Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Camera for low light › Hi pike – a lot goes into low
Hi pike – a lot goes into low light performance. The sensitivity of the sensor is one consideration – but its size is another. Lenses with wide apertures (somtimes called "fast") are better than "slow" lenses with narrower apertures. Lens aperture is usually expressed in "f-stops". The wider the aperture, the lower the f-stop and the "faster" the lens.
But the first question is, "What's your budget"? And the second is, "What do you mean by 'professional'"?
If you want a "professional" Hollywood motion picture camera with good low light performance, you can sell you house and car and get a $27,000 Canon C500 and a fast Angenieux Optimo zoom and make movies like this:
But I'm guessing you want to spend a little less money than that 🙂
For less than $2500, the best low light large sensor, zoom lens performance short of the Optimo is with the $995 Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, with the $799 Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 lens and the $429 Metabones Speed Booster, which takes the Sigma down a full stop to f1.4.
Here is what this camera/lens combination can do:
But it can do a good job indoors with other lenses as well. Here it is with an $1119 Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00843ERMW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00843ERMW&linkCode=as2&tag=videomaker22forum-20
and a faster $529 Panasonic 25mm f1.4 "prime" or non-zoom lens: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055N2L22/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0055N2L22&linkCode=as2&tag=videomaker22forum-20
If you don't need shallow depth of field or don't want to be bothered with interchangeable lenses and massive ProRes or RAW files, you can get a $2199 Canon XA20 pro camcorder. It will give you results like these in low light (please watch at 1080p):
If your budget is less than $1000, you should probably get something like the $799 (as of this post) Panasonic X920, which does a pretty good job in low light for a prosumer camcorder:
Hope this is helpful!