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

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Old February 19th, 2003, 03:01 PM   #1
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Best Buy? Maybe not...

Hello all. This is my first post here but I had a funny thing happen today that I'm sure some of you can relate to. I too am one of the many fencesitters trying to make up "our" mind on which 3-chipper to go with before parting ways with a couple grand. I was passing through Spartanburg, SC and saw a Best Buy and thought I might have a chance to put a GL-2 in my hands before taking the plunge. I know this a consumer level store but I played with a GL-1 in a Circuit City a couple of years ago plus Best Buy does sell it online so I thought maybe... Anyway, I had no more than entered the small video section when a young salesperson was in my face with, "ready to buy a camcorder, eh?". I asked him if they had any of the 3-chippers in stock and he replied, "um, we don't have that brand". In my nicest voice I replied that I meant the 3 ccd camera's as opposed to 1 ccd. His reply this time was, "we have mini dv and hi 8 but I'm not sure on the ccd format. I couldn't help with a chuckle but I quickly explained to him what he obviously didn't know and he said, "hmmm, interesting" as he turned on his heels and started talking to another person without missing a beat. No wonder so many people get duped in these stores, eh? I knew better so it's my own fault.


P.S I know opinions and reviews run rampant online but most professional review have been raving about the GL-2. That is until I came across this one today at Just curious if anyone else had read this review and what they thought of it.
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Old February 19th, 2003, 03:50 PM   #2
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Generally I feel a bit sorry for clerks at such stores. They just want a minimal job and get thrown into a department with little, or pitful training to face hoards of potentially Web-educated consumers asking questions that are far beyond their capabilities to answer. But everyone's gotta eat.

Regarding that , ahem, "review".. As is often the case in publications and sites that are outliers to video technology, it's a veritable stew of good information, misinformation and disinformation. The reviewer did a rather poor job of reviewing, or even understanding, the GL2, much less researching the GL1 that he so often referred to. I'm thinking that Best Buy might be on the reviewer's resume. But everyone's gotta eat.
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Old February 19th, 2003, 04:50 PM   #3
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I guess it's really to the consumers advantage that places like Best Buy and Circuit City aren't keeping the higher end camera's in their stores anymore as the majority of consumers don't want/ need that much firepower and the staff isn't really educated on it anyway.

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Old February 19th, 2003, 05:16 PM   #4
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This line from that review got me to swallow the wrong way, and I spit out my coffee (no worries, it was only instant coffee):

"Canon's best bet would have been to continue the GL1, without changing any components, but just adding the color bars, and adjustable audio level meters and a few other changes."
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Old February 21st, 2003, 04:53 AM   #5
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Got to lover reviewers who don't understand basic grammar:

The GL1 is a quality camcorder that the GL2 can't compare *too*.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 07:07 AM   #6
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This post reminded me of why those of us who are geographically convenient to pro stores feel so lucky.

I went into B&H the other day. Good, knowledgeable folks, and so many toys to play with. (A playland for dreamers and a nightmare when the credit card bills arrive.) Nobody seemed to mind that I was drooling all over the DSR 500. (Ok, I wasn't literally drooling. I don't think anyway.)
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Old February 21st, 2003, 07:36 AM   #7
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We have that problem here in Holland. Pro stores are almost
nowhere to be found for video (still there are quite a lot). I know
of some places but I just found them by accident or heard from
someone else. It is almost as if they don't want me to find them.

And most are a long drive away, oh well. I bought my XL1s
at a place you can compare to Best Buy. Luckely for me I knew
exactly what I was buying.

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Old February 21st, 2003, 08:38 AM   #8
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Attempt #2 to get my hands on a GL2. We have a local camera shop here in Myrtle Beach that I've always stayed away from because it just has that touristy feel to it and in this town you learn very quickly to stay out of tourist traps. A co-worker mentioned he thought they had some of the 3 chippers in there though so I thought what the heck. I think these guys might be either related to the NY scam shops or are in the mafia! lol (Thick NY accents, lots of gold jewelry, etc...) Also, absolutely zero knowledge about what he was talking about. He did have a TRV-950 but all he could talk about was bluetooth, bluetooth, bluetooth. When I asked about the GL2 I was told that he could get his hands on a GL2 but the guy and business was so shady that I don't think I'd go back. Being that I've been a shooter (hitachi z-one.c) for about 7 years I really want to see the GL2 in the flesh and blood before buying. My quest continues...
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Old February 21st, 2003, 08:57 AM   #9
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Educating yourswelf is the best buy you can make... even if you have access to a pro shop.

Here in Houston, there are Best Buys, Circuit City, and FRYS, along with a number of pro a/v suppliers. We're pretty lucky in that respect.

FRY's has a good selection of gear, and the personell are hit or miss... like most places. But you can walk in, pick up a GL2 (About $2795) and try it out right next to a VX2000, and probably a dozen different brands of 1 chippers.

Nothing like try before you buy as a decision making process.

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Old February 21st, 2003, 10:45 AM   #10
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Unlike Ken, I have no sympathy for sales people that don't know their stuff. If I worked at a Best Buy store, and they put me in the vacuum cleaner dept, I'd know everything there is to know about vaccums within a week,

It's funny, I was at a mega electronics store yesterday looking for a replacement for my Canon S100 digital camera, and I was looking at the Sony VX2000 they had. The salesman was on me like a hawk and started dropping all the crap like how Lucas and Speilburg use this camera to preshoot scenes they want to try out. He then went on for about 3 or 4 minutes straight about TV shows are switching to these while I ignored him and checked out the camera.
"So are you in the market for one of these?" he asked.
"I already have a few Canon XL1's for my production company" I replied.
He left about 2 seconds later.

I think I'd rather have a salesperson that doesn't know anything, but doesn't try really hard to sell me something. I prefer honest ignorance to BS. Not that what the guy was saying didn't have some basis in truth but...
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 09:03 AM   #11
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HomeTheaterSpot doesn't seem to amount to much. Clicking on most navigation links leads to "We are currently working on this" and a blank screen. No "About," no "Contact Us" information, which is usually the first thing up on a site.

The GL2 review is the only one I have seen that flat out rejected the camcorder. Ignoring the fact that the review was brief and gave over more space to paper clips than cam features, I think the site is trying to attract attention by being contrary rather than authoritative. Reviews by pros with deep experience with many cams have pointed out flaws, but the worst review I have seen was merely neutral. Most are positive.

(My tapes don't get near the memory card door, but I have to agree that the magnet is pretty strong.)

I made my first pilgrimage to B&H a few weeks ago after having bought loads of stuff, including the GL2, from the site. Even though I have most of what I need, I couldn't manage to get out of the store without spending more. And what a pleasant, helpful staff. Just the other day I bought an item that came missing a screw, so I sent an email about it. B&H actually called me on the phone to discuss the problem! (They had to wait until I regained conciousness from fainting.)

For BestBuy horror stories, see Reading the stories is like eating M&Ms -- you can't eat just one. Ignoring issues of whether the clerks know anything, the site has made me very cautious about what I buy at BestBuy, usually only things that I know will never be returned or that cost less than $100. There are a lot of "anti" sites on the Web, but this one has gone to great lengths to say online and has been around for quite some time.

I have not yet found a local retailer that carries the GL2. My brother bought his blind and I saw that one before I bought.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 05:08 PM   #12
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Quite an addictive site! I never thought I could be so engaged in reading people's gripes.
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Old February 24th, 2003, 03:51 PM   #13
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Using the cam on auto is apparently all the reviewer did. I have found that a warm picture, similar to the GL1 can be achieved outdoors by setting the cam "white balance" setting. Those with the GL2 can judge for themselves and confirm or dispute my findings. Setting to the sunlight icon also gives me a very warm shot outdoors as compared to the auto adjust setting. This will probably be the setting of choice for me outdoors, as I love the warmer GL1 like picture. I regret videotaping up till now on the auto setting, as the difference is obvious. Once you have set your white balance, cycle thru your settings to check for yourself. I think using a sheet of white paper to white balance the shot gives a tad warmer shot than the sunlight setting. I thought the sunlight icon setting was the warmest till I tried this.
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