LF advice about possible upgrade for Olympus XZ-1 for concert pictures. Sony NEX?

Started Apr 26, 2013 | Questions thread
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LF advice about possible upgrade for Olympus XZ-1 for concert pictures. Sony NEX?
Apr 26, 2013

Hello DPreview!

Apologies in advance for posting another "what should I buy" thread. I've tried to educate myself but I'm stumped.

I enjoy taking pictures at the various concerts I go to, and I have an Olympus XZ-1 that I bought for this purpose because of the good low light characteristics (aperture F1.8-F2.5).
However, I haven't been quite happy with the amount of noise and smudging in the images, especially when viewing them full screen. Things start to get grainy at 400 iso and up, and faces and items in the background tend to look smudged.

Here is a link to some concert images I've taken.

SO, I've been thinking about if there is something I could get instead, that would enable me to take photos like these that look more clear (less noisy/smudged). So I was hoping that I could get some advice, if it would be worth it to upgrade to something else.

From what I understand, a bigger sensor would mean that I would get less noise and/or move to higher ISO settings.
A full size camera is right out because of the bulk and you're not allowed to bring them into some venues.
So I've been looking at something in between, like the Sony NEX series, or possibly a m4/3, maybe another Olympus.

However: what about the aperture of the lens? The 18-55 that comes with the NEX has an aperture of F3.5-5.6 as opposed to F1.8-2.5 of the XZ-1. Would having a worse aperture (ie less light) cancel out the benefits of a larger sensor?

TL;DR version: I have an Olympus XZ-1 and want to take better concert pictures. Would it be worth it to upgrade to a bigger sensor camera like the NEX, even though it has a worse aperture (F3.5 as opposed to 1.8-2.5)?

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Olympus XZ-1
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