Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 Review
Dynamic Range (contd.)
Create Style options
The graph below shows the dynamic range response from all of the A350's color Creative Styles. As you can see, with the exception of Vivid and Landscape, which overlap each other almost exactly, they all have slightly different tone curves but deliver similar amounts of dynamic range. The important point to note here is that no single Creative Style delivers more dynamic range than the 'Standard' mode and of course because of more contrasty responses some actually deliver less.
ISO Sensitivity and Dynamic Range
The dynamic range delivered is essentially unchanged by changes in sensitivity which is useful to know when out shooting. The apparent increase in dynamic range at high ISO is a quirk of the way we measure dynamic range (The results produced by the A350's noise reduction algorithms )
|Sensitivity||Shadow range||Highlight range||Usable range|
|ISO 100||-4.9 EV||3.6 EV||8.6 EV|
|ISO 200||-5.0 EV||3.5 EV||8.5 EV|
|ISO 400||-5.1 EV||3.5 EV||8.5 EV|
|ISO 800||-4.3 EV||3.6 EV||7.9 EV|
|ISO 1600||-6.8 EV||3.6 EV||~ 8.5 EV*|
|ISO 3200||-7.0 EV||3.5 EV||~ 8.5 EV*|
*The smeared noise pattern of the A350 appears to be confusing our analysis calculations into believing that data is being recorded when the image itself has been reduced to a baseline level of smoothed-out noise. We do not believe any more information is actually being recorded than at lower ISO settings.
Dynamic Range compared
The dynamic range delivered by the A350 from its default tone curve is up with the best of its contemporaries. The ability to retain information in the highlights (above middle gray, approaching white), is much more useful for rendering a scene naturally than having more detail in the shadows because 'blown-out' highlights tend to be more distracting than loss of definition in dark regions of an image.
|Sony DSLR-A350 (ISO 100)||-4.9 EV||3.7 EV||8.6 EV|
|Canon EOS 450D (ISO 100)||-5.1 EV||3.6 EV||8.7 EV|
|Olympus E420 (ISO 100)||-5.4 EV||2.8 EV||8.2 EV|
|Nikon D60 (ISO 100)||-5.4 EV||3.3 EV||9.0 EV|
The wedges below are created by our measurement system from the values read from the step wedge, the red lines indicate approximate shadow and highlight range (the dotted line indicating middle gray).
Experience has told us that there is typically around 1 EV (one stop) of extra information available at the highlight end in RAW files and that a negative digital exposure compensation when converting such files can recover detail lost to over-exposure. As with previous reviews we settled on Adobe Camera RAW for conversion to retrieve the maximum dynamic range from our test shots.
As you can see the default Adobe Camera RAW conversion delivers less dynamic range than JPEG from the camera (a more contrasty tone curve and less noise reduction in shadows). The best we could achieve was just over eleven stops (11 EV) of total dynamic range but only 0.8 EV of that is in additional highlight range, suggesting that the A350 is doing a good job of conveying the majority of captured highlight detail in its JPEGs.
- ACR Default: Exp. 0.0 EV, Blacks 5, Contrast +25, Curve Medium
- ACR Best: Exp. -1.66 EV, Blacks 0, Brightness + 99, Contrast -50, Curve Linear
WARNING: Although ACR was able to retrieve the 'luminance' (brightness) of wedge steps which were previously clipped there's no guarantee of color accuracy as individual channels may clip before others. This can be seen fairly clearly in the examples below, on the right the negative digital exposure compensation has revealed some more detail in the background but this soon turns into gray as one or more of the color channels clips.
Sony's Image Data Converter software has a tool called highlight color distortion correction that tries to provide a more color-accurate transition to highlights when not all of the color channels have 'clipped.' It's pretty effective but doesn't do quite such a good job of recovering all the possible detail. What these images really show, though, is that once you have managed to get the A350's JPEGs to clip, there's not a lot of additional headroom in the RAW files to recover much detail.
Playing around with several over-exposed A350 files shows that it's unusual to get any more detail back once you've changed the digital EV compensation by more than 1 'stop'.
|Adobe Camera RAW
|Adobe Camera RAW
-2.5 EV digital comp.
|Image Data Converter
-2.0 EV digital comp.
|Adobe Camera RAW
|Adobe Camera RAW
-2.9 EV digital comp.
|Image Data Converter
-2.0 EV digital comp.
- 17 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 18 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 19 Photographic tests (DR)
- 20 Photographic tests (DR)
- 21 Photographic tests
- 22 Compared to...
- 23 Compared to... (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to... (JPEG)
- 25 Compared to... (JPEG)
- 26 Compared to...(RAW)
- 27 Compared to...(RAW)
- 28 Compared to...(RAW)
- 29 Compared to...(High ISO)
- 30 Compared to...(Resolution)
- 31 Conclusion
- 32 Samples
|Hot Air Balloons Over Bagan by User9320321874|
|Yellow Warbler by LeeS|
from A Big Year - birds
|Waiting for the Parade by tcoker1103|
from - La Vida Loca - (Black and White Street Photography+ A Border)
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not known as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you know where to look. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.
This captivating stop motion film was created by stripping away one layer of wood at a time. It's hard to look away.