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Yet another What-camera-to-buy-question

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  • Philipp B. Koch
    Hello everyone, I am a Olympus E-330 user and basically like the camera a lot. With its Live View capabilities and the excellent lenses available for
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 28, 2009
      Hello everyone,

      I am a Olympus E-330 user and basically like the camera a lot. With its
      Live View capabilities and the excellent lenses available for comparably
      low prices, I've been going well with it so far both for panorama shots
      and "normal" photography tasks. But recently I was shooting a big event
      for a company where I had to take photos of tech talks (on a dim lit
      stage) and people chatting with each other outside while the sun was
      going down. It has always been a problem for Four Thirds sensors that
      their noise behavior / low light performace is far worse than other
      cameras with bigger sensors do. I was already getting into big noise
      trouble when I raised ISO just to 400 (it would have allowed me to go up
      to ISO 1600), and when I was taking the tech talk shots I had to
      intentionally under-expose the pictures by about 1.5 EV in order to not
      get blurry pictures although I used a tripod and a lens that starts with
      F2.8. Sooooo -- my questions are:

      What DSLR cameras might be interesting for low noise / good low-light
      performance that:

      1. Are rather mid-range than pro-cameras (regarding price, for example
      something like Canon 5D MkII would be too expensive for me)
      2. Offer either a comparably high dynamic range capture and/or truly (in
      praxis) useable exposure bracketing features
      3. Have enough necessary additional stuff than can be bought when needed
      (compatible flash, (wireless or cable-)remote control, good lenses
      (including a decent fisheye), additional battery holder...
      4. Offer Live View
      5. Have a turnable LCD monitor (at least up and down, left and right
      would be nice but not totally necessary).

      *Not* so important for me would be:

      1. Fast picture series (3 pictures per second are OK)
      2. High resolution (about 8 MP would be OK)
      3. Ability to capture videos
      4. Camera size (can be big and heavy, no problem)
      5. "Full Format"-sensor. Certainly nice-to-have, but not necessary for
      me (I've always been taking at least 8 shots per panorama).

      I don't want to strat any flame wars regarding camera brands, and I'm
      sorry if I annoy anyone with these questions... I just thought: Where if
      not here at PanotoolsNG can I find such a large amount of knowlegde and
      professionalism with photography and panorama techniques. I'd be happy
      for any suggestions, although I cannot go and buy a new camera directly
      due to loss of money :-( It's rather a long-term decision, especially
      since I would have to change my whole system (each and every lens etc.
      would have to be bought again).

      Any response would be highly appreciated. And thanks to everyone for
      building and maintaining this great community!

      Best regards, Philipp
    • mrjimbo
      Phillip, For what your trying to shhot ( people etc in adverse lighting) I d try to go a good flash first. I understand what your saying about teh noise. If a
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 28, 2009
        Phillip,
        For what your trying to shhot ( people etc in adverse lighting) I'd try to
        go a good flash first. I understand what your saying about teh noise. If a
        flash image is acceptible that's the most cost effective. Your not really
        saying where your budget is at.. The expense is way bigger then just the
        camera body as you'll need a lens or two malso an da few other periferals. I
        would check to see if Olympus has somethig already or on te horizon that
        will get you out of teh box before switching to Canon or Nikon unless your
        looking for an excuse to do so. Anyway all the newer or more recent models
        both FX and DX have much improved noise issues at higher iso's.. With FX
        doing the best but costing more of course.

        jimbo
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Philipp B. Koch" <pk@...>
        To: "PanoToolsNG" <PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2009 7:49 AM
        Subject: [PanoToolsNG] Yet another What-camera-to-buy-question


        > Hello everyone,
        >
        > I am a Olympus E-330 user and basically like the camera a lot. With its
        > Live View capabilities and the excellent lenses available for comparably
        > low prices, I've been going well with it so far both for panorama shots
        > and "normal" photography tasks. But recently I was shooting a big event
        > for a company where I had to take photos of tech talks (on a dim lit
        > stage) and people chatting with each other outside while the sun was
        > going down. It has always been a problem for Four Thirds sensors that
        > their noise behavior / low light performace is far worse than other
        > cameras with bigger sensors do. I was already getting into big noise
        > trouble when I raised ISO just to 400 (it would have allowed me to go up
        > to ISO 1600), and when I was taking the tech talk shots I had to
        > intentionally under-expose the pictures by about 1.5 EV in order to not
        > get blurry pictures although I used a tripod and a lens that starts with
        > F2.8. Sooooo -- my questions are:
        >
        > What DSLR cameras might be interesting for low noise / good low-light
        > performance that:
        >
        > 1. Are rather mid-range than pro-cameras (regarding price, for example
        > something like Canon 5D MkII would be too expensive for me)
        > 2. Offer either a comparably high dynamic range capture and/or truly (in
        > praxis) useable exposure bracketing features
        > 3. Have enough necessary additional stuff than can be bought when needed
        > (compatible flash, (wireless or cable-)remote control, good lenses
        > (including a decent fisheye), additional battery holder...
        > 4. Offer Live View
        > 5. Have a turnable LCD monitor (at least up and down, left and right
        > would be nice but not totally necessary).
        >
        > *Not* so important for me would be:
        >
        > 1. Fast picture series (3 pictures per second are OK)
        > 2. High resolution (about 8 MP would be OK)
        > 3. Ability to capture videos
        > 4. Camera size (can be big and heavy, no problem)
        > 5. "Full Format"-sensor. Certainly nice-to-have, but not necessary for
        > me (I've always been taking at least 8 shots per panorama).
        >
        > I don't want to strat any flame wars regarding camera brands, and I'm
        > sorry if I annoy anyone with these questions... I just thought: Where if
        > not here at PanotoolsNG can I find such a large amount of knowlegde and
        > professionalism with photography and panorama techniques. I'd be happy
        > for any suggestions, although I cannot go and buy a new camera directly
        > due to loss of money :-( It's rather a long-term decision, especially
        > since I would have to change my whole system (each and every lens etc.
        > would have to be bought again).
        >
        > Any response would be highly appreciated. And thanks to everyone for
        > building and maintaining this great community!
        >
        > Best regards, Philipp
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > --
        >
        >
        >

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      • Philipp B. Koch
        ... Actually I have a flash that is quite good. In the situation I described (tech talk shooting) I had to deal with a former electric power transformation
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 28, 2009
          mrjimbo schrieb:
          > For what your trying to shhot ( people etc in adverse lighting) I'd try to
          > go a good flash first. I understand what your saying about teh noise. If a
          > flash image is acceptible that's the most cost effective.
          Actually I have a flash that is quite good. In the situation I described
          (tech talk shooting) I had to deal with a former electric power
          transformation substation; the ceiling is about 8 meters high, plus it
          is not white. So using a flash indirectly was not an option, and direct
          flash light was not possible as well (it would have disturbed the
          "show", and I was not close enough either (I was shooting with a 300mm
          zoom lens (full format equiv.)).

          > Your not really
          > saying where your budget is at..
          You're right -- I am rather trying to figure out how big or small my
          budget would have to be :-) I ran into situations where low light is an
          issue quite often in the past, but I could mostly solve it with ISO 100
          and looooong exposure times. But as soon as it comes to movement
          (people) in low light, that's of course not an option. I would need:
          Body, fisheye (can be cropped, no full circular necessary), and one or
          two lenses that cover a zoom range of about 28 - 300 (FF equivalent). I
          have no clue how much I would have to invest here, especially regarding
          the outstanding quality of my Zuiko lenses. For instance, my 14-54 has
          literally no barrel distorsion in the widest zoom position and is
          incredibly crisp.

          > The expense is way bigger then just the
          > camera body as you'll need a lens or two malso an da few other periferals. I
          > would check to see if Olympus has somethig already or on te horizon that
          > will get you out of teh box before switching to Canon or Nikon unless your
          > looking for an excuse to do so.
          I'm absolutely aware about the fact that it's not only the body to be
          bought... Actually, I have a 16mm (FF equi.) fisheye (excellent), a
          28-108mm (FF equiv.) zoom lens (excellent) and a 80-300mm (FF equiv.)
          zoom lens (OK, but not perfect), a system flash and a wireless remote
          control, and of course stuff like additional batteries, white-balance
          filter in the right size and so on. All this was expensive, and I love
          my camera, but it's just not the best choice for low- or even
          available-light-photography. Olympus sticks to the Four Thirds sensors
          (which is a good thing because they make good cameras, and they are
          really good for a variety of photography types). But -- noise is
          something Canon and Nikon seem to handle better, from all what I have
          heard and seen. So, waiting for a "better Four Thirds camera" does not
          seem to solve that noise problem for me, because it's simply a
          characteristic of the rather small FourThirds-sensors.

          In fact, I don't care too much about brands, so I don't need an excuse
          for switching :-) I just need better low-light performance, and Olympus'
          top-model (E-3) is not the answer here, I'm afraid.

          > Anyway all the newer or more recent models
          > both FX and DX have much improved noise issues at higher iso's.. With FX
          > doing the best but costing more of course.
          I'll have to investigate what the lower-priced Canons and Nikons can do,
          and how much good lenses (not the kit lenses) put on top monetarily.

          Anyway, thanks a lot for your response!
          Ph.
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