Best DSLR in low light

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by bisp21, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. bisp21

    bisp21 TPF Noob!

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    What is the best DSLR for low light?

    I will be shooting structural images in low light with no added lighting and need to get a new digital that does well in low light for around $600-$2000. What is added equipment (lenses, etc) that I might need?
     
  2. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I believe any DSLR cameras should do a pretty good job as long as you have a good image quality lens and a tripod.
     
  3. bisp21

    bisp21 TPF Noob!

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    Not too familiar with lenses. What is a good quality image lens for a Nikon D80?
     
  4. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Canon's earlier cameras are considered to have better high ISO performance than Nikons. FF DSLR's are generally considered better high ISO performers than crop sensor camera.

    Something like a 5D? But then again what are you shooting? A "good" lenses will probably cost you between $500-$2000.
     
  5. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you're concerned about low-light, you need to be looking into fast lenses (wide apertures) and flashes/speedlights (don't really know much about those yet). Other than that, look for camera bodies that have good, low noise ratings at high ISOs.

    For lowlight, the Nikkor AF f/1.8d. is the best value for your money.
     
  6. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry, I am not familiar with the Nikon Lenses.

    However for Structural images such as buildings or bridges, most often a standard or wide angle lens is used. (There are exceptions of course). So I will for sure take a look at lenses in that range. Like ... 10mm to 50mm. Since the D80 has a 1.5x crop factor, so I will gear more to the wider range.

    You can find some reviews on Nikon lens here:
    http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests



    And I am still a beginner, so correctly me if I am wrong.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It really depends what you are shooting. If you are shooting still subjects, then get a tripod and what ever camera you want. If you need higher shutter speeds in low light, then look into a fast lens (like the F1.8 mentioned above). The other factor will be the ISO setting of the camera. Some are better than others, at higher ISO settings. The best right now, is probably the Nikon D700 or D3, but neither of those are less than $2000.

    You might consider something like the Nikon D300 or the Canon 40D...or maybe a used Canon 5D.

    The issue is how well the camera handles high ISO in terms of digital noise. There are techniques and software for dealing with noise, so it's not totally up to the specific camera.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The current king of high ISO and low noise is the D3. The D700 has the same setup though, so it may come close. It has an ISO 6400 with the same amount of noise my D200 has at ISO 400.

    When several magazine reviews tell you that it's ISO 12,500 is "acceptable", that means that everything underneath that is pretty damn good.

    Looking forward to mine this xmas, however I am now in a connundrum... 1 D3 or 2 D700s... oh well, I will come to that bridge once I decide if I want to go more heavily into photography or not.

    In the last 3 weeks, I turned down 5 portrait sessions and 2 weddings because I feel I am not ready to solo as a pro, but maybe next year I will consider doing it as a pro part of the time. If I am going to spend thousands on this toy, the LEAST it can do is pay for itself! :D
     
  9. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    My D80 takes low light shots just fine. I picked up the body, those two lenses, lowepro bag, monopod, 100 dollar (yeah cheap but it works) tripod, 2gig memory card, several filters, and a couple of hoods for under $1700
     
  10. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah the D80 does fine to ISO800 but, at 1600 mine shows some noise. I dont use noise reduction myself.
     
  11. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Yes, the D3 and the D700 are the current noise kings. No question about that.


    @bisp
    But that doesn't mean the lower Nikons are good. They aren't actually. Look at DPReview and other test sites and compare for yourself. Don't rule out Pentax or the Toshiba clone, Olympus, Sony, Panasonic, and etc. People here seem to say Canon, Nikon, Canon, Nikon in an endless chant of referendum... but don't let it fool you. It's not true. :D (Seriously!)
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008
  12. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nikon D300 with a previously owned 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5, 2gig cf card and a cheap tripod will run you around $2100.

    The I don't believe the Canons mentioned have weather proofing. If you are going anywhere near the underside of a bridge you Really want weather proofing. (the 18-70mm has a moisture gasket as well as being a great lens.) The D300 from what I hear is 1 stop slower than the D3 which means that with a tripod you should be able to shoot in almost pitch dark and not be there all night. ;)
     

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