Web Content Viewer



Support Professional Camcorders


The Canon GL1 is a digital video camcorder, using the standard MiniDV cassette; it produces the highest quality video possible from non-broadcast equipment. The MiniDV format standard delivers more than 500 lines of horizontal resolution. This is about a 25% improvement in picture quality over the best analog formats. On top of that, because it records both video and audio as digital data, this information can be transferred - without any loss of picture or audio quality - to computer for editing, then transferred back to DV tape, without a reduction in either picture or audio quality. All of this is through the use of to the IEEE 1394 protocol commonly known as FireWire&#174;. &#160; DV Format Technology and Advantages<br/> <br/> This format is based on a robust videotape formulation, a sophisticated and computer-based data capture system, the ability to allow the high speed transfer of data from camcorder to tape, and a standard data structuring system. The MiniDV format makes professional quality video affordable.<br/> <br/> Better picture quality than analog, sharper images and better color reproduction: that's what digital video is all about! Digital recordings are almost immune to signal problems, and result in the highest quality picture and audio. This is a major advantage over analog. Digital is the language of computers, which easily store and transfer data without distortion. It is exactly the same with digital video. Digital copies of digital videos are indistinguishable from the original, which makes editing and image manipulation so much easier and with higher quality than that delivered by analog video technology.<br/> <br/> The tape formulation is designed to last longer and even withstand repeated use without failure, which virtually eliminates dropouts while delivering higher output and less noise.<br/> <br/> <br/> Digital video has approximately twice the horizontal resolution of a standard VHS videocassette recorder. The resolution of a DV standard image is about 25% better than that from an S-VHS or Hi-8 camcorder or deck. While resolution is dependent on a product's components and circuitry, standard VHS and 8mm video are capable of delivering about 250 lines of horizontal resolution with S-VHS and Hi-8 at about 400-420 lines. The DV format is capable of delivering more than 500 lines of horizontal resolution, with actual performance depending on the individual camcorder model. Another way to look at it is that an NTSC digital video signal contains three times the data of its analog counterpart; a PAL digital video signal contains six times the data of its analog counterpart.<br/> <br/> Color resolution (or rendition) can be a problem for analog video, producing color blur and color noise. Digital video does not have this problem, delivering a far more life-like video image on the screen. What you will see is much sharper subject edges and clearer color reproduction.<br/> <br/> The MiniDV standard ensures that audio quality matches that of an audio CD or digital audio tape (DAT). The audio portion of the digital video signal is recorded digitally. The digital video standard includes Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) audio recording, delivering more than the normal, natural range of sound audible to humans without both distortion and noise.<br/> <br/> All digital video equipment also have the analog video outputs (either S-video and/or composite video) found on current analog equipment so you can play a digital video on a regular TV, or transfer a digital video onto an analog VCR. If you record using a digital video camcorder, you can then copy the video onto VHS or Super-VHS tapes, 8mm or Hi-8 tapes, or any of the broadcast formats such as 3/4-inch or Betacam if they have the appropriate input connectors. &#160; IEEE 1394 (DV Terminal) <br/> The GL1 is equipped with a DV In/Out terminal that conforms to the IEEE 1394 standard (also known as FireWire&#174;). A single digital video cable is all that is required to transfer or copy your videos in pure digital form to your DV compatible computer or another Canon DV camcorder. By transferring images and sound to a computer with the appropriate DV input card you enter the world of video editing and enhancing still images using popular software programs.<br/> <br/> Using a digital connecting cable (IEEE 1394), you can dub multiple generations without signal or quality loss. If a digital video signal is being transferred from your camcorder to your computer or back again via the DV In/Out terminal, the signal does not go through any conversion process; therefore there is no signal loss.<br/>
The Canon GL1 has three CCDs, delivering outstanding picture quality, highly accurate color reproduction and a wide dynamic range with virtually no color noise. On top of that, Canon uses a broadcast technology called Pixel Shift to produce greater picture quality than that of camcorders using CCDs with almost twice the number of pixels. &#160; Advantages Over Single CCD <br/> Why use three smaller CCD image sensors in the GL1 instead of one large CCD? The GL1 maximizes the capability of the DV format by using three CCDs. Each CCD is assigned to handle one of three primary colors: Red, Green and Blue. A beam splitting prism precisely separates the light passing through the lens into individual color components, and each is sent to its own CCD.<br/> <br/> The use of the three CCDs allows Canon to employ Pixel Shift technology to extract the maximum picture detail from the video signal. The process achieves outstanding picture detail, highly accurate color reproduction, wide dynamic range and virtually no color noise.<br/> <br/> Using three CCDs also allows the GL1 to achieve resolution equal to camcorders with nearly twice as many pixels. And, because there are fewer pixels on each of the three CCDs, the pixels are larger in size and thereby gather more light. The result is improved dynamic range where detail is clearly visible in highlights and shadows without annoying color noise.<br/> Pixel Shift <br/> In the GL1, Canon uses Pixel Shift, a signal processing method used in broadcast TV cameras, to exceed the overall picture quality achieved by camcorders using nearly twice as many pixels.<br/> <br/> With the light coming into the camcorder split into three color components, each of the three CCDs then handles one of three primary colors: Red, Green and Blue. The green component of a video signal contains 60% of the picture detail, and the red and blue components only 40%. The green CCD in the GL1 is shifted the equivalent distance of 1/2 pixel from the red and blue CCD. The green signal is then sampled more frequently to extract the maximum picture detail from the video signal.<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> In addition to outstanding clarity and natural color, Pixel Shift provides wider dynamic range, reduced vertical smear from bright light sources and sharper still images. &#160; Super High Resolution There are 270,000 pixels on each of the three CCD image sensors in the GL1. Using Pixel Shift technology, the GL1 rivals the resolution of camcorders using CCDs with 410,000 pixels.
The GL1 gives you the ability to take your videos to new levels of performance, whether you're a video professional or simply a highly discerning hobbyist. Start your exploration of this remarkable camcorder with the lens: The GL1 is the first camcorder equipped with the highly acclaimed Canon Professional L-Series (luxury) Fluorite Lens. To further enhance your work, there's an Optical Image Stabilizer to correct camera shake. Plus, a Precision Circular Iris and ND Filter for total control of the picture.   Fluorite Lens

Canon has satisfied the demands of experienced image makers for years through the power, design and quality of 35mm and broadcast TV lenses. Our Professional L-Series lenses utilize Fluorite, a material which provides outstanding resolution, contrast and color reproduction, especially in lightweight, high-magnification lenses. Now incorporated into the lens on the GL1, Fluorite delivers the ultimate in clarity and image quality. The Fluorite element inside the lens defeats color aberration - the effect when the components of light stray from one another within a lens, causing a reduction in sharpness, contrast and color. Our Fluorite lens precisely controls components of light providing an excellent balance of these three critical ingredients of picture quality. This is unobtainable with conventional optical glass.   20x Zoom Lens with 100x Digital Zoom
The GL1 incorporates a 20x Professional L-Series Fluorite optical zoom lens, which transforms distant subjects into dramatic close-ups. The 20x optical zoom is the 35 mm focal length equivalent of 40 - 806 mm. Add the optional WD-58 Wide converter to increase the field of view by 30% for indoor shots or panoramic views.

The digital zoom, capable of extending to 40x and a maximum of 100x, provides sharper detail compared to others thanks to Canon's superior lens quality. You'll reveal details too distant to be seen with just the eye alone. At full telephoto, the 35 mm focal length equivalent is an amazing 4030 mm.   Optical Image Stabilization

Canon's superb optical stabilization system corrects camera shake instantly so even hand-held shots, at full telephoto, and shots taken from a moving car, are smooth and steady. And since it is optical, there is no loss of image quality inevitable with electronic image stabilizers. It perfectly complements the high picture quality of the DV format.
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. <br/> Shooting Modes<br/> 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.<br/> <br/> Normal Video<br/> 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.<br/> <br/> Digital Photo Mode<br/> 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.<br/> <br/> Frame Movie Mode<br/> 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. &#160; Aspect Ratios<br/> 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.<br/> <br/> 4:3<br/> 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.<br/> <br/> 16:9<br/> 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.
<br/> <br/> <br/> The GL1 offers both versatility to meet all exposure challenges, and ease of use when you're happy to let the camera make all the choices. Amazingly sophisticated circuitry and computer algorithms analyze the light coming through the lens to deliver proper exposure automatically under almost any lighting condition. You can also easily adjust the exposure system in any one of several creative ways to meet specific needs. By turning the easily accessible Program Dial to select one of seven exposure modes, you control how you want the video to look. <br/> Shutter Priority (Tv)<br/> Need to make a crystal clear video of the swing of a golf club and golf ball in flight? Want to accentuate the motion of a racing car by blurring its motion? Or shoot under very low lighting conditions? These are just three of the things you can do simply by selecting one of 12 shutter speeds, from the slow (1/60 second) to the ultra fast (1/15,000 second) when in Shutter-Priority Mode (Tv on the Program Dial). The GL1 will automatically select the aperture for a proper exposure. If you have selected a shutter speed that is either too high or too low for the light conditions, a warning will flash in the viewfinder. Use of the built-in ND filter may be required. <br/> Aperture Priority (Av)<br/> The ability to adjust the lens opening (aperture) gives you the creative ability to adjust depth of focus. With larger openings decreasing the amount of the background that's in focus, and smaller openings increasing the focus area, you can select one of 9 apertures from f/1.5 to f/11 on the Exposure Dial by selecting Av on the Program Dial. The GL1 will automatically select the shutter speed to match the chosen aperture, giving you the proper exposure. If you have selected an aperture that is too large or too small for the lighting conditions, a warning will flash in the viewfinder. Use of the built-in ND filter may be required. <br/> Spotlight<br/> Nothing can confound an exposure system like a singer spotlighted on a dark stage. The GL1 comes to the rescue with Spotlight Mode (dark triangle with white body shape on the Program Dial). The camera will automatically adjust exposure for the center of the frame (the brighter singer) rather than the darkness of the stage. This will prevent the person from showing up overexposed or blooming against a dark background. The result is a perfect exposure. <br/> Manual<br/> For those who want total control of all aspects of the exposure system, the GL1 offers Manual Mode (M on the Program Dial). You select the shutter speed, aperture and gain settings for full creative control. For fine exposure control, you have access to 27 shutter speeds, from 1/60 second to 1/15,000 second, and 23 aperture values, for half-stop adjustments from f/1.6 to closed. You also can adjust exposure using one of the five gain values between 0dB and +12dB. <br/> Full Auto (Green Mode)<br/> Green means "go." Set the GL1's Program Dial to Full Auto Mode (identified by the green rectangle) and the camera's sophisticated control system takes over, which means you don't have to worry about anything except being there to capture the moment on video. In this mode, your access to manual controls are restricted. <br/> Auto Mode<br/> Similar to Full Auto Mode, Auto Mode (A on the Program Dial) gives control of camera settings to the GL1, except for those functions you would like to control manually, including focus, exposure, and white balance. <br/> Sand & Snow<br/> Faced with a bright background such as a snow-covered mountain on which you want to record skiers or a bright beach scene? On the GL1's Program Dial select the Sand & Snow Mode (square with skier and sun). This will adjust the exposure so the subject will not appear underexposed against the bright background. <br/> AE Shift<br/> You may want to slightly adjust the image brightness to compensate for backlighting or for scenes that are being rendered slightly overexposed. When in Auto, Tv or Av Modes (selected on the Program Dial), you can engage AE Shift in the camera menu, then turn the menu dial to add or subtract a bit of exposure. There are 13 steps available, from -2 to +2. This is another level of creative control. <br/> AE Lock<br/> To hold the exposure at a particular setting, you can engage AE Lock on the GL1. In all modes except Manual and Full Auto (Green), just press the Exposure Dial, and the current settings are locked in place.<br/>
The GL1 is designed to make shooting video as easy as possible. This includes dual controls (on both the hand grip and top handle), variable zoom speeds, a viewfinder display that can be turned off, and viewfinder zebra striping for display of overexposure. Top Grip w/Recording Control<br/> Not only does the GL1 have a side hand grip with readily accessible controls, it also features a carrying handle with a duplicate set of recording and zoom controls. This is designed to make mid- to low-angle shooting both easy and comfortable, and accommodate your individual shooting style. Controls on both the side and top grips let you start and stop recording, take digital still photos, and zoom in and out. The top controls can be locked to prevent accidental operation. &#160; Variable Zoom Speed<br/> The lens zooming rate on the GL1 is adjustable. The side grip and top grip offer separate controls to adjust the rate of zoom.<br/> <br/> Grip Zoom - Variable<br/> When using the side grip, a gentle press on the zoom control will give you a slow zoom. Press harder and the zoom speed picks up. The farther you press the zoom control, the faster the zoom speed.<br/> <br/> Handle Zoom - Low/Medium/Fast<br/> The top grip zoom control can be set for one of three zoom speeds - low, medium or fast - by selecting the appropriate speed in a menu selection. &#160; Zebra Level<br/> The GL1's viewfinder and monitor can be set to show areas of overexposure in the scene being captured - using a series of diagonal zebra stripes. If you wish, you can adjust either the shutter speed or aperture to eliminate the overexposure.<br/>
The GL1 gives you several options for picture adjustment, ranging from color shifting and picture sharpness to white balance. &#160; Camera Color: Color Phase<br/> <br/> The GL1 will let you shift the color in six steps towards red or green. The Color Phase feature is particularly useful when shooting under fluorescent lights when skin tones tend towards the green. Using Color Phase, shift the color towards the red. &#160; Camera Sharpness: Picture Sharpness (&#177; 6 steps)<br/> <br/> You can also adjust the range of picture sharpness on the GL1, from softer to sharper, depending on how you want to portray your subject. For example, for bridal scenes you may want to adjust the sharpness towards a slightly blurred image for a softer focus effect. &#160; Gain Control<br/> There are times when you may have to shoot in dark locations but cannot add lighting to the scene. Using the Gain Control on the GL1 will increase the brightness of a recorded scene, although at the expense of some image noise. Available gain values are 0dB, +3dB, +6dB, +9dB, +12dB. &#160; White Balance <br/> <br/> The GL1 is designed to automatically determine white balance. You can also use standard preset values for indoors (3200&#176; K) and outdoors (5600&#176; K) or you can manually set the white balance. Manually setting the white balance is useful when shooting subjects with one dominant color such as the sky, close-ups, rapidly changing lighting conditions, and in places lit by certain types of fluorescent or mercury vapor lights.<br/> <br/> White Balance Setting<br/> Use<br/> Auto<br/> Automated adjustments of white balance.<br/> Outdoor<br/> Bright sunlight - 5600&#186;K<br/> Indoor<br/> Incandescent light - 3200&#186;K<br/> Preset<br/> Adjustable memory setting variable between 3200 - 5600&#186;K.<br/> &#160;
The GL1's omnidirectional microphone is designed to deliver great quality sound: more realistic, life-like, and in stereo. But you also have sound options to meet both your recording and editing needs. One option gives you two channels for recording sound and two channels for adding sound at the editing stage. &#160; 16-bit (2-ch)/12 bit (2-ch or 4-ch)<br/> The GL1 can record sound in two audio modes:<br/> 16-bit (48 kHz, 2 channels) for the highest sound quality, slightly better than CD quality, and equivalent to DAT tape;<br/> 12-bit (32 kHz, 2 from 4 channels) for recording on two channels (stereo 1), leaving two channels (stereo 2) open for post production audio recording (narration, music, etc.) <br/> Audio Level Control<br/> The GL1's automatic level control analyzes sound and adjusts the levels automatically to provide the best possible sound.
The GL1 is designed to handle two types of analog input and output: using audio/video cables (composite) or S-video. Both connections are on the camera back. <br/> Audio and Video Inputs<br/> The GL1's analog audio inputs let you perform dubbing or insert editing from conventional audio sources such as CDs, cassettes, microphones or the soundtracks of other videocassettes. <br/> Analog Line Input<br/> Now it's possible to send an analog video signal from your TV, VCR or camcorder into the GL1 and record it onto DV. It's great for making copies or preserving precious originals.<br/> <br/> Mic Input on Body<br/> In addition to using the GL1's built-in microphone, you have the option of plugging in an external microphone to a terminal on the camcorder's right side.<br/> <br/> Audio Dub<br/> Using a recording made in the 12-bit audio mode you can also add stereo sound from another audio source or through the internal or external microphone.<br/> <br/> AV Insert<br/> Add new video from a VCR or another camcorder to a tape recorded in SP mode.&#160; The GL1 offers you the option of adding video and/or audio to an existing SP-recorded tape. Input can be digital, or analog video and analog audio. <br/> Audio and Video Outputs<br/> Audio and video on a mini-DV cassette can be output to another camcorder or VCR. <br/> Composite / S-Video / Audio Output<br/> Audio output is accomplished via the same ports used for input. Video outputs include composite and S-video. The audio and video ports are located on the back AV panel. In addition there is an adjustable Headphone Terminal. <br/> Headphone Terminal (adjustable level)<br/> The GL1's headphone jack has a 15-level volume adjustment for monitoring sound during shooting, performing sound checks, or listening to the sound through stereo headphones during playback.
The GL1 has many additional features for ease of use and creative control. <br/> Tally Lamp<br/> The tally lamp, a flashing red light on the front of the GL1 that activates when the camera is recording, is designed to let your subject know that the camera is recording. The tally lamp also tells you when the camera is in range of the remote control and is responding to the remote. <br/> Color View Finder and 2.5" LCD Screen<br/> Enhancing the GL1's usability is a 2.5" (6.4 cm) color LCD screen with approximately 122,000 pixels. Designed for both shooting and playback functions, the screen will rotate 270 degrees so you can adjust the LCD screen to virtually any viewing angle. Your subject can even watch his or her performance as the video is being recorded. The screen folds neatly against the camera body when not in use. The screen can be used to display essential camera and tape function menus and indicators. <br/> Digital Effects<br/> The GL1 offers you a variety of scene transition effects, producing smooth, professional-looking transitions between scenes as you record. Other effects include: Black & White, which removes color from the video images; Slim, which makes images taller; Stretch, to widen an image; and Strobe, for a stop-and-go type of motion effect. &#160; Time Code<br/> The GL1 records a time code signal along with the video signal. This time code accurately identifies every point on the DV tape by hour, minute, second and frame. This will prove immensely beneficial if you are editing your footage on your personal computer or a professional video editing system. <br/> Data Code<br/> The DV standard calls for the automatic recording of date and time, shutter speed, exposure settings and other key camera data on the tape as you shoot. However, the GL1 does not permanently superimpose this data over your video. Instead, it remains hidden until you select it for display during playback or editing. You can turn the display on or off at will, and you can decide which data you want to display. <br/> Remote Control<br/> The GL1's full-function wireless remote control will work at distances up to 16 feet (4.9m). The remote can start and stop recordings, zoom the lens, handle all playback (VCR) functions, handle audio and video dubbing functions, and more. <br/> Canon EX Speedlite Flash Compatibility (220EX/550EX) When using the GL1's Photo Mode, you can add a Canon Speedlite electronic flash to the camcorder's accessory shoe. The compatible Speedlites are the 220EX and 550EX. The flash will function exactly as it would when attached to a 35mm photo camera to add light to the picture. <br/> Photo Search<br/> Remember that you can put hundreds of still images on a DV tape when using the GL1 in Photo Mode. So having a way to find a particular image is a necessity. Using the Remote Control, Easy Photo Search lets you scan through the still pictures, even if they're recorded between sections of moving footage.




Power Supply (rated)

7.2 V DC

Power Consumption (While recording AF=ON)

6.7 W (using viewfinder), 7.4 W (using LCD screen)

Television System

EIA standard (525 lines, 60 fields) NTSC color signal

Video Recording system

2 rotary heads, helical scanning system, DV system (Consumer digital VCR SD system Digital component recording)

Audio Recording system

PCM digital sound: 16 bit (48 kHz/2 ch); 12 bit (32kHz/4 ch)

Image Sensor

3CCD 1/4 Pixel Shift (charge coupled device); 270,000 pixels (250,000 effective pixels)

Tape Format

Videocassettes bearing the (MiniDV) mark

Tape Speed

SP: 3/4ips (18.81 mm/s); LP: 1/2ips (12.56 mm/s)

Maximum Recording Time (with an 80-min. cassette)

SP: 80 minutes (with an 80-inch cassette); LP: 120 minutes (with an 80-min cassette)

Fast Forward/Rewind Time

2 min. 50 sec (with a 60-min cassette)


F/1.6 - 2.9, 20 x power zoom, 4.2-84mm

Focusing System

TTL autofocus, manual focusing possible

Focusing System

3ft 3 3/8 in. (1m), 3/8 in (1cm) on maximum wide angle

Minimum Illumination

6 lux

Recommended Illumination

More than 100 lux

Filter Diameter

58 mm


0.55-inch, color LCD (approx. 180,000 pixels)

LCD Screen

2.5 in measured diagonally (6.4 cm), 122, 000 pixels (approx)


Stereo electret condenser microphone

DV Terminal

Special 4-pin connector (based on IEEE 1394)

Video Terminal

1 Vp-p/75 ohms unbalanced

S-video Terminal

1 Vp-p (Y signal), 0.286 Vp-p (C signal)

Audio Terminal

-10dBV, less than 3 kohms, unbalanced

Operating Temperature range

32 - 104° F (0-40° C)


4 5/8 x 5 3/8 x 10 3/4 in. (117 x 135 x 272 mm)


2 lbs 12 1/8 oz. (1.25 kg)

Compatible Supplies & Accessories

Canon offers a wide range of compatible supplies and accessories that can enhance your user experience with you GL1 that you can purchase direct. Scroll down to easily select items to add to your shopping cart for a faster, easier checkout. Visit the Canon Online Store



Expand All



† Prices and specifications subject to change without notice. Actual prices are determined by individual dealers and may vary.

 Return to Top