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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old March 3rd, 2003, 11:57 PM   #1
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date/time burn-in

According to Canon's website the GL2 has a feature called "Character Record" which "is a feature that allows for the superimposition of data -- month, day, hour, minute and second -- on the video. This data is permanently burned on to the video. This is ideal for surveillance and law enforcement use."

I downloaded the Instruction manual PDF and examined it pretty closely, but was unable to determine where on the screen this appears, or if the screen position is selectable. I'd like to use this camera for legal depositions, and I'd like to be able to burn in month/day/year along with a continuous time readout (hour/minutes/seconds) in the lower left corner (this is in fact the standard for deposition work, which Canon mentions specifically in the promotional literature). Can anyone confirm that the GL2 will actually do this? Customer support people on the phone were perplexing as usual, told me camera would display either the date or the time but not both. That can't be right.
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Old March 4th, 2003, 12:49 AM   #2
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Welcome Jim,

See page 90 of that manual. Unlike analog (ex: VHS, Hi8) that can "burn" the date/time onto the image DV data is recorded onto the tape and can be recalled during playback. Somewhat oddly, the remote control is the mechanism (on the GL2) for recalling the date/time. The location of the display is always in the lower left corner and cannot be changed.
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Old March 4th, 2003, 09:54 AM   #3
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Thanks Ken, but I'm not talking about the regular DV datacode that you can hide/display. I'm talking about "character record" From the Canon website : "a feature that allows for the superimposition of data -- month, day, hour, minute and second -- on the video. This data is permanently burned on to the video. This is ideal for surveillance and law enforcement use."
A brochure I picked up at MacWorld (good to see you at the booth, Chris!) mentioned depositions specifically.

I need the camera to permanently burn in date and time of day in this format:

month/day/year
hour/minutes/seconds

Customer service guy on the phone said it would do date OR time but not both, which doesn't make much sense. If true, however, maybe there could be some workaround i.e.
this undocumented titling feature I've been reading about here.

Does anybody know what I'm talking about?

ja
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Old March 7th, 2003, 05:38 AM   #4
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the customer service guy knows litle about this camcorder....

you can't burn the date/time on image (I know what you're talking about). You can see the date/time on screen while recording ("show guide" or something like that, from the menu) but it is not burned into the recording image. You'll only have the datacode. But isn't that enough for depositions? If you deliver the miniDV tape, any DV VCR could show the datacode (I think). If you deliver on VHS you can burn the date/time when recording to the VHS. (you can set the "DATA" to show only date/time without exposure or other data).
"I need the camera to permanently burn in date and time"
Whell, the data and time ARE permanently burned on the tape! Is just hidden... :)
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Old March 8th, 2003, 01:54 PM   #5
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datacode settings

Well, I was getting nowhere with my previous post (see "date/time burn-in"), so I'll make it easier.
On page 86 of the (English) GL2 manual. we can see that the datacode can be PERMANENTLY burned-in to each frame (this is required for certain legal applications, such as depositions) by setting CHARACTER REC. To "ON".
On page 90 (maybe 91) we can see that the datacode can be set to display various combinations of date/time/cam.settings.
My old XL1only displays hours and minutes in datacode (NOT talking about SMPTE time-code).
Could someone PLEASE tell me if the GL2 displays SECONDS as part of the DATACODE?

Thank you

ja (aka buzzard-boy
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Old March 8th, 2003, 04:26 PM   #6
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Jim,
This is not a feature I use on the GL2 so forgive me for being slow on the draw on this question.

After playing with menus, etc. for 30+ mins I've not been able to actually record (i.e. burn) h:m:s onto the tape. I can get date and h:m as well as all kinds of other camera data. Perhaps someone else knows tricks for this feature.

Looks like the GL2 may be a bad choice for legal depositions.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 05:00 PM   #7
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Thanks Ken.

I had a feeling this was the case, but it was lame of Canon to mention deposition work in the promotional blurb. Deposition work means continuous hour/minute/second stamp.
The XL1S has been promoted with the same language, I'll have to mosey over to that forum and inquire within.
I planned on going out firewire to a DSR-11 (Can't shoot 2 hours uninterrupted on mini DV cassettes), but looks like I might have to use the analog outs and use a character generator with a time/date stamp. Wonder what kind of degradation I would get using the S-video out to the DSR-11?

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Old March 9th, 2003, 08:40 AM   #8
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I can get h:m:s (real) but not at the same time with the date.

I can get the h:m:s (elapsed) (upper right) on-screen with the date + time h:m (real) (lower left) .

Don't know if this is useful or not.
It did however make for a nice romp through some features of the cam though.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 01:08 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Talley : I can get h:m:s (real) but not at the same time with the date.

I can get the h:m:s (elapsed) (upper right) on-screen with the date + time h:m (real) (lower left) .

Don't know if this is useful or not.
-->>>

Hmm... this might work after all!

When you say you can get "h:m:s (real)" do you mean a continuous read at the bottom left side (datacode area)? If it's datacode it can be burned in by setting character record to "on".
That's really all I need. The date I could manage with the (undocumented) title mix function I've been reading about here. Please confirm...and thanks!

ja (buzzard-boy)
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Old March 9th, 2003, 01:40 PM   #10
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Jim,
I can get the running time-code to burn onto the tape in the format hh:mm:ss but not the time of day in that format. I don't think that will do it for you.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 03:14 PM   #11
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Jim,
Alas, Ken is correct. I went back did some further testing and while I can get a display of the datacode showing the absolute time of recording (h:m:s) it is not "burned" into the video.

The best I can get "burned" into the video is date/time (h:m) (lower-left) and "running" timecode in h:m:s upper right, which will not satisfy the legal-beagles.

What I thought I was getting by displaying the datacode on playback was indeed h:m:s (absolute time-of-recording) but this is simply displayed by the cam during playback and is not "burned" into the video. You can make it show not only on the LCD/VF but on the analog outs so if you were dubbing to another media it would then be "burned" into the video.

Capturing from FW does not however display the datacode in the captured video clips. Only the onboard LCD/VF and the A/V outs include that.

One could juggle things to get it but it appears to be a major PITA.



Sorry if I confused things.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 04:44 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Talley : Jim,
Alas, Ken is correct. I went back did some further testing and while I can get a display of the datacode showing the absolute time of recording (h:m:s) it is not "burned" into the video.-->>>

Rob (and Ken), thanks for the research. The manual seems to indicate that whatever configuration of datacode info is showing in the bottom left can be burned in by setting character record to "on", but I guess if the empirical tests prove otherwise there's no point in arguing about what the camera is "supposed" to do.
I'll be in N.Y. next week, so I'll go by B&H (one of my favorite places in the universe) and play with one myself (I don't think Gasser's here in S.F. would let me mess with one of their's; they know I never buy anything from them but gaffer's tape).

Peace (PLEASE?)

ja (aka buzzard-boy)
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Old March 10th, 2003, 02:21 AM   #13
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You can burn Date/Time permanently into video at the same time during recording. Try this on GL2 :
Turn on character recording on Menu, system.
Go to Menu -> DISP. SET UP -> GUIDE INFO, select D/T DISPLAY.
Since character recording will record whether information shown on LCD or viewfinder, click DISPLAY/DATA CODE button several times to only show Date/Time information if you just need Date/Time burn on video. Maybe this is what you want.
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Old March 10th, 2003, 05:00 AM   #14
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I was not aware of that.... Thanks for the info, Johnny!
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Old March 10th, 2003, 05:08 AM   #15
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Jim, You have a reply from Johnny Ai, on your other post:
"You can burn Date/Time permanently into video at the same time during recording. Try this on GL2 :
Turn on character recording on Menu, system.
Go to Menu -> DISP. SET UP -> GUIDE INFO, select D/T DISPLAY.
Since character recording will record whether information shown on LCD or viewfinder, click DISPLAY/DATA CODE button several times to only show Date/Time information if you just need Date/Time burn on video. Maybe this is what you want."

I'll have to try that when I get home.
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