Nice to see that Richard has a real sense of humor (he should express it more often):
"At which point you try to compensate for the excessive compensation you've applied and are reminded that the dial operates the opposite direction to every other camera you've ever used, meaning you have to compensate for your compensated compensation. Then the battery runs out, because it's too small."
In fact, I've had more chuckles reading this group of comments, and the review itself, than I've had on any photo blog in a while. Most of the time, it's a crabfest of trolling and grouchiness. This one was pretty good (although there is still no shortage of grumpy customers).
kevin_r: Somehow, I'm puzzled by the fact that we have studio images for the Canon 7D Mark II whilst there are still none for the sony A77 Mark II which has already been out in the market for months...... The Canon still has to appear on the shelves.Really strange, that.
I noticed the RX1R having its NR turned off on high ISO simply by looking at the images (I own the RX1). I'll have to check those images that you mention in your last post on the comparometer out later today - gotta run to see patients. Meanwhile, your feedback would be appreciated about the review I've just done on the A77II. It's the first review on Amazon's website on the camera. Still working on it . . .
My biggest concerns are 1) overexposure (both from flash and ambient light); 2) use of line skipping instead of full frame sampling in video (a real puzzle given Bionz X processor); Sony's dismal instantiation of PlayMemories on this camera; 4) no apparent interest in 4k.
If two Sonys (RX-!R and A77II) had their JPEG studio takes poorly shot with high ISO NR turned off, I get what you mean by quality control problems at DPR. It suggests that if there are other sets of high ISO JPEGs that appear uncharacteristically noisy, it might make sense to check those also. I agree that that default Sony JPEG engine is overly smooth and too aggressive on NR, but it can be tweaked (sharpness for one can be easily improved), and of course, there is always shooting in RAW. . .
I also think that the high ISO performance is significantly enhanced by both the in-body IS and the MF NR setting. You can also set where the MR NR ISO is shooting those multiple frames, to really squeeze the last iota of quality out of low light images.
One other impression Rishi
I suspect that the exact same mistake was made with the Sony RX1R - the JPEGs look like NR was turned off on high ISO. No way that it has way worse high ISO JPEG noise than the RX1.
Hi RishiThanks much for the prompt reply. I suspected as much in terms of the NR settings. I think part of my comment however might have been misconstrued - b/c RAW and JPEG noise DO have a correlation (you have to in a sense choose b/t noise vs loss of detail in JPEGS, and there is no free lunch on that point), I believed that the relatively identical RAW noise in the A77II compared to the A6000 made me suspicious that someone had altered the default high ISO noise setting - which you confirmed.
As for the second question, PD is only on the A6000 sensor, and pulling it off of the circuitry typically helps a little with high ISO noise, at least in RAW. I believe that the PD elements on chip also hurt the A99's noise profile a little bit. As for default NR setting (A77II) severely hurting detail, I'm curious whether there is any evidence that the A77II has a radically different JPEG engine compared to the A6000 - which I think does a superb job of preserving high ISO detail.
The above trollling comment from Serickmetz totally aside, I am wondering what you had for firmware version in the A77II, and what your high ISO NR was set on for the studio images (and are you absolutely sure about that being the default setting??), as the levels of chroma noise in the A77II JPEG images vs. the A6000 is 1) striking; 2) not remotely what I am seeing on my A77II (firmware 1.01). This increase clearly is not accounted for by any corresponding increase in RAW noise, as those images are roughly comparable. Also, the slight 1/3 f-stop noise penalty relative to the A6000 from the SLT system would probably be partially mitigated by taking PD elements off chip in the A77II.
Secondly, when will you guys have a full review of the A77II?
You guys are too kind. If you simply tested a camera (vs. a FLYING camera) with this kind of performance, you would give it a 55. Quit pussy-footing around :-). This much money for such - at best - average compact camera pictures doesn't seem like a great value. It would appear that the helicopter portion is better than the camera portion.
I guess the question that the review omitted is what the competition might be like?
The silence from DPR about the potential status of a review on the A77II is deafening. Numerous posts on the blog here expressing distress about the lack of a formal review, and not a peep from DPR. Is DPR too busy to respond? Or is no response thought wiser than bad news (that a full review isn't going to happen)?
TheEnthusiast: Ever since I sold my A77 and all my APS-C lenses to go full-frame with the A99, I've sorely missed the compactness of the A77. The A99 beat the old A77 in low-light performance by a solid two stops, and the colors in the A99 are terrific. But the A99 is a boat anchor. While I can't give it up, I've been looking for something smaller-lighter as a second camera. At the top of my list have been the A7r and the Leica T. Both of those cameras have walk-around zooms that are somewhat compromised, apparently due to an attempt to attain the last measure of compactness.
One of the things I truly loved about the A77 was the superb 16-50 lens. It doesn't have the Zeiss name or even the G-designation, but it is relatively compact and a fantastic value. Its only significant flaw was some mid-image, barrel-like distortion that I noticed most when comparing RAW images to camera-corrected jpegs of the same shot. The A77 II with the 16-50 lens is a tempting package to me.
I've had the A65, the A99, and now the A77II. I found that the weight of the CZ24-70 plus the A99 just about a pound more than I wanted to tote around even with a shoulder strap. I could be persuaded back to FF by a A99II if it was a real home run. Loved the 24-70 but like you said, the combination is a boat anchor. It's all tradeoffs. I also think that the AF system on the A77II is better than the A99. Way better sports camera, esp, with the deeper buffer.
Here's another classic mis-step associated with the once-over-lightly treatment. DPR is just plain wrong when they state "The electronic viewfinder, on the other hand, is unchanged" (from the A77). Nope. It's not. Way better control over contrast, and way better in low light.
Speaking of hot bullet points, which of the first impressions reviews of new cameras will make it to a final (full) review? Some? All? Is this information a state secret?
Waiting with baited breath. Not to be confused with being baited by manufacturers.
CFynn: Why all the complaining?
I have a D800E and I know about all the things it will do better than the A7/A7r - but I can certainly also see the attraction and value of the Sony cameras.
For some types of photography, I know I would prefer to use a camera like the A7r.
If you don't like the camera, and never intend to buy one, just move on and stop moaning. There are plenty of other choices out there that will be much better for you - but I'm sure this camera will be the most suitable camera available for a few others.
Congratulations to Sony for providing a new full frame choice that is well thought out and different from the other full frame cameras out there.
Nice post and agree with all your points.
But if you took away moaning and grousing, people who post on the blogosphere would only have trolling, hachet-jobbing, and passing gas. It would take all the fun out of the brand wars nonsense on DPR! You're clearly just a killjoy. :-)
obeythebeagle: What a bunch of belly-aching! The camera (A7R) is an awesome, unbelievable gift! It heats up camera competition like nothing seen in many years and we all benefit. Can you imaging how boring Nikon and Canon stuff would be if Sony wasn't constantly pushing?1) It may have the best IQ of any camera period. Worth repeating, it may have the best IQ of any camera period. Certainly it will be up there with the more than awesome 800E. Isn't IQ what we really want?2) Lightest, smallest, cheapest (w A7) ff.3) Zeiss glass (and coatings) for crying out loud.
Good points there. But belly-aching, grousing, whining, brand-trolling, and other forms of bickering are what keep this website going strong! You are obviously a killjoy :-)
Mirrorless _ user: I DONT UNDERSTAND. What I see is a cheap chance to get a camera that take GOOD pictures. NOT ? I start taking photographs with a used Panasonic G10, and it was at no point the best camera (distant of that) but I was fun taking my first shots of my baby and learning in the process. Now I have a G5, that is a good camera, but (like all cameras) have low points (SLOW and inaccurate continuos AF, not superb in low light or super high Iso.. just to say some) Again, it's a good camera, but I not paid a fortune for it, just $400 one month ago.I applaud SONY for give us a chance to get a cheap camera WITH A VIEWFINDER that take VERY GOOD pictures, even better than many other more expensive cameras !!!!!!!!NOT all the cameras have that it will be expensive !!!!!!SUPERB !!!!!!!!!
Good summary of what happens on DP blogspace - but you left out trolling, brands wars, and general rudeness. Pictures? No time for those, too busy w/ trashing the opposition. :-)
utphoto: Beautiful form factor and ID. The lens is a disappointment...sharp in the center, soft on the edges and corners. All it take is a comparison of the Nikon D600, Ricoh GR and the Pentax K5IIs. They all clearly are superior in the corners and as an example check out the smearing of lettering on the batteries in the lower left hand corner vs the others or the watch face on the opposite corner. At higher ISOs the Nikon and Pentax are also significantly less noisy. It continues to amaze me that Nikon and Pentax do a superior job of implementing SONY sensors.
Where are you getting your information about the lens on the RX-1? Testing by DxO shows the lens to be as sharp or sharper than any 35mm F2 lens, including the razor sharp Sigma that just got an 89 and a Gold award in DP testing. And where are you getting your information on noise? Obviously you don't own and haven't really had any experience with the product.
Well after the RX-1 has proven a market for this type of camera, perhaps Nikon is aiming at folks that can't afford the high price of that camera. Does that make it an RX-1 wannabe? Or if the RX-1 is, as some have suggested, a Leica wannabe, does this mean that this camera becomes a Leica wannabe wannabe?
Or does this post just prove that I should have had more coffee this morning before hitting the blogosphere?
photo nuts: Brilliant strategy to generate web traffic in DPreview.
Nothing beats a multi-way fanboy fight. ;)
Yes, well put - all this proves is that we are a highly tribal and ideological species - and we already knew that! Trolling and fanboy hooliganism is easy to create and hard to stop. Too bad none of that has anything to do with photography.
Douglas F Watt: Well I'm not sure what anybody else thinks, but this is much more problematic than DP reviews appears to appreciate. First of all every new camera is going to shoot this test scene instead of the old test scene. How in the world are you going to compare newly reviewed cameras to older and previously reviewed cameras unless all those old cameras shoot the same test scene too. It seems to me one of the great advantages of your standard scene comparator tool was the huge database of images at different ISOs both JPEG and RAW that were shot with every camera. This means the you could compare easily a 100% view across four different cameras with little hassle. How are you going to keep that functionality with this new test scene unless every old camera re-shoots this new scene?
Well, that's actually very reassuring and thanks for responding so promptly. You guys will make a lot of extra work for yourselves on this one!!
I assume that you have lots of older cameras around to re-shoot the standard scene with? I for one will miss the gold coin (from the Martini vermouth bottle?) Made some important (and correct) decisions about cameras from that gold coin.
Well I'm not sure what anybody else thinks, but this is much more problematic than DP reviews appears to appreciate. First of all every new camera is going to shoot this test scene instead of the old test scene. How in the world are you going to compare newly reviewed cameras to older and previously reviewed cameras unless all those old cameras shoot the same test scene too. It seems to me one of the great advantages of your standard scene comparator tool was the huge database of images at different ISOs both JPEG and RAW that were shot with every camera. This means the you could compare easily a 100% view across four different cameras with little hassle. How are you going to keep that functionality with this new test scene unless every old camera re-shoots this new scene?
gchamp727: This better have some kick-ass (as in D600 level) high ISO performance or I am giving up on Sony and selling my Sony gear. They blew it on the A-77 and from what I see, they don't support any firmware upgrades after a new model comes out. On top of that, in the non-camera world, they have been trying to rule the world and have the hackers attacking their websites (which I agree with). Sony is just too big and does not care about its loyal customers. We would be better off if the next earthquake swallows the whole damn company.
By my eye (did some comparisons of A99 and A65 at high ISO), this camera will be roughly two stops better in terms of noise compared to A77/65. It will be about 1/2 F stop poorer than D600 with virtually identical sensors given the ~ 30% light lost via the SLT approach, but that's not huge. My brief shooting experience with the A99 was pretty impressive in terms of noise, with usable ISO 6400. So don't blow up the company yet!