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Old November 6th, 2017, 06:08 PM   #1
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Low light nature video in HD

I'm starting the process of looking for a wildlife videography cam. I plan on basing the decision of which camera based on the video quality and not the photo quality.

I'm looking for the best low light image quality for HD video. Are there any that stand out in the DSLR cameras? and how would they compare with something like the Cannon XA-10 which is what I'm used to.

What are you guys finding in that realm? or should I post this question in another section of the forum.
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Old November 7th, 2017, 11:01 AM   #2
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

You also need to quote your budget.
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Old November 7th, 2017, 12:08 PM   #3
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

I am a nature videographer for the past 20 years and shoot in darker places, I have owned the Panasonic HPX170, Panasonic GH4 and currently GH5. Low light IMO is much improved with the GH5 and it is by far my favorite camera. Weight, mobility, 4K 60fps and a wide choice of lenses are significant pluses as well as cost. My gear list is GH5, Panasonic 14-45, 45-175, Olympus 60 macro and 75-300, Benro S6 Tripod, Rhino Slider, Glideshot jib. If I had unlimited funds I would still use the GH5 and trade out the 75-300 lens for the Panasonic/Leica 100-400 and the 14-45 for the Olympus 12-40 . You can view my GH5 work on my video channel posted in my signature.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 03:25 PM   #4
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

Budget ... 5-8k for camera and all gear, batts, tripods, lenses, mics, and cases etc.

The description for the camera is four thirds .... I'm assuming that doesn't refer to 4x3 video recording.

Are you sponsored in any way by panasonic? We all know what happens these days on these boards.
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Old November 18th, 2017, 12:02 PM   #5
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobin Strickland View Post
The description for the camera is four thirds .... I'm assuming that doesn't refer to 4x3 video recording.
The format of the Panasonic GH5 imager is called M43, or short for Micro 4/3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_Four_Thirds_system

M43 is a small sensor, which generally means poor low light performance. The GH4, the older version was really bad at anything over ISO 800 although the newer technology in the GH5 means that you can go a bit higher without a penalty in grain. Generally, you would probably obtain better low light performance with a S35 imager or a full frame imager.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 04:00 PM   #6
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

Dan Can you recommend a full image sensor camera that takes great outdoor video. Low light is of utmost importance.

At one time many of the DSLRs had to stop a file at 20min long.. due to saving the file.. has that been overcome? I think I saw a group shotting sony's recording to a hard disc and was able to overcome this.

I'd assume that any good full sensor digital camera would also take amazing stills of nature and portraits.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 07:32 AM   #7
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

While a full frame camera such as a Sony A7s ii would give you unbeatable low light performance it isn’t suitable because larger sensor cameras have less reach that is important for wildlife work. So a popular choice is cameras with sensor in between a full frame and a consumer sensor; these would include super 35, apc, m4/3. You might want to work backwards decide the angle of view or focal range you need then the lens you can afford then the camera.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; February 13th, 2018 at 10:48 AM.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 02:17 AM   #8
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

I would also add that most DSLRs have terrible problems with rolling shutter which just gets worse with the kind of long lenses needed for wildlife shooting. I had an A7s and I couldn't use with anything longer than 50mm for video without the picture looking like a bowl of jello. When you think back on most of the cool looking DSLR footage you've seen -- almost all of it is wide angle, right? There is a reason for that. You need a real video camera for wildlife video shooting.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 05:38 PM   #9
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

Speaking of needing a good camera for wildlife videography . . .

I was watching some amazing wildlife videos on PBS and every once in a while they'd show the camera.
Gee, an Arri Alexa w/ an Angie Optimo zoom. Hmm. Yah think?

Others show that featured stellar looking footage - RED Epic or Dragon.

The bar is HIGH.
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Old February 24th, 2018, 02:48 AM   #10
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

I shoot most my my wildlife footage with my Sony F55 and R7 raw recorder. 16-bit 4K RAW @ 120 fps.
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Old February 24th, 2018, 07:42 AM   #11
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

Yup - the near pinnacle of Sony's offerings.
I sure wouldn't want to haul an F65 up a mountain or into a jungle.

What is your go-to long lens?
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Old February 25th, 2018, 04:38 PM   #12
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

I have a RED 300mm f/2.8 prime that is just a joy to use. But unfortunately doesn't offer as much reach as I need for a lot of things I shoot. So the lens that is mounted on my F55 about 90% of the time is a Canon 200-400 f/4 with built-in 1.4 extender (at the flip of a lever) to turn it into a 560mm f/5.6. So I can cover anything from 200-560mm with no lens change. If I went to anything bigger than that I'd really need to upgrade my OConnor 1030D to a 2560, and that becomes a bit much to wrangle by myself. The other benefit fo the Canon lens is that I can also use it for stills with my 5Dmark4
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Old March 1st, 2018, 08:03 AM   #13
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

Doug, rent me a portable oxygen concentrator ( I am old) and I will provide free Sherpa services. I would love to watch you work but only if I can quietly ask questions!
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Old March 1st, 2018, 04:55 PM   #14
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Re: Low light nature video in HD

We'll need two hoses for the oxygen. I'm getting old and fat.
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