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Old Sep 29, 2004, 9:26 AM   #1
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Hello, I'm looking to get a camcorder in the near future for filming wildlife. I need a camcorder with a long optical zoom and was considering the Panasonic PV-GS15 but have read a few reviews about it not having great low-light ability. This is a must for me since most of my filming would take place early morning and late in the day (low-light hours). My budget for a cam is no more than $800 US dollars.

Here is my question. If I get a cam with a lower optical zoom (10X or 16X power) and add a lens on it to increase my optical zoom range, what can I expect. Will there be a degrading of video quality? Will my low-light ability decrease? Will autofocus still function? What all do I need to be aware of? I don't have a clue. Please, anyone knowledgeable in this area that can provide me with any info would be greatly appreciated. Go ahead and drop some knowledge me!

Thank you all for your time! I do appreciate it! Take Care
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Old Sep 29, 2004, 11:03 AM   #2
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A little off topic for this site but...

First you have to find out *if* you can add a lens to the camcorder...some camcorders may not have a standard filter thread on the end for a lens (it may look like a thread, but it may merely be decorative rings which help with dispersing light). Find out exactly what size thread this camcorder has (measured in mm, just like camera filters).

You have to remember that adding more glass in front of the lens means a drop in light...also when you zoom in you are letting in less light.

I suggest you get the camcorder and play with it first before buying extra lenses for it (although it's good to think about it now). Here's a site that I usually recommend for digital camera lenses, which also has video lenses:
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Old Oct 4, 2004, 5:15 PM   #3
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I have a Sony MiniDV which has great low level light capability (I think). Its so good that I used it in churches to see paintings which were in shadow and too dark to make out with the naked eye. However, it that mode averaged the light over several seconds so it only really worked for still subjects. Unfortunately, its real still shot ability (to memory stick vs. tape) is terrible, which is why I'm looking around here. I was able to add a Sony 2x converter to it. It was a number of years ago, but the cost was about twice what you specified. On think I found is I could check low light cability in the store if I could find an area of heavy shadow and use that.

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