Are there quality/performance differences between individual cameras per quality control?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
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Subtle Reality
Subtle Reality Junior Member • Posts: 42
Are there quality/performance differences between individual cameras per quality control?

My newest camera is the a7r4a, just recently. It may be perceptual bias but, shooting RAW, I seem to notice about up to a stop less noise than I would have expected compared to seeing sample photographs. This would be very nice indeed :)!

I know that individual cameras (of the same model) can differ with respect to hot pixels, (some have none, many have at least one or two) and some fudged such as auto focus or metering not working properly, or even gunk getting on the sensor with some DSLRs (the D800E early production models seemed susceptible to this), simply because the manufacturing process is imperfect and subject to variation. My question is that although with respect to defects there is variation, can there also be variation to specs relative to what's on paper?

I can understand some things are relatively static with respect to manufacturing consistency, such as shutter speed or fps in continuous shooting or number of megapixels because they're digital and thus bitwise, working either as spec'd or malfunctioning, but perhaps the analog or atomic neatliness and orderliness to the camera parts would be more subject to variation leading to variations in noise, hot pixels, buffer clearing, SD card bus speed, thermal overheating, etc. Via that principle, it goes without saying that lenses from one to another aren't made perfectly identical and there can be variations in optical performance, but I'm sure any significant deviation would be outliers.

Would about a stop better noise performance be normal, an outlier, or just statistically or physically impossible? This is the a7r4a and most any sample images I come across are from the a7r4. Even if better noise performance isn't explicitly reported by Sony, could it be possible if the manufacturing process is improved too? Do manufacturers "work the bugs out" with better manufacturing processes with cameras and lenses? Firmware updates of course, which can improve things like auto focus or responsiveness or even add features, but I wouldn't expect firmware to improve something so physically dependent as ISO noise performance.

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 Subtle Reality's gear list:Subtle Reality's gear list
Nikon D800E Sony a7R IVA Sony 50mm F2.8 Macro Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 +2 more
Nikon D80 Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Sony a7 Sony a7R
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