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12-20-2012, 10:04 PM   #1
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Q's low light performance compared to Olympus XZ-1 (or other cams)

So, How does the Q compare with the Olympus XZ-1?

I have the Q now, and for my purposes it will be fine. It doesn't really seem to do low-light particularly well, but I'm really spoiled by my K-01. I'm looking for a decent camera to get my girlfriend for her birthday. She HATES her camera now, because she wants to photos in low light without motion blur and without flash, yet still have it fit in her purse.

I originally thought the Q might be good for her, but after using it a bit, I'm underwhelmed by the ISO performance. The Olympus has a larger sensor, and from the looks of things the ISO performance is better than the Q -- but I'll admit I've not seen a direct comparison yet. Just looking at photos from the Olympus I can't help but think, daaaaamn it does low light pretty well.

Only dice is the Olympus is lots more expensive than the Q+zoom, and from what I hear it has detail smearing issues due to overzealous NR. My GF will never, ever shoot raw, and never, ever use photoshop, so it's essential I find a camera for her that makes nice high quality jpegs in low light. Also, something under $400 would be ideal...

Charles.

12-20-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
So, How does the Q compare with the Olympus XZ-1?

I have the Q now, and for my purposes it will be fine. It doesn't really seem to do low-light particularly well, but I'm really spoiled by my K-01. I'm looking for a decent camera to get my girlfriend for her birthday. She HATES her camera now, because she wants to photos in low light without motion blur and without flash, yet still have it fit in her purse.

I originally thought the Q might be good for her, but after using it a bit, I'm underwhelmed by the ISO performance. The Olympus has a larger sensor, and from the looks of things the ISO performance is better than the Q -- but I'll admit I've not seen a direct comparison yet. Just looking at photos from the Olympus I can't help but think, daaaaamn it does low light pretty well.

Only dice is the Olympus is lots more expensive than the Q+zoom, and from what I hear it has detail smearing issues due to overzealous NR. My GF will never, ever shoot raw, and never, ever use photoshop, so it's essential I find a camera for her that makes nice high quality jpegs in low light. Also, something under $400 would be ideal...

Charles.
The Oly is going to be a little better, but not by much- at the moment you can't expect too much from these small-sensor cameras. DxO will give you a fairly good estimate of what to expect in practice.

Adam
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12-20-2012, 10:39 PM   #3
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It sounds like she wants a small camera with a big sensor and a big aperture lens at a cheap price. That will be a tough one. Maybe some kind of Sony Nex or Samsung NX fits the bill? Thought it will probably break the budget. Low light, movement, no flash and size together simply sounds very expensive.
The Q is decent for a small sensor camera with the 8.5/1.9 prime but the 02 zoom is just too slow.
12-20-2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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Well, I have the zoom so that's requiring high ISO to do indoor shots iwth the Q. Now the olympus is f1.8-2.5 throughout the entire zoom range, which means much more light. Much more light. So she shouldn't even have to dip into the higher ISO settings.

Cheap is relative. $400 isn't really cheap if you ask me. I mean, for that price I can get her a K-01 with amazing IQ and low light performance... that's what I call a bargain. But she wants something more pocketable (I date the only girl on the planet who hates purses, apparently).

Anyhow, the Olympus looks good, and since it's a little long in the tooth now I was hoping I could find one right around (or preferably under) $400 after the holidays.

But I was wondering if there is anything else out there other than the olympus that might fit the bill...

Charles.

12-21-2012, 12:54 AM   #5
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You really should try the 01 prime for Q, it's great!

DxOMark - Camera Sensor Ratings

If you click <4:3 the best cameras are both expensive and not even close to DSLR capability. The exception to price is Nikon 1, but there is no fast zooms for it and Nikon 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 looks like the only real choice for low light.

M4/3 is a bit better than the Nikon one for low light and got a lot more lenses to choose from but if she wants a fast zoom it gets more expensive again. Check it out!

NEX and NX are a bit on the bigger side but may fit the budget (used at least) with a decently fast lens. Dunno if they are too big though.
12-21-2012, 03:41 AM   #6
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The Nex system has the best low light IQ, as it has a similar sensor to the K-01 (most of them, pretty much the exact same sensor). A Nex body + 16mm pancake is definitely pocketable, and can be had cheap (cheaper than many premium compacts). I think 16mm is a reasonable focal length for casual snapping (parties, holidays etc). The 16mm is my only AF lens for the Nex, for the rest I use Pentax lenses via an adapter, but whenever I go on a night out I just take the 16mm and it does me fine.

If a zoom is required, there is a new Sony collapsible zoom, but it will probably bump the cost of the package up.

Last edited by ihasa; 12-21-2012 at 03:56 AM.
12-21-2012, 07:49 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
My GF will never, ever shoot raw, and never, ever use photoshop...
If I were you... I'd consider getting a new GF...

... just sayin'...M
12-21-2012, 08:39 AM   #8
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If you want good low light performance it's gotta be the 01 Prime. Take tons of low light shots with this combo with fairly consistent solid results.

12-21-2012, 08:41 AM   #9
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In addition to my Q, Km, and Kr I also shoot a Canon S100 for low light indoor shots it's great, small and has great overall IQ It has a 24-120mm EFL zoom and starts at f2. It's just not as much fun as the Q. I even hacked the firmware of the S100 with CHDK. I just can't leave things alone.

Hans
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