My husband and I both have one of these camcorders. In fact, just this past weekend, we filmed a wedding with them, and they worked beautifully, as usual. At the time of purchase, about five years ago, we were able to get a great deal on two slightly used camcorders from eBay, as these camcorders were more than we could afford brand new. The camcorders were sent to Canon for cleaning and checking over, and they have worked like a charm.
These are professional camcorders, not the handheld kind that are used for home movies and such. They have interchangable lenses, and my husband and I only use these camcorders on a tripod. They can be rather heavy if you have to carry them around for any length of time.
The battery life is good on the Canon XLIS. I can get over two hours of continuous shooting on one battery, and I have backup batteries when I need them. The picture and audio quality are very good.
The camcorder can be operated in auto mode, where it chooses all of the settings itself, and manual mode, which enables the user to choose the appropriate settings. It has many great features to it and will produce a very professional video. Plus, it is a really nice-looking piece of equipment. My husband and I are very happy with our camcorders.