The high ISO test between the Olympus E-P2, Leica X1 and Sony NEX-3. I’ll keep this one short and simple.
- Same subject.
- Same light. (which was LOW for the higher ISO shots 1600/3200)
- All three cameras set to ISO 400, 1600 and then 3200 with their default evaluative metering and settings.
- All images straight out of camera, so what you see below is what you get. The white balance you see is what each camera gave for AWB.
- I let the cameras meter choose the shutter speed because I wanted to see which one gave the best/most accurate metering.
- Sony 16mm lens at 2.8, Oly 17mm lens at 2.8 and the Leica with its built in 24 at 2.8.
- This is just a quick test for noise, nothing more, nothing less.
- You must click on each image to see the larger full size and/or crops.
I’ll let the samples do the talking, but keep in mind this is a high ISO test for noise/color and i used out of camera JPEGS due to the lack of RAW support for the sony.
First Up, ISO 400 – CLICK images for large size samples
MY OPINION – E-P2 looks great but with less DR than other two. X1 is also very good as expected and the Sony is also good at ISO 400. Other than the distortion with the Sony, it all looks good.
Next Up, 1600 and 3200 ISO
CLICK IMAGES FOR LARGER VIEW AND 100% CROP
ISO 1600 and then ISO 3200 – first up, the Olympus E-P2 – There was some light coming in but not much. I had low shutter speeds at ISO 1600 when wide open at 2.8.
SAMPLES FROM EACH AT 1600 AND 3200!
E-P2 – 1600
Now the Leica X1 at ISO 1600 and 3200
NEX-3 – ISO 1600 and then 3200
Click on the images for the full size OOC Jpegs
This one was messed up as my thumb hit the exposure wheel by accident on the NEX-3 and set a negative exposure comp – This happened twice with the NEX and I am starting to think this is a flaw in the design. I put it up here anyway.
I wish I had the Samsung NX10 on hand for t his as I have been seeing some really great things from that camera in regards to IQ, HIGH ISO and color. I may be able to get one soon to try out but until I can I am naming the Leica X1 the champ for high ISO and overall IQ. It’s also the most expensive. Seems the E-P2 comes in last for high ISO and IQ at high ISO and the Sony is held back due to its lens…maybe. More soon with Part 3 which will feature real photos shot with each and my final results.
Thanks for reading!
UPDATE – A couple poeple have asked for me to try out the “Handheld Twilight Mode” on the NEX-3 as this will provide great low light quality. You lose control over aperture, shutter speed and ISO and the camera takes over BUT it does indeed work well. Here is a shot of a low light area, handheld. The camera chose ISO 5000 and took a series of 5 shots to stack together. You lose detail, but also lose noise.
Also, a few of you have e-mailed me defending the Sony for some reason. First of all, I have not even reviewed the Sony yet, just made some remarks about things I noticed like the lens distortion, dial that is easily moved and therefore settings get changed (on the NEX-3) and the fact that you have to dig into a menu to change settings or search for a scene mode for low light. With these little nitpicks, its still a fine camera for $549 with lens. Twilight mode works as advertised and I will use this more more on the NEX-% that should arrive to me tomorrow.
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