Not happy with GL2 low light performance at DVinfo.net

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


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Old May 9th, 2003, 09:25 PM   #1
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Not happy with GL2 low light performance

The title may be a little provocative and perhaps somewhat overstated, but...

I've had a VX2000 (work) for about three years now. A few months ago it came time to get my very own personal 3-chipper, and after much research I hitched my wagon to the GL2. I favor the GL2 for just about every shooting situation -- especially outdoors -- over the VX2000. I think it produces a better result all around, IMHO, after doing a bunch of side-by-side shooting tests and personal reviews, especially for my outdoor shooting -- where the LONG lens is more than welcome.

Anyway, the biggest "disappointment" has been low light ability. I find that, under identical conditions, the VX2000 will produce acceptable results at the same shutter and aperture settings where the GL will need to have 6-12dB dialed in to compensate. 6dB is OK, but 12dB produces noticeable noise (not heavy, but it's still there).

I've noticed some here claim to be very happy, or even "astonished" at the GL2's low light capability. And that may certainly be the case if you're coming from a micro-chip camera like the Panny single chippers I have that are pathetic low light performers. But if you're used to, or are expecting truly good (ie: VX2000 or better) low light performance you WILL be disappointed.

I'm not trying to be a big suck on a lemon here, cuz I'm not souring on the GL2 at all. Given a choice (a choice I have daily), I will always take the GL2 over the VX2000, save for low light situations.

Then it's a no-brainer.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 09:30 PM   #2
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....yeah.....

The VX2000 has always been known to be great in low light, thats a fact.

The GL2 isn't bad, it's just not as good, and face it, you need light to get a decent picture anyway.

David Letterman has $500,000 cameras on his show. You don't see them shooting under moonlight.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 09:56 PM   #3
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DId you use it in TV mode that seems to work well in low light.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 09:59 PM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ron Little : DId you use it in TV mode that seems to work well in low light. -->>>


What is "TV" mode? I was in normal mode, not Frame, if that's what you're talking about.

Also, I read somewhere (in one of the DVi articles, I think) that Frame Mode gives you an extra 6dB because of the deinterlacing. Is that true? I can't see a difference on the LCD.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 10:07 PM   #5
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Brendan,
The VX2000 and PD150 are generally the winners in a low-light contest with the GL2.
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Old May 9th, 2003, 11:54 PM   #6
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Try the TV setting I donít have my cam here it is at work or I would give you exact instructions.

But look in your menu and chose TV. What this doses is it lets you control the shutter by turning the wheel on the side of the cam. And the cam automatically adjust everything else to match your
setting.

You will be able to adjust for darkness simply by turning the knob. Last month I shot a candle light wedding in TV mode the pictures were beautiful the couple loved it and I got paid.

Look it up in your manul.

I use both cams the VX 2000 and the CL2 you can achieve great results with either cam but the GL2s audio is far better.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 08:06 AM   #7
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I'm not sure if you're in manual mode but you'll have more control over exposure if you use it. For dark scenes, the GL-2 allows you to lower the shutter speed to 1/30 and lower and that may be preferable to bumping the gain to 12 or 18dB.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 08:33 AM   #8
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Ohhhh, that "Tv" mode!!! I'm used to calling it shutter priority. I don't know why Canon had to go and make something up for it.

I always use the GL2 in full manual mode. I don't bother with "Tv" or "Av" modes but on rare occasions.

I almost never let the machine do my thinking for me. I'm a control freak ;-)
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Old May 10th, 2003, 01:33 PM   #9
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You might wonít to rethink the use of the TV MODE since you canít seem to set it up right in FULL MANUAL :-0
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Old May 10th, 2003, 01:42 PM   #10
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I think I'm just expecting too much from small CCDs. Of course the VX2000 is going to do better in low light due to 33% more area and light-gathering ability.

Like I said, it's not that I'm truly "disappointed." But rather I may have had unreasonable expectations.

It's clear from both personal experience and every review I've seen that the VX2000 is the low light king in this segment for that reason. The GL2 just doesn't have the ability to keep up in this one, non-critical facet.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 06:11 PM   #11
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Please try it, use the TV mode just to see what this cam can do in low light. Think of it as a test man against machine. You may be pleasantly surprised.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 07:50 PM   #12
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I tried it. No change.

As I suspected, there's really no difference when running in "Tv" mode versus full manual, except Tv will dial in gain automatically and it's not as flexible as full manual mode either. That's what I want to avoid, the camera automatically dialing in 12-18dB of gain when it degrades the picture too much.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 07:58 PM   #13
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If you want to shoot anything serious with a GL2 (or VX2000, XL1S etc), like weddings and other gigs where the light may be dim, consider buying an onboard light.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 08:00 PM   #14
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Yea, I'm with you on that Frank.

Fortunately I'm no pro or event videographer and 95% or more of my shooting is outside during bright daylight. If anything, too much light is my biggest problem.

Go figure ;-)
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Old May 10th, 2003, 08:59 PM   #15
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Just to fill you guys in, TV stands for "Time Value" and yes it is shutter priority, 1/60 1/125 etc. AV stands for Aperture Value, f1.8, f2.8 etc.
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