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Thread: Low light camera

  1. #1
    Member RobertWA's Avatar
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    Low light camera

    Hello all,

    I want to buy a camera which is good for low light situations. Initially I looked at an entry level Nikon DSLR, (D3200, D3100, or D5100) but noticed that the lens supplied in the kit has a maximum aperture of f3.5. I then looked at two of the cameras in the Nikon CoolPix range, the P7700 with an f2 lens and the P310 with an f1.8 lens. However the P310 with the larger maximum aperture has a smaller sensor than the P7700. And I think that both of these sensors are smaller than that in the DSLR. So given the combined effect of aperture and sensor size, (and other factors???) which of these three cameras is better for low light photography?


    Thank you in advance

    Robert

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    How about introducing yourself to the forum first and letting us know a bit about you and what you want out of your photography. You then may get some more informed responses to your questions.
    Cheers
    Keith.

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    Hi Robert

    The questions normally asked now are "What do you want to photograph?", or "What will you want to photograph in the futrure?"

    Leaving the Nikon D range aside for the moment, of the two Coolpix cameras the P310 looks better for low light. It has a wider aperture range (1.8-4.7) and more mpixels. For these cameras the sensor size doesn't make as much difference as the effective pixels because the lenses will match the sensor size in all cases i would imagine.

    These are single lens, $500 cameras though, so depending what you want to get to with your photography in the future, the ability to change lenses could be a big factor. There's nothing wrong with a $500 compact camera, but they are not as versatile as the D series cameras you mention, and that is reflected in the difference in price range.

    The D3100 has come well down in price lately, since the D3200 has been released and although you would need to spend a lot more you may get more future versatility. A 35m mor 50mm f1.8 lens will cost a few hundred extra, on top of the kit purchase, but if you want the ability to change lenses for your photography needs later on, it could be the way to go. You can always forget about the kit, and buy the body and the lens or lenses you want.

    I have not been "into" photography long, but knowing what I know now, and learning how varied photography can be from sites like this one, I'm very glad I chose a D3100 rather than a compact. My next purchase will probably be a 50mm f1.8 lens very soon.

    It all depends where you are headed photographically speaking.

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    A camera which is "Good for low light situations" could be any of the ones noted.

    What you plan to shoot with them is the key here.
    If you were shooting landscapes etc, a high ISO is seldom required, and you can leave the shutter open a few seconds and still get good results.
    On the other hand, if you want to shoot fast moving objects, wildlife, sports etc in low light, all of the cameras you have noted are rubbish, you would be looking at a D7000, D700, D800, D3, D3s, D4 for that and a hell of alot more money.

    Tell us what you want it for, and we will be able to help further.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    If you want a good low light camera, try a Nikon D3, or one of the other full frame cameras, with about 12 mp. This means each pixel site on the sensor is reasonably large (as far as pixels go) and therefore is able to handle low light better. Also look at f2.8 lenses for whatever genre you want. You will then need to learn how to use the camera, with ISO playing an important part in you getting the shots you want.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Well, Someone's got to say it:

    Have a look at the Pentax K5/k5 MkII or a K30
    All of which have stellar high ISO performance (the k5 sits just below the d800e and above the canon 5d mk3 in the dxo mark sensor tests) and cost a pittance next to the nikon D range.
    Add to that a plethora of legacy lenses and some very good new glass available and you have a superb camera system for under a couple of grand including a kit lens upgrade. (and some change to spare)
    Greg Bartle,
    I have a Pentax and I'm not afraid to use it.
    Pentax K5
    Sigma 10-20 | Tamron 17-50 F:2.8 | Sigma 50 F:1.4 | Sigma 70-200 F:2.8 Plus a bunch of Ye Olde lenses


    Would you like to see more?
    http://flickr.com/photosbygreg

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus79 View Post
    Well, Someone's got to say it:

    Have a look at the Pentax K5/k5 MkII or a K30
    All of which have stellar high ISO performance (the k5 sits just below the d800e and above the canon 5d mk3 in the dxo mark sensor tests) and cost a pittance next to the nikon D range.
    Add to that a plethora of legacy lenses and some very good new glass available and you have a superb camera system for under a couple of grand including a kit lens upgrade. (and some change to spare)
    Or wait a few weeks and the much rumoured Pentax K3 - full frame sensor,, might be an option too. (someone had to say it)

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    RobertWA's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the input. I need to do some more research.

    Thanks again.

    Robert

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    Member achee's Avatar
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    It's a bit like asking 'what's a good fast car,' if you don't give a few more details (especially budget!) someone's going to say 'try a D3'

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    Quote Originally Posted by achee View Post
    It's a bit like asking 'what's a good fast car,' if you don't give a few more details (especially budget!) someone's going to say 'try a D3'
    Personally, I'd look at the Z4 or the Lotus Elise ....

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    was out at Kakadu a few days ago and the Pentax K-5 was getting way better low light pics than either the Canon or Nikon of the people I was chatting to (yes we were comparing), and it's now well under $1000 at our site sponsors (eglobal) as it has been superseded, but only slightly.

    Pentax rocks
    Pentax K-1, K-3 and some lovely, mostly Pentax, mostly prime lenses - DFA 15-30, 24-70, and 100 Macro, FA 31, 43, and 77 Ltd, DA* 200 & 50-135, DA 12-24, 20-40 (ltd), 15, 21, 35 (Ltd) Macro, 40, 50, plus a couple of manuals from way back and a few others for good luck.


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