Upgrade from DV953 to GS400? at DVinfo.net

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Old July 30th, 2004, 08:46 PM   #1
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Upgrade from DV953 to GS400?

I have enjoyed all the comparisons that have been put up for the public so far. I was wondering if anyone has done a DV953 vs. GS400 in low light?

I am a DV953 owner and I love it in full sunshine, but when inside I have to bring in extras lights to get decent indoor footage. Unfortunately life doesn't wait for me to bring out some more lights, for example trying capture my daughter taking her first step. I was wondering if the GS400 low-light improvement, small as it may be over the DV953, would warrant an upgrade?
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Old July 31st, 2004, 02:44 AM   #2
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I was also wondering about that, but no one who has had the GS400 in their hands mentions about the "low light." I wonder if no answer is the answer.
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Old July 31st, 2004, 05:37 AM   #3
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I'm trying to get my hands on one. They aren't shipping yet in N.A., AFAIK. If I do, I'll post some comparisons.
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Old July 31st, 2004, 06:51 AM   #4
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Thanks, Guy. Panas arrive here even later than they do in the US. (The PV-DV953 arrived 1 & 1/2 months after they showed up in The States.)
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Old July 31st, 2004, 09:14 AM   #5
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My daughter was taking her first steps when I had my DV953 and it seems like I just kept taking the lamp shades off and adding 250w bulbs. I'm sure the GS400 will offer some improved low light performance but only marginal compared to 1/4" and 1/3" 3CCD cams.

In other words I doubt bringing a GS400 into my dimly lit living room will keep me from removing the lamp shades and adding the spotlights. The frames I've seen so far just have a little better color accuracy and less grain than the DV953 and GS100.

Now if you needed the other improvements of the GS400 then an upgrade would be beneficial (widescreen, cine-like gamma, etc..). Otherwise you might take a hefty price hit on selling your DV953 and pay close to MSRP for a N.A. GS400 during its first month or two of introduction.
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Old July 31st, 2004, 09:55 AM   #6
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I read the 400 is 12 lux minimum. The 953 is 15 lux. I guess lux is a linear scale so the 400 is 20% better, whatever that means.

Good luck.

Dennis Vogel
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Old July 31st, 2004, 01:53 PM   #7
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Light intensity is not linear. Each F/stop up requires 2x the light and down 1/2 the light. So, to improve light sensitivity by 1 F/stop from 15 lux would require the camera to have a 7.5 lux sensitivity. The GS400 is 3 lux more sensitive and that is more than 1/2 F/stop. All this presupposes that the camera lux ratings are based on the same standard.
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Old July 31st, 2004, 02:05 PM   #8
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I will wait for Guy's comparison footage. That is usually the best way for me to get an idea of the improvement. Then the hard part is trying to assign a value to that improvement. Just based upon the Lux ratings, it does not look promising.

But, if the low light improvement is enough to justify an upgrade, then I would probably just wait until the cost comes down a bit, and count myself lucky to get some great new frosting on an old familiar cake.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 09:08 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Guy Bruner : The GS400 is 3 lux more sensitive and that is more than 1/2 F/stop. -->>>
I should have suspected it wasn't linear. And my %-age comparison wasn't really helpful in any case. F-stop is the right way to express it.

I'm a little surprised the 400 is only 1/2 stop better. Maybe that's why they express it in lux. 15 lux to 12 lux sounds like a bigger difference than 1/2 F-stop.

Dennis Vogel
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Old August 1st, 2004, 10:57 PM   #10
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I think any spec (in this case Lux) givven from the manifacturer should be taken with a grain of sault!
For example you can't compare the Lux spec Sony gives even for their own cams as the value for Japan and US are totally different for the coresponding models.

I want to say I've heard of the bad low light performance of 953.
My experience with the GS100 is very good and I do shoot my kids in any conditions indoors.
Usually there are luminiscent lights (about 2x36W round shape in 2 rooms total). That triggers GS100 to go to gain 12dB. I like they made this limitation (doesn't go to 18dB) so reducing the noise.

Recently I also shoot some stage performance and night summer festivals, fireworks - great picture for amateur video. Almoast clean of noise blacks and still very rich color objects with good resolution.

If you are not going to shoot professionally I think the new 'clear engine' used for GS100 and above should work for you.
Of coarse it's better to see some frames firs to judge by yourself.
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