This happened to me one time. Judging from the date of this, you probably have found a solution. The bottom line is that the camera has accidentally been placed in "Standby" mode. It is the lever surrounding the back of camera record button. When this is moved to standby, the VCR mode works, but nothing for the Camera mode. Hope this helps.
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Same thing happened to me. No display, no menu, no S-video output while in camera mode, but in VCR mode all was OK. Turning power off and on did not help until I also disconnected the AC power adapter. BTW, Mr. Riggins did not read the question before he answered.
just so you know, your camera model was included in the list for what we call the "ccd program". this program has ran for 5 years and unfortunately ended march this year. sony gave free repairs for cameras and camcorders affected by the defective ccd imaging sensor before the said date. issue with the camera shows a black or distorted screen in camera mode. but the you should still be able to see the indicators on the screen. when switch to vcr you should be able to play back previous recordings that you made. better to really make sure its a ccd issue, play a tape that you're sure contains a movie recording and play it, then set it to camera mode and see if you get just a black screen. if you try recording using a tape, you may see nothing but should hear the audio part. if this is what's happening we can be sure it's a ccd issue. if your camcorder just won't turn on in camera mode, maybe the power switch turned defective or it can be other parts of the unit that stopped working.if this is the case, then of course, your unit may require service to address the problem.hope this info helps.thanks:)
i know exactly whats wrong! the same thing happend to me.
1. turn off the gl1
2.look at the record button with the lock and standby switch
3.flip the switch all the way to standby because it might be stuck in the middle
4. turn on your camera
I presume you have checked to see that the lens cap is off? You could also make sure you don't have the "Fade-in" function turned on. Do you see anything at all? Text? If you see text, it indicates that the LCD monitor is working and that you are in some mode that is not letting light get into the camera. Make sure you are ion the all-automatic mode. If you see nothing at all, I'll bet there is something wrong with the screen or the wires connecting to the screen. Do you get an image in the viewfinder?
Beleive the CCD has stopped responding. A cheap way to verify this is to point an infrared remote towards the lens and press a key. This will usually provoke a response from the camera even if all else fails, barring a bad pickup device...accordianman
Check to see if the stanby lever that surrounds the record switch on the back of the camera has inadvertently been put on standby. If this has happened, the VCR will work but not the camera. Move it off of lock to standby and it should crank right up.
Since it is a Canon XL1S, I don't think that this feature is available (the recording tape to tape) until the XL2 Model. Just in case I am wrong, make sure that you are in VCR mode, and that in the menu options, somewhere there should be an option called Av to DV or something. As for the other part, you have to change what the display shows on the viewfinder. This is also in the menu under display settings, Timecode.