Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Other Camcorders › Low light performane of HD camcorders shooting in SD? › Max, XTR, You ‘get what yo
You ‘get what you get’ whether shooting with HD or SD as far as the light gathering chip goes. The only ways to get ‘more light in’ is to have a ‘faster lens’ and or have a chip that allows for higher gain. If you’re using one of these dinky consumer ‘bricks’ fuggeddaboutit! If you’re using a low-level to mid-level pro camera a wide-angle lens with its larger apeture (i.e. ‘faster’) will let a bit more light in.
However, what you’re ultimately dealing with is the video camera’s ISO rating which for all practical purposes is the camera’s ‘film speed’. The higher the ISO number the lower light levels you can shoot in. Most of the prosumer to mid-level pro cam’s run in the 300 – 340 ISO range and 2-3 levels of gain will ‘push’ the ISO up 2 – 2 1/2 stops. Of course more gain means more grain.
Right now, the kings of ‘low-light’ shooting are hands down the DSLR cams. Canon, Nikon and Sony have rigs that can boast a no-low grain image in the 3200 – 6400 ISO range. Upper limits for the 5D Mk II run around 24k ISO whereas Sony’s latest rig can hit (wait for it…) 100k ISO!
No consumer rig at low-light can get into the State where those cameras operate with a marriage visa and diplomatic creditials!