The GL2's viewfinder---why so small? at DVinfo.net

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


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Old July 2nd, 2002, 04:08 AM   #1
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The GL2's viewfinder---why so small?

The new GL2's viewfinder is only .44". The smaller, less expensive, Optura 100MC's viewfinder is .55". Doesn't make sense. Size DOES MATTER. I realize the GL2's finder has good resolution, but again: why so small??
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Old July 18th, 2002, 12:22 AM   #2
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Frank, I'm with the Canon USA tech reps at MacWorld and will try to get you an answer to this.
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Old July 18th, 2002, 12:28 AM   #3
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Thanks, Chris. 0.44" is darn small for a cam like this. Could it be that this is a misprint on Canon's site?
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Old July 18th, 2002, 12:40 AM   #4
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I'll check on that. The US product manager is here and he should know for sure. They went out of their way to increase the flip-out LCD from 140K pixels to 200K, doesn't make sense to make the EVF LCD smaller than before.
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Old July 18th, 2002, 12:56 AM   #5
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Not that I want the last word..., but maybe while you're talking to Canon, you can find out about the Optura 100MC's replacement? (Yes, the 100MC is discontinued.)
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Old July 18th, 2002, 01:08 AM   #6
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You can always have the last word, but I doubt very much that they're willing to say anything at all about new gear until it's released. That's just the way they are. I'll ask, though. But don't expect much of a response from 'em! ;-)
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Old July 19th, 2002, 11:04 PM   #7
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Tell them what you want!

I'll bet I can answer why the vf was downsized: To save a few bucks in the manufacturing. They'll say it was to keep the overall size of the camera down, but that 1/10" extra was in the smaller GL1, and since whatever they put in there wouldn't raise it's height over the handle, or it's width past the body's...

It's a Very unfortunate trend that the makers of smaller cameras are rendering VF's practically unuseable, under the premise that no one cares about any viewing that's not on an LCD panel. Maybe the average consumer looking at the least expensive models actually don't care, but most discerning videographers do (or should). The GL2, judging from it's feature set and pricetag, seems aimed at an audience that obviously should be interested in this most basic camera component. But if they can save a few bucks and still sell all of them, they won't be changing this trend soon.

It's up to us to write the companies who make the cameras you care about, and tell them what you think. I do it. I'm a big believer in this. Some sincere emails -direct, non-rambling, and about one or two specific needs (not a laundry-list of wishes) that are easy to accomplish- might really effect some design change in the future. They want to sell cameras, not piss people off, although sometimes you wonder...
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Old July 20th, 2002, 08:35 PM   #8
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The real answer is in how it looks. A smaller LED paanel with the right lens between it and the eye could still look OK, and should have a higher yield in chip manufacturing there by lowering cost
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Old July 21st, 2002, 03:52 AM   #9
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I am still curious about Canon's response, Chris.
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Old July 21st, 2002, 01:45 PM   #10
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Sorry for the delay, Frank, I was in the air pretty much all day yesterday, coming home from MacWorld.

The tech rep I talked to said that even though it's 1/10th of an inch smaller, it's still a better, brighter display with a sharper image. Here's what's up:

As Don points out there is of course a glass diopter in front of the GL1/GL2 viewfinder LCD which magnifies and allows focusing of the display. When you look into the viewfinders of a GL1 and GL2 side by side, the LCD images appear to be the same size, because of the magnifying diopters in each camera. Both displays use 180K pixels but the GL2 LCD EVF appears to be sharper than the GL1 because it's the same number of pixels packed into a smaller, denser area. The diopter in front of the LCD makes it appear just as large as the GL1's EVF.

When the same number of pixels are packed onto a .55 inch panel and a .44 inch panel, the smaller one is going to have a higher resolution relative to the larger one. The different dipoters in front of both panels make them appear equal in size.

I guess when they changed LCD's, they also changed up the viewfinder diopter. To my eye this smaller LCD is giving a better, crisper display than the old one, and due to the diopter, it's magnified to be the same size that the old one was magnified to. It's also a little bit of 1998 vs. 2002 as well.

Hope this helps,
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Old July 21st, 2002, 03:03 PM   #11
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Thanks Chris. Makes sense. I think I have to make some time to go look at one this week. So far, the specs and pics indicate a very nice cam. (I sure liked the ergonomics of the GL1 over the Sony TRV900, 950 and VX2000---hopefully the GL2 will be equally as sweet, or even better, in this regard!)
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Old July 24th, 2002, 05:23 PM   #12
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just to confirm chris's observations.... the gl2's eyepiece viewfinder is definitely an improvement over the gl1 (and I think the xl1s too). It is very easy to find focus with it.

the popout LCD is another story...while it definitely has more resolution, the image doesn't seem very sharp and the color isn't as accurate as the gl1.

I'm not sure my initial impressions are accurate here, I'll let you know more as I work with it.

Barry
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Old July 26th, 2002, 08:34 PM   #13
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I'm still waiting for the local dealers here in Vancouver to get these GL2s in!! (Wasted trip today.)
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