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ISO Accuracy

The actual sensitivity of each indicated ISO is measured using the same shots as are used to measure ISO noise levels, we simply compare the exposure for each shot to the metered light level (using a calibrated Sekonic L-358), middle gray matched. We estimate the accuracy of these results to be +/- 1/6 EV (the margin of error given in the ISO specifications). We found that measured ISO from the Sony SLT-A99 is within +/- 1/6 EV of indicated ISO across its entire ISO range.

Noise and Noise Reduction (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Note: this page features our new interactive noise comparison widget. By default, we show you the default noise reduction settings of the camera tested, and three other models of the same class. You can select from all available NR options, and from other cameras. The 'tricolor' patches beneath the familiar gray/black/portrait images are taken from the same test chart, and show how noise impacts upon blue, green and red areas of a scene.

At its default 'Normal' setting the A99's JPEG output delivers very impressive noise performance throughout its ISO range. You can see from the graph that among its full frame rivals, the A99 meets or exceeds their suppression of chroma and luminance noise. And a look at the image samples here reveals an even more impressive story, as the A99 shows a more natural, less 'processed' look, avoiding the more obvious image artifacts seen in the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Fine detail is retained impressively well up until ISO 6400, where image smearing starts to become rather noticeable. Yet it is only really at the highest ISOs of 12,800 and above that noise suppression significantly degrades image quality. And even at these sensitivities the files are still eminently usable for medium-sized print output.

RAW noise (ACR 7.3 beta, noise reduction set to zero)

The A99's overall raw file performance is in line with that of its full frame peers. Up through ISO 6400, there is little meaningful distinction between them in luminance noise. The A99 displays slightly less chroma noise than some of its peers at ISO 6400 and higher. Above ISO 6400, noise patterns become significantly more prominent. The A99 still manages, however, to maintain a degree of image detail that ranks it among the top performers in the full frame DSLR market.

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Sony SLT-A99

Comments

Total comments: 10
Scottelly
By Scottelly (4 months ago)

Something that amazes me about the A99 is the fact that it handles high ISO better than the new Nikon D600 and D610 cameras. I just found this out by looking at the ISO 6400 samples here on DPreveiw in their studio shot comparison tool: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/studio-compare#baseDir=%2Freviews_data&cameraDataSubdir=boxshot&indexFileName=boxshotindex.xml&presetsFileName=boxshotpresets.xml&showDescriptions=false&headerTitle=Studio%20scene&headerSubTitle=Standard%20studio%20scene%20comparison&masterCamera=nikon_d600&masterSample=dsc_4526_03&slotsCount=4&slot0Camera=nikon_d600&slot0Sample=dsc_4526_03&slot0DisableCameraSelection=true&slot0DisableSampleSelection=true&slot0LinkWithMaster=true&slot1Camera=sony_slta99&slot1Sample=dsc00049&x=-0.378464142966364&y=0.34409159041539195

Make sure you look at the playing card, after you pick which cameras you want to compare and set the ISO selection box to ISO 6400 (or whatever ISO you want to compare).

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

It doesn't handle high ISOs better than the Nikon D600.

Though one way to help with high ISOs is to use good Zeiss lenses and those are more readily available for this Sony.

0 upvotes
J Shen
By J Shen (5 months ago)

Continued post: During burst shooting, SLT cameras can see a live image preview or can not see ? Thanks for advice !

0 upvotes
J Shen
By J Shen (5 months ago)

About SLT & SLR cameras, If following two comments (from dpreview) are conflicting each other ? During bursts shooting SLT cameras can see the frames or can not see ? maybe I'm misunderstood. Thanks !
1, Unlike ordinary DSLR cameras, SLT cameras by Sony use Translucent Mirror technology that directs light onto the main image sensor as well as a separate autofocus sensor. This means that subjects stay sharply focused at all times as you compose scenes with the tilt-angle LCD or through the high-resolution, high-contrast OLED Tru-Finder. And with no moving mirror to slow you down, you’ll enjoy non-stop live image preview during speedy burst shooting or while you’re recording Full HD video.
2, One distinct disadvantage to current EVF technology is that when shooting bursts at higher frame rates, you are not seeing a live preview, rather the frames you have just captured. This can make camera panning (to follow a fast moving subject) virtually impossible to do with any accuracy.

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (4 months ago)

Well, my A55 worked just fine for following fast-moving subjects, while shooting at 10 fps, and I believe the A99 is an improvement over the A55. (also can shoot at 10 fps)

0 upvotes
Thomas Karlmann
By Thomas Karlmann (7 months ago)

It may be only the a99 RAW for ISO 25600 that is broken. Thanks.

0 upvotes
Thomas Karlmann
By Thomas Karlmann (7 months ago)

beomagi: Thanks, I overlooked it.

0 upvotes
Thomas Karlmann
By Thomas Karlmann (7 months ago)

DPR Raw Link for a99 Studio Scene appears to be broken. Please fix.

0 upvotes
beomagi
By beomagi (7 months ago)

Connectors under flaps here
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-slt-a99/18

0 upvotes
Thomas Karlmann
By Thomas Karlmann (7 months ago)

This review fails to show the I/O connectors! What is under those flaps? Most importantly where is the PC-sync terminal???? If there isn't one, I'll keep looking for a different camera. Please clarify.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 10