Sample Low Light Digital Camera Images: Fuji, Canon, Panasonic


Fuji F850EXR, 20x, ISO 1600, F/5.3.

Canon SX-50, 50x, ISO 1600, F/6.5.

Panasonic FZ200, 24x, ISO 800, F/2.8.

Panasonic FZ200, 48x, ISO 800, F/2.8.

From to bottom, you have an extremely low light capture of a framed print using no flash, in a dark room with only a very small amount of light filtering through drapes. All of these shots were taken at the same distance, within seconds of each other. Two other cameras were attempted to be included, a Canon SX230 and a Panasonic FZ-60. Neither could focus on the picture. All three cameras did fairly well, considering that this was in absurdly low-light and all images were taken hand-held.

The Fuji F850EXR is, by far, the least costly camera: at under half a pound, it is a shirt-pocket genre camera as well. It does quite well, for a camera of its class, with instant focus. Still, at these extreme low-light conditions, the Fuji while capturing the image, loses a goodly amount of color saturation. That it can take an image that looks like an image at all is to its credit.

The Canon SX-50's 50x optical zoom does not have the reach of the FZ-200's 48x Intelligent Zoom, as is apparent by the images above. Of the three cameras, it had the roughest time focusing, and the picture is over-saturated, with more apparent rouge on the face of the princess (or the evil witch if you look at the picture upside down) than is natural, the details are smeared away, and the picture is under-exposed.

The most over-discussed, over-asked, over-obsessed, beat-to-death topic in digital cameras is image quality. There is no such thing as "IQ," for there are endless qualities, not just a singular quality. It is hard to escape the pecular notions of amazing and disappointing IQ, for all cameras are capable of that one, whatever amazing is supposed to mean. Given good light, all three of these cameras are capable of quite satisifying images. Yet, none of these cameras are thermal imaging devices or designed to capture the paranormal. Perhaps that's why they come with flash units?

Nevertheless, it is hard to worth with light that never has a chance to enter your camera in the first place, the core reason that under the more challenging and complex conditions, the FZ-200 has a decided advantage.


Copyright 2014 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.





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