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  1. Hi all,

    I'm looking for a camcorder that will record a descent picture in low light.
    My definition of low light is outside at night with street lights, porch lights, christmas lights....etc. I also want one that I can mount a small light on. Do not want one that has a built in light, because I heard they drain the cams battery way fast and are not that bright. Firewire/USB1/USB2/Memstick/Stills do not matter to me as much as the low light campabilities....Not the night time (green) settings though..I heard a lux 2-4 was the best

    So anyone have have a suggestion on which camcorder to get based on low light recording?

    Thanks
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I use the FixEverythingThat'sWrongWithThisVideo() filter. Works perfectly every time.
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  2. No Longer Mod tgpo's Avatar
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    My suggestion. Not a Mini-DV camera. They suck in low light conditions. I know that many have low light settings, but you lose all the quality and you still can't see.
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  3. suggestions?

    Currently I have a Sony Hi8 and it's low light really stinks
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
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  4. Member
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    I know I was surprised to read in a number of places that analogue cameras do better in low light than digital (affordable consumer models).

    People commented they had better results with old vhs & svhs cams (in those lighting situations) than the lastest they'd bought.

    If it's for just a few uses, do you know anyone with an older camera you could borrow just to test? Or is it for fairly frequent, on-going use?
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1
    The Rogue Pixel: Pixels are like elephants. Every once in a while one of them will go nuts.
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  5. Originally Posted by Gees
    I know I was surprised to read in a number of places that analogue cameras do better in low light than digital (affordable consumer models).

    People commented they had better results with old vhs & svhs cams (in those lighting situations) than the lastest they'd bought.

    If it's for just a few uses, do you know anyone with an older camera you could borrow just to test? Or is it for fairly frequent, on-going use?
    Mainly need it for 1 night......I have about 3 week to find and test one.
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I use the FixEverythingThat'sWrongWithThisVideo() filter. Works perfectly every time.
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    Oh! :cO I'd do the borrow-borrow. :c) You must have lots of friends, right? :c)

    Your best smile. Lots of flattery. Should work. :c)
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1
    The Rogue Pixel: Pixels are like elephants. Every once in a while one of them will go nuts.
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  7. Originally Posted by Gees
    Oh! :cO I'd do the borrow-borrow. :c) You must have lots of friends, right? :c)

    Your best smile. Lots of flattery. Should work. :c)
    Problem is, I don't know anyone that has a new or old one LOL

    I only have one friend that even knows how to work a computer
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I use the FixEverythingThat'sWrongWithThisVideo() filter. Works perfectly every time.
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  8. Originally Posted by Gees
    I know I was surprised to read in a number of places that analogue cameras do better in low light than digital (affordable consumer models).

    People commented they had better results with old vhs & svhs cams (in those lighting situations) than the lastest they'd bought.

    If it's for just a few uses, do you know anyone with an older camera you could borrow just to test? Or is it for fairly frequent, on-going use?
    I have a HI-8 camera.

    If the Sun is blaring outside and its mid day it still needs:






    ..to see anything.

    (In conclusion, Hi-8s suck in low light(at least mine), or any light)
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  9. contrarian rallynavvie's Avatar
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    The Sony DSR-250 I tried seemed to work pretty well in low light conditions (dusk). I believe it's a 2 lux, though the rep told me low light worked better without image stabilization turned on. Dunno why that would be.
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    I've got a Sony DCR-TR8000e Digital 8 camcorder that has a program setting for "Twilight". This is intended for use under moonlight, street lighting, fireworks, etc. It gives the correct exposure on any bright light sources so shots of a firework display came out perfectly (I'd post a still from the video but haven't got time at the moment). Under these conditions it works really well and only starts to go noisy when there is hardy any light at all.

    I think this setting is included on most Sony Digital 8 and MiniDV camcorders.
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  11. I have a Canon GL-2 that works great in low lighting conditions. Maybe more expensive than what you had in mind (about $2000) but it does the job quite well.
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  12. Originally Posted by rallynavvie
    The Sony DSR-250 I tried seemed to work pretty well in low light conditions (dusk). I believe it's a 2 lux, though the rep told me low light worked better without image stabilization turned on. Dunno why that would be.
    Are you talking about the Digital8 DCR-TRV250?
    How does that little light on the front do? I heard it's like shinning a pinlight on someone. Does it really seem like that? I was actually think about buying this one or the 350 model for another $50 extra

    Also, does anyone have the DCR-TRV19?
    How good do these work in low light?
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
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  13. OK, I think I've found a few to choose from.


    Sony TRV250 ($375) digital8
    Panasonic DV53 ($375) miniDV
    Panasonic DV103 ($425) miniDV
    Sony TRV19 ($575) miniDV

    All seem to have about the same reviews and such. Does anyone have one of these camcorders? How good do they work in low light?

    Thanks for your help

    BTW, Should I post this question in anothe forums? Say capture or something?
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I use the FixEverythingThat'sWrongWithThisVideo() filter. Works perfectly every time.
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  14. contrarian rallynavvie's Avatar
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    No, the DSR-250, as in the little brother to the DSR-500. They're professional digital camcorders accepting both MiniDV and DVCAM tapes. The 250 is bulkier than consumer cameras but not as much so as the 500. The Canon XL-1 is better if you want portable, though I haven't heard how well it can do in the dark.
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  15. Originally Posted by rallynavvie
    No, the DSR-250, as in the little brother to the DSR-500. They're professional digital camcorders accepting both MiniDV and DVCAM tapes. The 250 is bulkier than consumer cameras but not as much so as the 500. The Canon XL-1 is better if you want portable, though I haven't heard how well it can do in the dark.
    OH...it's a little out of my price range
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I use the FixEverythingThat'sWrongWithThisVideo() filter. Works perfectly every time.
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  16. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    My JVC S-VHS-C does really well.
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  17. Here are some guidelines...

    1) Number of CCDs. Given the same size CCDs, 3 chippers will do better, since they can sense 3x the light. But they're pricey - Panasonic just cracked the $1000 barrier with their new one, but it's not great for a 3 chipper in low light, for reason #2.

    2) CCD size. Older models used bigger chips; this is why some REALLY old analog models do better than new digital ones. Most new cams use 1/6" CCDs that are very crisp (megapixel & greater, some of them) but don't sense a very large amount of incoming light. This is why my older TRV120 D8 cam actually does better in low light than some of the smaller DV cams of its day (and today). Its resolution isn't great, though. Even 3 chippers have this problem. The venerable Sony TRV900 had 3 1/4" chips. The new 950 uses 1/6" ones. Guess what? Low light performance has suffered. And most of the lower priced 3 chippers are like this, using 1/6" chips. Want great low light? Buy a Sony VX2000 with 3 1/3" CCDs! Nothing under $3000 beats it.

    3) Optics size - bigger lenses can help.
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    What about a external light with it's own battery??
    The Sony range of cams have this as an option
    http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProduc...20DW2&Dept=dcc

    The only disadvantage is the extra .5k lump attached to your cam at the end of your arm - but it's fine if your tripoding...
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