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Old Dec 20, 2006, 10:40 AM   #1
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:?I got a C40 and have a few days to make a decision if i want to keep it or return it. I really love it, exept i wish it had better OUTDOOR nightview ability. Indoor filming is OK, but it can't see much outside unless there's a lot of streetlights/lit up buildings etc. I live in a rural area, there is not much lights outside of my house.
I wonder how much better the C6 or the new C6A would be to film outside in the dark, would it be able to see a bright star, meteor, airplane lights, Ufo etc. in the dark sky?
Recently i saw samething strange in the sky at night and i wished i had a camera to capture it :-(
I heard the C6 and C6A is better in low light conditions, but how much better?
Could anyone upload some outdoor night time video samples please (C6 or C6A)? Would you try zooming in on a bright star too if it's possible? I don't know if it's worth to wait for the C6 or C6A price to go lower..? The new C6A sounds very exciting with its splashproof abilities, (even the price) but i'm not crazy about the design/look, and that it don't have a tripod hole :-(
I love the C40 especially for $200, but i keep thinking maybe i should wait till the others get cheaper... maybe i would be happier with them? This is a HUGE dillema for me, i don't want to regret my decision either way. Please help!
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 1:51 PM   #2
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The C40 and C6 both have image sensors with equivalent light sensitivity. At full resolution, when taking stills, theywill both record similar amounts of light. The difference iswith the so called "pixel mixture technology". In movie mode, or in stills Lamp mode (low res.), the C40 cancombine the readings of4 (2x2) pixels together whereas the C6 cancombine the readings of9 (3x3) pixels together to achieve higher ISO ratings. If you look at the technical specifications for the C40 and for the C6, you'll notice this is how they come up with their ISO ratings. For stillsthat don't usepixel mixture, they both report the same ISO ratings: 50-400 (manual). For movies that use pixel mixture, they simply multiply their base ISOs by the number of pixels being mixed, so ISO 200-1600 (4x) for the C40 and ISO 450-3600 (9x) for the C6.

So in theory the C6 should capture a little more than twice the light the C40 does while recording movies. In practice however, don't expect the C6 to recordin extreme lowlight because the CCD sensor still requires a minimum amount of light to register it. So, to answer your question, yes the C6 should recordmore light, but it's not a night vision camera, so don't expect much better results than what you are currently getting with your C40. It will not be a night and day difference.
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 5:43 PM   #3
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You seem to be asking for a video camera that can film in almost total darkness, and film stars? Short answer, the C6 might be a teeny bit better, but not enough to do what you want.

Longer answer, don't forget that since the frame rate is only 1/30 second (30 frames per second) that they camera can't use a very long exposure. Your choices are...

1) Nightshot, like Sony uses. That uses an infra red illuminator on the camera to film monochrome infra red video. Obviously your typical, ah, "UFO" is too far away for you to light it up with a tiny light on a camera.

2) Light amplification systems, like the military uses using photomultiplier tubes. Really expensive and monochrome.

3) A really big lens on your camera. Very expensive.

There aren't too many cameras to choose from to film stars, and they are all going to be super expensive.

You should probably read up on what you want to do before you spend thousands on equipment.

p.s. If you want to film astronomical things, use manual focus, the camera will not be able to focus in such low light.

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Old Dec 20, 2006, 7:41 PM   #4
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Thank you guys for all the infos :-)
I forgot to mention that i'm totally "retarded" when it comes to these types of technical infos :-)
Since i posted i was finally able to talk to a Sanyo sales rep. and she showered me with similar terms that i couldn't understand at all lol.
She was talking about the C40's light sensitivity being 1600..."something" (whatever that is) and the C6 and CA6 is 3600 "?" so the last 2 should be somewhat better in low light conditions, but not against the dark sky. Well that's NOT really what i got the camera for, but i know myself i would be pretty upset if i happen to see something up there, and camera in hand didn't even pick up as much as a "light-dot" in the darkness. Of course i don't expect to capture clear videos, but anything would be better than nothing in that situation :-) I tested the C40 on a busy street at night front of a store and it looked pretty acceptable compared to my last VHS camcorder years ago. I love the portability of this tiny wonder, even tough i'll need to seriously get familiar with the settings/and what they do/and the differences between them :-(
Reading technical infos areNOT my favorite thing, i don't want to become a professional, i would much rather just "aim and shoot" especially when something unexpected comes up LOL
This camera has a "fireworks" settings, so it should be able to pick up "light dots" in the dark sky from a distance, but i didn't have the chance to test it yet how it would come out.
I basically got the answer i wanted most, other than that i'm pretty happy with what this camera can do especially the portability!
Now my only dillema is... should i wait a little more till prices go even lower on the newer models... or will i regret returning this for a price ($200) that i'll never see anymore?
Products and prices are changing with a speed that is hard to keep up with. I don't want to drool over another much better model 6 months from now, i'd like something i'll be happy with for some years ahead. Any suggestion? If anyone knows where i could download a pdf.manual for the CA6splashproof model,i would appreciate it.
I just don't understand why is it lower in price if it's even weatherproof, isn't that a big PLUS? And it can also accept a 4GB memory card, i just wish the battery life would be longer.
I was toldby Sanyo theywon't be making longer lasting batteries because itwould be "larger" in size, but who knows what they come up with in the future...
I welcome any comments, but please remember that this is my first "digital camcorder thingy" i won't understand technical terms and such. Thanks you all :-)

PS. i'm still interested in some outdoor night video clips if anyone has some :-)

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Old Dec 23, 2006, 2:42 PM   #5
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As brachiopod was explaining, I think it's unreasonable to expect a device like this to film video without at least some light. I am currently in the UK onvacationand have been using it during the evenings on streets when during the dark and as long as there is lighting or street lights it seems to perform quite reasonably in my opinion.

As to the issue of the 4GB card, it's a non issue for me as I have found 41 minutes per GB plenty especially considering it can still take a 2GB card which means just over 80 minutes of video! The battery won't last that long so I only ever bother to get 1GB cards. Sure it would be nice if the battery lasted a bit longer but I can see Sanyo's point, it would then make the device more unwieldy. Any bigger and it would begin to lose the advantage of the small size afforded by the memory card. You may as well get a small HardDrive Camcorder then.
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