View Full Version : Thinking about the GL2? Buy the Optura xi!!!

LOGAN L Productions
08-04-2004, 01:00 AM
As some of you may or may not know, I've been saving up for the DVX100 (about $3,200 at best)...Well, after saving up $2,300, I decided to just buy a cheaper camera and save the rest of my funds or use them for other equipment.

I thought I would buy the Canon GL2 instead, thinking, for some reason that it was $1,500 or so. Well, it costs $2,100 or so...

...I went to an electronics store (Fry's) with the intention of buying the GL2. This salesman was helping me out and I, by chance, asked him about the camera sitting right next to the GL2.

It was the Canon Optura xi. I learned that it has ALL of the same features as the GL2 (manual everything, 16:9, etc.), a bigger lcd screen, smaller body, and was cheaper!!! also has equal (or better) image quality. It's just as sharp for sure, EXACT color representation (it doesn't have 3ccds, but still has a better end result because of..some chip or something), superb low light performance...the list goes on.

It's better because it's newer apparently. It's cheaper because...I don't know why...maybe the same reason?

Needless to say I bought it for $1,300, and will recieve a $200 rebate (this rebate is from Canon and lasts 'til Sept., I's at every store)., the point is...despite the fact that popular thought is "GL2 = best value" the less popular (and cheaper by $1,000) Optura xi is actually a much better choice.

The only thing that the GL2 MIGHT exceed the Optura xi in is audio, but they're both still pretty close, and you can attach mics, etc.

Heed my words!

08-04-2004, 01:47 AM
Looks like a fun camcorder. I'm looking for something similar too, for vacations (and taping auditions). I think I'll get one of those really small palm ones. :)

08-04-2004, 01:53 AM
BIGGEST DIFFERENCE ? - the Canon Optura is NOT a 3CCD chip camera (1 CCD chip)

MORE - the 16:9 widescreen mode is still not a true anamorphic CCD chip (on Either the GL2 or Optura xi)

46mm lens (GL2 has 58mm lens)

only an 11x optical zoom versus 20x optical zoom on GL2


The OPTURA is not a bad camera, but it is not in the same arena with the GL2, GL1, or XL1, XL2. Those are "prosumer" cameras and the Optura, by basis of single CCD chip quality images is consumer grade.

LOGAN L Productions
08-04-2004, 02:09 AM

Well...about the lense...I didn't really think about that. Good point, hehe. It still is a badass lense and there are many lense attachments, filters, etc. made for that size lense. The lense size doesn't matter THAT much to ME, as long as it produces sharp crisp clean images, which it does.

The 16:9...didn't know that. I haven't even messed with that feature yet...

The 3ccd? Well, let's just say that the LABEL "3ccd" doesn't always equal the best picture. The Optura xi has an RGB primary color filter instead. It doesn't matter that it doesn't have the overhyped concept of "3ccds"...does knowing your camera has these chips make your camera produce better color?

The camera represents color EXACTLY as it is (at least to my human eye). The end result (which is all that matters to me) is IDENTICAL (again, to my eye) to the, just because the technology takes a different route, doesn't mean that the end result will be worse. I don't see this as a negative.

LOGAN L Productions
08-04-2004, 02:14 AM
Another thing that you may point out is that the Optura xi doesn't look as "professional" or "important" as the GL2, but is that large white body worth $1,000 or more?

I've worked with both and I just love the Optura xi way more.

08-04-2004, 02:18 AM
There is a big difference between 3-CCD and 1-CCD. Sounds like the salesman convinced you otherwise. You will get much better color reproduction with a 3-CCD camcorder and they are much better with low light performance. Optura will not perform well in low light, video will be choppy and grainy. What are you using it for? Location scouting, etc.? I think it's fine for that. Good luck!!

LOGAN L Productions
08-04-2004, 02:26 AM
How are you so sure of that? There are $400 cameras out there with 3ccds...are they better?

It uses a different method to attain the look, but it looks superb. Try it for yourself if you can.

I have tested this camera out extensively all a dark room, the camera STILL isn't grainy. It is just...dark.

I don't know why you think I would lie about it...the salesman didn't sell me the camera. I knew way more about it than he did.

08-04-2004, 02:29 AM
I haven't tested it, so I am speaking generally. Since you have tested it and like it that's what matters. I'm glad the salesman didn't sell you on it. :-)

LOGAN L Productions
08-04-2004, 03:25 AM
Cool. I'll try to post some screenshots of my "tests" tommorrow. Why'd you erase that post?

08-04-2004, 03:41 AM
I was editing the link, and now I can't reproduce it. Anyway, it had good ratings on cnet. Looking forward to the test.

08-04-2004, 03:44 AM

08-04-2004, 09:57 AM

Personally I don't think that the 11x zoom is a problem at all. Most of the time you will be moving the actual camera so zoom is a rather limited function for film making.

Also thread size really doesn't matter unless you already have a bunch of adapters and filters.

08-04-2004, 09:59 AM
3CCD chips does not guarantee a better image, but specifically comparing the GL2 and the OPTURA xi - I'm afraid there is a HUGE difference in picture quality. Try screening the footage from both cameras on a variety of montiers & TV's. On a professional broadcast moniter, you will see noticable difference with how the colour RED or ORANGE bleed outside of the lines and add a sort of "haze".

The other place you'll notcie the big difference is during COMPRESSION, either for the web or for DVD. The 3 Chip GL2 camera maintains colour reproduction more accurately & sharply.

Having shot on a variety of cameras (including most of the Canon Optura line from their inception) - 3 CCD ship cameras are NOT overrated. For basic simple shooting, a 1 chip camera will work fine, but when you try to use your short for something like broadcast on TV, or dubbing to Beta SP for film festivals - you will quicly find the limitations of the 1 chip cameras.

08-04-2004, 10:07 AM

Also thread size really doesn't matter unless you already have a bunch of adapters and filters.

The size and quality of the glass that is your lens has a HUGE impact on the quality of the image. The GL2 has one of the best flourite lenses on a camcorder.

LOGAN L Productions
08-04-2004, 10:55 AM
you will see noticable difference with how the colour RED or ORANGE bleed outside of the lines

I must admit I noticed that when shooting a sunset yesterday...DAMN IT!!!! ;)

08-04-2004, 11:09 AM
Quality of the glass yes but I'm not sure about the size. You will certainly capture more light with a larger apature lense - which will also give you a greater depth of field but it doesn't necessarily make the lense "better" to any degree. What matters more is the glass and the design.

And I agree with you the GL2 would have been my choice :)

08-04-2004, 11:41 AM
>>which will also give you a greater depth<<

Sorry that wasn't very clear of me - you will have a _shallower_ depth of field (and even that is subjective). Whether this is better or not is up to the viewer :)

LOGAN L Productions
08-04-2004, 12:04 PM
Here are the screenshots:

NOTE: These pics have not been messed with except for resizing them.

NOTE: They are meant to show the computer screwed up the sharpness when I capture the still images...I'll figure out how to get a high res screenshot.

P.S. Sonnyboo: I take it back. The sunset only had some bleed because IT'S THE SUN!!! ;)

Tell me what you think.

08-04-2004, 06:52 PM
Interesting. It's hard to tell the quality to a great level due to the small size of the images but I am somewhat surprised that your sky isn't blown out. Did you use any filters?

08-04-2004, 06:58 PM
Do you have a color chart? Shoot a color chart and you will see saturation issues that you do not see with a 3CCD. Especially with reds, purples, ... Overall though, it looks like it performs well.

LOGAN L Productions
08-04-2004, 06:58 PM
No filters...nothing...I didn't even have the lense hood on when I shot that stuff.

My computer pixelated the pictures, so that's why they're small...I'm working on getting a screenshot that is as sharp as the video, so y'all can see what I see on the TV screen. The pictures already up are just to show the colors. brilliant ay?

LOGAN L Productions
08-04-2004, 07:01 PM
I don't own a color chart.

...I hope I'm still considered a filmmaker, haha.

LOGAN L Productions
08-05-2004, 02:30 AM
Having shot on a variety of cameras (including most of the Canon Optura line from their inception) - 3 CCD ship cameras are NOT overrated.

I don't think the actual CAMERAS are overrated at all, but the idea that 3ccds always means better picture IS overrated.

You may still disagree, but I had to make that clear what I meant.

08-05-2004, 06:30 AM
I stay away from Canon altogether after one bad incident last summer, i had spent a month shooting a film pretty much every day and then the Canon XM1 I was using decided that it couldnt read the tapes anymore. I cleaned the heads and fiddled with it for days. All I got was ''Please remove cassette'' every time i put a tape in (including the ones i had used to shoot the movie).
Canon werent very helpful and said that it would cost me 120 to repair and 6-8 weeks before I would see the camera again.
I looked on the internet and there were literally hundreds of similar complaints about Canon camcorders suddenly deciding to give up reading tapes.
It was almost like a scam, like the one with certain Epson printers that are set to stop working and need a 100 repair when their inkpad is half-full. Really, someone takes a sponge out thats covered in ink and then puts a new one in, and they charge you 100, and then expect you to pay it again in another six months.
Luckily for me I had borrowed the camera from an extremely rich person who didnt really care.

But the fact still remains that i have a grudge against Canon for that so i stick with SONY and Panasonic.

LOGAN L Productions
08-05-2004, 12:44 PM
Woah. Interesting story..I've had a similar experience with Aiwa (they make stereos n stuff).

08-07-2004, 01:51 PM
Wow. You got an XI. I'm on such a tight budget right now that my dream camera is an Optura 20, lol. :lol: