Yelp Amuleto Mexican Table in Waltham

Where is a full frame camera when you need one? Last week’s small business profile shoot for Yelp had me setting up an interview in a restaurant. The ambience was excellent, with very romantic mood lighting.
That means it was dark.
No time to set up lights, and even if I did, there was no place to put them. We were smack in the middle of the dining area, with guests and hosts buzzing all around.
I set up two cameras, a Canon t4i sporting a 50mm f1.8, and a Sony X70. Neither one of them handled the stygian exposure very well, but the crop sensor DSLR delivered a much more usable image.

 

The exposure capture on Canon t4i (top) and after Brightness and Noise Reduction with After Effects (bottom).

 

I had hoped that the X70’s XAVC 50mbps codec would have withstood post processing much better than it did. Trying to make a poorly exposed image look decent is difficult, no matter what camera or codec you’re working with, but I didn’t expect the DSLR to do better. But I was wrong. I took one look at all the messy noise in the X70 image and knew it was unusable.

A screen grab from the Sony PXW-X70, no post processing.