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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old August 17th, 2007, 01:18 PM   #1
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New Xm2

I would be grateful to hear your comments:

1. Mini DV tapes - I have used Panasonic in the past. Any reason for choosing the more expensive DV 63 PQ? Will it guarantee no / less dropouts?

2. 16:9 - I am filming a friends wedding. I have searched and read previous threads. Is it true that 4:3 will be dealt with automatically by a widescreen TV, if so why record in 16:9. What if the viewer does not have a widescreen TV? If you have software that can output in widescreen, can it work with the 4:3 and convert?

3. Settings - is it best to leave all midway?

Thank you.

Martin
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Old August 17th, 2007, 02:15 PM   #2
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Most importantly is to pick a tape and stick with it. Do not change tape brands.

As far as settings go I found out the hard way that this camera can get really grainy. The best way to handle that is to use a custom preset with the sharpness set two notches down. Do not shoot over 12db gain at the most. I find with this set up and a decent camera light I can get clean shots at a under lit reception. I wish I had someone to tell me this information my first time out.

Shoot 4 x 3. You can always letterbox in post if need be.
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Old August 17th, 2007, 02:53 PM   #3
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Thanks Todd

Would you consider PQ / AMQ over base Pana product?

Settings - do you mean change sharpen to minus 2 rather than middway?

Thanks
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Old August 17th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Redfern View Post
Would you consider PQ / AMQ over base Pana product?

Settings - do you mean change sharpen to minus 2 rather than middway?

Thanks
Not sure what you are referring to. What is PQ / AMQ / Pana product?
Are you referring to tape stock? If so I like the Sony Premium tapes.

Definitely minus 2.

Also don't forget to engage the custome preset after you change it. The button is on the side of the camera.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 04:54 AM   #5
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Todd

The Pan are Panasonic tapes. I wasn't sure whether it was best to go to the 'next' one up for less dropouts?

Thank you.

Martin
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Old August 18th, 2007, 06:20 PM   #6
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I've used standard Panasonic tapes (AY-DVM60EJ) for several years. I've had no issue with dropouts on virgin tapes, even though I occasionally throw in a different brand. Reusing tapes is a different story. I believe I've seen significantly more dropouts, though only a handful per hour, if I resort to used tapes for my number 2 and number 3 camera on multiple camera shoots. I normally don't do it.

I don't think that more expensive tape would guarantee anything except less money for pretzels and beer.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 07:12 PM   #7
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1. For the tapes, do what works for you. Like everyone else says, pick one decent brand and stay with it.

2. On a correctly set-up widescreen TV, video filmed in 4:3 should appear in the middle of the screen with black bars on the left and right. Some TV's aren't set-up this way, and it'll stretch the image horizontally and everything will look short and fat. You would record in 16:9 if you want to take advantage of the entire screen with no black bars and no stretching. If the viewer has a 4:3 TV, it's correctly set-up, and you filmed in 16:9, then you'd see a wide image with black bars at the top and bottom. If your editing software supports it, and most do, you can cut off the top and bottom of the 4:3 picture to get a 16:9 picture. The GL2 (XM2) isn't a native 16:9 camera, so you don't see much of a quality difference in filming in 16:9 vs. filming 4:3 and cropping using software. If your camera IS a native 16:9 camera, then you wouldn't film in 4:3 and crop because you'd lose quality, you'd just film in 16:9 if that's what you wanted. So to sum up, with this camera, you can safely film in 4:3 and later cut off the top and bottom to make a 16:9 image, just make sure that you don't have anything important in the area that you're cutting off.

3. If you're not sure what you're doing and want to play it safe, leave it on auto mode. But when you have time, you should play around with all the different manual settings to get comfortable with it.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 04:12 PM   #8
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Chris,

If you want to shoot in 16:9 why would you add the step of matting in post?? or do you actually cut the frame in post?

I shoot almost exclusively in wide so I never mat, is there something to be gained by doing so??
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Old August 19th, 2007, 04:22 PM   #9
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By letterboxing in post you always still have a 4:3 source but most importantly you are able to change the vertical framing if needed (give more/less headroom,...). I've found myself doing this more often then I sometimes wish. But most of all I just hate having to frame using the stretched image in the viewfinder/LCD on the XM2 when turning on the 16:9. Then again It's probably better for the vertical resolution if you use the 16:9 in camera since you don't need to blow up the footage to fill an entire widescreen framing. (but I've never found that to be a huge problem)
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Old August 19th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #10
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Like you, I actually film in 16:9 in-camera myself, I was just suggesting both methods of getting the 16:9 frame. I haven't actually seen much of a quality difference in either way, but you're right, it's easier and more convenient to just film in 16:9. Yeah, you have more options in post if you film in 4:3, but I figure that if you shoot right to begin with, you shouldn't have to waste your time in post.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 02:35 AM   #11
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I have been reading this thread, and of course, I have read all the historic threads on 16:9 v 4:3 and in-camera v 4:3 then letterbox.

And you know what?

I/we really still don't know HOW Canon are fitting the 16:9 in-camera image finally onto the tape. I'll say that again: We don't know HOW Canon are fitting the 16:9 info onto tape.

We know it HAS to be 'cos when I use Vegas NLE, and set my project for 16:9 PAL, the captured in-camera 16:9 completely fills the screen - period. I don't letterbox. I don't CHANGE the viewing plate. It is there - straight outta the cassette! BOOM! Done! And until I actually hear from Mr Canon, I am assuming that all the resolution I got in 4:3 is apparent also on the in-camera 16:9. Now, I feel backing this up, I also get an elongated image within the EP and the LCD. Why on earth would Mr Canon want me to be seeing an elongated image if it wasn't for what I am assuming that ALL the resolution possible was there, and he just wasn't able to SWAP the image into 16:9 plate - to make for easier viewing? That doesn't make sense? If I was ONLY getting 4:3 and I was still viewing in a 4:3 LCD but I had elected FOR a 16:9 view then yes, somehow I would be loosing resolution top and bottom. But I ain't. I've got an elongated, stretched view. This implies to me that I DO have, somehow, digital info of a 16:9 image - only pulled vertically to fit the LCD or EP. Now, there is another possibility: Does the camera internally letterbox ( loss of reso - I can't sanction that thought! ) and then STRETCH vertically to fill the LCD. That would be too barmy, 'cos I would be having a perfectly good, letter-boxed plate being distorted to fill the 4:3. To me that doesn't seem/make sense at all? Added to which, I DO have 16:9 guides to "assist" my 16:9 framing, which I could then letterbox on the timeline - WHY? Why have 16:9 guides if it wasn't for the obvious fact that the camera cannot present me with a 16:9 view? See?

You'll still with me?

Now, in all that IS sane, what is ACTUALLY happening, AFTER the 4:3 CCD block to tape, I haven't the foggiest. All I can ponder on is that which I am capable of making a guess at. And, friends, until we have a true-blue Canon techie come here and give us the ACTUAL low down on this aspect of the camera, it can only be gum-smacking on our part.

If I have missed some really crucial, technical proof, that would shoot my theory down in flames, I apologise. Until such times as to what we actually DO know, this videographer can only go with what he sees - I have an elongated image in the LCD! Meaning, there has to be both a purpose (the camera only has a 4:3 LCD) and reason (the electronic image is now 16:9) for it.

Look, I'm the first to admit that the 4:3 block is having to spread this info over 16:9 electronic format for delivery to digital tape, but just how this great camera does it, ain't been responded to. We just don't know. I haven't been told the actual method being employed - have any of us?

Oh, on the actually inconvenience of an elongated in-camera 16:9 option, I use an external 16:9 LCD monitor. And yes, straight from the camera it IS 16:9!

Regards

Grazie


. . and as a footnote to this, I've often thought it would have been a boon to the sales of this camera, IF Mr Canon or one of the chums, informed us as to how this process was happening - yeah? Apart from anything else, it would have stopped all this gnashing of teeth over the question of reso, 16:9 guides v in-camera 16:9 etc . .

Last edited by Graham Bernard; August 20th, 2007 at 02:40 AM. Reason: syntax, spelling & sense!
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Old August 20th, 2007, 05:07 AM   #12
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Fact is however that the Canon XM2/GL2 does not shoot true 16:9. I haven't seen the image expand horizontally (seeing more left and right in your framing) using any 16:9 method (in-camera/post) in the XM2. Like that is this case with the XL2, which IS a true 16:9 wide-CCD camera. (http://www.simplydv.co.uk/Reviews/canon_xl2_2.html)

This means that shooting the in-camera 16:9 on the XM2 is also case of letterboxing/squeezing (you just throw away top and bottom instead of gaining more left and right to get to widescreen aspect ratio). I do however also believe that shooting in-camera saves you more resolution than letterboxing in post. Since in letterboxing you first mask out top and bottom, then change to widescreen aspect which enlarges your footage to fit a full 16 by 9 frame.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 05:39 AM   #13
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Yes, thanks Merlin. And yes I realise that the XM2 isn't capturing onto a 16:9 block - if that's what is meant by true?

Tell me, what is the size of the XL2 block? And what is its configuration?

Grazie
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Old August 20th, 2007, 07:13 AM   #14
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For more info on the XL2 CCD-block: http://dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article06.php
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Old August 20th, 2007, 08:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin Vandenbossche View Post
For more info on the XL2 CCD-block: http://dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article06.php
Too kind - g
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