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  • Filming At Night or in Low Light?

    Posted by Gareth Williams on May 8, 2024 at 11:30 am

    Hi Everybody, I don’t know what forum this should go in but can anybody recommend a filming device that can film at night without a light? I mean low light like a gig in a pub or club or outside at night where there’s some lights. Not total darkness like you’re filming wildlife out in the middle of nowhere. Preferably something quite portable.

    I use a Panasonic HC-V770 which has great picture at night but when you film in night mode you get a bloody great light beaming across the room or wherever you are. Any ideas or suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks Gareth

    Ben Balser replied 20 hours, 26 minutes ago 4 Members · 13 Replies
  • 13 Replies
  • Eric Santiago

    May 8, 2024 at 12:55 pm

    I am not sure what look your going for.

    If you cant use a camera that works decent in low light then I don’t know what else to tell you other than you need lights period.

    Is this an environment shot?

    Please explain your final look.

  • Gareth Williams

    May 8, 2024 at 4:01 pm

    Hi Eric, thanks for your reply. I play in a band and there are a whole raft of things I want to do without this bloody light! Including shooting some scenes for music videos with us outside at night, filming us playing in a club or pub and filming from inside my car. Like dash-cam footage of the journey to the gig etc. You definitely don’t need lights. I’ve seen people filming on telephones and getting perfectly good visibility without a light beaming out of it.

    I’ll keep searching to see what I can find! Thanks again.

  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    May 8, 2024 at 4:17 pm

    Hey Gareth,

    The Panasonic camera that you are using is OK. But not going to be much more than that.
    If you are streaming video, it will be great as it comes with wifi.

    But it is only HD on a small imaging chip. Even with all the digital fun stuff the camera can do, it will remain a comressed HD file out-put. As such, in can be difficult to do a grade, without the picture falling apart.

    Most Mobile Phones recording to 4K (iPhone can do ProRes 4K) is likely to give you a better image.

    There are several ways around this, but for starters you may want to look at 4K phone/SLR-camera/video camera.

    If you plan your music video out beforehand, there is a number of ways in which you can shhot the stage performance and mix with external shots – but it is all about getting detailed in planning, whilst using the “limitations” to get creative.


    PS: Specs for your camera can be found here:

  • Eric Santiago

    May 8, 2024 at 4:22 pm

    Cool fellow musician here 🙂
    I have used everything from a RED Scarlet, Komodo, Raptor and now currently (own) a Dragon 6K for my band and others.
    I also used a BM Pocket 6K, GH3/4 and a slew of other cameras.

    You are at the throes of the lighting.

    Best lighting ever was a huge event but that was major production.

    Then I leave the camera on for some local dive bars and sometimes you get a shock how good it looks.

    Yea its a tough go when you dont have control over lighting.

  • Gareth Williams

    May 8, 2024 at 5:30 pm

    Hey Mads, thanks for your reply. Do you know if the light can be turned off on the V770? Maybe it’s just a matter of going through the manual in detail to find that in the settings? Thanks again.

  • Gareth Williams

    May 8, 2024 at 5:31 pm

    Hey Eric, what’s your band called and what type of music do you play? Mine is a grunge band called Maximum Robot.

  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    May 8, 2024 at 5:50 pm

    Hey Gareth,

    Without the camera in front of me, there is little that I can do to help.

    However, a qucik search came up with this advice.

    Page 37 in the pdf manual:

    or via Amazon

    I don’t have this specific camera, however, as the owner of Panasonic V750, this camera are practically the same as the Panasonic HC-WXF991K 4K. So the way to do this is that you go to the menu button, clicking below left side on the double arrow, there will appear a little box that say MENU, tap there, you will then jump to a sub-menu, my camera there are 3: RECORD SET UP – PICTURE and SETUP, tap RECORD SETUP, you will then go to the multiple page option, on my camera is on page 5 (5/7), there’s an option that say VIDEO LIGHT, tap it then select OFF instead of AUTO or ON. You can also do this by clicking on the arrow buttons on the beginning till you reach see the same “LIGHT” icon on the icon list on the left, just tap it to desable this option, if is in AUTO it will be surrounded by a yellow outline, so you disable this by tapping it. see less


    · November 26, 2016

    Hope that this helps.


  • Gareth Williams

    May 8, 2024 at 9:25 pm

    Hey Mads, I should be able to find the video light off instead of auto or on option if that setting is there. Thanks. I would still be interested to know if anybody knows of a device they are familiar with that can film at night without a light. If anybody has any ideas I’ll check it out! Thanks again.

  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    May 9, 2024 at 1:34 am

    Hey Gareth,

    A lot of the SLR cameras can shoot video at very low light.

    But unless you are doing a remake of the Blair Witch Project, you may want to consider how the viewer will feel staring at a black screen (depending on how low-light you want it to be?).

    If you search “best camera video low light” you’ll get plenty of suggestions. But coming from a £300 to a £ 3,000 camera might not be what you want to do right now.

    You can hire those cameras, but you will still need an operator who can film it for you.

    If starting out, do not dismiss using a friend witha high-end mobile phone to film it for you. If you have enough memory space, an iPhone or iPad will shoot 4K at ProRes.


  • Gareth Williams

    May 9, 2024 at 4:09 pm

    I’ve got an Android IMO phone that my mum gave me. It did a pretty good job of filming without a light when I was playing in a pub. However, it wasn’t that dark. The lights were on inside as normal so I don’t think that means much. Anyway, I will try this out outside at night tonight. Annoyingly it is now broad daylight until about 9. I’m going to play at a pub in town tonight and I’ll try filming some footage on the way back when it’s dark.

    I’ll update the tread with the results. In the meantime if anybody has any other suggestions or recommendations other than iPhone or iPad I will check them out. I can’t borrow off a friend because I need to use this a lot and iPhone I think comes with a subscription fee. iPad might do the job. I’ll check it out! Thanks again.

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