In this article, I will show noise performance from the new high resolution Sony A7R mirrorless camera and compare it to its direct competitor, the Nikon D800E. Both have 36 MP sensors and both lack anti-aliasing (AA) filters, which should make it a good case for analysis at pixel level with no re-sizing/down-sampling involved. The Sony A7R is a pretty hot camera right now thanks to its compact camera body, high resolution and excellent image quality. Let’s take a look at how it fares against the older Nikon D800E.
Here is a comparison at the boosted ISO level of 50:
The good news is, the Sony A7R does not seem to have the same exposure / brightness issues that the A7 sample that I have exhibits (as shown in this article).
You will notice that the A7R image looks softer/slightly lacks fine details when compared to the D800E image. That’s because I used the Sony 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens from the A7, which is just not good enough at f/5.6 to take advantage of the full 36 megapixels! As I have written before, high resolution sensors need the best glass in order to shine and this particular case is a great example of that. I thought about using the 35mm f/2.8 Zeiss lens for the tests, however, I needed to stay at the focal length of 50mm (or my other tests would have been invalidated). For the upcoming Sony A7R review, I am planning to either use better glass for high ISO comparisons (if it becomes available), or use an adapter to fit Nikon lenses on the A7R.
The Sony A7R seems to be a great overall performer – I do not see any differences until ISO 1600. At ISO 1600 and above, there is plenty of loss of colors and details in the shadows, as can be seen from the lower part of the ship.
The same with ISO 3200:
At ISO 6400, there is a great loss of details on the Sony A7R. Now the red channel is getting mixed up with others and fake artifacts appear all over the frame.
Needless to say, anything above ISO 6400 looks like garbage. And yet Nikon is still able to make cleaner images than Sony:
Next up: Fuji X-E2 review.