My latest discoveries on the A77MkII thus far

Started Jul 22, 2014 | Discussions thread
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SaltLakeGuy Forum Pro • Posts: 13,813
My latest discoveries on the A77MkII thus far

First up, my RAW vs. Jpeg experiences. I have Lightroom, Lightzone and PhotoNinja I've used since before I had the Fuji X-T1 which uses that X-Trans sensor and those were the "approved" programs for it. Lightroom absolutely sucked horridly on the X-TRans sensor processing. Lightzone provided the finest resolution but required the most work. PhotoNinja was quite intuitive, but was a processor hog, slow but sure. Rendering the best color results and also allowing for excellent noise reduction without detail destruction.

Fast forward to now using these with the Sony A-77MkII. I have been exceedingly happy, more so than ever before with any camera, with the new Jpeg results coming from the MkII. I'm finding it requires nearly NO PP what so ever. Colors are dead on and sharpness is superb with no noise issues (I have mine on LOW). and I shoot "superfine". So I decided to see what RAW could offer me. Well what a shocker. First I used LightZone. The picture comes up neutered of it's dynamic range and contrast, which is a root canal to even attempt to restore. The colors are WAY off and don't ever seem quite right no matter how much adjustment you make. I've pretty much had to come to the conclusion unless there was a profile in place for LightZone I'm done with it. It is far too much work and without a profile (of which I don't believe there is one) it's crazy bad.

Next in line was my previous Go To program, PhotoNinja. Once again it comes up very out of whack. Colors way off, contrast and exposure like from another planet. Once again this program does not yet at this time support the MkII (I got an email from the manufacturer on this and they said perhaps in the next version coming who knows when). So nearly all the features that were astoundingly great with the X-Trans sensor are not happening now for the Sony. It takes a TON of work just to get it acceptable, but the Jpeg blows it's doors off.

Ahh and now for the shocker.  You will note, it's not just me, but over on the Fuji forum they are constantly slamming and deriding Lightroom for it's horrid results with the Fuji. Now for the surprise. Low and behold, opening up a file taken in "morning" light well lit, low ISO (ISO125) I noted immediately the exposure was near PERFECT needing NO adjustment. Colors popped and contrast was dead ON. I raised the sharpness up a tad and holy crud, the detail in leafs and other objects in the shot flat out blew me out of the water. I'd NEVER seen such fine details rendered from a DSLR like this to date. This sensor was ROCKING! BUT (and you knew there had to be a but!) last night when I took some shots in late sun where the ISO's were up more so, I've found that Lightroom is NOT able to render this "Wow" level due to intrusion of noise. The thing I NEVER liked in Lightroom at all was how it handles noise reduction. It's like "there goes the detail" when you raise it up. This is not how it typically works in PhotoNinja so I was spoiled. Now I have to find a new favorite program that CAN handle lower light RAW shots rendering the sharpness and keeping noise better in control. Sorry but Lightroom isn't cutting it in That area. If anyone has suggestions fire away, I'm all ears. I have not yet tried DXO nor Capture One which I've also heard good things about. Just curious what your experiences have been with less than perfect light RAW processing. Until then I'll likely stick with Jpeg as it is dang excellent IMHO. In good light I would not hesitate to shoot RAW.

For those complaining about battery power being sucked away on this camera I suggest (as many of you already know) place the "Airplane Mode" to ON. It will save you about 25% power off the get go. I have NO need of the features it disables so that's my take on this.

That's it for now. I'm off to play

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Sony A77MkII SLT Body, 16-50 f2.8 Sony Lens, 70-300G Sony Lens
Picturecode PhotoNinja, LightZone, Adobe Lightroom 5.4

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