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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I know , this is an old question, but, I am wondering, now that there are plenty of people owening and testing the cx520 for a while, if anyboby pushed the camcorder in recording at 1 lux.


The thing is that I own a HS350 that I chose over the sony cx520 mainly for thinking that I could get videos at 1 lux, even if grainy.

When I chose to buy the panny I was puzzled, because I was not sure if the sony could see/shot at 1 lux like the panny.

I knew that the sony had a much sharper image in low light, but I was scared that using the cx520 at 1 lux, it would have been like shooting in the dark and not been able to see anything.


So, now I would like to have please your feedback.


Is it possible to shoot video at 1 lux with the cx520 ? Will the camera see something ? are there any 1 lux video sample around ?


thank you
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcolisi /forum/post/18209541


Hi guys, I know , this is an old question, but, I am wondering, now that there are plenty of people owening and testing the cx520 for a while, if anyboby pushed the camcorder in recording at 1 lux.


The thing is that I own a HS350 that I chose over the sony cx520 mainly for thinking that I could get videos at 1 lux, even if grainy.

When I chose to buy the panny I was puzzled, because I was not sure if the sony could see/shot at 1 lux like the panny.

I knew that the sony had a much sharper image in low light, but I was scared that using the cx520 at 1 lux, it would have been like shooting in the dark and not been able to see anything.


So, now I would like to have please your feedback.


Is it possible to shoot video at 1 lux with the cx520 ? Will the camera see something ? are there any 1 lux video sample around ?


thank you

I think the Sony specs say they film down to 3 lux (in Low Lux mode), around 11-12 lux with regular exposure. You could check the SonyStyle website to be sure. They also have the NightShot infrared mode which works out to the distance the built-in infrared light projects.


The best performance in low light for these cams that you here discussed is really low-noise performance with regular exposure. The Low Lux mode is certainly useful below a certain point and produces brighter videos at the expense of getting more noise. But people should really distinguish between the ability to capture at all at extremely low lux levels vs the ability to capture top-notch low-noise video at normal low lighting levels. When I praise the Sony, I'm looking at the latter levels - indoors (well lit or not), outdoors with some lighting, fireworks, etc.
 

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What are you looking to film at that low of a level?


If you are just trying to get something on video with little regard for the actual video quality, you could make a separate IR light assembly (you can get IR leds at Radio Shack even) and create an external IR light that will really help the night-shot capabilities of the Sony cam.


-Suntan
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi guys.

I know that the specs of Sony say something, but what I am looking for are some pratical / real video samples of 1 lux shoot.


Sometime I shoot videos in the forest or in the mountains with just the moon light (fool moon or much less)

I guess sometime I arrive also to 1 lux.

I do NOT want to use IR.


My question was just of trying to find out if actually someone tested the sony in 1 lux setting, using the auto setting and low light setting (no IR setting) so that I could have an idea.

Unfortunatelly I can not buy the new panny or not yet, because I already have the

HS350 and I am having problem with my 37mm lens (that sometime I use in brightlight) and I get too much reflecting light everywhere because I am trying to use a 37mm lens over a much bigger panny lens....so no panasonic for now....just sony


Thank you
 

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If you want to shoot moonlit only with no IR, IMO the Sony is not the right camcorder for you then.


Like Tom said, the CX and XR Sony models excel at shooting almost noise free footage until "normal" low-lighting, like indoor with a few light bulbs, or fireworks, etc. In my experience, once you hit a certain threshold (I would say probably below 4 lux), noise level go sky high, color saturation gets much lower and PQ suffers overall to a point where I personally don't want to use the footage.


Are other consumer cams much better in that area? They might be a little better, but not a day and night difference (pun not intended). The only device I saw making a difference in that type of setting is my 5DmkII used with a 50mm f1.4 lens, where what gets recorded shows much brightness than my eyes adapted to darkness could see. Here are a couple of threads I posted with some comparative samples:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post16331957
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post16324496


Unfortunately, the price and the setup are very prohibitive ($2500 DSLR). And you won't like the battery time on that unit. :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tank you for replying.

Well, I ma not sure even if my 1 lux video can be of some use anyway.

I wish that they wouls have make the panny hs700 with a 37mm lens.

That is my main no, since I already have the hs350 and I have problems.


For the 5DmkII , like you said there is the problem of the battery to which I would add the my big problem : the 4gb limit ....


I really think that the next bang in 1 lux could be the hs/tm 700 if they got all the goods of the sanyp hd200 and added the goods of the th/hs 300/350 .


Again, I wish they would made with a 37mm lens, but maybe the quality would not have been the same.


Anyway, how many lux would you define :


"normal" low-lighting, like indoor with a few light bulbs, or fireworks


?


Thank you
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcolisi /forum/post/18212453


Tank you for replying.

Well, I ma not sure even if my 1 lux video can be of some use anyway.

I wish that they wouls have make the panny hs700 with a 37mm lens.

That is my main no, since I already have the hs350 and I have problems.


For the 5DmkII , like you said there is the problem of the battery to which I would add the my big problem : the 4gb limit ....


I really think that the next bang in 1 lux could be the hs/tm 700 if they got all the goods of the sanyp hd200 and added the goods of the th/hs 300/350 .


Again, I wish they would made with a 37mm lens, but maybe the quality would not have been the same.


Anyway, how many lux would you define :


"normal" low-lighting, like indoor with a few light bulbs, or fireworks


?


Thank you

Try some deeper searching on YouTube or Vimeo. I just tried "Sony low light" as the three search words (not in quotes) and got something like 7+ pages of hits. Many of those will be for other equipment, though. You're looking for all CX or XRs with 500 or higher as the model number, since there are at least six 500 series models out. The version #s differ for Europe and the US and probably the Far East. I don't think there are any CX/XR 500+ series that don't have the new Exmor R chip that is at the heart of the recent low light improvements for Sony.


There are night driving clips, night fireworks, indoor clips, etc. Maybe something somewhere in there will match what you're looking for. I suspect that bright moonlight will actually film pretty decently. If not, you probably won't find anyone who expects it to look as good as indoors or daylight filming anyway !
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you, these are really some low light samples :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu8MY...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu8MY...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhTkBOMew3A


and the last 2 compare the tm350 vs cx500

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8flIJ...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7Z48...eature=related


it seems not much difference there.

I wish there would be a way to understand how much lux is in the last 2 videos and also, are they using the low lux mode on both cameras?

thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcolisi /forum/post/18212923


Thank you, these are really some low light samples :

.........

and the last 2 compare the tm350 vs cx500

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8flIJ...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7Z48...eature=related


it seems not much difference there.

I wish there would be a way to understand how much lux is in the last 2 videos and also, are they using the low lux mode on both cameras?

thanks

Amazing improvements in quality vs low-light from just a few years ago.


On the comparison clips, I see quite a bit of difference in how much of the equipment you see, not so much in noise levels. Look at the CX500V clip - you can easily see the box out to its left edge, and some detail to the left of the knob. In the other clip, things to the left of the knob are pretty much just dark. The TMC also seems to have a bluish cast which I suspect is from the cam as opposed to being the real color (but I'm not sure of that).


I don't think any of the Sony videos you posted use the Sony Low Lux mode itself. I can usually tell the difference pretty easily, and certainly side by side. The Low Lux mode is brighter, the colors and detail a little less clear, and noisier - not bad generally but noisy compared to the regular exposure.


I found quickly that on average I'll give up the Low Lux brightness to get low noise with regular exposure unless the light level is just too low to support the latter.


If you're still browsing, here are some clips I posted to give people a feel for the CX500V look in fairly average low light as opposed to very low light. I have other clips that are aimed at demonstrating stabilization as well. Technical note: only the second clip under "Regular indoors clips" was uploaded at 1080p to YouTube, and then YouTube rendered it at the lower levels. I just figured out how to do this last week. All the other clips are 720p uploads, and the process of rendering the 1080i cam video down to 720p introduced some visible "de-interlacing artifacts" into some clips. So only the 1080p clip represents a fairly true picture of the cam's actual video quality. The 720ps are still nice to watch, but if you see some tiny jagged lines left to right where you expect smooth vertical lines, that will be the de-interlacing artifacts. They're not there in the actual video.


Indoor show at Disney World (2 of 4 posted)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTu00XTV_3s

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


Night clips (fireworks) at Epcot; snow at night (the latter two contain regular and low lux segments for comparison)

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qDv20DUxnE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZPPhz7_Ync

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlUXrG21bME


Regular indoors clips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf4SgMxjiVA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1ua-7GGzC8


Model railroad indoors - older HC7 clip, CX500V for comparison

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je4sIHUvH4M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsf9Cuhr9g8


Sugar gliders playing in cage, same timeframe, one Low Lux, one not, plus a second regular exposure low light clip

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNXgSGB8mVc

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


Harpers Ferry WV twilight into night examples

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfDpICsPyy8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmK1q0vsLWg
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gull /forum/post/18214216


Amazing improvements in quality vs low-light from just a few years ago.


On the comparison clips, I see quite a bit of difference in how much of the equipment you see, not so much in noise levels. Look at the CX500V clip - you can easily see the box out to its left edge, and some detail to the left of the knob. In the other clip, things to the left of the knob are pretty much just dark. The TMC also seems to have a bluish cast which I suspect is from the cam as opposed to being the real color (but I'm not sure of that).


I don't think any of the Sony videos you posted use the Sony Low Lux mode itself. I can usually tell the difference pretty easily, and certainly side by side. The Low Lux mode is brighter, the colors and detail a little less clear, and noisier - not bad generally but noisy compared to the regular exposure.


I found quickly that on average I'll give up the Low Lux brightness to get low noise with regular exposure unless the light level is just too low to support the latter.


If you're still browsing, here are some clips I posted to give people a feel for the CX500V look in fairly average low light as opposed to very low light. I have other clips that are aimed at demonstrating stabilization as well. Technical note: only the second clip under "Regular indoors clips" was uploaded at 1080p to YouTube, and then YouTube rendered it at the lower levels. I just figured out how to do this last week. All the other clips are 720p uploads, and the process of rendering the 1080i cam video down to 720p introduced some visible "de-interlacing artifacts" into some clips. So only the 1080p clip represents a fairly true picture of the cam's actual video quality. The 720ps are still nice to watch, but if you see some tiny jagged lines left to right where you expect smooth vertical lines, that will be the de-interlacing artifacts. They're not there in the actual video.


Indoor show at Disney World (2 of 4 posted)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTu00XTV_3s

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


Night clips (fireworks) at Epcot; snow at night (the latter two contain regular and low lux segments for comparison)

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qDv20DUxnE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZPPhz7_Ync

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlUXrG21bME


Regular indoors clips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf4SgMxjiVA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1ua-7GGzC8


Model railroad indoors - older HC7 clip, CX500V for comparison

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je4sIHUvH4M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsf9Cuhr9g8


Sugar gliders playing in cage, same timeframe, one Low Lux, one not, plus a second regular exposure low light clip

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNXgSGB8mVc

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


Harpers Ferry WV twilight into night examples

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfDpICsPyy8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmK1q0vsLWg



Hi, thank you so much for the videos.

I really appreciate.

As soon I will get the hands on the xr550, I will post some very low light video comparing the panny hs350 vs the sony xr550 , so that we will defenetelly found out if the panny statement of reaching 1 lux is really true....and how the video quality is at that low lux.


Thank you
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcolisi /forum/post/18214539


Hi, thank you so much for the videos.

I really appreciate.

As soon I will get the hands on the xr550, I will post some very low light video comparing the panny hs350 vs the sony xr550 , so that we will defenetelly found out if the panny statement of reaching 1 lux is really true....and how the video quality is at that low lux.


Thank you

You're welcome. Always happy to have someone check the clips!


I look forward to seeing your videos. I tried to get some feel for lux levels myself and there don't seem to be any crisp widely accepted definitions. That's partly because it applies to the amount of light hitting a small and specific surface area, if I remember correctly. So light over a larger area probably isn't uniform enough to perfectly match the definition in any case.


I did notice that at really low night levels, the camera was able to capture more detail and light than my own eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gull /forum/post/18214704



I did notice that at really low night levels, the camera was able to capture more detail and light than my own eyes.

Thank you.

With statement above, do you mean that if you compare , at really low light, what your eye can see, and what the camera see, you can tell that the camera see more and can get a better video/look in compaison to your eyes ?


In this case, is the camera in low lux/slow shutter setting or in auto setting ?


thnak you
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcolisi /forum/post/18216056


Thank you.

With statement above, do you mean that if you compare , at really low light, what your eye can see, and what the camera see, you can tell that the camera see more and can get a better video/look in compaison to your eyes ?


In this case, is the camera in low lux/slow shutter setting or in auto setting ?


thnak you

In the clip of the cliff taken at night at Harpers Ferry, the Low Lux mode definitely picked up way more detail than I could see by eye. The regular exposure clip probably was close to what I was seeing personally.


In the twilight clip at regular exposure and the train clip there (both), the camcorder was pulling in more light and detail than I could see. That doesn't mean I couldn't see well, it just means the clips are brighter and more detailed than it was to the eye. I think I even commented on that in one of them.
 
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