Nightshot Effect - Does it work? at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old March 10th, 2006, 01:53 PM   #1
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Nightshot Effect - Does it work?

Does the Nightshot effect work if I plan on converting the image to black and white?

I'm shooting a documentary where on camera lighting would be obtrusive, so the Nightshot sounds like a cool feature (as well as too good to be true).
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Old March 10th, 2006, 02:32 PM   #2
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Your video will be grainy... and depending on the camera, many of the nightshot modes have an infared "light" that usually lights up the center of the image, with dark areas surrounding it. I wish I had some footage I could share with you but it's all been erased. If I come aross something I'll definately upload it
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Old March 10th, 2006, 08:12 PM   #3
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Dave
I *think* that you can actually put the camera in Black&White mode *while* using Nightshot and that will actually improve the footage as there'll be less grain. I've heard someone say that's the case with their HC1 or A1.

Second, yep it works and you can *improve* it if you like by simply supplying more Infra-Red illumination. Sony make some accessory combo lights that combine a small 3W ordinary light with higher-powered IR lamps than the single IR lamp that the camera uses for IR illumination.

Further, you can go to a hardware store, and buy a MUCH more powerful IR lamp that has maybe 20 or 30 Infra-Red LEDs and use this (I know someone who had one and it mains powered via a transformer that came with it) and it will provide really quite a lot of IR light. More IR light = better picture, less grain.

eg. check out this - it's very similar to the one i've seen before. Normally used for outdoor illumination at night-time for providing IR illumination for an IR camera.
http://www.webcamstore.com/graphics/...m/422_1med.jpg
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Old March 12th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #4
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IR lamp for nightshot mode

Dave,
If you are looking for a higher output IR lamp to improve the nightshot mode picture, you might want to check out BG Micro. They have numerous small electrical components including some assembled IR illuminator boards. You would have to assemble the board into your final housing etc, but it could be better if you wanted to make a customized mount for your camera anyway.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about:
http://www.bgmicro.com/prodinfo.asp?...ri=LED&stype=2

They even mention its potential use with sony camcorders in the item description. I am in no way affiliated with BG Micro and just thought I'd drop the link...i'm still pretty new around here. I have bought products from them in the past for PC mods and didn't have any problems.
- JON
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Old March 14th, 2006, 08:16 AM   #5
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The IR mode with the black and white effect looks really good, The small IR light on the bottom of my camera is mostly blocked by the wide angle lens and hood I have on the camera all the time. I turned it off because of this. I thought this Sony IR light would be good:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=243845&is=REG

It isn't any good though. It gives a small beam of IR light creating a bright spot right in the middle of the frame. It is a totally useless piece of junk. I'm still looking for a good camera mountable IR light.
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