A700 v A77 ISO 400 RAW crop revisited

Started Oct 13, 2011 | Discussions thread
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George Evans Senior Member • Posts: 1,591
A700 v A77 ISO 400 RAW crop revisited

I know the pixel peeping has been done to death and the professional reviewers such as Amateur Photographer mag have given the A77 full marks and I'm happy with the A77 myself, but I still have some doubts about the noise in the RAW images from the A77.

I've revisited two images that I posted on the forum shortly after I got the A77, both taken at ISO 400. The first from the A700 and the second from the A77.

A comment was made in another thread today that the JPEG's from the A77 seem to look better than the RAW's which was weird, and it's been bugging me tonight. Perhaps my perception of increased noise from the A77 was because I'm so used to viewing A700 (12mp) RAW files at 100% when post processing and I'm now viewing A77 (24mp) RAW files from the A77 at 100% so there's a false perception of increased noise in the A77.

Before ACR 6.5 support for LR3 I posted a RAW file saved as a JPEG of a statue outside the Liver Building in Liverpool taken at ISO 400 which showed an alarming amount of blochy color noise.

I've decided to revisit that file, resize it to the same 4272 wide pixels of a A700 RAW file, take a 100% crop and compare it to a 100% crop from an A700 image at ISO 400 to try and get an angle on the noise from both cameras. This isn't scientific as they are different photos taken in different light with different lenses the Sony 70300G on the A700 image and the CZ1680 with the A77.

What I've noticed is that the A700 RAW shows almost no color noise and the noise is fine grained whereas the A77 RAW has more color noise and is the noise is courser. When I try and reduce the noise in LR3 using dennismullens advice of using +25 color NR and then dealing with the luminence noise I seem to lose a lot of detail from the A77 image.

The A77 JPEG's are performing noise reduction in camera so if the JPEG engine is showing better results than can be got from RAW files is it user error (me) or are other A77 owners experiencing the same phenomenon?

My photo host Zenfolio doesn't support RAW uploads so it's JPEG only. The files can be downloaded at http://www.wirralpix.com/p1072489732

What do you think?

A700 RAW, ISO400, 100% crop saved as a JPEG

A77 RAW, ISO400, resized to A700, 100% crop saved as a JPEG

George Evans

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