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Old September 30th, 2009, 09:38 AM   #1
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Best Low Light HD Cam on the market?

Hello,

The majority of my shoots are weddings and of course low light recording is important.
I'm looking into getting a HD cam and wanted to know what's the best "affordable"
HD cam on the market currently? If there is already a thread for this forgive me and
point me in the right direction.

Thanks,
Troy
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Old September 30th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #2
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What is affordable to you?
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Old September 30th, 2009, 09:50 AM   #3
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Depends how much you can afford of course, but the bigger-than-normal chipped EX1 is the place to start.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 10:02 AM   #4
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Tom is right - the EX1 is remarkable not only in it's low light performance in terms of minimum exposure but also with the dynamic range one gets at very low light. The gradient from black to white is very smooth with the EX1 and gives a lot of detail and very little noise (relatively speaking) in the dark mids. The form factor is the ONLY reason I went elsewhere... I don't do weddings so low light performance isn't AS important to me but there are times when I curse my choice (theatre productions, live bands).
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Old September 30th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #5
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Depends on what you need it for, 5D and more affordable 7D are excellent low lighters,
both can offer more resolution and better low light than EX camcorders,
I wouldn't choose 5D as a single camera for a wedding, but shorts, commercials , interviews and such - no second thought - DSLR
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Old September 30th, 2009, 10:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buba Kastorski View Post
interviews and such - no second thought - DSLR
This raises my eyebrows somewhat but then I might be out of touch. How long can you run a 7D for in the movie mode, and where do you plug in the proper mics? My interviews are invariably 2 camera affairs so the DSLR might be fun as a second camera I suppose.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 12:36 PM   #7
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I remembering reading somewhere that the maximum run time on the 7D and the 5D MkII is 12 minutes, due to the 4gb/file memory limit with FAT32.

edit: Beachtek makes (or is in the process of making) an XLR adapter for the 5D MkII, which I'm assuming would also work with the 7D.

edit: http://www.beachtek.com/dxa5d.html
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Old September 30th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #8
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B&H is already showing/advertising a Beachtek as an accessory for both 5D MkII and 7D. One big benefit is it shuts down or bypasses the camera AGC.

I see on B&H that my pre-ordered 7D is "ready for shipment" and for a while I'll use my ZoomH2 and go double system sound with it like I'm already doing with the T1i.

Tests I've done with the T1i and a 50mm F1.8 at night show amazing low light capability, on streets at night I often have to stop down to 2.8 to get the "look" I want (headlights and street lamps not "blooming" too much). Indoor "available light" in most settings is a snap with the F1.8 lens.

Today's VDSLRs are a great supplement to an HD video only camera.

So many things....
...So little money...
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Old September 30th, 2009, 02:05 PM   #9
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Affordable would be around $3-5k:-)
Only 12 mins recording time for 7D.
Unless I'm missing something here
that would never work for wedding
videographers.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 12:47 AM   #10
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The Sony FX1000 can record with just 1.5 Lux and is right at the $3000 mark.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 01:34 PM   #11
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I have nothing but praises for the FX-1. Not quite in that price range but worth every penny. I have PP settings saved for every scenerio and one os for total darkness. I shoot a paranormal show and it turns out great with this setting. Not anything close to night vision and it's grain is perfect for this use.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 06:04 PM   #12
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The Z1 and FX1 are great cameras, but wouldn't be my first choice for low light. I have used a Z1 for the past 5 years taping our opera performances, some of which are VERY dark. It works, but I frequently need to add 12 dB or even 15 dB of gain. The result is usable, but noisy. The Z1 has a bit of an edge over the FX1 due to the black stretch feature.

If you want to go with Sony on your budget, perhaps the Z5 would be a better choice, although I have never used one. I have an EX1 and that is definitely much better in the dark, but it's a bit over your budget.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 06:24 PM   #13
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I own a Z5, its good in low light and the controls are a lot better placed than the Z1. If you've got the budget, I would go with a Z5 along with a 7D for low light shots, Shallow DOF etc.

On a different note, how good is the T1i for cutaway shots etc. Bruce?
I would love to get a VDSLR but the 7D is abit out my budget and I would only want the camera for some creative and low light shots. Sorry for going off topic a bit.
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