Studio Comparison (daylight)

Our latest test scene is designed to simulate both daylight and low-light shooting. Pressing the 'lighting' buttons at the top of the widget allows you to switch between the two. The daylight scene is shot with manually set white balance, but the camera is left in its Auto setting for the low-light tests.

Note: this page features our new interactive studio scene. Click here for instructions on the widget.

As one would expect, the a7 performs admirably at lower sensitivities - namely ISO 100 - 1600 - with nearly no visible noise or artifacts. We did spot some strange patterns in the hair in this area of the frame, but this only occurs in the JPEG, and not the Raw.

Noise reduction starts to show itself at ISO 3200, with low contrast areas appearing blotchy. One stop higher you'll notice that the a7 retains a bit more high contrast detail (but less low contrast detail) than the Nikon D610 or Canon 6D.

At ISO 12800 you can really see the effects of the context-sensitive noise reduction discussed earlier in the review, whether it's a vertical line or on the color patches. Detail remains competitive with the Nikon D610 and Canon 6D at ISO 12800 and 25600, and photos taken at this sensitivity look quite good when downsized.

Switching over to Raw now, one thing we noticed is that there's less moiré on the resolution target in the Raw than in the JPEG, likely due to the latter's inability to process the high contrast detail. Noise levels are low (and competitive) through ISO 3200. A bit of chroma noise appears at ISO 6400, and at ISO 12800 it's increased to the point where details start to disappear. At the top sensitivity - ISO 25600 - there's not much left to work with, but the Raw images are slightly better than the JPEGs.