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Author Topic: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?  (Read 7923 times)

andyptak

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Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« on: October 28, 2014, 04:29:50 PM »

I'm more of a MF guy and when it comes to dusk and night shots I love my P45+ back. For an upcoming project though, I envision circumstances where a tripod might be difficult for such shots and am wondering if the Sony can cut it, handheld?

I know the kind of use - web, print etc. - will make a difference, but I'll have no control of the end use and it could go any which way. I just have to prepare the best file I can. I know all kind of high ISO's are possible, even from DSLR's, but I'm talking about quality results. Normally, I'd never go higher than 400 and even then, I'm reluctant to even go that high.

Anyone have experience? Thanks

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Telecaster

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2014, 05:03:31 PM »

Assuming professional quality == "whatever your paying clients desire," the answer then depends on the particular client, no?

My friend Bruce, who doesn't consider himself a professional, nonetheless recently did some for-pay photography for a local business. They wanted square format b&w photos with an "old-timey film look." Bruce ended up doing the project with a Hasselblad and Ilford HP5+, which he scanned and then tweaked & printed digitally. (I think the prints were 15x15".) The client loved the film grain.   :)

-Dave-
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JV

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2014, 07:47:05 PM »

I personally  I find the high ISO to be usable up till 51,200.

That does not necessarily mean that it is professional quality though, it also does not mean that up till 3,200 it is necessarily better than other cameras...

It does mean that you perhaps get 3-4 stops more of usable ISO than with most other cameras, for some people this will be huge, for ISO 100 only shooters this might be entirely meaningless...

Very hard to answer question, only you know which quality you and your customers have in mind.
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JV

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2014, 10:22:50 PM »

An article that potentially can be interesting.  The 4 best mirrorless cameras reviewed by a professional event photographer:
http://shotkit.com/best-mirrorless-cameras-professional-photographers/

It also has a small section on the A7s:

The Sony A7s is the camera that I will set to Auto ISO without a second thought since it produces acceptable results up to 102,400 ISO. The autofocus is also surprisingly fast and reliable even in low-light conditions.
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allegretto

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2014, 08:32:02 PM »

after spending a weekend evaluating the A7s and very critically looking at the pictures, it's like this

Mood shots - up to 51000 with a fair amount of Post work can look "good" if that's what you want

Good shots can be had with some clean up up to 12500 fer sure. But some definition is lost. One could push to 25000 but it shows

Really clear below that

Of course, "Pro Useable" may mean more to less to you, but that's pretty close in my mind. Bear in mind I'm critical and you may be better in post than me but at some point the sliders just make it "different" and not "better"

Yes you can shoot at 102K but I would not publish anything but abstract at those speeds
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andyptak

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2014, 07:14:36 AM »

Thanks. That's exactly the kind of first hand experience I was hoping for.

Of course, "acceptable" is in the eye of the beholder, which is why I mentioned I was a MF Phase One user, in order to give some context to my expectations.

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allegretto

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2014, 08:08:30 AM »

While fast, it's no threat to MF at low ISO in IQ anywhere. Great camera, but MF is MF for a reason.

Every time I que up and S2 shot (low ISO, CCD) it's like "... what is that camera...?" from whomever is over my shoulder. I never used an 800-series Nikon, maybe it gets close

Same back in the film days. There was a reason for a 503/SWC and all the gear that entailed carrying.

Nonetheless, the A7s is a powerful little beast.




Thanks. That's exactly the kind of first hand experience I was hoping for.

Of course, "acceptable" is in the eye of the beholder, which is why I mentioned I was a MF Phase One user, in order to give some context to my expectations.


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kers

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2014, 08:50:34 AM »

Is it true that is it is really silent? ( electronic shutter)
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allegretto

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2014, 09:37:33 AM »

Is it true that is it is really silent? ( electronic shutter)

yes

all you hear is your lens stop down...

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jjj

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2014, 11:38:49 AM »

yes

all you hear is your lens stop down...
Impressive, never had a camera where that was possible.
Wish I'd had one of these when I used to do film stills. Silent and amazing high ISO quality would be perfect.
Quickly shooting scenes lit for 1/50th sec without a tripod was challenging.
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jjj

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2014, 11:40:45 AM »

Re professional quality, if you shoot for Alamy I gather they can reject perfect images because they may be some slight noise in the shadows on an image shot at 200 ISO in bright sunlight.
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allegretto

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2014, 03:10:15 PM »

just re-cheacked silent shutter with M-lenses

SILENT...!!! Nothing I could hear with the EVF to my eye...

Guys, this is one hell of an overall camera...!

It still can't catch and hold a starving prostitute of an image with the Metabones IV in AF and I am now told even the dedicated E-mount AF lenses aren't that good on this body. But it can get close and close it up with a little twist if needed. but I'll be keeping my 6D for just this reason... though tempted to go to a 7D II as a complimentary body considering all the great EF-lenses I have. All the teles and zooms are AF, so would want to keep that option. But with this thing easily collecting images to 12500 that I can use, who needs another FF...? If I get the Big Res need I can always go with an A7r or it's replacement. For now peeping is not a hobby of mine. Much better to stitch and of course the 7D II will do that just fine too...

But wow... what a great addition to the litter...!
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 03:14:03 PM by allegretto »
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2014, 03:31:53 PM »

Impressive, never had a camera where that was possible.
Wish I'd had one of these when I used to do film stills. Silent and amazing high ISO quality would be perfect.
Quickly shooting scenes lit for 1/50th sec without a tripod was challenging.

Total exposure time is 1/30 sec in silent shutter mode, so some light sources can be problems:

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=6450

The camera's images are a little noisier in silent shutter mode:

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=6188

Also, in silent shutter mode, the a7S is a 12-bit camera.

Still and all, it's a very useful feature.

Jim

Telecaster

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2014, 03:33:45 PM »

I am now told even the dedicated E-mount AF lenses aren't that good on this body.

Ack, who's saying that!? The 35 & 55mm FE lenses are both very good indeed, with the 55 well into excellent territory. The 2470mm zoom is just average, though. This is on an A7r. On the s I can't imagine them being worse.

-Dave-
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allegretto

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2014, 03:52:57 PM »

Thanks Jim, saved me looking that up...!


Total exposure time is 1/30 sec in silent shutter mode, so some light sources can be problems:

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=6450

The camera's images are a little noisier in silent shutter mode:

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=6188

Also, in silent shutter mode, the a7S is a 12-bit camera.

Still and all, it's a very useful feature.

Jim


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allegretto

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2014, 03:55:20 PM »

The comment was specific to the A7s so I'm not sure it's transferrable to the A7 or the "r". It was also about zooms.

I don't want to reveal the source since he was a kind enough to be frank and deals with multiple manufacturers.

You know of him and perhaps have done business with him.



Ack, who's saying that!? The 35 & 55mm FE lenses are both very good indeed, with the 55 well into excellent territory. The 2470mm zoom is just average, though. This is on an A7r. On the s I can't imagine them being worse.

-Dave-
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allegretto

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2014, 04:01:52 PM »

Just tried "noisy shutter" mode with M-lens

a bit louder and sharper than my M240... but not much and no double-step...
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JV

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2014, 06:44:29 PM »

Ack, who's saying that!? The 35 & 55mm FE lenses are both very good indeed, with the 55 well into excellent territory. The 2470mm zoom is just average, though. This is on an A7r. On the s I can't imagine them being worse.

-Dave-

The comment was specific to the A7s so I'm not sure it's transferrable to the A7 or the "r". It was also about zooms.

I don't want to reveal the source since he was a kind enough to be frank and deals with multiple manufacturers.

You know of him and perhaps have done business with him.

It all depends on what you are looking for.

I can't speak for the 35mm but the 55mm is indeed a very good lens on the A7s.

It is however not a signature or characterful lens as some of the Leica lenses are, so if you are looking for a distinct special look you might be disappointed.
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2014, 07:53:32 PM »

I can't speak for the 35mm but the 55mm is indeed a very good lens on the A7s.

I agree. The 55 isn't jaw dropping on the a7S like it is on the a7R because of the resolution differences, but it's great.

It is however not a signature or characterful lens as some of the Leica lenses are, so if you are looking for a distinct special look you might be disappointed.

Here's a comparison of the 50 'lux and the 55 Sony, each in a receptive environment.

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=5019

There's another 55mm lens, the Otus, that has very little character, too. I think that's a feature, not a bug.

Jim

allegretto

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Re: Sony a7s - highest Professionally usable ISO?
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2014, 08:19:54 PM »

Well, that's a good comparison but may I inquire;

1) Isn't it pretty common to see image degradation in M-lenses in the A7r, thought perhaps to be due to the cover glass? Maybe others know much more than me... but I seem to read this not infrequently

2) I truly have no idea where you focused the -lux. It looks OOF to me regardless of crop or position. I realize that you have likely forgotten more about photography than I know, but I just don't feel comfortable with that image's focus

I'm no Leica fanboi. In fact, I love the compactness of the M's but real is real.

Was thinking of renting an OTUS 55 and comparing it to my 50-cron on the A7s

One thing for sure, there are very significant differences between the 3 items in the "A7" designation



I agree. The 55 isn't jaw dropping on the a7S like it is on the a7R because of the resolution differences, but it's great.

Here's a comparison of the 50 'lux and the 55 Sony, each in a receptive environment.

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=5019

There's another 55mm lens, the Otus, that has very little character, too. I think that's a feature, not a bug.

Jim
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 08:22:21 PM by allegretto »
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