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


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Old September 14th, 2005, 01:25 PM   #1
Tourist
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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best gl2 recording for 720p display

Hi GL2'ers! Since this is my first posting to this forum, I will give a brief introduction: I am a Sr. Unix and SAN storage administrator, who has a fair amount of experience with film and digital still cameras, and a reasonable amount of computer based graphics experience. I am just about to purchase a GL2, and have a few questions that I hope the more experienced video people can answer.

First, my environment. My primary display mechanisms for video that I take is going to be on a computer monitor (sony trinitron, 20 in, 1280x1024, 80Hz) and a Samsung 50 in. 16:9 DLP monitor. The Samsung upconverts all video to its native 720p with a chip that uses Faroujida scaling and deinterlacing. It seems to do a very good job on all sources from standard def TV, to component input from the DVD player, to HD signals from DirectTV through a DVI connection.

What I would like to know is, what is the best recording mode/technique that I can use with a GL2 for eventual display on the Samsung?

The Canon web page on the GL2 states that it uses an "EIA standard (525 lines, 60 fields) NTSC color signal". I have read that the video signal is already compressed by the time it makes it to the Mini-DV tape within the camcorder. Is there any way for me to capture the raw video signal, say to a hard disk, for eventual display? ( I have poked around in the "direct to disk" list )

The simplest way for me to view video would be to write it to DVD, but I thought that DVD was limited to 480 lines of resolution. I am a bit of a tech geek/gadget hound, and would think nothing of building a dedicated media server to provide a DVI output signal for the Samsung if that would be the optimal delivery method.

Right now I am considering building a disk capture unit based on an ultra-lightweight laptop, like the Fujitsu Lifebook P1500D

http://store.shopfujitsu.com/fpc/Eco...do?series=P15D

That way I could use 40GB laptop drives in external USB2.0 cases as "film canisters".

Is this the best capture method available without going with an insanely priced commercial disk solution? I have read that there have been some issues with the tape transport mechanism in some GL2's, and I would like to avoid over-using it, especially if the direct-to-disk capture would be superior. I would also like the instant review capability at full resolution that the laptop would provide.

One more question. What would be the best shooting mode to use on the GL2 for this method of shooting, frame mode?

Thanks in advance for any advice that you can provide, and thanks for all of the great information on these message lists.

-jimk

PS Is there anyone who doesn't think that the GL2 is a steal and a half at $1900 with a $250 rebate? The glass alone on this unit is getting me all worked up!
Jim Kavitsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 17th, 2005, 10:36 AM   #2
Fred Retread
 
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Location: Hartford, CT
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Jim,
Sorry you haven't gotten a reply yet--I guess that most of us don't think in those terms. But basically, the choices at the GL2 end are frame mode or 60i, and it will be an easy matter to try the two under your typical shooting conditions and decide on that basis.

Yes, there is that potential transport issue with the GL2, but I've shot almost 100 hours on mine and haven't seen it yet. That's probably true for 90-99.9% of users (only Canon knows the number, and they ain't tellin'). I use a $25 Maxell tape rewinder, and I use a cheaper miniDV cam as a playback deck when downloading. Direct to disk is a great solution. I'd go for that myself except that there are too many audio upgrades I want first.

Finally, yes, the GL2 is a steal at a net cost after rebate of $1750 or so even with the transport risk. I have a Sony VX2100 as well as the GL2. I like the Sony a lot. Its crisp video and outstanding low light ability are just the thing for some situations. But my heart still belongs to the GL2. Softer, warmer and more cinematic video, bigger zoom, better exposure and audio control, smaller weight and size.

--
Fred
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Old September 17th, 2005, 11:29 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
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I don't think you can capture uncompressed video signal with the GL2, only to DV, and then it's already compressed.
And Frame mode or 60i is just an artistic choice, so it's best to do a search on the topic.
Best regards,
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Old September 19th, 2005, 12:19 PM   #4
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best GL2 recording for 720P display

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere
I don't think you can capture uncompressed video signal with the GL2, only to DV, and then it's already compressed.
And Frame mode or 60i is just an artistic choice, so it's best to do a search on the topic.
Best regards,
No raw output? Ouch. I gues the engineer in me sees that as a tragic loss of valuable data. I have read on one of these lists that the compression ratio before sending the data to tape is a high as 5:1. Can anyone confirm this? It seems pretty high, but may have been necessary to drop the bandwidth to within the tolerances of the Mini-DV tape unit.

I was really hoping that the camera would be able to put out the raw signal over the IEEE-1394 port.

Does the camera indeed put out 525 lines of resolution, as Canon's website suggests? Even with the unavoidable compression, this would be fairly high definition, and would probably look great when properly scaled to 720P.

Thanks for the helpful responses. I knew you guys would come through eventually!

-jimk
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