So A7Siii has more noise than d850?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
OP pixelationX Contributing Member • Posts: 560
Re: So A7Siii has more noise than d850?

Hi thanks for your reply but what does it all mean? when looking at the images and video with bigger pixels A7Siii is supposed to have at far less noise than A7R iv and D850 but its the opposite or is there an error by DPreview on that sample photo?

Slaginfected wrote:

Noise and perception of noise is a rather complex topic. Combined with higher ISOs this makes an interesting topic.

Let me break things down a bit:

  • When talking about noise, what is usually meant is "visible grain" of various sorts. Comparing images at the same size has the effect that with higher resolution cameras the noise is finer, while from lower res cameras it looks more coarse. Resulting from that is that a lot of people go with the higher res camera because the finer noise is seen as the better result.
  • Light. Many times when people talk about low light, this equals high ISOs, so what they do is just ramp up the ISO value in the studio scene. However, there is a low-light icon, because the default is the daylight setting which provides a couple stops more light than the low-light scene. With my over 10 years of dealing with real world low-light photography I can say that this daylight setup is the absolute optimum case, and even the low-light scene is still on the very good end of things. In return, it gives you some hints how things will degrade. Which means you should select the low-light option in the studio scene.
  • Assuming you switched the scene to the low-light option, you will immediately see a color tint of the dark areas with the D850. If you move the zoom window frame towards far left side, you will see it very clearly. This effect is caused by noise in combination with the lack of information each pixel has to offer (= low SNR), and is not easily made away, i.e. it shows even in downscaled images. That is also an indication that your post-processing latitude is (decidedly) lower than that of the A7sIII, which seemingly has no real problem showing the proper colors still. What makes this color tint even more problematic is that it depends highly on the light of the scene and the white balance settings, plus it creates an overall look of desaturation of the entire image.

There are quite a few more things, like for example fine, but high contrast parts (e.g. mixed pepper colored fur) can cover noise up to a certain degree, which favors higher res sensors, but you still see the overall tinting issues, as in the images look much less vibrant. Which means there are a couple ways to "push" things even with higher res cameras. In return, with something like the A7sIII, you can just fire away without having to spend a second thought on such complications in the post-processing.

In the end, as always, it is about knowing what you want, where the limits are and use that to select the "optimal" camera out of that.

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