View Full Version : best camera for interior natural low light


Tom Mecozzi
October 24th, 2005, 03:38 PM
Hello,
I'm looking to purchase (rent first) a camera to be used with a stabilizer to shoot interiors, the most artificial lighting will be a bounced 1K with a dike.
Right now I shoot professional Beta SX with the 2/3 ccd chips (company's camera), but since I have a very small budget for my own production, I'd like to get smaller DV camera.
To those of you who have seen the difference, how much variable is there between the prosumer 1/3 ccd chips, the next level (and weight) 1/2 ccd chips, and finally the larger 2/3 size chips?
At 43 years old I really don't want to be flying a 30 pound 2/3 size camera on a heavy steadycam rig!
My production will be aired on T.V. so it needs to at least be the prosumer level. Windows will not be gelled, just blinds closed where needed.
Also, HD is an option but I'm a little scared of the added complications and costs to non-linear editing.
Are the 1/2 ccd chips that much better for low light as oppsed to the 1/3?

Thanks for any help !

Tom

Greg Boston
October 24th, 2005, 04:57 PM
Tom,

The Sony PD-170 is considered to be one of the best 1/3 chip cameras out there in low light situations. It's the weapon of choice for many wedding videographers for that reason alone.

Also, the newer camera designs such as the Canon XL-2 and the Sony Z1 are able to withstand adding electronic gain (within limits) without severe noise and grain. This is due to newer noise reduction algorithms in these cameras. But if you can get a 1K in the situation, you'll be fine.

You might prefer the Canon over the Sony's if only because it's a shoulder cam and the Sony's are not. This is not meant as a slight against Sony, just that you might be more comfortable operating that way considering what you are wielding on the company's nickel. Of course, there are a myriad of support braces available which help operate the Sony's off the shoulder.

Panasonic's DVX100 is another nice camera but for low light, the aforementioned PD-170 seems to be the champ in the court of popular opinion.

You'll also take a huge hit in DOF control when stepping down from 2/3 to 1/3 chips but there are some techniques to help achieve shallow DOF on 1/3 cameras.

regards,

-gb-

Tom Mecozzi
October 24th, 2005, 05:54 PM
Greg,
Thanks for the info. Another thing I need is remote iris and zoom (camera will be on a steadycam rig) Is the Canonx2 up to speed for these purposes?

Thanks,

tom

Greg Boston
October 24th, 2005, 10:36 PM
Greg,
Thanks for the info. Another thing I need is remote iris and zoom (camera will be on a steadycam rig) Is the Canonx2 up to speed for these purposes?

Thanks,

tom

Well, not at the moment. Let me explain that statement. Canon is releasing a total control software package in conjunction with the release of the XLH1 sometime in December. However, the software is backwards compatible with the XL2 according to Canon's website. I haven't verified what all the software can do especially where iris is concerned. The LANC jack has many features and you can remotely control zoom, focus(on the auto lens), and start/stop with many available controllers.

Perhaps Chris H. can jump in and verify whether iris control is available with the new software. I can say that the software is aimed at allowing the user to have as much control over the camera as possible while up on a crane so that the crane doesn't have to be lowered.

-gb-

Tom Mecozzi
October 25th, 2005, 09:29 AM
Greg,

Good to know, thanks very much for that info.


Tom