M4/3 in low light

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
Tatouzou Senior Member • Posts: 1,860
Re: I do a lot of low light work....

jmorrisuk wrote:

Thanks everyone for the quick replies.

so if i was to add the Olympus 17mm f1.8 M. Zuiko Digital into the kit at the same time i should be covered?

I should have made myself more clear when i said night, its mainly when strolling around cities etc so there is still plenty of ambient light present from street lighting and building etc so its never pitch black.

My own experience is that all recent M43 cameras I have handled, even with a slow kit zoom, deliver good pictures in dim light, like inside churches, or night city scapes:



IMO, the newer 20MP M43 sensor in my GX8 improves the low light performance over the older 16MP in GM5/G7.

If you dont pixel peep, OOC JPEGs look OK up to ISO 3200, though the fine details and contrast can be washed out by default agressive noise reduction and sharpening.

Shooting RAW gives you much better IQ, allowing sharp and detailed pictures at ISO 3200 and acceptable IQ at ISO 6400.

Stabilisation helps a lot when shooting still scenes with slow kit zooms in low light, but fast lenses are needed if you want to shoot moving targets: thanks to IBIS or OIS, I regularly get sharp images at 1/25 and f4/5.6, but if I need 1/100 or faster, then I must dial f2/2.8 for the same ISO setting.

But, at f2/2.8 in M43, DOF is shallow and good AF is a must to get sharp shots.

Using my GX8 or G7 (both with DFD), CDAF hunts a lot more and often misses focus on night or low contrast targets, when compared to PDAF in my older APS-C K3, though Pentax PDAF is not the best in class.

Would you consider the E-M5 Mark II a better option to get over the M10 Mark III?

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