Canon's new GL1 : LUSENET : Dirck Halstead : One Thread

I was wondering if anyone out there is using the GL1 and are you happy with it. I want to buy a small 3 CCD camera, about the same size as the GL1, but I don't the market and could use some advice. I'll be using it as a photojournalist, if that helps.

Thanks Paul Disney

-- Paul Disney (, December 20, 1999


I was at an auction in Arlington,VA of a rental house going out of business in late Spring - looking to buy an XL1 or a DVCam and prices were outrageous.

Years ago - shot 3/4" news and production video and about 10 years ago almost bought a Betacam after spending 2 years shooting "corporate tv" with BetaSP gear. Am in project or TV facility management now, but want to get back into shooting/story telling. The drop in prices of Avids or Macs for video editing helped me decide now was the time to buy a mini-DV cam for acquisition.

Initially - after I made up my mind to buy - was opting for a Sony VX1000 or the XL1 but the GL1 had a lot of appeal to me, too (and for the price). Some of my building tenants had VX1000's and were fans/critics of the system - most were going to DVCPro and stepping up a grade in cameras.

I liked the GL1 video but was unhappy with audio feed capabilities - but I bought one, JVC and other product didn't stack up. Several friends shooting TV news in DC agreed it was a good choice to get my feet wet with again with shooting. I also sneaked in a firewire board and cable by buying a PhotoDV software kit. Firewire to Avid or Final Cuts Pro IS the way to go without generation loss - to an editing platform.

Its size IS a great benefit - I find folks are not as thrown out of kilter with me shooting on the street with my GL1 than had I been lugging a BetaSP. In DC - I DO look more like a turitsa.

Have NOT had the time to shoot as much as I want - due to work AND also due to changes in relationships with my employer and 2 tenants that had Avids. We lost our building lease and they are in litigation with my employer. Not a fun time - not conducive to followthru on a lot of projects we (me and the tenants) had "envisioned".

My only concern is - after I pay it off - will it last? It seems a pro-sumer piece of gear. The Sony low end DVCam gear seems more solid and better tech supported but again would have fiscally been out of my range.

I am worried about how un-fragile the GL may be,how sensitive to dust/humidity and other environmental hazards it would be. I do love the lens and the ability to do manual video settings for exposure though.

I bought a good Kata case and any after-market audio gear I thought it needed and I recommend that or get some kind of padded Domke bag to protect it. I expect it to be more fragile than a bag of Canons or Nikons.

Probably next investment may be a rain cover for it - something I never really worried about for when I shot stills.

So far though my only work with it - due to worktime - has been near "home movies" for a workplace farewell tape, backstage shots of a national studio production for promotional use on a day when a Betacam wasn't in house, and the start of a demo girls softball "audition" tape for a kid trying to get a Title IX scholarship. Not what I imagined I would be doing with my investment, but "gets my feet wet".

If you can live with the built-in foibles - I would say - DO buy it. Especially since with the July Pop Photo and other photo/video magazines arriving in my mail box - it is selling for about $300 less than what I paid in May for mine (at a good discounted price).....

-- Mike Bruchas (, July 15, 2000.

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