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


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Old June 19th, 2003, 11:21 AM   #1
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General Questions

Just found this discussion board and I must say it's a great find. The responses and discussions are very useful and straigt forward. I printed out many of the discussions that addressed questions I have about my GL2.

I've decided to learn everything I can about my camera and how to best use it in my new, developing videography business.

So if you don't mind, here are a few questions that I hope can be addressed:

1. How can I make practical use of the CSTM Key? I read about it in the instructional manual, but it's a little confusing.

2. How useful and accurate are the zebra patterns?

3. Under what conditions is it useful to use the microphone attenuator control?

4. How useful are the custom presets, e.g. color gain.

Believe me, I'v really been reading manual and reviews written about the camera. It's just that some instructions are not clear to me.

I also would like to meet someon on this board that I can talk with over the phone about using GL2. Again, I just want to learn as much as I can and get the best use out of this camera.

Thanks ahead of time for any and all responses.

Bakari
Lifetime Video Productions
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Old June 19th, 2003, 01:34 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard, Bakari! I myself do not own a GL2 but an XL1s,
but think I might be able to answer a question or two.

1. If your custom key(s) is/are the same as on my XL1s you can use
these for quick access to functions (that usually reside inside
a menu) you often use. For example, one of my custom keys
enables or disables the zebra stripes which are normally only
accesable through a menu. This speeds up switching the setting
when I'm shooting or preparing to do a shoot (I need these for
zebra stripes because sometimes they can get in the way of
the picture I'm trying to see -> my stripes aren't at 100 IRE).

2. I don't know how accurate they are but useful they are very
much. I have mine set at 90 so that I have a bit of headroom.
I set the camera up so that I see a lot of stripes and then tone
them down little by little. Since I have a 10% overhead some
stripes in the picture are no problem (I have some headroom).
This also means that if lighting changes slightly or perhaps my
camera move gets me into more light and I see zebra stripes
appear I know I must be careful but aren't yet clipping and
blowing out my whites. I find this much better to judge then
the light meter because sometimes the contrast can be so
large that the light meter thinks it hasn't got enough light but
I also see stripes (lots of dark spots in the image) -> street
lights during the night for example.

I leave the rest up to others...
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Old June 19th, 2003, 01:51 PM   #3
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Ditto Rob's remarks.

I'd just add to (2), in case you're altogether unfamiliar with the concept of zebra bars, that they provide a way to detect over-exposed areas of your image. Your eyes can be easily fooled by ambient light conditions when looking at the viewfinder or lcd. The zebras tell you what the camera is actually seeing. 100 IRE is the top-most sensitivity setting for the zebras. Setting their sensitivity down to 95 or 90, as Rob does, provides you with early warning to blow-outs.

(3) Mic attenuation is useful in very loud situations to prevent your audio tracks from clipping. In effect, it turns-down the signal from the mic before it's recorded.

(4) The custom presets can be extemely useful for recalling and accurately repeating settings (ex: sharpness, chroma, etc.) that would otherwise take time to regain from the camera's menus. If, for example, you discover settings that work particularly well for a certain type of subject or scene you can simply store these settings and immediately recall them when shooting in the same situation later.

I hope this is helpful to you.
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Old June 19th, 2003, 04:52 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for the feedback. I need to play around with the custom keys and the mike attenuator, because I've had situations in the past where both would have been useful.

I was just reading my manual again today and I'm also wondering about using the wide-screen 16:9 format. Should I be using that for shooting weddings? I'm thinking some of my customers will have wide screen televisions (even though I don't).

I know I asked a lot of questions and really appreciate the time experienced users are taking to give me feedack. Hope I can also play that role as I learn more about camera shooting.

thanks,

bakari
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Old June 19th, 2003, 06:21 PM   #5
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The 16:9 mode of the GL2, and the XL1S, is a matter of some debate and taste. Some prefer it while others do not. Basically, it simulates a common cinematic aspect ratio that is not native to the 4:3 CCD's of these cameras. There is some degree of imaging compromise in performing this manipulation.

Personally, I prefer use the native 4:3 imaging of these cameras and then mask it down to 16:9, if needed, during post-production editing. The GL2 provides 16:9 guides (i.e. lines) in the viewfinder to help shooters frame their scenes for such post-production cropping. This method preserves the imaging quality of the GL2 while offering the option of using either 4:3 or a 16:9 beauty crop.

Experiment to determine which you like.
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Old June 19th, 2003, 07:21 PM   #6
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Use the MIC ATT setting when ever your audio source is loud enough to allow you to do so and have a suitable recorded level. Reason - the MIC ATT setting generally gives a better noise floor.
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Old June 19th, 2003, 11:40 PM   #7
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If you want to shoot in 4:3 mode and get a letterbox effect on the camera.... you could always use the title mix function =)

Works for me.

Thanx,
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Old June 20th, 2003, 08:19 AM   #8
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Would anyone recommend always leaving the MIC ATT ON to prevent clipping?
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Old June 20th, 2003, 11:50 AM   #9
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Bob,
No. You'd be playing "Can you hear me now?" games continuously.
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