Stupid Newbie Questions, part 1 at DVinfo.net

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


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Old July 31st, 2003, 11:57 AM   #1
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Stupid Newbie Questions, part 1

This is the first part in what is sure to be a continuing series! ;-)

I received my new GL2 today, and have a few questions.

1. My camcorder is silver... but the one on the box (and pictures I've seen on various websites) is clearly white. What gives? Did Canon change the color at some point, or did I get a non-US model?

2. I have one stuck pixel on the lcd screen, which I'm not too worried about... but I also have a brown spot inside the viewfinder. It looks like a piece of trash or something inside the viewfinder. Any way I can remove this myself (without voiding the warranty), or will I have to send the unit back?

3. The viewfinder image in general looks kinda nasty... heavily digitized. Things with high contrast edges look pixelated. Is this normal? The LCD screen looks fine...

Other than these issues, I like the camera so far. Tested it in our warehouse, with fluorescent lighting and lots of dark areas, and the camera did a surprisingly good job on full auto. Colors appeared accurate, and I didn't have a problem with gain/grain until I was in areas which were quite dark.
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Old July 31st, 2003, 12:08 PM   #2
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Did you adjust the focus lever under the viewfinder?
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Old July 31st, 2003, 12:39 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by George Brackett III : Did you adjust the focus lever under the viewfinder? -->>>

Yeah, that made the viewfinder blurry... but it didn't get rid of the dark spot.
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Old July 31st, 2003, 12:56 PM   #4
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1. The GL2 does have a silver color. Its predecessor, the GL1, was white.

2. We seem to be getting an increasing number of reports of new GL2's with bad pixels on the lcd. This is not a catastrophic problem but it suggests that Canon is now accepting less than perfect lcd panels from their supplier, perhaps to improve margins. Personally, I would not accept it. As consumers we should hold manufacturers' feet to the fire to deliver the best quality product possible.

3. The viewfinder image may seem coarse (it's a relatively low-res lcd) but it should not look "pixellated". You should also not have debris inside of a new camera's viewfinder. Yes, there is a way to clean it out.

But, all in all, I'd recommend sending it back for a replacement. You should not have to monkey with it. Manufacturers feel the heat from distributors who return defective inventory. Such pressures are what drive manufacturing and quality assurance standards above all else. Add a bit of your own heat. You deserve a defect-free camera for your money.
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Old July 31st, 2003, 05:46 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help, Ken. I already fixed the problem in the viewfinder. Opened it up as per the manual and used a Q-tip on it, and that got read of the brown spot.

The one stuck pixel (green) in the LCD doesn't really bother me, so I'll probably keep the camera. I've got a wedding to shoot next weekend, and don't want to risk not having a camera for it...
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Old August 4th, 2003, 07:13 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ken Tanaka :
3. The viewfinder image may seem coarse (it's a relatively low-res lcd) but it should not look "pixellated". You should also not have debris inside of a new camera's viewfinder. Yes, there is a way to clean it out.

But, all in all, I'd recommend sending it back for a replacement. You should not have to monkey with it. Manufacturers feel the heat from distributors who return defective inventory. Such pressures are what drive manufacturing and quality assurance standards above all else. Add a bit of your own heat. You deserve a defect-free camera for your money. -->>>

Ken, after some extensive testing over the weekend, I decided to return the unit. In addition to the stuck pixel in the LCD, I'm having some other problems with it as well. With headphones on, the audio sounds pretty bad... the mic is picking up noise from the tape drive, and there is also a low "roar" heard in quiet passages. And the pixelated look I was seeing in the viewfinder wasn't just in the viewfinder... I watched all my footage last night and it clearly shows up on tape. It is a moving, step like pattern between items of varying contrast. It's been most noticeable in areas with flourescant lighting.

And finally, as much as I prefer the look and feel of the GL2, and as much as I love the manual controls (VERY intuitive, and easy to use), I think I'm going to have to replace it with the Sony VX-2000. Even if the above problems are due to a bum unit, the GL2's lowlight performance just isn't adequate for my needs. I was really hoping it would be...
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Old August 4th, 2003, 05:14 PM   #7
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There seems to be a trend for problems with new GL2s. I feel extremely fortunate that mine, purchased new last March, performs flawlessly. It's a shame that this unpleasant experience has turned you away from an awesome camera, and IMO a better unit than the Sony.
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Old August 5th, 2003, 10:01 AM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by George Brackett III : There seems to be a trend for problems with new GL2s. I feel extremely fortunate that mine, purchased new last March, performs flawlessly. It's a shame that this unpleasant experience has turned you away from an awesome camera, and IMO a better unit than the Sony. -->>>

I just received the VX-2000. I already dislike it! ^_^

It looks cheap, the LCD is horrible (real choppy), and the controls are nowhere near as intuitive as the GL2. Too many things are buried in menus. You have to set Aperture and Shutter Speed in two entirely different places!?

But it does have a zoom ring. And you can quickly lock the focus at infinity. It's probably more useful in full auto than the GL2, since you can limit the gain and it's easy to adjust the exposure. But I'd prefer the GL2 for full manual.

I haven't really been able to test it's lowlight performance yet, I'll do that tonight.
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