Low-light budget camcorder - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-15-2007, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking at getting (another) camera. It'll be used solely for indoor situations, often with low lighting - dimly lit live DJ gigs, conferences, etc. I'm sick of the terrible performance cheap cameras seem to give - the video is often unwatchable, with heaps of noise/banding.

I haven't got a huge budget - I'd say maybe US$1500 max.

I'll spend more if I *really* *really* have to; I realise low-light pretty much infers a professional camera, but I'm curious what is out there.

Any place I go in and ask seem to have no idea at all about low light performance of their cameras, outside of recommending $6K sony/canon cameras.

I have other requirements, but I'd like to focus on advice for something that's purely good for low light. (It must have firewire, good battery life would be nice, etc).

Advice please! Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-15-2007, 04:22 PM
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There seems to be a 100% agreement among all camcorder manufacturers there will be NO camcorders under $2000 that work well in low light. Before about 2000-2001 all camcorders worked well in low light but that all changed within a year or so. I believe they all entered into a secret pact to limit low-light camcorders to the high cost units. There is no other explanation for this action. 1/4" and larger CCD's with pixel counts of under 500K are old, cheap and proven technology. Yet you won't find them in post 2001 camcorders that cost less than $2000. Actually the Sony VX2100 at $2300 is the lowest priced one that I know of. Industry secret agreement is the only believable explanation.

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post #3 of 6 Old 03-15-2007, 06:59 PM
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Sony HC7 and Canon HV20 use 1/3" sensors.

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post #4 of 6 Old 03-15-2007, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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the HV20 has different sensors than the HV10? i was under the understanding that the sensor part of the cameras were identical.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-16-2007, 01:05 PM
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Yes, sensor and processing the same with the exception that the HV20 will have improved noise reduction for low light.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-20-2007, 03:35 PM
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Nothing is going to give you great results in the environment you describe here. Look for the older models like the Canon GL2 or maybe hold out for the JVC Everio GZ HD7 if you need a hard drive based camcorder, but plan on having noisy video across the board because even in the $3-5k range video doesn't look great in low light.
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