Sony A99 vs Nikon D600 First high iso comparison

Started Sep 27, 2012 | Discussions
Allan Olesen
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Re: Sony A99 vs Nikon D600 First high iso comparison
In reply to The_Wicker_Man, Oct 4, 2012

The_Wicker_Man wrote:

No point, Allan

First of all, his methodology [...] is utterly flawed.

Well, it was not only directed at him. It was directed at anybody who wastes a lot of times studying perceived differences between cameras which are basically equal when tested properly. A lot of those are intelligent people who have just not seen the light yet, and I hope that I will be able to "turn" some of them.

The boring truth is that the differences between modern cameras with the same sensor size are rather small and will remain even smaller for new models. We are so close to the theoretical limit of low light performance that any further improvement will happen in steps so small that they will be hardly measurable.

Yet people seem obsessed by testing low light performance every time a new camera hits the market, apparently expecting that a new camera will suddenly take a huge leap forward in low light performance.

And the horrifying truth is that the methodical errors made in most of the comparing camera tests are much larger than the real differences between the tested cameras.That is not only a waste of time - it is destructive behaviour in my opinion.

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winedarksea
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Re: Sony A99 vs Nikon D600 First high iso comparison
In reply to Ma55l, Oct 4, 2012

Again, the A99 will be no more than half a stop behind the D600 in noise--roughly equal to the D4.

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winedarksea
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Re: typo
In reply to TrojMacReady, Oct 4, 2012

Perhaps, but I'm expecting the low light score to be closer to 2200.

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winedarksea
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Re: Sony A99 vs Nikon D600 First high iso comparison
In reply to Allan Olesen, Oct 4, 2012

Excellent post, Allen. I agree with your predictions, except that I expect the A99 roughly to match the 5D MkIII in low light iso score. The 5D MkIII has already been tested at half a step worse than the D800 in this category. And the D600 has been tested as very slightly better than the D800--obviously not a difference perceptible by the human eye.

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Nordstjernen
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Hard, but I just have to ...
In reply to Ma55l, Oct 4, 2012

Ma55l wrote:

Nordstjernen wrote:

What are you comparing here? Please tell us!

Try to reread the opening post- it is stated there. Simplified - I think the Sony a99 has 1-2 stops more noise than the D600 and then I showed the only images that can be found supporting that conclusion and made that up into a good side by side collage. You are welcome to agree or disagree - it is your call. Therefore that work that I did was for you and the other readers here. When the sites are finally permitted to make full sized comparsion images the truth will be known. In the meantime that image is the only one anywhere in the world that anyone has taken the time to compose or place on the internet in comparing the high iso quality of the A99 vs the D600. It would be appreciated if you would scour the internet looking for another set to either prove or disprove what I think that image in the opening post seems to show.

There is no need commenting this nonsense!

Personally I am waiting for comparable test results.

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Ma55l
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Re: Sony A99 vs Nikon D600 First high iso comparison
In reply to winedarksea, Oct 5, 2012

winedarksea wrote:

johnbee wrote:

Ma55l wrote:

How about we make a friendly gentleman's bet and chat when the camera experts render their evaluations and see if one can't use a combination of brain and eyes to predict (albeit without absolute precision) what the labs will clearly show. I feel that the D600 will have one to two stops less noise (not half the noise mind you) - but iso 6400 on the Nikon D600 will look like iso 3200 to 1600 on the Sony a99. Time will tell. I will wait patiently as Sony usually delays their release dates and obscures any official testing at the good sites like this one.  That is one reason that I started this thread  -so people can see what the manufacture is trying to hide.

Okay here's my prediction: 
Based on DxOMark testing, I predict the Sony A99 will score as follows:

SNR 18%: 44 @ ISO50
Dynamic Range: 14 @ ISO50
Tonal Range: 9 @ ISO50
Color Sensitivity: 24 @ ISO50

+/- .5 points on either measurement.

And I'll predict that the A99 will be tested by DXO to have a "sensitivity" (signal to noise rating; high-iso noise rating) of approximately the same as the D# and 5D Mk III--that is, less than half a stop worse than the #2-rated D600--one of the best ratings ever, while retaining all of the advantages of the SLT. A phenomenally good result. I think that your predictions for dynamic range and color depth are pretty much on the mark.

Word is that DXO has already tested the A99, and that it did very well indeed.

Of course, nothing less than laying waste to Sony and all who oppose him in this endeavor will satisfy the revengeful Ma.


So if someone tells me that 2 and 2 is five and I say that it is four and prove it to them - then I am being revengeful? Please!!!

Look, I love the Minolta-Sony tradition and products. I am also a fanboy but I am mature enough to see that other cameras might have better high iso handling. I have only owned Minolta Sony products until last year and that goes back over 40 years. I have the A700, KM5D, presently and a long list of Minolta and maxxum film cameras going back to the SRT 102 of the 1970's. I have 15 lenses for Sony-Minolta - why would I want to bash them? I have only one concern and that is high iso noise and in truth it seems that Sony is always short in that regard. Check this years consumer reports camera ratings. Look at images or tests from the D3X compared to the A900/850, or the A77 and the D3200.  Incidentally the D3200 costs half of the A77 body price and comes with a VR kit lens and reportedly uses the identical 24 MP sensor).  DXO ranks the A77 with a noise figure of 801 and the Nikon D3200 "cheapie" 24 MP camera at 1131 - far better (now I have insulted a lot of Nikon fans).

I believe Sony has given us more innovations and inventions than any other photographic company in the history of the world. But I am also mature enough to see that one or two parameters might not be at the head of the class. No one else tries as hard to make advances for us than Sony - absolutely no one else - but they put low light images at the lower end of their priorities and that shows up in their images.

OK so you feel that the A99 will come in at 1/2 half stop less than the D600. The rating is generated by looking at the iso rating where the image can still retain a 30 dB signal to noise rating. That yields a very good image. Presently the D600 is rated at 2980. It is a spectacular number. My Sony A700 for instance is rated at 581 and the A77 at 801 (approximately 4 to 5 times worse than the D600.) At 1/2 stop difference that would mean that the A77 would be rated at iso 2000 or above for your prediction for their 30 dB S/N ratio. I will be generous and say that I believe the A99 rating will come in at 1600 or less. Ok that is a good bet. Lets bury the hatchet and wait and see who comes closest. Good luck.

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Undah
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Re: I'll add that
In reply to cgarrard, Oct 5, 2012

cgarrard wrote:

The A99 isn't final firmware yet, either.

So much evaluation going on over the A99's files on preproduction cameras, and I don't get it.

Carl
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True, pre-production, but what can be done at this point besides tweaking of the jpg?  The noise is what it is, no?

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JohnBee
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Re: I'll add that
In reply to Undah, Oct 5, 2012

Undah wrote:

True, pre-production, but what can be done at this point besides tweaking of the jpg?  The noise is what it is, no?

In RAW it doesn't change.

Though it isn't uncommon for the camera JPG engine to receive improvements in noise performances between the pre productions stages and final products.

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cgarrard
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Re: I'll add that
In reply to Ma55l, Oct 5, 2012

I can now see why you aren't popular on the forum here. Funny you never bothered me a bit here at all till just now. But its the kind of bother one has when he's out at dinner and the bratty kid is in charge of the adult and ruining everyone's evening out.

Since you completely missed the direction of my point, then acted like a child in reply to it.... I don't find it worthwhile to explain it further for you.

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The_Wicker_Man
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Re: Sony A99 vs Nikon D600 First high iso comparison
In reply to Ma55l, Oct 5, 2012

Ma55l wrote:


So if someone tells me that 2 and 2 is five and I say that it is four and prove it to them - then I am being revengeful? Please!!!

Actually, if you want to use that analogy then you're the one that has started with the belief that 2 plus 2 is 5, and wasted a lot of time trying to find a way to prove it, when most folks know that the answer is closer to 4.

And I see that you still refuse to put up a comparison of "your" D600 sample next to the A99 sample that i provided a link to. Why? What are you afraid of?

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The_Wicker_Man
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Time to test the new voting system
In reply to Ma55l, Oct 5, 2012

I don't know what the threshold is, but we're told that a post willl be removed if downvoted enough. I'd say that close on 100% of the contributors on this thread have downvoted the original post (seems like the OP has discovered he can vote on his own comments )

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Addictif
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Re: The Sony A99 is a great camera BUT the output of the D600 at high ISO is much better.
In reply to MichaelIsGreat4, Oct 5, 2012

I don't think that all cameras will use SLT.

Professional photographers don't really gain anything ( it's more the other way around ) with SLT. They need the highest IQ possible and we all know that SLT's loose some stops of light.

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tbcass
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Re: I'll add that
In reply to cgarrard, Oct 5, 2012

It's why I put MA55l on my ignore list some time ago. He doesn't like it when someone disagrees with him. Character flaw I guess.

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TrojMacReady
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Re: The Sony A99 is a great camera BUT the output of the D600 at high ISO is much better.
In reply to Addictif, Oct 5, 2012

Addictif wrote:

I don't think that all cameras will use SLT.

Professional photographers don't really gain anything ( it's more the other way around ) with SLT. They need the highest IQ possible and we all know that SLT's loose some stops of light.

That's a bit of an exaggeration. Between 0.3 and 0.5 EV.

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goetz48
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Re: The Sony A99 is a great camera BUT the output of the D600 at high ISO is much better.
In reply to MichaelIsGreat4, Oct 5, 2012

I think that SLT is a development for high speed shooting with continuous AF. But for normal still shooting we will get on sensor PDAF in short time, or even CDAF is possible (see NEX cams).  Not everyone needs a machine gun. Then you can get away the SLT mirror and shoot without light loss.

But anyway, EVF will come. And my brain is dreaming of a hybrid PD/CD autofocus system.

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theswede
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Re: The Sony A99 is a great camera BUT the output of the D600 at high ISO is much better.
In reply to Addictif, Oct 5, 2012

Addictif wrote:

I don't think that all cameras will use SLT.

Naturally not. Cellphone cameras, for example, will not have SLT's.

Professional photographers don't really gain anything ( it's more the other way around ) with SLT.

You're saying that a paparazzi who can hold his camera over his head and still have fast, accurate mirror PDAF in live view gains nothing from an SLT? That unobtrusive street journalism is not easier when holding the camera at waist level and still having fast PDAF focusing? You have a very narrow view on "professional".

They need the highest IQ possible and we all know that SLT's loose some stops of light.

1. Professional photographers have managed throughout over a hundred years with much less IQ than any modern SLT is capable of.

2. IQ and light loss are unrelated except in extreme low light corner cases. Which professional photographers work in extreme low light with need for fast shutter speeds and extreme IQ, all at the same time? Not many, is my wager.

3. For that matter, most photographs taken professionally are not about IQ but about the subject they contain. it's much more important that the photo gets taken, is correctly focused and exposed and gets to the publisher in a timely fashion than that it has a shutter speed 0.5EV faster. Because that is the only difference the SLT mirror makes.

Jesper

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The_Wicker_Man
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OK - how do you do it?
In reply to theswede, Oct 5, 2012

theswede wrote:

Addictif wrote:

I don't think that all cameras will use SLT.

Naturally not. Cellphone cameras, for example, will not have SLT's.

Professional photographers don't really gain anything ( it's more the other way around ) with SLT.

You're saying that a paparazzi who can hold his camera over his head and still have fast, accurate mirror PDAF in live view gains nothing from an SLT? That unobtrusive street journalism is not easier when holding the camera at waist level and still having fast PDAF focusing? You have a very narrow view on "professional".

They need the highest IQ possible and we all know that SLT's loose some stops of light.

1. Professional photographers have managed throughout over a hundred years with much less IQ than any modern SLT is capable of.

2. IQ and light loss are unrelated except in extreme low light corner cases. Which professional photographers work in extreme low light with need for fast shutter speeds and extreme IQ, all at the same time? Not many, is my wager.

3. For that matter, most photographs taken professionally are not about IQ but about the subject they contain. it's much more important that the photo gets taken, is correctly focused and exposed and gets to the publisher in a timely fashion than that it has a shutter speed 0.5EV faster. Because that is the only difference the SLT mirror makes.

Jesper

How did you manage to split Addictif's post, while preserving the formatting of his text?

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Maxeyesore
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Re: Sony A99 vs Nikon D600 First high iso comparison
In reply to Avatar480234, Oct 9, 2012

Avatar480234 wrote:

I IMPLORE ALL THE OTHER POSTERS TO JUST HIT THE IGNORE BUTTON AND TO NEVER RESPOND AGAIN SO THAT THIS THREAD WILL BE BURIED.

Admin, with all due respect, he used the word "twerp" in attacking a fellow forum user. Shouldn't this guy be censured or something?

Seriously how old are you? Oh moderator, he called somebody a twerp, will you plz make him stand in the corner...Are there really people like you driving cars and shopping at the store?? And you can burry the thread all you want, if a person wants to discuss a topic they can make endless threads. Why you think you have an ounce of control here is laughable. Here's some advice. Stop worrying about control, and focus more on your maturity. Tattle telling was ok in the 3rd grade, but on a public forum?

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Maxeyesore
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Re: The Sony A99 is a great camera BUT the output of the D600 at high ISO is much better.
In reply to goetz48, Oct 9, 2012

goetz48 wrote:

I think that SLT is a development for high speed shooting with continuous AF. But for normal still shooting we will get on sensor PDAF in short time, or even CDAF is possible (see NEX cams).  Not everyone needs a machine gun. Then you can get away the SLT mirror and shoot without light loss.

But anyway, EVF will come. And my brain is dreaming of a hybrid PD/CD autofocus system.

The problem is the a77 was supposed to be superior with tracking/C-AF, until the D7k bested it even though it has a flappy mirror. Now sony is trying a double dipped AF system that only works with 2.5 lenses...

There is such thing as trying too hard, and some things just are not worth the effort. If I wanted to spend 5 grand on camera (not really $2800 if you gotta buy new sony made lenses), I would just go another $1000 and pick up the D4 (that's a real AF system).

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