Friday, April 11, 2014

Fuji XQ1 versus Panasonic GM1 Low Light Video

These two are so similar in size that I am tempted to compare them a lot. Of course, the reality is that the 4/3” sensor in the GM1 is very competitive with the APS-C class of cameras while the XQ1 has a 2/3” sensor that is pretty tiny by comparison.

However, the Fuji is a great camera to wander about with, even at shows indoors. The camera is responsive and gets very nice looking images, so I certainly do not consider it weak.

Unfortunately, when I set up this candlelight + filtered daylight (very little of the latter) contest, the images I shot were at entirely different settings.

The XQ1 image is very clean and free of noise, but only because I set it to 100 ISO and had it on the tripod. You can see my finger on the shutter in the mirror here …

DSCF9645_XQ1_10.9 mm_ISO 100_1.1 sec at f - 3.8

The GM1 was set to auto, and it chose 6400 ISO, which tells you how dark it really was in the room. The shutter was of course much faster.


P1000391_DMC-GM1_20 mm_ISO 6400_1-25 sec at f - 4.6

At 100%, there is a lot more grain in the GM1 shot, but it is very fine and the GM1 retains extremely high detail. This quite something with these two cameras being 6 stops apart with ISO …

Ok … what I was really doing was setting up a video where I would be able to show you how each shoots in this low light. Sadly, I was not pleased with the abilities of the XQ1 in such light … it really suffers. I had to hammer it in post in order to make it seem dreamy to mask the color noise. On its own, the image was dark enough to be mostly unusable.

Judge for yourself …

So, the XQ1 is an excellent compact stills camera that fits in a shirt pocket. But don’t buy it for indoor video, else you will be very disappointed.

The GM1 is of course the best compact interchangeable on the market in my opinion. Superb stills and video in literally any light. What a joy it is to shoot.