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Sony A9

Pattern/Banding Noise at ISO 100 (Poppy)

Obvious noise at ISO 100 on a 24 megapixel sensor is unexpected and very disappointing, but that’s exactly what I found with the Sony A9 without even having to go looking—one of the first few one-off shots I made.

I noticed some unexpected streaking in an image with a good exposure at ISO 100. The red channel is overlaid with horizontal lines/streaks in 12-pixel-high bands. Pattern noise is disturbing in any case, but to have it at ISO 100 with a good exposure is a huge negative for any camera, high speed shooter or not.

Possible diagnosis: the high-speed readout of the A9 sensor does not read out groups of rows evenly; there is some difference in gain between the rows. The pattern noise repeats in row groups that are 12 pixels high. Whether these row groups change in size with shutter speed is an open question as this was written.

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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 RGB,red_ProPhoto,red_sRGB available in full article
f2.8 @ 1/800 sec handheld, ISO 100; 2017-05-25 13:09:37
Sony A9 + Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 APO-Sonnar

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