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(MPG4) Sanyo Xacti (all models)
A compact 720p MPEG4 digital media camera recording to SD Card.


 
 
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Old October 6th, 2006, 08:46 AM   #1
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HD1 durability low light?

I think the HD1 is a pretty neat little camcorder. I've seen some of the clips in full daylight and I think they look quite good for something of it's form factor. However, I haven't seen much regarding how it performs in low light. I read a review on camcorderinfo.com that pans the camera. The low light screen shots they took didn't do it any favors.

However, I saw some test low light clips posted here that weren't too bad. They were used to illustrate a purple line bug in the camcorder so there wasn't a picture to speak of.

I'd like to see samples of low light video along with some indication of available light in the room. I'm just looking for some decent indoor footage. Not expecting it to be able to take the birthday candle light scenes or anything that low light, but I'd be interested how it would do with the following:

room lit by single ceiling light bulb = 50 lux
light from 3x60w bulb from 10 feet away ~ 30 lux
light from 2x60w bulb from 10 feet away ~ 20 lux
light from 60w bulb from 10 feet away = 10 lux

My interest would be how well it does with HD footage. I'd like to post edit and possibly combine with video from my HC1. I know the video won't match exactly but I'd like to have at least similar apect ratio and resolution.

Finally, I saw some posts regarding the cameras durabilty. Is this a widespread problem? Should this be a concern.

Mike
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Old October 6th, 2006, 08:36 PM   #2
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In a room with two 60 watt lights, the HD video is very poor. I do find video is quite good in the same room when I turn the 150 watt halogen to supplement standard lighting.

There is little point to your tests... you won't get HD quality in any of them.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 01:30 AM   #3
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Everyone has a different level of tolerance.

I never use any artificial light when shooting with the HD1. Only 100% natural light. I simply do not believe that the camera can handle anything less.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 12:23 PM   #4
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Don't expect perfection

I know the video won't be perfect under these lighting conditions, I'd just like to determine the minimum light level required to get a picture I would consider acceptable. I know that the camcorder can't be expected to perform well with such little light. I have an HC1 and even with it the results aren't spectacular, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't be acceptable. I'd just like to know how it compares to other consumer devices. Does it's availability in situations I may not carry my usual camcorder worth the effort?

Mark
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Old October 7th, 2006, 03:21 PM   #5
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I sort of know what you mean.

Low light footage from many cheap cams might be unusable by professional standards, but it has its own harsh visual logic.

It's just that with the HD1 the gulf between what it can achieve in low light and what it can achieve in strong natural light is so great that it's actually like you're looking at footage from two different models.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 07:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Wells
In a room with two 60 watt lights, the HD video is very poor. I do find video is quite good in the same room when I turn the 150 watt halogen to supplement standard lighting.

There is little point to your tests... you won't get HD quality in any of them.
Would you say this level of light is similar to that of a restaurant or of a department store?

Mark
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Old October 9th, 2006, 05:43 PM   #7
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My brother had an expensive early-model miniDV camcorder that took terrible low-light footage. However, with VideoStudio I could raise the gamma, correct the color balance, etc., and ended up with footage certainly worth keeping.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 01:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence Mayka
My brother had an expensive early-model miniDV camcorder that took terrible low-light footage. However, with VideoStudio I could raise the gamma, correct the color balance, etc., and ended up with footage certainly worth keeping.
Will this be the case with HD1? From the review I saw over on camcorderinfo.com, it may not be an option.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 11:54 AM   #9
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What is usable to one person is certaintly totally undefinable. its different for everyone.

I do not consider its low light abilities to be great but for the most part I am very pleased that they are "usable" (none of my previous cameras captured even usable low light footage)

its noisy as hell but still clear and usable to me - even down to very low light.

I will capture and post a clip later today for you.

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Old October 23rd, 2006, 06:37 AM   #10
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The problem is subjective, but it helps to have real average weighted db data, or footage, at specific light levels, for luminance and each colour channel, to get a remote idea of how far it is off our own tolerances. After doing this with a few different cameras, you should have a general idea.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 09:10 AM   #11
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Examples :)

If anyone could be so kind, it would be nice to see some sample footage with approximate lux values or bulbs and wattage.

Still haven't seen any posts regarding the cameras durability.

Mark
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Old October 26th, 2006, 10:13 PM   #12
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I don't know that any individual can really supply you an objective opinion on durability because our personal experiences are limited. My camera has been serviced once and now works fine as it did originally. You might consider the MasterCard warrantee or purchasing a replacement plan so durabiilty isn't as significant a concern.
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