New User Query: Using GL2 to record in clubs - bad idea? at

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

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Old April 19th, 2006, 12:24 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 4
New User Query: Using GL2 to record in clubs - bad idea?

Greetings. This is my first post as a brand new GL2 owner. I had been using a Sony TRV38 with Audio Technica AT822 mic (and attenuator between the two) for the last three years to primarily record live music performances by rock/metal bands. A couple of weeks back the Sony CCD defect problem finally caught up with me (in the middle of a show of course) and so while I am going to get that camera repaired for free by Sony, I decided to go ahead and step up to something a little nicer.

I had been thinking about a GL2 for a while and did some online window shopping and read a bunch of reviews/comparisons before finally taking the plunge. Unfortunately I had not read through these forums extensively and now that Iíve got the camera and done the reading Iím a little freaked out thinking that Iíve made a wrong choice. This is due to all of the postings about the ďremove cassetteĒ error and related speculation/evidence as to what causes this problem.

I plan to be using my GL2 almost exclusively to record live rock music and that means that Iím going to be hanging out in a lot of warm/humid, smoky environments. I understand that is not the most suitable atmosphere for any electronic equipment but my Sony never seemed to be bothered by it, though it certainly could stink like tobacco after a show.

Based on what Iíve been reading, Iím now worried that the first time I haul my GL2 into a club and start recording Iím going to end up with The Error at which point Iíll pretty much be thinking that I should have just flushed my two grand down the toilet.

So I guess Iím hoping folks here could help me out with two things:

Can anyone offer any reassurances that I havenít bought the wrong machine for what I want to do and confirm that I should be able to use this camera in environments that are somewhat less than pristine in condition. Are others using their GL2 cameraís for the same purpose? Or did I make a huge mistake?

Secondly, since Iíve got the camera and Iím going to use it while it still works, can anyone offer any suggestions about any post-concert maintenance I should perform? In reading through some postings about The Error, I saw where one person ďairs outĒ his camera after bringing it home. I think he said he opened the tape door for the airing and draped a cloth over the camera to keep dust from getting inside. Is this generally recommended? Any other tricks I should use?

Along those same lines, Iíll soon be hoping to tape a weekend music festival which would have me indoors recording for up to 12-13 hours at a time. Should I be thinking about trying to take my camera outside between bands to air out or is this potentially even worse Ė moving it back and forth between two different environments throughout the day?

I realize that Iím probably just getting myself worked up over something that may not happen Ė as one person pointed out there are thousands and thousands of these cameras sold and the number of folks commenting online about their experiences is a miniscule percentage. Even so, when you see the documentation of all of these people having the same problem over and over itís a little depressing and definitely helped to deflate the initial thrill I had when the camera was delivered.

Thanks in advance for any feedback Ė Iíve definitely been enjoying being educated by all of the information available in these forums.
Greg Perry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #2
Major Player
Join Date: May 2003
Location: York, England
Posts: 508
In the sort of veue you will be working with sound levels no doubt around the 100 dB mark, you will certainly have to use the microphone attenuator - the audio gain controls come after the microphone amplifiers, so you would overload the inputs.

I don't know about the cassette problem, the auto-zoom has hit me harder.
Alan Craven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2006, 04:10 PM   #3
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Taffs well, Wales
Posts: 190
everybody who has had that error there camera is way over 2 years old. i wouldn't really be bothered about it. ive had my XM2 for nearly a year and i love it two bits. i have compared the quility to the PD-170 and i think the XM2 will out beat it anyday
Nathaniel McInnes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2006, 05:59 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,357
Far and away most users have not had the "remove cassete arror", but posts usually only address problems, happy users usually just read on. Use it a bit before the shoot to wring out any pending problems - most happen early or late in life.

You will need fresh air more than the camcorder, but it will not like doses of splashed brew, and long exposure to heavy smoke can leave deposits inside any camcorder.

Practice with it to get a feel of how it works, plays, and performs before a money shoot.
Don Palomaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2006, 11:03 PM   #5
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boyertown, PA
Posts: 28
get a tape rewinder

I own 2 GL2s and had them for three years now. The "remove cassette error" happened three times (twice on one camera and once on the other). On my one GL2 it happened after only about 10 months and then again at about 2 years. The other GL2 had it happened a little over 2 years. The best thing you could do is to buy a cheap mini dv tape rewinder and not rewind the tapes inside the camera. I bought my rewinder after I got the error the second time but it was too late to prevent getting the error on my other camera.
The good thing is that even when my cameras were getting the error, the record function worked was just the playback function that was shot, so I would'nt worry too much about it happening during a shoot.

Jim Herman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 21st, 2006, 02:03 AM   #6
Old Boot
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 3,569
When I first got me XM2 - Sept 2002 (?) - I played with forwards backwards/reviews the whole thing. Started to get this message. Came here to read the responses, took note NOT to do this - have/had a Pannie deck since! - and let it be. Until . . . . I did the same thing about 3 weeks back. And the NEXT time I used the camera I got the error message! - Lesson learnt . . Mr Canon sort it out?? I know heaps of really low priced cameras that DON'T do this. Why with this one?

Maybe I should get a SONY miniDV-Deck to playback when off site?

Graham Bernard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2006, 10:11 PM   #7
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 3,004

You have bought an awesome camera.

It does shoot in low light very well and I have taken stills with it at dusk and I got better pictures than a fellow did with his 35mm with a strobe, when I showed him he could not believe it! I also took footage the same evening and it is dandy.

I had the cassette arror after about 50 hours of use!! However I did use it as a player while editing and such. When it jammed up I was going back and forth looking for aspecific spot on tape.

Take the advice and buy a cheap player camera!!!

It did drive me to purchase a second camera, and my wife encouraged me to at that!
Dale W. Guthormsen
Dale Guthormsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 27th, 2006, 04:09 PM   #8
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 4

Many thanks to the folks who took the time to post replies. I appreciate the input and advice. One thing that I did this week was go ahead and order up a miniDV rewinder from B&H (where I got my camera also) so that I won't be putting that wear and tear on my new one. I also plan to continue to use my Sony TRV38 as a playback machine after I get it repaired. So as much as possible I'm going to keep the GL2 for recording only.

I've had a chance to play around with it a bit - though not as much as I would have liked ("real" life keep interfering). I was able to take it to a local band's practice session and practice with the various sound settings using both the on board mic and my AT822 with the attenuator on and off. I'll have my first real test in about a week when I'll have a chance to record at my favorite local club here in Richmond, VA.

For me the real challenge is going to be getting to learn how to work with the manual settings in various low light situations. In the past, I've just used my Sony's auto-settings or if it was too dark switched on the NightVision and added some B&W or Sepia tones. But I'm determined to learn how to use the Canon in manual mode so that I can get the most out of it that's possible.

Been prowling around the forums here looking for tips and have a whole list of them to try out. Thanks for all the good information that folks have shared and are sharing. I'm going to continue to make like a sponge and keep soakin' it in.
Greg Perry is offline   Reply

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