Quantcast Canon GL1 in 2021 - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
08-12-2021, 07:51 PM
Leighgion Leighgion is offline
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My dad's old Canon GL1 has been gathering dust while HD video and 4k video have arrived, been integrated into phones and Firewire has vanished from modern computers.

Is there still any use case for this old camera in 2021, or should I try to find it some kind of humble new home?
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  #2  
08-13-2021, 01:15 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Yah, it's good for transferring miniDV tapes to computer, that's about it.
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  #3  
08-13-2021, 08:42 AM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Yah, it's good for transferring miniDV tapes to computer, that's about it.
@latreche34 That's not the ONLY use for this particular model camcorder.

If you're interested in making skateboarding videos this is a very good camera to use. The reasons for this are that it has an integrated carrying handle and a tilty-flippy screen. Other users might argue that it is better to shoot on a newer camcorder and then try to recreate a lo-fi look in editing software, but I disagree. That method always ends up looking like a cheap video filter.

The GL1 is also a cheaper and smaller alternative to the sought after Sony VX1000.
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  #4  
08-13-2021, 10:04 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
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The GL1 was a prosumer MiniDV camera with large quality optics and a large quality sensor. It was one of the few MiniDV cameras that would actually resolve 720x480 true resolution, due to the quality optics. Most consumer cameras have lousy optics, and tiny sensors, and 720x480/576 is just wishful thinking, and all of the actual resolved detail is easily grabbed by an analog s-video transfer.

At one point, these cameras were used by broadcasters for lightweight on-the-go shooting, while still retaining a lot of quality.

Trying to recreate video to "look like" something else never does. "VHS filters" are all laughable, even Joe Sixpack knows those filters are BS. And "DV" filters cannot recreate the interlacing, shot-DV look (not converted), or softness (rounding errors) on resolution. Those filters have a cheap aliasing to them, and it's almost always obvious that it's just a downres'd shot.

I have no use for such a camera, but others surely will.

If I had one, I'd sell it, probably eBay, and the buyer would likely be a film student. Shooting video is not my hobby.

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08-13-2021, 02:05 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPMedia View Post
If you're interested in making skateboarding videos this is a very good camera to use. The reasons for this are that it has an integrated carrying handle and a tilty-flippy screen. Other users might argue that it is better to shoot on a newer camcorder and then try to recreate a lo-fi look in editing software, but I disagree. That method always ends up looking like a cheap video filter.
I didn't know the OP is into skateboarding shooting, did you? The average person would need such camcorder for transferring tapes as I mentioned, Other people with special interests can do whatever they want that's not for me to say.
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  #6  
08-13-2021, 03:23 PM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
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Quote:
Is there still any use case for this old camera in 2021
Quote:
...the buyer would likely be a film student
OP asked for a use cases and 2 legitimate use cases have been provided.

While it might not be a hobby for LS, shooting analog video might be a hobby for OP. It's a hobby of mine and it is the reason why I found DigitalFAQ, but I absolutely understand if that isn't something you're interested in.
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  #7  
08-13-2021, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPMedia View Post
While it might not be a hobby for LS, shooting analog video might be a hobby for OP. It's a hobby of mine and it is the reason why I found DigitalFAQ, but I absolutely understand if that isn't something you're interested in.
Exactly.

For me, shooting video is not a skill that I currently possess. (Same goes for baking. )
It eludes me, no matter how much I try.

Right now, in fact, I'm having a hell of time trying to get a Deity D3 Pro mic to work on my D810, without giving me lots of hiss noise. Right now, I'm not sure if it's the mic, the camera, or me. I'm not even sure if the mic is working at all, and I'm still just getting on-camera audio.

However, I do whatever I can to support those who shoot -- especially the filmmakers that are doing mixed-content productions (usually documentaries). My skills start when the shooting ends. Although I'm only a competent editor (and I seem to get less competent as years go by, judging on the quality level of Youtube creators these days), so I mostly help with ingest/restoration of edit sources, and post-NLE encoding.

Video is a multi-faceted hobby, with many niche areas. I think I respect all of them (?), even the seemingly weird artsy types that intentionally want to make video worse.

BTW, the best pro MiniDV cameras let you use Canon L lenses, like the 70-200 f/2.8. Back in the day, I wanted one of those. Later, I wanted a Panasonic that shot MPEG broadcast in MXF on P2. I've long wanted to shoot more, but just never have. Every time I try, I feel like I've just wasted my time, nothing turns out like I want. It's a reason I don't do anything on Youtube, some shots and audio would be bad. So I just stick to what I know.

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  #8  
08-19-2021, 06:12 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
However, I do whatever I can to support those who shoot -- especially the filmmakers that are doing mixed-content productions (usually documentaries). My skills start when the shooting ends. Although I'm only a competent editor (and I seem to get less competent as years go by, judging on the quality level of Youtube creators these days), so I mostly help with ingest/restoration of edit sources, and post-NLE encoding.
Most YouTube "creators" farm out editing to someone else. Don't worry about looking bad, I drag the average down with dodgy audio and questionable editing cuts (or lack thereof!) in my videos.

I shot with the GL1 exactly once in the past. If I recall it was a rental. Nice picture for the time, but has since been outclassed by several generations of cameras. People shoot on mirrorless Micro 4/3rds cameras these days (think Panasonic LUMIX GH series). I'm still kinda surprised at how well the video quality of my HDV Canon HV20 holds up today, but dealing with tape is a PITA.

As for skateboarding, the Sony VX1000 was the preferred MiniDV camera of choice: https://www.jenkemmag.com/home/2018/...famous-camera/

It was so popular that someone make a resin mold of the VX1000 that could hold a GoPro.
https://ahartdesign.com/The-VX-Legacy-Project
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  #9  
08-19-2021, 07:55 AM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post

Right now, in fact, I'm having a hell of time trying to get a Deity D3 Pro mic to work on my D810, without giving me lots of hiss noise. Right now, I'm not sure if it's the mic, the camera, or me. I'm not even sure if the mic is working at all, and I'm still just getting on-camera audio.
Off topic - but second-source that audio, we don't record anything directly in to the camera, too noisy and the ADCs on cameras do leave a lot to be desired. A cheap Zoom H1 (or similar) as second source with your mic' plugged in to it gives you much more flexibility. When we shoot anything with audio now and have to go on camera we use a Tascam (forget model number) field recorder with tripod mount, we use phantom power though for booms though, so I'd suggest picking up an H1 and just going second-source.

----
The only way you'll find out if the camera is any good is to use it and see what you think of the results, as said the resolving power of the lenses is high, it might be a novel thing to go and create something with.
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