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


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Old October 8th, 2004, 11:26 PM   #1
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Canon GL2 happy owners?

I am about to buy a new 3ccd camera in a week or so. I have always liked Canon and had several GL1's. I see alot of complaints on this board about the GL2 but then again, its more common to discuss problems and those that are happy, are out using their cams. I would like to hear from content owners about your GL2's. How is the picture quality? Also, alot of people have told me I am crazy for wanting a canon over a Sony vx and have been told how much better the Sony is. I'd like to hear some opinions on that matter. Any input is appreciated.
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Old October 9th, 2004, 02:12 AM   #2
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A Story for Sam . . . .

Hiyah Sam! . . . just for you . . .

Backgound
Ok . . when I started this "similar" quest in 2002, I decided that my start-up budget would allow for a 3ccd for something between 1k and 2k GBp - PERIOD! . . At the time there was really only a Panasonic and the Canon XM1 here in the UK. Holdiong bothe cameras the XM1 was better for me - big clumsy hands. However, having struck up a good customer relationship with the salesman at this London store, he said to me hold off and you will be looking at an XM2 - soon. The audio options sounded spectacular and the prices for accessories would be within range - don't forget accessories!

Waiting
Eventually the XM2 appeared. I did a series of weddings as No.2/3 cameraman; my own out and about shooting; five fairly prestigious projects with it; DID have pixel and zoom issues; sent camera to Canon Garage; got cammie back and carried on; got further commissions; zoom got worse; 3 weeks ago decided to buy XM2 No.2; have been shooting with No.2 and all is well.

Backup with 2 cameras
Ok, having 2 XM2s means I can now relax - having a backup - have an option to send camera off to the Canon garage - do 2 camera shoots - set up one of the cammies with a mix of accessories without having to keep swapping accessories to and from each other - "spread" the load from just the one camera - TAKE a SHOT OF MYSELF WHILE SHOOTING! HAHAHAHHA . ..

Quality & Regrets
Now that I have a JVC production monitor I can really see the immense quality of this camera - and IMHO it is that! Am I pissed with the zooming on the older cammie - yes, you Betcha!. As an amateur electro mechanical engineer, to have this type of "issue" in the 21st Century is, quite frankly, unforgivable - yes I do feel strongly about it. If you are going to do low light then you may want to consider - I do mean consider - a Sony or larger chip. And this is only if alternative lights aren't an option. But then again, I've shot weddings with a disciple of Sony, and he used a 20 watt on camera light. Did this - the zoom and low light - stop me from buying another XM2 - NO! Go figure!


. .and finally . . .
At the end of the day it is going to be a very personal choice/decision. Nobody here can make this for you - I know you know this . . but really take my experience as a possible reason why to purchase. For me there may/will be a time when I'll step up to something else - the XL2/Sony 170/Sony 250 or the Sony Disc based systems .. yeah right! But in the meantime, I'm making videos/movies and the like. Making money; getting my name about; editing everyday; planning and viewing my work; having my work accepted by people I respect . . .and ALL from this unassuming silver-backed fish - I call the XM2!

Best regards,

Grazie
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Old October 9th, 2004, 04:53 AM   #3
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FWIW, a local cable TV highschool sports network group covers night football games using thee GL2s as a live camera feed to their production van.
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Old October 9th, 2004, 09:08 AM   #4
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I donīt know where you live, but around here the VX costs about 1000 euros ($1200+) more than the XM2 (GL2) price.
And IMO for what the VX delivers itīs not worth the extra cash. Itīs a great cam, but not worth an extra 1000 than Canonīs.
You could buy a lot of accesories with that money, and the Canon will still give excellent video quality.

The XM2 (with all itīs issues) is just unbeatable at a price-quality relation.
Iīve used mine in some multicams event (mainly live concerts), where the other cams have been DVX-100, the Pd-150 and Pdx-10... and Iīve allways been able to give footage that matchs or beats in quality of those others.
Actually the guy with the Panasonic is not very good at his job, so the edited videos usually have much more shots of my XM2 than his.

I mean If I was going to put up some extra cash for the VX Iīd just throw in a bit more and go for the PD-150 /170, which IMO does justify the extra money.

Even with the zoom problem I had, If I had to go through the process of buying a 3ccd cam with a very limited budget, Iīd go with Canon again.
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Old October 9th, 2004, 01:45 PM   #5
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Some good info already on this post. I own 2 GL2s and have used them professionally for two years. Overall, they have been solid perfomers, no breakdowns (knock on wood) and produce great images with one exception. You guessed it, low-light and that is the sole reason I bought a Sony PD170.

You have to ask yourself how you will be using your camera. There is a very ligitimate question as to whether the Sony VX 2100 or PD170 is worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than the GL2. There are a number of features on the GL2 that I consider better than the Sonys and the opposite is also true.

But, for me it comes down to low-light perfomance. My industry and my standards cannot continue with the GL2's fading technology for professional applications. If I want an affordable 3 CCD camera for family or hobby, it's a GL2. If I want an affordable pro camera, it's a 170.

I was hopeful Canon would have released a truly competitive and professional GLx by now, but I couldn't wait forever.

Good luck with your decision.
Bob
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Old October 9th, 2004, 02:15 PM   #6
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Bob - I really hear you!

Bob, I have to agree with you. The issue with me is how much IS may stash of 2 XM2s holding me back - professionally - and what type of commissions can I readily and easily take on? THAT is the question I'm now asking myself.

I see you have backed into this particular wall already. How have you been reconciling your 2 comments :

1/- "I own 2 GL2s and have used them professionally for two years . ." . . .

. . and . . .

2/- "My industry and my standards cannot continue with the GL2's fading technology for professional applications. "

Maybe my route would be the XL3, when time comes . . in the meantime I make movies for sale/commission with these puppies . . . I'm learning the craft and adding more bits and pieces to my arsenal . . just bought a 750 line JVC monitor . .amazing! Makes editing more of a pleasure . . after that it is going to be a matte box with Grads and Polars . . . I have some shots I've gotta get outta my system before I vanish . .yeah?

Great thread . . great people . . love this craft and the creativity it spawns . .

Graham Bernard
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Old October 9th, 2004, 02:40 PM   #7
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Hi Graham,

I guess when I bought the PD170, it ended my trying to reconcile continuing with the GL2s. My last few weddings were low-light and some facilities here go dark very early. During the last reception, they turned the lights down before the intros and the facility wouldn't compromise. I hated having to turn up the Frezzi and close in on subjects all night.

I'll get used to the PD170 this winter and make a decision on buying a second in a few months. That's when one of my trusty GL2s will have to go on sale.

Bob
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Old October 9th, 2004, 02:48 PM   #8
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Bob - what a clear and valuable response . .thank you!
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Old October 10th, 2004, 12:33 PM   #9
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I got my GL2 about this time of last year and I was upgrading from a 250$ one chip JVC. Obviously it's been worlds better than that, but in my experience, I have seen VERY few more professional productions that I don't believe I could reproduce with my GL2 and a simple lighting kit. if you really learn how to use this cam and how to make it work, it should last you a long time and be very prolific for you.
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Old October 10th, 2004, 03:09 PM   #10
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I just ordered mine last Thursday and it should be hear sometime this week (depending if it is being shipped from Canons Toronto or Calgary warehouse). I sure hope I will be a happy user.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 12:54 AM   #11
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As no one is listening . . . A Story just for you Alex

It may be an "upper" prosumer-type camera but it does deliver very excellent footage. I've just been seeing my XM2 work on my new JVC +750 line monitor . . .. you will NOT be disappointed - in fact I believe you will be highly delighted. Then you will start boring your nearest and dearest with how good it is . . . . then that will wear off . . and then you will go to Hollywood and shoot Major movie footage . . . they'll get bored with you saying how good it is and you wont get any more work . . and you will spend the rest of your life roaming the streets of a major city begging for jobs with your GL2 . . nobody will believe you until a well meaning millionaire takes pity on you . . and you spend the rest of your life shooting with your 20th GL2, happy content and an Oscar winner .. . having proved your point . . . THE END


. .. .

you will have fun . .. and you will make cgreat footage.

Grazie
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Old October 13th, 2004, 11:24 AM   #12
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Sam, I bought my gl2 off of ebay about a year ago. I studied the camera, and read a ton of excellent posts right here at dvinfo on the gl2. A couple months ago I shot two short "films" back to back with my gl2. I was extremely impressed with the camera's performance. I didn't shoot any night scenes, so I can not comment about that aspect of low light conditions, but I did shoot an interior scene that was pretty dark. I was happy with my results.....

I shot both shorts with the intention of turning the footage from color to black & white during post production. I dropped my gl2 shot footage into my mac and edited it with final cut express. I turned down the saturation and the results were fantastic black & white, IMHO.

I would highly recommend the gl2 if you want to shoot any shorts......

:)
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Old October 13th, 2004, 05:48 PM   #13
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love my gl-2

After much research and price shopping, i bought a new GL-2 online for about $1850 earlier this year.

I debated about going for the Panasonic DVX100a or the XL-1s, but just couldn't bring myself to drop that kind of money, especially considering how much I would need to spend on a accessories.

My setup is the GL-2 with a Century Precision Optics 16:9 converter, a Formatt matte box, a set of Schneider 4x4 filters for ND, Mist, Low Contrast, and Pol. A Beachteck 2 input, phantom powered direct box for sound. A Manfrotto tripod, a Glidecam 2000, shotgun mics, and about 5 500w-1000w lights with softboxes and tons o'scrims and grip.

I definitely go for the "film-like" look with the camera set in frame mode, 30 fps, smallest f-stop possible for shallow DOF and the 16:9 aspect through the anamorphic converter. I crank down the color saturation and bring the sharpness down. I hardly ever zoom.

The camera is everything I could ask from a sub $2000 camera. It is rock-solid reliable, gives me a very consistently good picture. All in all, couldn't ask for more.

Okay, so maybe I would like 24p, true 16:9, cine-like gamma, interchangable lenses, and film-like DOF... but's that's starting to sound like my next camera: an XL-2 with a mini35...

Gear slut? Who me?
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Old October 13th, 2004, 08:38 PM   #14
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Well I got my camera yesterday and today was my first day out in the field with it. I was shooting some architecture shots with it and man dose it do a good job. I have mainly used Sony gear in the past (DSR 200, DSR 250, DXC327, PD-170/100) so the order of operation of carrying out tasks is a bit frustrating although nothing time will not solve.
I was using the camera mainly on a jib arm and had it set to frame movie mode. Combined with the jibs sweeping motion the camera gives a real nice cinematic look.

So fare GL2 is getting an A in my books although will be upgrading to A+ once I get used to the new menu and location of buttons.
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Old October 17th, 2004, 03:46 AM   #15
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I agree with Bob, and the more weddings I do, the more I appreciate the VX2000's unmatched low light performance. The XM1 was certainly a very poweful oponent of Sony's TRV900, but is no match for the PD/VX range, and Canon's pricing structure reflects this. Whether this extra stop and a half is worth the extra dollars only you can tell, but when I realise that I can get away without using my on board light to film the guests I'm so pleased I abandined the XM2.

Don't get me wrong, the Canon's price is amazing for the facilities on offer. But for low light (and isn't every wedding low light come the romantic dancing) you'll soon forget the extra dollars spent on the Sony. You can always tell youself that if you were shooting with a Panasonic or Canon right now, you'd be upping the gain to +9db where the Sony will be on zero.

tom.
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