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

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Old October 17th, 2004, 08:38 AM   #16
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Well, my earlier post said I'd be making a decision on buying a second PD170 next year. Last night's wedding made that decision for me. The 170 perfomed remarkably better than what I anticipated. I couldn't believe that I was able to tape the entire reception at 0 dB with no or minimal camera lighting. It gave me a new sense of freedom and relief from using 20W+ of light and 12dB of gain needed with the GL2.

I'm not disagreeing with the positive reviews on this post about the GL2's virtues. It's a camera than can be used artistically and commercially but for low-light events, the 170 is in another class. From my perspective, it's well worth the extra money.
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Old October 17th, 2004, 10:51 AM   #17
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No one seems to mention the focal length range of the Canon - which is unique! No other comparable camera offers such a long focal length (ca. 800 mm in 25mm terms) as the Canon.

As a wildlife photographer, I value this above low light performance!
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Old October 17th, 2004, 12:44 PM   #18
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Alan, i also film wildlife and used a XL1 and won a competition in camcorder user, part of the prize was a XM2, i used it for a short while and then traded for a pd170 and to be honest even though the zoom on the pd is only 12x against the 20x of the canon i didn't notice much differance

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Old October 17th, 2004, 02:52 PM   #19
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It is not the ratio of the zoom which matters, but the actual values of the focal length, related to the size of the CCD. These are the factors which govern the image size.

With film cameras, it was standard to quote actual focal lengths, eg 50mm, 75-300mm. with digital cameras, both still and video, the practice seems to be to quote the ratio of the longest to the shortest focal lengths, ignoring the actual impact on image size. Still worse is the practice of including digital zoom ratios!
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Old August 7th, 2006, 11:55 AM   #20
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After using it for 18 months off and on, indoor and out, usually without a tripod I think it's time to say this is a very useful camcorder and it's user friendly. One tip to offer ... if your target is in the foreground (as it usually is) you'll get better colours and detail on it if the background is darker (=not as well lit) than the target ... this seems to apply at all distances and while it would seem to be a blinding glimpse of the obvious (rather than an insight or even a tip) it is worth the bother to remember it and to develop a habit of working with it ...

... must collect some views on XLH1 now, elsewhere
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Old August 8th, 2006, 01:54 AM   #21
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Alan, the loss of the actual focal length markings used to bother me as well, but back in the days when the info was delivered we were pretty clued up as to the gate sizes, be they Super-8, 35 mm or 2 1/4 square.

Nowadays camcorders come with hugely varying chip sizes, ranging from 1"/6 up to 3"/4. Digital still cameras, be they compacts or DSLRs are just as bad - having hugely varying physical chip dimensions. A camera with a 10 mm wide angle can take in a far greater field of view than its neighbour with a 6 mm focal length.

So the manufacturers sometimes quote 'equivalent' focal lengths, engraving the 35 mm around their little lenses. But this is fast losing its relevance as many photographers won't ever have used a full frame 35 mm camera, and won't aspire to the Canon DSLRs that still support this gate size.

So we're back to "12x zoom" I'm afraid, often with the maximum apertures conveniently forgotten. People ar now referring to their lens as a 49 mm lens because that's what it says on the front. The fact that this describes the filter thread is of little consequence.

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Old August 8th, 2006, 11:41 AM   #22
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One "low light" situation where the GL2 beats the VX2100

Since this thread has been revived anyway, and since I never weighed in, I'll add my comment that during many three-camera shoots of stage productions over the past several years, the GL2 has proven clearly superior to the VX2100, IMHO, for this application.

Some readers may be considering a cam mainly for plays and concerts and such, and mistakenly thinking that the theater is a low light application. For the most part, it is not. And in that environment the GL2's better manual exposure control (separate aperture and gain), faster response to changing light in auto modes, far better spotlight mode (the VX still often saturates in medium shots of spotlit faces), frame mode, 20X zoom, and better auto control easily trumph the VX's low light capability. The VX's sensitivity is often a liability when the crew attempts to darken the stage for scene changes. Delivering these advantages for $800 less, the GL2 leaves room for some crucial audio purchases.

For other low light or indoor situations, the VX rules. I'll also agree that outside of moody creative work the crsipness and somewhat greater color accuracy of the Sony wins.
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