A key feature of the Canon XL-series camcorders is the XL mount interchangeable lens system. Unlike other systems, the XL2 offers users the ability to change lenses. This gives the producer/director the choice of the XL series of video lenses, third-party cine lenses, or even Canon's extensive range of photographic lenses. It also makes the XL2 the only MiniDV format camcorder with this feature.
Within the Canon XL system alone there are four lenses: the new 20x OIS, 16x OIS, 16x Manual, and 3x Wide. With an XL system adapter, the entire range of Canon photographic lenses is available -- a tremendous boon to those shooting for such productions as wildlife and nature documentaries. Other companies also offer a variety of specialty cine lenses that can be used on the XL2.