G9 vs. Z6 @ 2.8 in low light

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 45,431
Re: 2 stops.

Sundre wrote:

The DPR "comparometer" makes it look like about 2.5 stops:

But let's say 2 stops, since the difference seems more to be chroma noise, which may be an artifact of how the RAW converter deals with saturation for the different files.

Thank you! So the sensor is the only difference? I tried to understand whether the lens would also make a difference (2.8 being different between MFT and FF in terms of light - not DOF, which I know is different), and couldn't make heads or tails of it - lots of heated threads with people arguing for both yes and no.

It's not the sensor, but the lens.  Since FF using double the focal length for the same framing as mFT, at the same f-number, the aperture diameter will be doubled, which will result in 4x as much light being projected on the sensor, which will result in a photo half as noisy (all else equal).

The reason I'm asking is, I've been offered a used Z6 for 1,000 €, but I'm not sure I want to spend that much. I realise it's a good price for a Z6 mark I in good condition, but I'm not rich. Getting some decent glass for it would be so expensive...

Yeah -- it adds up, doesn't it? That said, the f/1.8S primes and f/4S zooms seem to be pretty good value for the money.

It does add upp... And those FF lenses are just enormous. I have only ever used MFT and the size of FF lenses boggles my mind.

The f/4S zooms (equivalent to f/2 zooms on mFT) and f/1.8S primes (equivalent to f/0.9 on mFT) are not that big, though.  Bigger than mFT, but not hugely so.  They're also "reasonably" priced.  The longest f/1.8S prime is 85mm (42.5mm mFT equivalent), so I don't know if that's long enough for you.

If I can get "good enough" results with something like the PL 35-100/2.8 or the Olympus 75/1.8 with my G9, I'm not sure I want to spend that much at this time.

Here's a good way to test: take a photo of the same scene two stops apart with your current setup. For example, shoot the same scene with the same exposure time at f/5.6 ISO 6400 and f/2.8 ISO 1600. If you prefer the f/2.8 photo overall (it will be less noisy but also have less DOF), then decide if the extra money for a Z6 setup is worth it for you. Otherwise, stick with what you've got.

The thing is, I'm not sure I can get the shots I want (concerts and other low light events) even at ISO 12,800 with my G9.

Wow -- that's pretty dark (and/or you're using a really short exposure time to mitigate motion blur).

I'm not worried about DOF either way ... just whether or not I can get fast enough shutter speeds with MFT.

Well, mFT can give you the same shutter speeds as FF, it's just that it's twice as noisy for the same exposure.  Whether twice as noisy is "too noisy", only you can say.

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