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Old August 12th, 2003, 03:25 PM   #1
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DVX in low light?

I'm making a motocross movie, and alot of the races are on wed. nights. So I need a better low light camera. An on camera light just wouldn't work because it's outside at night. Very few of the races happen durring the daylight hours, maybe 4 total. This season there are 15 night races.

How does the DVX100 stand-up against the VX2000 and the GL2 in the low light department? I'm intrested because a friend of mine is about to graduate from college (he took some summer classes to finish his requirements early) and for a final project he has to write and direct a short film. He's asked me to help plan, shoot, and edit his short. Now both of us want it to look like it was shot on film. So since I'm in the market for a new camera, and there are no local places to rent out cameras, and I don't have the money to buy 2 cameras. Would the DVX still be able to handle my low light shooting during the night motocross events. And are there visable artifacts (pixelation/distortion?) when you do a quick pan in 24P, like I have heard?

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Old August 12th, 2003, 03:35 PM   #2
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Use the gain setting on the DVC80. I don't think a VX2000 is going to be that much better in way of low light. Perhaps consider renting the older JVC DV500. It's 1/2" CCDs will give you a bigger gain with "low light."

I've read that the GL2 needs 1 or 1/2 nore stops than the VX2000.
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Old August 12th, 2003, 03:47 PM   #3
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If you want to it look like it was shot on film, use either a DVX100 or other 24p cam or Magic Bullet.

Anything shot at 24fps is a skill to deal with pans and tilts. It's not the camera, but the frame rate. See some other threads here for a chart of panning speeds.
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Old August 12th, 2003, 09:28 PM   #4
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The dvx-100 has very good low-light capabilities if you know how to set it up for that purpose. I'm not going to go into detail on how to do it, since I'm relatively new to the camera myself. But here are some clips and images of dvx footage in low-light situations that I got off of the dvxuser.com forum:

http://www.aviewofyou.tv/dvx100/duo.html
http://www.aviewofyou.tv/dvx100/duo2.html

http://www.2pff.com/cgi-bin/more.cgi?48
http://www.2pff.com/cgi-bin/more.cgi?49
http://www.2pff.com/cgi-bin/more.cgi?50

Motocross arenas don't get much darker than that, do they?

As for the issue of panning at 24p, it certainly takes some practice, but, of course, the DVX also gives you the option of shooting at 60i, so you're covered even if 24p doesn't work out in particular situations.

Peace.
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Old August 12th, 2003, 09:57 PM   #5
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Re: DVX in low light?

<<<-- How does the DVX100 stand-up against the VX2000 and the GL2 in the low light department? -->>>

Every bit as good as the VX2000, better than the GL2.

<<<-- Now both of us want it to look like it was shot on film. So since I'm in the market for a new camera, and there are no local places to rent out cameras, and I don't have the money to buy 2 cameras. Would the DVX still be able to handle my low light shooting during the night motocross events. -->>>

The DVX100 will do everything you want.

<<<-- And are there visable artifacts (pixelation/distortion?) when you do a quick pan in 24P, like I have heard? -->>>

There is no pixellation or distortion. What there is, is significant visual strobing. As Stephen said, it's not the camera, it's the frame rate -- you'll see the same strobing on a film camera or on a $100,000 CineAlta 24P camera.
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Old August 13th, 2003, 07:51 PM   #6
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Just remember that you can not adjust the gain in 24p mode on the DVX, only in 60i mode.

I just did a wedding and had to use 60i in some areas. But I conveted the frame rate of those clips in Vegas to 24p. Just to make them blend in a little better.
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 10:38 PM   #7
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Re: Re: DVX in low light?

<<<-- Originally posted by Barry Green :<<<-- And are there visable artifacts (pixelation/distortion?) when you do a quick pan in 24P, like I have heard? -->>>

There is no pixellation or distortion. What there is, is significant visual strobing. As Stephen said, it's not the camera, it's the frame rate -- you'll see the same strobing on a film camera or on a $100,000 CineAlta 24P camera. -->>>


Is there any way to prevent the strobing? Maybe up the shutter speed in 24p (if even possible?).

-Bo
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 01:42 AM   #8
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Longer shutter speeds will introduce more blur, which may help smooth out the motion some but will also result in reduced sharpness.

24P strobes. 30P strobes, but a bit less. 60i doesn't strobe.

But, 24P looks like film. 30P looks mostly like film. 60i looks like video.

So, you just gotta pick which one you like, and then learn to work within its limitations for the best results...
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 01:59 AM   #9
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Actually, you can make 60i look like film with many ways. You don't need 24, 25 or 30P for that.
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 10:48 AM   #10
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You can make 60i look like film but it will take hours (or days) of rendering plus you will lose resolution.

Also, capturing at 24p allows a shutter speed motion blur that is extremely hard to recreate in post.
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 11:13 AM   #11
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Well, that's not what I meant. Progressive is one take on "the film look." For me the film look is a combination of a number of things:

use of a soft filter for certain shots
Use of a blue filter for dark scenes
1/60 or 1/30 shutter
unique/creative camera angles/dolly shots - a tripod on a kid's wagon works just fine
good placement of light
good audio with good dubbing
good subject matter/good story
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 12:35 PM   #12
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I don't call that film look - that's "professional look". Those elements you list have nothing to do with the inherent medium of film stock negative or film camera image capture (except for shutter speed), they are production value issues and creative choices.

Check the archives in the film look forum for extended discussion about "professional look".
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 04:25 PM   #13
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i have no idea why ppl keep bring up "good subject matter/good story" Yeah no crap! If someone's shooting a movie of course they'll try to make the story as good as possible but that is totally besides the point of achieving film look. I'm sure you've seen plenty of bad movies shot on film. For someone doing event videography, a good story/subject matter has no relevance. So for the sake keeping to the point, just leave that out.
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 04:52 PM   #14
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Thanks Stephen! So people are now calling this the pro look. Funny, a couple of years back people were calling this the film look. I guess the DVX100 changed all this. Yang, "for someone doing event videography, a good story/subject matter has no relevance," is simply not true. When you shoot a wedding or funeral, you do want to shape it like a story. In fact, that's what they are: stories.
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 06:01 PM   #15
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Actually, it predates the DVX100. It's the result of several threads on DV-L and other a few years ago that myself and several others instigated clarifying the difference between the look of film and video and production values.
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