GL2 Low-Light Results --- Comments? at DVinfo.net

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Old August 26th, 2003, 05:46 PM   #1
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GL2 Low-Light Results --- Comments?

Recently I was in Haines, Alaska and took some footage of a grizzly sow playing with one of three cubs. As it got later and later I increased the gain. Here is about 7 seconds of footage shot at 1/30, f2 (or thereabouts), with 18dB of gain at full optical tele.
I have a small, 160x120 compressed version (babyplay) that gives you a bit of an idea of the original included on the site, as well as a 24 meg full DV original (plays.dv).

<http://homepage.mac.com/budkuenzli/index.html>

You will need quicktime to view it from either a mac or windows machine.

There were quite a few people viewing these bears and those that saw the GL2 were uniformly impressed. While the bears were visible to the naked eye, it was getting quite dark. The viewfinder, combined with the great tele made it much better to view the LCD than look at the bears directly.
The footage is definitely grainy but I'm more than happy with the low light performance. Comments welcome (it's not meant to be the best 7 seconds I got...just to show the low light ability of the GL2). And of course I'm aware there are others even better...but this ain't bad for 8:30 PM August in AK.
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Old August 27th, 2003, 05:12 PM   #2
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If you're willing to live with the grain, the GL2 really does pretty well at extracting things out of the near-dark. My only frustration with this camera though, is low-light capabilities at 0db gain. Still, for the price and overall picture quality, this cam is hard to beat.
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Old August 27th, 2003, 09:46 PM   #3
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I've found that 6db adds no noticeable noise, even when viewed on a 50" Plasma HD set. At 12db noise begins to appear, but it's not too bad. At 18db it is much worse and, for my tastes, unacceptable for anything other than general purpose shooting or if you're specifically looking for that noisy effect. However, if it comes down to not getting the shot, then it's a necessary evil with the GL2.

The DVX100 blows it away however.
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Old August 28th, 2003, 12:33 PM   #4
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Brendan,

"The DVX100 blows it away" Is that low-light your talking about? Also, do you know how the DVX100 compares with the VX2000? As much as we like our GL2s, I'm not satisfied with the low-light capability. We tape weddings and we're finding that many facilities are just plain lowering the lights to ridiculous levels. We're evaluating cameras for next year when we may make a change unless Canon releases a better version.
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Old August 28th, 2003, 01:49 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bob Harotunian : Brendan,

"The DVX100 blows it away" Is that low-light your talking about? Also, do you know how the DVX100 compares with the VX2000? As much as we like our GL2s, I'm not satisfied with the low-light capability. We tape weddings and we're finding that many facilities are just plain lowering the lights to ridiculous levels. We're evaluating cameras for next year when we may make a change unless Canon releases a better version. -->>>


Correct, that is for low-light only. As far as most other conditions, the GL2 more-than holds its own. I really like, and use, the LONG lens on the GL2 more than I need low light personally. I only wish they made a camera with both. The DVX100 seems to be noticeably better in low light than the VX2000, but it's not a big difference.

For your style shooting, I would HIGHLY recommend the DVX100. Both its low light ability and built-in wide angle lens really seem like it would be perfect for your work. Also, 30p give a wonderful "feel" to your footage that 60i doesn't -- IMHO.
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Old August 28th, 2003, 03:54 PM   #6
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Brendan,

Do you know if the DVX100 built-in wide angle lens is comparable to the Canon WD58? That's what were using on the GL2.
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Old August 28th, 2003, 06:36 PM   #7
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The GL2 with WD-58 is wider than the stand-alone DVX100 lens -- ~28mm vs. 32mm. That's a noticeable difference. But with a Century Optics or Optex 0.7x WA adapter the DVX opens up to an amazing ~22mm, which is REAL wide angle.
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