at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
Chester McCheeserton Regular Member • Posts: 102
at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?

I've had an a7r3 since 2018 and am considering upgrading.

But I do a fair amount of handheld shooting in available light using iso 400 - (so I can stop down to 8 or 11 for depth of field,)  and less often but still fairly frequently iso 640 and 800 for the same reason.

From what I've been able to gather, the r3 looks cleaner at isos like 3200 and 6400, but has anyone done any tests who has had both at more common middle iso's like 400 or 640?

(and Yes I am aware that to get the most out of the 61 mp I would want to use a tripod and iso 100)

caplanner Senior Member • Posts: 1,340
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?
1

I recommend that you search this forum for "A7RIII dual gain ISO" and you'll get good information on a comparison between the two.

Hope that helps.

Mark

 caplanner's gear list:caplanner's gear list
Sony a9 Sony a7R III Sony FE 70-200 F4 Sony FE 35mm F1.4 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8 +22 more
joger
joger Veteran Member • Posts: 6,415
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?
2

Chester McCheeserton wrote:

I've had an a7r3 since 2018 and am considering upgrading.

But I do a fair amount of handheld shooting in available light using iso 400 - (so I can stop down to 8 or 11 for depth of field,) and less often but still fairly frequently iso 640 and 800 for the same reason.

From what I've been able to gather, the r3 looks cleaner at isos like 3200 and 6400, but has anyone done any tests who has had both at more common middle iso's like 400 or 640?

(and Yes I am aware that to get the most out of the 61 mp I would want to use a tripod and iso 100)

I own both - never used my A7R III again for serious work since I received the A7R IV

That’s basically the normalized difference.

-- hide signature --

_____________________________________
A7R IV - one camera to rule them all
ISO 9000 definition of quality: 'Degree to which a set of inherent characteristic fulfills requirements'
I am the classic “Windows by Day, Mac by Night user'
“The horizon of many people is a circle with zero radius which they call their point of view.” Albert Einstein
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." Douglas Adams

 joger's gear list:joger's gear list
Sony a7R IV Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Sony FE 12-24mm F4 Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 +11 more
Euell Veteran Member • Posts: 4,639
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?
3

joger wrote:

Chester McCheeserton wrote:

I've had an a7r3 since 2018 and am considering upgrading.

But I do a fair amount of handheld shooting in available light using iso 400 - (so I can stop down to 8 or 11 for depth of field,) and less often but still fairly frequently iso 640 and 800 for the same reason.

From what I've been able to gather, the r3 looks cleaner at isos like 3200 and 6400, but has anyone done any tests who has had both at more common middle iso's like 400 or 640?

(and Yes I am aware that to get the most out of the 61 mp I would want to use a tripod and iso 100)

I own both - never used my A7R III again for serious work since I received the A7R IV

That’s basically the normalized difference.

But not the noise difference

 Euell's gear list:Euell's gear list
Sony RX100 Canon EOS 7D Sony a6500 Sony a7R III Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +13 more
Nokiron
Nokiron Regular Member • Posts: 177
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?
4

It's about the same overall. There are advantages for each camera in certain ranges.

A7RIV switches conversion gain at ISO 320 and A7RIII at ISO 640.

I've found my RIV files just a tad more noisier overall, but it's really negligable.

 Nokiron's gear list:Nokiron's gear list
Ricoh GR III Sony a7 Sony a7R IV Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 85mm F1.8 +8 more
OP Chester McCheeserton Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?

Thanks all, just spent nearly an hour pouring through Jim Kasson's test between the 2.

As my co-worker Dave used to say - 'looks like a mixed bag...'

I cannot tell from any of his graphs or posted visual comparisons, or from anyone's comments here in this thread or elsewhere the answer to my question in the subject line.

joger
joger Veteran Member • Posts: 6,415
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?

Chester McCheeserton wrote:

Thanks all, just spent nearly an hour pouring through Jim Kasson's test between the 2.

As my co-worker Dave used to say - 'looks like a mixed bag...'

As always in life

The question is where do you put your emphasis? Crop users had been living with that noise level for a decade claiming that there is hardly any difference to FF 

The A7R IV uses basically an enhanced and enlarged APS-C sensor for FF with the tweaks from the Sony sensor devision slightly above the former APS-C designs.

I cannot tell from any of his graphs or posted visual comparisons, or from anyone's comments here in this thread or elsewhere the answer to my question in the subject line.

Irrelevant IMHO - they are in practical use as shown before with the DR graph virtually identical in similar enragements. As long as you're not using the extra pixels for cropping you'll have a hard time when looking at the end results to see any difference in noise - provided your post processing skills are good.

In other words using uncompressed RAW plus the right amount of sharpening and masking you will not see any differences in normal enlargements except more detail - only if you zoom to > 100 % you will see a pixel level noise that is slightly higher.

BUT - you can crop in and live with the quality APS-C users had for a decade and thus rescue an image that is not working due to it's too wide view.

For me the perfect t trade off and I never used my A7R III again since I got my A7R IV

Best thing is always to rent gear and not to concentrate too much on theory but on real world results.

Maybe you'll find a nice dealer that let's you shoot a few frame sie by side.

In my experiences there is no way back to just 42 MP when you've seen what 60 MP can look like printed big - IMHO the A7R IV outpaces the small digital medium format with 50 MP - especially when using Pixel Shift at base ISO

-- hide signature --

_____________________________________
A7R IV - one camera to rule them all
ISO 9000 definition of quality: 'Degree to which a set of inherent characteristic fulfills requirements'
I am the classic “Windows by Day, Mac by Night user'
“The horizon of many people is a circle with zero radius which they call their point of view.” Albert Einstein
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." Douglas Adams

 joger's gear list:joger's gear list
Sony a7R IV Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Sony FE 12-24mm F4 Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 +11 more
Mike VanV Forum Member • Posts: 61
Re: At what high ISO does a7R III show less noise than a7RIV?

I also did some Youtube searching on the same subject.

After all of the video watching, I'm sticking with my a7R III.

To answer your question...about 3200 is where it becomes very obvious.  It's noticeable before that though.

Mike

Glenn Barber Veteran Member • Posts: 3,202
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?

Chester McCheeserton wrote:

I've had an a7r3 since 2018 and am considering upgrading.

But I do a fair amount of handheld shooting in available light using iso 400 - (so I can stop down to 8 or 11 for depth of field,) and less often but still fairly frequently iso 640 and 800 for the same reason.

From what I've been able to gather, the r3 looks cleaner at isos like 3200 and 6400, but has anyone done any tests who has had both at more common middle iso's like 400 or 640?

(and Yes I am aware that to get the most out of the 61 mp I would want to use a tripod and iso 100)

Had the R3 and now have an R4.  In outdoors photography i immediately noticed the greater noise in the R4 images - particularly in foliage greens and blues for some reason.  With BIF I am sometimes shooting at iso 3200 - so noise becomes much more prominent in small crops than at lower iso's

However, I acquired AI-Denoise which works fabulously to clean this up - so noise on images is no longer a concern.  The R4 focuses and tracks so much better - and now, with a noise solution, I would never consider going back.

 Glenn Barber's gear list:Glenn Barber's gear list
Sony a7R Sony a6500 Sony a9 Sony a7R IV Sony E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS +10 more
All Bushs Fault Regular Member • Posts: 228
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?
2

Chester McCheeserton wrote:

Thanks all, just spent nearly an hour pouring through Jim Kasson's test between the 2.

As my co-worker Dave used to say - 'looks like a mixed bag...'

I cannot tell from any of his graphs or posted visual comparisons, or from anyone's comments here in this thread or elsewhere the answer to my question in the subject line.

Can't you use the DPR Studio Scene comparison tool to compare whatever high ISO you want?

 All Bushs Fault's gear list:All Bushs Fault's gear list
Pentax 645Z Canon EOS 5DS R Sony a7R IV Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM +3 more
OP Chester McCheeserton Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?

Thanks for that reply.  I did some more digging through the archives here and can see that it was a hotly debated subject.  On Kasson's newest comparison of the bookshelf crop at iso 400 is does look to me that the r4 has a clear edge.  (tho I think he's yanking up the exposure quite a bit - not sure how real world that is for me, and the r4 shot is out of focus, which makes it a little confusing) But still hat's off to him for running and posting all those comparisons. An impressive test.

Seems kind of like the election, a lot of folks minds are made up and ain't no mount of convincin gonna change em.

I am 100% sure that none of my r3 shots would be transformed into Art if only they had been shot on the r4....But dang there are just enough pluses, that I'll likely pull the trigger when I can afford it.  B&H is offering the body  only for 2650 if go thru their edu portal....

OP Chester McCheeserton Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: At what high ISO does a7R III show less noise than a7RIV?

Thanks

joger
joger Veteran Member • Posts: 6,415
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?
4

Chester McCheeserton wrote:

I am 100% sure that none of my r3 shots would be transformed into Art if only they had been shot on the r4....But dang there are just enough pluses, that I'll likely pull the trigger when I can afford it. B&H is offering the body only for 2650 if go thru their edu portal....

That's not what anyone said here

The shots will stay the same whatsoever camera you're using - the only question is how much joy it brings to shoot them.

For me technology is an essential part of the cinema in my head. In other words I am heavily biased towards elegant solutions.

Photography is all about subjective views - what else could be more relevant than one's feelings?

The A7R IV is the defacto best stills camera to date independent from format.

There is simply no other camera available that's that small, lightweight and offer this amount of image quality at many situations.

Irrelevant whether one camera edges here or there - in my hands the most advanced tool is just the right one. It's part of my individual entertainment.

Disclaimer: The Phase One back with 150 MP is surely the best you can buy off the shelf with the utmost image quality - I'd suggest to shoot with it for a 2..3 h session and you'll understand why I like the A7R IV more

In the studio and outside the A7R IV is just an incredible piece of craftsmanship - in every way better than my trusty A7R III - especially the refinements in haptics.

GM 135: 2 k EUR, A7R IV 4 k EUR - knowing that it's the best package money can buy: priceless

Back to your original question - it is pointless to ask which camera is at what ISO a tiny bit better except you're shooting predominantly at exactly that ISO.

It is IMHO much more interesting to ask how to use any given tool the best way?

The A7R IV performs best at base IOS with 4x or 16x Pixel shift and top notch lenses. Of course you can use it at higher ISO without any extra penalty - whether an A7R III is ⅓ stop better in noise performance or not is irrelevant since it's far away from the ISO 100 performance and thus only an emergency solution. I shoot the majority of my images at base ISO from tripod - a good deal now with PixelShift on top or I am using the Brenizer Method for utmost quality.

I guess an A9 II would be my tool of choice for higher ISO needs - yet it's very limited with it's resolution.

-- hide signature --

_____________________________________
A7R IV - one camera to rule them all
ISO 9000 definition of quality: 'Degree to which a set of inherent characteristic fulfills requirements'
I am the classic “Windows by Day, Mac by Night user'
“The horizon of many people is a circle with zero radius which they call their point of view.” Albert Einstein
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." Douglas Adams

 joger's gear list:joger's gear list
Sony a7R IV Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Sony FE 12-24mm F4 Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 +11 more
thevisi0nary
thevisi0nary Regular Member • Posts: 122
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?
2

Because noise is greater with more resolution it is hard to compare two sensors of different resolutions. When downscaled, photos from the a7riv will usually have a similar amount of noise to those from the a7iii.

Mike Fewster Veteran Member • Posts: 8,027
DeNoise A1

Glenn Barber wrote:

Chester McCheeserton wrote:

I've had an a7r3 since 2018 and am considering upgrading.

But I do a fair amount of handheld shooting in available light using iso 400 - (so I can stop down to 8 or 11 for depth of field,) and less often but still fairly frequently iso 640 and 800 for the same reason.

From what I've been able to gather, the r3 looks cleaner at isos like 3200 and 6400, but has anyone done any tests who has had both at more common middle iso's like 400 or 640?

(and Yes I am aware that to get the most out of the 61 mp I would want to use a tripod and iso 100)

Had the R3 and now have an R4. In outdoors photography i immediately noticed the greater noise in the R4 images - particularly in foliage greens and blues for some reason. With BIF I am sometimes shooting at iso 3200 - so noise becomes much more prominent in small crops than at lower iso's

However, I acquired AI-Denoise which works fabulously to clean this up - so noise on images is no longer a concern. The R4 focuses and tracks so much better - and now, with a noise solution, I would never consider going back.

Glad I read your post first. I was just about to make the same suggestion. I have the A7R3 and I don't hesitate to up the iso as needed  and then process with Topaz Denoise AI. If I was thinking of an A7R1V I wouldn't hesitate on the grounds of noise. I'd be quite confident of Denoise if required.

-- hide signature --

Mike Fewster
Adelaide Australia

 Mike Fewster's gear list:Mike Fewster's gear list
Sony RX1 Sony a7R II Sony a7R III
Lan Senior Member • Posts: 2,332
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?
2

I've shot extensively with both the A7R2 and the A7R4 and whilst I think the A7R4 is fractionally noisier, it's not significantly so. The A7R4 is a massively better camera though, and the increase in resolution is noticeable.

I still have both cameras, but since I bought my A7R4 I haven't felt any desire to use the A7R2 again.

OP Chester McCheeserton Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?

Back to your original question - it is pointless to ask which camera is at what ISO a tiny bit better except you're shooting predominantly at exactly that ISO.

- whether an A7R III is ⅓ stop better in noise performance or not is irrelevant since it's far away from the ISO 100 performance and thus only an emergency solution.

It's neither irrelevant, nor an emergency solution, for me. It's how I shoot most of the time, and big part of the reason I moved away from tripod mounted sheet film cameras, I can make a picture handheld at iso 640 at f5.6 indoors in a situation where it would have been impossible to ask/get permission to set up a tripod and view camera.

But I do appreciate the input, and don't doubt the accuracy of what you are saying.

It seems that I would need to adjust my habits slightly and try to hold my iso at 400 if I get the r4 rather then shooting at 640 as I've been doing with the r3.

And Thanks to others who chimed in about DeNoise, was not aware of that before. Though I am very skeptical of 3rd party software that sharpens automatically.

Think I will continue to use LR and mask in different NR settings on specific shadow areas using photoshop as needed. I recently made a bunch of 24 x 30 prints and and learned a lot about sharpening and noise reduction settings in LR, it's def not a one size fits all if you're actually making prints and evaluating them critically rather then viewing on screen.

Lan Senior Member • Posts: 2,332
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?

Chester McCheeserton wrote:

And Thanks to others who chimed in about DeNoise, was not aware of that before. Though I am very skeptical of 3rd party software that sharpens automatically.

You can adjust the amount of sharpening it applies.

That said there's a slightly more reliable option, DxO PhotoLab 4's DeepPRIME.

joger
joger Veteran Member • Posts: 6,415
Re: at what high iso does A7r3 show less noise then A7r4?

Chester McCheeserton wrote:

Back to your original question - it is pointless to ask which camera is at what ISO a tiny bit better except you're shooting predominantly at exactly that ISO.

- whether an A7R III is ⅓ stop better in noise performance or not is irrelevant since it's far away from the ISO 100 performance and thus only an emergency solution.

It's neither irrelevant, nor an emergency solution, for me.

Let me try to figure out a pragmatic way.

1st and foremost the A7R IV is worst case ⅓ step higher in noise floor at any given ISO setting at the same sensor magnification. In most cases it should be around or below ⅕ stop - this should not be visible without massive over exaggerating shadow lifting of any crazy stuff in post processing that we all do occasionally but that's not a normal shooting condition.

2nd and almost as important it's about the right gear - buy faster lenses and you can easily overcome higher ISO values - the GM 135 easily beats any given 70..200 mm lens even cropped and there might be interesting fast lenses available very soon - i predominately ue primes due to that reason - e.g. a GM 135 brings 1 ⅓ stops more light - that's far more latitude compared to what you could worst case loose with a higher resolving camera at ultra high ISO values that are rubbish in resutls anyway

It's how I shoot most of the time, and big part of the reason I moved away from tripod mounted sheet film cameras, I can make a picture handheld at iso 640 at f5.6 indoors in a situation where it would have been impossible to ask/get permission to set up a tripod and view camera.

The A7R III is still far away from any sheet film of the past three decades

I hope you don't really have this believe since it would be wrong - sheet film - especially large than 5x7" easily outperforms an A7R III - I know that because I have 5x7" slides from 20 years ago when I was doing that on a daily base - the field are just incredible - scanned the right way.

The A7R IV in 16x PixelShift slowly approaches this level - it's not 100 % there but it's getting close enough for may taste.

Buy a fast prime that works good at f/2.8 and you can shoot a lot of stuff quite nicely at ISO 320 on the A7R IV - which is the right ISO to shoot at with the 2nd amplifier engaged.

But I do appreciate the input, and don't doubt the accuracy of what you are saying.

Just rent both and you dan perform all the tasks you normally do - as said before - my A7R III doesn't get any usage any more since my A7R IV arrived - it's simply that less attractive to me.

I have the time and permission to use a tripod when I invade several thousand EURs for a camera body. Most of the time it's a simple call in advance to get that permission or to deduct 50 or 100 bucks to a social topic.

It seems that I would need to adjust my habits slightly and try to hold my iso at 400 if I get the r4 rather then shooting at 640 as I've been doing with the r3.

Or buy different lenses and train a bit to get shake free shots - the IBIS get's ne sometimes down to ⅕ s at short focal lengths - I love to use base ISO

Just shoot 5 or 6 samples and select the least shaky one

And Thanks to others who chimed in about DeNoise, was not aware of that before. Though I am very skeptical of 3rd party software that sharpens automatically.

Me too - I prefer to sharpen myself.

Think I will continue to use LR and mask in different NR settings on specific shadow areas using photoshop as needed. I recently made a bunch of 24 x 30 prints and and learned a lot about sharpening and noise reduction settings in LR, it's def not a one size fits all if you're actually making prints and evaluating them critically rather then viewing on screen.

Absolutely - best is always to have a printer nearby - very best is to own it - I have two 24" printers and my recent oneis hardly any more expensive than many multifunction scan printers

Cost of running is negligible.

-- hide signature --

_____________________________________
A7R IV - one camera to rule them all
ISO 9000 definition of quality: 'Degree to which a set of inherent characteristic fulfills requirements'
I am the classic “Windows by Day, Mac by Night user'
“The horizon of many people is a circle with zero radius which they call their point of view.” Albert Einstein
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." Douglas Adams

 joger's gear list:joger's gear list
Sony a7R IV Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Sony FE 12-24mm F4 Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 +11 more
Magnar W
Magnar W Veteran Member • Posts: 5,246
How carefully do you expose?
1

Chester McCheeserton wrote:

From what I've been able to gather, the r3 looks cleaner at isos like 3200 and 6400, but has anyone done any tests who has had both at more common middle iso's like 400 or 640?

Small variations in exposure will affect the amount of noise as much or more as the difference between these two cameras.

So my question is: How carefully do you match your exposure to the highlights when using your camera? If your answer is "auto metering" or "not within 0.5 stop", I would not care at all about the differences in noise performance, neither on pixel level nor when judging photographs scaled to the same size.

 Magnar W's gear list:Magnar W's gear list
Sony a7 Sony a7R III Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 Zeiss Loxia 35 +2 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads