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


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Old March 7th, 2005, 02:37 PM   #1
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To GL2 or not to Gl2...

As you can see, I'm new to the forum but there seems to be a lot of good information so I can see this will be a place I will be frequenting!

Question for those that have more experience than me (So, a question for pretty much everyone. :))

Background:
I currently own/use a Canon Elura 40MC. Single CCD (680K pixels), small, light weight decent all purpose "vacation" camera. I've always enjoyed video editing but am no expert. I'm an engineer by day and video hack by night. I just upgraded my system at home to a dual 2.5GHz G5 running FC-Express HD for my video editing. My wife and I take about two "exotic" vacations a year where I usually shoot about 4 hours worth of video on each trip. After the video hits the cutting room, I usually yield about 20-30 minutes of decent footage that tells the story. I also use the camera for family events (Xmas, birthdays, etc.)

I've looked at the JVC GRHD1 and have almost concluded this isn't for me. The fact that my playback is through the camera itself concerns me (extra wear and tear). Also, since it seems like I can't export to DVD and keep the HD quality, it seems like I should just stick with SD. The nail in the HD coffin (for me, at this time) was the fact that DV tapes seem to lose data over time. If I can't easily preserve the footage, I'm better off waiting until other technologies catch up. If others have a different perspective on this, I'd appreciate the enlightenment.

I really like Canon -- I have the Powershot G3 digital and over course the 40MC which has lead me to the GL2. I'm trying to determine if I'm buying more camera than what I will need and if there are others I should be considering. I'm not really interested in spending more than $2300 as this is a hobby, not my occupation. I am interested how others use their GL2 and what should be my expectations (quality-wise) going from the 40MC to a GL2 should be if I make the jump.
Looking forward to your response!
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Old March 7th, 2005, 02:56 PM   #2
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Welcome Jeff.

In my opinion, and experience, the GL2 was made for exactly the type of shooting you describe. I think it's one of the best values in a 3 CCD camcorder today. Very good resolution and sharpness, good color, reasonably small and lightweight, outstanding lens. Yes, some other cameras beat it on individual features but the fact is that it delivers a uniformly high-quality and value across all fronts. It's not really a filmmakers' camera, like the XL2 or the Panasonic DVX100A. It's really a camera for family and event coverage.

Good luck.
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Old March 7th, 2005, 03:26 PM   #3
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Grazie at British Library

Just had my latest XM2 work shown at the British Library, here:

http://www.bl.uk/services/conference/auditorium.html

It looked wonderful! Does that give you any ideas?

Grazie
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Old March 7th, 2005, 07:05 PM   #4
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I use mine for some of the same things as you. I also use mine to film wildlife in the outdoors. One thing to think about on the GL2 is the photos that you can also take with it. Some might say it is not good for photos, but I have some very good photos from this camera. Not a 6+ mp camera like my Rebel 300, but takes good 1.7 mp photos. Good luck!
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Old March 7th, 2005, 09:13 PM   #5
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Will You Use It

I agree that the GL2 is a great camera. However, the real question is how often will you "take the GL2 out of the case" to do the kind of footage you enjoy? The GL2 is so much bigger than your Elura. It is easy to take the Elura and shoot on the run. It is easy to pack the Elura along. It might not be so easy with a GL2.

For example, I have two GL1's and a GL2. I also a much smaller Canon ZR50mc. It is the smaller camera I take along on vacations, especially vacations to visit family. Convenience is not the only reason. The smaller camera is much less obstrusive. So I get fewer less complaints about shooting video of members of our families. If I pulled out a GL2 everyone would immediately hide their faces and turn their backs to me! So, I grin and bear while I know a GL1 or GL2 would give me better footage.
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Old March 7th, 2005, 09:40 PM   #6
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So Mike, if you don't mind me asking, for what do you use your GL2?

It is funny that you mention the size being a restriction as that was the main reason I bough the 40MC -- the compact size lent itself for quick shots and vacations. As I've gotten into the video editing more, I find myself craving better picture quality in the footage to the point where I think I'm willing to lug around bigger equipment.

We are off to Aruba next week and if I take the plunge, I would definitely take both cameras if for no other reason than to get comparisons.

Jeff
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Old March 7th, 2005, 09:47 PM   #7
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Jeff,

I would suggest the Optura XI. It's a single chipper but probably one of the best around. I've used a number of 3 chippers in the lower price ranges and the Xi compares well, and even is better than one or two I think.

The two main benefits for my personal taste were the price and its native 16:9 mode. The GL2 uses a method of shooting 16:9 that loses resolution.

Check out the Optura Forum here at DVInfo
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Old March 8th, 2005, 08:15 AM   #8
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For Weddings

Jeff,
I use the GL2 and two GL1's for weddings. The GL2 handles the rear position and two wireless mics. The GL1's handle front positions and rely on the camera mics (used only for backup sound if necessary).

That is another reason I don't use the bigger cameras for personal footage. I baby them and use them only for weddings. I'd be very unhappy, if after using a GL2 or GL1 for personal footage, to have the camera fail during a wedding, e.g. dirty heads suddenly during the ceremony. So I use a GL1 or GL2 for personal footage only if the ZR50mc is in for cleaning or repair.

I agree, I am often tempted to take a bigger camera on a personal shoot, eg. a daughters band concert. If we ever take a trip to Hawaii I will be very tempted to take the GL2.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 01:21 PM   #9
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Well I caved in and did it. I considered the optura but ultimately I decided that by going for the GL2 I would have an excellent combination. I plan to use both on trips -- the 40MC for things like dinner cruises and candid shots and the GL2 for more detailed shots, tours, etc. Reading some of your posts helped me realize that the cameras are just a tool in the belt. Each tool has their purpose and their limitations. My expectations exceed the limitations of my current tool (40MC) and the GL2 will hopefully pickup where the other leaves off giving me a bigger tool for the bigger jobs. Is it overkill? Probably. Given how quickly technology evolves, the capabilities that are in the GL2 could likely be in the main stream. My philosophy on things related to technology is to buy the best that you can afford but don't the absolute best (because you're paying for the initial R&D at that point). In most cases, it will last longer and lower the risk of it becoming obsolete 6 months after buying it. The GL2 looks like it will keep me busy as I learn how to use it.

So, I've read a lot of the information on the watchdog site dedicated to the GL2. Are there other golden nuggets of information out there that will help me with the learning curve prior to the Fed-Ex man showing up? :)

Thanks for the posts --
Jeff
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Old March 8th, 2005, 02:07 PM   #10
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Enjoy!

Have fun with your new camera!

Read the manual when you get the camera. Try the camera out. Then read the manual for specific information as you need it. Then, six months from now, read the entire manual again. You will be surprised how much you learn by reading the entire manual again after having the camera for a while.

Can you tell I am the kind of person who reads the manual for all new equipment?
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Old March 8th, 2005, 02:24 PM   #11
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Mike! Ditto Ditto Ditto . . .


Go Manual . . . . with the Manual!


Grazie
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