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Canon XL1

alaTest has collected and analyzed 333 reviews of Canon XL1. The average rating for this product is 4.4/5, compared to an average rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders for all reviews. People are impressed by the color and design. The usability and image quality also get good opinions, but reviews about the viewfinder and reliability are mixed.

price, image quality, usability, design, color

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the Canon XL1 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 80/100 = Very good quality.

See all Canon Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 333 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 158 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews


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Showing 1 - 147 of 158 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (174)

Consumer review ( review summary for Canon XL1


alaTest has collected and analyzed 9 user reviews of Canon XL1 from The average user rating for this product is 4.8/5, compared to an average user rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders on Reviewers are impressed by the design and color. The size and usability also get good reviews. The portability and price get mixed comments.

image quality, usability, size, color, design

100% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Canon DM-XL1s Professional Mini DV CamcorderCanon DM-XL1s Professional Mini DV Camcorder

Oct, 2018

Consumer review ( review summary for Canon XL1


alaTest has collected and analyzed 128 user reviews of Canon XL1 from The average user rating for this product is 4.3/5, compared to an average user rating of 3.9/5 for other Camcorders on Reviews about the durability and design are generally positive. The image quality and usability also get good feedback. Reviews about the size and reliability are different.

price, usability, image quality, design, durability

91% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Canon XL1S MiniDV Digital CamcorderCanon XL1S MiniDV Digital Camcorder

Oct, 2018

Expert review by : Shawn S. Lealos (

Canon XL1 Review


Is the Canon XL1 still the best camera for filmmakers on a budget? This review of the Canon XL1 will give you all the information you need to decide if this camera is right for you.

May, 2011

Expert review by : The Digital Journalist (

Expert Review


As readers of The Digital Journalist are aware, we have been enthusiasticabout Canon's XL1 since it arrived on the market in late fall of 1997.The camera was designed to a professional instrument, aimed at thenew generation of television and film...

Jul, 2002

Expert review by : Larry Kausch (

The New Canon XL-1S


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

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

Jul, 2001

Expert review by : Dirck Halstead (

New Canon XL1 Accessories


As any regular reader of The Digital Journalist is well aware, we have been enthusiastic about Canon's top-of-the-line video camcorder, the XL-1, since its introduction two years ago. It still is leading the way as far as innovative design and...

Mar, 2000

Expert review by : Dirck Halstead (

Canon XL-1 Review


Before I start what will be a very lengthy review of this camera, the first truly professional mini dv camcorder priced under $12,000, I think I should correct something I said to a member of the NPPA discussion list when he asked about it (I was in my...

Dec, 1997

Best Buy!

Expert review by : Neil Bennett (

XL1S camcorder


The menu system has been shifted around, which was necessary, so that you now move up and down the menu using the iris wheel and select by pushing it. While this is an improvement on the previous system, the menu button's still a pain to find while...

Consumer review (

Whatsnewsnx review

May, 2005

Consumer review (

" YESSSS!!!!"................AHH MAN.


Every thing is in easy access

It's heavy toward the front

Oct, 2003

Consumer review (

Canon XL1S


Beautiful Pic good in low light, great lens, battery power consumption much improved

Unwieldy shape, heavy toward lens end.

May, 2002

Consumer review (

Camera review


Easy to use

battery life

May, 2002

Product Specifications

Canon pursued imaging greatness resulting in the ultimate digital camcorder system, the XL1S. It starts with a highly intelligent "open architecture" design, which allows you to customize your XL1S with the widest variety of optional accessories available. Plus you have extensive control over picture and sound adjustments to tailor the "look and feel" of each recording to your preference or even your clients'. Whether you define yourself as an imaging enthusiast, professional videographer or digital filmmaker there is a Canon XL1S digital camcorder configuration that's just right. Which one is right for you? 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 and features found only previously on top-end professional gear, the XL1S raises the standard for others to follow.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Run Time (Up To):105min/90min

Camcorder Features

Low Lux / Night Mode: Yes


Minimum illumination:2

Camera Flash

Type: None

Dimensions & Weight



Display Diagonal:2.5

Display (Projector)


Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Aperture-priority / Auto mode lock / Photo mode / Shutter-priority / Slow shutter / Spotlight/Aperture-priority / Auto mode lock / Shutter-priority / Slow shutter / Spotlight/Slow shutter / Spotlight/Spotlight / Slow shutter


Color of product:Black
Filter size:2.83


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Canon DM/Canon XL1

Image Sensor

Total megapixels:0.32

Lens System

Digital Zoom:32
Image Stabilizer: Yes
Lens Aperture:F/1.6-2.6
Max Focal Length:88mm
Min Focal Length:5.5mm
Optical Zoom:16
Optical Zoom:16
Type:Zoom lens


Color:Black / Silver/Black / Silver/Dark gray / White

Operational Conditions

Operating temperature (T-T):5 - 35
Operating temperature range (T-T):5 - 35

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:250Kpix/300Kpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:270Kpix/320Kpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/3 / 1/3"/1/3"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):8.5 mm ( 1/3 ) / 8.5 mm ( 1/3" )
Optical Sensor Type:3CCD
Sensor Qty:3CCD

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical

Service & Support

Type:1 year warranty

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Analog Video Format:NTSC/PAL
Digital Scene Transition:Black fader / Fade trigger/Black fader / Fade trigger/Fade trigger
Digital Zoom:2/32
Media Type:Mini DV
Shooting Modes:Digital photo mode / Frame movie mode/Digital photo mode / Frame movie mode/Digital photo mode / Frame movie mode / Normal movie mode


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:LCD

Weight & Dimensions