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Old July 17th, 2013, 12:35 PM   #16
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

What I am trying to make sense of is how users of the G10 and XA-10 for the most part had relatively few complaints on the low light ability of the cams, at least around here. The G30 is a newer sensor, advertised to be better in low light, and we're seeing these complaints, so I'm intrigued by this.

Please keep posting and keep us informed of your findings.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 11:08 AM   #17
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
What I am trying to make sense of is how users of the G10 and XA-10 for the most part had relatively few complaints on the low light ability of the cams, at least around here. The G30 is a newer sensor, advertised to be better in low light, and we're seeing these complaints, so I'm intrigued by this.
My only complaint is that it's noisier and darker than my HMC150. I'm guessing that most G10 owners and XA-10 owners don't have an HMC150 to compare to, so they wouldn't complain.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 10:37 PM   #18
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

I'm thinking particularly of DSLR users who use the cameras. I for one use the XA-10 and XA-20 with the GH2 and they match up amazingly well. Not perfect, mind you, and the differences in low light can be significant, but it's easy to cut them together.

Based on your tests I'd dump the camera for sure, it's just weird that it's so bad in low light.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 09:00 AM   #19
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

I have used the G10 since it came out and I LOVE it, but I am not a pro.
always thought it has great low light capabilities

I hated the lack of 50p [and still do!], and now I am tempted to pull the trigger even almost for that improvement, but I still wonder, especially after reading threads like this, if the G30 is really that much better than the G10?

the are out of stock in minutes here in the UK, so commercially Canon seems to have made a good effort, but I wonder if you do see the actual difference in the footage.
the G30 is also a bit bulkier, reportedly, so it really needs to be quite a lot better than the G10 for me to justify the jump

[by the way I am not a pro, but I have a 5D mkII, and had a few fine camcorders in the past, including the Sony Z1, and the Sony EX1r]
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Old July 19th, 2013, 12:30 PM   #20
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

Federico,
Hopefully there will be a professional review of the G30 in the not too distant future in which a good evaluation of the low light capabilities of the G30 will be shown. The OP of this thread is concerned with comparing it to the higher end Panasonic camera, and in that comparison it's no wonder that the G30 loses.

I have both the G10 and the G30(the latter I have only had for about a week), but I am not very good at testing cameras for public consumption. All I can give is my subjective view regarding the comparison of these two cameras. My primary use of video cameras is for recording our visits to the National Parks in the U.S. The work I produce is just simply videos for my family and friends, but I have a high expectation for the quality of videos that I make, and I use a slider and jib to make the work as professional as I can.

I favor the extended range of the G30 in addition to the other improvements, because I also shoot as much wildlife as I can. It is in using the telephoto capability of the G30 that I find the greatest advantage in using the G30 in low light situations. I have compared the G10 and G30 as far as low light noise, and if you stay in the wide angle portion of the lens, they are very much the same to my eye. I have discovered that the G30's 2x option for digital zoom is really pretty good even though I know it is cropping the image(I think). Now of course the G10 also allows me to crop with digital zoom to give a telephoto effect, but the resulting image is pretty much crap. I think this goes without saying.

One thing I must say in my use of these cameras is that I do use the low light scene mode if the light is very very dim. I use it in the G10 as well as the G30. It decreases the noise level tremendously. I have not advanced to the point that I can duplicate the result by using manual mode and selecting whatever parameters needed to give such a low noise good quality video. Hopefully I will be able to in the future. One other thing I must mention is that in low light scene mode the frames per second is reduced and the video will have a stuttery look when panning. This is a result that I really dislike, but for most of my purposes it is a small problem since my family and friends don't seem to care.

Another thing I really like about the G30 is the additional programmable buttons. These make it quick to change vital settings in the heat of action when it is not good to have to go into menus too deeply and take ones eye off of whatever is happening in front of you.

Like you, I struggled with whether or not the cost benefit of the G30 is enough to justify the purchase, and I still wonder if I should send it back and buy a cheaper camera with telephoto capabilities, and just keep using my G10. My latest feeling is that the G30 has enough advantage over the G10 to keep it and sell the G10. However, if the Panasonic Fz200 had a lanc input for smooth zoom control I would probably go with it, and use the G10 for low light landscape stuff and family videos. That would save me about $1100.



As it is, I can now just carry the G30 instead of two or three cameras.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 01:51 PM   #21
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

If anyone is interested in comparing the G10 with the G30 then here's a website that does it for you. It has a long list of different camera comparisons. The site is German but it's easy to understand most of the comparison qualities. Just select multiple cameras from the list and then click the "Anzeigen" button to compare them.

Camcorder Test und Vergleich mit Testbildern und technischen Daten

Comparing the G10 and G30 using this site I see that the G30 and G10 are virtually identical when it comes to sharpness, noise, and low light sensitivity. So if you absolutely need 50p then maybe the G30 is worth the cost. But otherwise maybe not.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 01:56 PM   #22
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
I'm thinking particularly of DSLR users who use the cameras. I for one use the XA-10 and XA-20 with the GH2 and they match up amazingly well. Not perfect, mind you, and the differences in low light can be significant, but it's easy to cut them together.
Just out of curiosity what lenses do you typically use with your GH2? Is it hacked and if so then with which patch?

I love my hacked (Flowmotion v.2) GH2 but I love my GH3 even more. With the Lumix 20mm, Olympus 45mm, or Voigtlander 25mm I get exceptional images out of them both. Now I wish that I'd done a quick comparison between the G30 and my GH3. But then again, that might be just a silly waste of time considering how different the two cameras are and how different their respective filmmakers are.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 11:30 PM   #23
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

Oly 12mm Pana 25mm and Oly 45mm.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 02:23 AM   #24
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

I have Canon HF G10, HF G25 and Legria HF G30. The nicest things with the G30 compared to the others is the abscense of aliasing (jaggies) when filming cars and ceilings, rooftops. The 20X zoom is also worth the upgrade.
I guess the aliasing was due to 50i<24Mbps. With the HF G30 I have only tested 1080/50p 28Mbps AVCHD.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 03:24 PM   #25
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

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My only complaint is that it's noisier and darker than my HMC150...
That may account for the difference in sharpness. One can often reduce image noise at the expense of apparent image sharpness.

Low light programs generally use slower shutter (adds noise), wider aperture, and gain (adds noise). And the in camera digital signal processing may add noise reduction that often reduces sharpness and/or adds some motion artifacts to the video.

Ultimately the criteria is what kind of image can you obtain from the camcorder when all is said, edited, and done.

Gain is relative to the baseline selected for the specific camcorder at hand. While one may expect film to give the same result with the same aperture and shutter, that may not apply to video cameras. In digital still cameras instead of setting gain we select the ISO.

Bottom line is if you are satisfied with the images you camcorder gives you, forget the numbers and enjoy.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 11:16 AM   #26
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

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Originally Posted by Anders Borjesson View Post
I have Canon HF G10, HF G25 and Legria HF G30. The nicest things with the G30 compared to the others is the abscense of aliasing (jaggies) when filming cars and ceilings, rooftops. The 20X zoom is also worth the upgrade.
I guess the aliasing was due to 50i<24Mbps. With the HF G30 I have only tested 1080/50p 28Mbps AVCHD.
what about shooting MP4 vs AVCHD (in case you have managed to test this by now)? any advantages when editing?
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Old July 24th, 2013, 12:31 PM   #27
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

Benjamin, to address your original topic, which was poor low light performance with the G30, I do have something to add.

Last night, I went manual with my XA-20 in a well lit room. I set the exposure to F/1.8 and gain to 0. The image was dark, just as you demonstrated. It made no sense that the camera would produce such a "dark" image in a well-lit room.

I increased gain to 9db and it was fine. I was also able to get it by slowing shutter speed, but then I had the jerkiness associated with too slow shutter speed. I have to agree with you, it seems wrong. It was too well-lit of a room for the image to be as dark as it was.

I do not understand this phenomenon.

Don, in his wisdom, is correct in his post above. How it the camera acquires it's images is not as important as whether the images are good enough to work with.

I am disappointed in a number of things about this camera, which can only be rectified by accepting the limitations it has, or by going big with a truly pro model such as the XF100. I am choosing to stay with this camera. It has a 20X zoom, and other features that are simply too good for me to pass up for my use, and on my budget.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 03:24 PM   #28
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

I wouldn't mind 9dB of gain. That's pretty low and clean looking, even on the HMC-150. But the G30 that I had needed 12dB of gain just to match the image quality of my HMC-150 at 0dB of gain. I purchased the G30 because I expected it to have more light sensitivity than my old HMC-150. When I discovered that it did not, then I returned it.

And I was doing those tests at 1/48th shutter speed. That's about as slow as you can get away with when shooting performances, unless you want the "slow shutter look" with its blurry movements and light trails.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 04:39 PM   #29
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Re: Canon G30 MP4 vs AVCHD vs Panasonic HMC150

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Originally Posted by Tom Kilgore View Post

This may be a dumb question but....
Is there a way to determine what the camera actually used for settings when I used the low light scene mode?
I have the same question, Tom. :)

Deb
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