A77 vs A35 RAW comparison

Started Aug 25, 2011 | Discussions thread
Marco Cinnirella
Marco Cinnirella Veteran Member • Posts: 6,748
Re: Impressions of different cameras with true raw

Fascinating - out of interest, did you turn off NR in the G3 menu or do you know if the G3 raws you used had NR set to + or -. because otherwise there may be raw NR going on with the G3 raws

RicksAstro wrote:

I did a detailed comparison of ISO 3200 RAWs from various cameras last night using DCRAW to create absolutely RAW, mosaiced, 16 bit B&W TIFFs and an astronomy program to simply demosaic into linear (no curves applied) 16 bit color TIFFs. As completely neutral of processing as you can possibly get. Most RAW processors have manufacturer specific processing involved, especially in color and curves and sometimes in behind the scenes noise reduction. My tests did not.

Sized to the same scale, the A77 and A55 were about the same noise-wise and detail wise. The Canon 7d was about at the same level as well. The A580 was slightly better, and the D7000 was a small step up from that, although I suspect that was from Nikon's noise abatement at the black level in RAW. Interestingly, the NEX C3 was between the A77 and A580...I would have guessed it would be the same as the 580.

The most interesting result was the Panasonic G3 was also at about the same noise level as the A77 and actually captured more fine detail in the scales than any APSC camera.

I'm guessing about 2/3 a stop separated the best from the worst, so it's not a huge difference. I'm guessing the mirror made most of the difference in cutting down the performance of the A77 and A55, which makes complete sense. I also suspect that later firmware won't affect these results much, although I suppose updates to the electronics could.

I also tested them at the base ISO and found the G3 tops at fine detail capture followed by the A77, and then the A55/A580/7D/D7000/C3 in the same ballpark. I'm assuming the anti-aliasing filters and selected lenses played more a part here than the resolution of the sensor.

I think the A77 will be a great camera with some breakthrough features. But image quality will not be a breakthrough feature...it will be on par with the competition. And the extra pixels don't seem to be yielding a big resolution advantage. I'm on the waiting list for one, but based on my research, I may not follow through.

rhlpetrus wrote:

They look pretty close, if you resize A77 to the other camera res it should be same or slightly better.

The A35 uses same sensor as A55, correct? I checked DxO Mark and both have lower scores compared to A580, both in base ISO DR and high ISO cut point.

What's the verdict here, is there a difference in high ISO A580 x A55/A35 or do they perform about same?

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