Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 30

Thread: Best low light photography equipment?

  1. #1

    Best low light photography equipment?

    Hi all!

    I wish to shoot in the dark, handheld. I'm thinking of using the Nikon 12mp D700 with a 50mm f/1.4 G lens. Is this the appropriate equipment for me, or would a Canon EOS 5D mark 2 be better? Please don't talk about the noise performance. Only light sensitivity at iso 800 please!

    Edit- please note that I do not want to use a flash!

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Blazing fire; 5th March 2009 at 01:09 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    I think the $6,000,000 question is "how dark"?

    I've had F1.2 lenses on cameras at 3200 ISO outside under street lights that still wasn't able to be hand held - perhaps you could tell us a little more about what you're trying to achieve?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    18

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    I may be out of order here, shooting in the dark will only be achieved by a low shutter speed to capture detail, in which case less than a 1/30th second needs a very steady hand or bracing the camera in some way

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ajman - U.A.E.
    Posts
    123

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    The better equipment here is the TRIPOD.
    I had many handheld shots at night and they all are not good enough, so with my tripod i fall in love with night shots.

  5. #5

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I think the $6,000,000 question is "how dark"?

    I've had F1.2 lenses on cameras at 3200 ISO outside under street lights that still wasn't able to be hand held - perhaps you could tell us a little more about what you're trying to achieve?
    Oh yes! Not pitch dark, meaning there are artificial lights present, and it is bright enough to be able to read quite easily. This isn't dark but I want to get at least 1/200s, ~f/2.8, iso800-1250. Am I hoping too much? I think Tareq Alhemrani was shooting in a forest with an overcast weather + little moonlight.

    PS: I do not want to use a flash.

  6. #6
    Raycer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Canada
    Posts
    241

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blazing fire View Post
    1/200s, ~f/2.8, iso800-1250.
    that doesn't sound too dark. Even my D300 can get good pictures at ISO 800. D700, or 5DII can easily do that.

    Tareq, what were you doing in a dark forest on an overcast day? And how do you manage to get moonlight on an overcast day?

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blazing fire View Post
    Oh yes! Not pitch dark, meaning there are artificial lights present, and it is bright enough to be able to read quite easily. This isn't dark but I want to get at least 1/200s, ~f/2.8, iso800-1250.
    Probably a good first step would be to work out what shutter-speeds you'd be dealing with - are you able to borrow an SLR for testing?

    To go back to your original question, I don't know much about Nikons so I really can't comment - but the Canon 5D2 is Canon's best low-light performer right now (in addition to being an excellent all-round camera).

    Does this help?

  8. #8

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raycer View Post
    that doesn't sound too dark. Even my D300 can get good pictures at ISO 800. D700, or 5DII can easily do that.

    Tareq, what were you doing in a dark forest on an overcast day? And how do you manage to get moonlight on an overcast day?
    I see. Some say that the d700 should be more light sensitive than a 5DII, as the larger photosites makes it more light sensitive. But to my thinking, the design of it makes a larger impact, hence I started this thread.

    Overcast with just a little light illuminating the sky but the moon cannot be seen. Know what I mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Probably a good first step would be to work out what shutter-speeds you'd be dealing with - are you able to borrow an SLR for testing?

    To go back to your original question, I don't know much about Nikons so I really can't comment - but the Canon 5D2 is Canon's best low-light performer right now (in addition to being an excellent all-round camera).

    Does this help?
    May I know what you mean by "work out what shutter-speeds you'd be dealing with "? Not quite sure you mean .

    "Canon 5D2 is Canon's best low-light performer right now" helped . At least I know what contenders there are.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blazing fire View Post
    I see. Some say that the d700 should be more light sensitive than a 5DII, as the larger photosites makes it more light sensitive. But to my thinking, the design of it makes a larger impact, hence I started this thread.
    General consensus amongst many of us is that the differences in sensor technology between the likes of the D700 - 5D2 - 1Ds3 is actually very small - most of the high-ISO performance gain seems to be coming from improved in-camera noise reduction. If you start going over all the reviews though, you'll go nuts; you'll find opinions vary, and it's more a case of both being more than adequate than it is one being significantly better than the other. In most comparisons you'll only ever be able to see the difference at 200% magnification - which has very little relevance in "real world" images.

    May I know what you mean by "work out what shutter-speeds you'd be dealing with "? Not quite sure you mean .
    Sure. Cameras that have super-high-ISO modes are still fairly new - but if you can lay your hands on something older (say, a camera with a max ISO of 3200 ISO) you can work out what the shutter speed would be at a higher ISO on a newer camera. eg. If a camera at F2.8 / ISO 3200 in aperture priority mode give you a shutter speed of 1/15th then something like a Canon 5D2 at ISO 25,600 - same aperture - would give you a shutter speed of 1/125th.

    Does that help?

  10. #10

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    General consensus amongst many of us is that the differences in sensor technology between the likes of the D700 - 5D2 - 1Ds3 is actually very small - most of the high-ISO performance gain seems to be coming from improved in-camera noise reduction. If you start going over all the reviews though, you'll go nuts; you'll find opinions vary, and it's more a case of both being more than adequate than it is one being significantly better than the other. In most comparisons you'll only ever be able to see the difference at 200% magnification - which has very little relevance in "real world" images.
    So either way I go, I will have one of the most light sensitive body? In that case, ergonomics would be the determining factor in which camera I'll go with. That's a good thing!
    Sure. Cameras that have super-high-ISO modes are still fairly new - but if you can lay your hands on something older (say, a camera with a max ISO of 3200 ISO) you can work out what the shutter speed would be at a higher ISO on a newer camera. eg. If a camera at F2.8 / ISO 3200 in aperture priority mode give you a shutter speed of 1/15th then something like a Canon 5D2 at ISO 25,600 - same aperture - would give you a shutter speed of 1/125th.

    Does that help?
    I think I understand... but what's the purpose of it? To see which shutter speed would give me sharp results?

  11. #11
    Raycer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Canada
    Posts
    241

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Yup, D700, 5DII both are amazing cameras. If you only want to compare the sensor technology, go to http://www.dxomark.com/

    if you want to know camera reliability in extreme weather conditions, check out
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es...9-worked.shtml

    But make sure you understand your lens selection before you pick your camera.

    I wish Nikon would offer D700 with full HD video... but wait, that means ~$10k cdn(camera, lens, software and computer upgrade) out of my pocket

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blazing fire View Post
    So either way I go, I will have one of the most light sensitive body? In that case, ergonomics would be the determining factor in which camera I'll go with. That's a good thing!
    To be honest, I don't think even ergonomics make that much difference as you're likely to be happy with whatever you get used to. Often people accumulate a collection of lenses and thus get tied into one or the other of the leading brands.

    I think I understand... but what's the purpose of it? To see which shutter speed would give me sharp results?
    Purpose was to work out if ANY camera was going to be able to do the job (remember that at the stage I first made that comment I had no idea if you were talking about night street photography or trying to shoot the inside of a cave at night) - wouldn't want you to spend thousands on a new camera only to find that it still wouldn't do the job

  13. #13

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raycer View Post
    Yup, D700, 5DII both are amazing cameras. If you only want to compare the sensor technology, go to http://www.dxomark.com/

    if you want to know camera reliability in extreme weather conditions, check out
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es...9-worked.shtml

    But make sure you understand your lens selection before you pick your camera.

    I wish Nikon would offer D700 with full HD video... but wait, that means ~$10k cdn(camera, lens, software and computer upgrade) out of my pocket
    Thanks for the link. Apparently, the light sensitivity is very similar, to the point of being negligible. Look at this!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Purpose was to work out if ANY camera was going to be able to do the job (remember that at the stage I first made that comment I had no idea if you were talking about night street photography or trying to shoot the inside of a cave at night) - wouldn't want you to spend thousands on a new camera only to find that it still wouldn't do the job
    . Will do that thanks!

  14. #14
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blazing fire View Post
    I see. Some say that the d700 should be more light sensitive than a 5DII, as the larger photosites makes it more light sensitive. But to my thinking, the design of it makes a larger impact, hence I started this thread.

    Overcast with just a little light illuminating the sky but the moon cannot be seen. Know what I mean?



    May I know what you mean by "work out what shutter-speeds you'd be dealing with "? Not quite sure you mean .

    "Canon 5D2 is Canon's best low-light performer right now" helped . At least I know what contenders there are.
    Hi blazing Fire I have a eos 40d cannon can you help me with low light settings

  15. #15

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Hi CHAZ! I'll try to help you but take what I say lightly as my knowledge of photography is limited. Do ask other members too, like colin for better advice .

    1) Increase ISO. "A camera's "ISO setting" or "ISO speed" is a standard which describes its absolute sensitivity to light.". But this increases noise. Read up the tutorials here: "DIGITAL CAMERA IMAGE NOISE - PART 1, PART 2"

    2) Increase aperture size. This allows more light to enter but may cause "falloff/Vignetting" and softening. Read this up.

    3) Increase shutter speed, but using long exposure may cause Fixed Pattern Noise (read the article on noise)

    4) Use a flash.

    Does this help?
    Last edited by Blazing fire; 7th March 2009 at 06:10 AM.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by CHAZ View Post
    Hi blazing Fire I have a eos 40d canon can you help me with low light settings
    Hi Chaz,

    Welcome to the CiC Forums

    ... if you get a chance, pop a reply onto our welcome thread so we can all give you a rousing CiC welcome (and you can tell us a wee bit about you).
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 23rd May 2009 at 10:30 AM. Reason: Cannon -> Canon

  17. #17

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blazing fire View Post
    Oh yes! Not pitch dark, meaning there are artificial lights present, and it is bright enough to be able to read quite easily. This isn't dark but I want to get at least 1/200s, ~f/2.8, iso800-1250. Am I hoping too much? I think Tareq Alhemrani was shooting in a forest with an overcast weather + little moonlight.

    PS: I do not want to use a flash.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raycer View Post
    that doesn't sound too dark. Even my D300 can get good pictures at ISO 800. D700, or 5DII can easily do that.

    Tareq, what were you doing in a dark forest on an overcast day? And how do you manage to get moonlight on an overcast day?
    Btw, I think I'm asking too much... It is quite impossible to get 1/200 at iso 800, f/2.8


    Best low light photography equipment?[COLOR=Red]D3 handheld at f1.4, 1/30, ISO 6400

  18. #18
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    15,982
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blazing fire View Post
    It is quite impossible to get 1/200 at iso 800, f/2.8
    To be silly; it must be possible, it just needs more light than you anticipated!

    But I know what you mean

  19. #19
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,298
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    The low light capabilities of something like the D3 are simply amazing, but don't go near the extremes. I find that !SO 6400 is the absolute limit and I prefer 1600-3200 if possible. ISO 25600 is for the marketing people. Normally I keep the camera on its native resolution of ISO 200 unless the occasion demands it, and I am sure the same is true with the Canon 5DII as well.

    I am more than happy with the D3 performance in low light and makes my older cameras such as the spare D200 look completely incompetent when used alongside. I have had so many comments 'as to how can you possibly take a picture in this light?' It almost becomes repetitive.

    Whether it be in churches, in the street or inside, it never fails to amaze folk. Good thing for me though, it gets the results.

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Best low light photography equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by shreds View Post
    The low light capabilities of something like the D3 are simply amazing, but don't go near the extremes.
    ... although one might argue that one wouldn't use the extreme ISO modes unless one had to - so possibly it then becomes a case of "high-ISO mode, or nothing"?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •