Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sony A700 vs A77: More tests @ ISO 1600

Sony A700 vs A77: More tests @ ISO 1600

From the new wing at the Virginia Museum in Richmond
1/40 sec., f5.6, ISO 1600, 70mm, Sony A700

In this post I'm presenting some pictures I've taken recently (Aug-Oct 2011) with both the A700 and the A77. All of these pictures were taken using ISO 1600, some inside, some outside, some at night or in concert settings - trying to get the whole spectrum of real-world photography.
I've processed them all as I normally would have, including noise reduction, sharpening, etc. The way I see it, if Lightroom can clear the noise in the pictures from the A700, it should be able to do so with those from the A77, too.
Construction on the Hugunot Bridge in Richmond, VA
1/8 sec., f8, ISO 1600, 10mm,  Sony A700
The two pictures above were taken in fairly low-light situations. ISO 1600 allows you to use a faster shutter speed in daylight situations, as in the picture below. I like chasing pigeons with my wide-angle lens!

1/1250 sec., f6.3, ISO 1600, 10mm, Sony A700

Coming home after the Volksfest last month, I saw this half-collapsed couple in the underground station and thought it worth a shot. The A700 (and Sony 16-105 lens) did a good job capturing even the design of the treads on his shoes.

1/13 sec., f5.6, ISO 1600, 105mm, Sony A700
The next photo was taken in a typical indoor situation. There was some natural lighting coming from a skylight in the ceiling and artificial light which was in use for the film.
1/50 sec., f7.1, ISO 1600, 45mm, Sony A77
As I've written several times before, high-ISO photos often look much better when converted to black-and-white because the chromatic noise disappears totally and the rest looks like "artistic" grain.
1/100, f5, ISO 1600, 75mm, Sony A700
I am still testing my many different lenses with the A77. The following two concert pictures were taken with the Tamron 2.8/90mm and Minolta 1.7/50mm prime lenses. I hypothesize that the quality of the lens will prove to have quite an effect on the quality of the resulting photograph.

1/40 sec., f2.8, ISO 1600, 90mm, Sony A700

1/100 sec.,  f2.8, ISO 1600, 50mm, Sony A700
This picture was taken with Sony's Zeiss 2.8/24-70mm, the best lens in Sony's collection. I see a measurable difference in the quality of pictures I take with it.

1/100 sec., f3.2, ISO 1600, 60mm, Sony A77
And here's one last picture for all you camera freaks. I am not impressed with the quality of this high-ISO photo. I hope I learn some way to improve the quality with the A77.


  1. did the a700 got it's last firmware update? This is supposed to improve the high iso on the a700 pretty good.

  2. I've got the most recent firmware update for the A700 and now for the A77. Both cameras can be recommended from my side!

  3. Was wondering if you found any good settings to improve the high iso shots
    from your A77

  4. Hi Seb,
    Thanks for your question!
    You can over-expose by one stop (that's basically what the camera does when shooting jpegs in the multi-frame noise reduction mode) and then darken it afterwards in post. This allows you to shoot at 3200 ISO, achieving higher shutter speeds (resulting in crisper shots), and then letting you get rid of a lot of noise later. Disadvantage: you may blow out some highlights (at a concert, for example).

  5. I shoot in b&w with my a700. Never mind the "shoot in colour" rule of thumb!