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Sony A7R III

Noise in Broad Daylight: the Sony 'Orange Peel' Noise Challenge

This page looks at the character of the noise with the Sony A7R III, pointing out what has been the most troublesome aspect of Sony file quality with the A7R, A7R II and now the A7R III, even if sharpening is dialed back to try to avoid it.

The behavior shown here is in full sunlight with an ideal ETTR exposure with the A7R III at ISO 100, conditions which are thus commonplace in terms of lighting and ISO.

This is a classic case of dynamic range limitations, meaning the true usable range of brightness a camera can handle (including the required sharpening and any other adjustments!), but here are shown problems in bright silver areas and in the sky. Sharpening has to be backed off to avoid accentuating the noise, but doing so leaves a dull-looking image. It is my view that lab tests evaluating noise fail to capture this behavior in any meaningful way.

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Special emphasis is placed on Sony full-frame, including Sony lenses and the high performance Zeiss Batis and Zeiss Loxia lenses plus Rokinon/Samyang and others. Fujifilm X, Olympus and Panasonic M4/3, Sigma dp Merrill and dp/sd Quattro are also covered in depth. Years in the making, it offers a wealth of material for choosing and using a mirrorless camera.

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Variants sharpening_60,sharpening_45 available in full article
f8 @ 1/1250 sec, ISO 100; 2017-12-06 15:18:11
Sony A7R III + Voigtlander MACRO APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical

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