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XZ-1, how's it in low light.

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by lenshoarder, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder SC Veteran

    383
    Mar 7, 2012
    My favorite camera of all time has been the Sony TX5. I take it everywhere. It's been around the planet 3 times. Sadly, the years have not been good to it. The elephant stepping on it this year was the turning point. Now the shutter will only fire about 50% of the time I push the button. I need a replacement. I want the RX100 but I refuse to pay full price. So I need a replacement until the RX100's price comes down. The problem is that I need great low light. The TX5's handheld twilight mode is phenomenal. I've been thinking about the XZ-1. The price has really come down. How's it's low light? I've had the LX5 and even with the bright lens, it didn't come close to touching the TX5 in low light. It didn't make the cut. Or should I simply get a 14mm lens for one of my GF2s and use that until the RX100 is more affordable?
     
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Funniest line I've read all day. :laugh1:
     
  3. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Lili
    the XZ-1 has a fast lens and excellent IBIS.
    Keep it to ISO 400 or less and it rocks in low light
    Shoot RAW BTW, much better
    XZ-1 - a set on Flickr
    much of this set is low light
    BTW, Elephant?
    Ouch!!!!
     
  4. Naveed Akhtar

    Naveed Akhtar SC Regular

    186
    Dec 8, 2011
    London, UK
    Its excellent wide open and at base ISOs upto 400. Check my Photo-set on XZ-1, many were taken in low-light and am very impressed. I also had LX5, was ok in low light but XZ-1 is better with its wide lens.

    Camera - Olympus XZ-1 - a set on Flickr

    Really depends whats your shooting style, if you like to show at base ISOs and wide open (plenty of DOF for street photos bec of still small sensor) and again very important is in RAW and post process... XZ-1 is Highly recommended, otherwise LX5 is still better with wider and slower zoom and still somewhat better higher ISO results.

    and Lili said it all :)) am just reconfirming!

    Also if money is not an issue, maybe you wanna wait for XZ-2 will be much much better in all respects! :rolleyes:
     
  5. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder SC Veteran

    383
    Mar 7, 2012
    Thanks for the responses, those shots are awesome.
     
  6. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    +1
     
  7. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    You don't want to just get another TX5, then?

    I bought an XZ-1 for my wife recently to replace her old Panny TZ5 superzoom. It's a nice camera with a great lens on it, but the usual caveats apply with regards to this size of sensor and higher ISO sensitivites.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder SC Veteran

    383
    Mar 7, 2012
    I'd get a TX20 if I were to get one now. Maybe a TX10 since people have been less than thrilled about the TX20. The issue is that the TX20 costs more than the XZ-1.
     
  9. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I love my XZ-1, and I wont be "upgrading" to the XZ-2. I think its better than adequate in low light, and I have some in my set on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    If you didn't like the LX5 you probably won't like the XZ1 either - its essentially the same sensor and only barely brighter lens. The LX7 (and probably XZ2) has a marginally better sensor and notably faster lens but to get notably better low light performance in a compact, you have to step up to a Fuji X10 (better, but at the cost of resolution) or the RX100 (best). The RX100 really is quite remarkable in terms of the sensor and at f1.8 at the wide end, it can go places no compact has been able to before (although the lens slows down a lot as you move through the zoom range). I hated the handling of the RX100 and have ended up going back to the X10, but the image quality, particularly in low light, is really pretty amazing on the RX100. If you can put up with the handling, its worth the money if you can stretch to afford it. They got such a jump on the other compact makers with that camera that I think it'll be a while before prices come down much...

    I was comfortable shooting the LX5 up to about 400 and would go 800 in a pinch. I'd bet the XZ1 would be about the same, but with a marginally brighter lens. The LX7 is good to 800, OK at 1250 and marginally usable at 1600 in a pinch. The X10 is really good at 1600, decent up to about 2000-2500, with 3200 OK in a pinch. The RX100 is frickin' amazing at 3200 and isn't bad at all at 6400. You get what you pay for...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Naveed Akhtar

    Naveed Akhtar SC Regular

    186
    Dec 8, 2011
    London, UK
    well, will see :p

    Awesome photoset!


    @RX100 no matter how good it is at low light, some how, its handeling lacks .. i don't feel any connection; so won't touch it!
    Also it lacks lens aperture where it will be needed more i.e. at tele end!

    well lets all wait for X10-Mark II then :p
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    The Canon G12 has a low light mode that relies on pixel binning to crank up the sensitivity. Basically, if you can see it, you can shoot it. It's probably not as small as you would like, though.

    The photo below was taken at ISO 6400, f2.8. 1/15th second just minutes ago (6:40am). The dawn is breaking but the sun has not cleared the hills to the west.
    IMG_2194_Medium_.JPG
     
  13. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder SC Veteran

    383
    Mar 7, 2012
    I also had a Canon S100 which is the cousin of the G12. It didn't make the low light cut either. It's hard to explain how good the Sony handheld twilight mode is to some that's not experienced it. It doesn't bin, so no loss in resolution, but does a form of temporaral averaging with magic. I can take pictures of things I can't even see with my own eyes because it's so dark. When I say low light, I mean low light. The magic is that even taking pictures of things like cars driving at night, the image is not smeared even though you would expect it would be since it averages 10 images together. It's smart enough to figure out what's moving and to compensate for it.

    Hm.... I'll keep an eye on the XZ-1, but I know in my heart that the RX100 is the camera for me. It's has the features and IQ I want. The price is daunting though. Why did I miss the forum member who sold one for $450?!?!? If the XZ-1 cracks $200, it'll be hard to pass up though as a stop gap.

    Here's some random examples.

    Plaza shot at night. It was much darker using my own eyes. All those people are moving.

    ll_zps77b3a532.

    Here's an example of the "magic" in terms of moving objects

    963d0ca4.

    Play this video to see how fast it's moving.

    th_3ff775ed.

    Lastly. Dark closet shot. LX5 versus TX5. LX5 first.

    9b80d6e0.

    Now TX5.

    a0ced673.
     
  14. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Lili
    that Sony does do nice low light.
    Never having used a Sony or a Panny for that matter I cannot comment if the LX5 and the XZ-1 have the same output.
    I do know the results from mine are what i like.
    In Low ISO-Wide Aperture shooting that lens is so sharp and the sensor-shift IS is so very effective
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/colette_noir/6699629347/" title="Streak by colette_noir, on Flickr"> 6699629347_7ed5336f57_b. "1024" height="768" alt="Streak"></a>
    handheld, ISO 100, F1.8, 1/2 sec
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Pretty similar. I've seen tons of brilliant low light shots from the LX5 and a few from the LX7, but they're low ISO, long exposure shots. Some with a tripod, some handheld when the shutter speed is high enough for the IS to work. I think most any camera will do pretty well in that situation. Its when the ISO starts climbing because you're shooting live scenes with some movement and need to keep the shutter speed up that we separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls. THAT's where the LX and XZ and S and G (other than G1X) series cameras fall apart. The sensors just can't do more than ISO 800 well, which is an improvement from a couple years ago when the m43 sensors didn't go much higher than that and the compact sensors were barely adequate at 400. Today the game has changed with the X10 and even more with the RX100.

    -Ray
     
  16. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder SC Veteran

    383
    Mar 7, 2012
    I ran down to the corner Estillo to check out the XZ-1. They want $705 for it. Better off getting it from Amazon for $269 even with tax now.
     
  17. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    That is insane!!

    Pay attention to Ray's comments if you want something that does low light motion. I rarely do, so my shots are all still stills, and I keep the ISO way down :) RX100 is always going to be better for something like that.
     
  18. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Based on Amazon.com prices as of today, Oct. 13, there's a $379 price difference between the RX100 and XZ-1. Lenshoarder... can you hold out until Christmas? If the RX100 went on sale for $100 less than its current $648 price tag, would you go for it? I'd be tempted to wait at least that long. If the RX100 price doesn't budge - and especially if the XZ-1 price drops a bit more - then go for the Oly as a holdover for a year. Otherwise, the $269 for the older camera might be better used saving for the Sony.
     
  19. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder SC Veteran

    383
    Mar 7, 2012
    I can hold out until Xmas but I don't think $549 will be enough. Effectively that's what Sony has sold it for already when they had it for $598 including the 2 year warranty. I've also seen it under $598 already from other vendors. $500 and I'm in. Even that's high for me since I've never paid more than 50% of MSRP for any of my Sony equipment. The big holdout will be one year from now when they replace it with a newer model and the current model will be blown out.

    Maybe I should just get a 14mm for my GF2 and call it a hold over.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    That sounds like a plan. I'm sure f/2.5 on a four-thirds sensor is better in terms of total light gathered than f/1.8 on a 1/1.7 sensor. And you're still good to go up to at least ISO 800 (and even higher - close to 1600) on the GF2. Most XZ-1 users will tell you around ISO 400 is the limit on that camera.

    EDIT: You might find this review of the RX100 interesting. It compares the camera heavily with the Panasonic LX7. The results might surprise you...

    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Cyber-shot_DSC_RX100/index.shtml