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Canon VIXIA HF r800

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I realize that this is an old thread, but I think a lot of people who are new to this topic may read it, so I'm adding my 20 cents (allowing for inflation). I have a couple of Canon camcorders in this series. The less expensive models are amazing for what they offer at their price; they're a great way to get started and to explore whether or not one is really interested in video recording.

However, their real weakness is their really poor low-light performance--where "low light" includes many average-level, available-light situations--not just nighttime or dimmed house lights. It's quite "noisy", mainly because of the very small video sensor being used (one of the major cost-savers in this line). This, to me, is far more important than whether the camera is 4K or not. I upgraded to the G21 model a couple of years ago and it produces much nicer-looking video all around.

Don't get me wrong--I think that high-quality 4K video is amazing. But I'm happy to do without it, for the sake of (relatively) affordable, high-quality HD. For me, the specification of a camera's image sensor size is more important than how many pixels per frame it records.

--best regards

I got one of these in this series. I usually just run in auto mode outside with good results. Which setting would I need to fiddle with to improve low light performance?

That was my point--you can't get good low-light performance out of this model, because its sensor is simply too small.

I liked the camcorder quite well in other respects, but there's no getting around this limitation.

--best regards

Barry M:
My kid uses one of these (church livestream gig), so we've been looking through the manual.  Apologies for flogging this resurrected horse.

It has a recommended illumination of 100 lux or more, which sounds decently gloomy (roughly thunderstorm coming, get inside quick light), but I'm sure the quality suffers as DSatz experienced. It's okay in a daylit interior, though. There are a couple of goofy special modes for really low light (0.4lx and 5lx) that use slower shutter speeds, but, yeah, sensor size.  The manual's up-front about the drawbacks of the low light modes:

* Moving subjects may leave a trailing afterimage.
* Picture quality may not be as good as in other modes.
* White points may appear on the screen.
* Autofocus may not work as well as in other modes.Mic input seems to work okay for the streaming purpose, though with the usual gain staging and setting levels in the camera issues. There are "Audio Scene" presets, which sound dubious:  Standard, Music, Speech, Forest and Birds, Noise Suppression.

Manual's available here:

Now that I have a child, I'm in the market for a video camera for the first time.  The initial use will be for things like Christmas morning so that we don't have to live the morning through our phones capturing video clips.  My family enjoys being able to rewatch things like this from the late 80s and early 90s, which were captured in their entirety on an old VHS camcorder and which I recently converted to digital for the family.  In the future I can imagine using it to capture things like sporting events.  After doing some quick research before Thanksgiving, I had settled on targeting the Vixia HF G50, and was hoping to find a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale from its very consistent $1,100 price point.  Alas, it never went on sale, so I haven't rushed to purchase it full price yet since we still have a few weeks before Christmas.  For those that know more about this than I do, I'm wondering what the opinion is of this camera.  How is its low-light performance compared to the ones that were originally discussed in this thread?  Do I need to pay more for 4k with adequate low-light capability?  By low light, I'm referring to standard home interior lighting, not trying to record concerts with it.  I know there's debate about the necessity of 4k vs. 1080.  I decided to target 4k because of the potential to zoom/crop sections of the video and maintain HD (assuming I find time to do that stuff), and also out of an assumption that I would be somewhat futureproofing as 4k becomes more standard.


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