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Old Dec 10, 2010, 8:23 PM   #1
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Default Best video cam for low light?

Can anyone suggest a decent option to shoot HD video in low light? I've bought both a bloggie (which was horrible) and then recently, after reading good reviews, a Kodak Zi8 (which seems even worse in video quality than the Bloggie, somehow.)

I don't want to keep throwing money away.

Both the cams shoot video which is severely pixelated or fuzzy looking. The Kodak Zi8 shoots bad in even medium light situations. IS this par for the course with these cams? How much do I need to spend to get quality images which don't look pixelated?

Thank you in advance.
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 8:27 PM   #2
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Try the Canon HF20. It does good at night and you can get one for 400.
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 8:35 PM   #3
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Try the Canon HF20. It does good at night and you can get one for 400.
Thanks. I looked online and the prices I'm seeing are starting at $600 and going up to $900! Where can you find it for $400?
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 8:38 PM   #4
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I'm pretty sure you can get it from Ebay for that price, if you don't mind used.
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 9:07 PM   #5
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I'm pretty sure you can get it from Ebay for that price, if you don't mind used.
Thank you for the advice - I will keep this cam in mind. However, I try to avoid used and electronics via ebay.

Does anyone know of anything less than $400 new, or is the quality low-light I'm seeking nonexistent in lower priced cams?
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 10:09 PM   #6
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Although it's not a dedicated video camera, what about a Panasonic LX5? The sensor is larger than any you will find on a dedicated consumer camcorder and thus will offer better low light performance. However, it only shoots in 720p - you didn't state if that was sufficient or not. Otherwise, I would check B&H Photo or Amazon for some of the best prices on dedicated camcorders during the holidays.
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Old Dec 11, 2010, 2:03 AM   #7
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Although it's not a dedicated video camera, what about a Panasonic LX5? The sensor is larger than any you will find on a dedicated consumer camcorder and thus will offer better low light performance. However, it only shoots in 720p - you didn't state if that was sufficient or not. Otherwise, I would check B&H Photo or Amazon for some of the best prices on dedicated camcorders during the holidays.
Thanks, I'll look for some video samples. And yes, 720 is fine. This is for indoor use, only. I'll likely stick to the Kodak for outdoor use in bright light.

Do you have this camera? Do you know if the video format works with a mac and iMovie?

thanks, again.
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 4:07 PM   #8
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Thanks, I'll look for some video samples. And yes, 720 is fine. This is for indoor use, only. I'll likely stick to the Kodak for outdoor use in bright light.

Do you have this camera? Do you know if the video format works with a mac and iMovie?

thanks, again.
I don't have an LX5 but there are plenty of reviews and samples online.

iMovie '09 offers full support for AVCHD Lite

Here's a video sample w/ bright indoor lighting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Alq9jBXOzpA

.. and here's one in dark indoor lighting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54c4A707_Mc
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 6:29 PM   #9
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I don't have an LX5 but there are plenty of reviews and samples online.

iMovie '09 offers full support for AVCHD Lite

Here's a video sample w/ bright indoor lighting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Alq9jBXOzpA

.. and here's one in dark indoor lighting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54c4A707_Mc
Wow, the video on low light isn't much more impressive than the same test for the Kodak Zi8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6swv1bTO8LE Maybe I'm just expecting too much from this kind of cam or should consider lighting options.

thanks again for your help, everyone.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 5:05 PM   #10
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Wow, the video on low light isn't much more impressive than the same test for the Kodak Zi8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6swv1bTO8LE Maybe I'm just expecting too much from this kind of cam or should consider lighting options.

thanks again for your help, everyone.
The LX5 low light video is far better than the Zi8 but indeed you still can't expect miracles with these types of cameras. The LX5 is considerably larger but it's still small. A DSLR or even a micro 4/3 would certainly do much better in low light but the cost goes up exponentially. A Canon EOS 5D for example goes for about $2000. A Panasonic GH2 goes for about $1200. The GF2 is due out in January.
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