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


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Old September 1st, 2003, 09:57 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Barrington, New Hampshire
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new pics and update

Hi:

I've added a few new pictures taken with GL2 and Century Optics 2x at the bottom of this page.
http://www.metrocast.net/~jsurban/

The GL2 will be in Bolivia for 16 days soon so I've been preparing my trip list and practicing what works and doesn't with wildlife video and stills (to memory card). There will be three of us with a bird guide. Have had GL2 since June 2002 and still don't know all the features yet......

I found that when zoomed at 40x many of my stills to memory card were coming out blurry from either birds moving too much or my finger shaking camera during pressing photo button. I now will press button half way to get green light of focus and then use the remote to snap the picture. Pictures now have been coming out a lot clearer. Remote photo button will not focus camera. I don't know if having camera on a fast shutter speed would carry over to taking stills to the card.

Bolivia Update:
Objectives:
- Bird watching and wildlife viewing
Target species: Jaguar, Harpy Eagle (feeds on monkeys), Andean Condor, Snakes, Monkeys, etc...
- Shooting enough video to create a 60 minute DVD of trip
(Hope to get a couple of local University Multi-media major interns to help me put together a professional looking DVD.)
- I hope to shoot 10 - 20 seconds on most birds and then attempt to take a still if bird is still there) Video is more important than still.

GL2 Challenges:
- Altitude, up to 15,000 feet (not planning on using any filter where we will only be there two days)
- Weather, 100 degrees with 90% humidity (I planned on keeping tapes wrapped in original wrapper until I need them).
- Wet drizzly foggy weather in Yungas forests
We will be there in dry season
- Charging batteries, have 220 to 110 converter with Bolivia plug
- Shooting at night (some of the best game are out at night)

Human Challenges:
- too many to mention: sweat bees, honey bee hatches, altitude sickness, malaria, Leishmaniasis, sand flys, mosquitoes, snakes, ticks, chiggers, etc... etc.....

Equipment:
- 20 Panasonic DVM63PQ tapes
- Extra batteries, memory cards...
- Spotlight for night video
http://www.ccrane.com/3_million_spotlight.asp
(I'm hoping not to blind wildlife so will limit light to 10 seconds depending upon distance)
- 2 Sawyer venom extractors
etc...

Thoughts:
- I will be upgrading from Pinnacle Studio 8 to Vegas 4. Pinnacle has been too unstable even after all the updates and am sick of wasting time redoing things after crashes....

- I think this GL2 is almost bullet proof and hope to prove it after this trip is finished.

I would appreciate any comments on things I might want to consider in order to give this trip a higher probability of getting some great video, enhancing the GL2 reputation, etc.....

Thanks.

Steve
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Old September 1st, 2003, 01:05 PM   #2
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dessicant comes to mind

an airtight bag and some dessicant could come in handy if the humidity becomes a problem for the camera itself.
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Old September 1st, 2003, 03:28 PM   #3
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Hi Steve,

3 years ago I spent a few weeks birding across Bolivia in mostly middle to high elevation. It sounds like you will be hitting some lowlands. (I really want to get back and go to Madidi one day).

The area around Trinidad, which is the Bolivian Pantanal, is especially interesting for close birds and capybara. I think jaguars are real tough to see. Some sloth footage should be possible. I got a bit of blue throated macaw video (a rather rare parrot) and I had a minute or so of viewing , but no video, of the scimitar winged piha (super rare in sightings).

Who is your guide ?

What areas are you visiting ?

Please post some pics if you can when you get back.

Have a great time & happy video-ing,
Stella Aquilina
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Old September 1st, 2003, 03:38 PM   #4
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Forgot to add a few points -
I'm not sure about the charger for your GL2, but my little Canon Vistura charger took 110 or 220, you merely needed to bring the appropriare small plug adaptor but you did not need to convert the current. I was there in August and has 1 hr of rain in 16 days. I do always have several garbage bags in my daypack in case the skies burst.

I think a tripod or monopod would be useful, but I would check it as you never know what the erratic inspectors will dis-allow through security. I worry about damage to the tripod but I just read a great tip on photo.net: bubblewrap. When I go to Uganda in a few months, we will place our tripod in its case and the encircle in bubblewrap, I think that would help some.

Take DEET insect spray, but be careful, if you get it on your hands and then touch a plastic/vinyl object, you might destroy a bit of it. I actually use 98% deet in S. America and disintigrated part of my little Vistura's vinyl hand strap.

Cheers,
Stella
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Old September 1st, 2003, 03:54 PM   #5
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Rain Gear! Sounds like a pretty challenging environment. I use my Porta Brace rain gear for protection from both the elemets and bumps/dings/etc.. Might be worth it considering the concequences of a wet cam.

Not sure what affects the altitude would have on the cam. I was shooting at 12,000 ft this weekend and didn't notice any. GOOD LUCK, Have FUN!
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Old September 1st, 2003, 05:59 PM   #6
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Hi All:

Rob:
I'll check out the Porta Brace, cool... We have rain ponchos and umbrellas right now. Thanks....

Stella:
Thanks for tips....
I just noticed on the back of the GL2 battery charger it says:
"Input: 100-240V" Yeah...... No converter needed for this...
I do have the South American plug attachment. I'll have tripod and will wrap in bubble wrap and towels and put in check in duffel. I'm bringing a container of wipe-its to keep deet off hands.
Will use Permanone spray on pants. I once had deet melt the plastic handle of my canoe paddle. We're going to use the Ultrathon Spray.

I'll carry everything I want to definitely have in day pack and camcorder bag onto plane.

I've posted our itinerary here.
http://www.metrocast.net/~jsurban/Bolivia.html
I decided to spend more time in Noel Kempff and maybe hit Trinidad next time.

Our guide is Ramiro Yabar, a Peruvian friend, who guides out of
Amazonia Lodge in Manu.

Bud:
Thanks for info on an airtight bag and some dessicant.

I'll post pictures and some video clips after returning and give a detailed report on GL2's performance under different conditions....


Steve
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Old September 1st, 2003, 09:48 PM   #7
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Looks like a great trip Steve. I think that Madidi and Noel Kempff are both great lowland regions. I have not yet been there. Apa Apa is where I saw the Scimitar winged Piha, real rare, but keep your eyes out. There are some beautiful birds around Apa Apa.

I believe that Steve Hilty, the author of Birds of Columbia, has seen Jaguar regularly in Noel Kempff. I went with him to Suriname and he mentioned it.

Oh, one other tip, I believe that the GL2 has a wind setting for the mike, it will prove useful when you are at altitude as the wind really kicks up. I think that Rykote makes a mini-mike muff for the GL2 and that would probably prove useful at that altitude.

The descent down the sud yungas will offer some astounding vistas. You'll see some llamas and they have sweet faces and are very video-genic. I was actually watching the tape I made of Bolivia a few days ago. Birds were definitely a challenge for me as I currently own only the small single CCD 16x Canon Vistura, but with the GL2 and the 2x Century extender, I'm sure you'll get some gratifying footage.

Happy Trails,
Stella
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Old September 2nd, 2003, 04:11 AM   #8
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Hi Stella:

I forgot that there may be some wind at altitude.
I'll check on the muff and also get familiar with the GL2
settings....

The Maned Wolf in Noel Kempff is one other target species
I forgot to mention.

Thanks!

Gooooo GL2!!!!

Steve
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