A77 vs A35 RAW comparison

Started Aug 25, 2011 | Discussions
Amateur Sony Shooter Veteran Member • Posts: 5,433
A77 vs A35 RAW comparison

Since we all know A77's early jpeg sucks big time, how about RAW? Before Adobe released their ACR converter, I used "RAW Photo Processor 64" to decode A35 and A77's RAW samples (from Image Resource). Here are the converted jpeg files. You can draw your own conclusion:

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TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,729
Something went wrong there.

A couple of observations:

  • at ISO 3200 the cameras are performing equal, maybe a hair less noise in the case of the A77, but nothing you would normally notice.

  • in the ISO 6400 samples you posted, the A35 suddenly shows more saturation (also compared to the ISO 3200 A35 sample) in the hair, maybe a shift in WB.

  • Asside from the above, the A77 again shows a hair less noise at ISO 6400, but in real world terms it's about equal.

OP Amateur Sony Shooter Veteran Member • Posts: 5,433
Re: Something went wrong there.

Not sure if I follow you (proportion), but to my eyes, A35 retains colour saturation better than A77. A77 seems bit more grayish. Overall I call it a draw, so there is no high ISO advantage. Which is somewhat disappointing but not surprising, given the pixel density of 24MP.

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TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,729
What I meant...

Amateur Sony Shooter wrote:

Not sure if I follow you (proportion), but to my eyes, A35 retains colour saturation better than A77. A77 seems bit more grayish.

A screenshot from the examples you posted:

Notice atleast the obvious shift in colours. Not a good basis to judge which one "retains saturation better".

Overall I call it a draw, so there is no high ISO advantage. Which is somewhat disappointing but not surprising, given the pixel density of 24MP.

The comment about 24MP is a non sequitur as there is no direct correlation.

People were expecting another leap in quantum efficiency over a sensor (the 16MP) that was already a frontrunner in efficiency. That's recipe for disappointment.

Steen Bay Veteran Member • Posts: 6,978
Re: Something went wrong there.

Amateur Sony Shooter wrote:

Not sure if I follow you (proportion), but to my eyes, A35 retains colour saturation better than A77. A77 seems bit more grayish. Overall I call it a draw, so there is no high ISO advantage. Which is somewhat disappointing but not surprising, given the pixel density of 24MP.

It's difficult to tell whether it's a draw or not, because we're looking at different output sizes. Maybe you could try to downsample the images from both cameras to for example 8 or 12 MP?

rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 24,897
Question form a non Sony user Re: A77 vs A35 RAW comparison

They look pretty close, if you resize A77 to the other camera res it should be same or slightly better.

The A35 uses same sensor as A55, correct? I checked DxO Mark and both have lower scores compared to A580, both in base ISO DR and high ISO cut point.

What's the verdict here, is there a difference in high ISO A580 x A55/A35 or do they perform about same?

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RicksAstro
RicksAstro Veteran Member • Posts: 3,716
Impressions of different cameras with true raw

I did a detailed comparison of ISO 3200 RAWs from various cameras last night using DCRAW to create absolutely RAW, mosaiced, 16 bit B&W TIFFs and an astronomy program to simply demosaic into linear (no curves applied) 16 bit color TIFFs. As completely neutral of processing as you can possibly get. Most RAW processors have manufacturer specific processing involved, especially in color and curves and sometimes in behind the scenes noise reduction. My tests did not.

Sized to the same scale, the A77 and A55 were about the same noise-wise and detail wise. The Canon 7d was about at the same level as well. The A580 was slightly better, and the D7000 was a small step up from that, although I suspect that was from Nikon's noise abatement at the black level in RAW. Interestingly, the NEX C3 was between the A77 and A580...I would have guessed it would be the same as the 580.

The most interesting result was the Panasonic G3 was also at about the same noise level as the A77 and actually captured more fine detail in the scales than any APSC camera.

I'm guessing about 2/3 a stop separated the best from the worst, so it's not a huge difference. I'm guessing the mirror made most of the difference in cutting down the performance of the A77 and A55, which makes complete sense. I also suspect that later firmware won't affect these results much, although I suppose updates to the electronics could.

I also tested them at the base ISO and found the G3 tops at fine detail capture followed by the A77, and then the A55/A580/7D/D7000/C3 in the same ballpark. I'm assuming the anti-aliasing filters and selected lenses played more a part here than the resolution of the sensor.

I think the A77 will be a great camera with some breakthrough features. But image quality will not be a breakthrough feature...it will be on par with the competition. And the extra pixels don't seem to be yielding a big resolution advantage. I'm on the waiting list for one, but based on my research, I may not follow through.

rhlpetrus wrote:

They look pretty close, if you resize A77 to the other camera res it should be same or slightly better.

The A35 uses same sensor as A55, correct? I checked DxO Mark and both have lower scores compared to A580, both in base ISO DR and high ISO cut point.

What's the verdict here, is there a difference in high ISO A580 x A55/A35 or do they perform about same?

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Midnighter Senior Member • Posts: 1,727
Re: A77 vs A35 RAW comparison

Win a77 @ 3200
Win a35 @ 6400

Marco Cinnirella
Marco Cinnirella Veteran Member • Posts: 6,748
Re: Impressions of different cameras with true raw

Fascinating - out of interest, did you turn off NR in the G3 menu or do you know if the G3 raws you used had NR set to + or -. because otherwise there may be raw NR going on with the G3 raws

RicksAstro wrote:

I did a detailed comparison of ISO 3200 RAWs from various cameras last night using DCRAW to create absolutely RAW, mosaiced, 16 bit B&W TIFFs and an astronomy program to simply demosaic into linear (no curves applied) 16 bit color TIFFs. As completely neutral of processing as you can possibly get. Most RAW processors have manufacturer specific processing involved, especially in color and curves and sometimes in behind the scenes noise reduction. My tests did not.

Sized to the same scale, the A77 and A55 were about the same noise-wise and detail wise. The Canon 7d was about at the same level as well. The A580 was slightly better, and the D7000 was a small step up from that, although I suspect that was from Nikon's noise abatement at the black level in RAW. Interestingly, the NEX C3 was between the A77 and A580...I would have guessed it would be the same as the 580.

The most interesting result was the Panasonic G3 was also at about the same noise level as the A77 and actually captured more fine detail in the scales than any APSC camera.

I'm guessing about 2/3 a stop separated the best from the worst, so it's not a huge difference. I'm guessing the mirror made most of the difference in cutting down the performance of the A77 and A55, which makes complete sense. I also suspect that later firmware won't affect these results much, although I suppose updates to the electronics could.

I also tested them at the base ISO and found the G3 tops at fine detail capture followed by the A77, and then the A55/A580/7D/D7000/C3 in the same ballpark. I'm assuming the anti-aliasing filters and selected lenses played more a part here than the resolution of the sensor.

I think the A77 will be a great camera with some breakthrough features. But image quality will not be a breakthrough feature...it will be on par with the competition. And the extra pixels don't seem to be yielding a big resolution advantage. I'm on the waiting list for one, but based on my research, I may not follow through.

rhlpetrus wrote:

They look pretty close, if you resize A77 to the other camera res it should be same or slightly better.

The A35 uses same sensor as A55, correct? I checked DxO Mark and both have lower scores compared to A580, both in base ISO DR and high ISO cut point.

What's the verdict here, is there a difference in high ISO A580 x A55/A35 or do they perform about same?

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RicksAstro
RicksAstro Veteran Member • Posts: 3,716
Re: Impressions of different cameras with true raw

I was examining IR's test shots. I chose the one with the lowest NR (-2) setting.

I looked into the pre-cooked Panny raw issue with the G3 specifically with the shots from IR, and the one that was set on NR +2 (the NR5.RW2 shots) did indeed have Panny's horrible NR processing done to the raw file. The others (NR -2 & NR 0 which are the NR1.RW2 and NR3D.RW2 shots) do not.

So I believe we are comparing apples to apples (except in the case of the D7000, which clips the noise at the dark end and does some basic individual pixel NR, not the detail destroying median kind of NR).

Rick

Marco Cinnirella wrote:

Fascinating - out of interest, did you turn off NR in the G3 menu or do you know if the G3 raws you used had NR set to + or -. because otherwise there may be raw NR going on with the G3 raws

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zackiedawg
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 29,514
Re: Impressions of different cameras with true raw

Try throwing the NEX-5N results in there - because on the comparometer at least in the JPGs, they seem to have taken a massive quantum leap in processing - the 5N compared to the C3 is several orders better at ISO6400...it's not a small difference, but a huge one. I wonder if the RAW shows the same, in which case Sony has really worked on the JPG processing for the 5N - which positively body-slams the A580, NEX-C3, and A77.

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RicksAstro
RicksAstro Veteran Member • Posts: 3,716
Re: Impressions of different cameras with true raw

I'll do that tonight when I get home and post back here...

zackiedawg wrote:

Try throwing the NEX-5N results in there - because on the comparometer at least in the JPGs, they seem to have taken a massive quantum leap in processing - the 5N compared to the C3 is several orders better at ISO6400...it's not a small difference, but a huge one. I wonder if the RAW shows the same, in which case Sony has really worked on the JPG processing for the 5N - which positively body-slams the A580, NEX-C3, and A77.

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MCromer
MCromer Senior Member • Posts: 1,138
A77 much more detail

The Alpha 77 has far more detail at both ISOs. Look at the fabric texture in the collar. Not bad, Sony.

Obviously the RAW conversion for this new camera needs some work (too much color noise, should be easy to fix).

Cheng Bao Senior Member • Posts: 1,154
Re: A77 vs A35 RAW comparison

Did you downsize A77 photo to A35 size?

BMWX5 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,142
Re: Something went wrong there.

I think it is your monitor. You have been posting all over the forum about this noise issue, why not just wait for two more months!?

Amateur Sony Shooter wrote:

Not sure if I follow you (proportion), but to my eyes, A35 retains colour saturation better than A77. A77 seems bit more grayish. Overall I call it a draw, so there is no high ISO advantage. Which is somewhat disappointing but not surprising, given the pixel density of 24MP.

TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,729
Re: Question form a non Sony user Re: A77 vs A35 RAW comparison

rhlpetrus wrote:

They look pretty close, if you resize A77 to the other camera res it should be same or slightly better.

The A35 uses same sensor as A55, correct? I checked DxO Mark and both have lower scores compared to A580, both in base ISO DR and high ISO cut point.

What's the verdict here, is there a difference in high ISO A580 x A55/A35 or do they perform about same?

The verdict is that you're looking at the difference from the pellicle mirror (the A580 doesn't have one), about half a stop.

tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 35,696
Not disappointing at all!!!! Outstanding achievement

Amateur Sony Shooter wrote:

Not sure if I follow you (proportion), but to my eyes, A35 retains colour saturation better than A77. A77 seems bit more grayish. Overall I call it a draw, so there is no high ISO advantage. Which is somewhat disappointing but not surprising, given the pixel density of 24MP.

Disappointing? I say fantastic. Sony somehow crammed 50% more pixels onto the same sized sensor with no loss of high iso IQ quality. How can you possibly be disappointed at that unless you had totally unrealistic expectations. I actually expected the high iso IQ to be worse and even said so. I eat my words!!!

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bendispo Regular Member • Posts: 103
Still unadressed... Dynamic Range?

It seems as if the noise performance is largely comparable, but I'm also still concerned about dynamic range. I do the vast majority of my shooting in outdoor lighting, and dynamic range is just as large of an issue as noise for me.

Would dynamic range roughly be congruent with noise performance?

TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,729
Re: Still unadressed... Dynamic Range?

Not the overall noise at a given ISO but the noisefloor (deep shadows) would be an indicator. I would expect atleast as good of a DR as the A55.

dr jim Veteran Member • Posts: 6,101
Re: Impressions of different cameras with true raw

Justin. I looked at a bunch of comparisons with the 5N and you are right, it does look great! What surprised me was the comparison with the Nikon D7000. Again it was much better than the Nikon. Since I rarely if ever find a need to shoot that High, I did a quick comparison between the 5N and the A77 at ISO 1600. I downsized the A77 image in PSE before cropping. Interesting. The 5N is better but not by a whole lot.

A77 ISO 1600 (downsized to match)

Nex 5N ISO 1600

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Just for fun!

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