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Sony HVR-HD1000
Sony's single-CMOS shoulder mount HDV camcorder.


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Old February 5th, 2008, 11:45 AM   #1
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Hvr-hd1000u in low light?

Hello everyone,
I'm a wedding photographer and i want to buy this camcorder.
here (Israel) in weddings we use Panasonic DVC-200 or DVX-100b with 20-30w video light on camera, the picture is good and bright, the question is if the HD1000u will provide the same result in this low light scene as the Panasonic.
again i repeat we use 20-30w on camera video light.
from your knowledge will it give good results?
will the picture won't be dark?
Please help me with this question, no one in Israel bought it that i can ask him.

thanks in advance
Asaf Benatia

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Old February 5th, 2008, 02:58 PM   #2
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The quick answer is no. HD cameras especially HDV cameras have reduced light gathering capabilities due the increase of light information being gathered in the same space.

However, this might not be as bad as it sounds especially if you are creating standard DVDs for your clients. A lot of the low light noise gets thrown out when the video is downconverted to SD. Whether it's up to your quality standards is only a question that you can answer.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 07:24 PM   #3
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Low light capabilities

I agree with William. Due to the smaller photosites, even if the sensor is 1/3", the light sensitivity is lowered by a lot. I don't have the hd-1000u, but I do have the hc3, the precursor model to the hc7, w/c is basically the hd-1000u in a larger body. I can say that it's about 2.5-3 stops difference easy compared to my VX-2000. This is not a scientific measure, but I am sure it's pretty close. Of course, the VX-2000 is a class on its own in low light. This and the PD-170 are the king of low light in SD.

In any case, since you mentioned you use a 20-30 watt light (i presume on camera), that might help mitigate or neutralize the low light disadvantage of the 1000u. With my hc3, we use a lowly 3 watt onboard sony light for fill in light if the area is well lit. But behind us at the altar, we have these 2 x 800-1000 watt lights equivalent metal hallide (rated at 150 watts draw) on lightstands about 30-50 ft away. So, in a way, we are covered. In the last wedding we did 2 weeks ago, I only intalled 2 x 125 watt CFLs (rated at 24 watts draw each) about 30 ft away. It was about 1 stop under. So, I guess we have to put 1 more CFL there or two, or run the hc3 at 1/30 sec.

If you are shooting about 5-8ft, maybe even 10ft, I bet your 20-30 watt lights will do (halogen lights). There might be a hot spot or your ambient light might be too dark though, with the center the only one being well lit, and this may look unnatural, unless you have one of those new wide spread lights. The dark areas can be noisy, though, I agree with William again, that if shoot HD and dowsample to SD, the noise is pretty tamed or is not that bothersome.

Being budget constrained, yes, we do have to work with what we have. Maybe get those new LED lights, variable output, to help out. Maybe in time, if competition does heat up, they'll come out with a 1/2.7" sensor with only 2mp pixel density (not 5, 8 or 10mp) or a 1/2" sensor with good low light capabilities in a more affordable price range. The alternative is to go back to the older VX/PD or panasonic models, w/c are not HD. At this point in time, that's not a good idea unless you dont' expect to shoot or deliver HD even with a year's time.

Compared to my VX, my HC3 is a bit far in low light capabilities. But it's not bad either. In good light, it is exceptional. In low light, well, we do have to provide it light, otherwise, we deal with noise. I've used the FX1 on a limited time and it's almost about the same as the HC3, except the colors are more vibrant in the FX1 in low light due to the fact of it being 3-CCD.

If you ask me, only a 1/2" sensor will do a HD camera justice. But of course, we are on a budget, so we are left with a 1/3" sensor. Trouble is, the camera companies are cramming more pixels in the same real estate thus lowering light sensitivities further. OTOH, they are deploying better DSP chips like clearvid/exmor that is supposed to lessen the noise. So, it's more like back to the hc3 standard in terms of noise, for all intents and purposes. Or at the most, hc7 standards.

In that case, the HD1000u, is the best price for the buck at this point in time. Just add the lights to help mitigate the low light issues.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 12:16 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replay's!
i forgot to mention that i'm attending to use only SD with the HD1000u no HDV.
I only buy it because it is a shoulder mount camera and it is a good price.
now, will i get more light when shooting in SD?
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Old February 6th, 2008, 12:16 PM   #5
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No. There is no advantage at all shooting DV on an HDV cam.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 01:47 PM   #6
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No. There is no advantage at all shooting DV on an HDV cam.
thanks for the replay
do you know if i'll have enough light if i'll use 20-30w video light on camera like the LED light that sony have?
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Old February 6th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #7
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I haven't received mine yet so haven't had a chance to test it. Best bet is to just try it beforehand and see.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #8
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I haven't received mine yet so haven't had a chance to test it. Best bet is to just try it beforehand and see.
but how can i try it in the situation the i need to check it (dance floor)
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Old February 6th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #9
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How is the Sony HVL-20DW2? Seems like it might be a nice match for the HD1000.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asaf Benatia View Post
but how can i try it in the situation the i need to check it (dance floor)
My observation is that the HD1000 is about 1 1/2 to 2 stops less sensitive than the PD170 at 0db. It's hard to tell as the HD1000 does not tell you what db or f-stop you are at! It's a guess.

Here is a test to try.

Take your camera and see what distance your light works well at 0db and f2 (5 feet, 15 feet, 20 feet, whatever). Close the aperture 2 stops and then see what distance the light works well at. Not terribly accurate but enough for an idea. +3db is fine on the HD1000, +6db isn't bad either.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 07:15 AM   #11
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The advantage of shooting sd on an HDV camera is native 16x9 aspect ratio, which is a big difference.

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Old February 7th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #12
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shoot in hd and down convert ...
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Old February 7th, 2008, 02:02 PM   #13
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Matthew -- Exactly.

Michael -- I didn't mean there wasn't an advantage to using an HDV cam over a DV cam to shoot DV, I meant, obviously, that in an HDV cam there's no advantage of shooting DV instead of HDV.

Last edited by Adam Gold; February 8th, 2008 at 12:04 AM.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 03:54 PM   #14
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no my bad andrew i was referring to the quote above by asaf... he said...

"i forgot to mention that i'm attending to use only SD with the HD1000u no HDV..."


not sure if asaf you are just going to shoot in sd mode with the hd1000u...shoot in hd and then down convert to sd...actually gets nice images...
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Old February 8th, 2008, 01:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Harris View Post
no my bad andrew i was referring to the quote above by asaf... he said...

"i forgot to mention that i'm attending to use only SD with the HD1000u no HDV..."


not sure if asaf you are just going to shoot in sd mode with the hd1000u...shoot in hd and then down convert to sd...actually gets nice images...
Hi Matthew,
Thanks for the replay, if I'll shoot HDV i have to capture the footage with the camera with the down convert option, and i want to use my JVC DV-BR3000 deck to capture...
because of this i want to shoot SD mode.

if i shoot SD mode do i get the same picture as shooting in HDV and then down convert to SD? please tell if you tried it not just if you think.

(my editing system has the matrox RT.X100 so i can't use HDV.)
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