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Sony Alpha A7r Gordon Laing, November 2013
 
 

Sony Alpha A7r vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III Noise JPEG

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

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Sony Alpha A7r and Canon EOS 5D Mark III, within a few moments of each other using their RAW+JPEG settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings. On this page I'm comparing their JPEG quality; alternatively see my A7r vs 5D3 RAW results.

The Alpha A7r was fitted with the Zeiss 35mm f2.8 lens and the Canon 5D Mark III with the EF 35mm f1.4 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 RAW and JPEG comparisons with the Nikon D800e taken moments later - 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!

My second noise comparison is between the Sony Alpha A7r and Canon's EOS 5D Mark III. I fitted the A7r with the Zeiss 35mm f2.8 lens and the 5D Mark III with the EF 35mm f1.4 lens, both set to f8 in Aperture Priority. What you're looking at below is a 36 Megapixel model without an optical low pass filter versus a 22 Megapixel model with an optical low pass filter. In theory the higher resolution and lack of low pass filter on the A7r should allow it to deliver crisper, more detailed results at lower sensitivities, but the larger pixel pitch of the 5D Mark III could give it an advantage in noise at higher sensitivities.

Up to 400 ISO both models deliver very clean results, but there's no doubt the Alpha A7r is much crisper with visibly finer details throughout the image - this is particularly evident in the creases on the middle petal and on the vase in the lower left.

At 800 ISO some noise has become visible on the A7r compared to a smooth result on the 5D Mark III, but the Sony still enjoys comfortably more detail. As the sensitivities increase though the noise on the Sony A7r becomes more obvious than the 5D Mark III and by 3200 ISO I'd say they're delivering similar levels of detail, albeit with more visible noise on the Sony. Beyond here the A7r loses detail more quickly, leaving the 5D Mark III with a small but visible advantage in detail and noise.

So if we're dealing with JPEGs from both cameras and the lenses selected, then the A7r enjoys a clear benefit up to 1600 ISO, but particularly so at 800 ISO and below. Above 3200 ISO though, the A7r suffers from more noise, giving the Canon an advantage.

In my tests with Canon DSLRs before, I've found the in-camera JPEGs with the default settings are often a little soft and can benefit from additional sharpening - I'd certainly expect the crops below to look much better when converted from their RAW originals, and you can see how they compare in my Sony A7r vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III RAW results page.

ALternatively if you want to find out what happens when you compare the A7r to a camera with another 36 Megapixel full-frame sensor without an optical low pass filter, check out on my Sony A7r vs Nikon D800e noise results page, or if you've seen enough, skip to my Sony A7r sample images.


Sony Alpha A7r JPEG
 
Canon EOS 5D Mark III 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
     
51200 ISO not available
f8 51200 ISO
     
102400 ISO not available
f8 102400 ISO
 

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


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A great-looking and highly informative eBook for anyone interested in long exposure photography. Whether you're into painting with light, capturing star-trails or creating timelapse video, author Jim M Goldstein has the answers. One of my favourite eBooks to date and one you'll want in your collection even if it's just to browse the great images.
     
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