Best DSLR + lens combo for low light, indoor kid shots

Started Jan 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
Alphoid Veteran Member • Posts: 5,333
Re: APS-C and m4/3 sensors: dynamic range, low light IQ

tedandtricia wrote:

Now that I've had a look in detail at some sensors at DxOMark, I feel like the APS-C and m4/3 field isn't as level as the prices would suggest.

Yet I do my video work with a m4/3 much more often than a 5DMKII.

I was surprised to see pro brand Canon basically at the bottom of the barrel with a sensor not even as good as smaller m4/3 sensors.

Yet your wedding photographer likely uses Canon cameras.

Also surprised to see the Sony SLT APS-C sensor rate lower than even some of their older SLRs like the 580.

Yet I use a Sony SLT as my primary camera for hand-held low-light.

Price generally did not correlate with sensor quality.

Yet intelligent expert photographers buy those exact expensive cameras.

Yes. You're missing a few things:

  1. There is a 1000% difference in ISO performance stepping up from point-and-shoot to large sensor.
  2. The difference between the cameras you listed is a mere 30% from the best to the worst. This will be basically imperceptible outside of laboratory conditions.
  3. With the Sony specifically, IBIS matters. Where you lose 30% on ISO, you potentially gain 300% on stabilization+fast lens.
  4. Ergonomics matters more than almost anything.

In most conditions where I shoot, I'll get better photos out of my ancient Sony a700 (older pro-level camera, ISO 581 in DxOMark) than I would out of a Nikon D3200 (newer, entry-level camera, ISO 1131 in DxOMark -- double the a700). Why? It comes down things like the second control knob, IBIS, better viewfinder, more buttons and more manual settings, etc.

ISO performance is like top speed of a vehicle. Moving from a point-and-shoot to a large sensor is like going from a bicycle to a car. Your commute is cut in a third. On the other hand, the difference in commute time between a Civic to a Ferrari will be slim, and you might miss out on things like fuel efficiency, passenger comfort, or trunk space.

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