GL2 Review- Comparison with XL1s, PD150 - Page 3 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 August 9th, 2002, 10:43 AM   #31
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GL2 picture

I did some comparison last night of footage taken recently in the High Sierra with my GL2 and compared it to footage from my previous GL1. The GL2 footage is far and away the most realistic color wise of any cam I have owned. It may be " cooler ", but to my eye it is more true to life over a wide range of colors and contrasts. I couldn't be happier!
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Old August 9th, 2002, 11:06 AM   #32
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Blake (and Heidi)

Yes, if you scroll up a bit you'll see that the e. lock does exactly what you'd hope it would...applying gain as a last resort, and using the exposure mode as a guide as to what to adjust-- thus in aperture priority it adjusts the shutter speed... etc. etc.

As for the easy mode...I think just about every user in this forum will probably back me up in saying "stay out of the green box", as it really limits your abilities with the camera. If you want a camera that you can just pick up and be "warm. Make up custom preset with increased red and a little extra color gain. Set your camera to Auto mode. When you pick it up, just make sure the little "cp" is showing in the viewfinder (if not hit the cust preset button), and you are off to (early-1980's) Spielberg heaven.

Cheers

Barry
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Old August 9th, 2002, 12:02 PM   #33
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Thanks, Barry.

Yeah, I think this was what I was intuitively perceving with the e changes, and the Auto Mode with cp seems like it would be perfect for Heidi's needs.

Thanks again,

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Blake
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Old August 13th, 2002, 08:36 AM   #34
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Update: new data w/manual White Balance

Based on Don's recommedation, I conducted a new comparison with the xl1s and the gl2 utilizing a custom white balance. The earlier test was made with a daylight preset, which I believe skewed all of the results for the xl1s, due to its improperly tuned preset. While little changed relative to the Gl2, the xl1s clearly benefitted from the manual white balance. Stills from the test are available at

http://homepage.mac.com/barrygoyette/PhotoAlbum8.html

Using a manual white balance, the Gl2 still produced the most neutral results. The Xl1s chart shows a yellowish white, with slightly red shadow areas. The gl2 chart again shows its greater sharpness, and lower overall contrast. One area of interest is the Gl2's ability to differentiate between shades of bright red, something I had noticed while out in my rose garden last week. You'll notice on the chart how the two saturated red patches run together on the xl1s chart, whereas the gl2 recognizes that one is more magenta than the other. The xl1s did better at reproducing lighter yellow tones.

The skintone test, which utilized a drunk I pulled out of the alley behind my studio, (who just happens to wear the same sunglasses I do), showed the same yellowish bias with the xl1s. While this may look more appealing, it is decidedly less accurate than the gl2 in this case, as my...I mean.. the model's skin is as red as an irishman's on saturday. I've got someone with a more neutral skin color coming by this week and I will post a new still or two.

One more comment from the initial review needs amending. The xl1s color balance was so skewed in the initial tests, that my observations about the GL2's saturation are a little off. While the gl2 is still slightly less saturated than the Xl1s in most situations, it is correctable with 1 or 2 notches of color gain.


The remaining stills on the page, are taken from the clip I put up last week, and I think they all demonstrate one of the primary improvements of the gl2, that being its higher resolution. One of the things I keep noticing as I'm shooting is that the GL2 does a great job at rendering fine detail such as hair, and fine lines, and it does so with less aliasing than other camera's I've used.

These stills were shot in frame mode, auto white balance, and used a custom preset of
-1 sharpness
+1 color gain
+1 setup

This has become my standard set-up for the camera. In situations where skin texture might be a problem, or in lower light situations, I would typically lower the sharpness one more notch.

Thats all for now.

Barry
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Old August 13th, 2002, 05:00 PM   #35
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The more I see pictures from it, the more I am impressed with the little Gl2. The pictures of that street bum were really interesting for a couple of reasons :). As you said the xl1s didn't get a lot of the red in the skin, and also the definition difference between the two cameras was very noticeable and I thought the xl1s was rather poor. I guess if you like that look it's fine but I'm not sure I do to be honest. I assume you can adjust the gl2 softer and the xl1s sharper but I would think starting with high detail would be better cause losing resolution is easy, but trying to gain it would be harder if you don't have it in the first place. Or am I missing something? i.e Is the sharpness increase setting on the xl1s actually optical and not software driven?

I was also quite impressed that you got some really nice depth of field with the Gl2 which is something I'm interested in. Might need to try and source a Pal version from overseas rather than waiting until the end of the year here..


Thanks again Barry.
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Old August 14th, 2002, 09:48 PM   #36
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GL2 vs. VX2000 (color)

Hi,

OK, I'm back and if anyone can help, I'd sure appreciate it!

I'm in the final throes of deciding between a GL2 and VX2000.

I would prefer the GL2 BUT, I just can't get used to the color of the video.

I keep finding that no matter what I do/alter, in natural light (inside and outside), the GL2 is quite cool (some call it neutral, I call it blue/grey).

I prefer a slightly warmer look which I keep getting from the VX2000. (Although, I'm also finding the VX2000 to be a bit yellow and green.)

Color aside, I really like the GL2 picture. And in fact, really like the GL2 in general.

I've looked at a lot of color tests (my own, others online) and no one seems to have my same complaint.

So, does anyone out there know what I'm talking about? Do you find the VX2000 to be warmer too? Do you think the GL2 is too cool?

Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but I'd love some other opinions.

Thanks so much!

-Heidi

BTW, I (finally) spoke with Canon today re: details on the AE and Exposure Lock, will post the results of my conversation when I have a minute...
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Old August 14th, 2002, 10:12 PM   #37
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Heidi,

Are you just looking for someone to confirm your observation and help you decide against the GL-2? Your -own- eyes are the final judge.

"I keep finding that no matter what I do/alter, in natural light (inside and outside), the GL2 is quite cool (some call it neutral, I call it blue/grey). "

Sounds like you've already eliminated the GL-2. Done. Stop agonizing over it and move on to other selections.

You might take a look at the XL1s which leans toward a warmer image. Take a look at some of Barry's comparative frames and footage between the XL1s and GL-2.
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Old August 15th, 2002, 03:20 AM   #38
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Hi Heidi. You state that you prefer the GL2 apart from the colour, and then also state that other people haven't had that problem and other test images you've seen do not exhibit this problem. You've either got a faulty gl2, which I doubt or you just need more time to figure it out. If you like it, have faith that you will get some very good images with it. If you just can't bring yourself to do this, then go with the VX2000. Have you checked out barry's images and video that he's posted on this site. It should give you a good idea as to what you can get with the Gl2. Personally I think it's fine and with all the adjustments that you can make you should be able to get the look you want...Hey post process it later if you want.

Cheers
Aaron
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Old August 15th, 2002, 06:29 AM   #39
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Color, like almost everything in this digital era, can be changed. The color temperature of light changes through the day. If the GL2 is perfect in everyway, except the neutral color, then change it. If you white balance the camera with a slightly blue card it will warm the colors. There is a company that makes blue, white balance cards (for the life of me I can't remember who). Is this a perfect system? No, but what is perfect? If the Sony VX2000 is perfect, then buy it. If the Sony isn't, then decided which has the imperfections that you can deal with best. For me, white balance is something I never leave on auto, except in a few rare cases (fireworks, theatrical, clubs etc.).

Jeff
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Old August 15th, 2002, 08:38 AM   #40
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Thank you everyone for your replies.

Incidentally, I should add, I did try all sort of white balancing EXCEPT adding the blue...

Jeff, you said

" For me, white balance is something I never leave on auto, except in a few rare cases (fireworks, theatrical, clubs etc.)."

My problem is, I do lots of shooting where I don't have much time in between when I pick up the camera, turn it on, and shoot.

Do you have the luxury of setting up your shots, or do you find you can white balance really quickly for any kind of quick shooting?

Also, does anyone out there know of the company Jeff is referring to?

Thanks,
H
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Old August 15th, 2002, 08:54 AM   #41
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Here's one company that makes them. (google is an amazing thing)

http://www.warmcards.com/wb101.html

As I posted earlier in the thread, you can make a set of these easily with an inkjet printer, additionally if you do a search of white balancing, you will find discussion of another simple technique using a colored gel. All of these are easy to do in the field, or you can pre-white balance under similar lighting, and hold the setting by turning the standby switch to lock. You can even achieve this (although with less control) by just pointing your camera at a lighter area of a blue sky, and setting a custom white balance.

Barry
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Old August 15th, 2002, 10:19 AM   #42
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Cooler?

I can't say that I find the GL2's picture to be " cool " color wise. I actually think it looks the most realistic of any camera I've owned so far ( less red bleed than the GL1 which was known for its " warm look " ). But I've never done a direct comparison with a VX2000 either. Funny thing about spending so much on a camera - those that spent thier money on a VX2000 say it has the sharpest picture, those that had bought the GL1 say the picture looked " warmer ". Then I read an article by a wedding video outfit that had both cameras. Guess what? Other than in the lowest light, they said the pictures were interchangable! Yes, you probably are spliting hairs!
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Old August 15th, 2002, 08:30 PM   #43
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Heidi,

I do some corporate work that allows me to set up each shot. I also do wildlife work which gives me zero set up a great deal of the time. You never know when the bird will fly off its perch. I can white balance a camera in 10 seconds or less. I'm a creature of habit. I set up the camera the same way every time, so I don't miss a step. When I got my first XL1 I practiced setting up the camera. It helped me learn the controls and my speed improved dramatically as my confidence with the camera grew.

Jeff
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Old August 15th, 2002, 09:31 PM   #44
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Howdy from Texas,

Heidi said: "My problem is, I do lots of shooting where I don't have much time in between when I pick up the camera, turn it on, and shoot."

This is another reason why the GL2 is such a great camera... you can set up the image any way you want, and dial the color, etc. to your satisfaction. You do this one time. Then, whenever you pick up the camera, just press one button to bring up that favorite custom image configuration. It's retained in camera memory, for you to recall whenever you need it, with a single button-press at any time. Hope this helps,
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Old August 15th, 2002, 09:39 PM   #45
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5 mins before reading Chis' post I was doing just that; setting the GL-2's "Custom Preset" button. It's a very nice feature indeed, borrowed from the XL1s.
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