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Sony NEX-7

Noise

Noise as a topic is one of those topics on which much time is needlessly wasted. Film grain was what it was, and everyone accepted that.

The only properly useful discussion of noise is whether the amount of noise is suitable or unsuitable for making images under the conditions in which one envisions using the camera.

Noise should be evaluated in terms of resolution; with 24 megapixels, the Sony NEX-7 needs less enlargement than a 12 megapixel camera, so more noise per pixel is perfectly fine. Alternately, downsizing from 24 to 12 megapixels is the right way to compare relative noise to a 12MP camera (upsizing also works, but less well as a tool in my view).

Where noise matters

Because any APS-C or full-frame sensor these days can make excellent low-noise images at ISO 100 in the daytime, the noise discussion is really about what happens in low light: at dusk, indoors, etc.

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