dSLR for Low Light Photos


TPF Noob!
Jan 11, 2008
Reaction score
I'm going to be purchasing my first dSLR and would like to get some feedback from you all. I currently have a Sony DSC H9 and then a smaller Minolta. I am a lighting designer and programmer for concerts, theater, etc and need a camera that will excel in low light, dynamic range, etc situations. I also am getting into content creation for media servers and the like.

Although this is about a $1000 range of prices, I'm looking at the D200, D300, 40D, or 5D. I'm leaning toward the 5D because of the full frame censor. I've also heard rumor of a replacement 5D coming out so perhaps it's price will drop or the new 5D will be worth the money.

Any thoughts?
Welcome to the forum.

I think you are on the right track with your short list. The 5D would be a good choice, but I also think that there may be some news on a replacement...some time soon.

The new Nikon's...D300 & D3 are said to be pretty good for low noise level as well.

All that being said, make sure that you consider the lens. A fast lens will matter just as much or more than the capabilities of the different cameras.
I currently have the 5D and I must say it's noise in low light (high ISO) is very good...meaning there is not a lot of noise. I know in the past Nikon's have had inferior noise performance to Canon at higher ISO, but this may be different with the new stuff. On your list I'd go with the 5D and a really fast lens (for primes nothing slower then 1.8, for zooms nothing slower then 2.8). The lower the number on the aperture the faster the lens in case you didn't know.
The D200 is rather bad at high iso noise. So if you are stuck in low-light situations often I would scratch this off the list. The D300 is a great improvement.
Well I've gone ahead and gotten the 40D. I want to get the 5Ds replacement but don't want to wait for an unknown length of time for it. I figure it's good to have a couple bodies, the 40D is great and well priced, and I'll just make sure to get EF lenses so I can easily make the transition to a full-frame camera once the 5D replacement comes out.

Most reactions