G9 vs. Z6 @ 2.8 in low light

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
Anders W
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 22,144
Re: Less noise but also less DoF

Sundre wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Be aware that at the same ISO, the same f-stop, the same shutter speed, and the same field of view, the Z6 will give you a two-stop improvement when it comes to signal-noise ratio (which is of course desirable) but also two stops less depth of field (which is less desirable, at least based on my taste and experiences). So what you gain in one regard, you lose in another.

When I shoot concerts, I typically try to do it primarily with the Olympus 75/1.8 (which corresponds to a 150 mm lens on FF wrt angle of view). Shooting that lens wide open, I usually manage to get enough DoF for decent shots (see example below) but I’d rather have more than less of it. This is particularly so since musicians tend to move when they play making it harder to nail focus.

One thing I don’t understand is why you need as high an ISO for concert shots as 8000 and still can’t use a shutter speed higher than 1/50 s at f/2.8. What type of concerts are these?

Apologies, I wasn't clear. I currently only own the Panasonic 12-60/3.5-5.6 and 100-300/4-5.6, so I've mostly been shooting at f/5.6. I was offered a good price for a used Z6 and started thinking about whether I should invest in faster MFT glass or switch over to FF. I can't afford both.

OK. Then I understand. No, those lenses won’t work well for concerts. You want at least f/2.8 or a little faster than that.

As to your decision, my short answer would be faster glass. In my experience, MFT works perfectly well for concerts if you have the right lens for the job.

I usually try to keep shutter speed at 1/250 s or so since many musicians move quite a bit as they play/sing. At f/1.8, that typically means ISO 400 to 800 with standard stage lighting (or ISO 800 to ISO 1600 at f/2.8). See example below illustrating my point about DoF as well as the ISOs/exposure values I typically use.

I'll rent the 75/1.8 and see how it feels. Will also rent the 35-100/2.8 and try it out as well, along with FF gear.

Good idea. When comparing with FF, remember to compare not only wrt noise but also DoF and the ability to get things in focus. As I pointed out, FF will help you in the former regard but be a liability in the latter if you shoot at the same framing, same f-stop, and same shutter speed.

In addition, you should be aware that the difference between the G9 and the Z6 might be less than two stops wrt to shadow noise at higher ISOs when they're shot at the same exposure. The difference in this regard may be more like one stop than two. See graphs below. DxO hasn't tested the G9, only the GH5.2. But since the two do very similarly with respect to Bill Claff's "photographic dynamic range", it is reasonable to think that they do very similarly with respect to dynamic range as measured by DxOMark as well.

 Anders W's gear list:Anders W's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +20 more
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