Studio Comparison (daylight)

Our latest test scene is designed to simulate both daylight and low-light shooting. Pressing the 'lighting' buttons at the top of the widget allows you to switch between the two. The daylight scene is shot with manually set white balance, but the camera is left in its Auto setting for the low-light tests.

Note: this page features our new interactive studio scene. Click here for instructions on the widget.

The amount of fine detail captured by the a7R is very impressive at low sensitivities, as you'd expect from a camera with no low-pass filter. At ISO 1600 there's really no drop in quality, and the a7R suppresses moiré in JPEGs very well, especially compared to the Nikon D800E. You'll start to see the effects of noise reduction kick in at ISO 3200 and 6400. Even so, the camera is still capturing a lot of fine detail at the latter sensitivity.

At ISO 12800 that fine detail starts to disappear, and you begin to see one of the issues we've noticed with the a7R, related to its context-sensitive noise reduction feature. As you can see here, the center of the square is very 'flat' from heavy noise reduction, while near the edge the opposite is true. It's not as bad as on the a7, but it's still noticeable. While you can still see this phenomenon at print sizes, you really need to be looking for it.

One of the first surprises we saw when switching to Raw was (again) how little moiré there was, especially compared to the Nikon D800E, which is believed to use the same sensor as the a7R. At ISO 800, you start to see some luminance and chroma noise, but not much. Color noise becomes more of an issue at ISO 6400, but there's still plenty of fine detail left to work with. Things get worse one stop higher, but again, there's enough detail to work with. At the top sensitivity of ISO 25600, there's not much detail left, but if you downsize to what we call 'web size' (3MP), the image is still usable. If you compare the a7R to the Nikon D800E and Canon EOS 5D III, you'll find that it's very competitive.