A57 or A65 for lowlight wildlife?

Started Oct 28, 2012 | Questions thread
philbot Contributing Member • Posts: 846
Re: A57 or A65 for lowlight wildlife?

sensibill wrote:

Any camera will 'match a workflow' because you're dealing with the same (RAW) format. It's whether the BASELINE IMAGE QUALITY MATCHES THE NEEDS OF THE INDIVIDUAL.

In short, don't listen to claims and opinions on the forum. Go see for yourself. Ignore people that claim this or that test is irrelevant, or how to 'interpret' the data to favor one model when your eyes tell you something different.

I also think those burying their heads in the sand should also be ignored..

The fact is, there is much inconsistent data around, nothing should be taken as absolute without establishing a level of validity..


DPreview say this about ACR..

"Here we look at the RAW files processed through Adobe Camera Raw (in this case version 7.2). Images are brightness matched and processed with all noise reduction options set to zero. Adobe does a degree of noise reduction even when the user-controlled NR is turned off.

The amount of NR applied 'under the hood' is not high, but it does vary by camera (Adobe is attempting to normalize output across different sensors), so inevitably we are still looking at a balance of noise and noise reduction, rather than pure noise levels"

Relying on no NR in ACR as being absolute is clearly a falsehood.

Then you have the fact DPReview say this about the A65 (They didn't even bother measuring DR on the A65..)

"Please note that the sample images on this page have been taken from the Sony SLT-A77 review as the image quality and features are identical on the SLT-A65."

But DxO think the A77 is better then the A57..

Quite inconsistent.. (There are some obvious reasons for the differences, I'm just saying don't take things at face value ).

Then you have the inconsistency of exposure with DPReview samples.. just check the EXIF, and in this case, A57/A65, only at ISO3200 do you find they where given the same exposure.. every other ISO, the A57 is given 25% more light..

You are right, people should use their own eyes (and head) when looking at the data..

The problem is, it'll make your head hurt, because all the face value data you find either has a large dollop of inconsistency to it (so who do you believe?) or it's easily misinterpreted..

e.g. if we take ISO6400 for these cameras and stick to DPReview, The A57 has

- 25% more light

- Seemingly much less noise in it's RAW files

YET, if you believe DPReview (and many others) that ACR isn't a level playing field, you can simply tweak the A65's NR level to match the A57's base NR level and see what image detail is left..

This is using well below the 'default' ACR values for Chroma NR on the A65 image.. and considering it's exif shows 25% less shutter duration was given to the A65, this is all the difference it makes..

You can clean these up further and they just look closer and closer in all aspects of detail..

But, I would still recommend the A57 for higher ISO over the A65 for most people just for the fact that the A57 wants to expose for longer by default (low ISO gains, as show in DxO and DPReview) means that it'll always try to gather more light for you.. leading to less chance of noise in the first place.. it might mean it always wants to select 25% longer shutter speeds, or larger apertures, but for reliably getting the least noise, it saves you the bother..

I'd only recommend the A65 if you understood that it's lower ISO gains mean it'll tend to want to meter less then other camera's, and that maximising it's resolution advantage lower down the ISO scale requires extra effort too.. If you know that, and accept that, then there is every reason to get the A65..

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