At 24.5 megapixels, one simply cannot expect low noise out of the A900.In fact, by ISO 800, noise is quite noticeable, but with two mitigating factors: the noise is very film-grain-like, and it goes very well with black and white rendition.
Noise or not, the 24.5 megapixels are addictive, and could provide tremendous fun in the black and white realm at ISO 800. Color images might suffer a bit, but even then one must remember that a 12MP camera needs much more enlargement so the noise relative to print size should be considered.
No ISO-by-ISO noise tests were done for the A900, because field shooting results boil it down to simple facts: noise is present at all ISO values, looking like texture, and avoiding the “plastic” look some have come to dislike with imagery from many Canon EOS models.The A900’s images look real no matter what the ISO, reminiscent of higher ISOs on the Nikon D3 (the Sony roughly showing 1.5-2 stops less low-light capability for similar perceived noise).
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