If you've been watching the DNA Lounge webcasts over the last decade, you may have noticed that the picture is kinda dark and grainy, nightclubs being what they are.
I'm wondering whether the available tech has advanced to the point where I could improve low-light performance and/or resolution without spending a fortune.
I strongly suspect the answer is no, but I figured I'd throw it out there.
About half of the shots you typically see on the stream are coming from that same batch of camcorders that I bought back in 1999, all of which are Sony TRS17 or similar. They are indestructible. They're "nightshot" camcorders, meaning they have IR, but we don't use that. They just happened to be pretty good in low light without IR. The rest of the shots, especially for shots of live acts on stage, come from a pair of Panasonic WV-NS324 pan-tilt-zoom cameras.
All of them feed analog SD NTSC to a video switcher, and from there to the webcast. Details.
So, one option would be to replace them all with whatever the lowest-end HD camcorder is, re-cable everything for HDMI-over-Cat5, and get an HDMI switcher. This would mean getting rid of the panning cameras and replacing those with fixed-position fixed-zoom shots, which is probably fine. But, even if the camcorders are only a couple hundred bucks each, that would still probably come out to over $5k, which is kind of steep for something that makes us no money whatsoever. It also couldn't easily be done incrementally, due to the switch from composite coax to HDMI.
You'd think there would be an easy way to deliver video from the cameras to the switcher as MPEG streams over Ethernet, instead of going through uncompressed HDMI and a bunch of Cat5 converters, but if there is, I'm unaware of it.
Please note: before you suggest a camera or camera system, bear in mind that most "security systems" are designed to be used in environments that are as bright as the surface of the Sun. Most non-camcorder video cameras eat shit in less than 7 lux or so. What I have now are lower than 1 lux. If something says "0 lux" that's a lie (that means "it comes with an IR spotlight, and will give you a goofy-looking black-and-white image.")