Best low-light digicam? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Still Crazy

Still Crazy
You say you want resolution? The whole world is watching these digicams.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 7th, 2006, 01:12 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Rainham, Kent, UK
Posts: 69
Best low-light digicam?

What's the best (cheap-ish) digicam for taking pictures when there's very little light (without flash)? A cursory web-search leads me to believe that it may be the Fuji Finepix F30. How would this compare with a Nikon D50 with 50mm 1:1.8D (which just isn't cutting it)?
Steve Brady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7th, 2006, 03:52 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 205
Yes, according to Phil's review on DPreview here the F30 is the lowlight champ among the P&S digicams.
In fact, there's some interesting analysis between high ISO of the F30 and the D50, which is a DSLR with a much larger sensor, and the results really do drop some jaws.
Fuji picked up some kind of amazing new noise supression algorithm and they're putting it to good use in the digicams.
Can't wait to see if they apply it to a DSLR. It could potentially dethrone Canon.
Jacob Mason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 7th, 2006, 11:01 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Rainham, Kent, UK
Posts: 69
Thanks, that review is quite informative.

Looking at the D50 comparison, the F30 seems to give reasonably similar results to the D50/50mm 1:1.8, so it probably won't help. Back to film, I guess...
Steve Brady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8th, 2006, 01:34 AM   #4
Outer Circle
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527
How much is the F30?
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8th, 2006, 06:30 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Rainham, Kent, UK
Posts: 69
About $350 US sans memory card.

I didn't mean to suggest that the F30 is an all-round replacement for the D50, though, just that the low-light image acquisition performance appears to be comparable.
Steve Brady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8th, 2006, 06:48 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: US & THEM
Posts: 827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Brady
Thanks, that review is quite informative.

Looking at the D50 comparison, the F30 seems to give reasonably similar results to the D50/50mm 1:1.8, so it probably won't help. Back to film, I guess...

if you examine the data it is about 3.5 stops more for the Fuji, probably because they use a video 2/3" sensor >>> *corrected below*


if your problem is weddings in dark churches where flash is not permitted during ceremony, sometimes it is better to pull them back after the ceremony for some posed shots with flash before they get wisked away in the Silver Ghost
__________________
John Jay

Beware ***PLUGGER-BYTES***

Last edited by John Jay; August 8th, 2006 at 09:59 AM.
John Jay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8th, 2006, 07:38 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jay
if you examine the data it is about 3.5 stops more for the Fuji, probably because they use a video 2/3" sensor
Actually, the sensor is smaller than that. It's 1.7".
Sensor size diagram
The Fuji's would be just slightly smaller than the one listed on the bottom right.
Jacob Mason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8th, 2006, 08:10 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: US & THEM
Posts: 827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Mason
Actually, the sensor is smaller than that. It's 1.7".
Sensor size diagram
The Fuji's would be just slightly smaller than the one listed on the bottom right.

2/3" is 1/1.5" so its pretty close :@)
__________________
John Jay

Beware ***PLUGGER-BYTES***
John Jay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8th, 2006, 09:15 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Rainham, Kent, UK
Posts: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jay
if you examine the data it is about 3.5 stops more for the Fuji
Can you elaborate on what you mean?

I don't really know how to compare the data, exactly (what significance, if any, does the +0.33 EV compensation have?), but unless I'm totally misunderstanding the way this stuff works:

A quick mental calculation suggests that 1/160 at F9 would give an equivalent exposure of 1/500 at F5 on the Nikon. I took a shot at each setting and compared the histograms and the calculation seems to be correct.

So at ISO 800, the Nikon is doing slightly better than the Fuji - 1/500 vs 1/461 and F5 vs F4.9 for a fairly equivalent exposure.

If the light level really drops, we can reduce the shutter speed, open the iris and increase the ISO. The Fuji's maximum iris at its widest angle (equivalent to 36mm) is 2.8, so at an equivalent zoom level to 50mm, it's a fairly safe bet that a fully open 50mm 1:1.8 Nikkor has at least a good stop and a half advantage over the Fuji. The Fuji can gain back a stop by going to ISO 3200, but unless the noise-reduction software is worlds beyond what can be done to a .NEF file, the Nikon is still ahead by a little at least.
Steve Brady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8th, 2006, 09:58 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: US & THEM
Posts: 827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Brady
Can you elaborate on what you mean?

I don't really know how to compare the data, exactly (what significance, if any, does the +0.33 EV compensation have?), but unless I'm totally misunderstanding the way this stuff works:

A quick mental calculation suggests that 1/160 at F9 would give an equivalent exposure of 1/500 at F5 on the Nikon. I took a shot at each setting and compared the histograms and the calculation seems to be correct.

So at ISO 800, the Nikon is doing slightly better than the Fuji - 1/500 vs 1/461 and F5 vs F4.9 for a fairly equivalent exposure.

If the light level really drops, we can reduce the shutter speed, open the iris and increase the ISO. The Fuji's maximum iris at its widest angle (equivalent to 36mm) is 2.8, so at an equivalent zoom level to 50mm, it's a fairly safe bet that a fully open 50mm 1:1.8 Nikkor has at least a good stop and a half advantage over the Fuji. The Fuji can gain back a stop by going to ISO 3200, but unless the noise-reduction software is worlds beyond what can be done to a .NEF file, the Nikon is still ahead by a little at least.

OOps my bad

Fuji is about 1.5 stops up on speed, but 2 stops WORSE on Aperture ; Duh I added them instead of subtracting

so overall the Nikon wins by about 0.5 stop
__________________
John Jay

Beware ***PLUGGER-BYTES***
John Jay is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Still Crazy

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:21 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network