Which Compact is best For Low Light?

Started Jan 14, 2014 | Discussions thread
OpticsEngineer Veteran Member • Posts: 6,328
Re: Which Compact is best For Low Light?

"The only downside I can see is the smaller sensor (1/2.3") but will this be compensated by the F2.8 zoom"

The sensor area of the FZ200 is 28.1 square mm.

The sensor area of a micro-four thirds camera like Olympus OMD-E5 is 225 square mm.

So the sensor area of the M43 is 8 times more than the FZ200.

The FZ200 is f/2.8.

For the sake of discussion, suppose you put an f/5.6 lens on the M43.   The difference in light collection is the ratio of f/number squared.  So the FZ200 f/2.8 has 4 times better light collection efficiency in that reqard.

Put the two together, and the M43 camera comes out about a factor of two better than the FZ200.

In case you want to work the similar thing out for an APS-C format camera, the sensor area of a Sony A65 is 367 square mm.

Before I bought my A65 I fretted over how large it was, how expensive and how people would react to it.  Now a year later, I never think about how large it is (not that big honestly), it was  not that expensive (below my wife's pain threshold it turned out) and people react to my Canon SX40 the same as my A65.  Which is to say, at sporting events, no one care how big a camera you carry.  Except if they see a big camera they might ask if you can take a few pictures of their kids too, or some for the year book.

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