A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

Started Dec 5, 2009 | Discussions
novak977 Senior Member • Posts: 1,400
A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

After some hot discussions here, about ISO performance,
I looked up the samples of 2 leading MP cameras - A900 and D3X on IR.

Since my budget was limited to 10 minutes of play (as I have to take kids to swimming pool) I decided to run quick RAW test - to develop ISO6400 samples from both cameras (no NR) with LR3 and post here.

Well, I managed somehow to find one raw from one camera, while not being able to find RAW but only camera JPEG from the other camera.

Than I developed with LR (no Luma nose reduction possible) the RAW file and than put both JPEGs up for you to see:

OK, don't look at EXIF, which one is which and which one you like better:
here we go:

Cheers,
novak

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JasperD
JasperD Senior Member • Posts: 2,662
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

I like the 2nd one better.

jamesbobo Regular Member • Posts: 198
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

I also like the second one.
I couldn't look at exif data if I wanted to because I don't know how.

Lens_Alchemy Regular Member • Posts: 247
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!
  1. 1 Strong suppression of RED channel assuming you used same NR settings in LR and loss of lower contrast detail like on the mosiac wine lable.

  1. 2 A bit more color noise expecially in shadows but more detail to recover in PP etc.

I can guess which is which based on trends in noise handling from the past.. I would take #2 because I have the choice to save the detail or reduce the noise myself #1 appears to have taken that choise from me.

*************
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Danel Senior Member • Posts: 2,905
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

Number 2 shows better detail, so that's my choice. However, I don't know that the RAW versus JPEG is a fair comparison.

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headofdestiny Veteran Member • Posts: 9,226
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

Neither of these two cameras should be shot past ISO 800, anyways. If ISO 6400 is needed, it's better to underexpose ISO 800 by three stops and boost +3ev in the Raw converter.

Bart7D
Bart7D Veteran Member • Posts: 4,459
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

headofdestiny wrote:

Neither of these two cameras should be shot past ISO 800, anyways. If ISO 6400 is needed, it's better to underexpose ISO 800 by three stops and boost +3ev in the Raw converter.

You would be boosting noise as well with this procedure.

Bart

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gipper51 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,161
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

headofdestiny wrote:

Neither of these two cameras should be shot past ISO 800, anyways. If ISO 6400 is needed, it's better to underexpose ISO 800 by three stops and boost +3ev in the Raw converter.

LOL, I had to chuckle at that one.

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photonut2008
photonut2008 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,508
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

Bart7D wrote:

headofdestiny wrote:

Neither of these two cameras should be shot past ISO 800, anyways. If ISO 6400 is needed, it's better to underexpose ISO 800 by three stops and boost +3ev in the Raw converter.

You would be boosting noise as well with this procedure.

That's what the camera does too.
--
Anthony Beach

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RJSanchez Regular Member • Posts: 310
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

I prefer the look of the 2nd photo.

Ruvy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,646
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

can't see the kids… but 2nd image looks better. So what? You are comparing two different things - what is the value here. To see really disturbing noise image should be taken in low light which is one of the major reasons such high iso is needed at the first place.

jim hogg Junior Member • Posts: 26
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

Why not simply look at side by side equivalent sample comparisons on Imaging Resource to see a more accurate representation of the performance of both cameras in the same circumstances at ISO 6400? The no NR jpeg samples (still life image used above) make the noise handling capabilities of the two cameras very clear, and unfortunately the Sony A900 falls well short of the D3X (as would be expected given the price differential). The Sony image is almost overwhelmed by chroma noise, whereas the Nikon image is marred primarily by luminance noise but to a much lesser extent to my eyes. I didn't try it but running both images through Neat Image or similar might reduce the gap between the two. For all that, it's plain that the A900 is still a remarkable camera for the money.

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Wilu Contributing Member • Posts: 513
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

my first impression was that i liked the first picture better, mainly due to the finer grain. but the red cloth at 3 o' clock has lost a lot of structure! and where an area of one colour borders on an area of a different colour they get sort of mixed up (e.g. the red and green cloths). in addition, the shadows are way too bright in the first picture for my taste. in short: except for the grain structure, i prefer the second image. i can't comment on which one could be the raw and which the jpeg. and i don't know which amount of the differences is due to your processing.

because of the grain (and the still visible chroma noise patterns) my guess was that the second picture was taken with the a900.

it's always interesting to have a look at the exif data to know whether you're right or not.

please don't forget to let us know which was the raw and which was the jpeg file.

novak977 wrote:

After some hot discussions here, about ISO performance,
I looked up the samples of 2 leading MP cameras - A900 and D3X on IR.

Since my budget was limited to 10 minutes of play (as I have to take kids to swimming pool) I decided to run quick RAW test - to develop ISO6400 samples from both cameras (no NR) with LR3 and post here.

Well, I managed somehow to find one raw from one camera, while not being able to find RAW but only camera JPEG from the other camera.

Than I developed with LR (no Luma nose reduction possible) the RAW file and than put both JPEGs up for you to see:

OK, don't look at EXIF, which one is which and which one you like better:

Lens_Alchemy Regular Member • Posts: 247
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

No EXIf on at least on image..
So what is the answser?

BTW LR3s color NR eats the detail in the red cloth.. I expect we will see this in a lot of newer cameras.. as the 7D and the A5xx which use a simular system are also far from friendly to the redtone detail.

What these cameras need is a DR0+ like NR that looks at the image an applies it to only areas that need it.
*************
Ken This should be fun!
SLR Photographer since 1979
A-Mount user since 1996
http://gallery.cascadephotoworks.com

Klipsen Veteran Member • Posts: 6,166
Download, and you'll see the basic exif in Windows

1. A900
2. D3x

I also prefer the second picture, both before and after learning the answer, but not enough to think it's worth a camera three times as expensive. The A900 is expensive enough as it is. And good enough!

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Eleson Senior Member • Posts: 1,197
Now, but a 85/1.4 on both and ...

... go to work on a wedding, and see who comes back with the noisier pictures.
Wanna take a guess?

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Erland

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Ronni H
Ronni H Senior Member • Posts: 1,099
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

I didn't even have to look at the second picture to know which one was the Sony. That smudged noise is recognizable from miles away.

I wish Sony would put more effort into improving this instead of turning a future dslr into a video cam.
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OP novak977 Senior Member • Posts: 1,400
Re: Download, and you'll see the basic exif in Windows

Klipsen got it right - top is A900 and the bottom is D3X.

I apologize for mixing apples and oranges here, but just wanted to share an interesting interpretation of RAW file by using LR3 where even A900's very blotchy noise can look very salty fine grained.

There is no Luma noise removed (not possible yet in LR3) and obviously with even light chroma reduction Reds are suffering a lot. Thanks for your attention!
Cheers,
novak

Klipsen wrote:

1. A900
2. D3x

I also prefer the second picture, both before and after learning the answer, but not enough to think it's worth a camera three times as expensive. The A900 is expensive enough as it is. And good enough!

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OP novak977 Senior Member • Posts: 1,400
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

Very Wrong! The second is $8k D3X! The top is Sony!

Ronni H wrote:

I didn't even have to look at the second picture to know which one was the Sony. That smudged noise is recognizable from miles away.

I wish Sony would put more effort into improving this instead of turning a future dslr into a video cam.
--
Never bite the Apple...

Ronni

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FED-S (my father's) > Canon AE1 (my brother's) > Minolta Maxxum 3xi (my first precious) > Minolta Dynax 400si (hello Canada) > Minolta Dimage 7i (darling) > Konica Minolta 5D (first DSLR) > Sony Alpha A100 (killer baby) > Sony Alpha A700 (serious tool) > Canon 5DMkII (weird computer with average lenses) > Back to A700 (reassured about the greatness)

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Ronni H
Ronni H Senior Member • Posts: 1,099
Re: A900 vs D3X: veryinteresting stuff!

novak977 wrote:

Very Wrong! The second is $8k D3X! The top is Sony!

Uhmmm yep, that's why I didn't have to see the second one to know that the top one was the Sony:-).
To me this is classic Sony noise smudge:

I'm not questioning the overall value of the A850 but I will never be a fan of the current Sony's high ISO handling.
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