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Old Apr 20, 2009, 6:51 PM   #1
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Hi all,

I'm confronting a veritable mystery. According to the Xacti spec sheets, the Low Light Sensitivity of the Xacti's (HD700, HD800, CG10) has been gettting worse with each new model.

Quoting from the spec sheets:

HD700
Low-light sensitivity
9 lux (Auto mode, 1/30 sec.), 3 lux (High-sensitivity mode, 1/15 sec., Lamp mode 1/15 sec.)

HD800
Minimum Illumination for Video
Approx. 12 lux (AUTO mode, 1/30 sec.), Approx. 3 lux (High-sensitivity and Lamp mode, 1/15 sec.)

CG10
Low light sensitivity (video)
Approx. 16 lux (Auto mode, 1/30 sec.)
Approx. 4 lux (High-sensitivity/ Lamp mode, 1/15 sec.)



Am I crazy or are the camera's getting worse at low light situations? Is there some mitigating factor that makes these numbers misleading?

Please help clarify if possible. I'm looking to pull the trigger on a new Xacti.

Thanks!! Ogún Niké

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Old Apr 20, 2009, 7:46 PM   #2
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It's most likely the move to CMOS that's part of the reason although the HD700 wasn't exactly that great either.
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Old Apr 20, 2009, 8:39 PM   #3
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Sorry for my ignorance of the subject but how would a move to CMOS negatively impact the low light capabilities?

Most importantly, if the cameras are really getting worse in this aspect, why would the company choose to build a camera that's worse in one of the key areas of concern for potential buyers?

I mean, this isn't some niggling issue like whether the lens cap is any good or whether the device should ship with a hand-strap. Low light performance is one of the most important criteria for any buyer.

I'm confused.

Please adivse. Thanks! Ogún Niké
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Old Apr 20, 2009, 8:56 PM   #4
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Don't know about the difference between the HD700 and HD800 but isn't the CG10 the least expensive of all those listed? Would explain why it itself has a lower sensitivity.



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Old Apr 20, 2009, 9:05 PM   #5
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Yes, it is...though not by much any more. You can pick up the HD700 for $229 at FotoConnection.

Personally, I love having a docking station... so I'm leaning towards the older models.

Still, I found a CG10 for $150 and am thinking of buying it on the premise that 2+ years of development must have produced some improvements. That's why I was so dismayed to read these low light numbers.
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Old Apr 20, 2009, 10:07 PM   #6
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ogun_nike wrote:

Quote:
Sorry for my ignorance of the subject but how would a move to CMOS negatively impact the low light capabilities?
Well generally CMOS is not as good in low light as a CCD. Of course this is only a generality as High End Digital SLR's also use CMOS and have very good low light ability but then again the Sensor area is much larger than those found on low end devices anyway.

Quote:
Most importantly, if the cameras are really getting worse in this aspect, why would the company choose to build a camera that's worse in one of the key areas of concern for potential buyers?
Quote:
I mean, this isn't some niggling issue like whether the lens cap is any good or whether the device should ship with a hand-strap. Low light performance is one of the most important criteria for any buyer.
I know it is annoying. I guess it's related to cost cutting as why else would they do it? I assume they are trying to get away with as small a sensor as they can before it affects their sales significantly.

Quote:
Yes, it is...though not by much any more. You can pick up the HD700 for $229 at FotoConnection.
Not a fair comparison, you have to compare original MSRP. The HD700 was originally $599 as against the CG10's $199.

I would like to know why the TH1 uses a smaller sensor losing the ability to take decent sized still shots. Did they need a smaller sensor because of focal length to allow a 30x zoom? I notice the FH1 which has a larger sensor, to allow for 8MP, also has a shorter zoom.
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Old Apr 21, 2009, 12:33 AM   #7
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Thanks for the reply rgycam. That's sobering and very disappointing. I guess I was hoping that I just wasn't understanding the numbers.

Are there any possible mitigating factors (f stop, sensor size,etc.) that might even the playing field such that the CG10 performs as well as the HD700 in low light? I mean, is there some other attribute of the CG10 that might compensate for the terrible 16 lux minimum?

Please advise. Thanks! Ogún Niké
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Old Apr 21, 2009, 12:34 AM   #8
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Also, as for the price, I wasn't talking about MSRP...I'm comparing today's prices because that's the market I'm shopping in.
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Old Apr 21, 2009, 5:48 PM   #9
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ogun_nike wrote:
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Also, as for the price, I wasn't talking about MSRP...I'm comparing today's prices because that's the market I'm shopping in.
Yes but I think Rev2010 was referring to difference in the original cost of the HD700. This in itself would partly explain the difference in sensitivity as the low end CG10 would be more likely to have had cost cutting measures applied to it. Obviously, now the HD700 is available for a lot less, if it was a better camcorder, it would make sense to get it.

However, having owned an HD700, the CG10 doesn't look that bad to me, so I am not convinced yet that the HD700 would necessarily be the better deal. One of the problems I had with my HD700 was that the flash pictures were not as good as I was expecting and sometimes would actually be quite noisy which was odd! I prefer the photos that my C40 takes. Hopefully the CG10 is better in this regard at least.
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Old Apr 21, 2009, 5:55 PM   #10
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Yes, I see the logic of comparing MSRPs... that can usually explain the market segment the manufacturer is aiming for. There are some exceptions to this rule where the cost of technology is decreasing fast enough to drop below previous models' high prices while simultaneously increasing performance, features, etc. Laptops and MP3 players are a good example of this. Camping gear, too.

With re: to the camera, I'm more concerned with the video. Having owned the C5 for a long time, I find that I use it for video 90% of the time.

I'm still baffled by Sanyo's decision toworsen the low-light performancebut I'm sure that it has to do with cutting the price-point and that lots of market research went into it.
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