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


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Old August 10th, 2006, 09:30 PM   #1
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Is a GL2 a good buy right now?

I want a new video camera but money is an issue. I have $1400 towards my next camera and a max of about $180 per month to keep saving with. Getting something like a DVX or XL2 is possible, I was looking at newegg.com. I can get a plan where I dont pay any interest until 6months after my purchase. Problem being 180 isnt enough to pay it off in 6 months. Im not sure if I want to wait like 7 months to finally buy a camera ill have to make payments on anyways.

I don't know if getting a GL2 for 2100 from B&H with a 250 rebate is smart. Obviously the camera is good but if I can get better wouldn't it be smarter to wait, or no? I really need someone to show me what this camera can do. If your a GL2 owner and have any full rez footage can you please upload it so I can see it? Some full rez 16:9 frame grabs, stuff like that. I want to know exactly what im going to get, because videos at 480 x whatever dont show the full potential of the camera. Show me what this thing can do and maybe ill consider it. It will be used for small commercials, and filmmaking. Someone convince me to get one or not get one, and if so show me some footage and stuff. I have search the forums but find nothing but dead links for old stuff, and new stuff is all downrezed footage I can't study. Anyone have some time to get some stuff up online for me?

I dont know im confused LOL

-Kyle
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Old August 10th, 2006, 11:24 PM   #2
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i am in the same situation. i have been looking at gl2 for some time now and was wondering myself if it the right move.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 01:05 AM   #3
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Get a used one. There's plenty out there cheap. Look around on this site in the classifieds. Stay away from Ebay.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 05:05 AM   #4
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If you need it now, get it now, if not wait. Prices for the same capability technology only drop over time, and maybe some new killer camcorder will come out at an atractive price point. May not make sense to buy something 6 months before you intend to start using it. But buy it in time to learn how to use it before an important shoot.

But you do need to resolve for you self whether SD or HD is your future for the projected life of what you buy.

My impression is that many e-Bay auctions end up over priced. Due to the frenzy of the bidding process, some people tend to forget what the actual value of the product is and bid it higher than it is worth..
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Old August 11th, 2006, 09:58 PM   #5
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i wish i could get a xl2
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Old August 12th, 2006, 01:21 AM   #6
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To 16:9 or not to 16:9... that is the question...

Most of my customers do not have the wide screen TVs because my price points are for the low budget mid size weddings. However, I can see a future where the wide screen TV is more and more prevelant, even though HD content is not (thanks to the format wars part II).

My issue with the GL2 is that it does not support native 16:9 (someone correct me if I am wrong on this). It aproximates 16:9, but that means a loss of quality. I currently shoot with my associate's HDR-FX1 and it sure is nice to have those features available, even if I have no need to shoot in HD. I can at least get great native 16:9 to work with, as well as having the manual controls (even if they are servo linked motors). I do think I would like the smaller weight of the GL2 compared to the FX1 because this thing is not a very hand held friendly camera.

Any way, back to the thread at hand.... I have been watchign GL2 prices rise steadily on B&H and have been very disappointed. Around Jan / Feb of this year they went for $1800 with the $250 rebate. Now they are $2100 with the same $250 rebate. I cannot figure out what is driving prices up!?! The anticipated replacement cameras should push prices down as people stop buying and save up for the replacement next generation.

Are my price expectations unrealistic? It seems like the $1600 area is where the price should be given the feature set and the available competition.

jason
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Old August 12th, 2006, 03:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robinson
My issue with the GL2 is that it does not support native 16:9 (someone correct me if I am wrong on this). It aproximates 16:9, but that means a loss of quality.
You're right. Shooting 16:9 on a GL2 does indeed entail a loss of quality, because you're using less of the CCD area than you are in 4:3, and yet your output resolution is still (anamorphic) 720x480.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robinson
Are my price expectations unrealistic? It seems like the $1600 area is where the price should be given the feature set and the available competition.
Simple economics would suggest that if the price of the GL2 is going up, it's either because demand is going up or supply is going down. The GL2 is still selling very well, so it doesn't make sense for Canon or their dealers to cut prices. You have to keep in mind that manufacturers don't usually set their prices based on functional comparisons of their product with other products. The price charged is based upon what the market will support. If people are willing to pay more for a GL2 than another camera--even one that is arguably more technologically advanced--then Canon would be insane not to let people pay the higher price.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 04:30 AM   #8
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I'll come out and say it.... "I'm just Greedy"

What I mean is I want it at a price that I want to pay. :-) too bad that isn't how economics works.

In other news, B & H has a few used XL1 cameras for $2200. I wonder if the feature bump up is worth it for the older camera? You get true 16:9 but on an older camera.... but you also get the full manual controls.... Any comments on similarly priced XL1 vs GL2?

jason

(burning source footage to backup media.....)
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Old August 13th, 2006, 05:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robinson
Any comments on similarly priced XL1 vs GL2?
XL1, or XL1s? In my book, the GL2 just slightly beats the XL1 overall for most purposes, but falls just short of the XL1s.

These are extremely subjective comments, and made without knowing exactly what you need in a camera.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #10
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What I need in a camera...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley
XL1, or XL1s? In my book, the GL2 just slightly beats the XL1 overall for most purposes, but falls just short of the XL1s.

These are extremely subjective comments, and made without knowing exactly what you need in a camera.
I suppose that is a big question... I want manual controls (so I can quickly fiddle) over a native 16:9 camera (or failing native 16:9, then very good 4:3 that can be cropped and not introduce too much noise. I also would like 3CCDs and an optically image stabalized lense. A nice and large zoom is a big plus because I don't expect to be needing any other specialized lenses or matt boxes.

So far I realy like the feel and workings of the Sony HDR-FX1. There are a few problems I have with this sytem, but they are very few. Especially considering that it is entirely in Japanese (my partner bought it in Japan while he was living over there) so I have had to just start pushing buttons to figure out what does what.

I was at a rehearsal on Wednesday and saw the team before us shooting with dual GL2s and they looked small. But I know their functionality if there so it would probably jsut take some getting used to. I probably don't have a huge line of accessories that I need. I woudl like and external shotgun mic (doesn't have to be XLR but probably shoudl be) and an external light (for receptions). Hand held stabalizers are not a bg issue, though I might invest in the cheapest of the ones available (with the weights on the bottom). I also might get some sort of wide angle adapter (not fish eye, but something to make rooms look biger for real estate work).

So that is the run down. I bet the GL2 is just what I need (or the VX1000). I just need to make up my mind and then find hte cash.

jason
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Old August 13th, 2006, 06:49 PM   #11
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Prices on the GL2 have been cyclic at B&H. This is the third cycle I've observed over the course of several years. But even at the current price of $2095 before rebate, it's one of the best bangs for the buck out there.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 09:00 PM   #12
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Thanks for the comments. I gotta admit that 1895 after rebate is damn tempting. But then I gotta counterweigh the fact that I own a nice tripod already. I could buy the GL2 in the next week and start shooting now or wait till mid Oct. to buy my XL2 from newegg.com and pay off the rest in another 4 months with no interest. I think its highly worth it to wait but then you gotta figure I wont be buying any accessories except small cheap things until its paid off like a UV lens and a bag probably. Other than that anything else would be out of the question. But I could get a GL2 practically now and get a bunch of accessories by the time I would be buying the XL2. Its a hard choice but I think the XL2 will be worth it. Im willing to pay an extra 1600 or so for 24p,30p, and a kickarse 16:9. I think its a good idea to invest in a great camera like that.

-Kyle
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Old August 21st, 2006, 03:01 AM   #13
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Kyle, you seem to be pretty attached to accessories. It varies with filmmaker naturally, but you really won't need anything outside of an extra battery and a bag. Don't feel like you have to buy every gizmo made for the camera, you can achieve some very impressive shots with clever framing alone. I was stupid enough to buy a telephoto for my GL2 and never took it out of the bag. A wide angle might be helpful for cramped indoor shots (or skateboard videos) but even that can be avoided. A Beachtek adapter is only good if you need to run an audio cord longer than 40' in length (and if the mic is XLR in the first place) and of course don't fall into the trap of buying those dumb accessories that are frivolous and serve little purpose. Whatever camera you buy, play around with it for a good long time and get comfortable with it to determine what suits your shooting style before you attach yourself to buying accessories you may or may not need.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 06:56 AM   #14
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Thats understandable, but I was only talking about needed things like a protection filter, a bad to hold the camera, even tapes lol. After I buy my XL2 and start paying it off, buying anything else no matter how small will be tough for the first 5 months. Probably the only expensive accessorie I want to get by summer is a simple dolly. I know there are DIY ways of making it but ide be clueless and its more trouble than its worth.

-Kyle
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Old August 21st, 2006, 07:12 AM   #15
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From a Gl2 Owner

I have both a Z1u and GL2, and let me tell you, I'm happy that I have my Gl2. It's a great medium range camera that is excellent in low light. Which weddings and special events have plenty of. I've had my Gl2 for several years now and it's always performed very well.

I think a Gl2 is a good investment if the price and specs fit what you're looking for.
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