Today is a day where I’m really, really eating my words. When working on our first impressions post for the Sony A7r Mk II, I kept thinking about how the high ISO results for a 42.4MP Full frame camera couldn’t be that spectacular. Indeed, the low ISO output is quite nice. Then we got the camera back in for testing just yesterday.
At first, I shot at ISO 3200 and was very impressed. Then I took the camera up to ISO 6400 and was also very pleased with the results. But it didn’t stop there.
The Sony A7r Mk II‘s maximum ISO output is 102,400. At 42.4 MP, you’d figure that the high ISO results wouldn’t be that stellar, right?
Again, today I am eating my words. For ISO 102,400 these are some of the best high ISO results I’ve ever seen. They’re not as great as the Sony A7s and they’re probably comparable the A7 Mk II–a camera with pretty much half the megapixels. I never would have thought that the results would be this great.
So far, we’re finding that much of the image noise is in the deepest of the shadows–but the areas that are well exposed won’t really have much trouble. Many of the files in this piece are edited for color, sharpness, and with a bit of a clarity boost. Some have slight noise nerfs, but we think that even more can be done if we run the files through something like MacPhun’s Noiseless Pro.
As it is, when the files are right out of the camera, we wouldn’t have much of a problem posting them online. People who pixel peep are generally photographers, but clients probably wouldn’t mind as long as the images and the overall content is solid.
But to add even more to this, at ISO 6400 the camera’s sensor is capable of getting amazing amounts of details from the highlights.
Here’s one example: we let the camera shoot in aperture priority here. This result is the original exposure.
After pushing the exposure and then scaling back the whites and the highlights in Adobe Lightroom, we’re able to get back lots more details in the bus sign. If I kept editing, I could probably make this look like a much better file by working with the color sliders.
We’re still working on our review of the Sony A7r Mk II; but so far it’s shaping up to be quite an excellent camera. Here are more high ISO image samples. Exposure values can be seen by clicking on the image and checking out the exposures in the URL.