HM100 in low ambient light at DVinfo.net

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Old June 26th, 2010, 09:16 AM   #1
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HM100 in low ambient light

For those of you who are using an HM100, what do you think of the image exposure quality when shooting in simple room lighting. I shot recently in a hotel function room with reasonable room lighting but the quality of the image was very disappointing.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 09:03 PM   #2
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Poor in Low Light

Yeah, I totally agree. I used my HM100 to shoot awards presented at a gala in a ballroom. The light was similar to dining room ambience and the footage was basically unusable, even with maximum gain. The cam wouldn't even let me set a white balance. The HM100 is not the cam to use in low light situations.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 06:57 AM   #3
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I guess I have been lucky. I totally screwed up during my first shoot (left the ND filter on... D'OH!!) but was able to resurrect the clips in FCP and lived to tell of the experience.
Recently I covered an event for the local circus school. Lighting was not ideal for filming but I feel that the result was Ok (even background detail) for a live performance. My only real regret was having to cut an eight minute performance down to the two minutes requested by the school management.


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Old July 16th, 2010, 07:33 AM   #4
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Hi Charles. Your clip looks as though it was quite well lit and I don't have a problem with well lit subjects on stage for instance, and daylight exposure is excellent, my problem is with general ambient indoor lighting. The sort that I may have had to add 3 or 6 db of gain when shooting in DV, but even with auto gain I find that the exposure of the HM100 is still poor. It definitely requires an onboard light which to a great extent takes away one of it's main features, the small size and weight which enables easy unobtrusive filming.

I have been able to get a somewhat better image with CS4 processing but it takes a lot of fiddling to get something that looks acceptable to me.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 04:52 PM   #5
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I have an HM100, I think for 1/4 inch CCDs it does a remarkable job. Of course, its never going to be as sensitive to light as 1/3 or 1/2 inch imagers. I use mine regularly alongside my EX1, in fair to middling light it holds up well. I am afraid the sensitivity is all down to the chip size, I still love it.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #6
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Working with low light

I have also found working in low light to be a challenge. Here's some things I've learned ...

• Use the gain switch but note that it only works in Manual mode.

• Switch on LoLux. Assign to a User button for quick application.

• Adjust the shutter or aperture setting.

Unfortunately, the image may suffer from these methods, but it's better than darkness. ... I'm still playing with it. I'd love to see a knowledgeable analysis of this problem, along the lines of Tim Dashwood's DVD on the GY-HM100.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 02:22 PM   #7
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A small chip is a small chip is a small chip. There is no way to cheat physics. The HM100 does retain relatively clean black values in low light though. Doesn´t help with noise but does help the over all apperence of the image. I supplemented my HM100 with a Canon T2i for low light shooting - great combo.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 04:41 PM   #8
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Of course JVC won't do it for business reasons, but I would be very happy with a single chip version of the HM100.

I frequently use a Sony HD1000 single chip CMOS camera since I often get stuck in situations where the lighting is very low. Clubs, dance concerts, legal recordings of crime scenes. However my old Sony PD170 standard definition three chip camera is more sensitive then the HD1000 camera.
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