View Full Version : GL2 right for me?


Chuck Doud
January 15th, 2007, 07:24 PM
Hey People,

Well, its time...after years of fooling people with LOTSA processing and swashbucklin' to make em think I am shooting wide-screen on a $400 MINIDV Canon Elura 70...I want the 'next step up'...and I have been looking at the GL2.

I do 'Docu-stories' and things of that sort for Radio Control...and I need something really 'tight' and capable of shooting high speed (120+mph)...lots of sky, etc...

I am comfortable with the Canon platform and I do not fear the 'Remove Tape' issues of the line in general (which were always cured with a head cleaning and Li-On battery reset for me).

Thoughts on the GL2 for my app?


Thanks!


--C

Chuck Doud
January 16th, 2007, 05:08 AM
I should probably mention I am also looking at the VX2100 from Sony...

Comparisons anyone?

--C

Chuck Doud
January 16th, 2007, 11:55 AM
...and how does it perform in Lower light (dusk) ? Is the VX2100 or GL2 the ticket?

--C

Boyd Ostroff
January 16th, 2007, 12:27 PM
Welcome to DVinfo Chuck. You mentioned widescreen in passing.... although both of those cameras can shoot in widescreen mode, neither does a very good job; they are primarily 4:3 cameras and don't have high enough resolution CCD's to give you full quality 16:9. If you're shooting small objects like model airplanes from a distance, you may not be happy with 16:9 from these cameras.

The VX-2100 is generally recognized as the "low light king" and should give you better results in very dark situations (the GL2 has 1/4" chips and the VX2100 has 1/3"). However the GL2 has the advantage of a more powerful zoom lens which might be a plus for you.

Here are a few older threads from people trying to decide between these cameras:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=29224
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=45531
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=60491
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=73477
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=60598
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=61566

Chuck Doud
January 16th, 2007, 05:43 PM
This is great info, Boyd....my hat is off to you.

I can go anywhere up to 4000.00 for a new Cam (how much I have allotted to take 'the next step'. I am shying away from HD as I do not want to have to upgrade my entire system with quad-core processors.

I have gotten away quite well with 'cheater widescreen' using graphics bars to simulate.

I need something really sharp with low light capabilities....

Given your experience and that of others on the boards...which would be right for me. After reading through this site for close to a month before becoming a member...I trust the judgement of those here.

If I could come in at 2,500 dollars, I would be thrilled. If I have to go to 3500.00 I will still be happy....4000.00 is when I start to 'flinch' at this time.

Thanks so much!

--C

Boyd Ostroff
January 16th, 2007, 05:54 PM
I am shying away from HD as I do not want to have to upgrade my entire system with quad-core processors.

I wouldn't rule out an HDV camera personally. You can shoot in high def, but set them to downconvert when you play the tape back. Regular DV is sent out over firewire when you do this, so as far as your computer is concerned it thinks you're using a standard definition camcorder. The nice thing about this approach is that you will have the original high definition video stored on tape for use at a future date. You will also get a nicer image shooting in HDV and downconverting with the camera than you would just shooting regular DV.

The FX1 would be worth looking at, should fit your budget. The new Canon XH-A1 is pretty close to your range also. Or you might have a look at the Canon XL2, which is a standard definition camcorder but the interchangeable lenses might be nice for the future if you need a powerful telephoto.

All of these cameras can shoot in regular DV mode as well, but they are all native 16:9. If you like widescreen I suggest you give this some careful thought. You might be happy with the black bars now, but when you get a widescreen TV you will understand how much resolution you sacrifice that way. If you want something "really sharp" you should really go with native 16:9, or HDV which is even better.

But if you really need to squeeze out the last bit of low light performance, then the VX-2100 will be hard to beat. But I would just be certain that's what you need. "Low light" means different things to different people. Can you rent or borrow any of these cameras and test it for your application? That would tell you much more than any of us can over the internet.

Chuck Doud
January 16th, 2007, 06:22 PM
Boyd, again...great info.

You are totally in the right...I will not need low light performance 'all the time'...but I have missed some really tight shots that were 'magic' in low light so perhaps I am just being a little idealistic in my wants.

I have called all around trying to 'rent' cameras and the closest place I could find is 2 hours from me in Richmond, VA....which, is surprising seeing as we have one of the fastest growing, wealthiest, metropolis environments in the country...and there are oodles of prod-houses around here...

I have called several, offered cash deposits to 'try on some cameras' and such...but that is when I realize I am not in NYC or Los Angeles anymore...

I like the way you think...it makes ME think.

Have you used the FX1?

Perhaps I can show you some of the stuff I have done with a simple Elura consumer camera and you can suggest more? I like catching 'emotion'...

http://www.chuckandjenna.com/neat2.wmv

--C

Boyd Ostroff
January 16th, 2007, 06:35 PM
Chuck, I have a Sony Z1 which is the 'pro' version of the FX1, but the sensors and optics are the same. I also have a VX-2000 which is the predecessor of the VX-2100 and pretty much the same. My experience says the FX1 should be around 1.5 f-stops slower than the VX.

You might find the following collection of links about the FX1 in low light interesting: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=54414

FWIW, I don't use my VX-2000 anymore unless I need a DV deck for capturing. It was a terrific camera in its day, and still a good choice if you want to work in 4:3. But I want 16:9, and the manual controls on the FX1 are way, way better as well. If you're concerned about shooting planes against the background of the sky, I don't think that necessarily requires a lot of low-light capability. My impression is that the FX1 can "see" more than your naked eye in many situations already. If you wanted to shoot people outside in ambient light in the night, then the VX-2100 might make sense though.

Chuck Doud
January 16th, 2007, 06:51 PM
Boyd,

Some good info for me to digest.

For years I was the guy who said "I need the shot to look more warm"...got tired of it...and now am the guy who is trying to get the shot more warm, exciting, etc...so much of this is 'new' to me and as such, I am still in the 'hack' phase of doing this stuff. Funny how life sometimes takes us a step down to bring us up.

I see you have work in Philly. My wife is from Center City...I met her while living for a few years in King of Prussia while re-tooling my goals. Miss the area...but not during winter! :)

--C

Boyd Ostroff
January 16th, 2007, 07:10 PM
Miss the area...but not during winter!

Winter? I don't think we have those anymore ;-) Was 64 on Saturday, 67 on Sunday, 64 again yesterday. Today the cold air is moving in, but this has been the warmest winter I can recall around here :-)

Have fun learning about all this stuff, we'll be here at DVinfo to help you along the way!

Chuck Doud
January 16th, 2007, 07:11 PM
Thanks...I'll be back!

--C

Rush Hamden
January 16th, 2007, 07:14 PM
Hi Chuck, I would like to add to Boyd's recommendations and notes. One of my cameras is also a Z1U, and I filmed an outdoor scene with nothing more than the sodium vapor perimeter light outside a manufacturing plant and one LED flashlight, at 12dB gain. It looked great. The FX1 does share the same optics, so I would say it will do the same job. One thing to bear in mind, is that because the chips are shooting at a much higher res, the 'grain' size of the gain is very fine on those Sony cameras. Because of that, you can use more gain and get away with it, clean. Those cameras have very clean images to begin with, and I routinely use their video for print, since their desqueezed image is almost the size of a 4MP still camera (1920x1080 vs 2048x1536).

Also, my first Mac purchased for editing HDV and DVCPROHD was a dual 2.0 G5. I still use it, and it runs both formats very well. Yes I have to render dissolves, and rendering Mpeg2 for DVD takes a couple hours, but the editing itself is fine. I have been editing Nonlinear since 1995, mind you. So you don't have to upgrade to a quad processor. A used G5 dually for $1200 will do it fine.

Boyd made some excellent notes, especially about the camera's ability to down-res to DV for simple editing, with the tapes holding the full res content for later. I have used that feature a couple time when a producer insisted we shoot on DV not HDV because his client wasn't paying him much and he didn't want the video to look 'too good'. But I wanted my master to be good enough for use as a demo. So I asked the producer if that's okay, he was happy with that solution, we edited his stuff on DV, and the footage was saved for my demo in 1440x1080...

Not that DV is out or anything. As Boyd suggested the XL2 is an excellent investment due to interchangeable lenses. However, HDV is within the reach of most people now. It's worth a look.

Tim OBrien
January 17th, 2007, 06:20 AM
I do 'Docu-stories' and things of that sort for Radio Control...and I need something really 'tight' and capable of shooting high speed (120+mph)...lots of sky, etc...


Hi Chuck,

Just wanted to chime in and say that I bought a GL2 about six months ago.

I also do a lot of R/C flyins and full-scale airshows down here in Florida. I chose the GL2 because of it's features, 20x optical zoom and lens. I have loved it so far with zero problems (probably put about 40hours through the cam so far.)

For the price I paid for it ($1800) I've been very very happy.

Chuck Doud
January 17th, 2007, 07:00 AM
Hi Chuck,

Just wanted to chime in and say that I bought a GL2 about six months ago.

I also do a lot of R/C flyins and full-scale airshows down here in Florida. I chose the GL2 because of it's features, 20x optical zoom and lens. I have loved it so far with zero problems (probably put about 40hours through the cam so far.)

For the price I paid for it ($1800) I've been very very happy.


Hey Tim,

Cool. Are you the one who shot Joe's 170MPH Sniper? He had mentioned a guy in passing who had a great camera.

I am down to 3 potential candidates for cameras. The GL2 was my first choice...but I tend to research things to the point of boredom before I jump...especially when NO ONE around here has a 'rental' or 'trial' program for semi-pro/pro audio video. (miss the big cities for that!).

Maybe we'll bum into each other on the RC Boards, too!

--C

Greg Hartzell
January 18th, 2007, 06:53 PM
If you don't mind a larger camera, I think the xl2 is probably your best bet for what your after. Naitive 16x9, 20x lens, better resolution than any other dv camera. If your willing to spend a little more, the new canon xh-a1 hdv would also be a good, more future proof consideration. That said, I have shot a bit of wide screen on a gl2 and everything looked pretty nice, the gl would be a worthy step up from an elura