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Old August 21st, 2012, 05:13 PM   #1
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VG20 vs fs100 lowlight help

Hi, I am thinking about upgrading to the fs100 because I need better low light abilities with the standard zoom lens. How many stops better is the fs100 over the vg20. I know the IQ on the fs100 is better, but I specifically need better low light with the standard zoom lens.

Is the low light ability of the fs100 so much better than the vg20 that it is worth the upgrade.

Thanks for any help you all can give. I know this issue has been discussed before but I need all the help I can get before making this decision. Thanks again.
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Old August 21st, 2012, 06:30 PM   #2
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Re: VG20 vs fs100 lowlight help

Actually, Kate, with test I did against the Canon 5D Mark II and the VG20, and from what I have seen compared with the 5D v. FS100, I don't think there is that much difference between the two. The real light gathering happen when adapted faster lenses, like a 50 mm F1.4 or better, or a 24mm F 2.8 35mm camera film lens adapted to the VG20. Of course, everything becomes manual at that point.
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Old August 21st, 2012, 09:57 PM   #3
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Re: VG20 vs fs100 lowlight help

Thanks, that what I thought, but I wanted to double check. Thanks for all the work you have done for the vg20 community. I've been watching your videos & reading your comments for some time. The vg20 is a great camcorder for the price & I am getting really used to it. Glad I get to keep for some more time.
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Old August 21st, 2012, 11:07 PM   #4
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Re: VG20 vs fs100 lowlight help

I'd agree with that. The VG20 can dang near see in the dark with a fast lens...

Far as keeping it, I'd be hard pressed to think of why I'd ever sell it - still nothing close to it at the price, and by the time the next gen is out, no one will want it anyway.

It will "graduate" to my B camera when the time comes.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 05:22 AM   #5
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Re: VG20 vs fs100 lowlight help

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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
from what I have seen compared with the 5D v. FS100, I don't think there is that much difference between the two.

Between a 5DII and the fs100? I thought there's not much difference between the 5DIII and the fs100 in the way both handle very high gains, if the 5dII is similar to the vg20 in that respect I think the fs100 will perform much better at high gains.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 07:20 AM   #6
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Re: VG20 vs fs100 lowlight help

To the OP, Here's a pretty good test of the FS100's lowlight vs the 5d2 and others...



The advantage the FS100 has is the pixel count and the fact that there's no line skipping - so at high ISO's the noise is much less pronounced. Like others say, the kit lens is slow, faster lenses work wonders. I have the Nex5n (same sensor as the VG) as well, its a great low light performer when I put a f2.8 lens and its amazing with a f1.8, f1.4 or f1.2 lens.

There's lots of low cost legacy glass that's easily adapted to the E-mount and you have the Zeiss 24 and 50/1.8 for faster lens options.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 02:29 PM   #7
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Re: VG20 vs fs100 lowlight help

Thanks guys. These camcorders are amazing in low light with the right lens. I'm still having problems with far away shots in low light, so I just get closer to the subject. I miss the fast zoom lens on the small sensor camcorders.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:03 PM   #8
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Re: VG20 vs fs100 lowlight help

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Between a 5DII and the fs100? I thought there's not much difference between the 5DIII and the fs100 in the way both handle very high gains, if the 5dII is similar to the vg20 in that respect I think the fs100 will perform much better at high gains.
Not sure what you are agreeing or disagreeing with here. Basically I have heard the FS100 outdoes the 5D, and I shot tests with the 5D vs. the VG20, in which I think the VG20 also beats the 5D seeming to have better low light capability and with less noise. Here is test I did:

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Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:21 PM   #9
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Re: VG20 vs fs100 lowlight help

Just a little more on my test.

There is no doubt the 5DII actually had higher ISO/Gain capability. Its just that it was my experience that you should not go over 1600 ISO with the 5D, or there would be severe noise. With the VG20, noise at the highest gain setting of 30 was still workable and appeared much cleaner than Canon at 3200 ISO. The VG20 seemed to have a finer more uniform grain pattern.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:45 PM   #10
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Re: VG20 vs fs100 lowlight help

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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Not sure what you are agreeing or disagreeing with here.
Well, you said that there was not much difference between the 5d and the fs100, and with "5d" I thought you where referring to the mark II meaning your statement is not correct, the mark III however can deal with much higher gain values comparable with what the fs100 can do, the fs100 should outperform the mark II by quite a margin seeing that gain values of 25.600 are possible while the 5D2 seems to look worse at 6400 Iso.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 06:16 PM   #11
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Re: VG20 vs fs100 lowlight help

I see how you misunderstood what I was saying. I should have been more clear.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 06:49 PM   #12
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Re: VG20 vs fs100 lowlight help

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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
The VG20 seemed to have a finer more uniform grain pattern.
Exactly! That's also the case with the FS100 and I've noticed the same thing with the 5n. The noise on the 5d2 is pretty intrusive above 1600, the FS100 spanks it big time in that department as 6400 is as clean as the 5d2 at 1600. Now the 5d3 is another beast - 6400 is very clean, but you're still dealing with line skipping, that Canon soft footage, and much, much worse aliasing and moire.

I was shooting in a very dark room last week FS100 and I pushed it to 8000. I was really worried about how much work I was going to have to do to clean it up, but when I brought the footage into Premiere it looked really good. It just needed a tiny bit of noise reduction and it was clean. I couldn't get those results with the 5d2 at 3200.
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