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


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Old August 13th, 2005, 05:43 PM   #1
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Manual Settings for GL2

Hey everyone-
I just shot a band yesterday and the event was outside. It was my first "official" manual shoot ever. :) I have some questions however. First I would set the camera to manual settings that I thought looked appropriate, then as a "starting point" I would put the camera in "Auto" mode and then switch back to manual mode to see how much I was off of what the camera would automatically do. I noticed that whenever I would come from Auto mode to Manual mode, the manual mode would always be waaayyy brighter. (Both settings had the ND filter off) I would usually have to turn the gain all the way down, and almost completely close the iris, put the ND filter ON and I set my shutter speed to 1/60.

My question is this:
Does the GL2 adjust shutter speed to also compensate for light conditions?
AND What's a "normal" shutter speed to shoot in? (I know that this is a retorical question cuz I know I'll get this answer: "There isn't a normal shutter speed for all conditions")

The only way I could get it to look almost the same (with the ND filter off) was to put a higher shutter speed and then I could bring my F-stop down. So what's the deal? I'm just learning so go easy on me.
Thanks!
-Brett
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Old August 13th, 2005, 09:36 PM   #2
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There is a standard shutter speed, and that is 1/60 second. Don't shoot at any other shutter speed unless you have a special reason for doing so. If you're desperate for more light when in Manual mode and you have nowhere else to turn, you might crank it down to 1/30. Or if you want a flickering motion effect you might set it to 1/30 or less. If you're shooting a golf swing for later frame by frame analysis, you might try 1/1000.

When you put the GL2 in Auto mode, the shutter speed goes to 1/60 and stays there. The camera will not adjust it in Auto mode as far as I can tell from experimentation. It will adjust aperture and gain.

In Av mode, you choose the aperture and the GL2 automatically adjusts shutter speed and gain. I have found that it will increase shutter speed to compensate for bright scenes, but will not decrease shutter speed below 1/60 to compensate for dark scenes. In Tv mode you set the shutter speed and the camera automatically adjusts gain and aperture.

If you want to check on what the Auto, Av or Tv mode has done to the settings to obtain the exposure you see, you need to turn on Exposure Lock before switching to Manual. Otherwise, when you switch to Manual, the settings revert to where you last set them in Manual.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 01:45 PM   #3
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Thanks Fred.

I was also wondering about audio settings. At this event I had my Beachtek DXA-6. I had a line coming from the soundboard and one I used for an ambience mic. I had my Beachtek switched to mono mode. I put the footage on my Mac (with Final Cut Express HD), but there is only one track of audio (the Beachtek mixed the two sources together, and now I can't edit the tracks separately). Is there a way to record two separate audio tracks that can be edited individually? Do I have to have it in Stereo mode? Or is this just not even possible?
Thanks!
-Brett
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Old August 14th, 2005, 04:01 PM   #4
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Right, Brett, you set the DXA-6's switch to Stereo to keep the channels separate.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 05:25 AM   #5
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Don't agree with the fact that in auto mode the cam will not adjust the shutter to anything other than normal (1/50 for XM2).
I set my cam to auto - pointed towards the sky, then locked exposure and switched to manual. The shutter indicated 1/250 with the aperture set at its smallest (f8.0).
Can't really expect the shutter to stay at standard - the cam would have nowhere to go (apart from ND) to cut down the light levels.

Mel.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 05:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Davies
Don't agree with the fact that in auto mode the cam will not adjust the shutter to anything other than normal (1/50 for XM2).
I set my cam to auto - pointed towards the sky, then locked exposure and switched to manual. The shutter indicated 1/250 with the aperture set at its smallest (f8.0).
Can't really expect the shutter to stay at standard - the cam would have nowhere to go (apart from ND) to cut down the light levels.

Mel.
This is true. I tried it yesterday with my GL2. I went outside and locked the exposure and sure enough, the cam set its shutter speed to about 1/120. At least I know you can do the exposure lock now. I was looking for that feature on my camera! Haha. Thanks everyone!
-Brett
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Old August 15th, 2005, 08:35 AM   #7
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The Auto mode is actually fairly intelligent. As you have found out, in daylight conditions outdoors, it balances proper exposure with the shutter speed. You can use the Auto mode to find the ideal camera settings for a particular scene and then hit Exposure Lock to keep them from changing. Although you might consider locking the shutter at 1/60 to maintain an even look across the entire shoot...

My favorite program mode is Tv + Exp. Lock, it's exactly like shooting in full manual mode, with the addition of having an instant-on automatic Program Exposure to assist you with changing light conditions.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 08:46 AM   #8
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Thanks Chris! Again TODAY something new . . this camera has such a lot to offer . .. Grazie
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Old August 15th, 2005, 12:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Davies
Don't agree with the fact that in auto mode the cam will not adjust the shutter to anything other than normal (1/50 for XM2).
I set my cam to auto - pointed towards the sky, then locked exposure and switched to manual. The shutter indicated 1/250 with the aperture set at its smallest (f8.0).
Can't really expect the shutter to stay at standard - the cam would have nowhere to go (apart from ND) to cut down the light levels.
Thanks for the correction. As I said, my assessment was "as far as I [could] tell from experimentation." I still say that auto won't reduce the shutter speed below 1/60 (GL2, not XM2) for dim scenes. let me know if you find differently. But having established that, it wasn't hard to convince myself that it was true for bright scenes too. I zoomed in on a 120 Watt lamp at night in my basement family room. That simply wasn't bright enough to force a shutter speed change.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 04:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Retread
Thanks for the correction. As I said, my assessment was "as far as I [could] tell from experimentation." I still say that auto won't reduce the shutter speed below 1/60 (GL2, not XM2) for dim scenes. let me know if you find differently. But having established that, it wasn't hard to convince myself that it was true for bright scenes too. I zoomed in on a 120 Watt lamp at night in my basement family room. That simply wasn't bright enough to force a shutter speed change.
Yes I agree - the cam won't reduce shutter speed below the basement of 1/50 (1/60) as this would be desasterous to picture smoothness.
Think the way auto works is "aperture" first, "shutter" second, "gain" third followed by ND filter in/out.

Mel.
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