The knock on the micro four thirds camera system is that it sucks in low light photography. My contention is that this assessment is incorrect for all but the most strident full-frame professional photographers.
I used my Lumix G9 to take photographs of the most awfully lit play facility. The camera provided plenty of fabulous photographs of my daughter and her fellow cast mates. I am about as far removed from being a pro as one could get. However, there were no complaints of the quality of the photos I provided to the homeschool group. There might have been some grumblings about the quantity of certain individuals but my audience was quite taken by the photos I provided.
The interesting thing about low light noise is that it is pretty easy to clear up in post-processing. If the image itself is sharp and crisp then diving into Lightroom and de-noising the photos will help greatly. You may not be submitting it to a magazine but for most enthusiast photographers the image will look just fine.
Low Light Photography Settings
With the G9 I try not to go above 1600 ISO. A low light beast like Sony’s A series or a Nikon or Canon $3,000 model will let you shoot into the thousands for ISO. I don’t really care. Low light photography is not something that I seek out that much and the times that I need to like at the play the micro 4/3 system works just fine.
The great thing about the G9 is the image stabilization is good enough where I don’t necessarily have to use a tripod. I didn’t use one for the play and few photos I took were blurry. Sure, when the subject made quick movements the photo turned out awful. I wasn’t able to adjust the shutter speed much faster than 1/30 of a second at any time during the play. Even using a fast f/2.8 lens wouldn’t help in that situation. But even in this low light photography setting the images came out good enough.
I understand the photography tribes are all abuzz about the capability of Sony cameras to blow away the competition in low light photography. If that was something I was really concerned about then, yes, I would consider a camera with a full frame sensor. However, that isn’t something that I worry about. All other capabilities of the G9 are quite competitive. The size alone makes it a far better choice for my photography.
If you are concerned about the low light capabilities of the G9 then consider what your goal is for photography. As a pro then I guess you will be considering the various full-frame gizmos for your purposes. If you are hobbyist or enthusiast and are considering a micro 4/3 camera then I wouldn’t let the chatter from pros dissuade you. Specifically, the Lumix G9 is quite good when the lights are turned down.