I have just an XL2 and I am curious to people's opinion on whether to look into buying a hard drive for the camera as well. I have seen one around as I was shopping for the XL2 but I went to the canon web site and I guess it has been discontinued. Is there a reason it was? Did people have a bad experience with using one? What's the word on it? Also just curious, if I did buy one does the camera record to both the hard drive and a tape?
I have the Firestore drive and would highly recommend it as a significant time saver. Here is the problem with tape. Shoot three hours and capture three hours before you can edit. When capturing to the firestore hard drive unit you can shoot three hours and transfer files in 10-5 minutes and be editing.
The firestore drive can also be connected through firewire to your computer or laptop and the files can be viewed and used just like any other drive attached to your computer. A tremendous time saver if this is your issue. You can record to tape and harddrive simultaniously and have the tape as your backup and raw footage archive.
There are other hard drive recorders available so shop around and see what will best suit your needs. I recomend the Forestore but I have not used any other type of attachable drives so I can't provide a price/performance comparison.