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Author Topic: Is Sony a viable pro platform?  (Read 23714 times)
Farmer
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« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2008, 02:36:42 AM »
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Well, I can assure you (since I use one) that you can do post processing noise reduction just fine with A700 files.

The point I was making is that people are complaining about Sony doing NR to raw files, but they ignore the fact that, for example, Canon process noise out of their system before the raw file is generated.  Sony apparently does less of this because they've moved the a/d closer to the chip which should significantly reduce the amount of system noise in the first place.

In other words, everyone removes some noise before creating the raw data.

If the debate is to where the best place to do this happens to be, then fair enough - good question and worth investigating.
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douglasf13
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« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2008, 02:52:40 AM »
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I'm referring to the Sony A700 review at dpreview.

They were saying that noise reduction was applied to the RAW files of the A700, and therefore making the use of any other noise reduction software difficult.

I'm just repeating what they were writing, but can't tell if they are right or wrong.

Camera tests should always be taken with a decent amount of salt when it comes to esthetics of image quality, but this would be a technical detail that can be measured.

Obviously, douglasf13 thinks it is a false statement.
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  I'm just trying to say it's very unclear.  That dpreview has stimulated quite a discussion about this topic.  It's relevant to me, because the "a900" chip appears to be the same general design, and I plan on buying it.  

  A few things about the dpreview.  Phil and Simon used ACR for that review, which has been blasted for it's handling of high ISO A700 files for months and months.  Many Sony users have abandoned Adobe until recently, and it looks like Adobe has finally straightened things out in the latest software updates.  Whew, I can use lightroom again
 
  The dpreview assumption that NR is applied to the RAW is more or less based on two things:  the poor output of of the older ACR, and this illustration (image also attached:)   [a href=\"http://a.img-dpreview.com/reviews/SonyDSLRA700/images/features/processing2.jpg]http://a.img-dpreview.com/reviews/SonyDSLR...processing2.jpg[/url]

  In this illustration, you'll notice THREE stages of RAW NR!!  An analog, a digital, and a final BIONZ NR.  The final two stages are unique to Sony AFAIK.  Here is where things get tricky.  The A700 has a low, normal, and high NR setting that kicks in at around ISO 1600, and DOES affect RAW.  However, we don't know where in that signal path the adjustments are made.  

  At PMA, Sony reps were grilled about this quite a bit, and the conclusion that was drawn was basically that, when set to low (with firmware v 3.0) there is no more NR that Sony can turn off with another firmware update, and that should lead us to believe that the BIONZ, which is firmware adjustable, is OFF at this setting, but there is still a certain amount of non-defeatable on-chip NR going on, which is common with all CMOS cameras...albeit in the Sony it's probably the unique, digital, adjustable, on-chip NR! It seems that having an adjustable, on-chip digital NR is new, and it is highly touted by Sony for better or worse, but it shouldn't be considered "cooked" any more than the analog NR applied right before it.  Sony only really knows what's going on here, but if it can be proven that the BIONZ processor (3rd stage) adds RAW NR even in the lowest setting, I'll certainly concede.

  I say that it's semantics because had Sony labeled the NR options as off, normal, and high in the software, there would be a lot less confusion.  Kinda like my amp goes to ELEVEN!  lol.

  If dpreview were to re-do the high ISO A700 test with the new ACR, it would be a bit different story.  Like I said earlier, the D300 has a finer grain, A700 has better color.  Take your pick.  I still prefer the D300 a bit, but it's really close.  Oh yeah, also, the D300's ISO sensitivity is a bit off from the A700.  In identical shooting scenarios, with the same ISO and aperture, the D300's shutter speed tends to be about a half to full stop slower than the A700 to get proper exposure.  ie.  D300's ISO 3200 is equivalent to the A700's ISO 1600 or so.  It's not appropriate to compare their ISOs straight across.

  Wow, sorry for the long post.     I just wanted to point out a few things, since it looks like our little Sony cams are gonna be brought up a bit more in this forum.  We all know Canon and Nikon make top flight gear, and I'm hoping Sony will at least be in the conversation over the next couple years.  Cheers!   -d
« Last Edit: May 03, 2008, 03:02:26 AM by douglasf13 » Logged
The View
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« Reply #62 on: May 04, 2008, 11:19:58 PM »
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Like I said earlier, the D300 has a finer grain, A700 has better color.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=193253\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Can you be more specific about that?

Better color in what sense? Measured (recorded light frequencies) or esthetically (excellent photographers praising the quality of Sony color reproduction over the Nikon).

As I said, I am very wary about esthetic qualifications by test websites. When I look at the sample shots a dpreview, which look like JPEGs, I always wonder who is getting any info out of this?

As "color" is very much up to the photographer as he works it out in ACR/Lightroom and Photoshop...

... and good color often is more a relation of the right colors "used" (adjusted) and combined than just technical color...

... I really wonder how, on this level of quality Sony A 700 could have "better color" than the Nikon D300.

I started a thread in digital cameras/digital backs, and was quite inquisitive about how important it is to choose the right camera for one's own shooting style.

The responses were pretty much unisono saying, that at the current high level of gear quality the choice of camera is not very important, as long as one buys professional quality gear.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2008, 11:20:48 PM by The View » Logged

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douglasf13
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« Reply #63 on: May 05, 2008, 02:15:50 PM »
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Can you be more specific about that?

Better color in what sense? Measured (recorded light frequencies) or esthetically (excellent photographers praising the quality of Sony color reproduction over the Nikon).

As I said, I am very wary about esthetic qualifications by test websites. When I look at the sample shots a dpreview, which look like JPEGs, I always wonder who is getting any info out of this?

As "color" is very much up to the photographer as he works it out in ACR/Lightroom and Photoshop...

... and good color often is more a relation of the right colors "used" (adjusted) and combined than just technical color...

... I really wonder how, on this level of quality Sony A 700 could have "better color" than the Nikon D300.

I started a thread in digital cameras/digital backs, and was quite inquisitive about how important it is to choose the right camera for one's own shooting style.

The responses were pretty much unisono saying, that at the current high level of gear quality the choice of camera is not very important, as long as one buys professional quality gear.
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  I couldn't agree more.  DSLRs are so good now that I believe just about any of them are capable of professional results.  While I wait for the Sony fullframe, I've been using the A700 in the interim, and I honestly see little difference in the output of this camera vs. my Hasselblads and a Leaf Valeo 11 (granted the back is a little old.)  We're really splitting hairs here, and I just wanted to address the "cooked" RAW fiasco that dpreview has started with the Sony files in my previous post. All of the camera companies apply processing to their RAW files at some point in the signal chain, although it seems Canon may do the least amount from what I've seen, but I can't confirm not deny that.
 
  As far as color fidelity (still splitting hairs  is concerned, you can look at the dpreview pics of ISO 3200+ and see how the Sony holds more color, which can be a problem at high ISO.  Camera companies basically have to choose between chroma and luminous NR for their camera's output, and one comes a bit at the expense of another.  DIWA lab tests confirm this:

[a href=\"http://www.diwa-labs.com/photoalbum/view/?size=org&id=237837]http://www.diwa-labs.com/photoalbum/view/?size=org&id=237837[/url]

http://www.diwa-labs.com/photoalbum/view/?size=org&id=237703

  Nikon's processing seems to pull a more detail for the expense of color, and Sony's is a bit splotchier with better color, but all of this is negligible IMO.  Sony's reason is this works better for print, but, although I've heard others confirm this, I haven't tested the D300 vs. A700 in this regard, so I'm not jumping to any conclusions.  Also, keep in mind, that the D300 ISO 3200 looks to be more like ISO 5000-ish on the A700, but that's a whole separate topic

  I have very little brand loyalty to Sony or any other DSLR company, and my intentions of these posts is not to criticize Canons or Nikons, because I believe they are great cameras.  I just happen to think that Sony is also competitive in the camera classes they've entered in so far, so I believe the "A900" will be as well, and "cooked" RAW is not a valid reason to avoid the upcoming fullframe camera, IMO.  
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