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Old January 10th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #1
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Low light: pd150/170 vs Ex1/Ex1r

I own an old but good Sony PD150 and now I'm really thinking to move to HD with the EX1r. With my camera I can shoot in low loght conditions without any problem. Do you know how the EX1r is good in low light vs the PD150/170?
Anyone have had this two cameras and know the answer?

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Old January 10th, 2010, 06:25 PM   #2
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the EX cameras are significantly better than a pd150 in low light. Much has to do with the limits of 1/3" chips vs larger 1/2" chips of the EX. My guess is the EX is 2 stops faster (maybe more) than a pd150. I was always disapointed with the pd150 for many reasons, low light being one of them. The EX cameras are FAR superior in every way over a pd150.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 06:42 PM   #3
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I have a slightly different take. On average, I rate my EX1 in PROGRESSIVE mode about ISO 320-400. And in Interlaced mode, about 640-800. I have done A/B with my DVX100 and found the two cameras nearly identical in sensitivity. The PD150/PD170 were major competitors to the DVX100 for many years and they are about the same sensitivity. Maybe in order of most sensitive to least being PD170 / DVX / PD150.

I don't think I could ever classify the EX1 as being a stop or two faster than the PD150.

But that's just me.
DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 09:21 PM   #4
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i have the 250 and the ex1r
and at 6db gain , they are relative, meaning it doesnt much matter.
I made believe that i would have enough extra lowlight capability with EX to run a shutter up one step, like say 30p with 60 shutter, and that was not so.

Now i just ran a "no" light test, meaning nobody would even try and video in those conditions knowing how dark it is.
the 250s ugly sd signal is so slightly brighter than the EX1r , as viewed on the same tv.
not only that, but the 250 can focus much quicker, it can still be set to the 30shutter trick and get brighter by far, and it zooms in closer.
but the ex certannly has a much higher res, and cleaner signal.

many things were Completly different , completly. dont fool yourself like i did, it is a whole new world.
Re-learning everything all over again, one more time.

Last edited by Marty Welk; January 10th, 2010 at 09:51 PM.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 07:11 AM   #5
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I own an EX1 (since 1 year) and a VX2100 (for 4 years). The VX2100 is the consumer equivalent of the PD170, which has better low light capabilities than early PD150s.

Since I film fireworks only, I have a massive need for highest possible sensitivity. Not for the bright green, red and white stars, but for the decent golds and brocades and the charcoal sparks of the explosions. This is, where most of other cameras simply are not good enough and swallow most of the low light effects.

My VX2100 was very good, I loved this "queen of the night" since it showed much more light golden effects then any camera I owned or tested (Sony TVR900, Canon XM2, Canon XL-1s, Panasonic DVX100). It is obvious with golden chrysanthemums and willows. For really light gold (fine glowing charcoal rain) I had to rise the gain upto +6/+9db even at the VX2100, which made the picture noisy and very soft, but it was ok, one could use it. BTW - I manually regulate the exposure/iris constantly through all fireworks displays from ~f4 to f1.9, going higher in finales or rise gain for pure gold. One cannot film fireworks without doing so or trying to let the automatic doing it.

Now I have the EX1 for one year and filmed several large scale displays. I normally film in 1080/50i, set it permanently to -3db because of less noise, shutter is off all the time. What shell I say? Now I really, really love the EX1 and sell my VX2100 this week. IT IS BETTER and even if this may be 0.5 only or 3 full stops more: with -3db instead of +6/+9db on the VX2100 at f1.9 you see any light charcoal spark falling down, much cleaner and sharper as on the VX2100.

So, if you need low light and compare to PD150/PD170: go for the EX1, it's simply awesome! I would like to have more sensitivy though, so that I could use higher f-stops for gold too ;)

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