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


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Old August 17th, 2002, 12:12 PM   #1
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Light Comparison

I am trying to determine which would be more useful, a VL3 Light or the VL10Li. Does the number indicate the wattage? The VL3 is self powered by the camera I understand so does that mean that you need an additional 900 series battery to power the VL10Li? One for the camera, one for the light? Does a battery come with it?

How about useing them outside...are either of them useful for fill light outdoors?

Any info anyone can offer on these questions would be appreciated.

Jim
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Old August 18th, 2002, 02:56 AM   #2
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I would say definitely the VL3 is the light of choice, over the VL10i.

The VL3 is very small and extremely lightweight. You won't even feel it on the camera. It draws power directly from the camera itself, through the Advanced Accessory Shoe.

As you supposed, the number does indeed indicate the wattage. The VL3 is three watts... a perfect lower power that won't blind your talent but still makes for a very nice fill light. You might say the VL3 is the perfect eye-light. Cost is about $50.

The VL10i is a ten watt light, and requires its own BP9xx series battery, which is not included. It's much larger than the VL3, and due to the additional battery pack, it's also much heavier. The VL10i with its battery mounted on a GL2 definitely makes the GL2 somewhat nose-heavy and will become uncomfortable to hand-hold over time. A battery is not supplied; it must be purchased separately.

In my opinion, if you need an on-board light of significant wattage over the VL3, do yourself a favor and skip the VL10i and move toward a name-brand professional, higher power, lighter weight video light solution such as a Frezzi, Cool-Lux or NRG on-board light. Especially if you need the power for using it as a fill-light when outdoors.

Both the VL3 and VL10i are consumer-quality accessories, not intended for professional use. That said, as for myself, I would choose the least expensive, smaller, lighter and lower power of these two, that being the VL3. In a professional application, I would consider the $50 VL3 as disposable. At that price, you can afford to keep a spare (or two) handy. Hope this helps,
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Old August 20th, 2002, 05:59 PM   #3
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VL-3

Along with what Chris posted. The VL-3 is in the "cute" but very usable class. It weighs just ounces, has a auto mode that lets it turn on and off with lighting changes and a on full-time mode.

It also works well for head shot fill to fool mixed lighting conditions into balancing resonably well when ther are few other options.

One minor challenge is that it is so small it can easily hide in my camera bag :-).

Regards, John.
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Old August 20th, 2002, 11:02 PM   #4
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I have both the VL3 and the 10Li and agree that the VL3 is a handy, cute little light. Being of low-power it's good as a fill for close/head shots in dim or shadow conditions. I generally hate on-camera lighting because it's so harsh and flattening. But this little guy will be handy in some situations and is certainly affordable. It can also serve as a good "eye-light" in some scenes with more elaborate lighting.

But don't completely discount the value of the 10Li. While the VL3 is probably the better on-cam light for the GL-2, the 10Li can be very handy when you just need a little light from an off-cam angle (since it can be used separately from the cam). Since it uses any Canon "BP 9xx" series battery you don't have to worry about schlepping separate power for it. Although not as compact as the VL3, it's still pretty compact and light.

I have one question regarding the VL3: How the heck do you change the lamp when it burns-out? There are no instructions provided (it refers to the back of the camera manual...which offers nothing whatsoever).
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Old August 20th, 2002, 11:34 PM   #5
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Ken, I'm not sure that the VL3 bulb can be changed. I'll ask Canon USA about it when we work their booth at WEVA next week. My feeling is that at only $50 for the VL3, it's probably easier to simply replace the VL3 entirely. It's pretty much a disposable item.
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