The GL2 has three shooting modes: Normal Movie Mode, Digital Photo Mode, and the cinema-like Frame Movie Mode popularized by Canon's leading-edge XL1 and XL1S. The GL2 also offers both the standard 4:3 aspect ratio and 16:9 wide screen TV aspect ratio.
Three shooting modes are offered in the GL2 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" has nothing to do with 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 GL2's other features -- including superior lens quality and three CCDs -- the results are stunning both in terms of resolution and color reproduction.
Frame Movie Mode
Unlike Normal Movie Mode, where video is captured using interlaced frames, in Frame Movie Mode video is captured by the GL2 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.
Digital Photo Mode
Digital Photo Mode lets you capture more than 700 brilliantly clear digital still pictures on a single tape (using an 80-minute cassette). The GL2 records each still image for approximately 6 seconds, as well as the sound for your verbal notes or narration. Once captured, select digital still images using the supplied remote control to search the tape for the photos.
1.7 Mega Pixel Photo Mode
You can turn your GL2 into a still camera by switching to 1.7 Mega Pixel Photo Mode and capturing high resolution still images onto the camcorder's MultiMediaCard. The full frame images are free from time lag blur. A six-blade circular iris, as found on the top-of-the-line XL1 and XL1S models, is used for professional exposure control, helping to deliver stunning video and still photos.
The 8MB card will hold up to 105 images. Those pictures are then transferred to computer via the GL2's USB connection using software that comes with the camcorder.
The Canon GL2 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 GL2 to make wedding videos, business videos, documentaries or simple home movies for play back on a standard TV or monitor, the standard 4:3 aspect ratio is your choice.
4:3 with 16:9 Electronic Guides on viewfinder
You can select white, 16:9 aspect ratio guide lines to appear in the viewfinder, viewscreen, or on an external monitor when recording in 4:3 aspect ratio. This version of the 4:3 aspect ratio allows for later conversion to 16:9, the standard aspect ratio for HDTV and a more common aspect ratio for film.
16:9 (Electronic Anamorphic)
Also available on the GL2 is the 16:9 aspect ratio, for playback on widescreen TVs. 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.
Interval recording allows for the capture of time elapsed motion videography. The GL2 can be programmed to record at various intervals for varying amounts of time.
Set time lapse intervals include: 30 seconds; 1 minute; 5 minutes; 10 minutes.
Recording time: 0.5sec/1.0sec/1.5sec/2.0sec
Set recording times during time lapse include: 0.5 second; 1.0 second; 1.5 seconds; 2.0 seconds.