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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old September 12th, 2008, 11:02 PM   #1
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Will DV mode improve XH-A1 low light?

I found myself during two wedding receptions where low light ambiance could not be changed.
Would A1 recording in DV mode provide a substantial improvement?
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Old September 13th, 2008, 02:52 AM   #2
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Hi Greg. I just tried this and could not see any difference in exposure between the 2 modes. If there is a difference it is definitely not "substantial".

Have you tried any of the low light presets? If these don't work for you the only real solution is an on-camera light, although this can often disturb the subjects if it's too bright. A dimmable light with diffusion is probably best.

Richard
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Old September 13th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hunter View Post
I just tried this and could not see any difference in exposure between the 2 modes.
Have you tried any of the low light presets? If these don't work for you the only real solution is an on-camera light Richard
No I haven't but definitely will try the low light presets. I have had mixed results using an on camera light. It definitely assists with low light but it is SO intrusive on the talent at the reception.
It is very disappointing to hear that DV mode and HDV mode are just about the same in a low light situation.
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Old September 13th, 2008, 11:58 AM   #4
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There won't be any difference. What affects light sensitivity are the chips and the lens, not whether it's HD or SD. The higher the resolution of the same size chips, the smaller the pixels are and the lower their light gathering capability. I've found the camera to be pretty decent, for a 1/3" chip camera, in low light. I shoot at 24 fps, 1/48 shutter. For a wedding you probably could go down to 1/24 because there isn't a lot of fast movement in most cases. And of course, shoot at a wide angle so your lens doesn't stop down. You can go to a +3 with little degradation but +6 starts showing some. Unfortunately the first half of the word photography is photo...from the Greek photos, meaning light. It takes light. When they turn out the lights for a dance, even the excellent low light capabilities of a 2/3" chip camera like the DSR500 aren't good enough.
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Old September 13th, 2008, 04:25 PM   #5
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Hi Greg,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post
I have had mixed results using an on camera light. It definitely assists with low light but it is SO intrusive on the talent at the reception.
Take the light off the camera. On-camera lighting isn't flattering and it draws attention to you because the light source is at eye level. Move the light to a stand or have an assistant with the light on a pole. More options are becoming available as people realize the benefits of off-camera lighting. It doesn't have to be intrusive and it leaves you to be more mobile and discreet. Just one way: The Wireless RECEPTION LIGHT by Darrell Boeck . You can DIY a similar set up yourself.
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Old September 13th, 2008, 07:10 PM   #6
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That's a very handy thing to have, and not a bad price, considering the battery and remote.
You can also run a Lowel Omni with a 200 watt DC bulb from a cheap battery belt, but you'd have to come up with the remote on your own.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 09:18 AM   #7
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What would we do without DV Info??

Thanks to Richard, Bill and Joel for opening my mind to other alternatives for the dark wedding reception.
Bill you have given me the push to move from 60i and experiment with 24f.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #8
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Low light settings

Worst low-light situation I've tried taping with my XH-A1 was a poetry "slam" lit by nothing but candles. I used 24fps, 1/48 shutter, made sure the ND filter was OFF, exposure open wide, 3dB video gain. We're talking so little light that I could barely see the poets or audience with my naked eye, but I managed to make a clear record of the event despite the crummy conditions.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 04:21 AM   #9
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Low light is pretty bad. Your best bet is to always shoot in the highest res and then downres in post.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Peregrine View Post
Just one way: The Wireless RECEPTION LIGHT by Darrell Boeck . You can DIY a similar set up yourself.
This looks like a nice product - the only thing it's missing is a dimmer, ideally controllable from the remote. Anyone know of anything or a way to add via a radio shack add-on or something?

Art
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