Summary: YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A PRO to use this camera. But shop around for the best price and don't buy from grey markets. Be sure the dealer is authorized by Canon. This camera is super. There are some features that were added to the XL-1S which make this camera stand out over Sony.
Summary: 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...
Excerpt: In 2011, I purchased a Canon XL1. This camera was used for the recording of programs in my church. The video quality of the camera is outstanding, and the durability is excellent. The camera does have auto focus adjustment, which gives a noob the opportunity to use the camera effectively.
Pros: durability, video clarity, auto focus adjustment
Excerpt: I just recently bought the XL1 because I was going to make a movie and my VX-2000 needed another camera. Once I received the order it was love at first sight. The camera is so easy to use I even let my 10-year old son use it.
Pros: Great video quality, very easy to upload onto computer, not too heavy, and easy to understand
Excerpt: It is difficult to fully understand how such a fantastic camcorder could be sold at such a reasonable price. The Canon XL1 offers users superb picture quality, excellent audio, and enough options to make nearly every camera operator happy.
Pros: Excellent picture quality, flexible controls, ease of use, affordable
Cons: Can get a little heavy as it only has a partial shoulder rest .
Excerpt: Many people will tell you that the Canon XL1 isn't much cop as a serious video camera. When they do, ask them what they do for a living. They will all, without exception, be professional cameramen/women, and will almost certainly have mortgaged their house, kids and dog to buy a brodcast camera...
Pros: Pro quality at amateur price . Interchangable lenses, wealth of features, all of which have some worth, and more . . . much, much more .
Cons: Ah . . . let me think . . . there's . . . no, that's on there too . . . Pro cameramen and women are likely to mug you . that's about it really .
Excerpt: In the realm of MiniDV, Canon's XL1 has acquired a God-like following, and not without reason. The XL1 is, at least in the semi-professional stakes, a king of the camcorder world; you will feel humbled to even be in the presence of one. Let's start with outward appearances.
Excerpt: Wow! This has remained the best camcorder for ages...in the price band it is in. At £2700 it's not cheap but read this to find out how well it performs. With a 16X optical zoom interchangeable lens, both DV out and in, macro facility, audio line-in, manual controls and its lightweight, It's a joy to...
Excerpt: I am a freelance director and I bought the camera so that I might be able to use it for shoots etc as a second camera - and I think it's fantastic. First it looks great. It looks like a film camera, sleek design.