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


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Old October 1st, 2002, 02:04 AM   #1
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Can I use only GL2's for production company?

I want to set up a small video production company to shoot weddings, corporate videos, and local TV commercials.
I just got a GL2 and really like it. I do, however, need to add at least one more camera to get things rolling.
I would appreciate opinions on whether I could use only GL2's for a video production company, or if I should get an XL1S to use along with the GL2 I already own. And, If I do get an XL1S, can I mix shots from it and the GL2.
I can afford to go either route, but wanted to get some thoughts on it before I do anything.
I'm still new at this (obviously), so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
- John Stanley
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Old October 1st, 2002, 04:15 AM   #2
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My wife's cousin has 2 XL1s cams and 2 GL2 cams. He just upgraded from 2 XL1 cams and 2 GL2 cams. He does weddings and stuff like that all the time, along with photos.

With his older setup, he actually used his GL1 cams more than his XL1 cams. After "post" everything looked great (with GL1 footage). The lux would be a bit better with the XL1(s), maybe that's an advantage, I don't know. It depends on the shoot, I guess. So I think going with the GL2 should be just fine. However, I think the resolution is higher with the GL2 compared with the XL1(s) and GL1. Why not just buy the GL2 cams, then?

I shoot the odd wedding and wedding reception; and at least 2 funerals a month. Do you know what I use? Don't laugh, now. I use 2 older JVC 1 CCD cams, the GR-DVL9500U. And you know what? Everyone loves the footage! Okay. I can use something a lot better, like a GL2. But I don't need to. It's not only the cam that's important. It's more important to use a cam to its potential.
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Old October 1st, 2002, 08:16 AM   #3
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If you really are happy with the GL2 I don't understand buying a different second cam. There are advantages to keeping your video system uniform and simple, especially if you are satisfied with the quality of the image. You will run the risk of goofing up an attempt of matching the picture quality sooner or later perhaps, since weddings do not always go as planned. Does the XL1s have an LCD display? Is the image quality improvement, if any, worth it? The XL1 is certainly more expensive and looks more impressive. But I would keep it simple.
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Old October 1st, 2002, 10:01 AM   #4
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The only argument I could offer in favor of the xl1s would be in terms of lens control...specifically zooming...the xl1s can do things that the gl2 can't... fast manual zoom, and a much more accurate power zoom. In some ways the xl1s is a better camera when handheld, although notoriously uncomfortable..adding a shoulder mount to the gl2 makes it a great handheld cam as well.

Overall I think the gl2 is a superior camera....a future version of the xl series will probably reverse this relationship....but that isn't here yet, and no one knows when it will happen.

Barry
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Old October 2nd, 2002, 02:09 AM   #5
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one more thing...

Thanks for everyone's help!
At this point, I'm leaning towards another GL2.
Here's the other thing...
Whenever the local production companies set up booths at our local mall during events like a bridal expo, several of them have their XL1's on display behind them to show off their video "horsepower."
I was wondering if anyone here has had a client that thinks their set-up is not what it should be? I'm not trying to be negative, I just didn't know if people expect you to show up at an event with a huge $50,000 camera on your shoulder.
I want to film documentaries for local TV, and plan on using it for that, too.
I know that the final product is what's important, and I think the GL2 is more than capable.
Any comments would be welcomed.
Thanks again. This is great forum!
- John
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Old October 2nd, 2002, 03:31 PM   #6
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A friend of mine, Don, used his GL1 to do weddings, corporate stuff and the odd TV comercial. He used the Beachteck / Senn. ME66/K6 / light, mounted on a shoulder stabilzer - for the weddings. For the commercials, he used a tripod etc, with a good sound set-up and and good lighting. I've seen his commercials. They were very good.

Someone else I know shoot a doc with a PD100A, then had it transfered to film. The doc is playing right now at the local film fest.

If these people can do this kind of stuff with a GL1 and a PD100A, the GL2 will surely do what you want to do with a cam---because the GL2 has more horsepower, and it is the better cam (subjective).

But there is always a better cam, and if you buy the best, they'll be a better one on its way. So where do you draw the line? Actually, that's easy. Go for the best bang for the buck, and this bang, er, cam, should have the features you need, and deliver the results you need. The rest is up to you.

Personally, I think both the GL2 and VX2000 are great performers and are great buys. We never had it so good!
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Old October 3rd, 2002, 12:57 AM   #7
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Thanks for your help, Frank.
I've seen a lot written in the forums about the ME66 mic. On B&H's site, it lists one that is phantom power only, and one that uses battery/phantom power. Which is best for the GL2, or is it just preference? And, what completes the set-up? Do I need a shock mount?
I assume this mic would be good during a wedding shoot at the reception - possibly for interviewing well-wishers.
Thanks again,
- john
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Old October 3rd, 2002, 01:42 AM   #8
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Get a Beachtek with the Senn. The rest is up to you. You'll probably need an extention, to raise the mic a bit. If you want good info about this setup, talk to one of Chris's dealers, or go to my website:

www.dvfreak.com and contact Peter of Leo's. He'll be happy to answer all your GL2 questions for free. But he's in Canada, so do go with one of Chris's sponsors---they're good, fair and they keep this board alive. That's what I'd do if I lived in the US...unless I wanted a MX5000!
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Old October 3rd, 2002, 09:34 PM   #9
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Thanks again Frank, and everyone who responded.
Take care,
- john
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Old October 3rd, 2002, 11:04 PM   #10
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We shot our first season of shows with a GL-1 and an occasional TRV900. Added a XL-1s for this second season as our 'A' camera with tons of 'B' GL-1 footage cut in. A little color correction was all that was ever needed between any of the cameras. GL-1 was Greenish, XL-1s Reddish and Sony Blue. Quality was comparable and certainly not worth the amount of arguement we always see.

Also for quality, none of the station - cable, satellite or network - have ever asked about what cameras we shoot with. Everything in specifications and we are good.

We are in the process of retiring our GL-1, which has now logged over 2000 hours of tape as a camera/deck and is just starting to show some need for TLC. I put it down as the best money I have spent so far in production equipment and I am excited to get our replacement GL-2. Had the chance to play around with one the other day and I like what they have done. I will be doing a demo at a local store in the next month and expect to slap down cash and smile.

Good luck with the business.
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Old October 5th, 2002, 06:16 AM   #11
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Thanks Michael.
I have to make a decision on this by the first of next week...I'm filming a friends wedding.
Still pondering...but, getting closer to pulling the trigger on this.
take care,
- john
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Old October 5th, 2002, 06:38 AM   #12
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If your planning on doing a wedding, I'm sure the GL2 would be just the tool. I've done several weddings now, but mostly shoot funerals and instructional videos. Even without a good external mic, the cam should perform very well for this.

I know, "funerals," - yuk. However, when you shoot a funeral, the grieving family appreciates this perhaps more than a wedding, because most videographers simply would not consider this. Another thing about shooting funerals, it's not as lively as a wedding---far from it, in fact---so, it's slow, and the videographer gets a chance to practice and get more creative.

I don't own a GL2. I've "played" with one a couple of times. I have used the GL1, though, and like the GL1, the GL2 is easy to hold and operate. In my opinion, it's the videographer's dream come true. And for weddings, it's lux is low enough so that with those indooor, lower light receptions, the GL2 will perform just fine.

The VX2000 is even better in lower light conditions, but it's much more difficult to hold the thing for any length of time. The GL2 is actually one of my favourite cams, the other one would be the MX5000. But the GL2 would be more of a wedding cam than the MX5000, because of the minimum lux requirements.

The longer you hold off on buying a GL2, the less time you'll have in familiarizing yourself with the cam. Just go for it. You won't be sorry. I hope this helps.
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Old October 5th, 2002, 07:14 AM   #13
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Frank,
I think I'm going with another GL2. I do already have one. I actually bought it first because I wanted to make sure that I liked the "look" that I would get from a Canon camcorder before I spend the extra on an XL1S. I have used only Sony in the past - Hi-8 and then Digital 8.
I was wondering how many camera's do you use when you videotape a funeral? Do you also include a montage of the person's life? I find this to be fascinating. If these are trade secrets, then disregard my questions.
Also, reading some of the posts in other threads, especially what Barry has written concerning his experience with the GL2, I think you're right - this is a dream-come-true camera.
I may try to put the two GL2's up front during the ceremony, while using another (Elura, maybe) camera in the back. I don't want to clutter the front of the church with cameras, though. So, I'll have to see when I get there.
On another note, I've been experimenting with the "ART" digital effect on the GL2 (I usually don't bother with digital effects) and have been able to adjust the settings for the custom preset key, plus put it in "frame" mode, and I get an incredible cartoon-like effect. That was something I was looking for for a TV show intro. Anyway, that's another thread.
Thanks,
- John
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Old October 5th, 2002, 07:35 AM   #14
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I'll respond to your post at length tomorrow evening. I have to go to bed. I'm back and worth looking after 3 cats, so my nights have been longer than usual. I was actually going to a shoot a large funeral a couple of days ago, but decided not to, because I didn't want to fly out of town. Now it seems I have to fly to the same city shortly, to shoot something else. "You never can win!"
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Old October 5th, 2002, 10:10 AM   #15
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<<<-- I actually bought it first because I wanted to make sure that I liked the "look" that I would get from a Canon camcorder before I spend the extra on an XL1S. >>>

I have read a few reviews that say the new GL-2 is actually better than an XL-1S in many situations. I will be doing my own comparisons, but have found that to be an interesting note. I did a side by side of the GL-1, XL-1 and XL-1S and the trend seems to be an improvement in each step for sure. I actually thought the GL-1 was better in most cases than the origianl XL-1, but the "S" was a drastic improvement in most cases than the GL-1. So it almost seem a given the GL-2 should be the next level, even though the XL series is supposed to be the better of their DV line.

<<<--I know, "funerals," - yuk >>>

In any case, I think you are right about funerals...YUK! But when I was in my Physical Therpaist program in college I didn't like the spinal injury work either - dealing with people trying to re-learn how to walk and might never walk again. Just a "negative" vibe to me. I like more fo the light-hearted stuff. That and I think you need very delicate communications skills, and I tend to be a bit rough around the edges. I can see myself saying something stupid like, "I just can't get his skin tone to look right in my monitor, can you liven him up a bit." It is an interesting niche though and look forward to hearing about what you do.
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