Sony XZ2 Premium is able to capture more light than Sony A6500 + f/3.5 lens in low-light conditions

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,159
Sony XZ2 Premium is able to capture more light than Sony A6500 + f/3.5 lens in low-light conditions

noisephotographer wrote:

The amount of captured light is not extremely important/meaningful as I wrote here https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60935717

I think it's very relevant, but with smartphones, software is probably even more important. I look in particular at the Pixel 2, that often gets better results that the Galaxy S9 and P20 Pro in spite of less light gathering.

I also have never seen a comparison where a RGB + monochrome dual camera really leverages the light of the monochrome camera effectively.

Nonetheless it is impressive that a smartphone is able to capture as much light as an Aps-c camera + kit lens in low-light conditions (same shutter speed), if I am correct. And that's even without considering additional multi frame image processing.

I assume that a monochrome camera can capture twice as much light as a RGB camera (source: http://corephotonics.com/white-papers/triple-cameras-are-three-better-than-two/ )

Then the amount of light that a Sony A6500 + f/3.5 lens is able to capture in low-light conditions is proportional to (sensor area/mm²)/f-number² = 366/3.5² ≈ 29.9

For the Sony XZ2 Premium (assumption: sensor area ≈ 28mm²) we get: (28/1.8² + 2x28/1.6² ) ≈ 30.5 , that's 2% more.

This is also more light than the Huawei P20 Pro can capture in low-light conditions (assumption: Huawei's sensors have a pixel pitch of 1.0 micrometer) without additional multi frame image processing:

40/1.8² + 2x20/1.6² ≈ 28.0

I don't think it makes sense to look at it like this. The mono sensor is not capturing any colour information, so all I can see its role is in reducing luminance noise when combined with the colour sensor.

It would be interesting to see this tested though - I'm not sure how much value a mono sensor dual camera setup offers. The Pixel 2 is regarded by many as being the best smartphone camera, and it has only a single camera.

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