GL2 Best For Hunting/Wildlife Shots ?? at DVinfo.net

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


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Old March 12th, 2005, 01:15 PM   #1
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GL2 Best For Hunting/Wildlife Shots ??

I am looking to purchase a Camcorder for Hunting and Wildlife recordings. Looks like the GL2 might be the right choice. Would like some feedback on the following:
1. Will use allot during "Dawn and Dusk" conditions (low light = very important). Will also be subjected to many diffferent lighting conditions (sun/shade). Any better camera than the GL2 for this?
2. Very interested in the "Frame Movie Mode". Can you switch from "Normal Movie Mode" into "Frame Movie Mode" while you are recording? I will be taping hunters (and myself) who are using a Bow and Arrow. I want to be able to track the arrow flight to see where it hits the animal. Would be great to start off in Normal Movie Mode for say 5 minutes then switch to the Frame Movie Mode for the actual shot. Any advice?
3. Once the camera is "setup" and you put it in "standby mode", what is the time it takes to actual start recording when you hit the record button on the remote? Is there a delay?
4. How quite is the camera when you hit the record button and it starts up? Chance of scaring wildlife?
5. Anybody have experiecne with setting up a remote mic? say 40 yards away?
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Old March 12th, 2005, 01:48 PM   #2
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The biggest strengths of the gl2 in your situation will be in its relative compactness, and in its 20x lens.

as to your questions

1. The GL2 is a decent low light camera, but not the best. However it should function reasonably well at true "dawn and dusk" situations. Better low light choices are the Sony PD 170 and Vx 2100..but these lack the long lens of the gl2. A note with the gl2, when shooting in low light turn the sharpness down a notch or two to avoid excessive graininess when the gain is on.

2. Frame mode is a great choice, unfortunately with the gl2, canon opted to put the switch in the menu system, so it is difficult to change it while filming. The gl1 had the switch on the body, and you could toggle easily between the two. Canon's description of frame mode is often confusing. It sounds like you expect to see more detail with it, and this is what canons marketing seems to say. In fact, the true vertical resolution of the camera drops by 25% when you go into frame mode. The real use of the frame mode is to achieve a pseudo progressive scan (film-like) look to your footage, or to achieve still frames without the interlacing scan lines that occur in movie mode.

3. It takes a couple of seconds for the tape mechanism to re-engage and the camera to be ready.

4. You shouldn't hear anything when hitting the record button, unless your ear is pressed to the body. (your breathing will be louder than the camera).

5. Radio microphones would probably be your best bet. You could put a lav on your hunter and hear the arrows being drawn from the quiver (or whatever you call it these days). Another option would be a narrow field shotgun microphone on or near the camera This can usually isolate sound at the distance you mentioned. Check out the sound forum for discussion and tips.

Barry
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Old March 12th, 2005, 02:08 PM   #3
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Thanks barry. Let me ask another way as I have no current experience with filming or film editing. If I film in Normal Mode, can I replay in Slow Motion to get the results I want? In other words, in the old days, you actually had a Slow Motion feature while filming (I guess it was simply increasing the fps). Do you do this now afterwards while editing and not during filming?
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Old March 13th, 2005, 11:12 AM   #4
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I use the GL2 alot in wildlife vids very hard to beat. I have to use the camera sometimes to see what is out there because it is too dark to see with the naked eye.
Steve
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Old March 14th, 2005, 09:25 AM   #5
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Rob

I'm not a big fan of using frame mode in slow motion. You'll get a smoother playback with interlaced video (at the expense of some vertical resolution). Additionally, some NLE's have difficulty with frame mode when you try to cut the framerate, and can produce a strangely uneven stutter. So I would recommend using the movie mode when you want a slow-mo effect.

Barry
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Old March 15th, 2005, 07:50 PM   #6
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Rob

I just got my GL2 in last week to film my hunts with. I did a lot of research before buying and finally pulled the trigger on the GL2. I was initially wanting the VX2100 becuase of its low-light capabilities but the 12x zoom was a major drawback (I shoot some wheat field rifle hunts). It finally came down to the price difference as the GL2 ended up $500 cheaper (after rebate) than the 2100. I filmed some turkey this past weekend out about 350 yards and was really impressed with the color and zoom.

I'm planning on picking up a good set of wireless mics, the MA-300, and a good shotgun mic to help out with the audio. I noticed the built-in mic on the camera is pretty bad and has a LOT of zoom noise. I'm fairly new to this but shoot me an email if I can be of any help.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 08:55 AM   #7
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Try using the zoom speed settings. Maybe the zoom speed is set to zoom fast? And when you zoom in and out fast you can hear the zoom motor. You can change the speeds by going into the camera settings. I would like to buy a shotgun mic also but i keep thinking that it might make the camera just a little bulky. The mic looks to stand out from the camera too much for me when filming from a blind or under a camo blanket.

Good Luck Steve
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Old March 24th, 2005, 03:55 PM   #8
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I would highly recommend the GL2 for this type of use. It is one durable camera. I have hauled mine to Peru, Costa Rica, British Columiba, Santa Catalina Island, and Guam. It just keeps on performing. In Costa Rica I shot footage of a koati mundi (SP) and snakes in a rain forest. Footage was absolutely awesome. Most recently, in Catalina, I shot bird footage that was amazingly sharp, and thanks to the overcast sky, it really looks like film. I love this camera.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 01:24 AM   #9
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The GL2 is a great little camera, no doubt. I'm a friend of Blaine's and the footage he shot of a hunt we did last weekend was impressive. The 20x lens is the major reason why I had such a hard time deciding between the GL2 and the Sony PD170 I ended up purchasing a few months ago. But the deciding factor was all the other gear I was going to have to buy to complete the setup, which is something you might look at as well.

Having spent some time behind both cameras now I can tell you this; I'm very pleased with my decision to go with the Sony. The PD170 is ready to go to work in the woods without other major purchases. The kit I bought from B&H (a site sponsor here, which helps support this vast pool of knowledge) shipped with a .7 wide angle lens and Sony wireless system.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=306461&is=REG

It's built in XLR inputs saves you from having to purchase a bolt on answer to the wireless mic question and the camera spanks the heck out of the GL2 in low light. If Sony would just up the lens to 16x I think it would be the perfect camera for my application, which is similar to yours. You don't need 20x in a tree stand or a bow hunting situation, never will.

Take a look at the PD170. Add up the XLR, shotgun mic, wireless mics and wide angle lens cost you'll have to add to your GL2 and you'll see there is not that much difference in the two, until the sun goes down or just begins to peak over the horizon. Then you'll really see the Sony shine.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 05:40 PM   #10
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I appreciate all the feedback. I am pulling the trigger on the GL2. It may be a while before I get in the stand with my bow and GL2 but I will let you all know how it goes. I am anxious to see the slow motion effect in order to track the flight of the arrow. Would love to hear from anyway that has done that. Thanks to all. Happing shooting (video) and hunting (whatever you hunt!).
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Old March 25th, 2005, 08:05 PM   #11
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Rob,

If you have a high speed connection, I have a large .wmv file (13mb) that shows an arrow in full speed and slow motion I could send you via email. If that doesn't work I could post it on my server and email you a link. It's a compressed file so the quality is normal web output and a little grainy but viewable.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 10:41 AM   #12
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Rob
I own a GL2 and would like to own a Sony but the dollar diff. was the kicker for me. I bought mine for about $1700.00 after the rebate. I wish I could have bought the Sony for the low light like Tyge, but I do not make a living with my camera. Just a hobby for me, my wife made all kinds of faces when I told herhow much I was paying for the GL2 until she saw the footage from this camera. Now I maybe will be able to give her the camera some day and move up to a used PD170 someday. GL2 will do ok in low light but not like the PD170. Just get out and play with it and learn to use the manual controls. Good LUCK!! Steve
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