A77 High ISO reality check

Started Aug 26, 2011 | Discussions thread
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ArmandN
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A77 High ISO reality check
Aug 26, 2011

During the last few days I've read so many opposing views regarding image quality in A77 based on published JPEGs.

I'm not posting often here and if you look at my past threads, you can see I'm never trolling. I own an a700 and quite a few lenses and flashes, plus older Sony and Minolta cameras including on film.

Here are my thoughts:

1. Those who dismiss the images because of the "preproduction firmware" and think that the image quality will change significantly, will be disappointed. The DPReview staff have said that they are not publishing preproduction sample images unless they have confirmation from the manufacturer that they are indicative of the expected quality.

2. If Sony expected to improve the JPEG image quality, they shouldn't have sent units to review sites until they were fully satisfied (and they had plenty of time, it's not like they started to work on noise reduction last month). This single issue simply killed all other discussion. No one talks about how many great features A77 has, but how bad the IQ is. "Wait for RAWs" is not an excuse. The negative publicity is already killing all the excitement around the product.

3. To all who say the noise will be invisible and that we shouldn't look too closely (pixel peeping), I have to say that I'm an iStock contributor. The images I submit have to be nice and clean, otherwise they're rejected - end of story. Cropping and extra processing are other things that will make noise more visible too.

4. Some people say - "why do you need high ISO anyway?" or "who shoots at ISO1600 every week?", well if we could shoot at ISO1600 and get clean images, everyone would!

5. To those who say "well, you can't expect the same quality as with a FF sensor"

I respond that maybe Sony shouldn't have pushed to 24 Mb at all. I'd rather have a perfectly clear 16-18 Mp image than a 24 Mp one that's so-and-so.

I'm pretty invested in Sony so it would be foolish for me to switch; I can't justify an A850/900 because I'm only a semi-pro but at the same time I'm worried that the A77 can't give me the image quality I want. The images I've seen so far are not great even at ISO200.

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