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Q2 vs iPhone - in low light - with close subjects


Njhaley
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This is in the Q2 section but could really apply to all full-frame cameras, it just happens I shot with a Q2. Sorry for not a beautiful photo / pls help.

I just snapped some shots at home, cooking dinner and eating, in both some bright kitchen light (cooking) and also pretty low light. What I am (struggling) getting my head around is DOF, that is to say, how much of the photo should be sharp / in focus — how to achieve what I want, or might be used to shooting on my old M8 or even my iPhone.

 

Keeping shutter speed almost the same (by chance, as it happens) I have a shot of some polish sausage cooking at;

iPhone - 1/50s + 100ISO + f1.6 (fixed)
Q2 - 1/60s + 1600ISO +f5

This drew my attention due to the changing factors due the sensor size, of course, and no problems here. But if I had shot this at 1.7 on the Q2 the DOF would be very shallow, so in stopping down my ISO is forced to be ‘high’ at 1600, which is OK but some people may wince.

Now to struggling in low light - when I’m sat across the table from subjects, when forced to be at this more wide open it’s hard to get the focus right unless people pose for a shot.

I don’t believe I can afford to stop down and must therefore go to f1.7, still at 1/60s and 1600 but now it’s easy to miss focus.

Is the answer to change ISO to 3200/6400 and to stop down a little? Or is it to stop down, staying at 1600, underexpose and lift in Lightroom instead? The iPhone would not struggle to expose and focus in comparatively low light, and ‘more’ would be in focus, admittedly perhaps too much. Is the small sensor a ‘benefit’ here? How else can you cure this full-frame trouble, and do others experience it? Thanks

 

Edited by Njhaley
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Posted (edited)

You are describing a situation where the relatively unfortunate performance of the Q2 and SL2 sensor, and contrast based autofocus capability, in low light create a tough choice between modern Iphone software camera and full frame Leica. Basically you must choose between the "look" of the grain created by the gain boosted sensor output, often manually focused at low light, of the Leica with the depth of field you have chosen as the photographer versus the software chosen depth of field of the Apple IOS camera with a seemingly clean (but really HDR'd and software enhanced/decided) image with the ability to autofocus.

The unfortunate part, as you have discovered, is that there is no right choice. I think I choose manually focusing the SL2/Q2 and trying to handle noise in post BUT if you have to use 3200 or 6400 ISO you will quickly see that as much as we love Leica, their sensor choice has significant drawbacks.

 

You have described your options correctly. If you are going to use the Leica, capture your image based on the depth of field you want and lift, otherwise the Apple starts to make more sense. Know that despite everything you might read, when you lift or shoot at 6400, you artistic intent may not be possible because if you shoot people, recovering the eyes in low light with the current sensor is a real challenge when you shoot without posing/lighting.

Edited by not12bhere
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You have a perfect hi res sensor combined with excellent piece of optics art 

But all that magic works incredibly well when there IS light that it can capture

Do yourself a favor - buy a flash (I’m in love with SF-58) that you can use 100% of the time when shooting at home - your results will increase in quality dramatically because you will gain:

- Light. Really - sharpness, details and silky noiseless image is just light that draws objects. Without light there are no details

- Low iso. This will allow you to raise signal/noise ratio and save all the light you get

- Required aperture - you can control DOF as you need (in case of SF58 I can easily shoot at /8 in large room with only one 15wt led bulb turned on iso 100 and 1/60 reflecting light from ceiling with recharge speed of 1 second) and you will gain extra resolution from stopped-down lens

So that’s a win-win-win, but you may want to add extra grip also for better handling 

p.a. For focusing you will also gain assist light, that is not that useful as red-net with pdaf, but also handy

Edited by rukez
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well in those sort of lighting conditions the Q2 should focus quick enough but here I think you will be also seeing movement blur at only 1/60s this close up. I agree about the contrast focusing in low light when compared to my Sony A9 it really sucks but you could try turning on continuous focussing and tracking which works surprising well but again does fall down in low light. 

Edited by viramati
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On 1/13/2022 at 3:51 AM, rukez said:

You have a perfect hi res sensor combined with excellent piece of optics art 

But all that magic works incredibly well when there IS light that it can capture

Do yourself a favor - buy a flash (I’m in love with SF-58) that you can use 100% of the time when shooting at home - your results will increase in quality dramatically because you will gain:

- Light. Really - sharpness, details and silky noiseless image is just light that draws objects. Without light there are no details

- Low iso. This will allow you to raise signal/noise ratio and save all the light you get

- Required aperture - you can control DOF as you need (in case of SF58 I can easily shoot at /8 in large room with only one 15wt led bulb turned on iso 100 and 1/60 reflecting light from ceiling with recharge speed of 1 second) and you will gain extra resolution from stopped-down lens

So that’s a win-win-win, but you may want to add extra grip also for better handling 

p.a. For focusing you will also gain assist light, that is not that useful as red-net with pdaf, but also handy

Good point.

Let me add two more:

1. Flash is also helpful to 'freeze' the subject.

2. I would recommand FlashQ Q20II, that's a handy flash with off-camera capability.

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