Best DSLR + lens combo for low light, indoor kid shots

Started Jan 16, 2013 | Discussions
teddoman
OP teddoman Senior Member • Posts: 2,477
OM-D

peevee1 wrote:

Of course you might want to go all out and buy a Full Frame body and 24mm f/1.4 lens. At least $2000 for the body and $2000 for the lens. Of course $2000 FF body will have inadequate tiny AF system lifted out of an APS-C camera, covering only the very center of the frame. If you want better coverage, you are looking at $3000 body. So $5000, 2 kg, no articulated screen, no autofocus or working viewfinder in video... Those shots from kid heights are going to be tricky.

If AF on APS-C  is "inadequate tiny AF system...covering only the very center of the frame", how would Oly's AF system stand up in that light? I'll have to check but I'm not sure the OM-D even uses PDAF, it might be a CDAF system. Subject tracking, continuous AF, facial recognition AF are all pretty standard on APS-C and up (though performance varies). I will have to look into how they perform on the OM-D compared to APS-C or FF. I think AF features and speed are critical for shooting kids.

Awful wide open except in the center.

Where did you pull these 3D graphs from? That seems like a great tool for visualizing how good a lens will be wide open. Is there a URL where you can look up any lens and get a graph like this?

And DoF at 24/1.4 at close living room distances will be too shallow to fit companies of kids. For those two reasons, you might want to stop down the lenses, to at least f/2 or slower (they only become more or less sharp across the frame by f/4). Of course, if you need to stop down in low light and want to freeze running kids at the same time, you are looking at full Manual mode, with one dial setting your aperture and another setting your shutter speed. Of course you have no dials left for direct exposure compensation, so you might want to fuss around with buttons to set that, and take test shots to see what you get on the screen (no preview on OVF), and adjust, and take the shot again...

Great description of the work flow and ergonomics together. Though shooting indoors with both siblings playing near each other, I'd probably stop down the aperture and set it in advance on a APS-C or FF, if I didn't have enough dials, leaving a manual dial for exposure compensation, assuming the dials are all customizable.

Or you might become one smart cookie, and choose The DPR User's Best Camera of 2012 ($999, from $850 on ebay I think) plus $800 130g 12/2 lens (24 mm equivalent):

It is not to the scale of those lenses above, much smaller in real life, 130g vs 650g.

Sharp across the frame starting wide open.

Articulated screen, weather-sealed alloy body, great image stabilization for those slow moments (to keep ISO low), exposure preview, can shoot in Shutter priority mode without worrying about aperture - DoF and sharpness are adequate from wide open. One-button movie mode, with quiet and fast autofocus working across the frame, and EVF working in movie mode too. And focus scale on the lens, you can easily manually focus (especially useful in video) without AF or looking at the screen.

If you like a little tighter, you might replace Oly 12/2 with Oly 17/1.8, $500.

Yes, and AutoISO goes to 25,600 if you want, you need not to worry about setting ISO manually above that if you need fast shutter speed (with all that fussing around you are sure to miss THE moment). And high ISO performance somewhere in the middle of APS-C cameras - a little better than Canon DSLRs and EOS M and Sony DSLTs, a little worse than latest Nikon and Pentax DSLRs - not noticeable without instruments and pixel peeping in both cases.

So $1500-1800 with OM-D will get you better, easier to use package in practice than $5000 with FF.

Hard to believe how long and heavy those FF lenses are despite only being wide angle lenses! A picture is worth a thousand words.

You made a great case for the OM-D and a nice looking lens. I had briefly looked at m4/3 but some of the reviews on some of the systems (like Nikon 1, not Oly) seemed to give me the impression that high ISO was not really there, and the AF systems were not great in low light, so without researching every m4/3, I just sort of figured maybe I should look at APS-C and FF. Maybe I'll thrown OM-D into the mix though and see what I find.

 teddoman's gear list:teddoman's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R II Sony a9 Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +6 more
peevee1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,247
Re: my budget

Philip Kendall wrote:

Am I missing something obvious here or is comparing f/1.4 on full frame to f/2 on m4/3s not really a fair comparision?

Sure, you are missing that the purpose of good cameras and lenses is subjects in the pictures being sharp.

Aand with the f/1.4 lenses not very sharp across the frame up to f/4, and DoF at f/1.4 being too shallow even for 24mm lens (i.e. subjects right outside of focal plane being unsharp), you'll need to stop the lenses down, eliminating the 1.3EV (no, not 2!) high-ISO advantage those FF sensors have over those Oly m43 cameras.

peevee1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,247
Re: OM-D

tedandtricia wrote:

peevee1 wrote:

Of course you might want to go all out and buy a Full Frame body and 24mm f/1.4 lens. At least $2000 for the body and $2000 for the lens. Of course $2000 FF body will have inadequate tiny AF system lifted out of an APS-C camera, covering only the very center of the frame. If you want better coverage, you are looking at $3000 body. So $5000, 2 kg, no articulated screen, no autofocus or working viewfinder in video... Those shots from kid heights are going to be tricky.

If AF on APS-C is "inadequate tiny AF system...covering only the very center of the frame", how would Oly's AF system stand up in that light

Not "AF on APS-C", but APS-C AF used on a FF camera with 120% bigger frame. Like using 39-point AF system from D7000 on Nikon D600. It is OK on APS-C, covering the center and some decent area around the center (not the corners or sides of course), but on FF is covers only the very center. 11-point system on Canon 6D is even smaller, with just a single cross-sensor.

? I'll have to check but I'm not sure the OM-D even uses PDAF, it might be a CDAF system. Subject tracking, continuous AF, facial recognition AF are all pretty standard on APS-C and up (though performance varies).

Oly's is fast CDAF, perfectly able to track at 4 fps, and using about 80% of frame width for that (unlike those "cheap" FF cams). It is not the same useless CDAF you will get on DSLRs, not at all (at least with Oly MSC lenses, like the 12/2 and the 17/1.8). Oly C-AF+TR is not always perfect, but neither are those cheap AF systems on cheap DSLRs. And wider DoF helps not to miss the focus. And to get 9 fps (which you get with focus locked on OM-D) on FF DSLR, you are looing at $6000 for body only.

I will have to look into how they perform on the OM-D compared to APS-C or FF. I think AF features and speed are critical for shooting kids.

Awful wide open except in the center.

Where did you pull these 3D graphs from? That seems like a great tool for visualizing how good a lens will be wide open. Is there a URL where you can look up any lens and get a graph like this?

slrgear.com. Only, when choosing the FF lenses, the default graphs are for APS-C cameras (i.e. central crop of the lenses). Switch to their full-frame test tab to see the performance on full-frame cameras, without so much of the sides and corners cropped out. Click on the graph, it will allow you to change aperture and see how sharpness changes across the frame. The same with their CA and distortion graphs - love it.

And DoF at 24/1.4 at close living room distances will be too shallow to fit companies of kids. For those two reasons, you might want to stop down the lenses, to at least f/2 or slower (they only become more or less sharp across the frame by f/4). Of course, if you need to stop down in low light and want to freeze running kids at the same time, you are looking at full Manual mode, with one dial setting your aperture and another setting your shutter speed. Of course you have no dials left for direct exposure compensation, so you might want to fuss around with buttons to set that, and take test shots to see what you get on the screen (no preview on OVF), and adjust, and take the shot again...

Great description of the work flow and ergonomics together. Though shooting indoors with both siblings playing near each other, I'd probably stop down the aperture and set it in advance on a APS-C or FF, if I didn't have enough dials, leaving a manual dial for exposure compensation, assuming the dials are all customizable.

How would you stop down the aperture in Shutter priority mode, where both shutter speed and exposure compensation are available on the dials (not even that on those entry-level DSLRs)?

Or you might become one smart cookie, and choose The DPR User's Best Camera of 2012 ($999, from $850 on ebay I think) plus $800 130g 12/2 lens (24 mm equivalent):

It is not to the scale of those lenses above, much smaller in real life, 130g vs 650g.

Sharp across the frame starting wide open.

Articulated screen, weather-sealed alloy body, great image stabilization for those slow moments (to keep ISO low), exposure preview, can shoot in Shutter priority mode without worrying about aperture - DoF and sharpness are adequate from wide open. One-button movie mode, with quiet and fast autofocus working across the frame, and EVF working in movie mode too. And focus scale on the lens, you can easily manually focus (especially useful in video) without AF or looking at the screen.

If you like a little tighter, you might replace Oly 12/2 with Oly 17/1.8, $500.

Yes, and AutoISO goes to 25,600 if you want, you need not to worry about setting ISO manually above that if you need fast shutter speed (with all that fussing around you are sure to miss THE moment). And high ISO performance somewhere in the middle of APS-C cameras - a little better than Canon DSLRs and EOS M and Sony DSLTs, a little worse than latest Nikon and Pentax DSLRs - not noticeable without instruments and pixel peeping in both cases.

So $1500-1800 with OM-D will get you better, easier to use package in practice than $5000 with FF.

Hard to believe how long and heavy those FF lenses are despite only being wide angle lenses! A picture is worth a thousand words.

You made a great case for the OM-D and a nice looking lens. I had briefly looked at m4/3 but some of the reviews on some of the systems (like Nikon 1, not Oly) seemed to give me the impression that high ISO was not really there, and the AF systems were not great in low light, so without researching every m4/3, I just sort of figured maybe I should look at APS-C and FF. Maybe I'll thrown OM-D into the mix though and see what I find.


jbart1 Regular Member • Posts: 195
Re: my budget

Pevee.  I was attempting to offer well reviewed suggestions for low light lenses that fell within the $1000 total budget that was quoted.   Notice that I also listed the 35mm (52mm) lens as a primary while adding the 50mm (75mm) as a secondary option for more"head and shoulder" type shots.

You do make a point about room sizes, and to be truthful most of my family shots are taken in rooms that tend to be on the larger size since my parents house is roughly 7500 square feet.  In that environment I use my 50mm lens on my Full Frame camera almost exclusively but sometimes switch to my 85mm 1.8G if I want to sit on one side of the room and get "waist-up" shots for people across the room.

teddoman
OP teddoman Senior Member • Posts: 2,477
Gary Fong picks Sony for his kids

GARY FONG INC wrote:

I own Canons, Nikons, Olympus, Pentax and Sony cameras. I have to because testing equipment is my job. And I choose Sony for shooting my children.

OK you will love this video because I'm showing how I use a Sony A77 with an 85mm f1.4 lens, wide open, at high speed drive with object and face tracking.

This combination is incredible for shooting children. I shoot my twins and they're 15 months old, so they move around fast. Using the object tracking follows the face (which it can do because of OLED) and nails so many more shots in a burst than my Canons, Nikons, Olympus or Pentax cameras.

click here to see video

Thanks for dropping in Gary. It's high praise that you're very familiar with all the brands and have chosen the Sony A77. That video almost speaks as loudy as your praise does.

Too bad I can't inspect all those shots at 100% magnification to see how sharply the Sony AF caught them but still, very impressed with how many of them seemed in focus despite the camera running on face tracking continuous AF.

 teddoman's gear list:teddoman's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R II Sony a9 Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +6 more
peevee1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,247
Re: my budget

jbart1 wrote:

Pevee. I was attempting to offer well reviewed suggestions for low light lenses that fell within the $1000 total budget that was quoted. Notice that I also listed the 35mm (52mm) lens as a primary while adding the 50mm (75mm) as a secondary option for more"head and shoulder" type shots.

You do make a point about room sizes, and to be truthful most of my family shots are taken in rooms that tend to be on the larger size since my parents house is roughly 7500 square feet.

That explains it.

In that environment I use my 50mm lens on my Full Frame camera almost exclusively but sometimes switch to my 85mm 1.8G if I want to sit on one side of the room and get "waist-up" shots for people across the room.

Still, I find that head-and-shoulders, though being interesting photographic exercises, are boring and useless as mementos during parties. No context sucks, everybody forgets where and when they were taken in a month, and no human interaction in them.

peevee1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,247
Re: Gary Fong picks Sony for his kids

tedandtricia wrote:

GARY FONG INC wrote:

I own Canons, Nikons, Olympus, Pentax and Sony cameras. I have to because testing equipment is my job. And I choose Sony for shooting my children.

OK you will love this video because I'm showing how I use a Sony A77 with an 85mm f1.4 lens, wide open, at high speed drive with object and face tracking.

This combination is incredible for shooting children. I shoot my twins and they're 15 months old, so they move around fast. Using the object tracking follows the face (which it can do because of OLED) and nails so many more shots in a burst than my Canons, Nikons, Olympus or Pentax cameras.

click here to see video

Thanks for dropping in Gary. It's high praise that you're very familiar with all the brands and have chosen the Sony A77. That video almost speaks as loudy as your praise does.

Too bad I can't inspect all those shots at 100% magnification to see how sharply the Sony AF caught them but still, very impressed with how many of them seemed in focus despite the camera running on face tracking continuous AF.


I watched the movie, and it seems that a lot of it is inaccurate. It talks about "OLED sensor" - BS, there is no such thing as "OLED sensor". Sony A77 has OLED EVF though. It has nothing to do with tracking, except lagging a little behind the subject. The author is talking about 12 fps with tracking and face recognition - it is BS, 12 fps on A77 is only available with exposure lock, in 'Continuous Advance Priority AE' (similar to the 9 fps mode on OM-D). If you want continuous tracking AF with preview (so EVF would show you the subject and the focus frame), similar to 4 fps mode on OM-D, it is 3 fps only on A77.

teddoman
OP teddoman Senior Member • Posts: 2,477
Re: advantages of professional full frame cameras

Yes, full frame sensor makes my depth of field more shallow.

So I guess there would have to be some advantage to a professional FF system's AF system or some other advantage to offset the risk of making it hard to get DOF right and making it too shallow.

 teddoman's gear list:teddoman's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R II Sony a9 Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +6 more
cyrano Contributing Member • Posts: 896
Realistic expectations

tedandtricia wrote:

I'm well aware of what flash can accomplish. I will definitely add that to my toolkit and use where appropriate. There are some photos that absolutely require flash, but there are also photos in that gray area where flash would make it easy and but a skilled photographer with the right equipment can get it done without flash. My inquiry here is about getting the right equipment to do the latter in those situations where it is possible to do without flash.

The situation you're facing is the most difficult one possible: Low light + fast subject movement + close camera-to-subject distances.These conspire to make huge demands on the camera/lens system:

  • Fast subject movement forces high shutter speed.
  • High shutter speed combined with low light forces large aperture, even with high ISO.
  • Large aperture combined with close camera-to-subject distance results in very shallow depth of field.
  • Shallow depth of field demands extreme accuracy in focusing.

Thus, you need equipment which can track focus with extreme accuracy on rapidly-moving subjects in low light. Top-end professional dSLRs and lenses have autofocus systems which can do this, but I'm not aware of any inexpensive gear which can.

trekkeruss Veteran Member • Posts: 3,899
Re: advantages of professional full frame cameras

tedandtricia wrote:

Yes, full frame sensor makes my depth of field more shallow.

So I guess there would have to be some advantage to a professional FF system's AF system or some other advantage to offset the risk of making it hard to get DOF right and making it too shallow.

A FF camera will often have a more sophisticated AF system, but not always. Regardless, you would have to learn how to use it, and the more complicated the system, the harder it is to learn to use it to its fullest. Personally, I am not that good and would change some parameter to make my shooting easier rather than harder.

GARY FONG INC
GARY FONG INC Regular Member • Posts: 223
Re: Gary Fong picks Sony for his kids
I watched the movie, and it seems that a lot of it is inaccurate. It talks about "OLED sensor" - BS, there is no such thing as "OLED sensor". Sony A77 has OLED EVF though. It has nothing to do with tracking, except lagging a little behind the subject. The author is talking about 12 fps with tracking and face recognition - it is BS, 12 fps on A77 is only available with exposure lock, in 'Continuous Advance Priority AE' (similar to the 9 fps mode on OM-D). If you want continuous tracking AF with preview (so EVF would show you the subject and the focus frame), similar to 4 fps mode on OM-D, it is 3 fps only on A77.

Right.  I called it an OLED sensor, what I was meaning was the OLED viewfinder.  And I often call the high speed mode the 12fps mode, and in addition to what you said above, the focus also has to be locked.

However, in this shot series, the lens was wide open, so it actually was shooting in CAF/P mode.

I should call it high speed drive, but that is the max.  It's like when someone tells you your broadband will have a 9bps download, but that's a max.  (your times may vary)

-- hide signature --

Gary Fong
Inventor of the Lightsphere

 GARY FONG INC's gear list:GARY FONG INC's gear list
Olympus E-10 Canon EOS 5D Mark II Pentax K-5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 Nikon D7100 +23 more
Spillicus
Spillicus Contributing Member • Posts: 678
Re: Gary Fong picks Sony for his kids

peevee1 wrote:

I watched the movie, and it seems that a lot of it is inaccurate. It talks about "OLED sensor" - BS, there is no such thing as "OLED sensor". Sony A77 has OLED EVF though. It has nothing to do with tracking, except lagging a little behind the subject. The author is talking about 12 fps with tracking and face recognition - it is BS, 12 fps on A77 is only available with exposure lock, in 'Continuous Advance Priority AE' (similar to the 9 fps mode on OM-D). If you want continuous tracking AF with preview (so EVF would show you the subject and the focus frame), similar to 4 fps mode on OM-D, it is 3 fps only on A77.

Still not quite right; the continuous autofocus works at 12fps, it's only the exposure that gets locked to whatever the first frame dictates.  This typically doesn't matter, as you're not going to be seeing a big difference in exposure over the course of a second, but if the subject moved from light to shadow it would not react.

The continous shooting modes have full control of autofocus and exposure, and continous high runs at more like 7fps.

The tough thing about the EVF at high speed is it doesn't update fast enough to be easy to track when capturing frames at continous high or on the 12fps second mode, you end with a bit of a slide show effect.  It takes a bit of practice to pan with subjects in those modes, but you can get used to it, and you end with an optical viewfinder going black when the mirror swings in continous shooting in a DSLR, so at the consumer camera level I'm not sure there's a big difference.  I think one thing you get with the pro level sports cams (Canon 1DX, Nikon D4 kinds of things) is a very fast mirror movement system that mitigates this, but obviously at high cost.

 Spillicus's gear list:Spillicus's gear list
Sony SLT-A65 Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD
teddoman
OP teddoman Senior Member • Posts: 2,477
Re: Realistic expectations- pro AF

cyrano wrote:

tedandtricia wrote:

I'm well aware of what flash can accomplish. I will definitely add that to my toolkit and use where appropriate. There are some photos that absolutely require flash, but there are also photos in that gray area where flash would make it easy and but a skilled photographer with the right equipment can get it done without flash. My inquiry here is about getting the right equipment to do the latter in those situations where it is possible to do without flash.

The situation you're facing is the most difficult one possible: Low light + fast subject movement + close camera-to-subject distances.These conspire to make huge demands on the camera/lens system:

  • Fast subject movement forces high shutter speed.
  • High shutter speed combined with low light forces large aperture, even with high ISO.
  • Large aperture combined with close camera-to-subject distance results in very shallow depth of field.
  • Shallow depth of field demands extreme accuracy in focusing.

Thus, you need equipment which can track focus with extreme accuracy on rapidly-moving subjects in low light. Top-end professional dSLRs and lenses have autofocus systems which can do this, but I'm not aware of any inexpensive gear which can.

Very well put.

What top pro DSLR models do you have experience with that have AF systems that are up to the task, in your mind? Give me an idea of what you consider sufficient to meet these demands vs what you consider "inexpensive" gear.

 teddoman's gear list:teddoman's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R II Sony a9 Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +6 more
Alphoid Veteran Member • Posts: 5,333
Re: Best DSLR + lens combo for low light, indoor kid shots

Few points:

  1. I wouldn't worry too much about the -1/2EV of Sony dSLTs. The mirror takes away. The image stabilization on fast primes giveth back. 
  2. On OVF vs. EFV, EVF is much better for learning. If you know what you're doing -- it's a matter of personal preference. I personally prefer high quality EVFs to high quality OVFs, but many folks have the opposite preference. 
  3. For used lenses, Sony is quite good. Older Minolta lenses become stabilized due to IBIS. For modern lenses, if you're unstabilized, Canon and Nikon are ahead. If you need stabilization, Sony is ahead. 
  4. For focus systems, Nikon was in the lead for speed/accuracy if you do center point when I last looked. Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, and other EVF cameras are in the lead for picking what to focus on -- in fully automatic mode, they can do all the point-and-shoot tricks like face detection. This is quite nice for high speed action -- you don't have to set up AF tracking, and it generally just works. 
  5. FF is around +1.4EV from APS, with the same lens and similar level of sensor technology. 
teddoman
OP teddoman Senior Member • Posts: 2,477
Sony vs Canon/Nikon/etc on EVF, IBIS, AF

Alphoid wrote:

Few points:

  1. I wouldn't worry too much about the -1/2EV of Sony dSLTs. The mirror takes away. The image stabilization on fast primes giveth back.
  2. On OVF vs. EFV, EVF is much better for learning. If you know what you're doing -- it's a matter of personal preference. I personally prefer high quality EVFs to high quality OVFs, but many folks have the opposite preference.
  3. For used lenses, Sony is quite good. Older Minolta lenses become stabilized due to IBIS. For modern lenses, if you're unstabilized, Canon and Nikon are ahead. If you need stabilization, Sony is ahead.
  4. For focus systems, Nikon was in the lead for speed/accuracy if you do center point when I last looked. Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, and other EVF cameras are in the lead for picking what to focus on -- in fully automatic mode, they can do all the point-and-shoot tricks like face detection. This is quite nice for high speed action -- you don't have to set up AF tracking, and it generally just works.
  5. FF is around +1.4EV from APS, with the same lens and similar level of sensor technology.

Great points.

Interesting about EVF being better for learning. That definitely applies to me.

Regarding stabilization, is IBIS + unstabilized lenses generally equivalent in performance to an unstabilized body + stabilized lens? Seems like IBIS would be a lot more economical in the long run because you can use old lenses that you can buy for cheap. On FF, I think you need new Sony lenses to do a new AF mode I read about called AF-D, but I don't think Sony has AF-D on the APS-C bodies, so if I went APS-C on Sony, I wouldn't be sacrificing anything.

When you say FF is around +1.4EV from APS-C, what causes that? I'm not sure I understand why that would be, if you're saying the sensor tech is the same and it's not due to greater useable ISO range.

 teddoman's gear list:teddoman's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R II Sony a9 Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +6 more
Philip Kendall
Philip Kendall Contributing Member • Posts: 789
Re: Realistic expectations- pro AF

tedandtricia wrote:

What top pro DSLR models do you have experience with that have AF systems that are up to the task, in your mind?

That's just a question of "how good do you want it". An entry level SLR will be far better than a cheap point and shoot. Good enough to get published professionally? Almost certainly not. Good enough to show to your family and for them to go "Ahh! How cute!"? Quite probably.

This thread is probably relevant here.

 Philip Kendall's gear list:Philip Kendall's gear list
Canon PowerShot SD1000 Canon EOS 550D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II
jbart1 Regular Member • Posts: 195
Re: Sony vs Canon/Nikon/etc on EVF, IBIS, AF

IBIS is generally achieved by what is called "frame shift" a software trick built into the camera that tracks the image and attempts to compensate for movement by recording the motion during the open shutter and compensating for it with an image blur reduction algorithm.

In lens image stabilization is achieved by tiny motors compensating for the movement of the lens barrel in real time.  This adds complexity and cost to the lenses but is an optical system.  this is why IBIS cant be seen through an optical viewfinder but in lens stabilization can be easily seen through an optical viewfinder.

The sony EVF is really nice as EVF go, and it will give you a WYSISWYG view that compensates for all camera settings that an optical viewfinder cannot.

At a certain point it just comes down to personal preference and which camera you like using.

Alphoid Veteran Member • Posts: 5,333
False
1

jbart1 wrote:

IBIS is generally achieved by what is called "frame shift" a software trick built into the camera that tracks the image and attempts to compensate for movement by recording the motion during the open shutter and compensating for it with an image blur reduction algorithm.

This is false. Sensor image stabilization works by moving the sensor around with piezo-electric motors. What you are describing is called "digital stabilization" and works like crap.

jbart1 Regular Member • Posts: 195
Re: False

Thank you for the explanation.  I apologize for the incorrect information.

Alphoid Veteran Member • Posts: 5,333
Re: Sony vs Canon/Nikon/etc on EVF, IBIS, AF
2

tedandtricia wrote:

Interesting about EVF being better for learning. That definitely applies to me.

The core advantages -- for a beginner -- are:

  1. You see what the image will look like before you shoot. Beginners can use full manual from day 1, and not get ruined images. If you're underexposed, overexposed, have bad white balance, you know. As you adjust settings, with the exception of depth-of-field (where you have to hold a preview button), you see what they do. With OVF, you only find out after you shoot. 
  2. You can review photos accurately. With dSLRs, how accurately you can review depends on the lighting conditions. E.g. in bright daylight, the viewfinder will be washed out. This really shortens the shoot-review-improve cycle.

Regarding stabilization, is IBIS + unstabilized lenses generally equivalent in performance to an unstabilized body + stabilized lens?

Stabilization performance is similar -- sometimes in-body edges ahead, and sometimes in-lens. The key difference is selection. Try to find a stabilized f/1.4 lens -- or even f/1.8 -- for Canon or Nikon. Even f/2.8 is rare. Upgrade path is also a little bit different -- with IBIS, you upgrade your body, and all your lenses have better stabilization. With in-lens, you upgrade the lens.

On FF, I think you need new Sony lenses to do a new AF mode I read about called AF-D, but I don't think Sony has AF-D on the APS-C bodies, so if I went APS-C on Sony, I wouldn't be sacrificing anything.

I haven't heard of AF-D, but normal AF should work with any lens (with the exception of some older Sigma lenses from the eighties -- where Sigma had incorrectly reverse-engineered the Minolta/Sony mount).

When you say FF is around +1.4EV from APS-C, what causes that? I'm not sure I understand why that would be, if you're saying the sensor tech is the same and it's not due to greater useable ISO range.

FF sensor is 1.6x bigger in each dimension. This means that it gets hit by roughly 2.5x as much light. This means it does better in low light.

For all intents and purposes, if you take a full frame camera+lens, you will get the same performance as an APS camera would if you divided the aperture by 1.6. The following will give nearly identical performance (DOF, noise, field of view, etc.):

  • 50mm FF f/2.8 1/50s ISO3200
  • 80mm APS f1/8 1/50s ISO1250
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads