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Revisiting the best prosumer cameras from 2017 for a great bargain

By Marcus Wong - 13 Apr 2021

Imaging Performance - Low Light Stage Performance

Singer in low light

This next scene – a performance by jazz singer/songwriter Mariam John in the open area of the Esplanade - offered a great chance to test both the low light capabilities of the cameras and the ability of their continuous focus systems to catch up to a moving subject.

Canon EOS M5

100mm at f/6.3, 1/80s, ISO 2500 (EOS M5)

100% crop (EOS M5)

Fujifilm X-T2

88mm at f/5.6, 1/80s, ISO 2000 (X-T2)

100% crop (X-T2)

Nikon D500

95mm at f/5.3, 1/80s, ISO 2200 (D500)

100% crop (D500)

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

61mm at f/4, 1/80s, ISO 1250 (OM-D E-M1 Mark II)

100% crop (OM-D E-M1 Mark II)

Sony A6500

70mm at f/4, 1/80s, ISO 1600 (A6500)

100% crop (A6500)

All the cameras were set to scene focus with face detect turned on if available. Shutter speed was kept to 1/80s to ensure that handshake didn't come into play, and the cameras were set at their highest burst rate to best capture the action.

With this scene, we fully expected the D500 to come in with the best shots given the speed of capture and the fact that the camera had the highest maximum ISO setting. However it seems the camera had a tendency not to select the best focus point, with the point of maximum sharpness often falling on the microphone instead of on the singer.

The differences in the amount of detail seen on her skin speak to the rendering capabilities of each camera. Comparing the images side by side, it's apparent that the X-T2 turns in the best detail. The creases in her lip and texture on her cheeks can clearly be seen. The next best image probably comes from the A6500, but even then it's not close. In fact, all the images from the other cameras have fairly large bands of areas on Mariam’s face where the over-aggressive noise reduction has turned it into mush.

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