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Old December 19th, 2009, 01:36 AM   #1
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Video Noise in Low Light - 5D2 vs XLH1

While this is not a wedding reception, it is a very low light situation...

We were trying to get inside a live stage theatre to shoot and having trouble with access (politics). We were shooting some other scenes nearby with the XLH1, when we got a call saying that if we could be there in 10 minutes, we can get into the theatre. I was shooting local and could have gone back to get the 5d2, but thought the H1 could handle it, and the audio is so much easier.

We rushed in and there was nobody to bring up any extra lighting (politics) so we shot a few quick takes just using the camera evf to set-up. Shot wide open. When I saw the footage - it was crap, and not at all usable. So I arranged to get back in 2 days later with the 5d2, and my 50mm f1.4.

See for yourself. This is why when the lights dim at the reception - I pack up everything except for the 5d2.

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Old December 19th, 2009, 03:17 AM   #2
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Hi Ken,

What settings were the H1 set to? Frame rate? Gain? Shutter speed?
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Old December 19th, 2009, 09:18 AM   #3
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Turn your Sharpening down to 0 in your custom preset menu, that cleans up some of the noise. PS Were you expecting the H1 to be as good in low light and as low noise as the full frame 5D?

PS It's arguable that the H1 image is actually better exposed- the 5D has blown highlights all over the subject.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 09:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Elliott View Post
Turn your Sharpening down to 0 in your custom preset menu, that cleans up some of the noise. PS Were you expecting the H1 to be as good in low light and as low noise as the full frame 5D?

PS It's arguable that the H1 image is actually better exposed- the 5D has blown highlights all over the subject.

I have to agree, I think the overall image out of the XLH1 in this instance is much better.

The H1 image is much better exposed, the subject from the 5DM2 has blown highlights and crushed blacks, giving a much more limited range to work with. You are getting much more range with the H1.

I shoot with both these cameras a lot. Sure the noise structure may be better with the 5DM2, but I feel you are loosing more than what you gain.

The thing about the H1 is the vast image control you have to control these factors. And that shows here.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 04:41 PM   #5
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In this case the example was to just illustrate the noise differences between the two and how it relates to shooting in low light at wedding receptions, a situation that I've never been able to effectively deal with when using the H1 without bringing in more light.

When these two scenes are viewed full size, the H1 footage is really not usable, because of noise - all over the image. I've taken to shooting the H1 with default settings. In this case, gain had to go all the way to auto, at a shutter speed of 30.

The stage lighting is very hard, hence the blown highlights, and since the piece is set in a theatre, I thought it would work - but we ended up reshooting it from another angle which worked better.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 10:52 PM   #6
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Maybe the the excessive noise from the h1 will be more evident in this version of the clips.

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Old December 19th, 2009, 11:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
Maybe the the excessive noise from the h1 will be more evident in this version of the clips.
I didn't see anything there a good noise cleaner couldn't make 100% better. Maybe not as clean as the 5D, but unusable is a pretty far stretch.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 01:02 AM   #8
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Perrone, I should say, unusable 'as is'. I haven't used a noise cleaner but I've seen samples of Neat Video. I've had some wedding reception footage that was pretty ugly. What do you recommend?
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Old December 20th, 2009, 01:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
Perrone, I should say, unusable 'as is'. I haven't used a noise cleaner but I've seen samples of Neat Video. I've had some wedding reception footage that was pretty ugly. What do you recommend?
What kind of computer are you on?
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Old December 20th, 2009, 02:29 PM   #10
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Neat Video is by far the best plugin for noise reduction, worth well more than the $100 it cost... Just buy it
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Old December 20th, 2009, 03:32 PM   #11
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Ditto that. Nothing compares.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 02:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
What kind of computer are you on?
Still an old Dual Core e6600 with 2gb ram running Vegas 8.0c. Will be upgrading in the spring, though she chugs along ok if you don't get too many layers on the timeline and keep the fx down, and set 'er up to render when you're heading out the door.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 08:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
Maybe the the excessive noise from the h1 will be more evident in this version of the clips.
Ken, it's no argument whether the 5D is better in low light or not. However the examples you are using aren't very good. For one the exposures are totally different. Look at the shadow across the back wall- it's very light in the H1 footage yet literally BLACK in the 5D example.

If you were to expose the image similarly on the H1 it would hid a lot of the shadow noise you are seeing. Additionally you can get MUCH better low light performance by shooting in 24p (at a half shutter of 1/24th) and making adjustments to your black-level, black ped, and knee in the Custom Presets.

In other words- yes the 5D is better in low light, and no the H1 doesn't have to look THIS bad.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 10:59 PM   #14
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Glen,

I should explain that the lighting did change as the shots were 3 days apart and the people who were in the theatre the second time around specifically killed the lights on the back wall.

The original post was really intended to show the 5d2 to shoot relatively clean in high ISO (3200), as I had been reading several posts about concerns of shooting high ISO on the 5d2. The reason I posted these particular shots to illustrate it was only because they matched (sort of) and I happened to have just shot them.

In retrospect, I should have just set up a new shot and compared both cams. I happen to own, and love the H1. But as I mentioned in the original post, I was in a rush and really didn't have time to set the shot or the camera up optimally. I do appreciate the tips on setting up the H1 to better handle the low light because I do love and use the camera alot.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 01:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Glen Elliott View Post
Additionally you can get MUCH better low light performance by shooting in 24p (at a half shutter of 1/24th) and making adjustments to your black-level, black ped, and knee in the Custom Presets.
Totally agree with above. You have to set up a preset to work for the shoot. The H1 is actually really good at stage shows within a normal range of lighting.

And Neat Video is mandatory for any NLE. Excellent product.
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