HV20 vs A1 in low light - how much of a difference at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 17th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Glasgow. Scotland
Posts: 79
HV20 vs A1 in low light - how much of a difference

Hi folks,

I have been shooting a lot in nightclubs with my HV20 and the results are actually quite good - especially down sized to DVD.

Eg: Gatecrasher / Armin Van Buuren @ Room At The Top - RATT on Vimeo

But... I know I can get better so my question is, just how much better in low light is the A1 over the HV20?

I am using the 20 at HDV, 25p, 1/25 at the moment and the results are there on the Vimeo page - how much better will the A1 be and is the 25F mode similar to 25P (why the different name?).

Many thanks for your help,

Rik
Rikki Bruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17th, 2008, 12:30 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Peel,Isle of Man(UK)
Posts: 194
Hi Rik, this footage Euphoria with Dave Pearce @ Paramount on Vimeo was filmed with a XHA1 on auto. I'm sure that you could squeeze a lot more out of it in Manual,but I was doing stills as well so didn't really have time.
We've actually just bought a couple of HV30 to use in night clubs so that we don't have to use the larger(more expensive to fix/replace when covered with blue WKD!) I hope we can get the same quality as you get from the HV20 - that's some excellent footage you've done.
__________________
Canon XH-A1,SGPRO flip,Apple imac,FCExpress
http://www.pbase.com/philkneen
Phil Kay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17th, 2008, 12:53 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Burbank
Posts: 1,811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikki Bruce View Post
Hi folks,

I have been shooting a lot in nightclubs with my HV20 and the results are actually quite good - especially down sized to DVD.

Eg: Gatecrasher / Armin Van Buuren @ Room At The Top - RATT on Vimeo

But... I know I can get better so my question is, just how much better in low light is the A1 over the HV20?

I am using the 20 at HDV, 25p, 1/25 at the moment and the results are there on the Vimeo page - how much better will the A1 be and is the 25F mode similar to 25P (why the different name?).

Many thanks for your help,

Rik
Very good. What settings did you use on the HV20?

Regarding 25F and 25p:

25F is Canon's frame mode. It is creating a true progressive frame from the interaced image captured by the Canon. (As compared to JVCs 25p which uses a progressive imager to directly capture a progressive frame). The 25F stream is true progressive.

In contrast, 25p is recording progressive frames within an interlaced stream. To get the true progressive frams, the stream has to be processed. Some NLEs do this, such as Vegas, and some require preprocessing in another program. There are many posts and threads on this subject... mostly in the HV20 section.
Jack Walker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Conway, NH
Posts: 1,745
Rikki... My experience is that the A1 degrades in extreme low light much more gracefully than my HV30. In extreme low light the HV30 image will get soft and look a little out of focus and there ends up being some blockiness to the colors.

It's important to note that what I'm describing are exterior shots with spotty lighting. It's a race track where the only light is shining on portions of the track. The races typically start with late afternoon sun and end in full environmental darkness. As the sun sets, both cameras handle the waning light quite well and very much in the same way until night has fully descended. Matching the cameras in post is very easy.

Here's an example: One Great Mini Stock Heat

The moving camera is the A1. The stationary camera looking at turns 1/2 is the HV30. The one looking at turns 3/4 is an HV10 with a wide angle adapter. The in-car cam is an old Sony TRV-19 and really doesn't pertain to this discussion. It was darker than it looked out there. The sun hadn't yet set but it was fairly low as you can tell from the in-car shots and was diffused by a cloudy sky.

Hope it helps.
Tripp Woelfel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17th, 2008, 05:38 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Glasgow. Scotland
Posts: 79
Thanks for the replies fellas.

The settings I used I listed in the first post matey, HDV, 25p, 1/25 shutter, everything else set to 0 in custom menu. OIS on and cloudy white balance to peak the vividness. Also used a DIY LED video lamp I built using a 48LED 12v MR16 bulb.

Phil, really like the Dave Pearce stuff - you shooting with a Canon 40D or something like that? I just got myself an upgrade on the Nikon side (D700 and a 24-70 f/2.8):

http://www.strathycruise.com/pics/rattsample03.jpg
http://www.strathycruise.com/pics/rattsample06.jpg

Looks like we're doing pretty similar things at different ends of the UK :D

Interesting you mention about getting the HV's for use in difficult conditions (Blue WKD sugar fest), I had thought about this myself and the worries of a bigger unit.

Did you shoot the Dave Pearch stuff in 25F mode (shutter 1/50) ? Has a different look to the stuff Ive done and I quite like it.

Thanks again for all your help.

Rik
Rikki Bruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17th, 2008, 06:49 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Peel,Isle of Man(UK)
Posts: 194
Hi Rikki, I shoot stills with a Canon 5D,17-40 and 430EX flash. You can see a few of the images in here Phil Kneen's Photo Galleries at pbase.com (go to the Live Music album)

If I'm shooting the video I put the XHA1 in Tv and shoot at 1/50 sometimes 1/25. If I have my assistant using it I put it in A. I set the WB to auto(with all the lights it makes no difference anyway!) and the gain at 0db.

I put the camera inside a clear plastic bag too,make a hole and gaffa tape it around the lens shade - works a treat.
__________________
Canon XH-A1,SGPRO flip,Apple imac,FCExpress
http://www.pbase.com/philkneen
Phil Kay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18th, 2008, 04:05 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Canary Islands
Posts: 54
Rikki, I use a Canon HV30 and the XH A1. I agree with Tripp Woelfel. I prefer the Canon XH A1 for very low light, and if you use the Minus -3dB preset from Wolfgangs the results are very good for low light conditions. You can not do this with the Canon HV 20. And yes, my Canon HV30 has not a perfect focus in low light, the picture is grainier for same conditions. But the Canon HV20 /HV30 series are, at least for me, the winner consumer camcorders in low light.
__________________
Canon XH A1; Canon HV30; Nikon D300; Nikon D200; Sony Vegas Pro
http://www.juanparmenides.com
Juan Parmenides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18th, 2008, 05:36 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Glasgow. Scotland
Posts: 79
Great stuff, you thinking about moving to the 5D mk2 and get some shallow DOF video on the go?

I think after reading here and thinking about it I'll stick to the HV20 for the moment as the cost of repairing / replacing a larger unit thats being used around people out of their face is probably not worth the hassle. Maybe if a good 2nd hand one comes up though I'll be enticed to shell out a little :D

Thanks again for the replies and info, been very interesting and the vids showcased have been great!
Rikki Bruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18th, 2008, 06:06 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Peel,Isle of Man(UK)
Posts: 194
I'd love the new 5D MKll,however I just spent this quarters 'toy budget' on an SGPRO 35mm lens adapter for my XHA1 and a pair of HV30s! That 5D is a very sexy bit of kit though,I'll get one when the price has come down a bit though I think.

Good call on the HV20 though - 'if it ain't broke....' as they say.
__________________
Canon XH-A1,SGPRO flip,Apple imac,FCExpress
http://www.pbase.com/philkneen
Phil Kay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18th, 2008, 08:09 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Glasgow. Scotland
Posts: 79
Always some new toy needing bought huh?

I was looking at a set of Alien Bees 1600 heads last week now the A1 this week. I'll be keep an eye on your vimeo channel and see what new stuff pops up though.

My next project is to upgrade my DIY LED lamp to twice the power using two clusters instead of one, that should be fun :D
Rikki Bruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Peel,Isle of Man(UK)
Posts: 194
Do you have any more info on the LED light? It's just that I'm thinking of making a ring light for my video camera......
__________________
Canon XH-A1,SGPRO flip,Apple imac,FCExpress
http://www.pbase.com/philkneen
Phil Kay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Glasgow. Scotland
Posts: 79
Sure : DIY LED Lamp project - Canon HV20 / HV30 User Forum

The end result was used on the Armin / Gatecrasher video and worked out well.

Im going to go for a twin arrangement for more power (controlled with an extra microswitch so I can choose full or half power). Plus a diffuser that you can slide your CTO's into therefore choosing between 1/4, 1/2 or full CTO.

Might look a bit blue peter but it lasts for 6 hours and gives a nice bit of extra light that makes all the difference and thats what counts :D
Rikki Bruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 19th, 2008, 01:35 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Palo Alto, California
Posts: 100
I routinely shoot my friends playing at a local nightclub with a xha1/ hv30/ hv20 configuration. Normally I am impressed with how well the hvís keep up with the a1, and all I do is some color correction in post. At the last shoot, a club manager decided to lower the stage lights to a new low. All cams shoot 60i HDV and the a1 ran in manual mode 1/60 f 1.8 gain = 0. The Hvís shoot auto in cini mode. A few previews are now on youtube (note the A1 is shooting form above in a balcony)

YouTube - The Gelb Band, Don't Give It Up

I am now dealing with super low light editing and the hvís do seem to loose quality before the A1. I would guess it is about an f stop worth of difference. However, in low light the color difference is minimal, so I am skipping the color correction.
In a few weeks I will post a new video which will be PIP all three cams together.. will be found at Youtube with the title ďThe Gelb Band, All These BluesĒ
Terry Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 19th, 2008, 07:30 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Glasgow. Scotland
Posts: 79
Thanks for that.

I found Neat Video works very well with very low light footage, maybe have a look at it : Neat Video - best noise reduction for digital video ?
Rikki Bruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2008, 08:47 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Palo Alto, California
Posts: 100
I have linked to a youtube video that compares the A1, Hv30, and HV20 in extreme low light. The video is a 3 camera continuous PIP edit (experiment) of one song at a local nightclub.

YouTube - The Gelb Band, All These Blues

The A1 is the lower right corner, the hv30 is top left, and the hv20 was the top right or far background.

The A1 was shot in manual, 0 gain, f/1.8, 1/60 factory preset HDV 60i, fixed daylight white balance and autofocus. The HVís were both shot in auto cini mode HDV 60i, fixed daylight, and autofocus. I did notice that the low light caused the autofocus to unlock occasionally, where it typically remains locked with more light. There is a slight A1 to HV color shift, but it is much less in low light.

The gain was increased in post as a global filter for all three cameras. (Avid, 100->160).
The video was compressed to high quality h.264 in Sorenson, and packaged in a mkv file with the original wav audio for youtube.
Terry Martin is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:16 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network