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


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Old December 7th, 2003, 02:46 PM   #1
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GL1 or GL2

Hey guys,
im in the market for a new/used camera to start my film career. I am only 17 so i don't have a lot of money and have been working on websites for the past month and saved up $1500.

i know everyone favors the GL2 but is it really worth the extra $400-$500? What i am planning to film is short films that i write. I mostly am concerned with getting the "film look" and don't really care for any of the other features the camera has except for the optical stabalization, audio(i have lots of dialouge) and the color functions. I plan to be filming outdoors and indoors and also in dark places *cringe*.

So I'm asking the masses if the gl2 is really worth the extra money and what improvements does it have over the GL1 and if it benefits my kind of shooting.

If I get a GL1 for about $1200 then I would have $300 left over to purchase other items for the camera such as a tripod and tripod dolly, Sony ECM-MS907 digital stereo microphone (cause the mic on the GLs are bad right?), a economy jib arm or steadycam, carrying case, softening filter (what is this called again?), wide lenses.

If I get a GL2, then i would have nothing else but a GL2 (unless someone is willing to sell me one for $1300).

so what do you guys think?
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Old December 7th, 2003, 02:59 PM   #2
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Yes, it is worth the extra money if you are at all serious about learning to use a good camera. The GL2's audio control features, alone, make the extra cost worthwhile.

Also keep in mind that the last GL1 rolled off the production line well over a year ago. So unless you find a GL1 that's spent its life stashed in a closet, a GL1 will likely have quite a bit more wear than a GL2.

Check our Classifieds section, as there are/have been several GL2's for sale by members lately.

If you can't quite swing a GL2 right now be patient and save further. I know that patience is not a hallmark of most 17 year olds (it certainly wasn't a strong point of mine at 17). But when it comes to consumer electronics it nearly always works to your strong advantage. 2004 promises to be an interesting year with respect to new models of high-end consumer video cameras.
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Old December 7th, 2003, 05:43 PM   #3
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I would agree that the GL2 is definitely worth the extra money. Still, if you had a chance to get a GL1 super cheap (It would have to be quite a bit less than $1,200), it might be a nice camera to learn on while you save up money for the next generation of camcorders, which as Ken says, are just around the corner. Even if you ponied up the cash for the GL2, this camera is likely to be overshadowed by next year's models. I think the most important thing to do is start shooting now with whatever you can afford. In general, I don't think it's a good idea to put off getting started until you have the "right" equipment. If everybody waited for that, nobody would ever shoot anything. :)
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Old December 7th, 2003, 05:47 PM   #4
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Danny, you'll probably want to go with the GL2. My understanding is that the GL1 had no manual audio controls - everything was auto.

Also, if you want to make movies you WILL need to get yourself a decent mic and if you have no more money then you have no choice but to go Gl1 and use the other $$ for the mic. You might also want to spend a little (Doesn't have to be a lot) on a basic tripod. And then there is the editing software and hardware..

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Old December 7th, 2003, 06:03 PM   #5
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hey aaron,
thx for the reply. this is what im think i should do. im gonna get a GL1 for now and in a few month when i get enough money, im gonna sell my gl1 and get a gl2. i need the cam asap cause my cal arts applications portfolio is due jan 5 :( do you think that is a good idea? what is a good mic for the GL1 that will also be good for the GL2? and for the hardware and software, i already have adobe premiere pro and 6.5 and after effects 6.0. my comp is athalon xp 1800+ w/ 768mb ddr ram so i don't think that is a problem. i also have access to the schools final cut pro :). and what is the softening filter/lense called?
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Old December 7th, 2003, 11:05 PM   #6
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The softening filter that several people use is the Tiffen Soft FX filter (I don't have one yet). It comes in different grades for different softness. If you're strapped for cash and can spare the render times do what you can in post. Also the Gl1 allows you to dial down the sharpness so that can help. Might not mimic a filter precisely but will save you some $$.

As for a mic I don't have a lot of experience with many different ones. I just asked around and most people suggested the Sennheiser Me66 with k6 powering module for serious entry level dialog recording. This unfortunately would empty your wallet I think as they are around $300. Other people have used the Sennheiser MKE300 but I just took a quick look at it's specs and the frequency response is 150 Hz - 17 kHz (+/- 3 dB) which with my limited knowledge looks like it's getting a bit dodgy down the low end for dialog. Then again, acceptable quality is always relative to budget ;)

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Old December 8th, 2003, 12:22 AM   #7
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thx. i just won the auction for the canon GL1 for $1210. i plan on building my own Agus35 (the mini 35mm adapter that connects SLR lense to the dv camera) which should only cost about $15. then im getting a home made steadycam/jib arm, tripod, tripod dolly for $150. do you know anything about building your own jib arms? is it hard? the rest would probably go into the mic. do you think the sony ms907 is good? if not, i might get lucky and get the mke300 for $100
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Old December 8th, 2003, 04:17 AM   #8
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Sound like you're almost ready to go then! No I don't know anything about that mic. Tried to have a quick look at it and noticed that it's stereo which may not be an issue but most mics are mono. Also it's unbalanced which means you have to watch out for noise along the wire if you're doing long runs, unlike with balanced connections. I'm sure you can get balanced to unbalanced converters so you could go from unbalanced mic to balanced, along good cable into your camera you'd probably need a converter back to balanced at the other end I think. I have no idea which converters to use or what the cost is.

I'm interested in the Agus35 too. Sounds interesting, and seems like a cheap way to get something happening. Let us know how you go with it.

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Old December 8th, 2003, 10:00 AM   #9
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i totally forgot about something. lighting! i need a portable light that can run off the gl1's battery or its own battery. i am going to be shooting a scene where to is absolutly no natural light except maybe moonlight so i need one of those things that go on top of your camera. do you recommend a certain one that has BLUE light instead of yellow? and fairly cheap. thx a lot!
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Old December 8th, 2003, 12:53 PM   #10
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Danny can't recommend one, but if you do a search on here I think you'll find suggestions as many people have asked this. I think there is one called a VL-1 or something.

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Old December 8th, 2003, 01:00 PM   #11
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The Canon VL-3 light is a 3 watt on-cam light but it will not operate with the GL1. It requires the GL2's advanced hot shoe to draw power.

The Canon VL-10Li is a 10 watt light that uses BP-compatible batteries (same as the camera) for power. It mounts to the camera's shoe. See the Canon DV site for more info.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 03:01 PM   #12
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The Vl-10 work with any BP-XX batteries like the GL1 camcorder. You can power it with a spare BP-15, BP-30, BP-45. It use a separate battery but one of the same type than the GL1
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Old December 11th, 2003, 03:21 AM   #13
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i just got my gl2 today, all i can say is..WHOA!!

ps. does anyone know where to get bp-45 cheap? not the fake ones on ebay, oem only. i got a bp-30 for $43 shipped. please let me know, thanks.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 08:08 AM   #14
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I have got some BP-41 from Power 2000 and it last longer than the more expansive Canon ones. You can buy it from one of the board's sponsors. http://www.dvinfo.net/sponsors/index.php

By the way, I have bought one of those "fake" batteries from eBay for 30$ a few weeks ago, and I am very satisfied with it!
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Old December 11th, 2003, 10:28 AM   #15
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/\ cause canon said something like don't use 3rd batteries so I was wondering. Is it the same voltage and all that?
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