A6000 - High ISO to Stupid-High ISO test shots

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zackiedawg
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A6000 - High ISO to Stupid-High ISO test shots
7 months ago

Well, last night I got around to snapping some shots around the house with a few different lenses, to test the high ISO capabilities of the camera.  These are not scientific, controlled tests, with measured light, tripods, etc - all handheld, all just wandering around the house taking different subjects - conditions were VERY dark - brightness values on these are mostly in the - 8 range or more - you'll note the slow shutter speeds despite the silly high ISO levels, and wide open apertures in most cases.  Some are kit lens, some are 55-210, and some are Voigtlander 35mm F1.4.

Since these aren't the types of subjects that anyone is going to want to print, frame, or steal and take credit for, I'm breaking my usual rule of not uploading images larger than 1024x pixels...for whatever it's worth to those who want to pixel peep.  Do keep in mind these are all JPGs, straight from camera, no processing, no NR in post.  I have in camera NR set to 'low' for high ISO, and I (inadvertently) left DRO on, which might have slightly increased some shadow noise.  I resized the photos down a bit, because I didn't realize Dpreview's site won't allow the full size photos to be posted (something about a 3000 or 10MB size limit?)...but they're still quite large, from 14-16MP, and would still yield large prints or big displays.  I have no doubt someone shooting RAW, processing well, and using good NR software, could get even better results - but I'm very pleased.  As a NEX-5N user, which was already a very good high ISO camera, I'm impressed that the 24MP sensor didn't really cost anything as far as noise at high ISO levels, but even edges it out when resized to match the 16MP size range...not just in noise and detail retention, but good color retention too.

I also threw in a few MFNR tests at very very high ISO levels - I judge the usable ISO range without MFNR for me to be ISO12800 for this camera, in a pinch with very good exposure and a little post processing...and with MFNR, I'd be willing to go all the way to ISO25,600.  I left out the 51K ISO results from MFNR, as they were notably worse in detail loss and not what I'd really consider usable unless really in an emergency..and with some work.

Anyway, here are those shots - they range in size from 4,000 pixels on the long end to 4,912 pixels on the long end...

Here's a straight ISO25,600 shot.  It's not terrible, but probably a bit beyond using straight from camera except small prints.  Much much better than 5N though!

Here's a straight ISO12,800 shot, with the 55-210mm lens from about 15 feet away...wide open at F5.6.  The dark side of Ganesh is very dark, while the side lighted side is coming from a dim 40W bulb about 10 feet away - still dark

Here's a comparison of ISO12,800 WITH MFNR mode...

And here is ISO12,800 of the same scene without MFNR.  The MFNR has some fine fabric detail in the chair that came out better, and there is a little less noise overall, but this ISO12800 was fairly well exposed and DRO didn't have to kick in as much, so it's surprisingly not bad

Another MFNR sample - at ISO25,600.  This definitely shows what MFNR can do - the fine metal details are very good, noise is very low especially for the background, and even some subtle shade variations in the ivory are visible

Here's an ISO6400 in very dark conditions - the focus is on the statue in front, not the books behind.  Lens is the Voigt 35mm F1.4 at F2

Another ISO6400 bookshelf scene, same lens - focus on the boat body.  Hand holding a non stabilized lens at 1/13 - not bad.  

Here's a pretty dark scene that looks brighter than it is - F1.7 on the Voigt 35mm F1.4, ISO12,800, and only 1/13 shutter speed - the brightness value is something like -8.8.  I can't say for sure that very very tiny amount of shake could have obscured some of the finest details, as again this is handheld with no stabilization.

Comments, questions, critique welcomed!

Hope this helps someone, everyone, anyone.  I don't know if any other A6000 users have bothered to test the very high ISOs yet, above ISO6400, or shown some MFNR samples.  I blew a bunch of my monthly upload limit for the Dpreview galleries putting up these big shots!

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Justin
galleries: www.pbase.com/zackiedawg

 zackiedawg's gear list:zackiedawg's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony a6000 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake +24 more
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