Taking the GL2 Plunge... 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 20th, 2002, 02:29 PM   #1
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Taking the GL2 Plunge...

OK, after reading most of this forum, twice and researching as many other sites as possible I went and did it! I ordered the GL2 from Zotz. Brian at Zotz was extremely helpful and very responsive, literally responging to e-mail questions within minutes often and well into the evening! I am an amateur that has not shot footage since 8mm film days, yes 8mm film some 20+ years ago. Been dying to get back in and figured what the hell go for the gusto and get a good 3 CCD camaera instead of playing with toys. I was considering the VX-2000, but in the end the amount of manual overrides the GL2 has to offer, in addition to the 20X zoom and Progressive (ala FRAME) mode convinced me that no camera is perfect, but this one has more of what I want for the right price. Besides, while the Sony may be a good camera, it is old and is bound to be replaced and I would be kicking myself if I bought a VX-2000 and then within a few months it is discontinued. At least with the Canon I know I am getting their current offering and it will be around a while. I decided to get the hard case as well, I want to be sure my baby is safe! Also from the few posts here I opted for the Libec M20 tripod. Zotz swears by the Panasonic Pro DV tapes, so I took their word on that. They also swear by the Canon battery and said if it fails even outside warranty they will replace it, can't argue with that. Also go an extra BP-945 and charger.
I am buying this camera blind, based soley on all the research and postings. I did the same for my Sony DSC-S85 and been very pleased. As a novice I could never tell ina few hours of playing how good one really is over the other, the info on this forume and others as well as the numerous reviews and comparisons is in some respect as valuable or more so than going and seeing one for a few hours.
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Old August 20th, 2002, 04:05 PM   #2
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Pleased

You are going to be really pleased with the GL2. I sure am with mine ( and compared to 8mm you'll be blown away...)!! And just for the record, I ordered mine " blind " after reading some reviews too. I have not regreted it one minute! Got to go get ready to shoot some footage with it in the High Sierra this weekend as a matter of fact!!
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Old August 20th, 2002, 09:57 PM   #3
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Darn, now I have to wait

Looks like minor strike against Zotz, I asked for everything sent overnight, they sent it Fedex Saver. Now I have to wait.... The suspense... Let's hope they didn't charge me for overnight! But at least now I'll get it just in time to try it all weekend!
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Old August 20th, 2002, 11:35 PM   #4
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I need to call Brian anyway, so I'll ask him about this when we talk.
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Old August 21st, 2002, 06:28 AM   #5
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Confusion

Chris,

Don't bother, he sent an e-mail, they screwed up and only sent me one tracking number, they are sending the stuff overnight and the bulk stuff 3-day, so they just never sent me the second tracking number. Cool, now I get it today!
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Old August 21st, 2002, 10:23 AM   #6
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Good deal, sounds like they're conciously trying to save you from excessive shipping costs. That's another reason why I really like Zotz.
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Old August 21st, 2002, 07:21 PM   #7
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First rough impressions...

Well got the camera today. Manual is VERY intimidating, over 135 pages! Well typical geek male, skimmed it and starting shooting. My very impressions are I AM NOT disspointed! I am very pleased. Once I get the hang of this camera I am sure my opinions will get better. Those complaining about white balance and color temperatire, not sure what the deal is, took it outside this evening, slightly overcast and sun was setting, but the whites are pure, the blues and greens are fine. I am a little dissapointed in the indoor light performance, granted I was in a room with a single 100 watt lamp, but in AUTO it must have cranked the gain up to a point where the picture was grainy and noise was visible. Do any other GL2 owners notice that? I have seen some posts about turning gain up and sharpness down and lowering the shutter speed to get good indoor shots, I will have to set that up as a preset then and try it. This camera has more controls than a damn space shuttle! Overall, very happy so far, but have only shot a few minutes. The FRAME mode is noce, but definitely not for any real action or movement, the stuttering/jerkyness is very apparent. Wish they would have put real progressive mode, maybe the GL3...
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Old August 21st, 2002, 08:45 PM   #8
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Keith

See my review postings regarding low light usage of the gl2. And if you scroll down a bit, you'll find my first impressions, which exactly mirror yours. My recommendation is to avoid the auto modes, and especially the av mode when shooting lower light situations. Setting the camera on manual will help you avoid the gain, and also gives you access to the lower shutter speeds (tv mode does this as well). Additionally, adjusting the sharpness downwards a couple of notches will virtually eliminate the noise (which tends to be much finer than the xl1s and gl1).

Actually, the low light imagery on the gl2, can be stunning if you learn how to manage the camera, as it is decidedly sharper than either the xl1s or gl1 in low light, and once the grain is softened a little, significantly cleaner both in image structure and color.

As you play with the camera in frame mode, you'll notice that there are certain camera movements at certain speeds that cause the strobing, an usually it is most noticeable on high contrast edges..using slower pans is typically a good idea anyway, but is essential with the frame mode (it also does fine with ultra-fast "blurred pan" movements, as the image is blurred enough due to the fast movement that no strobing is apparent.

Enjoy your camera.

Barry
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Old August 21st, 2002, 09:04 PM   #9
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Your reviews and footage..

Your reviews and footage at oyour site virtually locked my decision. I was leaning toward the GL2, but kept reading about the VX2000 having better low light and slightly better image. While Sony builds good stuff, it is a 3 year old camaera, and does not offer the manual control. Your simple footage and detailed review convinced me to buy the Canon without even trying it. So my greateast appreciatation and thanks for your time to do the reviews and post the footage. My philosiphy was to but more trust in the wealth of reviews and comments as many of you reveiwers know a hell of a lot more than I do on this stuff and I would never see have of what you see in a several hour or day evaluation. I do want to try and get the low light and FRAME shooting down as the outdoor stuff looked great already with no tweaking and the zoom is very good. I took some footage of my freshly sided house, light blue and white trim with many lines and that simple shoot was a good way to show off the color temperatire and white balance and any blooming of bleed. The camera came through great. Thanks again!
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Old August 30th, 2002, 11:41 AM   #10
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Ya know, I've been using my GL2 daily for a month now and the thing is, if you keep experimenting and learning and always shooting in manual, this thing gets amazinger and amazinger every day!

As you gradually move towards your own "look and feel" with this thing it becomes absolutely joyful what you end up seeing on your TV screen!

I've started to discover a "film look" with it that is even beyond what I had fantasized I might find when I first bought the thing.

Some clues to this amazing look:

FRAME MODE always.

USE GAIN! 6 or 12. This gives you that elusive grain that film has and that video theoretically doesn't! It looks great.

Make your CP with slight reduction in sharpness, darkening of setup, increased color a notch to the red

WIDE OPEN APERTURE for shalow dof!

1/15 or 1/8 shutter speed! These can look totally natural if you don't move your camera, even with plenty of subjectmatter movement, especially if zoomed out to wide.

Dark environment with well-lit subjects.

Move your camera as if it weight 65 lbs!

Now just sit back and laugh at how cool it looks!

This works so well that I'm not looking at heavy neutral density gels/filters so I can shoot this way in daylight.

I hope this gives some of you some new things to try! It's a camera that really pays back the will to experiment.

Best,

Blake
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Old August 30th, 2002, 12:18 PM   #11
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Two more things I didn't explicitly say:

MANUAL FOCUS always.

try using the Neutral Density filter even if there's not "too much" light : this makes you more likely to crank down the frames, open the ap and turn on the gain, for that filmy feeling...
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