhanced Sensitivity World-class horizontal resolution for the DV standard is realized through the use of state of the art circuitry. Noise level is improved by 4dB for cleaner shadow detail and brighter pictures in low light. • Advanced Image Control The look of the video image can be changed by manually adjusting up to four picture controls, including Color, Sharpness, Color Gain and Set-up level in 13 steps (+/- 6). Users can maintain a preferred look or achieve a specific mood and tone for a video production. 1. Color can be adjusted closer to red or to green. 2. Sharpness, or resolution, can be adjusted from finer to softer. 3. Color Gain allows for the adjustment of color saturation from black/white to normal to extreme. 4. Set-up level provides the adjustment of the black level for total control of the shadow detail. • Zebra Pattern Level A display of thin black diagonal lines similar to a zebra pattern appears over the brightest areas of the picture in the viewfinder if exposure exceeds a specified level, warning the user of overexposure. Five steps can be selected by the user (100%, 95%, 90%, 85%, 80%) to ensure against washed out images. • Gain Control Picture sensitivity can be adjusted. Shooting is possible with increased gain to enhance picture brightness in dark conditions, or decrease gain to reduce noise. Adjustment is made in seven steps -3dB, 0dB, automatic, +6dB, +12dB and the newly added +18dB and +30dB. • Clear Scan When shooting the display screen of a personal computer or a TV, a noticeable rolling black bar, or flickering, may appear. This can be eliminated by adjusting the scanning frequency setting on the XL1S. Adjustments range from 61.8Hz to 201.5Hz on the NTSC model. • 16:9 Guidelines When composing shots in the 4:3 aspect ratio, which will be displayed on a wide-screen TV or transferred to film, users may engage 16:9 Guides. These guides appear as thin white lines over the video image to create a 16:9 safe area. Now, it is easy to compose shots for wide-screen and eliminate the need to mark the viewfinder or director's monitor. The Canon XL1S includes another 16:9 aspect ratio recording mode simply called 16:9. In this mode, which was included on the original Canon XL1, an electronic anamorphic stretch effect is applied to the video to deliver a 16:9 wide screen image. • Interval Recording Continuous recording with intervals is possible for users who are seeking to capture a compressed version of real time (such as sunsets, flowers blooming), or create animation. Users may select a recording time of 0.5, 1.5, or 2 seconds, which will be recorded at an interval of 30 seconds, one, five, or 10 minutes. • Color Bars SMPTE color bars are included on the XL1S. Color bars can be displayed and recorded to assist in setting up a color match for accurate monitoring on a TV or in an edit suite. • Character Recording Some video applications (such as law enforcement, including interrogations, crime scene documentation, depositions and court rooms proceedings) require identification of date, time and time code of each recording. To accommodate this, the XL1S can be set to permanently record this information by superimposing it over the video image. • Program AE The XL1S camcorder includes six kinds of programmed auto exposure. 1. Easy Recording Green Zone (fully automatic) All features are automatically engaged by the camera. Manual control by the user is prevented. 2. Auto All features are automatically engaged by the camera. However, the user may choose to manually control one or more features, such as focusing, while all other features remain in auto. 3. Shutter Priority The user can engage 12 shutter speeds from 1/8 second to 1/15,000 second. The Canon XL1S will employ an appropriate aperture to the selected shutter speed for best exposure. Users must also engage the shutter priority and advance beyond 1/15,000 second to activate the clear scan feature for shooting computer monitors and TV screens. 4. Aperture Priority The user can engage up to nine apertures, depending on the lens attached to the camera for controlling depth of field or exposure. The camera will employ a shutter speed to match the selected aperture to achieve the best exposure. 5. Manual For users who prefer to be in command, this mode provides manual control over all features simultaneously, including Focus, Exposure, White Balance, Shutter Speed, Aperture and Video Gain. Shutter speed control increases from 12 to 27 speeds for finer control. Aperture values increase from nine to 28 when using the 16x IS II lens. 6. Spotlight The Canon XL1S automatically adjusts the exposure metering for the brightest areas of the image. This is useful when shooting stage performances and bright lights at night, and it avoids washout of the subject due to overexposure. • Analog Input Analog signals from VHS and 8mm video can be digitally recorded to MiniDV. In the VCR mode, the Composite Video and S-Video terminals are ready to receive signals for line-in recording. • Audio Dubbing Users may choose to add background music or voice over narration to an original recording that was recorded in 12 bit stereo audio mode. • A/V Insert Video and audio recorded on tape can be replaced by content from another source by activating the A/V Insert feature. Users designate the unwanted section of an original recording and replace it seamlessly with new video and audio. • Zoom Speed The speed of the zoom levers on the side grip and handle sections of the XL1S can be adjusted to select the most suitable zoom speed when changing angles between shots (fast) or zooming while recording (slow). The zoom lever on the side grip includes variable (pressure controlled), low, medium and high speeds. The zoom lever on the handle section includes low, medium and high speeds. • Power Save When a camcorder remains in the record pause position for about five minutes, usually it automatically shuts off. This feature prevents the possibility of damage to the recording head drum and the surface of the videotape. This can be a problem for video makers while they are setting up shots or giving their talent direction. The XL1S now includes a feature that lets users disengage the automatic shut off, called Power Save. Opening the menu to select Power Save and then VCR Stop activates this feature. The XL1S will separate the tape from the recording head drum after about five minutes, but maintain power to all camera settings and video out feeds. By pressing the Record/Pause button, the tape is repositioned for recording in approximately three seconds. • Custom Keys To minimize time accessing favorite or frequently used features from the menu, the XL1S includes two Custom Keys on the camera body. Each can be programmed to instantly turn a feature on and off. Select from nine items: Index Mark, Zebra Pattern, VCR Stop, On-screen, Data Code, Audio 1 Input, Audio 2 Input, Zoom Speed (grip section) and Zoom Speed (handle section). • Improved Operation of Menu Button and Selection The menu button and menu operation are redesigned for greater efficiency, speed and convenience. After pressing the Menu button, users now scroll through the options and select features using the iris dial on the camera body. • On Screen Data Display Often, when a live video feed is displayed on a TV monitor, camera data (time code, shutter speed, aperture, battery condition, record pause) is superimposed over the video. This can be distracting to the director who is concentrating on picture composition. With the new On Screen Data Display function, the default for data display is off. Users can choose no data, partial data or all data to be displayed on a TV monitor. • EVF Data Display One of three data displays can be selected to show camera data in the viewfinder. This allows the camera operator to choose how much data about the camera settings he would like superimposed over the image in the viewfinder. The choices include no data, partial data and all data.


  • Digital Video Format and IEEE 1394
  • Interchangeable Lens System
  • 3CCD
  • Shooting Modes and Aspect Ratios
  • Programmed Auto Exposure

Additional Detailed Information:

Power Supply (rated):
7.2 V DC
Power Consumption (While recording AF="ON"):
8.7 W (Approx., recording with the AF turned on)
Television System:
EIA standard (525 lines, 60 fields) NTSC color signal
Video Recording System:
2 rotary heads, helical scanning systemDV system (Consumer digital VCR SD system)
Digital component recording

Audio Recording System:
PCM digital sound;
16-bit (48kHz/2ch)
12-bit (32kHz/2 from 4ch)
12-bit (32 kHz/4 ch simultaneous)

Image Sensor:
3CCD 1/3" Pixel Shift (charge coupled device) 270,000 pixels (250,000 effective pixels)
Tape format:
Videocassettes bearing the (MiniDV) mark
Tape speed:
SP: 3/4ips (18.81 mm/s):
LP:1/2ips (12.56 mm/s)

Maximum recording time:
SP: 80 minutes (with a 80 minute cassette);
LP: 120 minutes (with a 80 minute cassette)

Fast forward/rewind time:
2 min. 20 sec. (with a 60-min. cassette)
Lens mount:
XL interchangeable lens system ([supplied]: f/1.6-2.6, 5.5-88mm)
Focusing system:
TTL autofocus, manual focusing possible
Maximum shutter speed:
1/15,000 second
Minimum illumination:
2 lux (using XL 5.5-88mm lens and slow shutter at 1/8 of a second.)
Recommended illumination:
More than 100 lux
Filter diameter:
72mm (XL lens)
0.7", color LCD(approx. 180,000 pixels)
Stereo electret condenser microphone
DV terminal:
Special 4 pin connector (based on IEEE 1394)
Output levels:
Video terminal:
RCA jack1 Vp-p/75 ohms unbalanced,synchronized load
S-Video terminal:
4 pin mini DIN
1 Vp-p (Y signal)
0.286 Vp-p (C signal)

Audio terminal:
RCA jack (L,R)
2 sets - 4dBm (47kohms load)/ 3kohms or less, unbalanced

Input level:
Audio terminal:

RCA jack (L,R)2 sets
- 11dBV/47kohms (LINE), unbalanced
- 35dBV/600 ohms (MIC ATT), unbalanced
- 55dBV/600 ohms (MIC), unbalanced

Microphone terminal:
3.5mm stereo mini-jack-59dBV (with 600 ohms mic)/600ohms
Operating temperature range:
32 - 104º F (0-40º C)
8 3/4 x 8 7/16 x 16 5/16 in(223mm x 214mm x 415mm)
Weight (not including lens and battery pack):
3 lbs 11 15/16 oz approx. (1.7 kg)
Weight (fully loaded):
6 lbs 4 7/8 oz approx. (2.86 kg)


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*Lease Prices are based on a 36 month lease
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