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-   -   Matching XL2 and GL2 widescreen footage (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xl-gl-series-dv-camcorders/82772-matching-xl2-gl2-widescreen-footage.html)

Chris Wright December 29th, 2006 10:10 PM

Matching XL2 and GL2 widescreen footage
The title says it all... I'm shooting a wedding tomorrow in widescreen with an XL2 and a GL2 for my wide camera. I know that the GL2 doesn't support native widescreen, but this is the best I can do.

I hear that the Frame Mode on the GL2 is terrible, so should I use the non– "frame mode" stretched widescreen recording on the GL2 along with the XL2 at 60i?

Or, would it be better to record the XL2 at 30p and the GL2 in Frame Mode?

The XL2 will be used 75% of the time, only cutting away for occasional wide shots, so if the GL2's quality isn't the best, it's not that big of a deal.

Any suggestions?

Dale Guthormsen December 29th, 2006 11:33 PM


I do not think the wide screen on the gl2 is terrible. I shoot with it in wide screen all the time as I also shoot my xl2 in wide screen. I have combined them in the same dvd without any real problems. I always shoot in frame mode and 30 p.
Shoot a minute of each, combine them, if you do not like it then shoot 4:3 with the gl2 and wide screen it in post.

David Morgan January 6th, 2007 09:54 AM

what is your output format? DVD?
If so, how do u handle the 16 x 9 standard def. issue?

Is your stuff letterboxed on 4 x 3 TV's and full screen on 16 x 9 TV's or...?

I have a Canon A1 and a GL-2. I'm looking for work flows to deliver a DVD that will play full screen on 16 x 9 TV's in standard def.


Trond Saetre January 12th, 2007 07:17 AM


As Dale, I shoot 16:9 only with my XM2.
When making DVD's, I use a 16:9 project in Adobe Encore. (same as source video)

The final video appear as letterboxed on a 4:3 tv, and full screen on a 16:9 tv.

Todd Brassard January 12th, 2007 10:54 AM

I'm not any sort of professional and may be way off base with my methods, but I combine footage from my GL2 and XL2 all the time. I run full manual with both cameras, 30P on the XL2 and Frame Mode on the GL2 (I've been very pleased with frame-mode footage). I always make sure to white balance both cameras, although sometimes I have trouble getting the GL2 to lock on - maybe because the lighting levels are too low sometimes (very frustrating).

With the GL2 you have that choice of normal or wide screen mode. When I first purchased my GL2 I wanted to use it in wide screen mode all the time (although I don't like the way it displays on the screen), but then I reseached and learned that in widescreen mode the GL2 is just ignoring a portion of the CCDs and sort of "zooming" (is this the correct phrase?) the recorded image to widescreen format and writing it to the tape. This means that the camera is not recording all of the data it could to the tape. Maybe it also means that the camera is recording slighly pixilated data to the tap? (since it had to zoom the 4:3 CCD to the 16:9 aspect ratio.

Now, rather than recording in widescreen mode, I record 4:3 with the widescreen guidelines turned on. I try to shoot and look at the composition from a widescreen perspective rather than 4:3. Then I take the imported 4:3 clip in vegas and adjust it to widescreen format (cropping the top and bottom). Since I shot the video with this in mind, it usually works out pefectly, but the beautiful part is that if I "missed" during the shoot by having the camera a little high or low, I can simply transpose the clip up or down since I have that extra image data above and below my intended target. This has worked to my benefit many times, its like you have a little room to play.

I'm not sure if this is standard practice, but it works well for me and fully utilizes the CCD on the GL2.

Must my 2 cents,

David Morgan January 19th, 2007 10:05 AM

Interesting approach with the GL. I've heard of this method but haven't tried it. Where did you research the facts about losing info. if you record in widescreen mode? My understanding was that earlier models like the XL-1s ignored image area but the GL-2 just squeezed the 16 frame into 4 x 3 without pixel loss. I'd be interested to know where you found this information.


Holly Rognan January 19th, 2007 04:52 PM

Actually, you are going about the method of obtaining 16:9 a little wrong. First off you will probably actually get a better picture if you use squeeze mod ein the Gl2 instead of cropping in post (post allows better framing though), but in camera compression will get you slightly better results.

The squeeze mode just crops the CCD, or samples it in a 16:9 shape, ignoring the whole CCD, so you aren't getting a true 16:9 image, but the results are allright by many peoples standards. The gl2 only has 4:3 image, and not enough pixels to get a super clean 16:9

Dale Guthormsen January 21st, 2007 12:07 AM

Good evening, no its morning I see!!

I have heard about the methods above and just have been to lazy to try them out.

I am always outputting to dvd.

I will try the squeez idea next time I am out and will do a little testing.

I would think also, the type of television you view it on will make a huge difference. I use a 54 inch hitachi 4:3, its about 5 years ol, and I can see a difference on it more readily than smaller screens and it looks best on a plasma. I have full intention of getting a 54 inch plasma primarily for watching dvd material.

Graham Bernard January 21st, 2007 02:03 AM

I use the 16:9 stretch method.

This ends up with the 4:3 flip-out screen having a vertically stretched image. To me this means that the image IS being captured to tape but that it is being stretched vertically. Granted, still a 4:3 1/3 CCCD block - but the image is stretched vertically. If I "crop" - that is using the guides, no matter WHAT I do within a NLE, surely I'm ONLY using the central section of the full 4:3 chip? If I'm doing that then I'm NOT using all the chip info?

Bottom line for me too, I use the 16:9 stretch and see this on wide-screen from a DVD I burn and I must say the image looks quite spiffing. Honest!

Now I ONLY use stretched 16:9, and have purchased a cheap 7" LCD-TV 12 volt "monitor" that I bolt to anything that will take it [ had it on my SpiderBrace, my DV-Rig Pro and my Miller tripod ] and IO can now frame and get focus using it.

Dale I'd be reeeeally fascinated with your results - that is Stretched as opposed to Letter-Box 16:9? AND what it looks like from your NLE and final FINAL presentation to a widescreen 16:9 .

David Morgan January 21st, 2007 07:35 PM

It's not perfect
In doing a few tests with the GL-2 in 16 x 9 mode (anamorphic squeeze), I notice that there are more top and bottom lines recorded on tape then the top of the frame line in the viewfinder. I guess this is better than getting less picture or fewer lines then you see when recording.

btw, would the number of lines in a 16 x 9 SD picture be roughly 480 x 850?

Jarrod Whaley January 22nd, 2007 11:33 PM


Originally Posted by David Morgan
In doing a few tests with the GL-2 in 16 x 9 mode (anamorphic squeeze), I notice that there are more top and bottom lines recorded on tape then the top of the frame line in the viewfinder. I guess this is better than getting less picture or fewer lines then you see when recording.

btw, would the number of lines in a 16 x 9 SD picture be roughly 480 x 850?

The extra image area you're seeing is due to overscan, which also applies to regular 4:3 footage.

The resolution of 16:9 video from any DV camera is 720x480 (for NTSC), just like 4:3. The difference is that 4:3 pixels have a different AR than 16:9 pixels. In other words, 16:9 pixels are wider than 4:3 pixels.

Please note, however, that when using squeeze mode on a camera like the GL2, you are not using all 480 lines on the CCD's--you are throwing out the image data from the tops & bottoms of the chips. The camera then scales this smaller image area up to 480 lines to meet the DV spec. 16:9 is a very lossy proposition on cameras like this. Whether or not the resulting footage is usable is up to you, but either way the XL2's 16:9 will look way better.

Graham Bernard January 23rd, 2007 02:11 AM


Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley
Whether or not the resulting footage is usable is up to you, but either way the XL2's 16:9 will look way better.

Yup, can't argue with that.

David Morgan January 23rd, 2007 09:46 AM

thx for the info. I'm a little nervous. I will be combining the GL-2 with a Canon XH-A1 (16 x 9 native imager).
The end result is SD-DVD distribution. I'm trying to accommodate the growing population of wide screen TV owners. It is not intended to be at broadcast quality level but I am expecting "good looking" results. The GL-2 would be the close up camera while the A1 will stay wide most of the time. This is a semi-pro variety performance in an auditorium. I guess I should do more testing all the way to burning a DVD and find a monitor to look at it.

thx for the replys

Dale Guthormsen January 27th, 2007 11:41 PM


Sometimes my head starts swimming in all this techno stuff. When I get time (mid Feb) I will shoot some of what I do and post it.

Sometimes i think it would just be easier to have two gl2's or two xl2's. Didn't really know this when I bought my xl for a back up camera.

As Albet Einstein said, "When you take the very complicated and make it very easy, thats when you hear god speaking."

He also used "Watching your mother inlaw driving of a cliff in your new porsche is a good explanation of relativity."

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