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Sony A7R III: First Look with/without Pixel Shift with Sony Imaging Edge vs Adobe Camera Raw

Get Sony A7R III at B&H Photo.

This was one of the very first images I took with the Sony A7R III on my way to the Eastern Sierra, near the Walker River area. It turns out to be a very challenging image to render, with all sorts of issues showing up.

It was quite a battle, turning what should have taken 10 minutes (as it did with ACR) into a 3 hour battle with the toy Sony software, which after using it, appears to have few if any redeeming values.

I got it done and feel like I need a shower, but the creek next to my van is about 35°F. It makes me appreciate that while Adobe Camera Raw has its faults, it can be much more unpleasant.

Several areas are addressed here:

  • Quality with and without pixel shift using Sony Imaging Edge software.
  • Artifacts that result from using pixel shift, even in this seeming simple and static scene.
  • Noise and noise reduction between the raw converters and between pixel shift and non pixel shift.
  • Sharpening in ACR and Sony Imaging Edge.

Pixel Shift: With and Without with Sony Imaging Edge, ACR

Images shown up to full resolution along with several crops showing various behavior.

Also seen are what look to be 6 pixel column defects in the sensor of the Sony A7R III. Oddly, ACR eliminates them but the Sony software does not (non pixel-shift mode).

Having shot the Nikon D850 and Fujifilm GFX heavily in the past 6 weeks, I’ll say this plainly: the Sony A7R III trails far behind in satisfaction in every area for the way I shoot. Nor is image quality at the same level in things that count (noise in dark areas for example as well as the character of the noise). Like the A7R II, the Sony A7R III has its small and light uses, Eye AF, etc—really winning features in some cases for sure—but for landscape shooting it leaves me utterly without desire to shoot it. I dread having to spend the money to buy it and would be perfectly content saving that money and sticking with the A7R II.

f8 @ 1/1250 sec, ISO 100; 2017-12-06 15:18:11
Sony A7R III + Voigtlander FE Macro APO-Lanthar 65mm f/2 Aspherical

[low-res image for bot]
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