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Old February 4th, 2004, 03:17 PM   #1
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DVX100A - Low Light and 16x9 Q's

Hi everyone,

Looking to rent three DVX100A's to film a stage play. Last year I used Sony PD150s and was very happy with the results while in "spotlight" mode, which is essentially shutter priority with locked zero-gain, and the camera just adjusts the iris.

What I would like to know is how the low light sensitvity is with this camera, and if there is a comparable ability to lock the gain at 0 and the shutter at 24 (obviously using 24p mode) and let it roll with the iris. I think this will look the best because a stage play has lots of colorful lights but sometimes goes from spots to full light in an unpredictable way. So I need something that can handle that situation without resorting to grainy gain, or have it overexposed when the lights change.

Also, how is the in-camera 16x9 compared to an anamorphic adapter? Is it anything special compared to Canon's in-camera 16x9? I know Sony's is bad and Canon's is a little better - is the DVX100A going to be better than them?

Thanks a lot!!
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Old February 4th, 2004, 03:51 PM   #2
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Re: DVX100A - Low Light and 16x9 Q's

Quote:
<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Moore :

What I would like to know is how the low light sensitvity is with this camera
About the same as the PD150.

Quote:
if there is a comparable ability to lock the gain at 0 and the shutter at 24 (obviously using 24p mode) and let it roll with the iris.
Yes. On the DVX100, gain is always at 0 when in 24P mode. On the DVX100A you can manually set the gain to "off" or 0db when in 24P mode. You can lock the shutter at 1/24 (although that will make for quite a lot of motion blur).

[quote]Also, how is the in-camera 16x9 compared to an anamorphic adapter? [quote]

The adapter is going to give you about 20% more resolution, when all is said and done.

Quote:
Is it anything special compared to Canon's in-camera 16x9? I know Sony's is bad and Canon's is a little better - is the DVX100A going to be better than them?
Depends on whether you're shooting in interlaced or progressive. Adam Wilt shot some res charts in both modes, and said that in interlaced mode, in-camera 16:9 "squeeze mode" on the DVX100A was about on par with the PD150, maybe even a little worse. But in progressive mode, with thin line detail, it delivered a full 360 lines of resolution, which is as good or better than you'd get from any other prosumer camera. That's about as much res as you'd get from a PD150 if the PD150 was using an anamorphic adapter.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 04:48 PM   #3
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"Yes. On the DVX100, gain is always at 0 when in 24P mode. On the DVX100A you can manually set the gain to "off" or 0db when in 24P mode. You can lock the shutter at 1/24 (although that will make for quite a lot of motion blur)."

I see. Hm. How do you think the camera would handle with a 1/60 shutter, but auto-controlled, in low light? We're talking mainly spotlights but then maybe 40% of the time, a fairly well lit stage with fresnels with color gels. Maybe I could use 1/30 shutter. There's not that much fast motion on a stage play anyway. Maybe +6db gain is warranted. Is that very grainy?

Thanks a lot for your other answers. I'm going to try to get the anamorphic adapters if possible, but I might only be able to get one for the center (the farthest, widest angle) and rely on in-camera for the other two. Are there significant zoom-restrictions with the anamorphic adapter as there are with the Century Optics versions for the Canon cameras?

Thanks again.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 05:29 PM   #4
Barry Wan Kenobi
 
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Quote:
<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Moore :

I see. Hm. How do you think the camera would handle with a 1/60 shutter, but auto-controlled, in low light?
24P at 1/60 is about a stop darker than 60i at 1/60. The reason is that in interlaced mode, the cameras perform a line-pair summation between the rows to smooth out interline flicker, and the result is that the added-together lines increase brightness. In progressive mode the Panasonic doesn't do that. So, 30P or 24P is about 1 full stop darker, for the same shutter speed, than interlaced mode would be.

You could compensate by using 1/30 as your shutter, still has a lot of motion blur but I've shot at 1/30 and it looks fine.

Quote:
Maybe +6db gain is warranted. Is that very grainy?
+6db is very clean. +12 still looks pretty good. +18 starts to get noticeably grainy.

Quote:
Are there significant zoom-restrictions with the anamorphic adapter as there are with the Century Optics versions for the Canon cameras?
Well, no and yes. The Panasonic is full-zoom-through, but it gets very difficult to focus at the maximum telephoto end, so I usually recommend zooming in no farther than Z90 (which is about 40mm). But because the Panasonic's lens is so wide-angle, that means you're not going to be able to zoom in very tight at all.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 05:53 PM   #5
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Gotcha. Wlel thanks again for all these answers, they are _very_ helpful.
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