The GL1 has three shooting modes: Normal Movie Mode, Digital Photo Mode, and the cinema-like Frame Movie Mode popularized by Canon's leading-edge XL1. The GL1 also offers both the standard 4:3 aspect ratio and 16:9 wide screen TV aspect ratio.
Three shooting modes are offered in the GL1 because Canon knows you will want to be able to meet a variety of shooting environments, from standard recording to digital stills to the specialized frame-by-frame.
In this context, "normal" does not describe the type of video you shoot. Rather, it relates to the standard video recording system of interlaced frames, for smooth and natural playback on a TV or editing computer. While Normal Movie Mode is similar to that of conventional camcorders, in combination with the GL1's other features - including superior lens quality and three CCDs - the results are stunning both in terms of resolution and color reproduction.
Digital Photo Mode
Digital Photo Mode lets you capture more than 700 brilliantly clear digital still pictures on a single tape (using 80-min cassette). The GL1 records each still image for approximately 6 seconds, as well as the sound for your verbal notes or narration. To select digital still images, use the supplied remote control to search the tape for the photos.
Frame Movie Mode
With Normal Movie Mode, video is captured using interlaced frames. In Frame Movie Mode, video is captured by the GL1 in a non-interlaced form at the rate of 30 frames per second. This delivers spectacular clarity, perfect for those who need to grab high-quality images from videos for making prints, adding website content, or sending images over the Internet. This non-interlaced method was popularized by Canon's XL1S and has been acknowledged by users for its cinematic-like appearance.
The Canon GL1 offers you both the standard 4:3 image aspect ratio that's as common as your TV screen and a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. The numbers represent the ratio of the screen width to its height.
Whether you're using the GL1 to make wedding videos, business videos, documentaries or simple home movies for play back on a standard TV, the standard 4:3 aspect ratio is your choice.
Also available on the GL1 is the 16:9 aspect ratio, for playback on widescreen TV's. This is menu-selectable and electronically squeezes the image being recorded to tape. When played back, these images are stretched to fit the wider aspect ratio.