DR for low light action (switch to Sony/Canon?)

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Sjeupie Regular Member • Posts: 167
DR for low light action (switch to Sony/Canon?)
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TLDR version:
I have an xt2 and shoot low light outdoor sports.
I want more dynamic range/better results in low light. Should I upgrade to the 5th gen sensor, buy faster glass or move to Sony, Canon?

Hi all,

I'm a happy fuji user with the xt2 + 7 lenses and LR for post processing.
My type of photography has evolved from travel and landscapes, to action with snow- and motorsports. And architecture.

Recently I had to take pics of a rallye which took place in the evening/night. For obvious reasons, I cannot use any flashes so have to work with natural light and rely purely on the dynamic range of my camera. Needless to say that a moving subject in dim to dark conditions pushes the limits of my gear. Below a processed pic I shot at 1/15th of a second at f1.4 iso 1600, to give you an idea. This is as far as I can push the file really and I don't know any way I could improve my shooting here; I can't go wider open. I can't go slower. I cannot add light. And I find that shooting beyond iso 1600, the quality goes down rapidly. Unless I miss something.
Lenses I used this event were the 16mm f1.4, 18-55 f2.8-4 and the 70-300 f4-5.6. I use single point C-AF.

I have been looking to upgrade the xt2 at some point because I have a low keeper rate in backcountry freestyle snow sports due to missed focus (especially for sudden appearing subjects), and - as described above - I recently start to lack dynamic range for the night gigs despite the very respectable dynamic range on the xt2 imho. So I was looking forward to the xt5 (dials) or XH2s (clearly more sports oriented).

Now, as good as the gen5 sensors are, the limitations of crop sensors are always there off course when it comes to the dynamic range; I doubt there's much of an improvement over the xt2. And the AF results on these new camera's are still a bit of a mixed bag, it seems.
So especially while considering the Xh2s with its PASM controls, I started wondering if a switch to f.e. a Sony A9ii (second hand) or Canon R6ii wouldn't be more adequate. Bigger dynamic range, easier to learn AF and I could use native tilt-shift lenses for my architecture on the Canon. Downside is that I already have 7 fuji lenses and none of the pricey Sony or Canon glass.

Speaking about lenses: I've always opted for the lighter kit as my gigs are generally quite remote and I need to hike a lot. Especially for snow sports. Obviously my lenses aren't the fastest out there so perhaps simply going for the 50-140 would help already (keeping in mind that wide open my DOF will reduce too, off course). Although I do use the extra reach of the 55-200 and 70-300 quite a lot. But then again, the 40mp sensor would allow me to crop more.

So my question is primarily aimed at those who shoot multiple systems and use it for outdoor sports. What would your advice be?

1) Invest in better denoise software
2) Invest in faster fuji glass
3) Upgrade from gen2 to gen5
4) Switch to f.e. Sony A9ii
5) Switch to f.e. Canon R6ii
6) Shut up and accept the limitations of shooting in such low light and learn to focus better faster in the snow sports
7) Other

Ps: let's try to leave the fuji-fanboyism out of this and keep the discussion civilised

16mm lens at 1/15th , f1.4 at ISO 1600. This is as far as I can push the file, really.

 Sjeupie's gear list:Sjeupie's gear list
Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R +3 more
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