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Old February 9th, 2014, 06:46 PM   #1
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low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6 and cx730

I have been asked by some to see how the sony rx10 performs in lowlight, as these kind of tests take quite some time and since I don't have that much free time available I did some quick test with my current camera's at iso starting from 3200.

All camera's where set to 25fps progressive, 1/50 shutter, wb set to indoors.
The g6 has a max of 3200 iso so that's the only iso I used on that one, picture profile was standard with contrast dialed down completely, same for the gh3 and the rx10.
The gh3 I used 3200 and 6400 iso, on the rx10 same iso values but also further up to 12800.
On my cx730 I applied 21db gain, I can apply 24db gain but then the camera automatically switches to 1/25 shutter so I had to limit it to 21db gain for a fair test.

The gh3/g6 had a 12-35mm f2.8 lumix lens set at 12mm and f2.8, again to have a fair test compared to the rx10 as that one was also set wide open and at f2.8.

I used a single lightsource on the left of the image.

To my surprise my cx730 performed best of all camera's, it had the cleanest and sharpest footage, low light performance was equal to the gh3 at 6400 iso which was equally sharp but had a lot more noise, the rx10 seems to need about iso 8000 to 10000 iso to compare with the gh3's 6400 iso and it's not as sharp then but less noisy. The g6 seems to be one stop less sensitive then the gh3.

Below the video and a frame I printed from edius for the pixelpeepers, if you magnify in photoshop check specifically the printed letters on the dvdboxes in the cabin.

Based on this test I"d say iso 8000 is usable to the rx10 though I can see the footage seems to take a small resolution hit when you go from 6400 to 8000iso.

There was also asked how the camera compared to the nex-ea50, I don't have this camera anymore so can't compare directly but know from experience it was a lot noisier then my sony cx730, if I have to guess I"d say it produced the same amount of noise my gh3 does at high iso's, and for t2i alike owners, I had a t2i and know it was a lot noisier at 3200 iso then my gh3 at 6400 iso, at 3200 iso the image was barely usable while I can use the gh3 6400 iso with a little neatvideo treament in some cases, on the t2i I had to use neatvideo.

Sorry the test is so limited but that's about the best I can do at this moment. Hopefully it will be of someones use.

password: test
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low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6 and cx730-frame.bmp  
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Old February 10th, 2014, 03:27 AM   #2
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Re: low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6 and cx730

And this is why the CX730/CX760 rocks.

I wonder how their big brothers perform in low light? Obviously the 730/760 are not in production anymore and rarely ever come on sale anywhere including ebay.

However there are many newer models out with better microphones. Would love to see one of the owners show us how they perform!
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Old February 10th, 2014, 03:37 AM   #3
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Re: low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6 and cx730

The cxxxx versions that followed the 730 should have the same performance, from what I see now that's the PJ810 and I understood it's mainly the audio part that has been approved, the cx900 is based on the same sensor as the rx10 but not sure how that performs in low light, a larger sensor doesn't necessarily mean better low light performance as shown in my test.

One thing to bear in mind is that the cx version is only that good not zoomed in, the lens ramps quickly once you do and looses sensitivity in that way, here the rx10 has the clear advantage being able to zoom in all the way without loosing incoming light.

Also once you start to add on a f1.4 lens on the g6 or gh3 those camera's obviously will outperform the rx10 easily if you can work with that shallow dof.

Also one thing I noticed in the test is how clean the rx10 audio was, it was very quite in the room where I did the test and clearly can hear background noise in all cameras expect the rx10 where I almost couldn't hear anything.
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Old February 10th, 2014, 06:33 AM   #4
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Re: low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6 and cx730

At least in the US, the CX760 was the last "CX" 7xx series. There was a PJ760 with the projector, otherwise the same as the CX760, and a PJ710 without the viewfinder. That was basically 2 model years ago, last year they put a audio/mic "wart" on the PJ790 (I believe that may be the 780 in EU?), there may or may not have been improvements in the video block tuning over the 760 - typically Sony makes minor tweaks and improvements as they work with a sensor/processor combo, so it is possible the PJ790 is a tiny bit better, but I wouldn't count on a lot...

The AX100 (and the "non 4K" CX900) completely replaces the PJ790 as "the" top of the line - check the sensor specs on the "810", and you'll see that it's a smaller sensor than the 7xx cameras... so likely there will be a price paid in performance. I'd be surprised to see it match the 7xx cams... The new high bitrate/large sensor/fast processor "toys" are the ones flying the admiral's flag now.



Here's the "wild card" with the AX100/CX900 - Sony has had another 6 months or so "tuning" that sensor/processor combo since the already impressive RX10. We won't know how much difference that may have made for a little while yet, but it may prove to be a strong performer in low light.

I'm pretty happy with the RX10 (the RX100M2 is no slouch either, even with a "older" processor), if one really needs to, dropping the shutter speed is a nice boost, though I know you were keeping your tests consistent. I'd probably trade slower shutter for the lower noise, but as you note, the low lux mode on the CX/PJ7xx would again up the ante with a slower shutter as well...

The last couple years of CX/PJ 7xx series cameras hit a bit of a "sweet spot", but honestly there wasn't a whole lot of room for improvement... and they were probably relatively too expensive to continue to produce or bump down to a lower price point... I'm waiting to see how the latest offerings measure up!
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Old February 10th, 2014, 06:37 AM   #5
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Re: low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6 and cx730

Quote:
check the sensor specs on the "810", and you'll see that it's a smaller sensor than the 7xx cameras
Just saw that, it's hard to keep up with all these new models Sony spits out in a very short timeperiod. :) I also think the 1/2.88 cx7 series sensor was at it best, probably nothing more to squeeze out of that tiny thing, the cx900 looks like a very promising camera and probably a worthy replacement for my cx730 if that one would die. I also just see that small thing has a 3step manual nd filter, that's nice.
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Old February 10th, 2014, 10:51 PM   #6
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Re: low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6, cx730, and D5300

I have the GH3 to compare but also the newcomer Nikon D5300
What ever the GH3 can do at 3200 ISO the D5300 can come close at 12800 ISO
The reason I keep using the GH3 is unlimited 1080P 60 Video
The D5300 can only go 10 minutes due to the 4GB limit.
I am waiting for the Odyssey 7 for that.
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Old February 11th, 2014, 02:57 AM   #7
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Re: low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6 and cx730

I've read about the d5300 doing so well at high iso's, the problem is that at a certain point you have to stop getting camerabodies to cover for each situation you run into. :) I"d love to get my hands on a Olympus omd em1 just for it's inbuild stabilisation and a panasonic gh4 just for it's reframing possibilities and while I"m at it the d5300 might be nice for it's low light performance. :)

One might say why not get one (much more expensive) camera that does it all but the camera's that have been mentioned here are all cheap and easily replaceable if they are damaged, also the fact that they are so small and light and that you can carry several bodies in one backpack also is reassuring incase you need backup or just 2 or 3 different angles when shooting speeches or a ceremony.

I was also surprised about the pana g6 low light performance which is at least a stop below the gh3 at 3200 iso but it does a clean 3200 iso and I pair this camera with a olympus 12mm f2.0 lens which has been sufficient so far to cover low light events though I know that sooner or later I will run into issues at candlelit dinners only.
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Old February 11th, 2014, 03:33 AM   #8
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Re: low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6 and cx730

To get a replacement for the CX730 you'd need to get the PJ780 - still on sale at amazon and features the same 1/2.88 type (6.3mm) sensor

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...pf_rd_i=468294

I went from TM900 cams to my CX730s and was thinking of maybe looking around for something better to invest in this year but bang-for-buck the CX730 cameras still hold their own

Thanks Noa

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Old February 12th, 2014, 07:51 PM   #9
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Re: low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6 and cx730

I have a PJ760 which is terrific, and I've added a PJ790 both have 96 gb storage which means I can do a full days shooting without any worries of running out of space they compliment the few other cameras i have very well, for the size and price they're really great cameras.
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Old February 13th, 2014, 01:45 AM   #10
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Re: low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6 and cx730

Just curious Rob - any noticeable difference in performance between the 760 and 790? Pretty sure the imaging block is the same, but sometimes they tweak between model years! Sort of curious if they squeezed any more out of the hardware!?
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Old February 13th, 2014, 06:28 AM   #11
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Re: low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6 and cx730

hi Dave, only have it a little while and havent deployed it for a shoot yet, from initial testing it seems to be exactly the same as the 760, but i havent viewed footage on a big screen yet, when i get a chance i'll do a side by side to see if there is a difference
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Old February 13th, 2014, 05:49 PM   #12
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Re: low light comparison rx10, gh3, g6 and cx730

nice test, the rx10 though now overshadowed by the 36000 newly announced cameras, is indeed impressive, son'y getting a lot of mileage on that chip.

does make me want to get my hands on a cx730 though... it really bests the rest of them in lowlight in your opinion?
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