A57 : appalled by agressive NR engine !! (2 samples)

Started Jun 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Marla2008
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A57 : appalled by agressive NR engine !! (2 samples)
Jun 28, 2013

I bought an A57 last week (the camera has reached sort of a "cult" status among Sony users) and shot quite a bit of pictures with it already. I'm a jpeg shooter by nature (but do shoot RAW+ jpeg, just in case).

Front the moment I had it something was not right with the 57's output (I'm a very long time photog who's had every existing brand on the market). The detail was really smeared and mushy at all ISOs, despite using a decent Sigma 17-70 DC 2.8-4.5 lens. None of my other cameras have ever behaved like that and I was very puzzled. So I decided to run a test and discovered the culprit. Take a look for yourself :

This is a ISO400 @4.5 aperture shot, at 60mm focal length. NR is set to "Low" on the JPEG shot.

JPEG, "Low" NR

Look at that HORRIBLE, watercolor effect !!! There's very little detail left to speak of, it's just a color mush. Now the RAW file (those are 100% crops of a full size file).

RAW file

Well it's obviously amazingly better !!! So that "wrong" feeling I was getitng from my A57 jpegs was due to extremely heavy handed noise reduction from the camera (even though I made the conscious effort to set it to low in order to prevent that).

Now my question : Is this typical for the A57 ?!? Could I have a lemon ?? Does the A77 behave the same ? If so, can NR be turned off in the A77 ? I love SLT and am addicted to live view, but I can't live with that IQ and  don't intend to switch to RAW shooting:-(

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