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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old November 10th, 2005, 09:09 PM   #1
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Top 3 Camera for low light

I'm just curious. I'm planning on getting a second camera to Canon XL2 and wanted to take a poll from you all. With your personal experience/knowledge, what is your top choices of the best low-light cameras? (ie. VX2000, GY-DV300U, AG-DVC30 to name a few) Thank you all for your imputs.

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Old November 10th, 2005, 09:46 PM   #2
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Actually the top camera for low light for weddings is the Sony HDR-FX1. It has a very good 3 lux rating. Other cameras with higher lux ratings may work but you will need a sun gun.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 10:08 PM   #3
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The PD170 has a rating of 1 Lux and the PD150 (discontinued) was 2-
The VX2100 is also rated at 1. I would have to think that the 170 and 2100 are considered to pretty much be the gold standard as far as cams used for weddings-pretty much everyone I know across the country who does weddings uses them or the 150s or 2000s.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 10:30 PM   #4
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The PD-170 is a GREAT camera ( I have one and love it) and is amazing in low light. My only concern is using it with a canon. You may have a hard time getting the colors to match when cutting from camera to camera - just something to consider.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 03:21 PM   #5
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The DCR 300 has a lux rating of .25
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Old November 11th, 2005, 09:28 PM   #6
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I have 2 PD170's, 1 PD150, and a GL2. I have never had a problem with matching colors as long as I custom white balance in the same light at the same time. I use Ed Pierce's white card
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Old November 14th, 2005, 07:21 AM   #7
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I'm casting my vote for the PD170. I haven't really used a lot of the other popular cameras out there--just the Canon XL1s. All I can say is this...the first wedding I shot was in a gym, lit entirely with candles and white Christmas lights. That's it. I was convinced that my entire career would begin and end with that one wedding. But the PD170's performed beautifully and the B&G were thrilled with the final product. I definitely am a fan of the PD170. Just my two cents.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 09:40 AM   #8
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PD-170. I've looked at the FX-1. Slightly less sensitive. WAY too noisy compared to the 170 in low light.
The VX-2100 (not 2000) should match the low light ability of the 170.

BTW one difference between 150 (2000) and newer 170 (2100) is lower noise. No change in sensitivity, Sony found a way to clean up the noise. My hunch a model Subsequent to the FX-1 will do the same.

Can't always go by the Lux rating since manufacturer's don't necessarily use the same standard.

You need to look at sensitivity AND noise.
Two cameras may show same "brightness" at same F stop and gainup but one may be more noisy or one may need higher gain setting to get same brightness (which can result in more noise).
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Old November 14th, 2005, 09:44 PM   #10
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I've used a Canon XL-1s for three years and I thought I was very happy with it... until last week when I bought a Sony DSR-400.

Whoa. Whole new world, I'm here to say.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 10:22 PM   #11
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dvx100 & jvc 5000

i have these cameras & i do weddings...
how u guys rate these cameras....
any suggestion....i have just bought jib CRANE & looking for multi camera stuff...

any suggestions where i should buy the video mixer & audio mikes etc.,\


thanks

gurinder
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Old November 15th, 2005, 02:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Newcomb
I've used a Canon XL-1s for three years and I thought I was very happy with it... until last week when I bought a Sony DSR-400.

Whoa. Whole new world, I'm here to say.

LOL yeah well, with a 2/3 CCD block im sure its low light performance would poo on quite afew cameras... lol
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Old November 15th, 2005, 12:18 PM   #13
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Maybe its about time to raise the bar and step into the world of HD high end.
Next year Sony is introducing it HD XD cam complete with lens for around 25,000 dollars with half inch chips for superb low light performence. Also JVC will introduce its HD7000 series camera complete with 2/3 inch chips for about the same price. Of course with these cameras the idea of a shooting a Wedding for the same cost as standard definition goes out the window as one would have to add camera rental charges to the overall price. A deck that is capable of playing high definition video sells for 350 dollars and can be bundled as part of a premium wedding package.
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Old November 15th, 2005, 10:32 PM   #14
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Ouch! A $25,000 camera for doing weddings! There is way too much competition out there for most people to afford equipment that expensive these days. Sure, I'd love to have one, but $1500 wedding videos don't have much room for $1000/day rental fees...

I have worked with the FX1, XL1, VX2000, PD150, and PD170 for weddings. The XL1 had such poor low-light performance that it can't be used in ballrooms without a fairly powerful light onboard, even if the room lights are on full. I consider it functionally useless for weddings, except outdoors. ALL of the other Sony cameras in the PD150 family have about the same low-light performance and it is excellent. The PD170 has one extra gain setting, but I wouldn't even go near 18db gain on any camera. I limit my VX2000 to 12db and everything is just fine. The benefits of the PD cams over the VX models is in the extra custom settings and the audio inputs. The FX1 HDV camcorder is almost exactly 3 f-stops less sensitive than my VX2000 (but still way better than the XL1). It is barely useable in low-light, but it is fine with regular room lighting. When the lights go dim, you would need supplemental lights.
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