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


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Old September 10th, 2003, 03:41 PM   #1
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Custom Key Choices

Just trying to learn all the settings and shooting methods of my new GL2 and could use some advice on which Custom Key to set up for the TAPE+CAMERA mode.
I will shoot almost exclusively in the woods and want to be able to set up to shoot as quickly as possible, and I probably want to save battery power (I did get a BP 930 equivalent for my primary battery).
I have tentatively set the key up for "VCR Stop" to support saving power (p. 36 of the manual). Is that the most useful use of the Custom Key for my needs?
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Roland
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Old September 10th, 2003, 06:59 PM   #2
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I keep mine on zebra pattern because I like to check for over-exposure quickly while shooting. In another recent thread, someone (Ken Tanaka?) said he does the same thing. Of course, you should set your custom key based on what YOU prefer, since it's your camera. Only you know what you're shooting and which tools you'll need to use most often.

As a warning, though, VCR Stop is actually the opposite of what you want (power-saving function). In VCR Stop mode, the camera remains on, but it "un-pauses" the tape so that you don't wear down the heads. To save battery life, you'll want to use the Shut Off setting instead.
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Old September 10th, 2003, 07:47 PM   #3
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Thanks.
The instructions on p. 36 were somewhat confusing (at least for me) in terms of what saves battery power.
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Old September 10th, 2003, 08:01 PM   #4
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Yes, indeed, I use my custom key to activate/deactivate the zebra display for exposure checks. SInce the alternative is to walk through a menu, it seems like the only practical choice.

Perhaps the most practical action for saving power is to set the camera to use VCR Stop when it times-out while idle. This cuts power to the tape transport but leaves the lens and viewfinder/lcd on. Using the viewfinder rather than the lcd also saves power. Using the Standby/Lock lever to completely power-down in between shots preserves the camera's current settings while saving gas. It also wakes the camera up quicker than the on/off switch. Lastly, minimizing use of the zoom servo will probably do the most to conserve battery power. Trombone shooting uses a great deal of power.
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Old September 10th, 2003, 08:27 PM   #5
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Thanks Ken.
Since only one custom key function is available, I thought about using it for the VCR STOP, which can only be operated by this key. But maybe I should keep it simple and use the standby lever.
One other quick question about power: I charged both of my batteries -- the yellow light on the charger never changed from a steady yellow -- both work but neither shows a black bar (100%) on the LCD as on p. 137; they both show no bar at all. What am I missing?
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Old September 10th, 2003, 09:31 PM   #6
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Hmmm...the fact that the battery's level will not display on the camera, and that it does not reflect a full charge in the charger, suggests that it may be damaged. I'd recommend replacing it before you head into a shoot where you'll really be s.o.l. if it craps out. Drops and sharp knocks can irreparably damage these batteries.

If you can swing it, go for a BP945-class battery from Power 2000 or Lenmar. They're both excellent brands and run forever.
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Old September 11th, 2003, 10:09 AM   #7
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Just spoke to two seprate people at Canon about this. They claim that the battery is fully charged when the icon is white inside, not black as on p. 137. Is that correct?
I just noticed, after having the battery on for a while, that a black bar is starting to form from the left, i.e. where the battery nipple is. Again, is that what others have on their GL2?
I can live with the reversal of black and white in this icon, but then I hope there are no other problems with the firmware.
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Old September 11th, 2003, 11:05 AM   #8
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Welcome to the WACKY World OF User Manual GraphiCs!! - Here you'll find an amazing assortment of . .well . .. unscripted reasons! - Yes in my Manual [ XM2 PAL ] the remining battery condition is a Black Bar too - and yes in my viewfinder the remaining battery condition is White! - This has to be a Printing necessity - can't be other . .

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Old September 11th, 2003, 11:10 AM   #9
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. . . come to think about, all the "Viewfinder" Manual images are reversed out too! - All printed in Black, while in actuallity they appear White in the viewfinder - guess I took it as read that this has to be becasue the Manual is Printed on White paper. Okay, Manual should come with a footnote "All the information . . . [ blah blah ] . . is seen in reverse in the viewfinder . . .


Grazie
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Old September 11th, 2003, 11:21 AM   #10
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Roland - I just re-read your Battery Nipple and Emerging Black Bar. The nipple is a graphic employed to designate a +tive pole on a battery terminal - I think this graphic is universally employed. Seen inside any battery required gizmo? You'll see this graphic there too. Okay, so regarding the +tive as being the "uppermost" part of a battery, that which is furthest "away" from the top of the battery, ie towards the "base" of the battery indicates running towards "empty" OR the base of the battery. That which is apparent towards the "top" of the battery - that is towards the +tive graphic is FULL. So, further away from the nipple is low, nearest towards the nipple is full.

Simple put you need to have the battery completely WHITE in the eyepiece to tell/indicate to you that the battery is full. When the white stars to dissappear you are using the battery, simple as that. In fact it isn't Black at all, it is transparent . . It is only apparent as transparent IF you've got the lens cap OFF. If you've got the lens cap ON of course you will see "Black" - just thought of that . . . Ha!

Hope this helps . . never written this down before . . .

Grazie
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Old September 11th, 2003, 03:19 PM   #11
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Multo gracias, Grazie.
How did we get into "full nipples" and all that?
Let me just end this thread by relating my complaint to my Canon Pro90IS digital camera, which shows a full battery as black in the LCD and progressively whiter as it runs down -- and they were somehow able to print the manual to show the same. It seems to me that Canon may have rushed their manual for the GL2 to print. Their (English) instructions seem to be of lesser quality (and clarity) when compared to the manual for my Pro90. It's all about cutting costs, I guess.
Thanks to all who responded.
Roland
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Old September 11th, 2003, 03:42 PM   #12
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"where the battery nipple is" - you said it!

"my Canon Pro90IS digital camera" - Can't comment on this - don't have or the manual. But there again stills photographers do it in Negative - I understand?

You're welcome . . enjoyed writing it . .

Grazie
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Old September 11th, 2003, 05:13 PM   #13
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<---------------- searching for nipples on his camera :)

I'll probably be swapping between the Zebra Pattern and the Mic Attentuator as a Custom Key setting (depending on whether I'm filming family events or wildlife).
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Old September 12th, 2003, 12:32 AM   #14
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"whether I'm filming family events or wildlife" - Same thing, isn't it!?! - ;-)

Grazie
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Old September 12th, 2003, 06:56 AM   #15
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lol - It's certainly a very, very thin line between the two (especially where my three and one year olds are concerned) :D
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