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Canon GL2 help & live streaming camera suggestion

post #1 of 3
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Hello all,

I am installing a video streaming system in my church. We're running over IP to another building, and the system itself works really well. However, we're looking at getting a camera to actually capture the footage. I have the opportunity to purchase a Canon GL2 for about $700 if I want to. It's lens and light capturing abilities are excellent, however, it's the resolution that has me worried. This website says that it will shoot 1280x720 which would be fine. However, this website says that it can only use 720x480.

This camera will be attached via 1394 to the computer, so it won't be actually CAPTURING the footage to tape, just feeding it into the program....

So who's right? What resolution can the GL2 actually FEED into the computer directly? That is, NOT from a tape import.

We will be throwing it up on 1280x1024 projectors.

And if it IS in fact 720x480, then can someone recommend me a good camera for this purpose? (Hard budget of $1100)
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Heisenberg
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post #2 of 3
As you probably already know the GL2 is a discontinued camera, and $700 would be normal and not a stellar deal. I have used a GL2 before recording on to a miniDV and the quality was atrocious for the price in my opinion considering its price while in production what in the $1000 range. The camera to the best of my knowledge does not do any HD and both of the websites are wrong. If you are trying to go cheap used with best quality possible I highly suggest a XL2 because it does support 16:9 output. It will not be super awesome crisp HD blah blah but the quality is great. I have used the XL2 during live streaming of sports events and the quality was very good and it outputs through BNC which is a huge plus. The GL2 is a standard definition camera with the ability to take larger still images. HD is only about 2MP and the GL2 can take about a 5MP still image but the camera remains a standard definition video camera. I have not tested the GL2 for a streaming camera but i can tell you for what you want the XL2 will provide a better quality image. but 720x480 is in fact the best you will get from the GL2 because its SD.

The main question is are you actually projecting from a HD projector or a projector that is displaying an image off a laptop/computer with a resolution of 1280x1024? If this projector is a higher end professional product it should have a BNC input which makes using an XL2 even easier and much better quality because the GL2 does not offer full manual control over exposure which is a must if you want to make the viewers happy. most people wont care or even notice bad quality video but if the picture is muddy and poorly exposed they will not care about it. with the XL2 you can do Standard Def 16:9 which will make people think its HD because its wide screen.

With that price range you can easily also use a new camcorder that does actual HD or even a low end consumer video camera. while the GL2 is a nice idea to try and save money it will not meet your expectations for quality especially in a church even with decent lighting you will have an underexposed image. A church with professional theater lighting will make it easier on the camera but the GL2 does not sport excellent low light ability with a usable image at the same time. overall, with your hard budget of $1100 you really cant get super crisp HD footage that will look amazing when projected. While HD is newer and obviously looks better than SD its not always the best choice or even possible without a larger budget. There are no new HD video camera in your price range that will project a good picture like you want but there are plenty of HD camcorders that will do a good job and will be a more improved camera over the GL2 because in reality the GL2 at its time was a top of the line camcorder and not a professional video camera if that makes sense.

oh yea just for reference on just about every camera that i know of whatever it is capable of recording is the same that it will output unless there are cameras out there that upscale when you pull video that it outputs. just some cameras have a higher quality output. HDMI out obviously is pretty good but in the SD world most professionals prefer BNC probably because of the fact it locks in when connected unlike S-video that can accidentally come unplugged. also not 100% sure how stellar the video will be if you try to pull HD video off a camcorder and project it via 1934 on a computer.

also forgot to ask what program you are using to project?
Edited by Conspiracy - 3/28/12 at 8:19am
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conspiracy View Post

As you probably already know the GL2 is a discontinued camera, and $700 would be normal and not a stellar deal. I have used a GL2 before recording on to a miniDV and the quality was atrocious for the price in my opinion considering its price while in production what in the $1000 range. The camera to the best of my knowledge does not do any HD and both of the websites are wrong. If you are trying to go cheap used with best quality possible I highly suggest a XL2 because it does support 16:9 output. It will not be super awesome crisp HD blah blah but the quality is great. I have used the XL2 during live streaming of sports events and the quality was very good and it outputs through BNC which is a huge plus. The GL2 is a standard definition camera with the ability to take larger still images. HD is only about 2MP and the GL2 can take about a 5MP still image but the camera remains a standard definition video camera. I have not tested the GL2 for a streaming camera but i can tell you for what you want the XL2 will provide a better quality image. but 720x480 is in fact the best you will get from the GL2 because its SD.
The main question is are you actually projecting from a HD projector or a projector that is displaying an image off a laptop/computer with a resolution of 1280x1024? If this projector is a higher end professional product it should have a BNC input which makes using an XL2 even easier and much better quality because the GL2 does not offer full manual control over exposure which is a must if you want to make the viewers happy. most people wont care or even notice bad quality video but if the picture is muddy and poorly exposed they will not care about it. with the XL2 you can do Standard Def 16:9 which will make people think its HD because its wide screen.
With that price range you can easily also use a new camcorder that does actual HD or even a low end consumer video camera. while the GL2 is a nice idea to try and save money it will not meet your expectations for quality especially in a church even with decent lighting you will have an underexposed image. A church with professional theater lighting will make it easier on the camera but the GL2 does not sport excellent low light ability with a usable image at the same time. overall, with your hard budget of $1100 you really cant get super crisp HD footage that will look amazing when projected. While HD is newer and obviously looks better than SD its not always the best choice or even possible without a larger budget. There are no new HD video camera in your price range that will project a good picture like you want but there are plenty of HD camcorders that will do a good job and will be a more improved camera over the GL2 because in reality the GL2 at its time was a top of the line camcorder and not a professional video camera if that makes sense.
oh yea just for reference on just about every camera that i know of whatever it is capable of recording is the same that it will output unless there are cameras out there that upscale when you pull video that it outputs. just some cameras have a higher quality output. HDMI out obviously is pretty good but in the SD world most professionals prefer BNC probably because of the fact it locks in when connected unlike S-video that can accidentally come unplugged. also not 100% sure how stellar the video will be if you try to pull HD video off a camcorder and project it via 1934 on a computer.
also forgot to ask what program you are using to project?

Wow thanks for the reply! smile.gif Very in depth and helped alot with what I needed.

Our system is entirely SD. We have an SD switcher, and we run everything else BNC (which is a real PITA because VGA is so much neater to run :/ ) So I guess an SD camera would work, wouldn't it?

We are using Windows Media Encoder to broadcast this accross a 10/100 network to a computer running Windows Media Player. It will be outputting to the switcher --> Projector --> screen via VGA. The resolution we are currently using on teh projectors is 1280x1024 and it looks really good. Not sure if they can go higher or not...
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Heisenberg
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