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post #1 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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So I need a backup camera, one that should be small and good at low light, specially for videos.

First I was between the RX100 and the LX7. Between these two, the LX7 seems like a better choice. They perform similarly in low light but the LX7 is cheaper, has a better OIS, a usable zoom, better macros, built in ND filter, 720p120fps and a wider angle.

I looked at the Panasonic GX1 and it was promising. It is small, fast and great at low light, but the total lack of manual controls in video really suck.

Now I came up with the Canon EOS M. I have some doubts about it:

- I know the AF in picture mode is slow, but can I still take good pictures with it?"
- Whats the smallest lens (one that is good enough for most situations, specially low light) for it?

Checking out that review and that video im starting to think that this may be the best small camera for low light video

http://vimeo.com/55604121
http://www.chadsorianophotoblog.com/2012/11/canon-eos-m-verdict-and-video-review.html

Do any of you guys know that camera? What can you say about it?

Any other camera suggestions?

Is the EOS-M video really good?
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post #2 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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another question: the EOS M only have 1080/30p H.264 video. I can live with the 30p, since its just a backup for low light, but the problem is the mp4 file. Can I alternate its video with a 28Mbps AVCHD or will I notice a big difference in quality?
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post #3 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 07:09 AM
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Hi thedest - If you want a pocketable video camera with an APS-C sensor, I would consider the Sony NEX-5R with a fast f1.8 35mm or 50mm lens before getting the EOS-M. The Sony has an articulated LCD, built-in wi-fi, a hand grip and the ability to mount an external viewfinder. The EOS-M lacks all of these features. With a fast lens, you should get great results in low light.

A couple of examples:

Aquarium:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY-oPgmtOLY

Indoors and outdoors:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXggJIix6v8

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
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post #4 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Bill, thanks for the suggestion

I know that in this category the Sony NEX is the best. The only problem is its size. I already have a DSLR so I need something small, and the sony NEX looks big to me (never seen one in person so I could be wrong). It looks sooo much bigger than the EOS-M. Am I wrong? And the sony lenses are usually huge. Do we have thin lenses for the NEX? Like those pancakes for the Panasonics.

I dont need the extra options like the viewfinder, hand grip, wi-fi etc. I just need something small, good for videos, full of manual controls and good in low light. Does the 5R has manual controls over video?
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post #5 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Im actually checking out its dimensions and it looks like its the sime size as a GW77, am I correct? So if I could find a good pancake lens for it, that could be my new camera. any ideas?
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post #6 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 08:09 AM
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Do you like the beautiful colors and excellent clarity of this outdoor video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZsgPrLOlpY If so, it was NOT shot with a camera that has a bunch of fancy sounding video geek specs like 28mpbs, 60p blah, blah, blah.

It was shot by a little inexpensive Canon M40 camcorder http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/5378/m40i.jpg with a Canon SM-V1 5.1 Channel Surround Microphone attached to it: http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Channel-Surround-Microphone-Camcorders/dp/B0034AJ89M. Of course, you don't need the bulky microphone unless you want the high quality sound that is apparent in the video.
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post #7 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I already have a better camcorder than that. And this canon is not pocketable and it sucks at low light

As I said, I need something small AND GOOD AT LOW LIGHT. For good light situations I already have great cameras.

Thanks for the suggestion though
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post #8 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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so the sony NEX-5R looks about the same size as the panasonic LX7 am i right?

It looks like it will be it, am I doing a good choice? Any other suggestions?

and wich lens should I buy for it? I want the smallest possible. And it needs to be good at low light. Dont care about zoom and stuff like that
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post #9 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 08:43 AM
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I'd stick with at least 1" sensors but shoot for APSC. For truly pocket sized you're only option I'm aware of in APSC are Nikon Coolpix A and Canon EOS M. For 1" Sony RX100 is the only one I know of. You can get into think like the NEX APSC G1X 1.5", Lumix GF, PEN and Nikon 1 (in order of sensor size) but those cameras are not pocket sized at all. If it doesn't fit in your pocket you might as carry a camcorder or a full DSLR.

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post #10 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedest View Post

so the sony NEX-5R looks about the same size as the panasonic LX7 am i right?

It looks like it will be it, am I doing a good choice? Any other suggestions?

and wich lens should I buy for it? I want the smallest possible. And it needs to be good at low light. Dont care about zoom and stuff like that

The NEX (body only) is the same size as the LX7. Once you throw a lens on the NEX it's 3x the size. Unless you're only going to use the 16mm lens which still isn't that pocketable. The LX7 has a 1/1.7-inch High Sensitivity MOS sensor. If I'm going to use that I'll just stick with my cell phone since it's results are just as good.

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post #11 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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CAMERA SIZE

Nikon Coolpix A: 111 x 64 x 40 mm
Canon EOS M: 108.6 × 66.5 × 32.3 mm (+lens)
Panasonic LX7: 110.5 x 67.1 x 45.6 mm
Sony RX100: 101.6 x 58.1 x 35.9mm

Sony NEX-5R: 110.8 x 58.8 x 38.9mm (with a pancake lens 55mm)

I never had the chance to see all of them in person, but looking at those numbers, are they really THAT different in size?

In width and height they are basically the same. The difference is in tickness, but I think that 55mm tick can be portable, cant it?
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post #12 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by itznfb View Post

The NEX (body only) is the same size as the LX7. Once you throw a lens on the NEX it's 3x the size. Unless you're only going to use the 16mm lens which still isn't that pocketable. The LX7 has a 1/1.7-inch High Sensitivity MOS sensor. If I'm going to use that I'll just stick with my cell phone since it's results are just as good.

you are wrong about the low light capabilities of the LX7, because they can match what you can get from the RX100

my idea is exactly that. only use one pancake lens for the sony. never had the to see it in person though. I wish someone could help me with that. Will it be small enough for everyday use?
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post #13 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedest View Post

my idea is exactly that. only use one pancake lens for the sony. never had the to see it in person though. I wish someone could help me with that. Will it be small enough for everyday use?

They're small.



As mentioned, it depends what size lens you put on it.





http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/178-3510467-3180305?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=sony+nex+pancake+lens+&rh=n%3A172282%2Ck%3Asony+nex+pancake+lens+

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/178-2801456-2056042?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=sony+nex+prime+lens&rh=n%3A172282%2Ck%3Asony+nex+prime+lens
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post #14 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedest View Post

.............As I said, I need something small AND GOOD AT LOW LIGHT......

Would you define low light a little better? Can you give some examples of your typical low light situations? Are low light photos and videos equally important? Or is one more important than the other? Can you post some examples of low light shots from your better cameras?

Bill
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post #15 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 09:22 AM
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I addition to Bill's question about the level of the light, there is a question of what you will be shooting. Here's why the latter is very important:

If what you are shooting is people moving - like kids - then having a big sensor is not helpful. That is because 1. the dof is too shallow to get all that you want in focus and 2. the camera may not be able to obtain good focus in auto mode on what you want, especially if the subjects move (in and out of focus). In fact, the focus speed of the canon EOS-M and the NEX simply cannot compare to that of the LX7. Small sensors are good for video, even in low light, when the subjects actually move. If what you are shooting is still (not very interesting for video), maybe having shallow dof shots couild be appealing to some. With an RX100 and LX7 you in some sense have more control of dof.

A pancake lens on a NEX will not be good for video - it is not OIS-enabled and it is noisy. The video from the NEX is definitely and visibly inferior to that of the LX7 in any case, in resolution and color accuracy (I have a NEX5N and an LX7). The reason is, again, the large sensor, which in the NEX case adds artifacts to the video in moving from high pixels to low pixels required for HD video.
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post #16 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I need something that can shoot vivid and low noise videos at night, in the streets and indoors at night with dim light.

that kind of quality would be enough for me: http://vimeo.com/55604121

thats why I think I need to go APS. I dont think that the RX100, for example, can do that, can it?

the EOS-M has a great design for me and its nice at low light (and it has a great price), but im afraid of its focus problems and the lack of AVCHD. I like to post process my videos, so that limits my work. But if the mp4 is good enough, I can live with that.



My camcorders are bad at low light situations. For that I usually use my 7D, but I need something that I can use everyday, and the canon is too big
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post #17 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 09:23 AM
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Size comparison, Canon EOS-M vs Sony NEX-5R: http://camerasize.com/compare/#351,369

Panasonic LX7 vs NEX-5R:
http://camerasize.com/compare/#350,369

With either the 16mm or 20mm f2.8 pancake lenses, you should have the pocketability and low light performance you're looking for.

Good luck with your decision!

Bill
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post #18 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 09:25 AM
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A friend just bought a NEX-6 with the 16-50 kit lens as a backup to his heavy, bulky, hard to travel with Nikon gear. He is a very picky engineer type and he loves the camera. I was surprised how small it is. Dpreview just published a glowing review and says it's video capability is very good.
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post #19 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

I addition to Bill's question about the level of the light, there is a question of what you will be shooting. Here's why the latter is very important:

If what you are shooting is people moving - like kids - then having a big sensor is not helpful. That is because 1. the dof is too shallow to get all that you want in focus and 2. the camera may not be able to obtain good focus in auto mode on what you want, especially if the subjects move (in and out of focus). In fact, the focus speed of the canon EOS-M and the NEX simply cannot compare to that of the LX7. Small sensors are good for video, even in low light, when the subjects actually move.

I wont be shooting action scenes. My shooting style is similar to the videos you post. I do short cuts of some scenes, some close ups etc. No kids playing or soccer games. People are saying that the focus of the EOS M is the worst thing in the planet, but it looks like the focus system of the sony is really good (if you are not shooting running kids). the shallow DOF would be a nice addition to my videos (remember its a backup cam). in good light, fast action scenes and when I need everything in focus I'll use the camcorder.

let me ask you. the sony NEX-5R has the same dimensions of the LX7. with a pancake lens it is 1cm ticker. what do you think of your camera size? is it daily usable? pocketable? is the sony too bulky?
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post #20 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 09:33 AM
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DPReview knows little about video, and does not test video seriously. There are no resolution or artifact tests or really any tests for video. They praised the Sony A99, which has the worst video of any camera capable of doing 108060p.

That Canon Vimeo video is terrible - the resolution is visibly poor in the night and day shots. Maybe the guy does not know how to edit and preserve quality, but this is not an example in favor of the EOS. And, yes, the RX100 can do just as well if one sticks to the wides angle.
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post #21 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 09:39 AM
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"let me ask you. the sony NEX-5R has the same dimensions of the LX7. with a pancake lens it is 1cm ticker. what do you think of your camera size? is it daily usable? pocketable? is the sony too bulky?"

You are comparing a camera (LX7) with a 24mm to 90mm zoom and superb optical stabilization to a camera and pancake with one fixed focal length, noisy focusing and no OIS. The latter is not a useful video camera for walking around and taking handheld video. The point of a NEX is interchangeable lenses, which is great for set-ups but not for casual travel. The focus ability of the NEX is substantially inferior to the LX7.
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post #22 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

Size comparison, Canon EOS-M vs Sony NEX-5R: http://camerasize.com/compare/#351,369

Panasonic LX7 vs NEX-5R:
http://camerasize.com/compare/#350,369

With either the 16mm or 20mm f2.8 pancake lenses, you should have the pocketability and low light performance you're looking for.

Good luck with your decision!

Bill

wow! thanks a lot for that! really helped me!

the sony is actually not that big: http://j.mp/10h5xzk
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

A friend just bought a NEX-6 with the 16-50 kit lens as a backup to his heavy, bulky, hard to travel with Nikon gear. He is a very picky engineer type and he loves the camera. I was surprised how small it is. Dpreview just published a glowing review and says it's video capability is very good.

does the 5 and the 6 have the same ammount of manual controls over video?
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

DPReview knows little about video, and does not test video seriously. There are no resolution or artifact tests or really any tests for video. They praised the Sony A99, which has the worst video of any camera capable of doing 108060p.

That Canon Vimeo video is terrible - the resolution is visibly poor in the night and day shots. Maybe the guy does not know how to edit and preserve quality, but this is not an example in favor of the EOS. And, yes, the RX100 can do just as well if one sticks to the wides angle.

the canon video was compressed to medium quality when edited and then recompressed by vimeo, so its not a great example of resolution. I was using it as an example of low light capabilities.

do you have examples of the RX100 being that good at low light? because I cant find that. Do you think that the RX100 can be as good as the NEX-5R in low light situations? (talking video here)
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post #23 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

"let me ask you. the sony NEX-5R has the same dimensions of the LX7. with a pancake lens it is 1cm ticker. what do you think of your camera size? is it daily usable? pocketable? is the sony too bulky?"

You are comparing a camera (LX7) with a 24mm to 90mm zoom and superb optical stabilization to a camera and pancake with one fixed focal length, noisy focusing and no OIS. The latter is not a useful video camera for walking around and taking handheld video. The point of a NEX is interchangeable lenses, which is great for set-ups but not for casual travel. The focus ability of the NEX is substantially inferior to the LX7.

If I had to to choose only ONE camera I would definitetly get the LX7, but as I said, it would be my backup camera for the situations that im not able to use my main camcorder. So if the difference between them in low light is minimal, then the LX7 is the right one for me. But if in low light the sony is superior, then its the cam for me


the lack of IS is bad.
the zoom makes no difference for me.
having one focal lenght is acceptable.
the noisy focusing is not a problem, since I dont use the audio captured from the camera (I use music)
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post #24 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedest View Post

I need something that can shoot vivid and low noise videos at night, in the streets and indoors at night with dim light.

that kind of quality would be enough for me: http://vimeo.com/55604121
I think it would do that. I don't see that as very low light. Instead, I would consider lots of artificial light at night. People can see where they are walking without flashlights! It is high contrast and colorful. Big city night shots are a lot different than shooting the black lab hiding under the back porch near midnight!

I looked through my videos and found a couple that were indoors in dark rooms with weird light. The camera did fine. One was of my daughter-in-law and her sister dancing to a new video game and the primary light was the TV itself. There is a bad lamp in the back of the room. https://vimeo.com/54156656. The RX100 was in 1080p60 on full automatic.

For what it's worth, the two charming and beautiful young girls to the left that are watching their mom and aunt make fools of themselves are my granddaughters. I'm mentioned them many times in posts because they are my partners in SS&G Productions. They started my interest in videography and are quite good at it.

I've got both video and stills of a solo performer in a blackened theater where there was a single spot light providing contrast similar to a night city shot. The RX100 did fine.

I've also got some near dark sunsets where the camera did fine. I seem to be avoiding the big cities these days, but I recall seeing similar video of Hong Kong when the RX100 was new and I was shopping.

I don't think a city at night would be much of a challenge for the RX100. It is so small that holding it still would be the challenge.

I'm currently hiding with a bunch of other old people in an Arizona RV park where it will be sunny and 75 today. The streets are lined with street lamps. I'll try to shoot a couple of clips tonight when it gets dark. It won't be the same as a big city, but I might learn something.
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post #25 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedest View Post

If I had to to choose only ONE camera I would definitetly get the LX7, but as I said, it would be my backup camera for the situations that im not able to use my main camcorder. So if the difference between them in low light is minimal, then the LX7 is the right one for me. But if in low light the sony is superior, then its the cam for me


the lack of IS is bad.
the zoom makes no difference for me.
having one focal lenght is acceptable.
the noisy focusing is not a problem, since I dont use the audio captured from the camera (I use music)

the lack of IS is bad.
-- mine has IS.
the zoom makes no difference for me.
-- back when I had a film SLR most of my shooting was with lenses ranging from 35mm to 105mm. That is the range of the RX100
having one focal lenght is acceptable.
-- I don't understand. It is a zoom lens.
the noisy focusing is not a problem, since I dont use the audio captured from the camera (I use music)
-- focus noise has never been written about that I know off. I have never heard it. Zoom motor noise might be an issue in extremely quiet situations, but I've not heard that either.

My wife's LX7 has an incovienent lens cap and threads to hold filters.
My RX100 has a built in lens cover and to hold a filter I got a magnetic adapter that is unique.
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post #26 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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the best (consumer/prosumer) camcorders would produce a lot of noise in this city situations.

that family video is a good example of a low light situation that I will need to handle, and the RX100 did a nice job. unfortunatelly the video is also compressed so I cant actually see noise, sharpness, detail, resolution etc, but I think it looks great overall

I just wonder when the APS-C sensor would blow up the RX100. In what kind of low light situations the sony NEX would be better than the RX100?

and please, make the video. I would like to see the RX100 tested to its limits in low light.

BTW, beautifull family! thanks for sharing personal stuff!
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post #27 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 11:46 AM
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"the canon video was compressed to medium quality when edited and then recompressed by vimeo, so its not a great example of resolution. I was using it as an example of low light capabilities."

As you know, when you lower resolution (through recompression) you also smear the noise - noise is detail that is lost. So that Canon example is not informative about low-light noise or resolution performance; it is just bad quality video. If you are satisfied with that quality, you are wasting time agonizing over what camera to get, as that is a low bar indeed. Bill's video is much better.
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post #28 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 11:55 AM
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I don't know why people in this thread talk up the LX7 and then bash the Canon video. I just watched about 30 low light videos from the LX7 and my Nexus 4 smartphone is just as good if not better. The Canon video looks infinitely better than the LX7 videos online.

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post #29 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itznfb View Post

I don't know why people in this thread talk up the LX7 and then bash the Canon video. I just watched about 30 low light videos from the LX7 and my Nexus 4 smartphone is just as good if not better. The Canon video looks infinitely better than the LX7 videos online.

This is a hardware focused forum made up of (respectfully) a lot of "gear heads" that like AVCHD 1080p60. Canon has been slow to endorse 60p, so they get bashed.

Not a lot of smartphones do 60p, do they? I have a dumb phone that does not.

The LX7 is popular here because it is small, relatively inexpensive and does a credible job with 60p. A similar popularity phenomenon took place a couple years ago with the Sony HX9V because it was the first small, pocket sized camera to shoot 1080p60.

Would you please post a link or two for some of the 30 low light LX7 videos you watched? Thanks.
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post #30 of 71 Old 03-28-2013, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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be sensible markr. its not a bad quality video. its far from perfect, but its a decent reference, a place to start the discussion.

and I would like to hear a few things from you, since its not the first time I decide to buy a new camera because of your topics: I bet you can tell me at wich point the APS-C sensor will be significantly better than the RX100 and LX7 ones.

and can you please comment on the LX7s size? the NEX-5R with the pancake lens is A LITTLE BIT smaller than the LX7, so you can give me a good reference

a camera with that size and an APS-C sensor - all that for 700USD (including the lens) looks promising: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kentkc/6609209491/sizes/l/in/photostream/

using the camcorder for:

- all-in-focus shots
- action shots
- walking shots
- zoom shots (I dont need zoom at night)

using the backup for:

- low light situations
- bokeh shots
- taking decent pictures


thats what I want. do you think that im in the wrong direction? I think both cameras will cover most of my day well.
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