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


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Old January 7th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #1
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Low light Camera?

Just a general question here.
How does the GL2 perform in low light conditions? I have a XL2 and have come to find out that it is not the best in low light. But I realy like it in all other conditions.

Anyway, I am considering a small camera. I would like the familiar controls of the canon brand but also want a good camera in low light. Sony maybe?
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Old January 7th, 2008, 09:42 PM   #2
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Most people consider the Sony VX-2100 (consumer version) and PD-170 (pro version) the low light champions. They are upgraded versions of the VX-2000 and PD-150 which were the previous champs. Visit our forum here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=2

I've got a VX-2000, although rarely used anymore. But it's pretty impressive shooting outside at night. I'm not personally familiar with the GL-2, but it uses 1/4" chips vs 1/3" chips in the Sony's, and smaller chips generally mean less sensitivity in dark places. But the downside to all of these cameras is that they are 4:3 native and won't do a very good job at widescreen video.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 07:55 AM   #3
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GL2 is not the best a pulling an image out of low light situations, but it is a good low light camcorder at its price point for most practical purposes. As noted above, the VX2100/PD170 are about as good as it gets for current prosumer SD camcorders.

Keep in mind that in general there is more to video than just low light performance. You need to decide what is most, and what is less, important to your video shooting needs and select your camcorder accordingly. Other factors include: lens, ergonomics, controls, cost, image, ease of matching to other gear you use, and so on.

Also keep in mind that there is no substitute for adequate light with any camcorder. I've worked with VX2000 footage, and in poor light the image tended to take on an odd bluish cast that I did not care for, especially when intercut with XL1 footage from the same venue.

IMHO, while smaller than the XL2, the VX/PD series are hardly small camcorders as small goes. On the other hand, the HV20 would probably qualify as small.

In your decision process, do you need SD, HD, wide screen? If not now,when. Let the answers to these questions guide your search as well.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 08:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Godwin View Post
Just a general question here.
How does the GL2 perform in low light conditions? I have a XL2 and have come to find out that it is not the best in low light. But I realy like it in all other conditions.

Anyway, I am considering a small camera. I would like the familiar controls of the canon brand but also want a good camera in low light. Sony maybe?
If your only criteria is the low light performance of the GL-2 vs the XL-2, then the answer is easy. The XL-2 is a better low light performer.

The best general answers have already been given above.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 11:48 AM   #5
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The prior information is solid!!

But do not be misled that a gl2 is not decent in low light. I was shooting next to a firend with a digital slr and he was using his flash. I called him over to look at the clearity and light collection of my gl2 and he could not believe it.
I use and xl2 and a gl2, I have plenty of dusk oriented videos that are awefully good considering i was not using extra light!!!

Don's advice is first rate. There are a ton of things I love about my gl2!!! Low light is not real high on my priority list, though I shoot in low light quite a bit and I am not grossly disappointed with the performance.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #6
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I agree with everybody's advice above.

Later on I'll post some screens and maybe a sample video of a very dimly lit dance hall, shot with the GL2.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 03:28 PM   #7
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Thanks Chris..That would be great.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 11:07 AM   #8
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Testing has now shown that the PD170 is no longer the low light king....

Its now the Sony EX1.... of course its 1/3 chips versus 1/2 chips

I use the PD170 underwater and the low light capabilities of the cam is fantastic... actually a little too good... it sees better than our own eyes...
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Old January 10th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #9
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Here's some video of a gig I did for fun.

It's not exactly a scientific measurement of the camera's low-light capabilities, but hopefully it'll be of some use to you.

http://www.chrisjharris.com/Site/gl2test.mov
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