Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Miscellaneous Techniques › Filming a Doc, need advice :-) › Hi guys. I have to interje
Hi guys. I have to interject here, because I saw one of my pet peeves in action 🙂
Don’t be fooled by going with a camera just because it has a low Lux rating. Those can be deceiving. First of all, there’s no one universal rating guide for Lux ratings that crosses all camera manufacturers. That means that while Company A might consider a camera to be 3 Lux, Company B would consider the very same camera to be a 1 Lux camera. If you dn’t like the sound of that, here’s news that’s worse yet. Most manufacturers don’t even have a consistent Lux rating within their own brands. For example, Sony gives several of their consumer cameras "0 Lux ratings", but I’ve seen some of their prosumer cameras with larger apertures, bigger CCD chips, and better imaging processors that were labeled 3 Lux or worse. In essence, Lux ratings are a marketing tool to fool you into thinking a camera is hot stuff. Plus, if you’ve ever looked at the ultra fine print that accompanies Lux ratings, they usually say that to get that rating, your camera’s shutter has to be set at something like 1/8 or even 1/4, with -12db gain, and really, who’s going to want to shoot like that? It would be a grainy, trance-like video, but doggonnit, you could still make out their faces in the moonlight, assuming that is that neither the camera nor the person move much, as your shutter would be exposing for a whole 1/4 or 1/8 second, as opposed to, say, 1/30 or 1/60.
Anyway, my best advice is to ignore Lux ratings. Instead, look at the CCD chip size, aperture settings, etc. If you can get a 1/3" 3CCD setup with a 1.4 f-stop, you’ll have a decent camera for low light. This means that if you’re going to stay in the SD world, cameras like the XL-1 and 2, the Sony VX-2100, or the Panny DVX-100 series will be right up your alley. That is, if low light is your concern.
That being said, I also own GL-2’s and I like them plenty. They’re not as crisp in lower light, but they do the job. And as I firmly believe, you can get by with less than stellar video as long as you have phenomenal audio. If it were possible for me to destroy every built-in camcorder mic on this planet, I would do so. Virtually anything would be better.
Now, what’s the bbcode I was looking for… Oh yeah!