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Old Feb 15, 2013, 9:24 AM   #11
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F2 at 1600 vs 3.5 at 1600 with an is lens. Which will produce the better photo in low light on a static subject.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 11:43 AM   #12
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Keeping things simple- and roughly in line with what the OP was asking- a bigger sensor (all else being equal) potentially yields superior low-light performance (even a relic like the old 300D) when compared to a modern P+S. That potential is realized when a suitable lens is mounted.

Whether one would want to add a fast (and maybe wide..?) and stabilized lens onto an older camera- well,that's a whole new discussion. There again- I wonder what the OP would consider spending on a P+S- because to get a fast lens,1/1.7" sensor equipped compact still won't come cheap.

For me- If I wanted decent low light performance in a compact package,I'd probably bite the bullet and go with Sony's RX100.
Even this pricey little fella doesn't quite match up to the 350D on noise alone(though not far behind)- but has far superior DR,better colour depth and MUCH more resolution.
Also,even though the lens is only fast at wide angle- you do have some cropping headroom,thus in an odd way giving you some zoom at f/1.8..!
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 11:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
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F2 at 1600 vs 3.5 at 1600 with an is lens. Which will produce the better photo in low light on a static subject.
Wrong question.

F/2 at 800 versus f/3.5 at 2500.

Which will produce the better photo in low light on a static subject?

F/2 at 800.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 12:09 PM   #14
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How cameras approach high iso noise shouldn't be overlooked.
DSLR sensors retain a decent level of detail at higher iso settings,whereas a smaller sensor's NR generally begins to smudge out fine detail as the iso climbs- and at surprisingly low settings. Of course if you can shoot RAW you can manipulate this to some degree- though the headroom for fine adjustments seems to be smaller than its larger sensor cousins.
So,whilst a fast lens compact might be able to shoot at lower iso's than a "kit lens" equipped DSLR (all else being equal), you might be best served viewing or printing at small to medium image sizes.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 12:36 PM   #15
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Even when the P&S has a 12MP sensor and the dSLR has a 10MP or even an 8MP sensor?
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 1:48 PM   #16
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I'd say so...yes...
Even at base iso's my 350D has more fine detail than my 12mp FZ-150- a gap which widens as the iso increases.
The mp differences would have to be far wider to level things up- and then many would argue that too many mp on a small sensor compromises noise levels further- negating any resolution advantage.
Kudos to the RX100 for seemingly finding a "happy medium"- impressive resolution and decent high iso performance on a medium sized sensor...
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 2:36 PM   #17
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I'll go along with that. There's about a 2.5 stop difference between the SNR in the FZ150 and the 350D, and the lens in the FZ150 isn't enough to make up the difference.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 3:09 PM   #18
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Off topic.... but what does make for interesting reading is the DXO FZ150 v FZ200..!
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 3:23 PM   #19
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Only insomuch as it highlights the uselessness of DxOMark's Scores. The only things of value there are the actual Measurements.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 3:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Wrong question.

F/2 at 800 versus f/3.5 at 2500.

Which will produce the better photo in low light on a static subject?

F/2 at 800.
You are running around the question, when you can shooting a low light shot even static sometimes, you do not have enough light that you need 1600iso. So which will be better at 1600iso given that situation. f2 at 1/50 sec at 1600 or 1/20 set f3.5 at 1600. Because you logic is a bit flaw, you can add a cheap prime used with that old dslr that is f1.8 as well. Then we can add 1/60 at f1.8 at 1600.
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