Compact Digital Cameras in Low Light – How Good?

I don’t blog too much about photography, though maybe I should. It’s become one of my main hobbies over the last five years or so, really helping me improve my sense for composition, which has carried over into my professional video work.

I hate to use flash on compact digicams because it always looks harsh, unnatural and red-eyed. So I like the trend of digital camera manufacturers offering low-light high-ISO modes. ISO is the measure of film speed, from analog days, where the higher the number, the more sensitive the film, and the lower the light requirements. Color print film tends to top out around 800–though 1600 can be found–and can be on the grainy side.

Newer digicams offer ISOs of 800, 1600 and more, but the results are often disappointing. This much-needed article from DPReview explains why this is true, and shows the ugly truth for most major models of digicam.







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