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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old June 15th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #1
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Low Light Performance

How does the EX1's low-light performance compare to the PD-150, PD-160, and Z1u?
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Old June 15th, 2008, 11:36 PM   #2
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Better than all.

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Old June 15th, 2008, 11:45 PM   #3
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Not only is the EX the best HD hand held low light performer, it seems to be better than the PD-170 (which I also own).
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Old June 15th, 2008, 11:45 PM   #4
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Sweet !!!

IMO this is the best part of the cam. I went from VX2000(PD150), to Z1, to EX.

The image in low light will just blow you away.... again IMO.

I forgot my light yesteday and didn't have a heart attack because I knew the cam could save my arse in a pinch!

Don't try that with a Z!

Forget the A1, etc. DO SOME TESTS with the higher gain becuase it becomes hairy at the higher settings. I keep it to 6db unless I have a major emergency, as in forgetting the light :)

I shot in shaded twilight and the gain did not go above 3db. The images were superb.

You also have ( I feel ) and little more "lattitude" in post. You can pull just a little more out if needed.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Williams View Post
IMO this is the best part of the cam. I went from VX2000(PD150), to Z1, to EX.
The image in low light will just blow you away.... again IMO.
Same here. WOW. I went from VX2000 to Z1 to EX1. I shoot mostly indoor action sports under the same fluorescent lighting. With the VX2000, I shot at f/4 with a wide angle converter. With the Z1, I shot at f/2.8 without the wide angle converter, and this combo was muchI sharper although I underexposed a bit. With the EX1, I can now shoot again at f/4 with proper exposure. In playing with the EX1 gain, it's clear that this camera can incredibly well at +18 dB. The WOW part is that the colors don't fall apart in lower lighting as with the Z1.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 05:46 AM   #6
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I just tried shooting some night shots in Sydney Australia around the city and found I couldn't get a decent picture. I was shooting wide open at 1.9 at 1080 25p with 1/100 shutter and really couldn't pick up any descent city shots. This is of a city lite with office builidings and street lights around Sydney Harbour and Opera House.

Can anyone give me some pointers as to why I wasn't able to have any success?
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Old June 17th, 2008, 06:02 AM   #7
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The best low light performance you will get in interlaced mode (thanks to the effective line-doubling); you can achieve the same in progressive but with the shutter off (the latter is only good for relatively static scenes, as it implies some motion blur).
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Old June 17th, 2008, 06:20 AM   #8
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Shoot at 1/50 or shutter off if possible.

I've shot at 1080p30, 1/60, F1.9, Gain -3db or 0db at night in New York City and the camera records what my eye sees.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Duncan View Post
I just tried shooting some night shots in Sydney Australia around the city and found I couldn't get a decent picture. I was shooting wide open at 1.9 at 1080 25p with 1/100 shutter and really couldn't pick up any descent city shots. This is of a city lite with office builidings and street lights around Sydney Harbour and Opera House.

Can anyone give me some pointers as to why I wasn't able to have any success?
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Old June 17th, 2008, 11:50 AM   #9
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Ditto Craig above. shooting at 1/100 is crippling.
I often shoot low light at 1/32 and if I need to 1/24th. I don't think the motion blur at shutter off is that bad if you avoid lots of movement, but everyone has their own issues. It beats noise for my money.

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Old June 17th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #10
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scary good!

show him your fireworks, craig!

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Old June 19th, 2008, 04:19 AM   #11
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Here are my test in low light :

I shot on a the Notre Dame church in Paris, France, on december. Check footage here :
http://www.lecentre.net/blog/archives/185
http://www.lecentre.net/blog/archives/183
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Old June 19th, 2008, 05:55 AM   #12
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The fireworks
http://www.vimeo.com/1066619
Shot at MINUS 3db gain and Cine Gamma 4. Now that's darkening the dark.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
The fireworks
http://www.vimeo.com/1066619
Shot at MINUS 3db gain and Cine Gamma 4. Now that's darkening the dark.
Great footage! I'm curious as to how you downconverted your footage and put it on that site.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #14
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craig has his own methods, but i have a really fast and easy way for you:

1. upload your hd clips with sony software into the MOV file which quicktime understands
2. open the MOV with quicktime, i think you may have to get quicktime pro
3. use the sliders to trim the MOV into the portion you want
4. save the trim portion into another mov file
5. use the "export" function under file tab, go to options and select these for starters:
a. under settings tab, use .h264
b. 24fps or what you used
c. key frame automatic
d. compressor of "high" and "faster encode"
e. data rate of "automatic"
6. press ok to convert, the finished file is now ready to upload to vimeo.
7. play with the compressor quality to see what level of outcome you desire, it's fairly fast. much faster then using final cut.

paul






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Great footage! I'm curious as to how you downconverted your footage and put it on that site.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #15
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As a professional compressionist I never trust any "automatic" settings. That's just me though.

I export reference movie from Final Cut Pro. Place in Compressor. Use H264 .mov. Downscale frame size to 1280x720. Keep current frame rate. Set data rate to 5000kbps for video and 128kbps for audio. Encoding is Best quality and Frame Reordering is always checked (uses B Frames). Keyframes are one every 150 frames but I may adjust that depending on content. I turn on Frame Controls set Resize to Best. Output Fields to Same as Source if Progressive or to Progressive if the source is interlace (thus deinterlacing it). Deinterlace would then be set to Better (or Best if I felt it called for it).

I save this as my Vimeo preset. All have to do is export from FCP, drop into Compressor, add preset, encode, upload. QuicktimePro does not allow the saving of presets. It also doesn't have Frame Controls for deinterlacing if needed.

I may lower the data rate if I need to keep within Vimeo's 500MB weekly limit.

I do have some concern how Vimeo handles lowering the frame rate to 24p but they claim too many people can't play 720p30 On2VP6. I believe Vimeo encodes HD somewhere around 1700kbps.
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