Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO

Started Nov 2, 2012 | Discussions
Amateur Sony Shooter
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Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO
Nov 2, 2012

It's a well known secrete that A900 can handle decent high ISO noise (up to 3200) if you shoot RAW. One of the biggest improvement A99 has over A900 is the better noise handling. Just how much better? I did some unscientific test and to my eyes, it's about 1-1.5 stop better. It might not sound much but in real life that means you can more than double shutter speed, extremely useful for long lens users. Here are the test images and various 100% crop (straight from RAW without any NR). Identical setting for both cameras, full manual exposure.

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Bart7D
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Re: Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Nov 2, 2012

For what I see in these pictures the noise is handled better on the A99, but the fine detail and contrast is better in the A900 series.

Thanks for posting your test images here!

Bart

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Marco Cinnirella
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Re: Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO
In reply to Bart7D, Nov 2, 2012

Bart7D wrote:

For what I see in these pictures the noise is handled better on the A99, but the fine detail and contrast is better in the A900 series.

Thanks for posting your test images here!

Bart

I agree - looks like more/stronger on-chip NR going on with the a99?

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Amateur Sony Shooter
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Re: Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO
In reply to Marco Cinnirella, Nov 2, 2012

I don't think A99 has NR applied to RAW files (unlike Pentax). Also the grains are finer, less colour noise too.

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Marco Cinnirella
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Re: Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Nov 2, 2012

Amateur Sony Shooter wrote:

I don't think A99 has NR applied to RAW files (unlike Pentax). Also the grains are finer, less colour noise too.

I thought almost all current CMOS sensors have some on-chip NR applied to raw but I am willing to stan corrected if I am wrong...

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philbot
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Re: Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Nov 2, 2012

The A900's could probably look a bit better if you worked on the contrast of the noise,

But clearly, even if you look at the details, it's about a Stop difference in some of the underlying detail.

Considering the SLT light loss, that's quite impressive.

Would you be able to upload say the A900 ISO6400 RAW? I'd like to see if the noise profile could be subdued without losing much detail..?

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Ralf B
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That is one fine Whisky...
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Nov 2, 2012

... in your selection of test targets!

Thanks for sharing this comparison, as an a900 owner this is quite interesting.
But that whisky - wow:

Ardbeg Supernova

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Cheers,
Ralf
www.ralfralph.smugmug.com

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newday
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Re: That is one fine Whisky...
In reply to Ralf B, Nov 2, 2012

Thank you for sharing these. I have loads of Sony/Minolta gear, but I am seriously considering to get a Nikon(600 or 800) because I am so tired of the bad high ISO performance.

The A99 looks interesting, I really like the swivel screen for video and studio work. But I need a camera with good high ISO performance.

The other thing missing is a built in Intervalometer for time-lapse. But maybe they could add this with a software update.

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Bart7D
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Re: That is one fine Whisky...
In reply to Ralf B, Nov 2, 2012

Try to stay on topic, Ralf! Keep clear, see clear... 

(The Ardbeg is out of stock anyway...)

Bart

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Amateur Sony Shooter
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Re: Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO
In reply to philbot, Nov 2, 2012

philbot wrote:

Would you be able to upload say the A900 ISO6400 RAW? I'd like to see if the noise profile could be subdued without losing much detail..?

I don't know how to upload RAW file to DPR gallery. These are crops are considered "RAW" quality (strait RAW to jpeg conversion, no modification, no NR).

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Amateur Sony Shooter
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Re: That is one fine Whisky...
In reply to newday, Nov 2, 2012

I would say A99 is very similar to D600 interms of noise handling. There are two church interior RAW image posted online with ISO 6400 from both cameras, I can easily make them look the same.

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JohnBee
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Re: Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Nov 2, 2012

Looks interesting.

Any chance we could see the RAW files?

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digitalshooter
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Some one go shooot real life high ISo like a school play or football (nt)
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Nov 2, 2012
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Thanks,
Digitalshooter
PS: all posts are just my opinion!

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Amateur Sony Shooter
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Re: That is one fine Whisky...
In reply to Bart7D, Nov 2, 2012

Bart7D wrote:

Try to stay on topic, Ralf! Keep clear, see clear...

(The Ardbeg is out of stock anyway...)

Bart

Off topic: actually you can get both 1999 and 2000 release from London Whisky Exchange. 1999 release is suppose to be better.

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remylebeau
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Re: Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Nov 2, 2012

Nice comparisons thanks for the doing the testing.

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Amateur Sony Shooter
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Re: Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO
In reply to JohnBee, Nov 2, 2012

johnbee wrote:

Looks interesting.

Any chance we could see the RAW files?

If I can figure out how to upload RAW file to DPR I would. These crops are pretty much as "authentic" as RAW since all I did was strait conversion no NR or any other modification.

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philbot
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Re: Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Nov 2, 2012

Amateur Sony Shooter wrote:

johnbee wrote:

Looks interesting.

Any chance we could see the RAW files?

If I can figure out how to upload RAW file to DPR I would. These crops are pretty much as "authentic" as RAW since all I did was strait conversion no NR or any other modification.

Yeah, probably too much hassle..  It's just I've found the 'straight' conversions can differ quite a bit between camera's, it looks like the sharpness is way higher or something is causing much higher contrast noise, I'm sure it could be reduced.

But it's not worth the hassle, the detail under the noise is clearly less, and that's the important thing here.. I'm still shocked at the leap in performance Sony have made with their FF sensor.

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JohnBee
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Re: Day 2: A99 vs A900 - high ISO
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Nov 2, 2012

Amateur Sony Shooter wrote:

johnbee wrote:

Looks interesting.

Any chance we could see the RAW files?

If I can figure out how to upload RAW file to DPR I would. These crops are pretty much as "authentic" as RAW since all I did was strait conversion no NR or any other modification.

https://www.dropbox.com/

http://www.filedropper.com/

http://wikisend.com/

There is also the option of uploading the files to an FTP server if you are familiar with this.

That being said, there seem to be variances between the samples in terms of processing and shooting. ie, the A99 image seems soft or perhaps OOF. Which is not consistent with the comparison images on Imaging Resource. That being said, at this point, I'd say the results depend greatly on OOC NR and processing which makes it very hard to peer through and assess the overall IQ of each sensor.

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tex
tex
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Mmmmm, tasty whisky. A900 not too bad! /nt
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Nov 2, 2012
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tex_andrews
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Amateur Sony Shooter
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Two action shots
In reply to Amateur Sony Shooter, Nov 3, 2012

Not super high ISO (only 1600) but still showing fine grain even after sharpening applied.

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