Stick with GL2, or get a new HV30?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by solvs, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #1
    So I've got a really nice Canon GL-2. It's great, but a little big, and not so good with low light. The sound is fantastic though with the upgraded mic I got for it, and the picture is decent in good lighting. I've started to actually use it more now, but when I filmed a concert for a friend and burned it to DVD, the quality wasn't as good as I had hoped. Yes, I tweaked it as much as I could to get a good picture, but it was difficult and it's still not great. So my question is, does the HV30, or even HV20 for that matter, have a better picture in lower light? I've read the reviews on places like Camcorderinfo, and they're decent, but for standard def, is the GL-2 still superior? I figured I could also film in HD now, and it would just downscale (but still look good) to DVD. Later on, when I needed it, I could have 24 or 30p. Any advice would be helpful, TIA.

    BTW, I have FCS2, but Color isn't helping as much as I'd hoped, and I'm still kind of a novice when it comes to anything more in depth than point and shoot.
     
  2. sk8ordie macrumors regular

    sk8ordie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #2
    The Canon GL2 is very similiar to my Sony VX2000. What format did you export the video in? If you export in mpeg2, it should look just as good as when you connect the camcorder to your TV (aka, good).

    Ive made movies in FCP4, exported to mpeg2 and then burned through DVD Studio Pro. Looked excellent.


    Ive also exported movies as QT format (.mov) and threw that into iDVD, the quality was mediocre at best.


    Hope this helps.
     
  3. sk8ordie macrumors regular

    sk8ordie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #3
    As far as whether or not to buy the HV20...thats a tough question. The GL2 was a good prosumer option at the time when HD was not widely used (same with my VX2000).


    I personally would rather spend more and get a prosumer HD cam. I actually posted a thread for prosumer HD options:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=425948


    In the end it depends on your budget. The HV20 does get good reviews.
     
  4. Spizzo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    #4
    It's a prosumer cam. And as far as pro cam's go, it's small/light. If you want smaller, you'll need to get a consumer cam. Making a generalization, the bigger the camera, the better the image (due to lense/CCD size/etc...)


    Lighting will make a difference, it won't matter what camera you are using if the lighting is poor. Did you 'tweak' the video in post, or the camera in manual mode? I've seen some amazing footage from the GL2 when things are lit right.

    I don't know much about those two cameras, or how the one chip they have compares to the .25" 3CCD in the GL-2. Sorry.

    I'd say read up on camera technique. If you want to seriously get into videography, you need to know how to make the camera work for you. As in anything, you can never know enough. Read the manual, some theory, and go out and practice. See what doing different things does, but most of all have fun. Once you get comfortable with what you are doing, and like it, then step up to a camera with HighDef. But until you learn the basics, you'll just have poor highdef. footage.
     
  5. solvs thread starter macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #5
    It does. I was using FCP (latest version) to import and burning it via DVD Studio Pro. I was just saving to the default format, though I did up the quality. Didn't seem to help. Was better than iMovie 6 to iDVD, but that's not saying much, I know. I'll try MP2 in my next batch.

    I know it's the camera though, because I hooked it up to my TV, and the result is not great unless I have a lot more lighting, which with what I'm filming, is sadly not an option. Other cameras do the same, even another GL-2. And with plenty of light, it works fine. Any other suggestions?

    This is purely hobby though, so $4-5,000 or more cameras are a little out of budget.
     
  6. solvs thread starter macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #6
    As I've said, it look great in good light, but I don't have any control over what I'm filming unfortunately.

    I've tried playing with the setting, trying to see what works and what doesn't. I can even fix a little in post. But it's still subpar IMO. Again though, this is purely hobby, filming friends in concert when they play clubs.
     
  7. Spizzo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    #7
    I'm still unsure of how you are filming. Are you filming in auto (green) or manual (p)? Do you adjust shutter speed, iris, and gain? If not, this can help you get a better picture in low light.
    Even though it is a hobby, if it interests you, read up on it. The theory will help you a lot (if you don't already know) when trying to decide which settings to adjust for your lighting situation.
    But if you are filming in low light situations, you won't ever be able to get the same quality image as in better lit locations. It has nothing to do with the fact that it's a GL2, and everything to do with the lack of light. I'm not sure how you are filming, if you are doing close work, an on-camera light will help some.
     
  8. sk8ordie macrumors regular

    sk8ordie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Play with the exposure, if I leave my VX2000 in auto mode, the footage is subpar... but if I adjust the exposure it comes out much better.

    Good luck.
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    HD cameras in the under 10k range will have worse low light performance than their SD brothers because of their higher pixel density (more pixels in pretty much the same amount of space means less light sensitivity).

    You could try finding a gently used PD170 as those are regarded as having the best low light ability among handheld cameras. Even today against sub 10k HD cameras the PD170 is still the low light benchmark to beat.


    Lethal
     
  10. solvs thread starter macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #10
    I have a book and a video explaining how to use it. Plus, I've been playing with it, just to see what looks better. Auto is practically worthless. Maybe I'm not adjusting it right, but I've adjusted almost everything I can find.

    The sound is excellent though.

    I know, but I was hoping maybe the hd models were better with it than what I have. In situations where I can control lighting, the picture is fine. The biggest issue comes with dark clubs where they're playing on stage with lights shining right at them. I angle, I try to change settings as they set up and as they play, but frankly, I'm lucky those running the clubs even let me film. I have no control, no input, and have to take what I can get, dark or washed out image and all. As I said though, it's just a hobby for some friends, and they're just happy someone is filming them. I'd like better, but if hd isn't going to help me, I'll have to practice more with what I already have. Maybe hope I can find a better place to film them, like outside. I wish on camera lights were an option, but they aren't unfortunately when I need them.

    I have, but I appreciate the input. It gets washed out if I go too far, but at least it's clearer. :p I considered that model, but got a really good deal on this GL-2. I didn't want a consumer product because they all seemed sub par by comparison, especially with what I really cared about, sound quality.

    That was the other thing I wanted to ask about if the picture was better, but I'm using an external mic anyway and I don't have a problem with sound quality.

    Thanks, I knew I could count on you. :D

    Sucks for me though :( stupid club owners.

    I had a Sony that was great with low light, but unfortunately that was about all that was good about it. I've been disappointed with with their HC line so far. Was hoping the Canon HVs were better. Ah well.

    How's the sound on the PD170? Easy to configure for low lighting? I'm reading a review, and I wish I would have known about that before purchasing the Canon.

    Thanks for the help everyone.
     

Share This Page