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Sony Alpha A7 Gordon Laing, November 2013
 
 

Sony Alpha A7 vs Nikon D800e Noise JPEG

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  Sony Alpha A7 results
1 Sony A7 vs A7r quality
2 Sony A7 vs A7r noise
3 Sony A7 vs Canon 5D Mark III noise
4 Sony A7 vs Nikon D800e noise
5 Sony A7 vs A7r RAW
6 Sony A7 Sample images

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Sony Alpha A7 and Nikon D800e, within a few moments of each other using their RAW+JPEG settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings; my RAW results will follow once support is available in ACR.

The Alpha A7 was fitted with the Zeiss 35mm f2.8 lens and the D800e with the Nikkor AF-S 35mm f1.4G lens, both set to f8 in Aperture Priority mode. DRO and other contrast enhancers were disabled as they can introduce noise. The White Balance was set manually.

I also have comparisons with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III taken moments earlier - see the index above left.


I rented the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Nikon D800e from BorrowLenses.com - a great service for evaluating gear in the US!

If you're in the UK, I'd recommend renting gear from Hireacamera!

My third noise comparison is between the Sony Alpha A7 and Nikon's D800e. Here we're comparing a 24 Megapixel sensor with an optical low pass filter against a 36 Megapixel sensor without an optical low pass filter. As such we'd expect to see the D800e out-resolving the A7 at lower sensitivities, but perhaps suffering from a little more noise at higher ISOs. I fitted the A7 with the Zeiss 35mm f2.8 lens and the D800e with the Nikkor AF-S 35mm f1.4G lens, both set to f8 in Aperture Priority.

Like the EOS 5D Mark III, the D800e applies fairly modest sharpening to its JPEGs by default and this means you don't get to see all the potential detail in the crops below - indeed the A7 actually looks quite close thanks to a punchier processing style by default. I certainly wouldnt say the D800e enjoys much of an advantage here, if any.

As expected the D800e begins to suffer from visible noise sooner than the A7, and even as low as 1600 ISO I'd say it's losing detail due to noise. At 3200 and 6400 ISO I reckon the A7 contains greater detail.

It's an interesting comparison as it proves out-of-camera JPEGs can really vary in usability. Most enthusiasts and pros would immediately discount them and start processing RAW files - and I can tell you this is where the D800e really shines - but I think some credit is due to Sony for generating such good looking JPEGs out of camera with the default settings. But again I'm in no doubt the D800e will comfortably out-resolve the A7 at lower sensitivities when I get a chance to compare RAW files.

I now have a bunch of A7 sample images under a variety of conditions, or you can skip straight to my verdict!


Sony Alpha A7 JPEG
 
Nikon D800e JPEG
f8 50 ISO
f8 50 ISO
f8 100 ISO
f8 100 ISO
f8 200 ISO
f8 200 ISO
f8 400 ISO
f8 400 ISO
f8 800 ISO
f8 800 ISO
     
f8 1600 ISO
f8 1600 ISO
     
f8 3200 ISO
f8 3200 ISO
     
f8 6400 ISO
f8 6400 ISO
     
f8 12800 ISO
f8 12800 ISO
     
f8 25600 ISO
f8 25600 ISO
     

Sony Alpha A7 results : A7 vs A7r quality / A7 vs A7r noise / A7 vs 5D3 noise/ A7 vs D800e noise


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