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3CCD,3CMOS,single CCD tradeoffs.

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by a.lang, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. a.lang

    a.lang
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    I am looking for a new camcorder small enough to put in a belt pouch but it does not have to be tiny.I had a JVC GR-DVP9,written off just by getting damp with rainwater in a rucksack.I though you would have to immerse a camcorder in salt water to achieve this ! Be very careful !

    I cannot get a real feel from mag.reviews or forums on the following:
    1.HOW MUCH worse is the low light performance of 3CCD(eg.Panasonic NV-GS75 etc) or 3CMOS (Sony DCR-PC1000) compared to single CCD(eg SONY DCR-HC90 etc.)I want to use in darkish buildings,cathedrals etc and at parties but do not really mind if it won't film in a room lit by one candle !

    2.HOW MUCH better is the good light performance of 3CCD or 3CMOS compared to single CCD.

    "What Digital Camcorder" suggests the 3CCD Panny's are awesome(and they do seem great value)and mentions poor low light performance as an aside as if it was a minor point.I don't think it is.
    In other words,is their good light performance really a step change up on single CCD and low light perfectly adequate,or,are they just slightly better in good light with low light so poor I would regret buying one ?
    Anyone got experience ?
    I am not interested in stills or surround sound and price is not an issue.Any suggestions ?Thanks Andrew.
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Let me start by saying that I do not have any direct experience of the latest camcorders available, therefore all the following is bassed on my previous experiences!

    CCD vs CMOS: In the past only the very cheap & chearful camcorders used CMOS sensors. In general the PQ from these was poor, but they were cheaper to make. Now that Sony are starting to release CMOS camcorders I must assume that CMOS technology has been improved. In my experience one thing that has always been in Sony's favour is their ability to produce products with about the best PQ going.

    1. IMO the difference will be noticeable to a fair degree, but all depending on how you are displaying what has been recorded, ie directly from cam or recorded onto a DVD. On a small TV or with a PJ etc etc. Things that will be noticed will be grainy picture (cam boosts the gain), loss of detail. Manual override of the cam can help if you want to spend the time manually setting it up.
    Basically no consumer digital camcorders are good in low light, especially the smaller models. For the type of filming you are looking at doing you really should look for a cam with a bigger lens and CCD/CMOS.

    2. Sharper, more vivid colours & detail

    My advice would be to get a cam from Jessops as they will pricematch any UK web site (may need to haggle on this though!) and offer a 30 day money back guarentee. try the cam and if it is not any good for your requirements then take it back and swap for another that may be better.

    Good luck,
    Mark.
     
  3. a.lang

    a.lang
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    Thanks Mark,I am beginning to get the feeling that CCD is probably the way to go rather than CMOS.Good CMOS is probably something in its infancy even if Sony is going for it.Most camcorders after all have CCD.
    Perhaps I gave the wrong impression in my post.Most of my filming will be holidays,children etc.in daylight.I just don't want to get something which is really hopeless in low light.If the sharpness and vividness of colours with 3CCD really is better,I am leaning in that direction.
    The Jessops idea sound excellent-will have to try it.
    Still like to hear from anyone who has actual recent experience of any of these or similar camcorders.
     
  4. Tomo1971

    Tomo1971
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    I have just bought a Sony DCR PC55 and so far am pleased with it. Ok, you aint gonna make any proffesional films with it as the CCD is quite a low resolution one. Also low light use wont be good at all as the lens is so small. Im still pleased with the PQ as it does seem to be better than my old camera and yet only one quarter the size! Also, with the light, it does have an accessory shoe and a video light can be used with that. I used to have a pana nvds15 that was a good low light camera but did show noticeable graineness when in low light compared with daylight, so maybe no camcorder is brilliant at that?

    With the old camcorder, I never used it really as it was too big. Major plus point of the PC55 is the great portability of the thing. Its small enough to fit in your pocket if need be. So sometimes, cam goes in my pocket and spare battery and tape into the wifes handbag and as they are so small too its ideal. I also use a small digi camera pouch for it that has room for a spare battery and spare tape. People still think its actually a digi stills camera im about to pull out.

    Menu is easy enough to use, maybe a downside is not having buttons for fade etc on the side as some cams do, but all my editing is done via a PC so no loss to me. It doesnt have a manual focus as such, but cant say that I ever used that on my old camera anyway. You can use a feature on it called spot focus. For an example, when I was filming in a zoo through large mesh grills the camera was focusing on the metal. Using spot focus I got the camera to focus on the animal. That is good enough for me.

    Hope that helps

    Steve
     
  5. Roy Mallard

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    3ccd doesn't usually mean better low light, worst case slightly lower, the light is split 3 ways in the dichroic prism, so at the most 1/3rd of the light availbale strikes each ccd. If you take in to account the extra optics the lights passes through (single colour reflective mirrors) and adde physical distance the light travels (suffering slight fall off)

    the pannys tend to use 1/8th ccds rather than 1/6th ccds (sonys), given that pro cameras ise at least 2/3inch and still require additional lights in anyhting less that 100 lux to wrok properly
     
  6. a.lang

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    Thanks Tomo and Roy,your comments are useful but I would really like to hear from anyone who has actually used a 3CCD Panasonic in low to lowish light.How do they compare to a good single CCD model eg Sony DCR-HC90.Similar,slightly worse or much worse? Anyone out there ?Thanks.

    I am nearly convinced to buy a Panasonic NV-GS 250. Andrew.
     
  7. a.lang

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    Bought the Panasonic NV-GS 250 and have found a belt pouch in Jessops which it just slides into.It is slightly more intrusive to walking than my old JVC GR-DVP 9 but not much.That's where the similarity ends.
    I am stunned by the performance.The OIS is brilliant and the colour rendition superb.Low light is not brilliant but no worse.The menus and joystick are very easy to use.It is amazing how they get such a brilliant 3 CCD camcorder in such a small package at such a good price.Not a true pro camcorder but for my purposes excellent.Highly recommended.Andrew.
     
  8. driver8

    driver8
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    Hi a.lang - hoping you can help.

    I'm researching camcorders for my brother, (finding it a slog !) and I'm on the verge of recommending one of these Pana's to him, but I am concerned at the low light issue (my only experience is from a 6yr old JVC).

    Could you tell me what the results are, say in a 14'x14' room lit only by a 60w bulb ? Just how grainy (& poor ?) is the picture ? (Do you mean it's no worse than your JVC ?) My bro will be filming his 2 small children, totally indoors till at least next summer, so he'll need decent indoor performance.

    Also, where did you buy it, and for what £ ?

    Thanks in advance for any help. :)
     
  9. Roy Mallard

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    Guys, this low light question pops up again and again, basically you need light for the cameras to work.

    Although all modern camcorders boast of low light performance the only way they are going to get any image is by either slowing the shutter or adding loads of gain.

    If you have any control over the situation then put in a 100w instead of a 60w bulb.

    There is a school of thought (particularly prevalent amongst ambient light photographers) that if a subject is dark, then the recorded image should be true to this.

    If the room is too dark to record in then add more light, 1/6 & 1/8th inch CCD's are not going to cut it in dimly lit rooms. Even with 2/3rd inch CCD's on my 570, I still pack lights, even if I don't require modelling, just boucning a light off of a white ceiling (preferably) or a white wall gives fairly even illumination.
     
  10. laser

    laser
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    Having gome through the same process last week 3CCD v 1 CCD I decided to plumb for a single CCD model, the Sony HC42E.

    The Panasonic 3CCD models I tested were great PQ in bright light conditions but terrible in poor lighting and I mean terrible. I also found that getting a mid range 3 CCD camcorder which was true widescreen was not possible. I would have had to spend £800-£900+

    In the end I narrowed down the choice to the Sony HC90 and Sony HC42E. I autioned both camcorders and PQ was identical. I could not tell the difference on a 42" plasma. In the end I decided to go for the HC42E and with the £200 saved, bought a dedicated 4MP Digitial camera with 10x optical zoom.

    The stills from the HC90 were OK and not a patch on a proper digital camera so I thought the money was better saved as the PQ was the same between the two camcorders.
     
  11. AdiVio

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    Hi laser,

    did you also compared these 2 camcorders in low light conditions?
    I have a hc42 and I'm not very pleased with the PQ when filming
    indoors and I was planning to maybe replace it with the hc90. The latter
    seems to perform very well in low light (reviews from cnet and camcorder info).

    Adi
     

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