D800 Noise (should I invest in an A7S?)

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DamianFI
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D800 Noise (should I invest in an A7S?)
1 week ago

Hi guys,

VERY long-time reader, don't think I've ever posted here before though.

I'm a pro photographer shooting only 3 Nikon FX cameras.  I love my D800, I don't find it too different to my 800E and doubt I'll upgrade to the D810 anytime soon unless the changeover is easy, the cost reasonable and the reliability of the new camera proven.

I am, however, thinking of purchasing another camera purely for my, admittedly  few and far between high ISO requirements and was considering the A7S because I like Sony sensors (obviously, the D800 is outrageously good mostly because of its sensor).

I got a hold of as many RAW A7S samples at 50-100K ISO as I could and had a good look at them.  I was impressed but thought I'd test my equipment out, quickly, to see what the difference was and compare.

Now I'm not pretending to be a camera tech know it all, but, I can't see any significant differences between my pushed high ISO D800 shots (not E) and A7S shots at the same ISO once down-sampled to match.  The A7S is better, but only marginally and very insignificantly imo and the talk of the A7S sensor being revolutionary is something I'm not understanding.

Am I missing something?  I can afford to have an A7S but would rather save my money on the second camera that requires new lenses for such a very minor increase in ability in such a specific area.

Here is a quick test I did, first I took a shot, quickly metered kinda correctly at ISO100:

Then I took a shot at ISO6400 (the highest native for the D800) and pushed it in camera and then in ACR to an equivalent of 100,000:

Yes it looks pretty horrible,  but detail is there and it is usable if I absolutely need it, really I only need a 25,000 equivalent, 50,000 would be nice and only very rarely when flash can't be used and there is absolutely no light.

I have the 12mp versions of both images available but didn't bother to upload due to data size.

So what I'm asking is, would 'upgrading' to an A7S for those rare circumstances be worthwhile?

Am I missing or not understanding something very important here?  And have I underestimated the A7S high ISO capabilities via mistakes with my testing?

Nikon D800 Sony Alpha 7S
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