G9 vs. Z6 @ 2.8 in low light

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
Anders W
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 22,144
Re: The theory isn't all that difficult

Sundre wrote:

Anders W wrote:

olrett wrote:

Sundre wrote:

I'm bad at theory and tried googling this first but couldn't make heads or tails of most threads/articles. To be honest, I can't make heads or tails of the more technical posts in this thread either

Yes, indeed, too many technicalities make these posts kinda blurry... and you start to skip big chunks of them. Just as you would stop listening to conversations at a party that take off on a tangent.

I experienced something similar when I was still diving. Divers would seldom talk about the sea and the life in it, but go on forever about brands and specs, ending up arguing as if their life depended on it. In the case of diving gear, however, one's life may indeed depend on it, so they at least had a valid excuse.

Actually, the theory you need in order to compare formats isn't terribly complicated and it would be very helpful in discussions like these if more people were aware of it. For example, when you compare FF with MFT you need to know the following:

To get the same angle of view, you need twice the focal length on FF (e.g., 25 mm on MFT is equivalent to 50 mm on FF).

To get the same total amount of light collected, the same depth of field, and the same diffraction, you need to stop down two stops more on FF (e.g., f/2.8 on MFT is equivalent to f/5.6 on FF).

That's all as far as the theory is concerned.

But when the theory meets reality, a few more complications arise. For example, the same amount of light collected implies that the noise level will be the same if the sensors in question perform equally well for any given amount of light. But that's not always the case in practice. As I pointed out in a prior post, for example, the data at our disposal suggest that the OP's camera (the G9) has about one stop more dynamic range (and thus correspondingly less shadow noise) than the one he is considering (the Z6) when the two are used to shoot equivalent photos at higher ISOs.

From my POV, the problem is that whenever things get technical, one person says X and another says Y and I don't have the tech knowledge to tell which one is correct - or sometimes even what they are arguing about. This thread is, unfortunately, an all too good example of that. Of course, everyone involved insists that they are absolutely correct...

I can understand that this is a problem. Knowing "the theory" as outlined above will help you out regardless though. And when it comes to the way theory meets reality (which is where arguments tend to develop), it's not particularly difficult to check things out for yourself, e.g., by sources like DxOMark which reports on sensor tech.

I don't like reading about camera tech/theory; I don't find it interesting at all, and I don't have the time/energy required to make sense of it. For me, a camera is like a painter's brush - meant for painting, not analysing. I don't mind if others enjoy the more analytical side of it, but it just isn't for me.

I can understand that feeling too although personally I enjoy both sides of it. The problem is that if you don't develop at least an elementary grasp of the technical/analytical side, you'll be in the hands of the "experts" and as you have learnt in this thread, they'll tell you very different things depending on exactly who the expert happens to be. Developing a technical understanding can also help you artistically by giving you new ideas of how you can accomplish things.

I'll just rent the equipment I'm interested in and see how it works out in real world use. That I can make sense of.

Yes, I am sure that's a good solution for many, not just you.

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