Canon USA and Canon Japan have announced that there is a new firmware upgrade for the Canon XL-H1 camcorder. Version 18.104.22.168 corrects issues with time-code synchronization as well as reducing the granularity of the manual iris control to 1/8 stop steps.
The firmware is available by either bringing the camcorder to a Canon center or by phoning them and asking them to send you the update on an SD card for free. It is not available by download. I phoned them and they are sending the new firmware by Fedex 2nd day. I'll post again when I've updated my unit.
p.s. My camcorder, which is one of the first 100 made, was at version 22.214.171.124. I haven't been able to find out what the minor fixes between 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 (the last public version) have been.
For more info: http://www.usa.canon.com
For more info about the upgrade from Canon Japan: http://cweb.canon.jp
Canon HD Video Lens 6x Zoom XL 3.4-20.4mm L
Canon has also announced a 6x wide-angle high-def lens for the XL-H1. The new Canon HD Video Lens 6x XL 3.4-20.4mm L has a 35mm equivalent perspective of 24.5 to 147mm, making it ideal for indoor videography. There's a manual iris control ring, which makes many people happy. Unfortunately, focus and zoom are still servo controlled which makes me unhappy. I had to dig around to find the maximum aperture, but it looks like it'll be f/1.6 to f/2.6.
The price is quite reasonable at a MSRP of $3000. When it comes out in November, I want one. This is the lens that should have come with the camera, in my opinion.