Low Light Poor Quality Does anyone else experience a significantly lower quality recording in low-light conditions? For me the recordings are grainy and the colors vary wildly. Blacks for example range from black to purple to blue. Is this a defect in my camera, or is this standard operation? The picture quality in well-lit areas, especially outdoors in sunlight is amazing.
I have not tried night-time recording, but I will now that you mentioned it. My experience with poor quality in low light is in my basement. I have two lamps with 60-watt bulbs in a fair-sized room. The result is a grainy image and inconsistent color rendering.
I guess what you describe is similar with most camcorders, however the HF11/HF10/HF100 has several profiles. I found those profiles to be very helpful. F.e if I put the HF11 camcorder into night mode I get the grainy stuff you describe, but when I use another mode (Portrait) than its pretty good. Its almost perfect in Fireworks mode with one exception that its delaying the shutter and using a long time exposure effect to smoothen the light. So obviously thats for fireworks very good but will look like you record a sports event with long time exposure, so moving fast in the fireworks mode is not recommended. On the HF11 I found the Portrait mode to cover almost anything a consumer would like to record. For other things there are the profiles. I would expect that it works similar with your camcorder.
I agree - this is NOT a good low light video camera (unless there are some settings I haven't tried - such as portrait or ?). I've been shooting with the default values - outdoors the clips are breathtakingly real - indoors in low light - not so good. OK, but grainy. I hope there are some optional settings for indoors - I haven't experimented with it enough. Almost all of my shots have been outdoor sporting events except for one indoor wedding for a friend - and some of the lower light shots came out a bit grainy and the camera did "hunt" at times to focus. But even indoors, when the lights were turned-up in the reception hall - the videos turned out perfect! But on the dance floor with the lights turned down, the movies came out a tad grainy - but not horrible as I've seen on some older video cameras. It's just the colors weren't nearly as vivid as in good light.
Take a look at all my videos uploaded on my youtube channel. Everything from nightsight to sunset and every hour of the day and every lighting condition. This will show you how the HDR-SR12 can handle low light (and everything else). www.youtube.com/jgong8638
Watched and that is not exactly what I meant by low light since there were a few light sources. I meant if you are in your living room at night with a 40 watt light bulb in a lamp or even just a dimly lit area the fuzziness does occur and is grainy. Try taping something that comes from just the light coming from your television in your living room and you'll see what I mean. The lighting you had was the kind the camera is good at and I have used it like that before.
I agree with j-rob. Does anyone know how the newer model (HDR-XR500V) performs in low-light situations? They claim the Exmor-R sensor helps with these situations. It's too bad there's no easy or cost-effective way to upgrade. I'm not in the position to spend another $1k+ for a new camcorder that handles low-light.