Considering upgrade to Canon GL2 at

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

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Old July 27th, 2004, 12:50 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3
Considering upgrade to Canon GL2

Hello All,

This is my first post here, so excuse me if I'm doing something wrong or asking what has been asked before or is common knowledge.

I don't have much video recording experience, but have years of SLR photo experience with top notch film and digital cameras and glass.

Right now I am considering upgrading the Canon Optura 300 camcoder to Canon GL2 and I several concerns:

1. Are there any reported problems with dead pixels on one of the three CCDs on GL2?

2. Is there a risk of dust getting onto the CCD? (Very common problem with digital SLR when changing lenses. Some zoom lenses suck in air and dust, so dust can get onto the sensor even if one doesn't change lenses. Cleaning one CCD can be painful and nerve wrecking let alone 3 :)).

3. Do I need an UV filter in front of my GL2 lens to protect it, like I do on my SLRs?

4. How much more video postprocessing do I need to do, if any, compared to the editing work done with an entry level consumer camcoder. This question comes from the experience with point and shoot digital cameras as opposed to digital SLR which give you raw image with more postprocessing latitude, but it takes knowledge and software to bring out the details and achieve a certain look to the image. Consumer digicams don't usually require this postprocessing step, but the results are more uniform and images have less latitude anyway, since camera already made all the decisions. This of course is bad.

5. What software is recommended (e.g. Photoshop equivalent in the video world) for editing the raw video and creating DVDs (assuming I have all the hardware).

6. If you could do it all over again would you? Would you buy GL2 again and are you generally happy with it? What was your major gripe with the camera, what is the most common problem with it etc?

I know this is a lot of questions to address so thank you all so very much in advance.

Mario Grgic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2004, 01:20 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
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I reckon you'll be pleased with the GL2 Mario. Here's my thoughts.

1) No consistant problems reported. This is not a concern for the chips themselves - but more so for the viewfinders and side screens.

2) No risk. The lens and chip blocks assemblies are cemented together. The lens is non-interchangeable as you know.

3) UV filters are good mechanical insurance protection. Get a super multicoated version as it'll be your lens' front element. Take it off when not needed.

4) There's all sorts of filtration you can add at the editing stage, but the DV footage transfer is what you'll live with. All processing on the NLE will degrade the image purity slightly (though may of caourse make it look better).

5) If you like Adobe, look at their Premiere Pro program. You can use the program to compress to MPEG2 for DVD burning.

6) I'd have a PD170, but then it's lots more money, has less zoom range but a lot of other goodies. I need the low light capability that the GL2 doesn't provide, though the GL2 is a lot better than the TRV950, say.

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Old July 28th, 2004, 04:48 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Bjelovar, Croatia
Posts: 153

6) Definitly YES, I was surprised and still enjoying great picture from this cam. I am using it for documentary production and sometime for ENG as a backup camera and I am completely satisfied. I was considered about reliability of cam, but no problems at all (knock,knock) in this 8 months and about 80 tapes filmed. As Tom said, GL2 nedds little bit more light than PD170, but considering the price, GL2 (XM2, in my case) was great choice.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 05:58 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3
Thanks guys.

Thank you both for taking the time to replay, I appreciate your comments. Well, I think I have enough encouragement to go out and get a GL2 today. I'm sure I'll enjoy it a lot, even though my mind still works in still photo mode, but I'll adjust...
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Old July 30th, 2004, 02:30 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 302
still loving mine

I've shot about 120 hours of tape over the last year and a half and created over 235 web clips out of it (happend to just count this up today). I've been very happy with the camera. It fit our budget and needs and it's a real trooper.

So did you get it? And what did you think?
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Old July 30th, 2004, 07:21 PM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3
Yes I got it.


First of all thanks for replying. I got the GL2 on Wednesday and didn't really have that much time to experiment with it too much. I just explored basic settings. My first impressions are as follows:

1. Build quality leaves something to be desired. It has that somewhat cheap plastic feel to it. Perhaps it's just me, after handling Nikon rugged tanks a la F100 film SLR, that feels solid like a rock in your hand with it's magnesium alloy/titanium body and rubber finish for extra grip.

2. Picture quality is excellent compared to what I have had before. I'd put it on par with broadcast TV (regular low badwidth TV, not HDTV). However, low light performance is lacking a bit. It seems the camera bumps up it's ISO setting (gain) and in the process amplifies the noise too. It is still usable though. I haven't tried any noise reduction software yet. I'd be satisifed if the video has enough postprocessing latitude to allow low pass NR. I don't expect to be shooting in really low light too much, so that is not a concern for me yet.

3. As far as ergonomics, I would prefer it if there was a dedicated wheel selector for choosing shooting mode (shutter priority, aperture priority and manual) and another to adjust the setting of shutter or apperture or both in manual. That would speed up things a bit. However, one has to stop taking the video anyway since changing the setting while shooting will cause temporary under or overexposure. So this again is not big of a problem.
Camera does feel well balanced when hand held, however for some reason my hand gets tired sooner than when holding D100 + 70-200 VR lens which weighs about 3 times as much. Go figure, it must be because I'm holding the GL2 slightly higher than I would the SLR.

4. Sound quality is excellent, and would be even better with unidirectional mic. Auto setting does a good job in minimizing the background noise.

5. My sample has a few dead pixels in the LCD screen, but I won't judge the build quality based on that. It happens, nothing is perfect. I will simply exchange the camera for another tomorrow.

So, those are my observations after using the camera for about half an hour or so in total.

I'm happy with the purchase and with the image quality, which is excellent esp. when downsized for computer viewing. Overall, features plus price point is hard to beat (unless of course Canon comes with a GL3 soon, lol).
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