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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old September 25th, 2003, 04:57 PM   #1
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New GL2 Owner, Lots of Questions!

I recently purchased a new Canon GL2, should be arriving tomorrow. In the past I have used crappy consumer MiniDV cameras for shooting and I am not really familiar with all the advanced options and settings this camera has to offer.
what I will be shooting most of the time with the GL2 is live concerts in local clubs and bars. It is loud and dark! I am usually 50-100 feet away from the stage in a dark area of the club shooting into the band with spotlights on them.
I am wondering first, does anyone have any reccomended settings to set up for the camera since I won't really have a chance to test it out before my first shoot?? Another thing is the audio, I have luckily got pretty good audio from my consumer cameras, not too distorted, will I have the same luck with the GL2?? I can't really afford a new mic right now, so what would be good settings to use for recording in a loud bar type environment.
Finally, I want to get a UV filter lens to protect the camera lens and to cut down on the bright spotlights, I see they have them at Best Buy for like $20, will these make my picture look worse than a more expensive filter??

Thanks in advance for all your help.
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Old September 25th, 2003, 05:07 PM   #2
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As far as audio, you will find it sounds much better than the cameras you're used to. What's even nicer is that you have full control over the audio input level, separate for left and right channel, and you can monitor the audio levels right there on the LCD. You'll be able to adjust right there in the club so that you are not clipping.

Ideally, of course, you'd want to take a straight signal from the house's mixer, but that's not always possible. Ideally you'd want to get an XLR adapter too, for use with external mics or house mixers. If you choose to get one down the line, I highly recommend the Studio 1 Productions XLR BP Pro.

As far as the UV filters, you get what you pay for. I bought a cheap set a while back, and when zoomed in all the way, there was a noticeable distortion. Since you don't have much time apparently, but you still need to protect your lens before you go into the club, it might not hurt to just temporarily use the cheapie. But consider getting better filters soon. Either way, I'm not sure how much the UV filter will do in cutting down the bright spotlights.

There is a spotlight mode on the camera, by the way. Check your manual for it as soon as you get it. Just don't leave everything on auto - otherwise your footage will look no better than what you had before.

Overall, it's going to take a few tries for you to get it just right. Just make sure you take some notes (mental or otherwise) as to what you're doing so that you know exactly what you did wrong when you look at the footage later.

But lastly, and most importantly, have fun with that thing. It's a beautiful camera, and takes amazing footage for what it is. I find that my footage always turns out better than what I think it will be when I'm in the field.
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Old September 25th, 2003, 05:12 PM   #3
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Are there any sites that you can reccomend o that will explain what things like the f-stop and shutter speeds and those types of things will do to your video? Is there a good explaination in the manual of it?? I went to school for video and TV broadcasting so I'm not a complete newbie, I just haven't had to use anything like that for a while ao I have forgotten what those terms mean and how they can affect your video.
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Old September 26th, 2003, 01:10 AM   #4
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some links

http://www.creativecow.net/index.php?forumid=1

http://www.lafcpug.org/

http://greatdv.com/cameras/Zebra.htm

http://www.internetcampus.com/tvp019.htm

http://greatdv.com/index.htm

http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/42121?it=1
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Old September 26th, 2003, 05:11 AM   #5
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Some great links there!
Thanks Bud.
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Old September 26th, 2003, 11:31 AM   #6
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A couple of additional thoughts for you.

I've shot a lot in loud environments, and I've been able to get remarkably good results with the gl2 and the onboard mic, its omni directional pattern allows you to move about without the sound changing significantly. The camera has a built in attenuator that you can access through the menu's that will be a big help in eliminating distortion in addition to the manual audio controls. I would recommend a good set of closed headphones so you can monitor the sound as you shoot.

If you'll be handholding, I'd recommend a shoulder support of some kind, it will give you a much more stable shot, and can help with arm fatigue.

Regarding white balance, I've had the best results from using the incandescent preset. This should give you the most natural color spectrum from heavily gelled sources...although if you have a lot of red and magenta to deal with you may want to do a custom preset with the color gain turned down a notch or two...to taste.

Also, in low light situations, using the gl2 on automatic exposure will often lead to increased gain...and then grain... in your shots...I'd recommend a using manual exposure...this gives you access to slower shutter speeds, and lets you control the amount of gain. You will undoubtedly need some gain, and the gl2 immediately will produce a very fine, sharpened grain to your picture. If you find this objectionable, add to your custom preset a slight decrease in sharpness...1 to 2 notches should do it.. this will substantially decrease the noise in the image.

One thing about custom presets...once you make the settings thru the menus, you still have to turn it on using the button on the camera body. A "cp" will show in the lower left of the viewfinder when it's turned on.

Also, I see no need for a UV filter for the purposes you descibe...it will only increase the amount of flare you will get from the lighting...on the other hand it may protect your lens from flying beer bottles (or martini glasses...depending on what kind of club we're talking about)...so you still might want one.

Here's some club footage I shot last year. Sound is mic'd at the camera (there is some distortion is caused by the q design compression for the web version, but the original sound is pretty clean) The Gl2 is the hand held camera on the left side of the stage. Other cameras were a gl1 and xl1s.

http://homepage.mac.com/barrygoyette/iMovieTheater10.html

Barry
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Old September 26th, 2003, 09:22 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your great advice, I just got my GL2 today and it is an amazing camera in comparison with my old ones. I can't wait to learn how to use it and start making some great videos!
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Old October 6th, 2003, 07:44 AM   #8
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If you really don't have any time to test the camera, I suggest you use the full auto (green) mode of the camera as much as possible.

It will not give you the best results, but will prevent you from getting very bad results.

If you have any time to spare, spend some hours familiarizing yourself with the camera. For the indoor dark club shooting, I would think manual focus would be very helpful to practice, and also manual setting of audio levels.

You can even practice a lot with no tape in the camera...

Good luck
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Old October 6th, 2003, 11:26 AM   #9
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how do you access the onboard attenuator
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