Author Topic: A900 noise issues  (Read 16449 times)

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Offline zekewhipper

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Re: A900 noise issues
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2009, 06:16:28 AM »
I think folks make too big an issue about "noise".  At ISO speeds of 50 and 100 film still beats digital hands down.  However, at ISO speeds of 800, 1600, and 3200 digital in my opinion is better than film.

In the past, if people could take pictures at let's say 800 and be perfectly happy with the results, what are you folks complaining about?  You are still getting nicer shots at higher ISO's than we used to with film.  I think most people expect photographs to be as noise free at ISO 3200 as they are at 100.  That is simply not possible nor realistic due to the nature of the beast. 

And since most folks do not make enlargements of their photographs beyond 5"x7" or their monitor size, a little noise should not bother you.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 06:18:01 AM by zekewhipper »
DSLR's
Pentax K-5
Olympus E-520
Sony A100

SLR's
Minolta: Maxxum 600si
Zeiss Ikon: Contaflex Super BC

P&S's
Nikon: P7100

lenses: various AF zooms and M42 primes

Offline AScot

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Re: A900 noise issues
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2009, 08:20:27 AM »
I always understood that the A700 at ISO 200 was equivalent to ISO 100 film or getting very close to it. The A850/900 at ISO 200 surpasses ISO 100 I think. :-\
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline zekewhipper

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Re: A900 noise issues
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2009, 03:27:51 AM »
AScot: It depends on what you are talking about in regards to ISO 100.  If you want to make huge poster sized images at the very best quality possible (all other things being equal), film is still better.  The reason being is that the best DSLR's available today are 25MP.  However, 100 speed film equates to (in terms of "light" information captured by the medium) approximately 66MP.  Of course ISO 64, 50, and 25 film will be even higher.  That is wonderful for enlargements.  However, for common things like 8"x10" photos, you can't tell any difference really over 6+MP.
DSLR's
Pentax K-5
Olympus E-520
Sony A100

SLR's
Minolta: Maxxum 600si
Zeiss Ikon: Contaflex Super BC

P&S's
Nikon: P7100

lenses: various AF zooms and M42 primes

Offline Theresa

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Re: A900 noise issues
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2010, 05:26:09 PM »


Nevertheless, while this procedure works pretty well I prefer to use noise ninja in post-processing.

Quote
How would you determine that a picture is good or acceptable with minimum noise impact.
I do not judge my images by 100% viewing on screen but by test prints. (I come from the traditional darkroom school and that's how I have done it then and now ;) )

Stef.
[/quote]
Thank you for your welcome.
I don't see how taking half as many pixels with the same noise per pixel would reduce noise.  Additionally, using reduced shooting resolution is only available when shooting jpeg, which results in a poorer image than processing externally.  If one were to shoot full frame and apply noise reduction to a degree that reduced the printing resolution to the equivalent of shooting half frame one would end up with a better print than just using half of the pixels.  I wouldn't dream of shooting with in camera jpeg, no matter what the camera.  High capacity memory cards are common and cheap now so that is almost a non-issue.  It takes a bit longer to write the RAW file to the card and I suppose that might be a problem for sports photographers but I loath sports.  I think the noise controversy has been blown out of proportion and shoot iso 800 much of the time with no noise problems esp. after noise reduction.  The top of the line Nikon is certainly better at high ISOs but at more than three times the price, which is way beyond my budget.
Anyway, the noise issue is largely only present when pixel peeping at least when shooting at a reasonable ISO.
Sony a850, Sony Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8, Sony Zeiss 135mm f/1.8, KM a2, KM a200, Minolta x700

Offline Stef.

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Re: A900 noise issues
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2010, 05:39:22 PM »
Theresa- nor would I shoot in Jpeg mode. What you can do though is woking with RAW and then export the file as a 11mp file. This will not "reduce" the noise but make it definitely less prominent. Personally I work with full RAW files - export them at full size work either with noise ninja/ neat image or define 2.0 (the choice depends on subject matter - sometimes the one works better than the other) on a separate layer and then work with mask to apply the noise reduction only to the part where necessary. If you want to aplly into to the darker parts of the image there is a neat way of doing this: copy the background layer > select > coloour range > where it says: "sampled colours" I choose shadows > feather the whole thing by a couple of pixels and voila you are applying the noise reduction to shadow parts only. (It's somewhere under darkroom techniques).

I just mentioned the method of shooting in Jpeg with half the pixels as this is one way that some people use. Not everybody shoots in RAW (unfortunately when it comes to the A900/850!) and as said while it does NOT reduce the actual amount of noise it makes it definitely less visible. For some people this might be the way forward. For me it's RAW and RAW only.

Sorry for the confusion!
Stef.
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Offline Theresa

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Re: A900 noise issues
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2010, 01:19:57 AM »

IMHO if you don't need the big file size of the A900 because you use your images for web or you usually do not print A3+ sizes than the A900 is a waste of money.
Here are some snapshots with the A900 at high ISO (I usually don't use the camera at high ISOs as for me it is my studio/landscape/portrait camera):

(images removed by Admin - no need to quote the images)



I disagree about the a900/a850 being a waste.  First you get more control of depth of field.  The other thing, I used to shoot 4x5 and print to 8x10 and 11x14 and the result has a luminous quality that 35mm never had.  It wasn't just a lack of grain, it was also what they call micro contrast these day and tonality that is present in high resolution images that lower res doesn't have.  The a850 and other high res cameras have this quality.  I wish all cameras had large sensors and I just won't be satisfied with anything less.  If I could afford a high res medium format camera and lenses I would be using that.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 11:42:42 PM by fother »
Sony a850, Sony Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8, Sony Zeiss 135mm f/1.8, KM a2, KM a200, Minolta x700

Offline Stef.

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Re: A900 noise issues
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2010, 02:20:27 AM »
Theresa- you are relatively new here on the forum (great to have another lady!) so you probably can't know yet that the above was not meant absolutely seriously. Long time members do know that a) I am fully in favour of the high resolution of the A900 b)that I always try to "find alternatives" to the most costly option on the market. While I have my own studio with high end lighting equipment I usually try to find solutions for my students that allow them to do similar things but without having to spend too much money. When I first got the A900 I really held back from talking about it too much on this forum and to advertise the fact that it blows pretty much any other camera that I have used away. I was always an advocat for horses for courses. There is no doubt that the A900/850 are the high end models from Sony. What I tried to say with the above statement you quoted here is that it might not be the right camera for everybody. Yes I agree- it's resolution is stunning at any size printed but not everybody has the money to invest in such a camera. I find that all camera models have their advantages and disadvantages. (I had the 7d; still have the A100 converted for IR; have the A700 and A900 and all CZ lenses and G lenses and other lenses...) So one really needs to think what one's requirements are. The A900 i.e. IMHO deals with Jpegs less successfully than the A700. Therefore for a Jpeg shooter the A700 might be the better choice? The same for the Canikons that I have to use regularly (I shot seven hours today with a Nikon camera). If you are into high ISO shooting - PERHAPS a Nikon might be the better choice? I don't want to encourage people to run out and invest in high end models if they perhaps don't need the file size and so on. Therefore, I am following with interest the discussion about the super zoom lenses. Here again- and that's why I have put up the link re the comparison test shots between the Tamron 28-70mm; the Sony and the CZ in the other lens thread, I do believe that there are alternatives to the expensive CZ lenses. Nevertheless, for me personally there is no doubt that they deliver for me what I need and I wouldn't not want to trade them.
Sorry for this long blurb...I just wanted to make you understand where I am coming from.

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Offline Theresa

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Re: A900 noise issues
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2010, 11:03:08 PM »
AScot: It depends on what you are talking about in regards to ISO 100.  If you want to make huge poster sized images at the very best quality possible (all other things being equal), film is still better.  The reason being is that the best DSLR's available today are 25MP.  However, 100 speed film equates to (in terms of "light" information captured by the medium) approximately 66MP.  Of course ISO 64, 50, and 25 film will be even higher.  That is wonderful for enlargements.  However, for common things like 8"x10" photos, you can't tell any difference really over 6+MP.

Has film developed that much in the last 20 years?  Just 7 or so years ago when I shot ISO 200, it was grainy when scanned (and I had a good Minolta film scanner) and printed to more than 8x10.  I do believe that film had a higher dynamic range (details in the highlights and shadows).  35 years ago I shot 35mm and 4"x5" and the 35mm was abysmal in comparison and I tended to shoot 4"x5" because of it.  I really don't believe that 35mm is up to making "poster sized" prints with even the slowest films without very visible grain and I just don't have tolerance for much grain.  I never did any serious work with color back in the day.  I was going to photography school 35 years ago and no one was making grain free 11"x14" prints from 35mm and the best were shot with Panatomic X at ISO 32, 6cm x 6cm yes, they could be enlarged a great deal.
But perhaps I am too old a lady to know what has been going on for the last couple of decades.
I do find the noise performance of the a850 at ISO 3200 better than 35mm tri-x at ISO 400 was even without much noise reduction.  I am continually amazed at how good my a850 and CZ lens is compared with my Minolta film camera.  Of course, if I had money to burn, and I really have very little and will be paying for the a850 and lens for a couple of years, I would have gotten a top of the line Nikon which I need like another hole in my head.  The Sony suits me like a glove though and I am still far from mastering it.

Sony a850, Sony Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8, Sony Zeiss 135mm f/1.8, KM a2, KM a200, Minolta x700