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


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Old October 21st, 2006, 09:19 PM   #1
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GL1 not a good cam anymore?

Was thinking of getting one used as a back up to my XL1. And to also be able to shoot a game (sports) using 2 cameras. Is the GL1 that much outdated? Or will this work as a back up. I heard the quality is as good as the GL2.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 11:49 PM   #2
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I'm dont know about the GL1, but i have a GL2 and it still gets the job done for me. I'm sure the GL1 is fine for what your trying to do.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 12:48 AM   #3
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The GL1 and XL1 are seven and eight year old technology, which amounts to a couple of epochs worth of outdatedness. But if you're happy with what they deliver, that's really all that matters.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 01:06 AM   #4
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I'd say the GL1 would integrate well with the XL1, but as with any face-lift, it's probably better heading for the updated (GL2) version if you can afford it.

The XL1s was an improved XL, the DVX100A was whole leaps better than the original DVX and the VX2100's bigger handle and even better low light capability were very useful over the original VX2000.

You should be able to pick up a GL1 pretty cheaply now as folk (even the picnic-filmers) move over to 16:9.

tom.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 05:11 AM   #5
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35mm film is 111-year-old technology. :)

There's nothing wrong with an older camcorder just because there are newer ones available with more bells and whistles or "better" image quality. Plenty of people still choose ancient hand-wound bolexes over fancy tricked-out ARRI's, and not always only because they're cheaper to get hold of. There's a whole subculture of filmmakers working with Fisher Price PXL-2000's. No camera is ever "obsolete" if it meets your needs and works for what you're doing with it.

I have a GL1 and I still use it fairly often--it's handy to have a smaller 3-chip around for those times where my XL2 is either too bulky for a given situation, or else if I'm shooting something potentially camera-dangerous I wouldn't dare shoot with the XL2. I plan on using my GL1 for one purpose or another for as long as it lives.

I think there's maybe a little too much tech-envy when it comes to things like video cameras and computers and things. :) Older cameras can still be very useful, though I will admit that sometimes the kinds of projects for which they are useful might be more and more specialized as time passes.

As for your situation, Chris, I think the GL1 is a natural as a B-camera to your XL1. The footage from the two cameras should cut together pretty nicely.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 07:08 AM   #6
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If the GL1 capabilities meet your needs,and the price is right, go for it. Just check it out to be sure is has no probplems.

The main donwnside to the GL1 (assuming its features/capabilities meet your needs) is that it has been out of production for several years. This means assured parts support from Canon has on the order of 3-4 years to run, then repairs may become problematic. BTW: this caution applies to all electronics, not just camcorders from Canon.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 07:54 AM   #7
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My very first videocamera was the GL-1. I really liked its color reproduction and compact size. But that said it had problems including tape transport and head alignment issues which others on this forum also experienced. I then sold it and used a borrowed GL-2 for a while. It was a superior camcorder and I would recommend it over the GL-1.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 10:15 AM   #8
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Had a GL2 but people I've met say the GL1 produces near identical footage- go for it if it's a clean GL1 at the right price.
I have fond memories of the GL2 and that awesome zoom lens!!!!!!!!!!
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 10:43 AM   #9
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I think it will work for what I need it for. But I'm going to do a little bit more research to make sure. One thing I do know is that I would like to get a better external mic for it. Any suggestions? I'm also wanting to get a clip on mic (maybe a wireless even), would that hook up into the same place where you would plug the external mic into?

I've been searching E-bay and they still go for over $1000 average + shipping on the "buy it now" option. The one I have lined up now is $875 plus shipping on one that is in great condition (not listed on ebay). A friend of mine has a cousin that is selling one so I know it's a good source. What do you guys think?

Thanks,
-C
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 10:46 AM   #10
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Any mic will plug into the stereo mini socket and cancel out the internal mics. You'll need a Y splitter if you want to use two external mics, and of course Canon sell the XLR adapter for this model too (as do Beachtec).
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 11:06 AM   #11
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Go for it!
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 10:05 PM   #12
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Got an even better deal than I thought. It's in great condition with little wear and tear. $850 + shipping. The only thing is, he lost the remote. Would I be able to buy this still?
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 02:28 AM   #13
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It's perfectly possible to use *any* Canon camcorder remote as I'm pretty sure (like Sony) they all use the same codes. So find a dead Canon and keep its remote.

Alternatively buy a cheap 'learning' remote and teach it from a friend's Canon remote.

tom.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 07:34 AM   #14
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I had both a GL1 and GL2 and liked the latter more for several reasons, including better audio controls. But if the price is right for a GL1 there's no reason it couldn't work as a second camera for your purposes.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 09:31 PM   #15
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Kevin, how did you find the picture quality versus the GL2?
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