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Lynn Palmer

The Sony A7ii and usable handheld images at ISO6400

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After much angst and months of indecision I finally purchased the Sony A7ii.  Size and weight were the primary reasons for the switch and the in-body image stabilization was the final factor that pried my beloved Canon 5DM2 out of my hands and replaced it with the A7ii.  In this model Sony swapped positions for the shutter button and the aperture dial making it much more comfortable to hold and use.  This also helped seal the deal for me.  I'm not shooting weddings or studio portraits so my needs will vary from a full-time pro photog.

 

It's been a couple weeks and my first batch of images just came out of QC so I thought I'd share my initial images and feelings about the camera.  How the camera would perform at night handheld was a major concern so my first shots are all from walks around Miami at night and with no tripod (my next tests will be tripod-mounted at low ISOs).  I can assure you I would not have any usable images from my 5DM2 under similar conditions and my expectations were low that the Sony would do significantly better.  I was wrong.  All were shot using the FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS kit lens with the camera set to shoot RAW in Aperture Priority Mode at f/5.6.  The camera selected the ISO and length of exposure.  The images below are the result.  There was noise in the RAW images but it was easily handled by my noise reduction software at a moderate setting. 

 

ISO 6400,  1/20 sec

Focal length: 28.0mm

people-walk-along-lincoln-road-mall-on-m

ISO 6400,  1/15 sec

Focal length: 64.0mm

classy-two-tone-yellow-and-white-1950s-c


ISO 6400,  1/5 sec

Focal length: 33.0mm

evening-view-of-southeast-financial-cent

ISO 6400,  1/10 sec

Focal length: 70.0mm 

red-reflections-at-night-in-the-facade-o

 

ISO 6400,  1/20 sec

Focal length: 28.0mm

downtown-miami-brickell-bank-plaza-with-
Edited by Lynn Palmer

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They look very good to me.  It must be a great relief after all that angst.

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They look very good to me. It must be a great relief after all that angst.

Thank you and yes I'm very relieved. I tend towards faster decisions--collect and analyze the data then make a decision. Unfortunately there are so many conflicting reviews about camera equipment I found it difficult to sort it all out.

Edited by Lynn Palmer

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Look very good indeed at those sizes Lynn, and the image stabilisation seems to work a treat.

 

I would be interested to find out how the kit lens performs more generally. What's it like in the corners for example? 

 

Confess to being slightly tempted, and more so seeing those results, but still holding out for the rumoured a7000 at present.

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Bryan, so far the $300 kit lens is a pleasant surprise. Sometime in the next week I'll take a couple images and post 100% crops at center and corners for comparison. The pictures above were taken at both extremes of the zoom lens and at a couple points in between and the results are all good to my eye.

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They certainly look very clean at that size, Lynn. What NR software are you using?

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They certainly look very clean at that size, Lynn. What NR software are you using?

I use Topaz, generally on the light to medium setting, the same software I used with my Canon. The A7ii produces a strongly patterned noise almost like a half tone effect that the software handles better than the splotchy noise produced by the 5DM2.

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Very nice photos Lynn. I heard horror stories about that lens n the A7 and A7R  I did try taking a few shots with that kit lens on the A7 in Best Buy and all were out of focus.

I did have both of those cameras but was not impressed. I had the expensive primes and the 24-70 and really would have liked to have stabilization.

 

I didn't keep the cameras and went back to Nikon but not very invested like I was before.

 

Miami is safe to walk around with a camera at night? Chicago use to be.Now you really have to be careful.

 

L

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Thank you Linda, they probably aren't the most salable subjects for stock but I'm happy with their IQ. I bought the A7ii hoping for good images at ISO 1600 so 6400 makes me ecstatic.

 

It was the in-camera stabilization that clinched the deal for me and it looks like it was worth the wait. The kit lens was only $300 extra so I figured it was worth the risk, I could always upgrade. I've bought two used Minolta primes but I'm not impressed so far with them. I've heard the 35mm prime is excellent but what I want/need most is a good zoom.--at least a 400mm.

 

The display cameras at Best Buy take a beating so I wouldn't be surprised if the lenses were out of focus.

 

Safety is one of the reasons I wanted to switch to a smaller camera. Nothing screams rob me better than a giant 5DM2 with a glowing white lense mounted on a tripod. Tourism is important here so every effort is made to make sure the tourists are safe but I have no illusions that I'm not at risk walking alone at night. I dress down, avoid carrying a camera bag, carry the camera discretely, keep an eye on people near me and carry pepper gas. There's still some risk but I can't live my life in fear behind locked doors.

 

I'm selling off my Canon gear now but I doubt the Sony will ever cover all my needs. In 18 months I may look into picking up one of the new high mega pixel DSLRs like the 5DM4 with 50mp. Better start saving my pennies now.

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BTW, could one of the car fanatics help me out with an ID for the two-tone yellow and white car in the second image above?

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Very impressive quality, Lynn. And ISO6400 -- amazing. 

 

You should never refer to these car nuts as fanatics. They're already deranged; you'll set them off like firecrackers. That's a restored classic American car, and you're in Miami, so ask a Cuban!

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BTW, could one of the car fanatics help me out with an ID for the two-tone yellow and white car in the second image above?

 

1955 Oldsmobile.

Here's one in red.

 

wim

  • Upvote 1

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Very impressive quality, Lynn. And ISO6400 -- amazing. 

 

You should never refer to these car nuts as fanatics. They're already deranged; you'll set them off like firecrackers. That's a restored classic American car, and you're in Miami, so ask a Cuban!

Wouldn't want to do that Edo...unless of course I had a camera handy.

 

And thank you Wim for the fast ID.

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Very impressive quality, Lynn. And ISO6400 -- amazing. 

 

You should never refer to these car nuts as fanatics. They're already deranged; you'll set them off like firecrackers. That's a restored classic American car, and you're in Miami, so ask a Cuban!

Wouldn't want to do that Edo...unless of course I had a camera handy.

 

And thank you Wim for the fast ID.

 

 

You're welcome!

 

wim

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Just in case any UK photographers get any ideas, no, you can't carry a pepper spray here, and that goes for most of Europe too, I would expect. But then there's nowhere you'd feel you needed to.

Edited by spacecadet

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Just in case any UK photographers get any ideas, no, you can't carry a pepper spray here, and that goes for most of Europe too, I would expect. But then there's nowhere you'd feel you needed to.

 

Oh yes there is.

 

Allan

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Lynn to achieve those images above at shutter speeds of only up to 1/20th sec handheld the stabilisation in the camera must be very good. Either that or you also have a very steady handhold on the camera. Or a mixture of both.

 

Even with ois on my Fuji cameras if I shoot at those speeds and focal lengths I still get shake on some images.

 

Allan

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Lynn to achieve those images above at shutter speeds of only up to 1/20th sec handheld the stabilisation in the camera must be very good. Either that or you also have a very steady handhold on the camera. Or a mixture of both.

 

Even with ois on my Fuji cameras if I shoot at those speeds and focal lengths I still get shake on some images.

 

Allan

 

A sales representative in a local  camera store told me that the image stabilization system in the a7ii is the same as the one used by Olympus, which Sony now owns a major share of.

 

UPDATE: It looks as if that rumour may not be entirely true.

Edited by John Mitchell

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All were shot using the FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS kit lens with the camera set to shoot RAW in Aperture Priority Mode at f/5.6.  The camera selected the ISO and length of exposure.  

 

When you let the camera choose the ISO do you have two choices of auto settings on the menu, ISO Auto or Auto multi frame NR?

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After browsing this post i decided to purchase the Sony 7 II,  seems like a nice camera,  with one major problem,  i cannot open the raw files with DXO 10, yes i have loaded the modules and i keep getting camera not recognized.

 

I can see the raw files in Photo-mechanic however if i try to view at 100% the image gets a little smaller instead of enlarging,  with all my cameras over the years i have never had this problem

 

Anybody know what the problem could be?

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Paul.

Edited by Paul Mayall

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Paul, like you I also have Lightroom 4 so tonight I checked and it looks like Adobe isn't supporting the RAW upgrade for our camera.  That's the bad news--the good news is that Lightroom is a lot cheaper to upgrade than Photoshop.  Fortunately I'm able to get by using Photoshop and Bridge until I buy my new computer.

 

http://www.lightroomforums.net/showthread.php?24203-Lightroom-4-updates-for-my-new-Sony-A7ii

 

The other option appears to be a DNG converter provided free by Adobe.  You can read about it here:

http://blogs.adobe.com/crawlspace/2011/03/why-doesnt-my-version-of-photoshop-or-lightroom-support-my-camera.html

Or download it here: http://www.adobe.com/go/dng_converter_win

Edited by Lynn Palmer

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I don't do this often so you'll have to let me know if my crops and enlargments are useful.  The following link goes to an image that is 1/2 unprocessed and half processed on the diagonal.  In addition I've included 3 enlargements taken from the center portion of the image.

 

http://bit.ly/1CwIEjr

 

The image below is lightly processed and the three enlargements are enlargements taken roughly in the center and at or near two of the corners.

 

http://bit.ly/1zBKAn5

Edited by Lynn Palmer

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Thank you Lynn,  it might be a upgrade to LR 5,  however i am waiting for a answer from DXO Labs to why i cannot open raw files from the Sony A7ii.

 

The Sony Raw file software opens the files,  however i prefer LR or DXO,  so now it is a waiting game.

 

Paul.

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Thanks for posting the enlarged crops Lynn, are they actual pixels size? If so the lens looks to be performing well.

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Your very welcome Paul, keep me posted on your progress. The camera has only been on the market for less than a month. I have to believe the software companies will come out with more support given a bit more time. I haven't even been able to find an LCD protector for it.

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