View Full Version : Canon XH-A1s Light Suggestion for Church Weddings
March 13th, 2012, 01:32 PM
I am looking for on-camera (Canon XH-A1s) dimmable lighting solutions, currently I have 160 LED dimmable light purchased on amazon for $79 however in the Church (wedding) it seems the light could be brighter.
What do you use/suggest?
I have been reading reviews up and down and can use some real-world experience, thanks a lot!
White Diamond Video
March 13th, 2012, 01:47 PM
For me I never use lights in church. I know a few videographers, and none of us use lights at church.
For best low light performance at church it's best, for me to use a camera with good low light ability, there just isn't a way around it.
I see you're using the XH-A1, not a good performer in low light It is a great camera, but the weddings where I used the Canon A1 I was very unhappy with it's low light performance.
Otherwise, the Comer 1800 is a best bet for lighting in different conditions.
If you like Canon check out the XA-10 or XF-100 when you start looking at cameras, much better.
March 13th, 2012, 01:56 PM
I understand... I have been testing it in low-light, and know what you mean.
Is there a light you may recommend for under $200? I do like the other one it's a bit pricey at this point for me, thanks a lot.
March 13th, 2012, 06:19 PM
You will start to get Churches that won't allow video lights - then what??? I also never use lights on camera in the Church...I would seriously look at rather maximising what the Church has...open drapes or blinds ..turn on the Church lights ... the priest would be far happier with using the overhead lights in the Church than a light on the camera ....plus an on-camera light will only cover the bride and groom at best and resultant video is never flattering!! If you REALLY have to use a light then get a Comer 1800 from Taky here!!
March 14th, 2012, 05:15 AM
Stefan, your 160 LED should be enough most times, but the problem is your camera, not your light. Any light that is strong enough to improve things for you in church will be TOO strong, that is the problem, because a bright light in church is a no-no most of the time, not allowed in many churches.
I understand your want to improve your images.
The Comer could help you, but as we said earlier you really don't want to depend on a light in church, because it won't look right anyway just as Chris points out.
If you had to use a light, you need a light with ability to focus the light, or concentrate it, but for under $200 I don't if anything is out there that would help you.
Think about a newer camera. The Canon XA10 is only $1899. You could sell your A1 for around $1200 or $1500. See if you can save your money, then sell your camera and buy the XA10. Just a thought. The XA10 doesn't have as many manual controls, but your images would be greatly improved at ceremonies.
Just a thought.
April 1st, 2012, 10:42 AM
Thanks for your suggestions...Appreciate the time you put into it.
April 1st, 2012, 11:33 AM
go to studio1productions.com and get the 1250 led light. runs forever on 6aa batts. dimmable and comes with the filters. i use it for receptions on my ex but rarely have to turn it up more than 1/3rd.
most led lights out there have a hot spot in the middle and arent that great. this one spreads the light evenly and really puts out alot if you need it . but as previous posters have said, i wouldnt use a light in the church. of course the ex1r is great in lowlight so not an issue for me. there are cameras out there less than then ex /5800.00, if you cant afford it that will give you better lowlight than the canon. my sony cx550 that i use for wide/medium shots on my weddings is excellant in lowlight and theyre dirt cheap at 840.00 new. cx560 replaced it but its a smaller lcd.
you can find used cx550s for around 500.00 . i also put a studio1 xlr adaptor on the bottom of it and the audio is pristine when using a wireless and you can monitor it with headphones.
April 1st, 2012, 12:58 PM
Thats a nice light. I have the neewer technology 160 led light which is Lux 1m 900 as opposed to Lux 1m 1250 of the studio1productions.com light... I don't know if I will spend another $130 on a light that provides a slight/moderate improvement. What is your opinion?
Also, any idea of how good the canon vixia hfs20 is in low-light situations?
My current light:
Amazon.com: NEEWERŪ 160 LED CN-160 Ultra High Power Digital Camera / Camcorder Video Light / LED Light: Musical Instruments
April 1st, 2012, 06:40 PM
I switched from multi LED lights about 6 months ago over to powerLED lights instead and they are excellent and smaller too. I still have my 160 LED light in the bag for emergencies but by preference I reach for the PowerLED one ..it basically replaces the 160 x 3mm LED's with just 6 x 3W LED's ..coverage is just as good and the price was actually a bit cheaper. The smaller form factor is nicer with the 6 x LED as opposed to the Comer layout (I think they use 8 or 10 power LED's) but the case is bigger.
The usage of lights in a Church would also depend on the priest..the one I did on Saturday would have allowed a full film crew and a rock band on the balcony!! He was so flexible and accommodating, but some are really really fussy. If you are continuing with weddings and churches then maybe a camera upgrade is the answer..I'm sure the newer Canons are a lot better.
Our weeekend Church was an oldie and quite dark too but my Panasonic AC-130's easily manage an iris of F4 with no extra lighting at all!! You will be surprised how good the newer cameras are!!
April 1st, 2012, 10:58 PM
Also, any idea of how good the canon vixia hfs20 is in low-light situations
The HFS20 will not be better in low light, but the HFM500, HFG10, XA10 and XF100 will be.
I suspect some cameras seem better than the XH-A1 in low light only because those other cameras use more sophisticated digital noise reduction algorithms. I've had good luck in post with a suitable video noise filter. Also try shooting with a slower shutter speed and less gain.
Roger Van Duyn
April 2nd, 2012, 06:23 AM
I use an XH-A1 and an XH-A1S. While not the best in the world in low light conditions, they aren't terrible either. Usually I can get pretty good images in low light, by following these three steps.
1. Open up the Iris (lower F-Stop). Also remember, the closer you can get with the camera, the less zoom you need to use, and the lower the F-Stop available in XH-A1. You lose and F Stop or two when you have to zoom with the A1. Of course, most churches have restrictions where you can set up your cameras, but get as close as allowed.
2. Lower the shutter speed. In an indoor wedding ceremony, you don't need to worry about fast action, so I often use 1/30.
3. While I'm very reluctant to take this step, sometimes I up the gain, just a little. The highest I ever go is +6. This will increase the grain somewhat in the darker areas, but in my workflow delivering on DVD and upload to web, the grain pretty much disappears in post (Avid MC 5.5, Squeeze, also Avid Liquid). It's probably due to the curves adjustments I make during final color correction, not intentional on my part, but a very pleasant surprise.
Of course, do what you can to increase the ambient light. If the church has a sound and light booth, talk to the booth person. If the church has a wedding coordinator talk to her, talk to the clergy person etc. Oftentimes a polite request goes a long way.
Finally, in the reception, an on camera LED light for fill goes a long way. And the more intimate you become with your A1, the more you'll learn to coax out of it.
April 17th, 2012, 02:49 PM
Thanks Roger :)