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Old Jan 1, 2007, 3:02 PM   #1
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Hi! I just bought a EX-S600 and took it to some party. I've tested the video feature of the camera in a restaurant/club/lounge environment. Compared to my Sony miniDV camcorder, the picture is really dark to the point it's unusable. For instance, in dim light, I've tried to film my friend across the table and his face turned out almost black. There's no contrast in the picture or whatsoever.

I love the size of the camera. It's convenient enough to carry it in bars and partys and it's discreete enough to not embarrass people. However, the video quality at night is so miserable that I'm thinking about returning the camera and asking for a refund.

Since a picture is worth 1000 words, I've uploaded an "example" of what I mean. I've just uploaded it on YouTube so it might take some time before it's available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sW3_2fYbxU

1) Is there any way to improve the EX-S600 low light sensitivity so the video is usable? By improving the sensivity, I don't want to trade off picture sharpness (no blurry video).

2) Maybe my expectations for such camera are set too high. Is there any camera/hybrid (like the Xacti or maybe Panasonic SDR...) that is sleek enough to fit in a pocket and deliver decent low light video?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 4:28 PM   #2
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I checked the video in the YouTube you presented and accordingly I think the Casio S600 took an accurate 'real life' light situation/ambiance of the place. My opinion is based on the extensive use of candle lights(on each tables)and indirect lighting in the ceilingas shown in your video. Try taking a video of a well- lighted place like your kitchen or living room at night. If it is still producing dark videos then your S600 is defective. Also the video you took is not noisy at all. The Panasonic SDR and Sanyo Xacti are not as good as the Casio according to a comparative report I read from a magazine. This is a case of "expectation set too high," I think.
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 5:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for your input. So, according to you, the video from YouTube is not that bad, given the poor lighting of the place? It's too bad I could not bring my Sony camcorder along (at the club place) just to compare footage with the Casio.

It seems that pointing to a well lit subject (even in a dark environment) improves things a lot. You mentionned a review stating that a Xacti or even a Panasonic SDR cam would not perform any better? That means exchanging the Casio for either camera would not bring any improvement? Do you recall the magazine issue or even better, a hyperlink? Thanks.
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 5:53 PM   #4
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You might make a point of taking both cameras to the same place at the same time. Get a friend to shoot the same scene as you (right next to you) at the same time. Then see how they both turn out.....it may be fine, but you'll find out for sure then.
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 7:09 PM   #5
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I read the comparative report from a magazine while waiting in a dentist office. Unfortunately, I can't rememberwhich magazine I was reading. But in that report the Panasonic SDR150 was the best among the video cameras reviewed. Butanother review of the Panasonic SDR 150 will tell you that video capability of this camera at low- light is very dissapointing http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...der-Review.htmThis camera is over $1000.00 while S600 can be had for less than $300.00.


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Old Jan 1, 2007, 7:12 PM   #6
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Sorry, the hyperlink does not work. But just gogglelize: Panasonic SDR 150 and you should be able to get more than one review. Good luck.
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Old Jan 9, 2007, 8:58 AM   #7
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Well, guess what? I did some tests with my Sony PC109 (HC40 clone) miniDV camcorder and my EX-S600. I filmed some poorly lit objects and furniture in one room in my basement. Incidentally, one of the light bulbs died just before the test. So, I had about 40 W lighting in that room. I filmed the same scene with both my Sony and Casio cams. My miniDV cam clearly stands out! I'm going to post a comparison on both on YouTube, but overall:

-Picture on the Sony is much less "blocky", or pixelated than the Casio. It seems also that it has better resolution. I guess this is due to the fact the Casio uses some kind of compression (MPEG4) while the Sony is almost compression free.

-Picture on the Sony is smoother than the Casio.

-Most importantly: low light sensitivity is quite better on the Sony. Even in dim lit areas, I'm able to distinguish the objects whereas the Casio would only show dark spots. It seems that the Casio is struggling in that area.

-Picture on the Sony is less grainy than on the Casio.

Please bear in mind that my "matchbox" camcorder (the Sony) has average video quality and still, it almost blows away the Casio. In addition, the Sony has the "nightshot plus" mode, which allows me to film very dim scenes (o.k., it's monochrome, but still!).

O.k., maybe I'm asking too much from such device (the Casio). I'm thinking about returning it to get a Sanyo Xacti C6 (or CA6). Although it's a bit bulkier, I'm willing to accept that tradeoff given a noticeably better performance in low light. How is this in that regard? I know of of you mentionned that the C6 would be less efficient than the Exilim, but is this really the case? Thanks again.
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