I’ve been using my brother’s old Canon 400D for a while, but it’s pretty hard to get beam shots without noise. I can either expose it long, but then the hot spot becomes saturated. I hold back on the exposure times and it gets noisy. Maybe I’m doing it wrong… I calculated it to have a 1.05” sensor (CMOS APS-C 22.2 × 14.8 mm (1.6× conversion factor) from wikipedia )
But anyway what kind of camera can I get which can record great 1080p video and take nice pictures. Ability for manual control required, but most cameras allow for this. I have extremely little experience with cameras - still a uni student (similar to a college kid for people in the states)so not really looking for expensive DLSRs with expensive lenses. So far budget is undefined, but wouldn’t want to spent more than $600.
I’ve looked previously at the Sony RX100 Mk2 which looks really fun to play with and has quite a large 1” sensor. DBCstm mentioned the G1X Mk2, but I can’t find it anywhere for cheaper than B&H which lists it at $799. I can get the RX100 Mk2 for $580.
Or should I just go for a cheaper DSLR like the Nikon D3100 ($380) or D3200 ($470)? There’s too many choices and I have no idea what to pick.
Which Canon lens do you have currently? If you have some experience with a Canon and have a Canon lens, you can also have a look at some older or used models, such as the 60D. It does great video and has excellent control over various parameters.
I think the 400D should get perfectly acceptable night pictures with the right settings. What ISO / Shutter / Aperture settings are you using? The 400D has full manual control. If you still get noise on lowest ISO (100 on your camera) then push out the aperture to wide open.
A saturated hotspot means your shutter speed is too long. Try to shorten it until you notice it accurately reflects reality.
This camera isn’t that bad. When I do my videos, I use my iPhone 5s for the 1080p High def stuff and borrow a manual camera with a wider lens for the beamshots. I’ve found that you can lock your focus and exposure while doing video by pressing and holding the screen where you want to focus. But like everyone said lower your iso. Then set a light up and take several pictures, tweaking your aperture by one stop every time to find that sweet spot. If that doesn’t give you enough control you can also tweak your shutter settings (which I often do). I usually set a 200 iso and leave the aperture wide open depending on the lens. Then I take a series of photos with slowing down the shutter, until I find one that I like. You’ll find that a setting that works for 10-100 lumens won’t work for 500 lumens or 1000 lumens. After you find something you like in a picture then compare it to how you actually perceive with your own eyes. What I’m getting at, is that some of the long exposure shots, while they look nice, aren’t really a good representation of the performance of a flashlight. Unless your going for art over utility.