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


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Old August 26th, 2002, 12:30 PM   #1
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Newbie GL2 Questions

Hey guys!

I just bought a GL2 on Saturday, with the hopes of shooting documentaries and possibly short films. (Something I've always wanted to try, I finally decided to go for it).


However, being new to camcorders, film, and shooting in general, I have a few questions I was wondering if you could help me with.

1) What is a UV filter used for (I've seen it mentioned here multiple times), and where can I buy one?

2) What kind of carrying bag do you guys use? I'd like one that can hold all of the gl2s accessories (battery recharger, a/c adapter, remote, etc), 3-4 batteries, the ma300, maybe a wide angle lens, and a nice mic... Is this too much stuff to put in one bag?

3) I heard someone talking about not using the camera to record a tape into ones NLE.... Does using the camera in VCR mode wear the camera out? Should I buy a dv deck or use another camera to transfer the dv to my computer?

4) Can anyone recommend books that helped them out in the beginning? I've checked amazon so I have a prelim list, but you guys seem to really know your stuff, so I'd appreciate any help you could give

-Eric Richmond
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Old August 26th, 2002, 02:24 PM   #2
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Hi Eric, I've just bought an XM2 (PAL version of the GL2) on Saturday so I'm pretty new to this as well. But what I can say is that you can't go far wrong with a hard case from a photography shop. I had a look on the net for the price of the official hard case for the GL2 and it was 250 which I guess is about $320 so there was no way I was paying that. Instead I bought a hard case from a place called Jessops although I would think most photography place do them. You get foam that you can cut out into the shapes you want so that everything fits snuggly. You also get divides so that you can have your cables in a seprate place. I've manage to fit the camera and all that comes supplied with it i.e. cables, remote, batteries, charger and tapes and I still have loads of room left for the wide angle lens and mic adapter that I want to get. And the best part is that it only cost me 35. You probably can get better cases but for the price and for I need it's perfect.

Peter B
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Old August 26th, 2002, 05:07 PM   #3
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Hello to everyone....

Eric, just like you, I'm new to the DV world. Been shooting with Sony Hi-8 in the past, mostly for hobbies. Just got my GL2 2 weeks ago from Brian at ZOTZ digital. He also pointed me to look at this web site, which I find to be a wonderful place to get more info.

You will want to use a UV filter to protect the lens in your Canon GL2. Protect from dust, scratches, bangs, dings and lens break!! You may also look into getting a polarizer filter lens, which you'll find useful when shooting with water or glass in the background (to help cut reflection and glare). There's also other filters that you may want to have in your gear bag. Get with Brian at ZOTZ (sponsor for this site) and he'll give you a recommendation. You won't regret getting any of his stuff. Great prices and superb service!

The DV deck is useful if you're into heavy recording/transferring. Otherwise, save your money if you're only an occasional user. I got my Sony Hi-8 back in 1996 and it still takes brilliant video. I use it to transfer to VHS tapes. You can ask the other folks here if you want to invest in one.

For the books - do a search on this forum and you should come up with a nice list of recommended reading.

Hope this helps... newbie as well... (still need to get a firewire card, upgrade to NTFS OS (Win2k and beyond...) before I can do any post production work! aaaahhh)
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Old August 27th, 2002, 10:28 PM   #4
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I use my old 35mm camera bag to carry the GL2. Since I don't need film cameras anymore the bag has lots of room! The main compartment is easily reconfigured with the velcro dividers. The side and front pockets allow all the accessories to be carried around easily. The bags sold just for DV cameras are a little small but Lowe Pro has some bigger ones which are perfect for the camera and extras. The hard case is okay for protection but not very comfortable lugging over your shoulder anywhere.

For editing I load my footage into Final Cut Pro. Logging and capturing every shot from your camera can add a lot of extra wear with a lot of shooting. I use the DV start stop detection in FCP and it reduces the wear and tear on the camera considerably.

When capturing load the whole duration of your footage or break it down into manageable chunks. If you capture a large amount and get a dropped frame near the end you have to start over. Breaking it up into manageable chunks reduces how much you might have to recapture. Once everything is loaded in, select the clips in the browser and run DV start/stop detection. The program analyzes each clip and places a marker at each start and stop you make on the tape. You can now work with the footage as individual clips without subjecting your camera to all the starts and stops it might normally take.
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Old August 27th, 2002, 10:43 PM   #5
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Eric,
Our "Read About It" forum is dedicated to recommendations and discussions of books. Check it out.
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Old August 28th, 2002, 07:56 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for all your great advice! I really appreciate it.


I'm going to try and buy a bag this weekend, and I'm not too sure what to do about transferring my video...

will transferring 2-4 hours of footage per month wear out the camera quickly?

I'm actually using Video Vegas as my NLE, and it's great about automatic scene detection, so i usually just capture the clips I want using the built in tool

-Eric
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Old August 28th, 2002, 12:25 PM   #7
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Eric,

I can't see how 2-4 hours a month will beat up the camera too bad. If you do Editing where the editing software will be moving from spot to spot on the tape that may be a different story. AS I increase my use I was going to look at a deck, but at $1000+ it is cheaper to by a disposable $400 DV camera and use it as a deck permanently attached to my computer, and maybe even shoot video in places I may not want to take my GL2.
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Old August 28th, 2002, 01:27 PM   #8
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buying a small more portable cam to use for capturing is a cool idea. I am also pretty nervous taking my XM2 about with me, and it would be nice to have a small crappy 1CCD cam to take clubbing and stuff like that. I'm sure you could get some nice lighting effects and blurs & smears out of the inferior lens elements & optical components etc.

I just have one worry - I'm sure DV edit decks are expensive for a reason - the tape transport is probably very reliable etc.

Would the transport mechanism in a cheap DV cam be more prone to unreliable output/dropping frames than a deck?

if not, what advantages are there to the home user of buying a deck over a cheaper second camera?
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Old August 28th, 2002, 01:40 PM   #9
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This is a well-worn topic here that deserves revisiting.

Inexpensive cam-as-deck:
Pro's:
- portability
- ability to use as lower-profile cam if needed
- low initial cost.
Con's:
- tape transports not designed to withstand repeated shuttle-style wear.
- transports tend to be much slower at cueing than a deck
- over several years you're likely to spend as much on these as you would on a good deck.

True deck:
Pro's:
- high-performance transport & heads for safe, speedy cueing
- some offer various playback filters and options
- much more durable for a deck function than a camera.
Con's:
- higher initial cost
- most are not as portable as a camera
- cannot be used as a camera.

There are other attributes to both sides as well, but that's a concise summary of the situation.
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Old August 28th, 2002, 04:08 PM   #10
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what about using one of those sony dv walkmans to capture? They would surely be more durable than a camera but do they have firewire output?
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Old August 28th, 2002, 04:16 PM   #11
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Yes, Sony's DV Walkmans are true decks designed for portable use. And they do have Firewire, in addition to lcd screens. Very nice, handy units. But now you're talking $950-$1400, with the model going for around $1,100.

I suppose that it all gets down to how serious of a videographer you are (i.e. is this just a hobby or are you earning income from your work) and what's reasonable for your budget.
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