A9 Noise

Started 2 months ago | Questions
Ashaz
Ashaz Forum Member • Posts: 79
A9 Noise

Should I be expecting a lot better from my A9 at ISO 4000?

I'm sure my A7 iii was a lot better.

I would get the 60MP Sony if I though it could match this.

The lens is the Sony 100-400mm. It has the 14X TC but photos without it are the same.

ANSWER:
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Sony a7 III Sony a9
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Magnar W
Magnar W Veteran Member • Posts: 5,899
Re: A9 Noise
2

Ashaz wrote:

Should I be expecting a lot better from my A9 at ISO 4000?

Raw? Jpg? Camera settings for noise handling? Processed? If so, how? And have you applied noise reduction?

I'm sure my A7 iii was a lot better.

Have you compared directly? Same subject, same lens, same exposure?

I would get the 60MP Sony if I though it could match this.

Comparing images at the same scale, or 100% pixel? If 100% pixels, you are looking at a much larger image for the 50 Mp camera.

 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
Stan in NH
Stan in NH Senior Member • Posts: 1,818
Re: A9 Noise
1

Looks very pixelated.  This does not look like just noise, which can be easily dealt with in post.

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Sony a6400 Sony a7R IV
lattesweden
lattesweden Veteran Member • Posts: 4,505
Re: A9 Noise
1

Ashaz wrote:

Should I be expecting a lot better from my A9 at ISO 4000?

I'm sure my A7 iii was a lot better.

With DR the A7III is visible better in demanding situations at base ISO and up to about 800 ISO, but the difference levels out from around 800 ISO and up and DR starts to be basically the same on these two bodys. Around 800 ISO is also where the A9 sensor starts to be ISO invariant (meaning it isn't below that).

Color sensitivity and gradients are basically the same on these two bodys.

Noise is also basically no difference as can be seen in DXOmarks measurement in the graph above.

I have both bodys and I think DXOmarks measurements lines up well with how I experience them.

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Best regards
/Anders
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Mirrorless, mirrorless on the wall, say which is the best camera of them all?
When I put my camera in Manual mode, why don't I get any instructions?
Some images:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64169208
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64221482
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65120847
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65121520

Ashaz
OP Ashaz Forum Member • Posts: 79
Re: A9 Noise

JPG.

Other than that it's the most unscientific test ever.

It's just that these and many other with a variety of lenses all lead me to the same conclusion.

I suppose the question should be, has anyone else had both the A7iii and A9 and thought the same or drawn any conclusions about the high (which 4000 isn't really) ISI performance of the high resolution versions of the camera?

lattesweden
lattesweden Veteran Member • Posts: 4,505
Re: A9 Noise
2

Stan in NH wrote:

Looks very pixelated. This does not look like just noise, which can be easily dealt with in post.

It looks like noise but grainier than I would expect. But I agree upon closer inspection that there seem to be pixel artifacts as well. The image shown here as the full one is 1,947 × 3,585 (7 MP) so it might be cropped. Can the OP maybe clarify that for us?

Shutter speed 1/10000 looks a little unnecessary high to freeze that motion.

1/5000 would have given ISO 2000
1/2500 would have given ISO 1000
1/1250 would have given ISO 500
1/625 would have given ISO 250

Also if the OP can give us the RAW file, it would be easier to see if this is normal noise or not.

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Best regards
/Anders
----------------------------------------------------
Mirrorless, mirrorless on the wall, say which is the best camera of them all?
When I put my camera in Manual mode, why don't I get any instructions?
Some images:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64169208
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64221482
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65120847
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65121520

Ashaz
OP Ashaz Forum Member • Posts: 79
Re: A9 Noise

lattesweden wrote:

Stan in NH wrote:

Looks very pixelated. This does not look like just noise, which can be easily dealt with in post.

It looks like noise but grainier than I would expect. The image shown here as the full one is 1,947 × 3,585 (7 MP) so it might be cropped. Can the OP maybe clarify that for us?

Shutter speed 1/10000 looks a little unnecessary high to freeze that motion.

1/5000 would have given ISO 2000
1/2500 would have given ISO 1000
1/1250 would have given ISO 500
1/625 would have given ISO 250

Also if the OP can give us the RAW file, it would be easier to see if this is normal noise or not.

Yes, cropped and then, of course, cropped again.

I only save as JPGs and wouldn't have a clue what to do with Lightroom.

I know some settings were over the top but I was deliberately out to test the ISO noise.

lattesweden
lattesweden Veteran Member • Posts: 4,505
Re: A9 Noise

Ashaz wrote:

lattesweden wrote:

Stan in NH wrote:

Looks very pixelated. This does not look like just noise, which can be easily dealt with in post.

It looks like noise but grainier than I would expect. The image shown here as the full one is 1,947 × 3,585 (7 MP) so it might be cropped. Can the OP maybe clarify that for us?

Shutter speed 1/10000 looks a little unnecessary high to freeze that motion.

1/5000 would have given ISO 2000
1/2500 would have given ISO 1000
1/1250 would have given ISO 500
1/625 would have given ISO 250

Also if the OP can give us the RAW file, it would be easier to see if this is normal noise or not.

Yes, cropped and then, of course, cropped again.

I only save as JPGs and wouldn't have a clue what to do with Lightroom.

I know some settings were over the top but I was deliberately out to test the ISO noise.

Which in camera JPEG settings do you use? Which JPEG quality?

Next question, when you crop on your computer, which program do you use for that and what JPEG quality setting do you use there?

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Best regards
/Anders
----------------------------------------------------
Mirrorless, mirrorless on the wall, say which is the best camera of them all?
When I put my camera in Manual mode, why don't I get any instructions?
Some images:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64169208
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64221482
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65120847
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65121520

Ashaz
OP Ashaz Forum Member • Posts: 79
Re: A9 Noise

Everything set to the highest quality.

Photoscape or Picasa (don't knock it, it's great ) are usually used but the noise is immediately obvious in the viewfinder, even given to resolution limitations of that.

Ashaz
OP Ashaz Forum Member • Posts: 79
Re: A9 Noise

Lattesweden

Thanks for that.

I wonder how the Sony a7R IV compares with that in reality?

The DP review suggests that the A7R IV is worse at higher values but this page seems to suggest it's only at VERY high ISOs that would be a rarity.

Sony a7R IV review: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

At ISO 12800 upwards the A7 iii looks way better than the A9

lattesweden
lattesweden Veteran Member • Posts: 4,505
Re: A9 Noise

Ashaz wrote:

Everything set to the highest quality.

Do you use the in camera noise reduction? Which settings?

Photoscape or Picasa (don't knock it, it's great ) are usually used but the noise is immediately obvious in the viewfinder, even given to resolution limitations of that.

You do have noise in your image but some pixels looks like more like a high JPEG-compression problem, that is why I asked. You might want to check your saving settings in those programs so they don't add to the problem and use the best quality possible.

The A9 does have a good JPEG-engine and I know several sports photographers that shots it at high ISOs and are very happy with the result.

Me personally use RAW and I would recommend you do that to. Use JPEG+RAW. If the JPEG is fine then you can delete the RAW if you so want (though I wouldn't do that, but it is a matter of preference), and if the JPEG is not coming out as you'd like it, then you can edit from the RAW file and get much more possibilities to fix the problem. With the image you showed in your opening post for instance, I am sure the noise could have been reduced a lot if you had have a RAW file available.

Here you can see an A9 image I've shot at 2500 ISO:

https://4.img-dpreview.com/files/p/E~forums/65120847/b276393803d24387a16a6fb53db49352

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Best regards
/Anders
----------------------------------------------------
Mirrorless, mirrorless on the wall, say which is the best camera of them all?
When I put my camera in Manual mode, why don't I get any instructions?
Some images:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64169208
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64221482
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65120847
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65121520

lattesweden
lattesweden Veteran Member • Posts: 4,505
Re: A9 Noise

Ashaz wrote:

Lattesweden

Thanks for that.

I wonder how the Sony a7R IV compares with that in reality?

The DP review suggests that the A7R IV is worse at higher values but this page seems to suggest it's only at VERY high ISOs that would be a rarity.

Sony a7R IV review: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

At ISO 12800 upwards the A7 iii looks way better than the A9

I have no own experience with the A7RIV. But from what I have read and seen in measurements it seems that even scaled down to the same image size, the A7RIV is a little noisier than other Sony bodys at higher ISOs.

Look at DXOmark.com for comparisons on noise.
They also test DR and amount of color a sensor can produce.
No, they are not perfect in their test setup, but they are the best I know of for comparing these things in a normalized way.

For DR comparisions we also have another source that is very good to use and that is PhotonsToPhotos.net (there is also a lot more good info on that site).

I have shot a lot with the A7RII, A7III and A9. I seldom shot high ISO in daytime but in dawn shots outdoors, and indoors low light club events I've shot them all extensively at high ISOs. In these conditions I regularly go from 800 ISO to 25600 ISO.  When scaled to the same image size, I can't see any real difference between them.

As I said before, the trick is to shot RAW and do a proper edit with noise reduction.

And there is a one more trick one can do with most Sony sensors, those that are ISO-invariant, and that is to underexpose and lift in post instead. It will not affect the noise, but it will protect the highlights.

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Best regards
/Anders
----------------------------------------------------
Mirrorless, mirrorless on the wall, say which is the best camera of them all?
When I put my camera in Manual mode, why don't I get any instructions?
Some images:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64169208
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64221482
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65120847
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65121520

lattesweden
lattesweden Veteran Member • Posts: 4,505
Re: A9 Noise

Ashaz wrote:

Yes, cropped and then, of course, cropped again.

I don't know the circumstance this image was shot under but I can see that there is a beach environment and you used 560 mm and still needed to crop to fill the frame and that made me thinking about this old saying:

“If your pictures are not good enough you are not close enough.” — Robert Capa.

Robert Capa was a combat photographer and photojournalist who among other things documented World War II and the Spanish Civil War.

Now in current days, some of Capas imagery have been under criticism, but that saying is still very true no matter what.

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Best regards
/Anders
----------------------------------------------------
Mirrorless, mirrorless on the wall, say which is the best camera of them all?
When I put my camera in Manual mode, why don't I get any instructions?
Some images:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64169208
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64221482
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65120847
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65121520

Ashaz
OP Ashaz Forum Member • Posts: 79
Re: A9 Noise

That's why I got the 1.4X TC but the max aperture goes from f5.6 to f8 so a lot of light needed at lower ISOs.

Ashaz
OP Ashaz Forum Member • Posts: 79
Re: A9 Noise

Thanks again and I will look at the website.

I wish there was a course on Lightroom nearby but there is always YouTube, I suppose.

I seem to remember shooting a lot higher than 4000 with the A7 iii and being happy.

I would go back to it but I really do like the 1/16000 and 1/32000 options. I don't use them a lot but when I do it's important.

Ashaz
OP Ashaz Forum Member • Posts: 79
Re: A9 Noise

Yes, that is in a different league to what I'm getting.

Nice photo šŸ™‚

VLreviews
VLreviews Regular Member • Posts: 244
Re: A9 Noise
2

Ashaz wrote:

Thanks again and I will look at the website.

I wish there was a course on Lightroom nearby but there is always YouTube, I suppose.

I seem to remember shooting a lot higher than 4000 with the A7 iii and being happy.

I would go back to it but I really do like the 1/16000 and 1/32000 options. I don't use them a lot but when I do it's important.

Noise is (mostly) not about the ISO value. If you shoot two correctly exposed images at f/4 - one at 1/10000 s and ISO 4000 and one at 1/1250 S and ISO 4000, the second image will have captured 8 times the amount of light / photons. That is 8=2^3 -> 3 stops of difference in this example. Although captured at the same ISO, the second image will show significantly less noise.

Noise is about the amount of light you captured - there is some tricky details with modern dual gain sensors where the ISO plays some role, but above ISO 800, nearly all modern sensors more or less don't care which ISO you choose. The amount of noise will then only depend on the exposure.

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Ashaz
OP Ashaz Forum Member • Posts: 79
Re: A9 Noise

I see what you mean but once you have set the ISO and (widest) aperture the shutter speed sets itself.

There were lots of fast moving dogs etc around so I left it on those settings to test the ISO.

lattesweden
lattesweden Veteran Member • Posts: 4,505
Re: A9 Noise

Ashaz wrote:

I see what you mean but once you have set the ISO and (widest) aperture the shutter speed sets itself.

There were lots of fast moving dogs etc around so I left it on those settings to test the ISO.

I think you have the wrong strategy, at least according to my view of the world. With action and other movement, you start to choose the shutter speed you need, so S-mode plus Auto-ISO. The aperture will then be what the camera thinks is the best balance vs the ISO.

Or if the aperture is important as well, M-mode with Auto ISO. There is one risk with this and that is if the scene gets brighter than what the Auto ISO can go down to as its lowest value then your image will over expose.

The third mode I therefor consider is A-mode with Min SS (minimum shutter speed) set at what ever the lowest shutter speed I want to have is plus Auto ISO.

Others might prefer other strategies.

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Best regards
/Anders
----------------------------------------------------
Mirrorless, mirrorless on the wall, say which is the best camera of them all?
When I put my camera in Manual mode, why don't I get any instructions?
Some images:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64169208
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64221482
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65120847
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65121520

Ashaz
OP Ashaz Forum Member • Posts: 79
Re: A9 Noise

More testing needed!

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