A55 vs A850 high ISO shootout

Started Jan 28, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Amateur Sony Shooter Veteran Member • Posts: 5,433
A55 vs A850 high ISO shootout

I just got a brand new A850 today. I got unbelievable deal from an award winning "Nikon photographer" selling his prized Sony gears ( http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1037&thread=37569644 ). Now I just fully charged battery and can run some indoor high ISO test. Kurt Munger's ISO test between A33/A700/A900 revealed A33's poor ISO performance in RAW file ( http://www.kurtmunger.com/sony_translucent_mirrorid181.html ) so naturally I want to see how my A55 stack up to A850 (which is almost the same as A900). My casual test is not scientific of course, and I haven't updated A850's firmware either.

I mounted both cameras on tripod, with shutter remote, set focal length at 28mm for A55 and 40mm for A850, aperture at f4, ISO 1600 & 3200. DPR off Creative style all standard with everything zero. All in RAW and JPEG (highest quality, DR+2 for each camera). So here are the pictures:

A850 ISO 1600 RAW:

A55 ISO 1600 RAW:

100% RAW crop comparison (A55 left, A850 right):

A850 ISO 3200 RAW:

A55 ISO 3200 RAW:

100% RAW crop comparison (A55 left, A850 right):

A850 1600 JPEG:

A55 1600 JPEG:

100% crop:

A850 ISO 3200 JPEG:

A55 ISO 3200 JPEG:

100% crop:

My impression? In RAW files, A55's high ISO is at least as good as A850 if not better. In JPEG mode, A55 is simply much better. My simple test effectively disputed Kurt Munger's ISO conclusion, at least for A55. Tomorrow I will run some CA tests, please stay tuned!

 Amateur Sony Shooter's gear list:Amateur Sony Shooter's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony a77 II Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +6 more
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