A77 IQ at ISO 200 – Poor RAW but Good JPG Quality

Started Sep 28, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Michael W00d
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A77 IQ at ISO 200 – Poor RAW but Good JPG Quality
Sep 28, 2011

There has been much talk about the A77’s IQ at high ISOs and the quality of RAW conversion. However, I see noise in RAW images even at low ISO (200 ISO) and the quality of conversion given by IDC Version 4 is absolutely dreadful. To illustrate I show crops of a scene taken with the A700 and the A77. The lens is the same CZ16-80mm at 35mm; tripods were used.

Two images were taken with the A77, one was extra-fine JPG with NR off; the other was RAW. The RAW image was converted to JPG with IDC 4 with NR off.

The third image was taken with the A700 in RAW and converted to JPG with IDC 3.2. (Incidentally I cannot detect any significant difference between IDC 4 and IDC 3.2 in the conversion of A700 RAW files.)

Standard creative style settings were used throughout.
None of the images have been sharpened or adjusted.
Crops are shown: 80% for the A77 and 100% for the A700.
My conclusions are:

The A77 JPG (shot in-camera) is the best image by far. That applies whatever area of the full image is examined.

The A77 JPG derived from RAW is the worst. It is grainy and although the grain can be removed by noise reduction SW I couldn’t get the final product to match the in-camera JPG quality.

Note in particular the grainy noise in the shadow area of the A77’s converted RAW image and on the roof tiles. Note also in contrast the excellent sharpness and detail of the A77 in-camera JPG.
A77 JPG from RAW

A77 In-Camera JPG

A700 JPG from RAW

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