I got the opportunity to shoot a middle school play a short while ago. This was an excellent opportunity to test the (silent) electronic shutter* and low light performance of the Fuji X-T1.
*Tungsten stage lighting did not produce any banding with the electronic shutter, and I was happy to snap away silently.
This pretty much pushed the camera to the edge of its performance, but it got through pretty well.
I shot using:
- mostly XC 50-230mm
- spot metering linked to focus point
- minimum shutter at 1/125 (it did drop to below 1/60 at some points)
- max ISO 6400
- hand held (I was there to enjoy a play)
- I left shadow and highlight tone at 0 due to the changing lighting conditions of the subjects, but let the camera auto select dynamic range to get some more details.
Here are some samples plus 100% crops with no enhancements. Disclaimer: the anonomizer added some noise and reduced details in the wide shots. You can see the difference in the labels.
Shots with my Canon DSLRs at previous events would not have been this sharp. Even at higher ISO’s, the photos were usable for such a tough venue.
It was only when the shutter dropped below 1/125 at ISO 6400 at 230mm that the photos started to get hard to use due to motion blur and more muddled colors (since those were times my subjects were not in the spotlight).
But where I got a slightly blurry/fuzzy shot with the Fuji, I would have had awful, chromatic noise shots with my old Canon DSLRs. Noise that I would have had to spend time using software to remove.
- if I shot at lower ISOs*
- or if I had my lens one stop down*
- or if I had a wider aperture lens**
- or if I shot with a full frame sensor**
*Unrealistic – would require more light or slower shutter speeds
**Significantly more expensive and heavier
… then I could have gotten better shots, but for a relatively less expensive and light camera and lens shot casually while enjoying a play — this is awesome.
APS-C 230mm at 1/125 people! Everything is awesome!!!