Where is a Low light ranking of Nikon cameras?

rmprmp Posts: 586Member
edited January 2015 in Nikon DSLR cameras

I want to buy a Nikon camera for making videos and use in low light for my daughter. Which one would be the best cost/features compromise?

My daughter makes videos for TV promotions so in her job she uses high-end video cameras and editing systems. That experience makes her a real pain for camera selections (and for reviewing my photos . :) )

She needs a new camera to take on traveling vacations. I use Nikons so we can share lenses if she uses Nikons, so we think we want a Nikon, but which one? We want to keep the cost below $1,000.00, but we want the best low light capability we can get (indoor sports shots of kids). We also want it to make reasonably good videos (traveling sports shots like surfing).

Do you know of a table that ranks Nikon cameras by low light capability?

What is you experience with the low light capability of Nikon cameras?
Thanks in advance for any experience you can share.

Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.


  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    edited January 2015
    I think that the D5300 would be a good camera, given the budget. I'm sure you could could find a D7100 on sale for less than $1000, but then you wouldn't have room to get her a lens.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • The_Other_SteveThe_Other_Steve Posts: 14Member
    Agree, the D5300 seems likely given your criteria. For me, I'd strongly prefer the D7100 or D7200 -- you get CLS, 1/8000 and the 250 sync speed -- but those are my needs as a stills shooter. You could also look at a Blackmagic or one of the SONYs. I don't ever work with those, but they seem very popular with budget video shooters, and you could always just take a look since video seems to be a priority. Just throwing this out there: rolling shutter may be an issue.

    The site http://www.dxomark.com/ will let you compare a low-light performance rating among Nikon cameras.

  • rmprmp Posts: 586Member
    Thanks, The_Other_Steve.

    The DxO comparison tool did the job. I did not expect to see the 3300 score higher that the 5300 on low light but it did. I just hope the DxO ratings have some meaning.
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    I would imagine that the ratings are very close between the D3300, D5300 and D7100. Is there really such a real world difference as to override the candidates' other aspects?
  • rmprmp Posts: 586Member
    All of the DxO low-light numbers were very close:
    D3300 = 1385,
    D5300 = 1338,
    D7100 = 1256,
    V3 = 384

    I have a V3. I love it's size, speed and reach, but it has poor low-light capability. I just threw it in hoping, I could give it to my daughter and get a new toy for myself. The DxO rating for the V3 agrees with my own experience. Does anyone have any experience with these three cameras in low-light situations?
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    edited January 2015
    All of those scores for the 24MP DX sensors are well within the margin for error, just keep that in mind. I suspect that in real world use you'd never notice the difference.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    I have experience with the V3. I agree that low light performance is pretty poor. I also have a Coolpix A which has the same or very similar sensor to the D7000. It is closer in performance to my D800 than it is to the V3. I think that you will be happy with the low light performance of those three candidates and will need to spend a tonne of money to get significantly better.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    The only other thought that I have regarding low light performance. A fast prime will be your next upgrade. In fact, a 50mm 1.4G combined with a D3300/5300/7100 will give you better low light performance than a 2.8 (the fastest zooms) combined with any FX camera. This lens is very good value at $500. If that is too much, consider the 35mm 1.8 (DX) or a cheaper 50.
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,300Member
    edited January 2015
    Don't forget to use the side by side camera comparison option in DXO as well, which is quite useful I find. I believe the maximum is up to 3 comparisons at once if you have the list narrowed down to 3 particular bodies that interest you. It doesn't matter which camera brand either, although hopefully you are considering only Nikon :)>-
    Post edited by kanuck on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    edited January 2015
    Low light.... a lot may depend on how we use the camera. And, any rating may be more into obtaining an image which is correctly exposed, where some of my images have exposure errors, usually underexposed, and this creates problems in shadow areas.

    So, if the seniors are looked at when it is used by some of us who screw up, and need to find an image after we may have underexposed, then the ratings mean something.

    My D4 has saved me on several occasions.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • blandbland Posts: 812Member
    @rmp - I'm not knocking Nikon but if you want to shoot video get a Canon Camcorder. They do so much more than a DSLR is capable of and much more user friendly.
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 469Member
    edited January 2015
    The low light capabilites, as can be seen from test figures, of all DSLRs are the same - we're talking 1/10 of stops...Which simply means you should be looking at other aspects of these DSLRs. For most, Ergonomy / ease of controls / dedicated buttons come first and you can be sure it will make a difference a heck more than the 1/10 fstop will.
    Post edited by Paperman on
  • BVSBVS Posts: 440Member
    The D5500 will most likely be revealed sometime in the next couple weeks as well. It may be prudent to wait and see what features this has before making your decision, especially since the D5xxx line is generally thought of as one of Nikon's video oriented lines.
    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
Sign In or Register to comment.