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


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Old October 10th, 2002, 01:45 PM   #1
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Making a GL2 Picture Equal an XL1S Picture

Hello,
I'm new to the forum and very glad I found it. I own a GL2 - it's my first movie camera - and love it immensly.

I've heard some people here mention that in many cases the GL2's picture can look just as good as the XL1s's picture. However I've seen some side by side comparisons and often I find the XL1s picture to look astonishingly like film while the GL2's does not.

I was wondering what sort of settings people use, both on the GL2 itself, or in video editing software in post-production, to make their GL2 images look most beautiful?

Personally, for me, I have experimented with different things. I increase the color gain all the way, turn down the image gain to 0, and turn up the sharpness a little. Also, I will try to emphasize the colors that I really want by turning the color gauge toward green or red depending on the color that I want to dominate. And that produces a beautiful image, no doubt.

But if I can attain better, I'd like to know how. I want to shoot a short movie and I really want it to look as rich and vibrant as possible, so if there's any tips anyone has for doing this, either with camera settings or in Premier, I'd like to hear about it.

Thanks so much.
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Old October 10th, 2002, 02:16 PM   #2
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Welcome "peter0302",
I own both cameras. Indeed, the GL2's imaging system is generally better than that of the XL1s, featuring a slightly higher pixel resolution than its big brother.

"Most beautiful" is a very relative concept. The XL1s' default image tends to be a bit warmer than the GL2's. If that appeals to you set the GL2's image to a tick or two higher in the red (on the menu). Similarly, the GL2's default image tends to be a bit sharper than the XL1s'. To soften simply adjust the GL2's sharpness down a tick or two. Many people use a -3dB gain setting as standard with the XL1s, feeling that its default image tends to be just a bit "hot". You can try a similar setting on the GL2.

Overall, however, these are very visually compatible cameras. The addition of the GL2's new image controls now makes them very functionally compatible as well.

Getting the best image from any camera relies principally on applying high production values and skills. Light your scenes well, frame your shots well, stay away from impulsive zooming, keep the camera steady, etc. Practice, practice.
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Old October 10th, 2002, 04:52 PM   #3
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<<<<Many people use a -3dB gain setting as standard with the XL1s, feeling that its default image tends to be just a bit "hot". You can try a similar setting on the GL2.>>>>>


What do you mean you can try a silmiar seting on the GL2? GL2 can't do -3db.

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Old October 10th, 2002, 05:48 PM   #4
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My apologies; you're quite right. The GL2 does not have a gain adjustment. In the back of my mind I was thinking of the AE adjustment (which can also produce different results depending on the subject).

The bottom line, though, is to simply experiment. No single set of settings will be ideal for every situation.
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Old October 10th, 2002, 05:53 PM   #5
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You can certainly reduce the gain from 18 (the usual in lower light situations) to 0, which is what I always do. I don't like the gain at all, to me it just looks grainy. I force myself to better lighten the room, and I also bought the video light attachment.
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Old October 10th, 2002, 06:24 PM   #6
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I may be getting older but I knew I wasn't also going nuts; I've adjusted the darn gain on my GL2! Unlike the XL1s which has a physical gain control the GL2's gain can only be adjusted when you're in Manual mode. The shutter speed, F-stop and gain are displayed on the viewfinder/lcd and can be adjusted via the little Exp wheel at the cameras' lower left side.

I rescind my apology! <grin>
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Old October 10th, 2002, 11:20 PM   #7
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Hahah :)

Yes exactly, and I hardly ever shoot in auto mode. In dark I just reduce to 30 fps and it normally looks great. No grain at all.
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Old October 11th, 2002, 04:39 AM   #8
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wich light did you buy for the GL2 and what are your experiences with it?
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Old October 11th, 2002, 09:15 AM   #9
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I bought the VL-3, the one that use's the camera's battery and not its own. I haven't gotten it yet but I'll let you know when I do.

It was hard to decide between that one and the one that had its own battery. I have the 3.5 hour battery for the camera and could've bought the battery powered light using my old BP915. But if I did that then I could never run both the camera and the light off of a power outlet, and obviously anything I shoot indoors I can use a power outlet, without having to buy another ac adapter. With this, even though it'll drain the BP945 faster, at least I can run the entire camera from one ac adapter if I want, and since I won't have the light on that often in outdoor situations, I should have enough battery capacity.
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Old October 11th, 2002, 10:16 AM   #10
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I just wondered if the small light (3 Watts) is powerful enough to light up a livingroom in a house. I am very interested in your experiences. Does the 10 Watts light not make use of the intelligent shoe on the GL2 in terms of switching on automatically in low light conditions when you start to shoot?
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Old October 11th, 2002, 10:26 AM   #11
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Hm, I didn't realize the VL-3 was only 3 watts. I know the VL-10 is 10 watts. 3 seems real small.

I just called and switched the order. It's only $25 more and if there really is that much of a difference, better be safe with the more powerful light.
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Old October 11th, 2002, 11:34 AM   #12
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The VL-10 light is a stand-alone unit. It uses the same BP series batteries as the GL2 and it can be mounted to the GL2's shoe but it is not otherwise connected to the camera and will not switch on/off automatically the way the VL-3 will. (Actually, that's not a very useful feature anyway.) Neither of these lights are powerful enough to "light-up a living room".
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Old October 11th, 2002, 03:44 PM   #13
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I bought the VLi-10 and I can tell you the VLi-3 will not light up much, the 10 watt VLi10 barely does a good job of things about 8-10 feet fromt he camera. One thing I noticed is the light pattern is not even close up, on wider shots the light will fill more evenly across the captured area if you are more than about 6-8 feet from the target, but then the light intensity fades quickly. In a room witha 100 watt light under a lamp shade on, the VLi10 was barely noticable on the target being shot more than about 6-8 feet away. I can only imagine what the VLi3 would do being 1/3 the power. I opted for an additional BP945 and with the battery that came with the GL2 I figure I'm covered, with my dual battery adapter I can charge both togther and if I am not using the light I can strap on two 945s and go for hours and hours. Truthfully I look at the VLi10 as a interview light to remove any shadows and for those cases where the room light just will not cut it alone. I will try hard to fill the room with as much light as possble rather than rely on the VLi10. And on closer shots the center focused pattern of the VLi10 is VERY obvious when you watch your playback. I beleive the VLi3 is good for extreme closeup shots. I beleive Barry had a good post about shooting well with a GL2 in a room of a couple of 60 watt lights. Don't get me wrong the light is nice, but it should not be your only light source unless you are in an extreme condition. Oh so the short answer to your question is, NO the VLi3 will NOT light up a home living room as the VLi10 does not really do well on that either.
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Old October 11th, 2002, 03:55 PM   #14
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Indeed, Keith, the 10 watt lamp does throw a very uneven pattern. My attempts to soften and even its spread have been spotty at best. I taped a small piece of diffusion get to the front, which helped but deeply cut the light's output.

So far the best use I've found for the 3watt light is for face highlights on close-up work (on a single face, that is, since the beam spread is narrow). It's also a good "eye light" on an otherwise well-lit scene. It can throw just enough light at a few feet to lighten some shadows on deep eye sockets and to put a life-glint into eye balls.
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Old October 12th, 2002, 05:22 AM   #15
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light

Are there alternatives (other brands) to the canon lights which are also relative small but with a more even pattern and which can be attached to the shue
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