GL2 Review- Comparison with XL1s, PD150 - Page 9 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 September 25th, 2002, 07:02 PM   #121
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Don't worry; we very seldom delete threads. Intentionally, that is... the occasional prairie fire may reach the server shack and wipe out some posts, as it did a few months ago. But Fire Chief Jeff assures me this won't be a problem in the future.

I see no reason to lock up the thread. 115 responses is nowhere near our record anyway. On occasion we may split the thread, as Ken did recently, when the conversation branches off into a new topic.

I wouldn't characterize this as a "love fest" either; we welcome all legitimate criticism as long as it's factually and professionally written without any emotional or passionate overdrive. Hope this helps,
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Old September 26th, 2002, 11:30 AM   #122
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Bass

The gl2 works well in low light situations, but like most other cameras, it does need some light to produce a quality image, so my recommendation would be this. If you intend to shoot with available room light at night, if at all possible change out lower wattage bulbs with higher ones...better to get more light than you need, and then stop down, or use ND to get it to look dark and moody. I've shot a lot in typical rooms lit with 60 watt bulbs, and the camera functions fine, with no gain added. As you increase the gain on the gl2, the grain will become noticeable...you can minimize this by turning down the sharpness, and I've found using this technique, the gl2 has no more grain than the gl1 or xl1s in low light situations, while at the same time it is noticeably sharper, and cleaner color-wise.

I think the zoom on the gl2 is a tad slow. And it certainly isn't capable of the type of rack zoom you would find from a lens with manual zoom. I don't ever notice it, as most zooms I do would be of the super-slow-crawl type, and rack zooming is an effect that needs to be used judiciously...but if you need it...this camera won't do it. On the other hand the gl2's focus ring has a nice mechanical focus feel to it, making it a good manual focus camera capable of relatively accurate cine-style focus shifts.


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Old September 26th, 2002, 11:32 AM   #123
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Ok I don't know what happened there...I'm responding to a Bass's post and then his post disappeared....I'll go looking.

Barry
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Old September 26th, 2002, 11:38 AM   #124
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Low light ---

Thanks for your reply Barry (don't know why my post disspareared by the way).

I agree with you slightly "overlighting" and then manually "underexposing would be the way to go to get somber but clean images.

Thanks for your reply about the zoom.

Is there some kind of shoulder pas for the gl-2? That would be good.

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Old September 26th, 2002, 12:53 PM   #125
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Your post got moved to startt a new thread..."same old low light question"...

For a shoulder mount. I use an image 2000, and it works fine...Chris likes one from varizoom I think that is a little beefier (and a bit more expensive)...and habbycam makes one almost identical to the image2000, for a few bucks less.

They'll all do the job.

Barry
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Old September 27th, 2002, 06:32 AM   #126
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I'm going to move these replies over to the other thread.

I moved it because the questions relating to low light were a new topic, and not a direct response to Barry's review. As a new thread, the subject is better organized and easier to locate. Will probably pull these last few posts out and move them over later today.
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Old October 13th, 2002, 11:28 AM   #127
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Gl2 lens at 20X

Hi Barry,
thanks for the review.
I own a VX2000 which I use with a Sony 1.7X extender for shooting wild animals and birds, but I am not really happy with the combination. You said that the Gl2 lens is extremely sharp. Do you think I would do better with the Gl2 or would I have to go to a camera with an interchangeabe lens in order to really get really good long shots?
Does someone have shots or the Gl2 at 20X ?
Mike
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Old October 13th, 2002, 12:07 PM   #128
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If you really want to step up in sharpness, you'll need to go with the XL1s and the EF adapter and Canon EOS EF lenses. You get an effective bump of 7.2X in magnification and the sharpness factor goes way up. Sharpest 1/3 inch chip image in my opinion.

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Old November 13th, 2002, 03:33 PM   #129
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agreed

I'll second that recommendation of an XL1S with EF adapter- you'll be amazed at the increase in image sharpness as well as magnification....be prepared to carry a tripod as there's no image stabilization (even IS lenses can't be handheld)...also be prepared to manually focus as AF will not work with an EF lens...aperature will still be controlled via camera and works perfectly....

~~~a few drawbacks I know- but it's the way to go if you want to televideo something from afar- nothing else comes close!

Be prepared to be stunned- from flies and hawks to lions and zebras- the EF adapter will meet your expectations.
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Old August 29th, 2003, 10:36 AM   #130
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great reviews! a few more questions

Thanks Barry for doing a terrific review of the 3 cameras. I need to get a back up for my XL-1 (it's getting on in years) and share your affinity for the frame mode. I am considering a DVX100 but not to happy with taht camera's image stabilizer (I do a lot of hand held shooting and am also getting on in years). I'm now leaning toward the GL-2...is the stabilzer capabilities as good as my XL-1? How do you think the GL-2 would be for outdoor/sunset event coverage on the fly? I also have considered getting a new XL1s but really don't want to duplicate my camera inventory (betacam, DV500, and XL1). Could the GL2 match up as 2nd camera for my XL1?
Thanks again for your input, Best, Craig Hollenback
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Old August 29th, 2003, 11:29 AM   #131
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Craig,

I just got a DVX100 myself (my Gl2 went down for repairs, right before I was to start a big project)...and I have to admit that I'm really sweet on this camera... I haven't noticed any problem with the stabilizer...but I don't do much without a tripod, stabilizer, or at minimum a shoulder mount.

What I have noticed is a definitely improved "motion" when in progressive scan versus frame mode on the gl2...substantially smoother..which may counter any gains from a better optical stabilization scheme. Additionally, this is the first DV camera that I have seen that looks good in a wide shot...it doesn't go all fuzzy like every other DV cam I've seen when you pull back to include a lot of stuff in the frame.

As far as the xl1, gl2 matchup...I'm not sure, I've only used the xl1s... In that case, the gl2 has better detail and contrast, and maybe a little more noise...but with a few minor tweaks to both images in camera...you can get them looking almost identical. The xl1 probably wouldn't match as well as you have a lot less control over the image.

However, I'm sure the xl1 would be no match the DVX100 at this point...the panasonic has about the smoothest highlight range that I've seen, whereas the Xl1 is known for being pretty harsh on the highlight end.

Barry
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Old August 29th, 2003, 12:04 PM   #132
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Thanks again Barry

Great info!...
In a nut shell, my situation is this...I've found myselfs doing very high end casual weddings at an exclusive Island Resort. Generally the entire event is over in 1.5hrs. Lots of run and gun shooting along side a journalistic style photograper. Little time for set-ups...combo of settings...shaded garden, sunset beach ceremony location, then wrap-up into early evening dinner.
I've been using my XL-1 with an me66 mic and a sony wireless. Camera mounted dimable Frezzi light and .6 Century wide adapter. All handheld...slow zooms, pans close-ups etc. Handheld for 15 minute ceremony.
I continue to do corporate projects(for about the past 15 years) and use the DV500 and Beta for that, the XL-1 for run and gun.
I'm getting a bit paranoid about the the old XL-1 flaking out and have been lugging the 500 out to the island as a back-up.
So, I need to get another camera....and would like it to be light enough to hand hold easily...perhaps with the help of a shoulder support if needed for addional stability etc.
Initial thoughts were for the DVX 100...light to carry...good audio inputs, built in wide angle (the Century is a pain to put on and take off the bayonet XL-1).
Based on your positive review of the DVX100...it sounds like it might just be the way to go...plus it makes for good marketing conversation to corporate clients about trendy 24p etc.
I thought that rather than 24p(the sample I shot at a rental house seemed a bit jittery) I'd use 30 p...closer to the XL-1 fame mode. Have you tried that setting?
Thanks again....and any additonal thougts would surely be welcomed...I want to make this purchase as non emotional as possible!
I really appreciate you unbiased feedback.
Best, Craig Hollenback
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Old August 29th, 2003, 12:33 PM   #133
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I agree on the 30p...the 24p looks to jerky to me...but the 30p is beautiful..one caveat though...when you go into progressive mode...you lose gain control (which makes sense) and autofocus(which doesn't). On the run and gun thing...the DVX is incredibly well balanced, it feels very light in your hand...and you don't need to add a wide angle which means you don't throw off the camera balance like you do with the gl2( and the xl1 is already front heavy).

One other warning: get to know the gamma settings, and experiment with the footage in your NLE...the gamma adjustments have the net effect of limiting the amount you can adjust the image later in post...so if you use the high or low settings...make sure you get it looking like you want in camera (I'm paying for this now on the "big project).

Remember, the gl2 is still a great camera, and currently its almost $2000 less than a dvx. Is the dvx worth the difference?...I don't know...but I will say that I think its the best camera in the prosumer class at this point.

One question....How can you not get emotional about a new camera? I'd really like to know.

Barry
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Old August 29th, 2003, 02:24 PM   #134
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just too analytical!

Hi Barry....well truth is...I am pretty worked up about this camera purchase!...At least not since my first video toaster...I had the 6th one manufactured...and was a beta tester for them. I used to do all the Amiga animations and artwork that ran in their ads.
The DVX100 really turned my head, but I've never really been a big Panasonic fan...not sure why though. The things that I've read though seem to prove it's reliability.
The DVX100 has lots of exciting possibilities down the road for me also....that I don't think the GL2 has. I'm looking at $3126 vs:$2121 plus $250 off rebate for the GL2...both purchased through a friend in the biz The thousand difference while not small is not as critical as having the right camera for the job I've found. One nice corporate shoot would make it up quickly. The Island wedding thing crept it's way into my routine and so far it's been a pretty good gig. The clients are very high-end and consequently, there is no room for equipment failure...hence the additional safety camera. The plan would be to use the new camera as primary and "retire" the XL-1 to emergency.
One last question...how is the zoom control on the DVX100 vs: the XL1...perhaps I just didn't have enough time to try it, but I couldn't get the DVX100 to creep smoothly from a start to a gradual stop.
Thanks again...I know I'm getting close to a decision! Best, Craig
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Old August 29th, 2003, 02:43 PM   #135
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The dvx zoom is definitely not as smooth or slow as the xl1s...not sure about the xl1. But you can do a decent slow zoom...albeit with a starting and ending "bump".

Personally, I hadn't planned on buying this camera (although I'm glad I did) as I suspect that the next round of the XL series will have the same chipset and similar features as the DVX...this would be an awesome combo of utility and image quality...but this will not likely happen till next summer if at all.

Barry
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