Difference Between Canon GL1 and GL2

Canon GL1 and GL2 are MiniDV camcorders that were a roaring success when they were released. Earlier, the industry sort of divided consumer equipment from professional equipment.


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Each had their own advantages but were not very flexible in terms of usage. However, canon released these camcorders that combined the two niches and allowed consumers to get a glimpse of what skilled videography was.

Canon GL1 vs GL2

The difference between Canon GL1 and GL2 is that GL1 is an older version of the series weighing 1.25 kg. whereas GL2 is a newer updated version of the former weighing 1.12 kg. There’s no denying that GL1 has its own perks. However, GL2 has quite a few additional features with improved resolution and audio.

Canon GL1 vs GL2

GL1 is the American terminology for the camcorder, which is XV1 in Japan and XM1 in Europe. The device was first marketed in September 1999.

It comes with a 122,000 Pixel screen that measures 2.5 inches diagonally. The microphone is a Stereo Electret Condenser, and the video recording system includes 2 rotary heads.

Meanwhile, GL2 is the American terminology, which is XV2 in Japan, and XM2 in Europe. The device was marketed in 2002 and had a similar microphone and video recording system as GL2.

Even the screen measured the same, but it had 200,000 pixels. Moreover, the design was sleeker, and it weighed much lighter than the firmer.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCanon GL1Canon GL2
LaunchGL1 was launched in 1999.GL2 was launched in 2002.
WeightIt weighs approximately 1.25 kg.It weighs approximately 1.12 kg.
DimensionsIt has a larger design that measures 117*135*272 mm.It has a smaller design that measures 118*136*306 mm.
Sensor ResolutionThe sensor resolution is 270,000 pixels which is substandard.The sensor resolution is 410,000 pixels which provides better colour and quality of video.
LCD ScreenThe resolution of the screen is 122,000 pixels.The resolution of the screen is better with 200,000 pixels.
Focus DistanceThe camcorder has a minimum focus distance of 10mm at a wide-angle.The camcorder has a minimum focus distance of 1 cm at a wide-angle.
ViewfinderThe viewfinder is 0.55″ in measurement.The viewfinder is 0.44″ in measurement.
Power ConsumptionIt consumes 6.7W using the viewfinder and 7.4W using the LCD screen.It consumes 4.8W using the viewfinder and 5.7W using the LCD screen.
Additional FeaturesIt does not have any additional features.It comes with a 270-degree rotation and an 8MB SD card.

What is Canon GL1?

GL1 is a MiniDV camcorder that combines consumer equipment technology with professional elements. It uses advanced lens mechanics and fluorite components which result in perfect chromatic aberrations.

The device allows users to record sharp images and videos as the 20x optical zoom minimizes all colour-blurs.

270,000 pixels in sensor resolution facilitate higher sensitivity to the image and also a better dynamic range. These are CCD sensors that process basic colours separately.

The camcorder comprises a beam-splitting optical prism that severs different colours of light that pass through the lens.  This light is sent to the CCD which provides highly detailed images and videos.

The camcorder is affordable and easy to transport. It delivers a high-quality product that is definitely worth the cost. A built-in microphone with two sets of pick-up apparatus is just icing on the cake.

It records audio on two channels in either 16-bit mode or 12-bit mode.

However, the camera is an older version of other updated models that were released in the series. Therefore, it may be hard to find the hardware in markets.

It still holds its reputation though, for allowing amateurs to record high-quality pictures and videos that look as if they come straight from a movie.

What is Canon GL2?

GL2 is an updated version of GL1 with additional features that surmount the former. It has a Video L (Luxury) series lens that allows great focal length without compromising on quality.

Unlike the former, GL2 has a 3CCD image-sensor system that delivers an incredibly colour-sensitive and dynamic range at an affordable price.

The sensor resolution is 410,000 pixels and the LCD screen has a resolution of 200,000 pixels. This helps the user achieve detail in images and videos with high-quality colour reproduction.

The advanced recording technology also minimizes the chances of motion blur. LSI circuits installed in the device facilitate dynamic sensitivity even in low light environments.

A feature that sets this device apart from its predecessors is the photo mode. This allows users to click images in high definition.

In this mode, the Pixel shift technology and mechanical shutter work together to capture an image of at least 1.6 8 megapixels. Moreover, the microphone has three modes – normal, voice and wind cut.

Additional features make this camcorder more suitable for professional use as compared to GL1. The device has manual as well as automatic settings that cater to different users.

Moreover, the highly renowned interchangeable lens that comes with this model is remarkable.

Main Differences Between Canon GL1 and GL2

  1. GL1 was launched in 1999 whereas GL2 was launched in 2002.
  2. GL1 weighs 1.25 kg whereas GL2 weighs 1.12 kg.
  3. GL1 has a larger design with the dimensions 117*135*272 mm whereas GL2 has a smaller design that measures 118*136*306 mm.
  4. The sensor resolution of GL1 is 270,000 pixels whereas GL2 has a better resolution with 410,000 pixels.
  5. The LCD screen of GL1 has a resolution of 122,000 pixels whereas that of GL2 has 200,000 pixels.
  6. GL1 has a minimum focus distance of 10 mm whereas that of GL2 is 1 cm.
  7. GL1 has a 0.55″ viewfinder whereas GL2 has a 0.44″ viewfinder.
  8. GL1 consumes 6.7W using the viewfinder and 7.4W using the LCD screen whereas GL2 consumes 4.8W using the viewfinder and 5.7W using the LCD screen.
  9. GL1 has no additional features whereas GL2 comes with 270-degree rotation and an 8MB SD card.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6475015/
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Trey-Martindale/publication/248115262_Understanding_computer-based_digital_video/links/56ce9a5a08ae059e37535f8a/Understanding-computer-based-digital-video.pdf
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