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F330 in low light

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Thomas Hughes
F330 in low light
on Mar 16, 2007 at 4:59:29 am

I've got the F330 with a Fuji 17X standard def lens. The camera does very poorly in low light. Is there any reason to think it might do better in low light with the Fuji 17X HD lens? Thank you.



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Thomas Hughes
Re: F330 in low light
on Mar 16, 2007 at 5:00:14 am

Also, does the F350 do any better in low light? Thank you.



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Nigel Cooper
Re: F330 in low light
on Mar 16, 2007 at 11:57:58 pm

330 and 350 are the same in low-light i.e. the same as HDCAM and most other high end HD camcorders. I'm afraid this is the nature of HD. So many more pixels crammed into a small CCD block; something has got to give.

In SD land there are 720x480 pixels, in HD land there are 1920x1080 (or 1440x1080) and this means all those extra pixels struggle slightly to absorb the light hence they need more light to work.

The lens won't make any difference, but I can tell you now that the lens you are using is not showing the camera to its optimum; it is a poor lens you have there and the camera is simply wasted with a cheap SD lens like that. My guess is a Sony Z1 would produce better images than you would ever get with that lens stuck on the front of such a great work of art e.g. the F330. Try the Fujinon XS17.5.5BRM instead, still cheap (by HD standards), but a really superb lens that is about 100 times sharper than what you are using.

Panasonic get around the low-light issue by using 960 x 540 CCD chips (basically standard def ones) and using so-called pixel-shifting technology to up-res them. According to Panny, this yields better results in low-light as well as great HD images; not sure about that personally. From what I've seen, the low light is only a quarter of a stop better than HDCAM/XDCAM HD, not the 2 stops that the Panny blurb would have you believe. Also, it is a known fact that pixel-shifting softens the image.

Personally I'd rather the slightly questionable low-light capabilities of proper HD camera that yield superior HD images all the time; not soft ones.

Perhaps 2 years from now, Sony and/or Panasonic, JVC perhaps will come out with CCD blocks that work perfectly for filming bats in coal-mines with +46db kicked in, until then, this is just one of the banes of HD as it continues to evolve.



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yves Chauvel
Re: F330 in low light
on Mar 17, 2007 at 9:48:34 am

This is the very nature of HD, shooting in low lights conditions yields poor results, as compared to SD.

Using the proper HD lens, may improve your image. And don't forget, do not use the F330 or F350 right out of the box, but tweak the menus instead, until you get satisfactory results.
You'll find usefull guidelines on the Sony site called shooting tips:
http://bssc.sel.sony.com/BroadcastandBusiness/markets/10014/shootingTips.sh...

Issue 07, is probably the first one you've got to try. but this is just my opinion.

Yves Chauvel


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Nigel Cooper
Re: F330 in low light
on Mar 17, 2007 at 9:53:51 am

Quite right, out of the box is not amazing and can be improved upon.

If you just want to get going and want a better starting point try:

Cine4 (more latitude and better knee than default, doesn't blow out highs).
Switch on Hi-Sat to kick in more punch to colours.
Depending on your taste, reduce sharpness setting to -10.

Though latter can be left at default zero if you are happy with it.


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Thomas Hughes
Re: F330 in low light
on Mar 17, 2007 at 12:48:43 pm

Thank you, Nigel, very helpful.


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JerryZ@BH
Re: F330 in low light
on Mar 20, 2007 at 4:50:37 pm

If you're using a 2/3 to 1/2 lens adapter I believe it will cost you some light as well.

jerryz@bhphotovideo.com


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Juan Martinez, Sony Electronics
Re: F330 in low light
on May 3, 2007 at 5:54:17 pm

In addition to some of the excellent recommendations posted, you may also want to experiment with the frame accumulation mode.

Juan Martinez


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