Should I sell or keep my Canon GL1 at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old August 7th, 2011, 04:01 AM   #1
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Should I sell or keep my Canon GL1

I have a Canon XH-A1 and a Canon GL1.
I need a "b" camera for "wedding" shoots and the GL1 has that great 20x zoom capability. Of course it only shoots SD. I can use the XH-A1 in 30f and the GL1 in "frame mode" which should allow me to edit both on the same timeline Premiere CS5.

I deliver my product on standard DVDs.

Question: Would you advise selling the GL1 and getting a HV20-40 or keeping the GL1 ?

thanks,
Jeff
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Old August 7th, 2011, 02:16 PM   #2
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Re: Should I sell or keep my Canon GL1

Gl1s are going for $350 to $450 on Ebay - is that enough for you? Otherwise, I'd hang on to it, and buy the hv20.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 02:28 PM   #3
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Re: Should I sell or keep my Canon GL1

Not trying to be funny, but if your clients are happy with SD DVD's (and you see this continuing in the foreseeable future) then why not get yourself another GL1? HD cameras are great for HD delivery, but there is no real benefit to be had if you are mainly delivering in SD.

Down-converting HD to SD is a real pain-in-the-a**, and you have to ask yourself is the XHA1 HD footage actually any better than the GL1 when converted to SD? Probably not.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 06:53 AM   #4
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Re: Should I sell or keep my Canon GL1

Simon...

Due to your post I compared the XH-A1 to the GL1 in a talking head shot with a couple of photo lights.

Setup was A1 on 30f,factory defaul preset, GL1 on Frame 16x9option, both cams set to Canon's "auto" mode (not green easy shoot), auto focus on both cams zoom in small amount to frame head shot.

Both cams were captured to CS5 premiere, DV widescreen ntsc project. I downconverted the A1 HD in via the camera, and captured the GL1 video direct, since it was already SD.

Surprise!...the GL1 video look "better" than the A1. The focus seemed "soft" on the A1 and extrememly sharp on the GL1 (both cams set to autofocus). The GL1 video has a rich, contrast look, while the A1 was washed out, like it was over exposed. I did a quick color correction to the A1 and brought it very close to the GL1 and rendered a comparison.

Summary: I think keeping the GL1 as a "b" cam is a great choice. Shooting with the GL1 in Frame 30fps and 16x9 makes a good match to the A1.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old August 9th, 2011, 01:04 PM   #5
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Re: Should I sell or keep my Canon GL1

Yeah, a lot of people (including me) were surprised at the quality of the Canon XLH1 footage when shot in SD mode - it many cases it was worse than the Canon XL2. HD cameras seemingly have lenses that are better suited to HD delivery, so SD footage suffers. Downconverting XLH1 footage (either in post or at the point of capture from the camera using an internal setting) is not much better; you really have to work at it in post to get better results by tweaking lots of variables.

SD cameras are great for DVD delivery, no doubt about it.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 02:52 PM   #6
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Re: Should I sell or keep my Canon GL1

It's funny how we trick ourselves to justify our expensive purchases. ha

I never compared the two cams...I just thought HD would be a lot better when stepped down to SD.
If I had known, I would have got another GL1 or GL2..there's a million on sale at ebay. I had also never used the "frame 16x9 setting on the GL1............looks great and I can edit both on the same time line without any problems.

Not many in my area demand Blu-Ray. Im sure as soon as the price drops on the players, more will request HD.

Jeff
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Old August 9th, 2011, 02:55 PM   #7
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Re: Should I sell or keep my Canon GL1

SD cameras are great for DVD delivery sure - but the GL1 is 4:3 and you're not telling me you shoot and produce wedding DVDs in 4:3 now, are you? Because of this I'd say sell the GL1 this minute and get an HV if you want to stay with tape.

OK, if you're shooting with the GL1 in its 16:9 mode then you've got a 720 x 360 frame - and you're telling me this looks better than the XH's 720 x 480? If so, I'd say there was something seriously wrong with the XH - or its downconversion.

A few years back I was shooting standard def 16:9 on the Z1 and we simply couldn't intercut it with the 16:9 stuff shot on the PD170, the latter looked so soft.

tom.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 03:18 PM   #8
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Re: Should I sell or keep my Canon GL1

I set both cams to the "auto" mode..not the Canon Easy Auto mode.
The XHA1 had preset "off" which may account for the washed out look. I added some contrast and saturation in post and it looks much better. I did not have to do anything to the GL1 in post.
There may be a big difference in "auto-gain" between the A1 and the GL1 also....dunno.

Im satisfied I can use the two cams with a little help from color correction.
Ive shot some great video with the XH-A1 even after converting to SD... but always in manual and with Vividrgb or other presets.

Im just trying to avoid buying another HD cam for the "b" cam. I like the 20x zoom of the GL1. I may get a HV-40 later.
Jeff
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