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Thread: What camera ? Low light priority

  1. #1

    Default What camera ? Low light priority

    Hey all im new here. Really struggling to find a camcorder that will provide me with good quality shots in poorly lit outdoor conditions.
    I guess the answer is simple : not many, not cheap.

    Im a member of various honda car clubs, and thought it would be great to be able to go to " meets " and be able to capture a few moments

    So, basically what is the best that i can get for say under £500 ( secondhand ) for recording cars , for example on dual carriageways and car parks with lighting just from the streetlamps. Distance will vary from say 1 metre to perhaps a couple of hundred metres . Audio quality and the low light quality, will be my number 1 priority.

    Am i going to be disappointed for that price range?
    Id rather have something fairly compact, with a screen ( this will be my first camera )
    I was actually looking at secondhand canon xm1's on ebay - but a few people said not that great for low light.

    Any opinions and comments genuinely appreciated !


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
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    A good DV SD camera will give better low light perf that a HDV camera as a rule. A standard def camera has larger pixels in the ccd so each gets more photons, more light so is more snesative than HDV.

    Really any of the last DV cameras were pretty snesative - check claimed specs as a guide.

    However filming cars at night is going to be a bit fiddly as the light levels change so much. I would aim to get a cmera that has some sort of easy to use manual exposure control - auto exposure amy cause distracting chnges in picture. Thats if you are really fussy.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the answer mate,
    One of the problems also is the cars headlights obviously, which will " blind " the camera as the car comes towards it, for a moment.
    Saying that, anything is better than my nokia e90 lol

    Yeah the specs could be used as a guidline, but for the low light levels, even where a camera has a certain ( lux ) rating, wont there be varriances between camera ( frame rate etc ) ?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    With a good camera - and they will all be good at that price - you will be able to shoot at full frame rate under low light.

    Cameras cant really be blinded - that was an effect of old old huge crt based cameras.

  5. Default

    Well, how about checking the camcorder ratings. I'm not sure if you'll like it but the expert reviews can help you make the right selection. You can know the pros and cons for each item by reading through them.

    Hope this helps.

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