2012/09/04

Two Cameras in the Cheap Seats

Arthur Ashe Stadium, as seen by the Nikon 1 V1 with 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 lens.
Arthur Ashe Stadium, as seen by the Nikon 1 V1 with 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 lens.
From the cheap seats at Arthur Ashe Stadium with the Pentax Q and 03 Fish Eye lens.
From the cheap seats at Arthur Ashe Stadium with the Pentax Q and 03 Fish Eye lens.

I barely used the Q while at the US Open. It was thrown in the bag at the last moment - because it's so small - but it was really a night to play with the Nikon 1 V1. I did shoot some fish-eye shots, like the one shown here, but it spent most of the night sleeping in the bag. That's ok, it's not a great camera for night snapshots, what with the slowish focus. High ISO is not as big of an issue as you might think, because the 01 Prime is a fast f/1.9 (@ 47mm EQ) and the body has built-in image stabilization. ISO1600 is a bit of a reach, but perfectly fine for Facebook snapshots.

On the other hand, the V1 focuses faster at night. Not as lightning fast as in good light, but still faster than the Q. The 10mm (27mm EQ) prime lens is slower though at f/2.8. And neither the body nor this particular lens has image stabilization. ISO1600 seems marginally cleaner than the Q, but it's not like night and day. I will push the V1 to ISO3200 from time to time, something I'm not always comfortable doing with the Q unless I plan on converting to B&W or am just playing around.

So, quite surprisingly, despite the sensor size differences, the Q and V1 aren't that far apart as low-light machines as you might expect. If Q had better AF or focus peaking, I'd happily shoot it at night. And if the V1 had faster, image stabilized lenses it might pull ahead. But that's all ifs and buts, isn't it?

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