1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Low light - anybody happy?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by OGIII, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. OGIII

    OGIII
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Reading back through the board it looks like few people are happy with indoors low-light filming from their digital camcorders.

    I had a Sony IP5 which I got rid off last month because of the poor quality (and the mmv format being a pain to work with). I've been playing around with my Mum's Pany GS1 which is much better indoors but still not really good enough.

    I had a Samsung analouge before the IP5 which had a miles better picture. The only problem with that was that the battery was always flat when you went to use it.

    90% of my filming is the kids indoors - so should I just get another Hi8 with a lithium battery?

    I'd like to be getting a MiniDV of the IP5/GS1 sort of size so that I use it more outside (but I probably won't because my Exilim is sooo easy to carry around) but I can't live with that indoor quality.

    So back to the title of the thread - "Low light - anybody happy?".

    Any honest reviews so that I can go and buy one.

    Cheers
    OG
     
  2. Duster

    Duster
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    421
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi
    I think its a problem with most mini DV camcorders. My old Hi8 is much better in low light
     
  3. Life_Saver

    Life_Saver
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    20
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    United Arab Emirates
    Ratings:
    +0
    Got the JVP DVP-7 and pretty happy about it ..

    In case of really low light, I use additional light ... it works but it's a battery monster .. :p
     
  4. OGIII

    OGIII
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks chaps.

    I think I'm going to look at a small Hi8 with decent battery life/stamina. Any other sugestions gratefully received.

    Cheers
    OG
     
  5. Life_Saver

    Life_Saver
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    20
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    United Arab Emirates
    Ratings:
    +0
    If you plan to capture in PC and make your own DVDs, then stick to DV format ..

    Otherwise, If all what you care about is making VHS tapes, go ahead ..
     
  6. OGIII

    OGIII
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I found PC editing tedious. I have a Terapin VCD recorder which has the convenience of VHS but obviously you've got your film on CD so you can easuily copy it for the family etc etc. With DV I found the indoor quality so poor that the recording to VCD was crap.

    I've probably been put off by the bad experience with the Sony IP5.

    Cheers
    OG
     
  7. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have a Panasonic GS5 and the low light is okay, but not fantastic. Then again, you are limited by simple physics, the lens aperture is tiny, compared to the higher end semi-pro camcorders.

    However, it works okay by candlelight - sounds poor, but watch Barry Lyndon (Dir. Stanley Kubrick), there are many candlelit scenes which required a special Zeiss F0.9 Lens (created for Nasa:D) to shoot properly.

    The only decent ~0Lux systems I've seen either use a massive lens and special CCD (B&W) or are infra-red.
     
  8. OGIII

    OGIII
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks for reply Evil. I'm not talking filming in the dark here, I'm more bothered about indoors with normal indoor lighting, i.e fairly reasonable sized lounge with a couple of 60w table lamps on. Like I said my 8mm Samsung was perfectly acceptable, MicroMV and MiniDV can't hack it, probably for the reason you say.

    Cheers
    OG
     
  9. Arthur.S

    Arthur.S
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    More expensive, but any DV cam with 3 CCD's rather than one. They're more common than you think.
     
  10. OGIII

    OGIII
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Sorry to sound thick Arthur but I'm not exactly sure what you mean by three, is this the 1/4 in CCD part, are you saying one with 1/3 would be better i.e. a third is bigger than a quarter?

    Cheers
    OG
     
  11. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Arthur's talking about a Camera with 3 Charge Coupled Devices - one for Red, Green and Blue, as opposed to a single multi-colour CCD - as found in most camcorders.
    Not entirely sure there's a flux sensitivity gain (no pun intended) from using a 3CCD model, but they nearly always have a much larger lens - thus a lower F number, and more light gets in.
     
  12. OGIII

    OGIII
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Ahh, I see - so what is the 1/4, 1/4.7 etc and does that impact on the light levels/picture quality?

    Cheers
    OG
     
  13. alex f

    alex f
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    63
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Reading UK
    Ratings:
    +0
    i have a Panasonic 3ccd MX500 and filming in my sitting room is poor with the lack of light. If I play around it does improve but nowhere near as good as my 10 year old analogue camcorder!! I have only just got it and have not had time to use it during the day outside, I expect the picture to be alot better!
     
  14. OGIII

    OGIII
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks for that Alex, looking more and more like I need to go back to analogue.

    Cheers
    OG
     
  15. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Bear in mind that a lower value of zoom lens will have better low light performance than a higher zoom one. Old analogue camcorders seem to be limited to about 10x optical zoom, whereas modern digital ones are capable of 25x. None of this helps the low light performance!
     
  16. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Here's a short video shot indoors with a GS5, at night with the sole lightsource being a 60W energy saver bulb. Unfortunately due to the compression level you can't tell how little grain there was in the original image, but it was very mild though not perfect.
    Beaker (from the Muppets) moshing to Song 2 by Blur
     
  17. OGIII

    OGIII
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks Evil, colours look OK for low light..... not sure about the movie though:laugh:
     
  18. killzonex

    killzonex
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I was pretty much in the same situation. I bought an IP5 because of it size, figuring if it's easy to carry around, I'll get more video. In good light, it actually does an acceptable job. In normal light (I won't even call it low light), color is washed out and the video pretty much sucks. Then add to that the problem of importing the mpeg2 TS(transport stream) video and I got fed up with the camera. Basically none of the editing programs will let you edit directly with the mmv files.

    In any case I started researching which camcorders do well in low light. Esentially there is only one consumer level MiniDV camcorder that does well in low light. The sony VX2000. From what I've read it has to do with the fact that it uses three 1/3" CCDs. The cannon G2 for example, uses three 1/4" CCDs and didn't perform even close to the VX2000 in low light. The bottom line is, if your going to be doing a lot of normal indoor light shooting, this is the camera you want. The only drawback is that it's a $2100 camera and it weighs 3 pounds.
     
  19. OGIII

    OGIII
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I think you have to accept a trade off.

    I'd made my mind up to buy a Hi8 Samsung VL770, built in light and everything but I went to the local shop to have a look and couldn't bring myself to buy such a huge brick when there are these beautiful little numbers around.

    I'm going for the GS1 Panasonic and I'll just have to turn the lights up......

    Cheers
    OG
     
  20. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Update,

    I've just got my new lenses for my GS5. They have about 3 times the surface area of the standard lens, and the low light performance has improved dramatically. I can now shoot indoors at higher shutter speeds without ramping up the gain (or grain as one of still photographer mates put it). £60 quid well spent.
     
  21. OGIII

    OGIII
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Assume the lenses are compatible with the GS1 too Evil.....

    Are they screw on jobbies?

    Lenses (as opposed to lens), what do you get?

    Could you please let me know the link (or did you get them from a shop), sounds like I need to be buying them.

    Thanks in advance
    OG
     
  22. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I picked up the Panasonic wide angle and telephoto lenses.

    They will fit a GS1 quite happily, and balance out the weight of the 4 hour battery that now sits on the back.

    I got them from the Panasonic e-shop, which is probably not the cheapest place, but they had them in stock, and I needed them for saturday.

    Yup they're screw on 30.5mm thread.
     

Share This Page

Loading...