a7s or a7r for event photography without flash.

Started Aug 22, 2015 | Discussions thread
Patrick Murphy Contributing Member • Posts: 943
Re: a7s or a7r for event photography without flash.

osv wrote:

Patrick Murphy wrote:.

I found the A7Rii to be 1-2 stops worse than the A7S, even if the A7Rii photos are downsampled to match the A7S resolution.

better file latitude? because the dr on the a7rii is pretty impressive:


The A7S focuses better in low light than the A7Rii.


No, in terms of visible noise. To match the A7S's noise levels, I find the A7Rii's ISO has to be set 1-2 stops lower. This is even after downsampling the A7Rii's 42 MP image to match the pixel dimensions of the A7S's 12 MP image.

For example, I felt comfortable on the A7S going up to ISO 12,800. For the same noise level (even downsampled), I'd set the A7Rii to ISO 6400 or ISO 3200.

Dynamic range is a different matter. The A7Rii has terrific DR. I am amazed by what I can pull out of shadows. It is almost like a single-shot HDR. But the noise on top of the image is 1-2 stops noisier than the A7S at the same ISO.

(Note that this is my own perception based on informal tests comparing the two cameras. I'm no Jim Kasson, so I'd defer to him or to DPR's scene widget when they publish it.)

Finally, referring to the low-light focus, the DPR article specifically talked about using fast lenses to help give the PDAF more light to work with. I need to use zooms, so I am in the f/3.5 to 6.3 range. With these lenses, and especially towards the 6.3 end, I find the A7S achieves focus more often in lower light than the A7Rii. However, the A7S also sometimes blows the focus; the A7Rii is more consistent.

As I said earlier, the A7Rii will be OK in low-light and has some advantages such as a quieter shutter etc. But if someone is asking to compare these two cameras for low-light, no-flash situations such as receptions, parties, backstage, night street, corporate events, etc., I believe the A7S is a better choice -- especially considering the lower price.

 Patrick Murphy's gear list:Patrick Murphy's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony a7 III
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