Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?

Started Apr 29, 2019 | Questions
andrei_says Junior Member • Posts: 29
Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
2

Shot with a7iii and Sony 35mm 1.4 at f1.6, 1/100sec, iso2000, on Manual setting, in RAW.

I recently moved from Canon to Sony for size, weight, low light performance and autofocus.

However, I am seeing a lot of black grain at even iso 2000 -- is this normal for this camera? The photos in this forum definitely look cleaner than mine -- is noise reduction required in post?

Images: https://imgur.com/a/I1Hdbie

Images have been pushed 1 stop and curve adjusted in Lightroom.

I did look at the DPreview test image and do not see suchlevel of grain even at 3200.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a7-iii-review/5

I am concerned because my 5d3, an older generation camera, seems to produce lower level (black) noise in similar conditions. It does produce noise, but not so contrast-y.

So after reading about the great low light perfromance of the a7iii, I am wondering if there's something wrong with my a7iii body.

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GrapeJam
GrapeJam Senior Member • Posts: 3,555
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
10

andrei_says wrote:

Shot with a7iii and Sony 35mm 1.4 at f1.6, 1/100sec, iso2000, on Manual setting, in RAW.

I recently moved from Canon to Sony for size, weight, low light performance and autofocus.

However, I am seeing a lot of black grain at even iso 2000 -- is this normal for this camera? The photos in this forum definitely look cleaner than mine -- is noise reduction required in post?

Images: https://imgur.com/a/I1Hdbie

Images have been pushed 1 stop and curve adjusted in Lightroom.

I did look at the DPreview test image and do not see suchlevel of grain even at 3200.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a7-iii-review/5

I am concerned because my 5d3, an older generation camera, seems to produce lower level (black) noise in similar conditions. It does produce noise, but not so contrast-y.

So after reading about the great low light perfromance of the a7iii, I am wondering if there's something wrong with my a7iii body.

The adjustment that you make to the photo actually makes it closer to ISO 8000.

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audiosupernova Junior Member • Posts: 38
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
5

GrapeJam wrote:

andrei_says wrote:

Shot with a7iii and Sony 35mm 1.4 at f1.6, 1/100sec, iso2000, on Manual setting, in RAW.

I recently moved from Canon to Sony for size, weight, low light performance and autofocus.

However, I am seeing a lot of black grain at even iso 2000 -- is this normal for this camera? The photos in this forum definitely look cleaner than mine -- is noise reduction required in post?

Images: https://imgur.com/a/I1Hdbie

Images have been pushed 1 stop and curve adjusted in Lightroom.

I did look at the DPreview test image and do not see suchlevel of grain even at 3200.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a7-iii-review/5

I am concerned because my 5d3, an older generation camera, seems to produce lower level (black) noise in similar conditions. It does produce noise, but not so contrast-y.

So after reading about the great low light perfromance of the a7iii, I am wondering if there's something wrong with my a7iii body.

The adjustment that you make to the photo actually makes it closer to ISO 8000.

Wanted to chime in to agree. You boosted exposure a full stop, doubling noise to equivalent ISO 4000. You boosted shadows a full stop, doubling shadow noise to equivalent ISO 8000. You also raised the black level....boosting equivalent noise even further.

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Magnar W
Magnar W Veteran Member • Posts: 5,461
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
8

andrei_says wrote:

Shot with a7iii and Sony 35mm 1.4 at f1.6, 1/100sec, iso2000, on Manual setting, in RAW.

ISO is all about exposure, not the ISO setting.

However, I am seeing a lot of black grain at even iso 2000 -- is this normal for this camera? The photos in this forum definitely look cleaner than mine -- is noise reduction required in post?

Images have been pushed 1 stop and curve adjusted in Lightroom.

Try do do such pushing with a Canon file!

I am concerned because my 5d3, an older generation camera, seems to produce lower level (black) noise in similar conditions. It does produce noise, but not so contrast-y.

You are fooling yourself here.

So after reading about the great low light perfromance of the a7iii, I am wondering if there's something wrong with my a7iii body.

Classic: User error.

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OP andrei_says Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
9

> You are fooling yourself here.

Way to go dismissing my experience of shooting for 4+ years with the 5d3. Your reply is not constructive and is disrespectful. I see you have thousands of posts here, hopefully you're not a representative of this community which I usually find accepting and helpful.

"The person who is brutally honest enjoys the brutality quite as much as the honesty. Possibly more." -- Richard J. Needham

Magnar W
Magnar W Veteran Member • Posts: 5,461
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
3

andrei_says wrote:

> You are fooling yourself here.

Way to go dismissing my experience of shooting for 4+ years with the 5d3. Your reply is not constructive and is disrespectful. I see you have thousands of posts here, hopefully you're not a representative of this community which I usually find accepting and helpful.

"The person who is brutally honest enjoys the brutality quite as much as the honesty. Possibly more." -- Richard J. Needham

If you expect a correct exposed file at a given ISO value to show the same noise level as an underexposed and pushed file, what should one then say?

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OP andrei_says Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?

Thank you, this makes sense. So I should expect this level of noise to be normal when I push 1-2 stops?

The chroma noise is comparable to the Canon, but the black noise is something I have not experienced with another camera.

Looking at the DPReview image quality scene, I do not see the black noise present even at ISO 12800.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-a7-iii-review/5

I often need to crop my images and so the noise becomes more prominent. It is more noticeable than what I've experienced with my older generation DSLRs.

OP andrei_says Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
12

Thank you for asking!

How about:

"It is possible that pushing the file 1 stop brought up this unusually high level of noise. Are you certain you use the same process with your 5d3? I'd imagine you'd get worse results with the canon, as the Sony has a newer sensor. Would you provide some tests?"

To which I would reply:

This is my usual process, I push the Canon RAWs 1.5-2 stops all the time and do not experience such (black) noise. Some chroma noise but much lower contrast. But you're right I should do a test.

Can we agree that this exchange is a bit more constructive than a witty backhanded insult attempt like "user error"? It may make one feel superior for 5 seconds but does not contribute.

bob13bob Contributing Member • Posts: 954
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?

yes, normal. when using the comparison tool, u need to look at the shadows of hte picture when comparing higher iso shooting.

use the tool with the lights off looking at the shadows.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison?attr18=lowlight&attr13_0=oly_em10iii&attr13_1=sony_a7iii&attr13_2=canon_eos5dmkiii&attr13_3=sony_a7riii&attr15_0=raw&attr15_1=raw&attr15_2=raw&attr15_3=raw&attr16_0=1600&attr16_1=1600&attr16_2=1600&attr16_3=1600&attr171_1=1&normalization=full&widget=1&x=-0.8364947089947089&y=-0.1646839052207256

the a73 is better than 5dm3 to my eyes in the above link, but not by much.

try capture one, i think it has better processing than lightroom for sony cameras.

also, be weary of iso cheating or iso arbitrarily set.  To really do a comparison, shoot the same fstop and shutter speed.  a73 is very good at not iso hacking.  it's a 1/3 stop better than a7r3.

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dkeller Senior Member • Posts: 1,550
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
1

Could you have even pushed the dark areas that far and gotten an image with your other cameras?

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dkeller Senior Member • Posts: 1,550
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
11

I saw nothing insulting about his remarks.  They were just to the point on each area.

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OP andrei_says Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?

1 stop exposure and a bit in the shadows? Absolutely. I often push Canon RAWs 2+ stops.

Got the Sony because 5d3 has a hard time focusing on moving objects in low light and I shoot wide open so I need the AF advantage.

I will however make a comparison with identical iso aperture and shutter speed.

OP andrei_says Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
2

I think I found the culprit!

Lightroom seems to apply sharpening to all images upon import. Removing that reduced the amount of the black noise. (And of course made the image less sharp).

https://imgur.com/a/fWWgVks

What do people use for sharpening with this camera?

jptsr1
jptsr1 Regular Member • Posts: 194
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
1

andrei_says wrote:

1 stop exposure and a bit in the shadows? Absolutely. I often push Canon RAWs 2+ stops.

Got the Sony because 5d3 has a hard time focusing on moving objects in low light and I shoot wide open so I need the AF advantage.

I will however make a comparison with identical iso aperture and shutter speed.

Not dismissing your experience but I owned a 5D3 for many years and when I pushed files 2 stops what I would end up with was garbage most of the time. I still love my Canons and often still shoot with my 6D2 that I still own but neither it or my 5D3 allowed the latitude that my A7III does. I think something else has to be at play here.

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GrapeJam
GrapeJam Senior Member • Posts: 3,555
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?

andrei_says wrote:

I think I found the culprit!

Lightroom seems to apply sharpening to all images upon import. Removing that reduced the amount of the black noise. (And of course made the image less sharp).

https://imgur.com/a/fWWgVks

What do people use for sharpening with this camera?

Dunno, I actually disable sharpening most of the times, I feel the image looks more organic with sharpening disabled.

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OP andrei_says Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?

I will do a test with both cameras to verify behavior in similar conditions. I’m also curious about it.

Lightshow
Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 7,439
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
2

Since you do a lot of shadow lifting, try this, use the histogram and expose to the right side of the histogram, this will or can reduce the amount of noise.

https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/digital-exposure-techniques.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exposing_to_the_right

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/6641165460/ettr-exposed

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the better twin
the better twin Regular Member • Posts: 129
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
1

andrei_says wrote:

I think I found the culprit!

Lightroom seems to apply sharpening to all images upon import. Removing that reduced the amount of the black noise. (And of course made the image less sharp).

https://imgur.com/a/fWWgVks

What do people use for sharpening with this camera?

Make sure to use masking so you dont sharpen shadows. Hold down alt when moving the masking slider to see what you are sharpening.

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splashy
splashy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,554
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?
1

When they say 'ISO is all about exposure, not the ISO setting.' try to understand WHAT it means.

You cannot make noisefree pictures in/of unlit objects by raising the ISO high, this whole high ISO seems to be a misunderstanding by camera users.

But you could have posted the original, so we could see why it went wrong.

I adjusted the Sspeed and shadows to original, actually the camera did a very good job.

I did denoise it.

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OP andrei_says Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Is this level of noise normal for a7iii at iso 2000?

Thank you so much for this. Also love your signature mirrorless + peaking redefines the manual focus game.

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