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


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Old April 24th, 2004, 11:52 AM   #1
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Need Advice on GL 2 Purchase

I'm purchasing a GL 2 for a documentary that I'm working on this summer - The project will of course require many interviews that will mostly be shot interior, but there will be a fair amount of exterior shooting as well - As I look around at different deals, many places offer "packages" that include filters, tripods, etc. - I would like some other folks perspectives on this and their thoughts in terms of what basic accessories other than the camera itself you feel are necessary - Any thoughts on brands and where to get them would be helpful as well - Specifically, I'd like info on a good mic for interviewing, a good tripod, wide angle lense, and filters - Any thoughts and opinions are appreciated - And thanks for this forum, what a great resource -
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Old April 27th, 2004, 05:32 AM   #2
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I purchased my GL2 back in December, so I'm still building my set up. Budget is of a major concern to me. Here's what I have so far: I bought a S-800 shoulder brace made by video innovators. I have been very happy with it. It's taken a lot of the hand held shake out of my pictures.

I have an Azden SGM 1x shotgun mic. It mounts just out of frame on the cameras hot shoe up top. I've been very happy with the sound. It connects to my GL2 through a Beachtek xlr adaptor that fits snuggly under my camcorder.

I'm saving to buy a wd 58h wide angle lens....I think if you do a few searches on the add ons that I mentioned above, you'll be flooded with info.

Hope this helps!
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Old April 27th, 2004, 10:58 AM   #3
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I think the most important camera accessories for the gl2, considering the project you have in front of you

1. Extra Battery...LenMar and Power2000 both make excellent 5 hour batteries that sell for much less the canon battery.

2. WD-58h wide angle adapter...this is a very nice piece of glass with a very nice price. Almost permanently attached to my gl2.

3. Shotgun type microphone. Dennis mentioned the Azden, I use a sennheiser...another option would be a radio controlled lavelier type. Check out the sound forum (look under xl1 watchdog) for lots of user experiences. Don Palomaki is the resident expert on all things sound.


4. Shoulder support / Fluid head tripod. Ok this is really two things. If you plan on much hand held work a shoulder support is a must in my opinion...it will help control the rotational movements that tell everyone you are shooting with a $2000 minicam. It also will help with arm fatigue. I use an image2000, but habbycam.com sells a nearly identical unit for a little less (he tells me he designed the image2000). Varizoom also makes one that Chris really loves. A tripod is a must, but a fluid head is essential if you want to do any tripod shots with camera movement. Unfortunately, good fluid heads cost slightly more than their weight in gold. Bogen/Manfrotto makes a good line of inexpensive fluid heads...with a little practice you can pull off very nice shots with one of them.

Barry
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Old April 27th, 2004, 06:54 PM   #4
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Dennis and Barry - Thanks for the input, you've given me some research to do and your advice is appreciated -
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Old April 28th, 2004, 05:51 AM   #5
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Alan,
I had a negative experience with a camera package. The included "large" bag did not even fit the GL2, the filters were not high quality, and I ended up sending it all back except the extra battery. Unless they offer brand name accesories that have a good reputation, pass on the package and purchase the accesories on your own following the good advice above.

-Robert
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Old April 28th, 2004, 07:06 AM   #6
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Barry offers some great points.

I bought a knock off brand extended battery on ebay for $20 bucks. I was a little skeptical when it arrived and the voltage on the battery did not exactly match the GL2's specifications....but I asked around here and received some great advice that told me it was fine to use it........I would definitely recommend adding that.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 10:58 AM   #7
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A little skepticism is necessary with 3rd party batteries. I have several that I bought that became virtually worthless after a couple of recharges. The two I mentioned are relatively mainstream branded lines, and there are positive user experiences posted here at dvinfo.net regarding them. I wouldn't buy a 3rd party battery that hasn't been recommended by someone who's used it.

also, I agree with robert about the package thing...typically this is just a way that retailers can "upsell" a camera, and the components they offer are rarely worth the extra you pay (much less the bloated "retail value" often quoted). Better to buy what you need, and then add to your kit as you grow (and can afford).

Barry
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