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Product Details

  • Item Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Shipping Weight: 6 Kg
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Item model number: GL1
  • ASIN: B0000507JI
  • Date first available at Amazon.ca: Nov. 16 2012
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa81c3324) out of 5 stars 36 reviews
130 of 132 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7e9c390) out of 5 stars Optically Superior to Sony July 10 2001
By Joel Fisher - Published on Amazon.com
This is one incredible camera. Here are some of the best features about it:
-3CCDs
-L Series Fluorite Lens
-All Manual Controls
-Progressive Scan
-Optical Stabilization
-Large Manual Focus Ring
Of course, we all know that 3CCDs are far better than one... I need not go into more depth there. As far as the lens goes, some have argued that they see no difference of quality over that of Sony's. This may be due in part to the fact that they are looking for a difference in resolution. When compared in numbers to some of the 3CCD models of Sony, you may think that this is a lower resolution camera (which can be a very deceiving thing). It is recognized that a camera with a high resolution in numbers does not equal a pleasing, or sharper image. When you compare the color of a Sony and this GL1 (or any other Canon against a Sony, for that matter), there will be no comparison. The Sony will inevitably lean towards the blues, giving a very cold, unnatural feeling, which can often result in having to waste time in post, by adding color corrections. The Canon will have a much warmer, more natural coloring. With deeper, richer blacks.
The Progressive Scan (or frame mode) is beautiful. It gives the footage a much more film like jitteriness, instead of the liquid smooth interlaced footage that is usually the only option you have on most Sony camera models. It is called "frame mode" because it captures 30 FULL frames per second, instead of 60 FIELDS per second (top field and bottom field) being joined together to make the 30 frames, which when slowed down will show interlaced lines. Some say ...that Progressive Scan is only meant for a "digital motor drive" where you capture 30 frames per second with the intent of getting still pictures from it. Yes, this is a possibility... but no, video is not really high resolution enough to use this for any real purpose other than having a somewhat grainy image for a home web site. I have not heard of ANY professional using it for anything other than to shoot a real project, as true video footage. Video to film transfer locations prefer people to use progressive scan to shoot on their GL1 or XL1 for film transfer. It loses much less quality in the process. There are many commercials and documentaries (as well as independent films) which have started shooting in progressive scan on the GL1 and XL1, in order to get the higher budget film look.
The manual controls on this camera give you such control, that you can achieve truly professional results. You have control over - Shutter Speed, Aperture, Gain, White Balance, Focus, exposure, etc. If you want the choppy effect of Saving Private Ryan, or Gladiator's battle scenes, just up the shutter speed to 250 or higher. Or if you want a lot of background blur, open the lens way up.
Ah, yes... the image stabilization. You won't get anything close to it on other brands. They all have a slight shake, and jitter, never truly stabilizing it, especially when zoomed. This one has none. It only floats. And of course, if you want that jittery handheld look of some of the new films and such, just turn it off. But when you want smooth, non jittery handheld shots it's always there.
If you are trying to decide what camera to get, always go down the Canon road. Almost all of them have features that Sony only tries to make up for with home userish built effects and such cheesy non-professional effects that one can achieve if they have a computer to edit on (and still want the effects by then. Why record it permanently, when you might change your mind later). Some Sony users complain about how Canon does not have good still picture resolution. I say, "who needs still pictures on a camcorder??" That should be left to 35mm, or a digital camera devoted to that form of media alone. I have yet to see a printable, good looking still even from a Sony. Both the video format, and the small included memory cards cannot handle the resolution required of this. With all the manual controls, the far superior color, and the incredible look of progressive scan, one must have only the choice to go Canon. If you are an aspiring documentary or commercial maker trying to decide between a GL1 and an XL1 (not likely), the advantage of the GL1 (besides the price) is that it is small. This allows you to be in crowds shooting, without stares from everybody. Or shoot where you would otherwise be unable. This can also be a downfall. It may look wimpy to the client (of course, once they see the footage, they will probably buy one themselves). ....
Lastly, I just want to say that I would highly recommend this camera, but if you can afford it, go with the XL1 (...), it is even better!
121 of 125 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7eac87c) out of 5 stars feature packed Dec 5 2001
By Shelley Gammon - Published on Amazon.com
I have been using the GL1 for nearly 3 years now. I take it out on shoots for a website I work on... sometimes I create QuickTime Movies, sometimes I take stills from footage and convert the stills to .JPG files.
The 30-lux capacity means you can walk into a subdued lighting environment such as a dining room lit by a single candle and get very good, balanced exposure. It is not like an infrared camera or anything, however... there must be SOME non infrared light, or you get nothing.
The 30x zoom can't be beat. You can be 50 yards away from a person and zoom in and get a shot of their nose... in many ways, it must be seen to be appreciated.
Considering the features, the unit is light-weight, but newer digital camcorders of similar strengths are now on the market for far less and weigh half as much. Still, the GL1 is easy to hold with one hand while using the eye piece or the LCD panel.
I only have a few criticisms. For one, the unit does not ship with a firewire cable. If you are ordering this item for its firewire compatibility, you will need to order a 6-to-4 pin firewire cable separately. (6-pin for your Mac, 4-pin for the GL1).
Also, the GL1 has a tendency to eat tapes. For a while, I thought I was just getting deffective tapes, but a co-worker got a DV deck and the deck was able to view and use the tapes without difficulty. Just viewing the tapes on the DV deck seemed to "fix" whatever the GL1 perceive was wrong with the tapes. On occasion I will get an all red "WARNING: EJECT TAPE" display on the LCD panel... I then eject the tape, rewind it a bit on the DV deck and then I can use it fine for several weeks w/ the GL1. This has been a problem from day one and I have head-cleaning tapes.
The unit has a tripod screw mount on the bottom and a hot shoe on top, so it's a good piece of hardware for professionals.
The battery that ships with the unit will only run for about 30 minutes on a full charge... but that's 30 minutes of actual recording, rewinding, etc. I highly recommend getting an additional 2 hour battery as back-up, especially if you're stuck somewhere and don't have the luxury of having an AC wall socket nearby. You can run the camera straight off AC power, but it is awkward... you must run the cord from the GL1 to the charger and the charger is then plugged into the wall. This extra cord does not come with the unit and you must buy it separately. It would have been nice if they had included this cord as well as a DC charger for the car.
Back when I was ordering this item, I spoke with Canon directly to ask them information about the firewire capabilities, etc. Afer speaking to a customer service rep. for over 1 hour, it was obvious that the folks answering the phones for Canon absolutely know NOTHING about their own products or terminology used in photography or videography... if the answers are not in the little book in front of them, they are worse than uninformed... they tell you the wrong information. If you want more information about the features of this camera, seriously examine the specs featured here on Amazon and read all of the reviews.
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7eaf7f8) out of 5 stars Yes, it's expensive. Yes, you get what you pay for. Nov. 3 2001
By Floatplane Guy - Published on Amazon.com
First, the visceral. The image quality is stunning, and the creative license and possibilities afforded through DV are staggering. With a GL1 and a good NLE like Premiere, the only limit is your creativity. Effects that just a few years ago started at tens of thousands of dollars on film can now be rendered realtime.
Now the practical. I spent a fair bit of time looking through the market at the 'low pro' end. Canon's GL1 and XL1 were clearly in the running, as were several Sony products. What finally sold me on the GL1 was the flourite lens, which to my eye has a noticeably brighter image, as well as the optical image stabilization, which provides a more natural looking view also. I have to say that I find the manual zoom feature useless as it's a servo controlled focus rate, and very difficult to 'stop' in a slow focus. I've found that using the 'automatic/manual' focus switch to allow the camera to bring the subject into focus, then switching immediately to 'manual' to lock the focus is very effective as a workaround. The only time this doesn't work well is at the limit of either the optical focus or the digital focus when the subject is poorly defined versus its background. In these situations, the rangefinding system seems to 'hunt', giving a nauseating soft in/out blur. Truthfully, using the camera under these cirucumstances is rare, and this is the only criticism I've got for the system. An often overlooked feature of DV is that the audio quality is about the same as CD, and is digital. This means that even your home movies now have DAT audio quality! Despite many comments to the contrary, I've been very favourably impressed with the quality of the audio, including the stereo separation.
I also mentioned the XL1, but the only difference I could see was perhaps better audio, and for the considerable extra expense and size, it wasn't a good tradeoff for me.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7eac7d4) out of 5 stars Brilliant piece of machinery April 17 2001
By j . p . f - Published on Amazon.com
This is by far the best camera for this price range. HOWEVER don't pay more than 2100-2200$US for it. I bought it for even less than that. Its size at first gives it the appearance of being a "home-video" recorder and not quite the sleak professional look that the XL1 has. However don't be fooled by this, it uses the same CCD system as the XL1, and just lacks the removable lens option in addition to a handful of other digital features. But the GL1 costs 70% less and produces very high quality images and video. Its size makes it VERY easy to carry around (just last weekend I saw someone with one at a bar in San Francisco). Its a great value and a great product, just hunt around and read up on it to make sure its what you want. Because Looks are VERY deceiving, this isn't your dad's old mini-betacam...this is a beautifully engineered camera that produces high quality results.
97 of 107 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7eaf828) out of 5 stars All news stations better switch to this BABY,and the XL 1 Aug. 6 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I got this nice little gadget from my family since i have always loved making home movies. i was amazed by how much better it was than with my my sony TR818. The resolution was so much better with 3 CCd's. i never imagined the movies that came through my head when I held up that camera. I found it easy to use. Light and very cheap for the price they gave my mom, well tht's what she said. I have enjoyed doing many things with this camcorder. From getting california redwoods looking more red than ever in the shot nd the ocean so blue, and you can record stuff that wouldn't be seen anwhere else with other camcorders, like the jellyfish before it stung me. I love this nice camcorder. If you know someone who has a love of homeade movies, I recommend this for them. ( Please say this review was helpful, PLEASE)


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