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


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Old July 27th, 2002, 08:47 AM   #1
dstinson
 
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Just got my Gl2

Well, I just got my GL2. Man, that thing is amazing. I recorded the kids and wife for a bit in Frame mode - I'm not sure why - but it looks amazing. They were blown away when I played back the footage. Kids LOVED it.

I love the handle, it makes it easier to get cool angles. I'm 6'5" and I'm used to watching all my video peer down on the subject. Now I can just hold it by the handle and get all sorts of cool angles.

I'm going to take Barry's advice and do some stuff that he suggested - sounds like fun.

A few questions:
1) Would you suggest using frame mode for normal hobbiest video? I like the look of frame because it's unique compared with other people in the neighborhood.

2) Any suggestions on a good mounted camera light? I notice the stills look very grainy to me under low light.

3) I bought the big ass battery with it - the 945. Can anyone recommend any other "must haves"?

4) anyone recommend a book or maybe an online tutorial on "filming techniques'? I just want to learn more about techniques to make my filming better. I'm a little clumsy with the camera and need to know some basic techniques on how to film people.

Thanks!
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Old July 27th, 2002, 09:15 AM   #2
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Congratulations on having the coolest toy in th neighborhood!

Here are a couple of thoughts about your questions

1.Frame mode is a great choice, exactly for the reason you stated. It's one of the key benefits of the canon 3 chip cameras, and I, for one, use it all the time. Be careful with quick camera movements though...the frame mode can look a bit choppy if you pan too fast (the choppiness seems to soften on this camera if you set the shutter to 1/30).

2. Noise (grain) in low light situations...this is this camera's achilles heel...but it can be defeated by putting the camera in manual mode and keeping the gain set at 0 or 6. If you still need more room you can up the gain further, and do a custom preset with the sharpness knocked down a few points...this will give you a look similar to the xl1s.

I'm not a big fan of on camera lights...unless you are trying for that run and gun "COPS" look with your kids. You'l be surprised what you can do with the camera controls. Other users might want to step in on this one.

Extra's...the 945 battery will last a long time but it also takes a long time to charge. I recommend a second large battery. there are cheaper 3rd party batteries...one, the lenmar, is touted to be as good or better than the canon (I think it is).

The form factor of the gl2 makes it hard to get steady movement handheld...I'd recommend a shoulder mount like the image2000 or the habbycam. A decent tripod with fluid head is a great idea as well.

Finally, my favorite accessory is the wd-58 wide angle adaptor from canon (the new one comes with a hood). It's a great piece of glass, for a reasonable price. I have it on the camera 90% of the time.

Enjoy.

Barry
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Old July 27th, 2002, 10:12 AM   #3
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Frame Mode ?s

What exactly is the camera doing when in frame mode? Are there any side effects I should be aware of (aka - is editing any different when going to my computer, etc...)

Thanks!
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Old July 27th, 2002, 12:41 PM   #4
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Get the little Canon VL-3 light for $50. It's three watts, just enough to highlight without blowing out. Works great, compact and draws power direct.
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Old July 27th, 2002, 12:56 PM   #5
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I've always likened the frame mode to deinterlacing on-the-fly, although when I spoke to Chris Hurd last week at macworld, he gave me a different explanation that I didn't fully understand (it sounded a lot like progressive scan--which the frame mode isn't). I've used some smart deinterlacers and the results have been remarkably similar to what the frame mode offers.

Essentially it is giving you 30 still frames per second versus the 60 interlaced fields in normal NTSC video. There is typically a slight loss of resolution using frame mode, but so far with the gl2's higher res chips, I haven't noticed any difference in sharpness between the two modes.

As far as editing, I don't think there are any specific issues with using frame mode, there are no problems I know of on the mac. The only thing I've seen is that if you want to go make your footage slow-motion..in Final Cut Pro it is a lot smoother (although lower resolution) if you shoot in normal movie mode...(I think this is more of a final cut pro issue than anything, as others have said they get great results with other programs.

The only thing you hear a lot about is: if you ever want to transfer to film you should not use frame mode. I think this has more to do with which film transfer house is used. (and I think most of us will never have this issue to deal with).

There is quite a bit of discussion on these boards about the frame mode...use the search tool, and you'll probably find more than you care to read.

good luck.

Barry
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Old July 28th, 2002, 08:40 AM   #6
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Frame mode.

First, NTSC video is always comprised of interlaced fields, two fields to a frame.

What Frame Mode does is it captures both fields for the frame at the same instant so there is no inter-frame motion artifact (caused by normal mode fields being captured 1/60 apart in time). However, there will be more noticeable inter-frame motion blurr of fast moving objects, kind of like you see with film.

Canon does this using a sort of vertical pixel shift DSP technique, which accounts for the slight reduction invertical resolution. The video itseld that is played back from the DV tape is like any other video, except for the look.
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Old July 28th, 2002, 09:55 AM   #7
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Re: Just got my Gl2

<<<-- Originally posted by dstinson : Well, I just got my GL2. 4) anyone recommend a book or maybe an online tutorial on "filming techniques'? I just want to learn more about techniques to make my filming better. I'm a little clumsy with the camera and need to know some basic techniques on how to film people.

Thanks! -->>>

There are several books that I refer to for film techniques:

Film Directing Shot by Shot - by Steven D. Katz
This book is about camera placement and filiming technique.
Amazon Link -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0941188108/ref=ase_imagestudio/102-6343684-4036954

The Filmmaker's Handbook - by Steven Ascher and Edward Pincus
As the back of the book states, it is "considered the bible of film production.
Amazon Link -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0452279577/ref=ase_imagestudio/102-6343684-4036954

Producing Great Sound for Digital Video - by Jay Rose
I think that the title says it all.
Amazon Link -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0879305975/ref=ase_imagestudio/102-6343684-4036954

I refer to each of these books during the week. They have made a HUGE difference in my approach to filming.
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Old July 30th, 2002, 05:48 AM   #8
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Battery: Just got my Gl2

Here's a link to that suggested battery:
http://207.178.212.167/bc/product.asp?Model=LIC924&settings=L0834U89323K5

Does the Canon charger charge this one up?

Thanks,
--Steve
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Old July 31st, 2002, 10:52 AM   #9
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Actually, this is the one I was referring to

http://www.lenmar.com/details_b.asp?model=LIC941

this one is much more powerful (the mAh rating is what is important).

It sells at b&h for $96.95, and it works fine with the canon charger. It's an impressive battery.

Barry
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Old August 2nd, 2002, 12:52 PM   #10
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I have this battery too. It's awesome. Buy them from our sponsor Professional Tape & Communication Supply, at www.pro-tape.com
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Old September 2nd, 2002, 09:40 PM   #11
digibaby
 
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I have a question on the Lenmar LIC 941. On some web sites, they say it is 5550mAh, while on other sites, they state that it is 4500 mAh (or even 4350mAh). Are there two different models under the same name? Is one older version than the other.

I surfed to Lenmar.com but they only mention one LIC 941 as the 5550mAh.

Anyone know? Thanks again in advance.
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Old September 3rd, 2002, 04:06 AM   #12
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I use a couple of the SUNPAK PicturesPlus™ Universal Camcorder Battery Dual Chargers - they cost around $40 each. In addition to the Canon BP series batteris, it works with: JVC Lithium Ion (7.2v), RCA - Hitachi - Panasonic, Lithium Ion (7.2v), Sony Lithium Ion (7.2v) - Multi-pin connectors permit charging of either one or two identical or different Li-Ion batteries - Dual LED display for charge - discharge status - Eliminates battery memory - AC - DC operation - Includes DC car cord and AC adapter.

About $40. Can't beat it for a DUAL battery charger.

Geez this does sound like an advertisement - heck, just trying to offer a nice alternative to the more costly stuff out there. Save your money and spend it on extra batteries I say!

- don
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Old September 3rd, 2002, 07:43 AM   #13
digibaby
 
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Hi Don,
Thanks (once again) for your tip! I will check this out and the batteries you mentioned. Cheers!
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Old September 3rd, 2002, 11:57 PM   #14
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Canon 3 watt light

Along with what Chris mentioned ----- "Get the little Canon VL-3 light for $50. It's three watts, just enough to highlight without blowing out. Works great, compact and draws power direct."



I've been using the little 3 watt light for indoor head/eye shots and it does a great job of neutralizing "light source salads". I did some quick table shots in a local Italian restaurant under the worst mixed lighting conditions possible, halogen, incandescent, fluorescent, even sodium vapor shining thru the windows. When looking at the tape I was very surpised at how great the colors looked using the little "peanut" light. Even when using the Canon wide angle lens the little light had enough power to light up the 6 people having dinner. When you first see the light it looks a bit like a joke (it's about the size of my thumb) but it is very usefull.

Regards, John V.
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Old September 4th, 2002, 12:48 AM   #15
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Sunpak charger ? --- Don

Don, is this the charger you were talking about? Sounds like it, but there is no mention of it being compatible with Canon batteries in this ad. If it is the same part # as yours and works with your Canon batteries it must be the correct beast. It looks like Sunpak has a series of "PicturePlus" charging systems for different applications.


Thanks, John V.


SUNPAK ACC-M1013 PicturesPlus™ Universal Camcorder Battery Dual Charger
ACC-M1013Standard Price: $51.23Your Price: $32.49
Quantity:

Works with: JVC Lithium Ion (7.2v), RCA/Hitachi/Panasonic, Lithium Ion (7.2v), Sony Lithium Ion (7.2v)
Multi-pin connectors permit charging of either one or two identical or different Li-Ion batteries
Dual LED display for charge/discharge
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