A99 and sensor evolution

Started Oct 25, 2012 | Discussions
GuyMcKie
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A99 and sensor evolution
Oct 25, 2012

Resized a 6400 ISO raw conversion to 6mp. LR4.2 only and exported tot jpeg with lightroom.

The iq is as good as 200 ISO on my old Minolta 7D.

A99 ISO 6400 exported in LR4.2 as 6mp jpeg

Exported as D3 size jpeg:

A99 ISO 6400 exported in LR4.2 as 12 mp jpeg

Nikon D3 Sony SLT-A99
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Amateur Sony Shooter
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to GuyMcKie, Oct 25, 2012

So obviously you did some NR in LR4.2 right? They look clean but plastic somehow.

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BertIverson
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to GuyMcKie, Oct 25, 2012

Yes sensor evolution is amazing. I just created a 12MP 6400 RX100 of this scene. It is just as good as my old A700 at 6400. (but not as good as your A99 :-)) I keep my A700 for telephoto and serious flash. Everything else with the RX100.
PS: I too had a KM 7D prior to the A700.

Here is the RX100 12MP at 6400 for comparison. Color patches a bit noisy but bottles and thread look pretty good.

12MP RX100 from IR RAW processed in LR42 L=50, C=20, Sharp=75, 1.4px

Bert

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Maxeyesore
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to BertIverson, Oct 25, 2012

The problem with sony's sensor evolution is that eventually, they sell it to another brand. They need to work on things that they and only they will be using. Body advancements like twin dials on their mid range cameras, AF without the mirror so they can get rid of the iso killing mirror, and weather sealing on mid range bodies.

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Nordstjernen
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to GuyMcKie, Oct 25, 2012

To find the really impressive sides of the Sony sensor evolution I think you should look at other aspects than just noise.

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benholdeman
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to Nordstjernen, Oct 25, 2012

Agree 100%, I just upgraded from an a300 to an a77....night and day difference! Dynamic range, Color reproduction, Resolution, and High iso.

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Nordstjernen
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to benholdeman, Oct 25, 2012

Also look at factors like light falloff (vignetting), highlight roundoff, tonal/color transitions, moare, cleanness of bright sunlight reflected in water ... and more ... impressive!

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GuyMcKie
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to Nordstjernen, Oct 25, 2012

Those other factors are the reasons for the clean pictures. Color, tonal curve and dynamic range have a big influence on detail  and noise.

Id did some nr and sharpening in lr. But pictures could be printed without. Dynamic range is lower on paper and there iis always some ink smoothing.

To obtain a soft curve and a maximum of dr in the shadows I processed the raw picture with the creative portrait style in lr. This style gives a smoother tonal curve and the highest dr in the shadows. I had to lower the saturation and to adjust the blue and red colors. They looked more Nikon like.

Creative styles are implemented in the calibration tab of lr 4.2.

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Nordstjernen
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to GuyMcKie, Oct 25, 2012

GuyMcKie wrote:

Those other factors are the reasons for the clean pictures. Color, tonal curve and dynamic range have a big influence on detail and noise.

How? The posted picture doesn't show much of many of the other important sensor improvenments.

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GuyMcKie
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to Nordstjernen, Oct 25, 2012

The picture is saved with the sRGB profile.

With the option sharpening, for web or for printing, on the export tab you can acquire some more pronounced detail.

Do you see any problems with dr, color, transitions in dark tones - shadow area's or highlichts, clipping or moiré?

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Nordstjernen
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to GuyMcKie, Oct 25, 2012

GuyMcKie wrote:

Do you see any problems with dr, color, transitions in dark tones - shadow area's or highlichts, clipping or moiré?

If the picture was suited for such inspection I would. There is a lot of sensor improvements to tackle different real life situations, not revealed by a flat studio shot.

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GuyMcKie
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to Nordstjernen, Oct 25, 2012

Agree.

But it is possible to compare flat studio shots between different sensors and camera's to reveal sensor development.

This 6400 shot will give you an excellent print. Better than the previous generationof FF camera's and not possible with the 6mp or 8mp DSLR's at the time of the Minolta 7D.

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jerome_munich
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to GuyMcKie, Oct 25, 2012

I think that this is pretty bad. Sure, there is no noise, but there is no detail left in the fabrics on the top left. Look in particular at the red one.

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Nordstjernen
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to jerome_munich, Oct 25, 2012

jerome_munich wrote:

I think that this is pretty bad. Sure, there is no noise, but there is no detail left in the fabrics on the top left. Look in particular at the red one.

Download the raw file and play around with the settings. Plenty of available data, also in the red channel.

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jerome_munich
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to Nordstjernen, Oct 25, 2012

I am sure that the A99 can do better than that. I am just saying that this particular example is pretty poor. I can do about the same (that this particular example) with the data from the A900. This is a quick post-processing try with noise ninja:

imaging ressource original from A900 iso 6400, noise reduced and scaled down to 6mpix for comparison

This is also bad, but the noise has disappeared as well...

To make it clear again: I am not saying that the A900 is as good as the A99 at iso 6400 (although I am quite pleased with the results at iso 3200), just that the test above does not prove much.

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GuyMcKie
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to jerome_munich, Oct 25, 2012

Downsampling removes detail, more at 6mp  than at 12mp. But you don't have the same detail with a a 6mp or 12mp camera as with a 24mp camera.

The test proves:

1. That for a similar size a99 6400 ASA is as good as a 200 ASA Minolta 7D

2. That a softer tonal curve gives smoother and les noisy transitions in the dark tones and shadows.

Noise reduction was not very high. Sharpening 100 at 0.6 and luminance nr of 35.

The following comparison at 12mp is with zero sharpening and zero luminance nr for A99 (left) and D600 (right)

Using noise ninja will not add more detail and not remove noise better. Your sample of the a900 looks horrible.

A99 left, D600 right - downsampled to 12mp, 0 sharpening and 0 luminance nr

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jerome_munich
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to GuyMcKie, Oct 25, 2012

GuyMcKie wrote:

Downsampling removes detail, more at 6mp than at 12mp. But you don't have the same detail with a a 6mp or 12mp camera as with a 24mp camera.

The test proves:

1. That for a similar size a99 6400 ASA is as good as a 200 ASA Minolta 7D

The test does not prove that, since you can't show examples taken with the Minolta 7D which was not tested by imaging-resource. However, it just so happens that I still have a Minolta 5D in working condition. Maybe I should try it against more modern cameras (not the A99, I won't buy that camera because of the EVF) and see what happens? I used it in low light in its time and I was quite pleased with the results.

2. That a softer tonal curve gives smoother and les noisy transitions in the dark tones and shadows.

I don't undertand what you mean here, nor how it relates to your "test".

Noise reduction was not very high. Sharpening 100 at 0.6 and luminance nr of 35.

The following comparison at 12mp is with zero sharpening and zero luminance nr for A99 (left) and D600 (right)

Neither do I understand how this comparison is relevant to the discussion. And the details in the red fabrics are still absent from this samples. It also appears that the darker part of the image are desaturated, which is a nice trick to hide chrominance noise.

Using noise ninja will not add more detail and not remove noise better. Your sample of the a900 looks horrible.

Sure it does, it looks similar to your sample of the A99.

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GuyMcKie
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to jerome_munich, Oct 25, 2012

With downsampling to 6mp you can't see the finest details, and the a900 also is known for very good detail in the highlights.

And comparing both 6mp conversions (A99 and your A900) I see some difference in iq.

Equal iq?

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J Birn
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to Maxeyesore, Oct 26, 2012

Maxeyesore wrote:

The problem with sony's sensor evolution is that eventually, they sell it to another brand. They need to work on things that they and only they will be using.

I'm trying to imagine when that's going to create a problem shooting with my a99. Imagine I'm about to get a perfect shot, the moment's great, the camera's ready, my subject is smiling in front of a beautiful background, but then -- suddenly -- I realize that other people have nice cameras also, and that ruins the moment, so I just don't take the picture.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Sony has proprietary technology. I appreciate having focus range set on the camera instead of more limited options on some of the lenses. I love having focus peaking. But, making sensors in a mass-production environment is what helped Sony catch up to and pass Canon, that's a smart business decision that's working.

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Maxeyesore
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Re: A99 and sensor evolution
In reply to J Birn, Oct 26, 2012

J Birn wrote:

Maxeyesore wrote:

The problem with sony's sensor evolution is that eventually, they sell it to another brand. They need to work on things that they and only they will be using.

I'm trying to imagine when that's going to create a problem shooting with my a99. Imagine I'm about to get a perfect shot, the moment's great, the camera's ready, my subject is smiling in front of a beautiful background, but then -- suddenly -- I realize that other people have nice cameras also, and that ruins the moment, so I just don't take the picture.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Sony has proprietary technology. I appreciate having focus range set on the camera instead of more limited options on some of the lenses. I love having focus peaking. But, making sensors in a mass-production environment is what helped Sony catch up to and pass Canon, that's a smart business decision that's working.


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Jeremy Birn

I don't think you are being rational here. The K5II and II-s are going to be the best overall APSC package on the market per dollar, and perhaps overall. The 7D is still a great camera, the D7k is solid, and the a77 has some nice features. None of them can compare to the new K5. Even the old K5 was considered the best apsc out there, not the a77. Even if you down sample the a77 files, the K5 is still a cleaner file. What happens if you "Find your Element" and it happens to be water? How many of the a-mount lenses are weather sealed? how many of those are good quality?

Pentax' * lenses are all weather sealed, and they are the best in the lineup. CIF for manual focus, steel chassis, best weather sealing in the industry, newly removed LPF, worlds leading lowlight AF of -3EV,  best apsc DR ever created, highest apsc IQ rating in history. Forget the a77, the a99 is going to have some competition.

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