Nikon D600 vs Sony A99 sensor evaluation...

Started Oct 23, 2012 | Discussions
JohnBee
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,933
Like?
Nikon D600 vs Sony A99 sensor evaluation...
Oct 23, 2012

Image courtesy: Quesabesde

The fine people at Quesabesde have taken the imitative to analyzed the RAW IQ of the D600 and A99. Whom according to them feel that though the D600 shows a slight sharpness advantage, the A99 is proving to posess a superior harmonic balance between noise and details(not quite sure what the means tbh). The evaluation also covers the impact of the translucent mirror on image quality also.

The full review can be found here: http://www.quesabesde.com/noticias/nikon-d600-sony-a99-sensor-analisis,1_9209

Nikon D600 Sony SLT-A99
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Nordstjernen
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,133Gear list
Like?
A99 sharper at ISO 6400
In reply to JohnBee, Oct 23, 2012

When comparing the church interior raw files, the A99 clearly shows more detail but also a more distinct noise pattern. Actually, this is good news, as this leaves an important decition to the photographer: More detail or smoothed out noise? Focus seems to be fine for both lenses.

The differnces can partly be the lens, and also the fact that the suutter speed is 1/50 sec, which is within a range were electronic first curtain really matters -- also with 50 mm focal length. I don't know if the Nikon mirror was locked up. If not, mirror vibration will be the major factor for lack of fine detail in the Nikon sample.

 Nordstjernen's gear list:Nordstjernen's gear list
Sony SLT-A99 Sony Alpha 7
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JohnBee
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,933
Like?
Re: A99 sharper at ISO 6400
In reply to Nordstjernen, Oct 23, 2012

Nordstjernen wrote:

When comparing the church interior raw files, the A99 clearly shows more detail but also a more distinct noise pattern. Actually, this is good news, as this leaves an important decition to the photographer: More detail or smoothed out noise? Focus seems to be fine for both lenses.

The differnces can partly be the lens, and also the fact that the suutter speed is 1/50 sec, which is within a range were electronic first curtain really matters -- also with 50 mm focal length. I don't know if the Nikon mirror was locked up. If not, mirror vibration will be the major factor for lack of fine detail in the Nikon sample.

You know what I find odd here, is that it almost seems as though the D600 is employing RAW NR in this shot. And maybe its just my imagination but its as though the image telemetry fits the profile(strange).

Anyways, I'm probably just tired and my mind is playing tricks on me. Who knows.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Amateur Sony Shooter
Senior MemberPosts: 5,316Gear list
Like?
I just Processed two interior RAW files, the winner is...
In reply to JohnBee, Oct 23, 2012

A99 (surprise!) to my eye anyway. D600 is ever so slight cleaner but A99 has more subjective details, A99 also has better corner detail than A600. I am not sure what causing this since both cameras used Sigma 50/1.4 with exact same setting. Maybe A99 has tweaked AA filter at sensor edge? Here are the two reduced final jpeg files from PS CS6 (further NR with Topaz NR):

Edit: to see 2400x1600 images you need to click "gallery page".

 Amateur Sony Shooter's gear list:Amateur Sony Shooter's gear list
Sony RX100 Canon EOS 7D Sony SLT-A99 Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +11 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Nordstjernen
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,133Gear list
Like?
Re: I just Processed two interior RAW files, the winner is...
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Oct 23, 2012

No slamming mirror and electronic first shutter for sure help the A99 at 1/50 sec shutter speed!

Also in-camera stabilisation helps a lot if a tripod wasn't used ... but I don't think they were so lazy for such a test.

 Nordstjernen's gear list:Nordstjernen's gear list
Sony SLT-A99 Sony Alpha 7
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Amateur Sony Shooter
Senior MemberPosts: 5,316Gear list
Like?
Re: A99 sharper at ISO 6400
In reply to Nordstjernen, Oct 23, 2012

Nordstjernen wrote:

The differnces can partly be the lens, and also the fact that the suutter speed is 1/50 sec, which is within a range were electronic first curtain really matters -- also with 50 mm focal length. I don't know if the Nikon mirror was locked up. If not, mirror vibration will be the major factor for lack of fine detail in the Nikon sample.

That's what I think too, I also noticed A99 has sharper corners. Not sure how to explain this maybe tweaked sensor AA filter?

 Amateur Sony Shooter's gear list:Amateur Sony Shooter's gear list
Sony RX100 Canon EOS 7D Sony SLT-A99 Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +11 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Nordstjernen
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,133Gear list
Like?
Re: A99 sharper at ISO 6400
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Oct 23, 2012

Amateur Sony Shooter wrote:

Nordstjernen wrote:

The differnces can partly be the lens, and also the fact that the suutter speed is 1/50 sec, which is within a range were electronic first curtain really matters -- also with 50 mm focal length. I don't know if the Nikon mirror was locked up. If not, mirror vibration will be the major factor for lack of fine detail in the Nikon sample.

That's what I think too, I also noticed A99 has sharper corners. Not sure how to explain this maybe tweaked sensor AA filter?

More likely the lens, I think. But I hope it is the sensor!

 Nordstjernen's gear list:Nordstjernen's gear list
Sony SLT-A99 Sony Alpha 7
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Carnevali
Junior MemberPosts: 47
Like?
Re: A99 sharper at ISO 6400
In reply to Nordstjernen, Oct 23, 2012

Guys!! I thing its pretty clear on this studio comparison (not talking about the cathedral interior) thath the focus spot is not the same in both cameras. Whereas the d600 is sharper on the crop showed by the article, just go to the notes or the "quesabesde logo" sticked to the wall

For me, this test is not valid as a comparison.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
phiri
Contributing MemberPosts: 967Gear list
Like?
Re: A99 sharper at ISO 6400
In reply to Carnevali, Oct 23, 2012

Carnevali wrote:

Guys!! I thing its pretty clear on this studio comparison (not talking about the cathedral interior) thath the focus spot is not the same in both cameras. Whereas the d600 is sharper on the crop showed by the article, just go to the notes or the "quesabesde logo" sticked to the wall

For me, this test is not valid as a comparison.

Assuming that exposure settings are the same for both cameras, this shows that the Nikon Camera is receiving more light on the sensor. You can achieve the same luminance by either reducing brightness on the the D600 or increasing brightness on the a99. You can easily tell by comparing the luminosity of the white in the two pictures. This also happens with different lenses as their light transmission qualities may be different even though the exposure settings remain the same. For me, comparing on the same camera, I have found that prime lenses transmitt more light than zoom lenses at the same focal length. But in truth guys, I think trying to come up with a clear winner in terms of IQ between these two cameras is just splitting hairs. I dont think the differences that exist are enough to make someone lose sleep over them. What matters is the functionaries on these cameras and if one is interested in what Sony offers, then that will be the right camera for them. Sony hopes that their offering will be more appealing to others beyond comparing IQ. I use Nikon, i would gladly buy the D600. If I was using Sony, I would gladly buy the a99. No worries for me. The good thing for consumers is that at least there is some camera for someone out there. If not, I think it is the best time for that person to find a new hobby.

 phiri's gear list:phiri's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon 1 J1 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +6 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JohnBee
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,933
Like?
Re: A99 sharper at ISO 6400
In reply to Carnevali, Oct 23, 2012

Carnevali wrote:

Guys!! I thing its pretty clear on this studio comparison (not talking about the cathedral interior) thath the focus spot is not the same in both cameras. Whereas the d600 is sharper on the crop showed by the article, just go to the notes or the "quesabesde logo" sticked to the wall

For me, this test is not valid as a comparison.

I agree. 
To many variances.

I don't know why people keep trying to run tests like this without a focusing scale, but you'd think someone would of picked-up on this by now. Even DPR doesn't seem to want to take the initiative on this, though at least they are trying by resorting to manual focus on their studio shots.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
TrojMacReady
Senior MemberPosts: 8,409
Like?
Re: A99 sharper at ISO 6400
In reply to phiri, Oct 23, 2012

Most cameras compensate under the hood for different light transmission values between lenes, just like how the SLT's do to compensate for the beamsplitter. So any difference in brightness is likely not related to either factor.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Carnevali
Junior MemberPosts: 47
Like?
Re: A99 sharper at ISO 6400
In reply to phiri, Oct 23, 2012

phiri wrote:

Assuming that exposure settings are the same for both cameras, this shows that the Nikon Camera is receiving more light on the sensor. You can achieve the same luminance by either reducing brightness on the the D600 or increasing brightness on the a99. You can easily tell by comparing the luminosity of the white in the two pictures. This also happens with different lenses as their light transmission qualities may be different even though the exposure settings remain the same. For me, comparing on the same camera, I have found that prime lenses transmitt more light than zoom lenses at the same focal length. But in truth guys, I think trying to come up with a clear winner in terms of IQ between these two cameras is just splitting hairs. I dont think the differences that exist are enough to make someone lose sleep over them. What matters is the functionaries on these cameras and if one is interested in what Sony offers, then that will be the right camera for them. Sony hopes that their offering will be more appealing to others beyond comparing IQ. I use Nikon, i would gladly buy the D600. If I was using Sony, I would gladly buy the a99. No worries for me. The good thing for consumers is that at least there is some camera for someone out there. If not, I think it is the best time for that person to find a new hobby.

+1. There is definetely a high quality camera for you to upgrade/update whatever system you've been using before. Maybe pentax users wanting to go fullframe don't have a promising future, as well as the Olympus 4/3 (not micro 4/3).

Sometimes comparable models of different systems offer superior or inferior features to the others, but they rarely worth a complete change. We should all be happy, i think, and the newcomer photographers... even more, as they have a lot of choices.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
chrisfromalaska
Regular MemberPosts: 180Gear list
Like?
Worthless test
In reply to JohnBee, Oct 23, 2012

There are clearly different focal points, some parts of the image the A99 is sharper and some parts the D600 is sharper, this "test" is pathetic.  How difficult is it to take the extra 30 seconds to check that each camera is focused on the same thing?  Idiots.

 chrisfromalaska's gear list:chrisfromalaska's gear list
Sony Alpha 7 Sony Alpha 7S
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
The_Wicker_Man
Senior MemberPosts: 1,521
Like?
Are you really surprised?
In reply to chrisfromalaska, Oct 23, 2012

chrisfromalaska wrote:

There are clearly different focal points, some parts of the image the A99 is sharper and some parts the D600 is sharper, this "test" is pathetic.  How difficult is it to take the extra 30 seconds to check that each camera is focused on the same thing?  Idiots.

One shouldn't have expected anything else, having seen their early poorly exposed and poorly focussed car park shots. Problem is that such "tests" feed trolls such as MaxArsehole and may lead them to believe that their misguided views are correct.

-- hide signature --

i know what i know, which is a fraction of what i don't

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
chrisfromalaska
Regular MemberPosts: 180Gear list
Like?
Re: Are you really surprised?
In reply to The_Wicker_Man, Oct 23, 2012

The_Wicker_Man wrote:

chrisfromalaska wrote:

There are clearly different focal points, some parts of the image the A99 is sharper and some parts the D600 is sharper, this "test" is pathetic.  How difficult is it to take the extra 30 seconds to check that each camera is focused on the same thing?  Idiots.

One shouldn't have expected anything else, having seen their early poorly exposed and poorly focussed car park shots. Problem is that such "tests" feed trolls such as MaxArsehole and may lead them to believe that their misguided views are correct.

-- hide signature --

i know what i know, which is a fraction of what i don't

Sigma lenses too, ugh.  How difficult would it be to get a 50mm ZF.1 lens or a Leica Summicron R and a few adapters to test the same lens on every camera?  Not that difficult or expensive, especially if you want test results to be considered accurate and reputable.  The results would be far more consistent and more indicative of sensor output, while minimizing the difference between Sigma's lack of QC and the obvious inability of the testers to correctly focus before pressing the shutter.

Another useless bit of mis-information clogging the web and feeding the trolls.

Meanwhile I just bought my first Alpha lens, 70-400G and I'm looking for a 24-70 while I wait for my A99 to ship.  I must be nuts.

 chrisfromalaska's gear list:chrisfromalaska's gear list
Sony Alpha 7 Sony Alpha 7S
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
phiri
Contributing MemberPosts: 967Gear list
Like?
Re: A99 sharper at ISO 6400
In reply to TrojMacReady, Oct 23, 2012

TrojMacReady wrote:

Most cameras compensate under the hood for different light transmission values between lenes, just like how the SLT's do to compensate for the beamsplitter. So any difference in brightness is likely not related to either factor.

I will disagree here. If it was as you say it is, we would not have different real ISO values on different cameras. Surely if we can have different exposures on the same camera from different lenses under the same exposure settings, we can easily have differences between cameras. For the first part I have extensively done that myself where as I stated before, primes tend to give a brighter image than zooms with same exposure settings. This has to bow down to probably to primes having less movable lens componets than zooms or something else. For cameras, theer are so many factors than can determine how much light hitting the sensor is actually recorded. But I am sure ther are differences between cameras.

 phiri's gear list:phiri's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon 1 J1 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +6 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Nordstjernen
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,133Gear list
Like?
Re: A99 sharper at ISO 6400
In reply to TrojMacReady, Oct 23, 2012

Probably differences when converting raw data. Another possibility is small variations in shutter speed and aperture even if the exposure settings for the cameras are the same.

 Nordstjernen's gear list:Nordstjernen's gear list
Sony SLT-A99 Sony Alpha 7
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
TrojMacReady
Senior MemberPosts: 8,409
Like?
Misconception, there is no "real ISO" value.
In reply to phiri, Oct 23, 2012

phiri wrote:

TrojMacReady wrote:

Most cameras compensate under the hood for different light transmission values between lenes, just like how the SLT's do to compensate for the beamsplitter. So any difference in brightness is likely not related to either factor.

I will disagree here. If it was as you say it is, we would not have different real ISO values on different cameras.

It's not just assumption or theory, it's been confirmed by DXOmark. And there is no "real ISO", there are 5 different ISO standards and different ways of measuring one of those standards. The fact that for example DXOmark or Dpreview find differing relative values at a given indicated ISO, is a whole other discussion and can have many reasons.

if we can have different exposures on the same camera from different lenses under the same exposure settings, we can easily have differences between cameras. For the first part I have extensively done that myself where as I stated before, primes tend to give a brighter image than zooms with same exposure settings. This has to bow down to probably to primes having less movable lens componets than zooms or something else. For cameras, theer are so many factors than can determine how much light hitting the sensor is actually recorded. But I am sure ther are differences between cameras.

If you read carefully, I didn't state that there are no differences between cameras. But again, DXOmark tests multiple versions of the same camera and rarely ever finds any difference that are measurable beyond the measuring error.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JohnD2000
Forum MemberPosts: 64
Like?
Re: Misconception, there is no "real ISO" value.
In reply to TrojMacReady, Oct 23, 2012

The only things any of these comparisons are telling me are:

a) the D600 has a great sensor

b) the a99 has a great sensor

c) there's so little between them that's it's really not worth worrying about which is best.

Lets face it, when we end up talking about minute focussing or exposure differences, it kind of proves how close they are.  That's a tremendous achievement considering the status quo two years ago.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Maxeyesore
Regular MemberPosts: 415Gear list
Like?
Re: A99 sharper at ISO 6400
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Oct 23, 2012

Amateur Sony Shooter wrote:

Nordstjernen wrote:

The differnces can partly be the lens, and also the fact that the suutter speed is 1/50 sec, which is within a range were electronic first curtain really matters -- also with 50 mm focal length. I don't know if the Nikon mirror was locked up. If not, mirror vibration will be the major factor for lack of fine detail in the Nikon sample.

That's what I think too, I also noticed A99 has sharper corners. Not sure how to explain this maybe tweaked sensor AA filter?

ROFL now I feel responsible, all this talk about my K5 and no LPF has got you dreaming of this change for sony. Don't get your hopes up

-- hide signature --

To see is to believe...PENTAX

 Maxeyesore's gear list:Maxeyesore's gear list
Sony SLT-A33 Pentax K-5 IIs
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads