New Owner's First Impressions:
Jon Bushey from August, 2001

Low Light Sensitivity

This feature is highly touted and important to event and wedding videographers, but I do not use a camera in low light. If we are setting up for a corporate shoot, or a commercial, or a documentary, or even for a news event -- we set up lights. Our crews make sure there is plenty of light to insure we can chose from a variety of shutter speed and apertures. More light not only gives you more choices but better control. More light generally improves the quality of the picture. In the rare cases where you do have too much light, it is easy to control with a ND or by techniques like flagging. Okay, now I am getting off my soapbox and getting on with the story. The following are pictures taken with an old model XL1 and the new model. The lighting remained the same. This test compares shots taken at various exposures with the XL1S with a "control" picture taken with the old model. Find the picture below that is the closest match to the single picture above.

1/60 f2.4
1/60 f2.4


1/60 f2.4     1/60 f.2.8


1/60 f4.0     1/60 f5.6

It looks to me like the new camera had to be stopped down about two stops to match the brightness of the old camera. That means the new cameras are two stops more sensitive. Remember, two stops is equivalent to fours times the amount of light. So it looks to me like the new model can shoot in ONE FOURTH the light of the old model and get the same results.

Note that the test above did not include using the NEW gain settings. Kick in the new gain settings and the new model can shoot in about one tenth the amount of light. Here some samples of the gain:

1/60 f2.4
this is the best the XL1 could do, every thing is wide open


XL1S at 1/60 f1.8 -- this was normal exposure


XL1S at 1/60 f1.8 +18db gain


XL1S at 1/60 1.8 +30db gain


Go back to Part One of Jon Bushey's XL1S Review
Move on to Part Three of Jon Bushey's XL1S Review
Move on to Part Four of Jon Bushey's XL1S Review
Back to the XL1S Owner's Reports Menu
Written by Jon B. Bushey
Thrown together by Chris Hurd

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