Need help!Low light performance/buying advice.

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potatoman

Guest
please help,im looking for a new camcorder.

my last camcorder was a sony dcr-hc22e(mini dv),which in my opinion,was fine when filming inside under normal(60w)lighting.not amazing,but ok.

recently bought a panasonic sdr-h80 and was shocked how poor the picture was indoors.very grainy/blurry edges.played with settings,not much better.

considering the panasonic is 3 yrs newer,i assumed technology had improved,how wrong i am!

anyway,comparing specs,the sony has a 1/6" size sensor.the panasonic is 1/8".as the sony has a larger sensor(and lets in more light)is that the reason its better?

what spec/feature should i be looking for,when comparing.
is hd better than sd in low light(in general)?

i have a budget of upto £500ish,and want as good an optical zoom as possible(my sony is 20x so dont really want to go too far backwards from that).

i know i will never get a brilliant indoor pic for my money,but would like at least the same as my old sony.

have tried loads in the shop but find it difficult to reproduce my home conditions.

any comments or advice welcome.
thanks in advance
 

artzifartzi

Standard Member
Hey Potatoman

It might be worth looking into the Hi-Def Sony XR500V/520V range - I may be a little biased as I've just bought one myself (not yet received it) however...from many reports/users on various forums, the low light picture quality is outstanding, as is the active OIS apparently - very smooth. Price-wise you may be looking at 600 pounds plus tho', rather than your stated budget.

Could well be worth a look tho'. I'll try to give some feedback after I've put the 500V thru' its paces but there is plenty of positive stuff out there already about these cams.

regards,
Dave
 

A n d r e w

Well-known Member
the sony has a 1/6" size sensor.the panasonic is 1/8".as the sony has a larger sensor(and lets in more light)is that the reason its better?
Sensor size is key. In general, the larger the sensor the better the performance in less than ideal lighting. But don't confuse sensor size with the light-gathering capabilities of the lens - they're separate issues. Sensor size is what you should look for. 1/4" is the minimum for relatively good indoor shooting. Bigger is better, but also more expensive as a rule.
is hd better than sd in low light(in general)?
No. It's no better, and in fact cramming more photo-sites ("pixels") on to a sensor actually impairs its sensitivity. In theory, the same size sensor in a high def camcorder (more photo-sites) will perform slightly worse in low light, than in a standard def camcorder (fewer photo-sites).
 

chrishull3

Well-known Member
Oh yeah, forgot..optical zoom is only 12x, not 20..

There are no hd consumer cams with 20x that i know of, you are right the 500/20 is better in low light as far as noise goes than any consumer cam sd or hd past or present,the panasonic tm 350 and canons top avchd cam have a lower luz rating but have more noise at low light.
 

ajex

Active Member
Just for the record JVC GZHD300 does come with 20x zoom and is indeed HD camcorder..

There are no hd consumer cams with 20x that i know of, you are right the 500/20 is better in low light as far as noise goes than any consumer cam sd or hd past or present,the panasonic tm 350 and canons top avchd cam have a lower luz rating but have more noise at low light.
 
P

potatoman

Guest
Hey Potatoman

It might be worth looking into the Hi-Def Sony XR500V/520V range - I may be a little biased as I've just bought one myself (not yet received it) however...from many reports/users on various forums, the low light picture quality is outstanding, as is the active OIS apparently - very smooth. Price-wise you may be looking at 600 pounds plus tho', rather than your stated budget.

Could well be worth a look tho'. I'll try to give some feedback after I've put the 500V thru' its paces but there is plenty of positive stuff out there already about these cams.

regards,
Dave

that would be great-thanks:thumbsup:
 
P

potatoman

Guest

looks good,am i being naive in thinking that the JVC GZ-HM200 would be at least as good or better than my current sony?
dont mind it being the same,but dont want to go backwards.
 

gmask

Standard Member
coomparison between XR520, HFS11 and TM350 in low light conditions? which one do you suggest?
 

martyxke

Standard Member
There are no hd consumer cams with 20x that i know of, you are right the 500/20 is better in low light as far as noise goes than any consumer cam sd or hd past or present,the panasonic tm 350 and canons top avchd cam have a lower luz rating but have more noise at low light.
I have to say if the 500/20 can beat the Sony VX2100 in low light situations it must be one heck of a camera. I will be putting one on my shopping list if it can offer better results, as up till now I haven't seen a cam that is better in low light than the VX2100
Marty
 

chrishull3

Well-known Member
I have to say if the 500/20 can beat the Sony VX2100 in low light situations it must be one heck of a camera. I will be putting one on my shopping list if it can offer better results, as up till now I haven't seen a cam that is better in low light than the VX2100
Marty

The 2100[i had one] is not a consumer cam, and i dont know if the 500/20s are that good in low light but in every other department the PQ is superior as are all reasonable hd cams.
 
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senu

Distinguished Member
The 2100[i had one] is not a consumer cam, and i dont know if the 500/20s are that good in low light but in every other department the PQ is superior as are all reasonable hd cams.
The VX2100 is more Prosumer and its 3xCCD and fast lens ( and perhaps easier SD requirments) mean the 500/20 will not really beat it
Im yet to use the 500/20 but the smaller 200 isnt bad but still isnt happy in lower light AF struggles and for exposure I still find the reaction a little slow
I really put up with Sony touchscreen technology for 2 reasons

1)Some controls you cannot access while shooting else you will ruine the recording
2) The touchscreen can get tempereamantal . I just about find my HC-1s usable now and it may need fixing..eventually
The Older VX2100 has no such problems
 
P

potatoman

Guest
looks good,am i being naive in thinking that the JVC GZ-HM200 would be at least as good or better than my current sony?
dont mind it being the same,but dont want to go backwards.

any opinions on this?:confused:
 

gmask

Standard Member
I wonder whether any of these cameras has the ability to simultaneously record video and whenever you want press a button to get a snapshot. Any ideas?
 

artzifartzi

Standard Member
Yes Gmask, the Sony XR500/520's definitely do this, as did their preceeding models. In fact the XR500/520's also have an automatic capability to take a photo during video recording when a 'smile' is detected...think it's called smile shutter or something - personally, I've turned that function off on my camera.

Cheers,
Dave
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Which do you have? Im using the XR200 ATM and although it has " face recgnition and you can record a still image to card while recording on HDD Im no sure you can do both simultaneoesly on the same media.
 

gmask

Standard Member
the simultaneous video and snapshot capturing works in the HQ mode of video or in another profile?
 

gmask

Standard Member
can I use an old wideangle lens that I have from a previous Sony model PC330 (37mm diameter) with the XR520 or not?
 
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chrishull3

Well-known Member
The VX2100 is more Prosumer and its 3xCCD and fast lens ( and perhaps easier SD requirments) mean the 500/20 will not really beat it
Im yet to use the 500/20 but the smaller 200 isnt bad but still isnt happy in lower light AF struggles and for exposure I still find the reaction a little slow
I really put up with Sony touchscreen technology for 2 reasons

1)Some controls you cannot access while shooting else you will ruine the recording
2) The touchscreen can get tempereamantal . I just about find my HC-1s usable now and it may need fixing..eventually
The Older VX2100 has no such problems
The 500/20 is a class up from the 200, yes i said the 2100 was prosumer but too large and heavy for everyday use for me,from film i have seen the 520s low light is similar too the 2100 some use it with the Z5 as a b cam,you are right on cam control is something to miss and on my HV 30 all manual controls are reasonably easily accessable and its tape but low light although better than the SR12 i had it still can not match the 500/20, regarding touch screen i made a vow never to return to it again i hated it.At least one thing we all have left is choice exept prosumer tape cams.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Sorry your thread was going astray
The reason is that good low light performance is the holy grail of camcorders and the achilles heel of most consumer models
I dont know how good your Sony is but the current crop of budget or midrange models are a mixed bag for quality.
£500 is a lot of money but I suspect only on indiviual cases can any camcorder be endorsed
The JVC is not likely to be better , but I dont know if it is as good as your Sony
Which other models have caught your eye?
 

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