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


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Old August 17th, 2009, 10:27 PM   #1
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Gl2 vs hd

I am leaning towards buying another GL2 because I loved the quality, but am considering getting a smaller high def camcorder. Maybe one of the Canon Vixias. I just can't believe that the picture quality will be as good or better than the GL2 even though they are HD. I heard that the hard drive Hds are not that great because they are compressed so much. I appreciate any feedback.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:41 PM   #2
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There's absolutely no comparison -- any of the VIXIA series HD camcorders will produce an image that is far, far superior to the GL2. Hard drive recording makes no difference; it doesn't matter if it's hard drive, internal flash memory or removable flash card. You can choose from a variety of compression settings and put the image quality where you want it (there's no reason not to use the highest, which is usually 24mbps or 17mbps).

And remember, compression does not matter as nearly much as encoding efficiency does, and AVCHD is twice as efficient as HDV. So 15mbps in AVCHD will be better than 25mbps in HDV. And the GL2 ain't even HDV. Hope this helps,
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Old August 18th, 2009, 05:41 AM   #3
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Chris is right. By virtually all measures, the image quality from a HD camcorder will be better than form the GL2. One possible issue to consider with a VIXIA series (or similar) is the controls and handling compared to the GL2 you have grown to know and love.

At this point, at this time, buying a SD camcorder, even a GL2 or XL2, should be considered carefully, and undertaken only if there is a very specific, important reason not to buy HD..
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Old August 24th, 2009, 10:50 PM   #4
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Now I'm leaning towards buying the Vixia. lol. I just can't see why it would be so much less than a GL-2 if the quality is so good. I heard that it does not work as well indoors, but would it be as good or better than the GL-2 indoors because of the higher resolution? Also, I would use a telephoto lens because the zoom is so weak. I heard that lowers the quality, but would it still be better than the GL-2 with the lens outdoors?

Thanks
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Old August 25th, 2009, 02:20 AM   #5
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Personaly i far prefer my HV30 to the SR12 i used to have ,it is as sharp as the sony with better overall picture look, canon tapeless cams are far more popular than the HVs and good performers but at present i would not swop to one, But i know cameras like the canon EOS5D and panaonic lumix GH1 take brilliant video but they are limited in some aspects for videoing.

Last edited by Martyn Hull; August 25th, 2009 at 05:16 AM.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 07:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
... At this point, at this time, buying a SD camcorder, even a GL2 or XL2, should be considered carefully, and undertaken only if there is a very specific, important reason not to buy HD..
I have such a reason. I'm not a pro, I typically shoot with three cams, I only have a P4 computer and Vegas 7, so it will cost a small fortune to upgrade everything, I deliver only via SD DVDs, my audience is emotionally engaged in the content and one is complaining about the video quality.

... but I still want an HD cam.
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Old November 30th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #7
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Vixia HV30 is horrible in low light

Tony,
I'm sure you made your decision by now, and If you purchased the Canon Vixia, you probably now understand why it is less than half the price of the GL2. I shoot with an XL2 in low light and later purchased a VX30. There is no comparison, the VX30 is simply awful in low light, mainly because its grain is unacceptable. And no amount of HD can make it look any better in that situation.

Don't get me wrong, its a nice camera for getting started in HD, but always provide amble light or you will be let down with the results.

PS... for the sake of other viewers reading this, what did you end up purchasing? And how did it work for you?
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Old November 30th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #8
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Dan, by VX30 do you mean VIXIA HV30? If so, you have to learn the "light trick" to lock down the gain. I also use HV30 in wedding receptions (dim room). Googled "HV30 light trick" or "hv30 cell phone trick" and you will see. You also need to have a Mini-SD card in order to use that trick.

Basically you have to induce a light source in front of the camera (a small keychain light, cell phone white screen) to fool the camera there is enough light around so the automatic gain won't kick in. Set the camera in Tv mode and use the photo button to check the aperture value. Lock it at F1.8 and then use the joystick to adjust the exposure a little bit. You won't automatically get bright output (HV series is still a consumer camera), but you will get a noise free video that you can work with in post.,
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Old November 30th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #9
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GL-2 v. downconverted HD

I am trying to decide on a video camera to purchase and this HD stuff is driving me crazy. I don't have an extremely fast computer and the TVs I would show DVDs on are SD. So would the picture quality be better from a GL-2 or the downconverted HD of an HV-40 or similar camera?
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Old November 30th, 2009, 04:32 PM   #10
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I have done weddings before with GL2 and HV30. Then I compared them side by side. HV30 looks better than GL2 when I down convert HV30 footage to SD. You can take a look here

Standard Definition vs High Definition Acquisition | L.A. Color Blog

and

HV30 vs GL2 - Canon HV20, HV30 & HV40 User Forum
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Old November 30th, 2009, 09:51 PM   #11
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Taky,

thanks for the correction. yes, I meant the HV30. But now I am curious. Which do you like better for low light.. your HV30 or GL2?
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 10:57 AM   #12
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FIWW: if you reads the Canon specs, translated to a common shutter speed (1/60) the Canon minimum light spec for the sGL2 is 3 lux, and for the HV30 it is 6 lux. For both Canon recommends 100 lux or more for the best image. This assumes the same standard is used for "minimum." On this basis you might assume the GL2 would be somewhat (as much as one stop) better in poor light - if you do not need a HD image.

However, other factors come into play such as the artistic intend of the video, customer tolerance for image noise, your ability to do acceptable noise reduction in post, as well as technical issues such as noise induced artifacts of the compression system used just to name a few.

As you are doing, research what other think, look a sample video, if yo can try each camcorder under similar conditions. Utlimately you need to make the decision based on your needs.

Occasionally you may see a store that has an island of camcorders that have power. You may be able to take a blank tape, run some footage in each, shooting scenes under the in store lighting, maybe even dark corners od th ceiling, and have a first hand tape to compare.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 11:19 AM   #13
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It could mean nothing by just looking at the spec. It's how you shoot and what to shoot. This is my favorite video from someone else shooting with just a bulb light source with an HV20.. It was damn good. He did the light trick to lock down gain.

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Old December 3rd, 2009, 04:04 PM   #14
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Just curious about this "light trick" I keep hearing about... Is it possible to just shut the gain off on the HV cameras?!

I guess I'm a bit confused as to the benefit of the trick.


Cool vid btw
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 08:07 PM   #15
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That's what exactly the light trick does. It will lock down the gain so the automatic gain won't kick in. You won't get a bright picture but you will get a clean noise free video to work with. You can also adjust the exposure a little bit to add brightness without getting all grainy as in the AGC does. It makes the HV30 a very capable camera.
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