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Thread: 6400 ISO on the A900

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    6400 ISO on the A900

    HI There
    Well, Quentin wanted to know, so here are some examples.
    no noise reduction done (either in camera or not). I was careful not to under-expose, and I've corrected the White balance on the CD covers shot.








    here's a crop of the last one:



    All the above were taken in 'reasonable' light conditions - the last one was in a nasty dark corner:






    Well, it isn't as good as the D700!
    However, it's worth remembering with the crops, that these are 100%, and if you were looking at shots from the D3/D700 you would need to be looking at 150% (or something like it).

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Actually held the detail pretty well. 1600 is all i would ever need
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Actually held the detail pretty well. 1600 is all i would ever need


    So you wanna see 1600 ISO?!

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Hi Guy
    Okay - here is 1600 ISO


    there is a bit of camera shake on this 100% 'crop' (must be too much coffee)
    but you get the point





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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    pretty good. Not Nikon good but certainly MF good
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    There isn't too much difference between the ISO1600 and the 6400 crops.

    How is the base (ISO) noise, Jono?

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    There isn't too much difference between the ISO1600 and the 6400 crops.

    How is the base (ISO) noise, Jono?
    Hi Vivek
    It's worth reinforcing that 100% crops aren't the same as Nikon 100% crops!

    There are plenty of other crops around so that you can see the base ISO noise - there is some, unlike the Nikons . . . but then there is much more detail too (a lighter AA filter) so that a 100% crop from the Sony shows more detail, and more noise, than a 100% crop from the D3/D700

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Jono, I asked about the base noise for the given scene and light (and similar exposures).

    Seems to me, as with the high pixel density cameras (ie D300), if you expose correctly for one part you blow the other.

    How the colors (particularly the greens) are held at high ISOs is fairly important. The ones that can not really handle high ISOs tend to populate it with overt reds.

  9. #9
    asabet
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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ... base ISO noise - there is some, unlike the Nikons . . .
    Both ISO 6400 and ISO 1600 look good to me. As for the Nikons having no noise at base ISO, I wouldn't say that. When I process D700 files in Raw Developer, which is the only RAW processing app I use that truly seems to apply zero NR when NR is disabled, there is some noise at base ISO that becomes apparent with sharpening. There's even some chroma noise at ISO 200! It's just that one would never see it in Lightroom, Aperture, C1, or NX2. As proof, check out the noise (both luminance and chroma) in this full-res ISO 200 D700 snapshot from the other day (processed in Raw Developer with noise reduction disabled and subsequently sharpened in two stages using Nik Sharpener).

    The only camera I've used where I can perceive zero noise at base ISO is the Sigma DP1.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    HI Vivek

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Jono, I asked about the base noise for the given scene and light (and similar exposures).
    Okay, sorry, I missed that one, and I've done with testing for today!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Seems to me, as with the high pixel density cameras (ie D300), if you expose correctly for one part you blow the other.

    How the colors (particularly the greens) are held at high ISOs is fairly important. The ones that can not really handle high ISOs tend to populate it with overt reds.
    I was pleased with the colours in these shots - much better than I'd expected, and really perfectly realistic.

    The pixel density on this chip is about the same as on the D300 (both Sony chips I believe, but I assume that this is the 'next generation').

    I'm just printing out an A3 from one of these shots with some noise reduction applied, to see how it looks. (what a waste of ink!)

    I'll report back.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Jono, would you mind sharing a couple high A900 RAW files with me? Perhaps one at base ISO and one at ISO 1600? I'd like to see how they look in Raw Developer with NR disabled. You can put them in this folder on my Box.net account. It requires signing up with Box.net, which I can assure you is quick/painless and won't lead to spam. The size limit there is 50MB per file, with no limit on # of files.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Hi Jono, Thanks a bunch for the reportage. My intention was not to burden you with more "tests".

    Amin, No offense but why would you stick with the Raw Developer (and even recommend it to others) when it is clearly below par?

    That reminds me that Jono did mention that a proper RAW converter for his A900 isn't available yet. So, the results could improve (already they are pretty good, Jono).

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    Jono, would you mind sharing a couple high A900 RAW files with me? Perhaps one at base ISO and one at ISO 1600? I'd like to see how they look in Raw Developer with NR disabled. You can put them in this folder on my Box.net account. It requires signing up with Box.net, which I can assure you is quick/painless and won't lead to spam. The size limit there is 50MB per file, with no limit on # of files.
    HI There Amin
    I've already got a box.net account (completely forgotten, but I even remember the password!).

    I'm uploading a couple of files right now (bit slow as son no 3 is downloading music at the same time).

    I'm converting to DNG at the moment, so I'll upload a couple of DNG files, and then a 'proper' ARW file at 1600 ISO.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Hi Jono, Thanks a bunch for the reportage. My intention was not to burden you with more "tests".


    That reminds me that Jono did mention that a proper RAW converter for his A900 isn't available yet. So, the results could improve (already they are pretty good, Jono).
    Hi Vivek
    Testing isn't really my strong point - mind you, at least if you post tests here you don't get shot (as the messenger!).

    At the moment I'm converting to DNG with the Adobe DNG converter and then using Aperture.

    There is now full support for PS3 PS4 and Lightroom with ACR 4.6 which came out the other day - but I'm liking the Aperture standard dng conversion better (and it's less hassle).

    Amin - maybe others would like to look at these files on your box.net account? I'm putting 5 or 6 up there

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Amin, No offense but why would you stick with the Raw Developer (and even recommend it to others) when it is clearly below par?
    Hi Vivek, no offense taken. I don't see RD as clearly below par, or I certainly wouldn't use it, much less recommend it. I've paid for a number of RAW processing apps and use more than one of them. I happened to show you a RD conversion that has NR disabled, but I could just as easily have shown you one with NR enabled. One of the great things about RD is that it gives you that flexibility, unlike most apps which add NR no matter what.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I'm uploading a couple of files right now (bit slow as son no 3 is downloading music at the same time).

    I'm converting to DNG at the moment, so I'll upload a couple of DNG files, and then a 'proper' ARW file at 1600 ISO.
    Thanks Jono!! Is there any change to the image characteristics in converting to DNG? I've never noticed any myself, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
    Last edited by asabet; 14th October 2008 at 10:22.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Hi Jono,

    Thanks for the ISO 6,400 tests. Looks pretty good - not quite D700, but good nonetheless.

    I use auto ISO of the D700 quite a lot. It is quite addictive! However, the reverse of this is the Mamiya ZD, which I use for high resolution and tripod work, is not much good above ISO 100 - and the A900 has similar resolution (although one can argue that MF is different to smaller formats).

    So, the A900 might be an ideal compromise - MF file size and decent high ISO performance.

    What is left? Well, the D700 has great dynamic rancge when shot at 14bits. I can pull in blown skies from raw, for example, with ease. Also colour is superb at high ISO. so in a box ticking exercise, here is where I am:

    1. High resolution - tick
    2. Decent high ISO performance - tick
    3. dynamic range - possibly a tick (based on Maitre Slacks previous comments...), but not yet completely convinced.
    4. high ISO colour - probable tick
    5. Great lenses - tick (albeit limited selection)

    Quentin

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Amin, No offense but why would you stick with the Raw Developer (and even recommend it to others) when it is clearly below par?
    Hi Vivek, I'd like to add one more example to illustrate why I like Raw Developer. I've shown that it gives the option to essentially disable NR. On the other hand, it is flexible enough to function very nicely in a high ISO workflow. Please see this thread over at DPReview, which was an open invitation to process a D700 ISO 6400 file. Many folks tried their hand at the file, and you can see my entry using Raw Developer and Noise Ninja about 10 posts above the end of the thread. Comparing my entry to the others, I think RD, Aperture, NX2, LR, and C1 are all capable of similar high ISO results when used in tandem with other applications.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI There
    Well, Quentin wanted to know, so here are some examples.
    At least we're spared pix of brick walls
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    At least we're spared pix of brick walls
    You want Brick Walls
    I got Brick Walls
    just say the word

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Show me a decent pasty,at this cameras resolution I should be able to smell it!

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    Thanks Jono!! Is there any change to the image characteristics in converting to DNG? I've never noticed any myself, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
    Ah! The ten thousand dollar question!

    I can't really tell until Aperture support the A900 natively. Certainly the DNG files are considerably smaller, and maybe something has to give . . or it's possible that Adobe are cleverer than Sony.

    I have a basic feeling that I'd rather use DNG files - for futureability, and also for storage space, but mostly because I don't really trust future software to be able to access proprietary raw formats.

    I suppose that the real truth of this is that there is an OBVIOUS resolution difference between the D700 and the A900, and that's what I'm subscribing to. If there is a difference between DNG and Sony proprietary raw, then it's minimal, and I don't think I'm interested in minimal!

    Good luck with the files - I'm really interested in what you think.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Show me a decent pasty,at this cameras resolution I should be able to smell it!
    Ah! We're off to Cornwall at the Beginning of November . . . maybe I should just send you a real one?

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Your a lucky man Jono,have a wonderful time,Neil.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    You want Brick Walls
    I got Brick Walls
    just say the word
    Arrrrgh NO but thanks for offering.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    Arrrrgh NO but thanks for offering.
    I had some earlier (testing a sigma 12-24) and deleted them. Otherwise I would have punished you

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Jono, How did Robert's red NO become a green NO

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Jono, How did Robert's red NO become a green NO
    Magic . . . I would have thought you had realised by now that I am really a Wizard and anyway, it was green and NOT lime

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    That (green/lime switch) really was a test to see your wizardiness.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    That (green/lime switch) really was a test to see your wizardiness.
    Ah! so I passed the test?

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  31. #31
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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    I had a look at the RAW files Jono kindly uploaded earlier. There were several base ISO files and one at ISO 3200. The per pixel sharpness of the ISO 200 files sort of took me by surprise. I've seen Jono's crops, but when I viewed them in my usual workflow... Well, let's just say I had a bit of gear envy . The ISO 3200 file also looked very good. Viewed at 100%, the A900 noise at ISO 3200 resembles the D700 noise at ISO 6400. However, after downsizing the A900 file to D700 file dimensions, the noise gap between A900 at ISO 3200 and D700 at ISO 3200 diminishes while the A900 file continues to hold more detail. Impressive stuff from the Sony sensor.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I would have punished you

    I am really a Wizard
    A magical Miss Whiplash?
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    On a more serious note; my ASA/ISO clock seems to be stuck around the values for Kodachrome - 6 or 25. ISO 100 - today's baseline - for me is really quite fast.

    I have diffiiculty thinking of ISO values of 6400 and above. How useful are they, and what do people need them for?
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    On a more serious note; my ASA/ISO clock seems to be stuck around the values for Kodachrome - 6 or 25. ISO 100 - today's baseline - for me is really quite fast.

    I have diffiiculty thinking of ISO values of 6400 and above. How useful are they, and what do people need them for?

    Bertie, I just shot my freezer still full of Ektar 25 at ISO3200 and +0.7eV exposure (with a Nikon D300/ has a Sony sensor) in candle light to check.

    Yes, the outcome is more than satisfactory.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Bertie, I just shot my freezer still full of Ektar 25 at ISO3200 and +0.7eV exposure (with a Nikon D300/ has a Sony sensor) in candle light to check.

    Yes, the outcome is more than satisfactory.
    OK, but I don't do a lot of black cats in the coal cellar at midnight by candlelight.

    Is this high and higher ISO thing taking over from the megapixel race, now that - perhaps - FFs are around 20-25MP and crops around 15MP - and at the limits of lens resolution?
    Last edited by Robert Campbell; 15th October 2008 at 08:27. Reason: tpyo
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    High ISO opens up modes of shooting not previously possible. Think of a wedding in a dimly lit church where you want to record the ambience front to back, not just correctly expose by use of flash a bride and groom (even assuming flash use is allowed inside the church). Or hand-held street shooting at dusk.

    With a D3/D700, auto ISO came of age and quality images at very hgh ISO without flash are possible. No more muddy colours at high ISO either. It is very liberating whatever you shoot. But it may be with the A900, you have to trade off some of that freedom for higher resolution.

    Quentin

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Yes, for pros, certainly - though I don't remember english churches being quite so murky. I don't do any of these things - for me, super high ISO ain't necessary.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    I had a look at the RAW files Jono kindly uploaded earlier. There were several base ISO files and one at ISO 3200. The per pixel sharpness of the ISO 200 files sort of took me by surprise. I've seen Jono's crops, but when I viewed them in my usual workflow... Well, let's just say I had a bit of gear envy . The ISO 3200 file also looked very good. Viewed at 100%, the A900 noise at ISO 3200 resembles the D700 noise at ISO 6400. However, after downsizing the A900 file to D700 file dimensions, the noise gap between A900 at ISO 3200 and D700 at ISO 3200 diminishes while the A900 file continues to hold more detail. Impressive stuff from the Sony sensor.
    HI Amin
    I'm glad you enjoyed them . . . perhaps you can see why I jumped aboard so abruptly (that dealer who offered me a play was the culprit). The 100% sharpness is pretty splendid isn't it - very nearly as good as the M8 (at 100%). It does make one realise that the AA sensor on the Nikon full frames is a rather brutal affair! A sideways benefit of the light Sony filter is that less than perfect lenses behave better on the A900 than they do on the Nikons (despite what one might expect).

    As for the high ISO - just because you can make them look the same (and I agree with your assesment of that 3200 shot) doesn't mean that you can do as much with them in post processing - let's face it, if you want really high ISO the Nikon is still better.

    For me, the Sony is a poor man's MF camera - I'm loving it!

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Bertie, I just shot my freezer still full of Ektar 25 at ISO3200 and +0.7eV exposure (with a Nikon D300/ has a Sony sensor) in candle light to check.

    Yes, the outcome is more than satisfactory.
    Hi Vivek
    the + exposure compensation is the really important thing (IMHO)

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Jono, Yes. You already passed the wizardiness test, you know.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Jono, Yes. You already passed the wizardiness test, you know.
    Hi Vivek
    THANK YOU . . . but, unlike you and Todd, I'm only a wizard, not also a
    True Star

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  42. #42
    asabet
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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Amin
    I'm glad you enjoyed them . . . perhaps you can see why I jumped aboard so abruptly (that dealer who offered me a play was the culprit). The 100% sharpness is pretty splendid isn't it - very nearly as good as the M8 (at 100%). It does make one realise that the AA sensor on the Nikon full frames is a rather brutal affair! A sideways benefit of the light Sony filter is that less than perfect lenses behave better on the A900 than they do on the Nikons (despite what one might expect).
    I certainly can see why you'd make the switch. The Sony is probably the closest thing to medium format resolution (edge over the Canon due to the Son's presumably weaker AA filter) while maintaining the operational advantages of 35mm DSLR. It really hit me when I opened those files. If I were choosing now between the Sony and the Nikon, I don't know which one I'd pick, though I'm very happy with my D700 and not personally thinking of switching.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    As for the high ISO - just because you can make them look the same (and I agree with your assesment of that 3200 shot) doesn't mean that you can do as much with them in post processing - let's face it, if you want really high ISO the Nikon is still better.
    I think that's true, and I'd add that the D700 files probably have a bit more dynamic range to play with in RAW. Basically, we have three excellent choices in ~$3K 35mm full frame DSLRs from Canon, Nikon, and Sony. They are different enough in features that they each specialize in certain areas, which is good for everyone.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Hey folks the new C1 Pro has a profile for the Sony 900.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 6400 ISO on the A900

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Hey folks the new C1 Pro has a profile for the Sony 900.
    Oh Dear
    Does that mean I have to give up on Aperture?
    and after I spent all that money on a 15" LED macbook pro

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