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Testing a Canon GL2

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Nate Hanson
Testing a Canon GL2
on May 20, 2009 at 4:40:52 pm

I just bought a used Canon GL2. The seller says it has less than one hour of operation on it. Once it arrives I've got two days to test it out in case I need to return it to the seller for a refund.

I've never used a GL2 (this is my first "real" camera). Aside from things that would be obvious to a rookie (like record and playback), what should I be looking for?

If you had to verify that a camera was in working order, is there a checklist you would go through?

Thanks!

Nate Hanson

Pilothouse Films


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Thax Clave
Re: Testing a Canon GL2
on May 20, 2009 at 6:33:03 pm

Turn up the video gain put on the lens cap and look for white "dead" pixels mixed into the otherwise black image, as viewed on a good external video monitor.



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Nate Hanson
Re: Testing a Canon GL2
on May 21, 2009 at 4:00:28 pm

Thanks, Thax. Any other ideas out there? The camera arrives today and I've pretty much got to OK it tonight.

Nate Hanson

Pilothouse Films


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Don Greening
Re: Testing a Canon GL2
on May 21, 2009 at 5:18:03 pm

[Nate Hanson] "The camera arrives today and I've pretty much got to OK it tonight. "

In your first post you said that you had 2 days to check it out once it arrived. I guess that's changed now? If the camera's only had an hour of use there won't be anything wrong with it unless it's been dropped or something. I don't recall there being any glaring design problems or inherent weaknesses other than a tape transport system that is, shall we say, less than robust. On my GL2 the tape transport had to be repaired after about 3 years of commercial use. Your mileage will vary depending on how you intend to use it. The tape transport design was shared by many Canon cameras back then, including the bigger brother XL1s. Subsequent models such as the XL2 had a redesigned tape transport that was much more robust. I don't even know if they still are actually making the GL2. If they are then they may well have upgraded the tape transport mechanism. See if you can find out when the one you're considering was made.

To increase the life expectancy of the GL2's tape transport don't use it as a capture deck when it's time to transfer your footage to the computer for editing. Get a cheap Mini-DV palmcorder with a firewire connection and use that instead. I never used mine for tape transfer and rarely use the fast forward-rewind function, either. As I said, I got about 3 years out of it with fairly heavy use before the transport failed.

- Don



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Nate Hanson
Re: Testing a Canon GL2
on May 21, 2009 at 5:39:10 pm

Thanks, Don!

Clarification: I have two days to check it out, but I work during the day, and right after work on Friday I'm taking my youth group kids to a retreat, so tonight is my only chance to play with it.

Basically I just need to verify that this thing really is a healthy camera...it was an Ebay purchase so you never really know if the product description is accurate.

And I do have a cheaper Canon hand held DV camcorder that I plan to use for capture - great advice. I appreciate your input, Don!

Nate Hanson

Pilothouse Films


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Don Greening
Re: Testing a Canon GL2
on May 21, 2009 at 5:44:54 pm

You're welcome. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you.

- Don


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