Which mirrorless camera is best for low-light shooting

Discussion in 'Misc. Posting Board' started by Joanie Eddis-Koch, Dec 3, 2021.


What mirrorless camera system is best for low light shooting?

  1. Nikon Z9?? I know, it's not even out yet!

    0 vote(s)
  2. Something Sony. If yes then which one.

    1 vote(s)
  3. Some other Nikon mirrorless model

    1 vote(s)
  1. I sold my Nikon D6 to Allen's Camera, in Pennsylvania, which is about 45 minutes away from my house.

    I got $4,250 for it which I thought was pretty fair. I also sold a 28 mm f 1.8 lens and got 250 for that.

    I have pre-ordered the Nikon Z9 but that's really just getting in line for a camera that I may or may not buy. Allen's was up to 250 pre-orders for that particular model.

    I have to figure out if I want to stick with Nikon mirrorless or go with Sony.

    Right now I have about $8,500 or more dollars to put towards a mirrorless camera system.

    My primary goal for this camera is LOW LIGHT/ NO NOISE images.

    I'll still have the Nikon D4 to use as well as the Nikon 850 when I can steal it from Karl.

    So what does the peanut gallery think should I do. I know I'm going to have to research the hell out of this before I make any decisions but I'd be curious about your experience with either the Nikon mirrorless system or the Sony mirrorless system.

    So let's hear it. Remember, I'm interested in very clean, very sharp, very well focused, very low light images. Think about shooting situations like the Halloween parade or some of the dark rides.

    I'm kind of at the point now in my photography where you need specific tools to accomplish specific jobs, so that all in one camera isn't really doing it for me anymore. Those all in one cameras always come with some sort of a compromise.

    I still have the D4 which is still an excellent camera for sports shooting. I'll have the 850 to use for landscape photography and high resolution images. So the camera that I'm missing is that low light one.

    The advantage to picking the Nikon choice is that I still have all my Nikon lenses. I will just have to buy that $250 adapter for the non-mirrorless lenses as I build up my collection of Nikon mirrorless lenses.

    Thanks for your time and consideration concerning this thread.

  2. gary

    gary Member

    well the sony option is the a7s which i think is getting a new model soon, it's 12 mp so the pixels while fewer are the size of a fingernail, that is a low light beast, but again it's a specialized tool i'll do al little research on it, i haven't seen much about it, i think the videographers like it more
  3. gary

    gary Member

    ok this will probably be a little long winded, which should come as no surprise to anyone here. i started making the move from canon to sony around 2014, at first looking to replace my full panasonic gh body and lenses, i loved m 4/3, night weight, small form, and very good for tripod mounted landscapes in particular, not so good for low light and anything moving, the sensor is just too small at 1 square inch. so at the suggestion of justin i looked at sony, i liked what i saw so sold off my m4/3 system entirely and started a sony migration into sony aps-c, the a6000. this all came about due to a planned photo charter on a california railroad with a side trip to yosemite, and i really knew i am no longer young enough to haul around a bag of full weight canon gear at yosemite valley base elevation of 7500 feet, i'd be huffing and puffing without camera gear. so some time goes by, the charter gets canceled, but now i am starting to really pay attention to sony products, they come out with the a7 full frame, a real ground breaking piece, and i am by now getting more than a little frustrated with canon announcing new models every couple of years with incremental upgrades, but always leaving out a few really in demand things, the old always leave them wanting more marketing. so in 2015 i moved to sony for good with the announcement of the a7r2, possibly still the best pure landscape body ever made, if all i ever shot was landscapes off a tripod i would have only that, 42 mp of great still capability. so fast forward to the a7r3, then the a7r4, sold off the various apse bodies, bought a used a9 for fast moving stuff, to where3 i am today, using pretty much only the a1, this is as close to the everything answer as i have ever seen, 51 mp, so i can crop the hell out of a file and still print/or have enough detail. faster to track and focus than the a9 even, it's passable in low light, but still above 25000 iso you need to run the image through noise reduction, either the sliders in lightroom, which do not do that bad a job, or export out to something such as topaz Denoise, which does a great job and is well worth having. am i a happy sony user, well yes i am, i am not planning on leaving the brand, i am too old to switch brands again and at this point have too much invested in sony equipment. sony seems to make major upgrades each and every body announcement. one of the few that disappointed was the a92, but that they needed to get out for the olympics, they had a good market share already of this shooters, but sports shooters these days really need reliable, fast connectivity, shots need to go to the editors right after taking them, that rush to make a sale is the only way anyone can even be a sports pro these days, so sony put all the r&d into that, so it wasn't a feasible upgrade for me. sony making big splashes in the mirrorless market, pretty much forced canon and to some extent nikon to get into mirrorless, something i feel canon would not have done on a serious basis for a few more years, if ever. so for anyone serious about their gear, sony pushing the competitors as hard as they have, is the greatest thing going.
    so the sony a7s3 is a low light beast, but the latest user reviews have many of the users not liking it for stills, simply because it is such low mp, 12 mp, that you really can't crop a file very much and retain detail.
    i will see what i turn up as far as public opinion about the latest low light mirrorless, for all i know right now maybe olympics is the way to go. i know if you do go mirrorless you will end up eventually dumping all you current lenses for lighter weight mirrorless. i still notice a real difference in the bag size and weight for pixelmania
  4. gary

    gary Member

    Nancy AK and Joanie Eddis-Koch like this.
  5. Gary, I appreciate everything you took the time to write. I studied it with great interest and I will definitely keep it in mind. Thanks for helping me out with this and I look forward to anything else you have to say.

  6. My Nikon Professional services membership is really paying off. I have priority delivery for the Nikon Z9. Weeeee! :eek: I was 250th in line for it at Allen's camera in Levittown Pa. No one knows when actual delivery will take place but I suspect it will be soon.

    I hate being an early adopter. I'd prefer the camera had an 8 month track record from users before I pulled the trigger, but onward I go.

    I think the main decision to go with Nikon Mirrorless was that I could use my existing lenses with the new adapter. Also many of the reviews say that it is up there with the Sony A1 and the Canon.

    So once again, being chained to a stable of high quality Nikon glass, was the deciding factor, in addition to Nikon FINALLY getting with the program and entering the 21st century.

    I'm also planning on getting the NIKKOR Z 70-200mm F/2.8 VR S lens with it.

    I can use my memory cards from the D6 (Identical for the Z9.)

    I can also use my EN-EL18c Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 10.8 VDC, 2500 mAh battery from the D6. The Z9 battery is EN-EL18d Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 10.8 VDC, 3300 mAh (Approx. 700 Shots) to give you an idea of the difference.

    The quick release crapola I have for the D6 will work on this camera and the remote shutter system (Nikon 10 pin) I already have will work on the Z9.

    All of the peripheral crap that can be used on the Z9 is really saving me money.
  7. Nancy AK

    Nancy AK Member

    @Joanie Eddis-Koch

    I have the Nikon Z6ii, excellent in low light, excellent reviews. It’s better in low light then my d750. I wanted the best Nikon mirrorless for low light and after research, it was the Z6ii. I haven’t read many reviews on the Z9. There is a bit of a learning curve with mirrorless/Nikon. First few times I used it, I thought OMG, what did I buy? BTW, the 200-500 works excellent on the Z.
    Joanie Eddis-Koch likes this.
  8. That's fantastic information! Thanks for sharing. I've been agonizing over this decision and it's nice that Nikon finally stepped up to the plate and into the ring with the big boys with a camera that can equal the top tier Canon and Sony mirrorless cameras.

    When I sold my Nikon D6 at Allen's camera shop (Levittown PA) the people there were really helpful. It's like an old school, mom and pop operation that photographers flock to for quality service and products.

    When I was talking to them about everything they said that I needed to be put on the pre-order list for the Nikon Z9. They sort of knew that that's the direction that I really needed to go in before I knew it.

    I did a lot of reading up and I realized that they were right. I hate being an early adopter with a new product but that's the situation that I'm in.

    It kind of sucks that you have to worry whether or not Nikon's going to deliver in this day and age, especially after their missteps with the D6.

    However the beards of wisdom at the camera shop, and many online reviews from honest reviewers (and not the fanboy social media influencers), are really positive about this camera. These are people who have actually had the camera in their hands, although it's a pre-production model, to see what they think about it.

    Jared Polen had the camera for a number of days with Nikon reps following him around taking notes about what he was saying about the camera.
    This is a guy who understands how to put it through all its paces and he's been very honest about Nikon in the past.

    He was impressed and he was wondering whether or not Nikon would make the tweaks that he thought were needed before they released this camera to the public.

    It's interesting to say that He thought there were only minor tweaks in the software that were needed. The other things he noticed about the camera were situations were it was about choices, for example "if this then that" when compared to Sony or Canon.

    I was tempted to go with an older Nikon model but the focusing systems don't work as well in them as they do in the Z9. If I'm going to have this camera for years and years, for me it pays to buy the state of the art, top of the line model and use it. I feel like Nikon's at a crossroads where it's finally gotten into the game at the level of its competitors.

    Thanks for taking the time to offer your feedback. That was great news to hear about how well these mirrorless cameras work with your existing Nikon lens lineup, especially that 200 to 500 lens which is an important lens that I use fairly frequently.

    Nancy AK likes this.
  9. Well, I went and done did the dirty deed.

    I committed to the Nikon Z9 by purchasing the 24-70 f2.8 and the 70-200 f2.8

    I also have the adapter on order so I can still use my 14 to 24 and 200 to 500 DSLR lenses.

    I'm a member of Nikon Professional Services so my camera will be delivered first with delivery before January 15th.

    Aye Carumba!
    Nancy AK likes this.
  10. Nancy AK

    Nancy AK Member

    @Joanie Eddis-Koch What’s Nikon Professional Services? Glad you’ve gone down the Mirrorless rabbit hole! Never had a problem with using the Adapter. My only issue is I’ll leave it on a lens and have to remember to remove it. Can’t wait to hear your review of the Z9.
  11. It's a registry that Nikon has for people that have a certain level of equipment. You have to have two professional bodies and a number of lenses to qualify for that level of membership.

    This year they finally started charging for that membership and with it You get certain perks, like jumping to the front of the line for the release of new products, complimentary sensor cleanings, and the ability to borrow equipment when your stuff is in for repair.
    Nancy AK likes this.
  12. My husband sent me this but he forgot the 24-70 f 2.8 so Black Bart is sure to get me.

    gary and Nancy AK like this.

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