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


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Old July 23rd, 2006, 01:56 PM   #1
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GL2 or step up to DVX100B?

I wanted to get a GL2 but I have been hearing so many people talking about the "cassette error" and dropped pixles. I've heard that this camera is basically useless and dies after about 1 1/2 years. Are these problems worth stepping up to a DVX100B (my next choice in camera)? I am a film student and I need a very reliable camera to last me another 2 or 3 years.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 02:00 PM   #2
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Where have you heard this? Please post your references, so we may evaluate them.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 02:42 PM   #3
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The GL2 is a great camcorder. After over 2 years mine is certainly not dead or useless. I use it a LOT. I consider mine to be a better bang for the buck than my higher priced VX2100 and my lower priced GS200, both of which I also like a lot. Dead pixels in the GL2 are a freak occurrence at no higher rate than with any other camcorder.

The only thing that you seem to have heard correctly is that there are more frequent reports of problems with the GL2 transport than there are of any single problem with any other single camcorder I know of (except maybe noisy preamps in the Sony VX2100/ PD150). However, that doesn't mean that a high percentage of GL2s are affected. As far as I can tell, most GL2 owners in this and other forums have not had transport problems, and I think that most of us believe it is only a fraction of a percent of units affected. Many of us do use an external rewinder to save wear and tear. To the people who have defective units and face a $250 out of warranty repair, the low frequency is no consulation. A growing number of people seem to have been able to fix the problem themselves with a cleaning procedure described in a thread here.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 03:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
Where have you heard this? Please post your references, so we may evaluate them.

Heard it form various reviews on website such as Amazon... Which I DO take with a grain of salt, but it got me thinking, and I do want to be carefull how I spend $2000+ dollars since I still have to pay for tuition and an apartment. Thats why I asked you guys, I wanted to see it the dead pixles, and other problems (somebody even said something about the GL2 having faulty prisms, which I don't think is true), were only a freak occurance or if they are a serious problem. As for the rewind issue, I have a little ZR-200 I can use for rewinding and video transfer for editing, which I hope will help with the eject cassette error.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 03:22 PM   #5
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the GL2 is a great camera. i have an XL2 and FX-1, and i still find uses for my GL2.

i think if you look at the camera's problems from a proportional or percentage standpoint, you'll see its no more or less reliable. i think there are a ton more of these on the market than some of the other cameras, and thus, you hear more about the problems.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 07:57 PM   #6
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Conveniently, I actually just upgraded from a GL2 to a DVX100B.

I originally bought my GL2 in January of this year, and enjoyed it quite a bit while I had it. It was a reliable camera, with great features and respectable image quality. The manual controls are pretty good, too, but...

The DVX100B is a pretty big step up. For the price (I paid about $2800 after rebate, compared to $1750 after rebate for the GL2), it offers a much greater number of features over the GL2 that totally make it worth the price. The DVX100B has more and better manual options and controls, and the image quality is very significantly stronger than that of the GL2's. 24P is a big selling point that sets the DVX100B apart from the GL2, in particular. (But that certainly isn't the only thing, either.) The DVX100B also has stronger audio capabilities.

Considering you are a film student, I might recommend the DVX100B over the GL2, even though it is significantly more expensive. The controls you have over the image and the image quality itself are great, and you'll want more control and more options as you begin to experiment more and more with cinematography and shooting techniques.

So, if you can afford it... The DVX100B would be my choice. Along with the more numerous controls and image options comes a much steeper learning curve, but it will be worth the effort, for sure.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 08:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce Olejniczak
...I do want to be carefull how I spend $2000+ dollars since I still have to pay for tuition and an apartment...
Good call. The odds are in your favor that you will not get the transport problem if you choose the GL2, but of course that can't be guaranteed. An extended warranty in your situation would probably be a good idea, so that at worst you'd be without the cam for a few weeks.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 01:29 PM   #8
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Well, I desided to get the GL2. I placed the order for it from B&H's. I hope I like it!
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Old July 25th, 2006, 04:22 PM   #9
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Maybe this pot comes a bit too late but I agree with Brian's opinion in that if you are a film student the DVX will be a better option. Don't just cut out the DVX100A used.. which would probably match a new GL2 cost.

I have to say I own a GL2 for 2 years, shot a short with it, a couple of 'documentaries', one in the remote mountains of Yukon and no problems.

No cassette error problems and the camera works perfectly.

A few things to consider...


DVX has bigger sensor (better image), more 'pro' camera features, 24p (just-like-film rate!)

GL2 is considerably cheaper ($1,000 or so), has still lots of features and is pretty reliable (judging by personaly experience).
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Old July 25th, 2006, 11:16 PM   #10
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Well, I want a DVX, but I just can't afford another $1000 for a camera right now. I just bought a G5 Dual 2.3 w/ 20" Cinema display and I still need to get Final cut studio, maybe After Effects too, which I have on my G4 laptop (but it is a school issued laptop and software) so I can't trasfer it to my G5. I figure I will just put the rest of my spare money into saving up for another camera, because in 2 years everything will be HD and the GL2 (and the DVX200) will probly be obsolete by then. The GL2 will be great fo my classes and other projects right now, besides the only other camera I have is a crappy ZR-200, which there is no way I would use that for anything but an edit deck.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 03:52 AM   #11
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choice between Canon & Sony

Hi Bryce,

I faced similar problem like you 3 years between Canon XM1 and Sony VX. I finally chose XM1 just because I did not want to pay extra $ for the Sony VX at that moment. But the XM1 is already a very good 3CCD cam. Though I sometimes thought that a VX might be better. The XM1 worked perfectly until recently the zoom button broke. The money I saved were later used to buy a good tripod, an external mic, Canon video light and a cheap 1 CCD cam as back-up and playback machine.

Kenneth
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Old July 28th, 2006, 12:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ferdinand
Maybe this pot comes a bit too late but I agree with Brian's opinion in that if you are a film student the DVX will be a better option. Don't just cut out the DVX100A used.. which would probably match a new GL2 cost.

I have to say I own a GL2 for 2 years, shot a short with it, a couple of 'documentaries', one in the remote mountains of Yukon and no problems.

No cassette error problems and the camera works perfectly.

A few things to consider...


DVX has bigger sensor (better image), more 'pro' camera features, 24p (just-like-film rate!)

GL2 is considerably cheaper ($1,000 or so), has still lots of features and is pretty reliable (judging by personaly experience).
what's wrong with dvx100a? The only difference I heard from the a to the b was the audio. Or was i reading that wrong?
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Old July 28th, 2006, 01:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Hibner
what's wrong with dvx100a? The only difference I heard from the a to the b was the audio. Or was i reading that wrong?

http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/100b/
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Old July 31st, 2006, 01:29 PM   #14
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Well, I got my GL2. I like it so far, but I sort of had an error message already. The other day I was using it and I got a "heads dirty, use cleaning cassette" message. This was only after about 20 mins of shooting so far, which was from the previous day. It went away and I was able to keep shooting, there was no errors with the footage at all. I think that it was due to the humidity, since it was very, very, humid out and the camera was cool from being in my house. I tryed to let it warm up to the hotter outside error, but I guess it wasn't enough. Or... Is there a problem with my GL2 already?
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Old July 31st, 2006, 06:51 PM   #15
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You could be right about the humidity causing the message. If it gets a lot of condensation the cam will shut down for that. But letting it warm up after bringing it out from a cool house into warm humid air does not mean it was able to dry out. Some people put their cam in a plastic bag when they bring it out under those conditions so it can warm up without letting condensation form.
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