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Thread started 13 Aug 2017 (Sunday) 08:33
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Dynamic range of A7SII or A9 vs. 5DM3

 
stanwelks
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Aug 13, 2017 08:33 |  #1

How does the dynamic range of the A7SII or the A9 compare with the 5DM3?




  
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MalVeauX
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Aug 13, 2017 08:49 |  #2

The A7S II has huge pixels (> 8 microns) and will have better dynamic range than the A9, and much better than the 5D3. But you should expect any Sony sensor that is modern at this point to be significantly better at dynamic range than the 5D3's sensor (or any Canon sensor other than the latest 5DIV, which is still lagging behind a little by comparison). But big pixels will always have a big advantage in this regard (and ISO).

But, do you really need the best dynamic range? That's the only thing you're looking at between these 3? You're comparing rather old tech to fairly newer tech.

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stanwelks
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Aug 13, 2017 09:00 |  #3

I have a 5DM3 and have often noticed difficulties with getting details in the sky when exposing for a subject or vice versa with the 5DM3. Have been real curious if the A7SII/A9 would be able to capture those details, or what other scenarios an improved dynamic range would help.

Why does the A7SII have a better dynamic range than the A9? I thought the A9 was the high end model.

Thanks.




  
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MalVeauX
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Aug 13, 2017 09:04 |  #4

stanwelks wrote in post #18426479 (external link)
I have a 5DM3 and have often noticed difficulties with getting details in the sky when exposing for a subject or vice versa with the 5DM3. Have been real curious if the A7SII/A9 would be able to capture those details, or what other scenarios an improved dynamic range would help.

Why does the A7SII have a better dynamic range than the A9? I thought the A9 was the high end model.

Thanks.

Yea, it will be superior at things like that.

As mentioned, the AS7 I & II have bigger pixels (greater than 8 microns), so they will have better dynamic range and ISO performance.

You're really comparing apples to oranges though, the A7S series is a different approach to the tool than the A9/5D3.

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stanwelks
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Aug 13, 2017 09:43 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #5

By "different approach" do you mean because the A7SII is designed for low light capabilities/high ISO?

I assumed that the A9 was also really good with low light/high ISO performance? If this is not what you meant, what do you mean by "different approach"?

Thanks.




  
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Aug 13, 2017 09:58 |  #6

stanwelks wrote in post #18426517 (external link)
By "different approach" do you mean because the A7SII is designed for low light capabilities/high ISO?

I assumed that the A9 was also really good with low light/high ISO performance? If this is not what you meant, what do you mean by "different approach"?

Thanks.

Different tool.

You'll find the A7S has a lower resolution large pixel sensor and is geared towards low light, high ISO, large dynamic range, and video (4k) for very flexible editing. But, it's not doing anything special in the AF department, or anything like that.

I'm not saying the A9 is poor at anything, it's just what you're asking since you specifically asked about dynamic range. Not a lot of today's photographers are going to select a 12MP camera without having a specifc need for that camera (the A7S series), and it's only reason for being is the benefits of having large pixels. Take away the advantage of large pixels and the camera has no purpose compared to its cousin cameras that are better at virtually everything, other than what large pixels brign to the table. The A9 has a lot of superior benefits, but the physics of smaller pixels will show, and so the A9 will have different performance with dynamic range & high ISO, and not perform as well in that area compared to a camera with significantly larger pixels. And the 5D3 is just way behind both of them in that regard. People don't get the A9 or 5D3 for just dynamic range, there's more features that they're after. If you want a better generalist camera, they are it. But if you want top dynamic range, a modern Sony sensor with the biggest pixels will likely be the best bet, and that's the A7S series.

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Wilt
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Post edited 9 months ago by Wilt.
     
Aug 13, 2017 12:54 |  #7

stanwelks wrote in post #18426479 (external link)
I have a 5DM3 and have often noticed difficulties with getting details in the sky when exposing for a subject or vice versa with the 5DM3. Have been real curious if the A7SII/A9 would be able to capture those details, or what other scenarios an improved dynamic range would help.

.


Contrary to what some folks think, increasing DR does not inherently mean that you can shoot any brighter scenes, i.e. from the exposure to capture 18% gray tone to the peak brightness is not 'increased from +3.5EV to +4.3EV ', for example...It usually means that in the shadow tones you have better ability to 'push process' images with less apparant noise and banding. "A camera with a very low noise floor is able to capture a large amount of dynamic range, since it will add very little noise to the detail captured in the shadow regions of the image."


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gjl711
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Aug 13, 2017 14:43 |  #8

Wilt wrote in post #18426649 (external link)
Contrary to what some folks think, increasing DR does not inherently mean that you can shoot any brighter scenes, i.e. from the exposure to capture 18% gray tone to the peak brightness is not 'increased from +3.5EV to +4.3EV ', for example...It usually means that in the shadow tones you have better ability to 'push process' images with less apparant noise and banding. "A camera with a very low noise floor is able to capture a large amount of dynamic range, since it will add very little noise to the detail captured in the shadow regions of the image."

It does mean that you do capture that extra DR though and as you say, a camera with a low noise floor also allows for greater shadow recovery. I think that's what the EXMOR is such a home run. It gives you additional DR to work with as well as providing a low noise floor. Processing a Canon image and a Nikon say D810 image are very different things and I tend to shoot differently with the Nikon because of the better DR.


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Aug 18, 2017 09:23 |  #9

stanwelks wrote in post #18426479 (external link)
I have a 5DM3 and have often noticed difficulties with getting details in the sky when exposing for a subject or vice versa with the 5DM3. Have been real curious if the A7SII/A9 would be able to capture those details, or what other scenarios an improved dynamic range would help.

Why does the A7SII have a better dynamic range than the A9? I thought the A9 was the high end model.

Thanks.

What kind of work do you do, or use the camera for. Each of the Sony high end bodies is really designed and tailored to different uses. The task is finding the one that works best for your needs.


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Post edited 9 months ago by Wilt. (2 edits in all)
     
Aug 18, 2017 12:06 |  #10

Wilt wrote in post #18426649 (external link)
Contrary to what some folks think, increasing DR does not inherently mean that you can shoot any brighter scenes, i.e. from the exposure to capture 18% gray tone to the peak brightness is not 'increased from +3.5EV to +4.3EV ', for example...It usually means that in the shadow tones you have better ability to 'push process' images with less apparant noise and banding. "A camera with a very low noise floor is able to capture a large amount of dynamic range, since it will add very little noise to the detail captured in the shadow regions of the image."

I could not find this illustration earlier, but this represents the range of brightness of a few cameras, as measured in DPReview tests. Unfortunately DPREview do not seem to be perpetuating this same test on newer cameras, so there is little basis of comparison for 'older' vs. newest camera capabilities. But it does illustrate that 'DR' increases do not necessarily increase the max brightness which a camera can record!

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/POTN%202013%20Post%20Mar1/NR%20Max_zpshdq19put.jpg

The Sony cameras shown above do 'go darker', yet also 'not so bright', in spite of the fact that they have the reputation for 'wide DR'

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yellowt2
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Aug 18, 2017 15:42 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #18426649 (external link)
Contrary to what some folks think, increasing DR does not inherently mean that you can shoot any brighter scenes, i.e. from the exposure to capture 18% gray tone to the peak brightness is not 'increased from +3.5EV to +4.3EV ', for example...It usually means that in the shadow tones you have better ability to 'push process' images with less apparant noise and banding. "A camera with a very low noise floor is able to capture a large amount of dynamic range, since it will add very little noise to the detail captured in the shadow regions of the image."

Wilt wrote in post #18430970 (external link)
The Sony cameras shown above do 'go darker', yet also 'not so bright', in spite of the fact that they have the reputation for 'wide DR'

The easy solution is to slightly underexpose.
I have my Sonys set to expose at -0.3 or -0.7EV in the auto modes. This gives me some extra headroom for highlights and I push the shadows a little in post.
In manual mode just expose for the highlights

Back when I had a Canon T1i I almost always shot landscapes with a 3-shot exposure bracket. I haven't shot exposure bracketed shots since I got the A7. Newer Canon sensors are almost as good. Long live increased dynamic range!




  
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Aug 18, 2017 17:30 |  #12

Wilt wrote in post #18430970 (external link)
I could not find this illustration earlier, but this represents the range of brightness of a few cameras, as measured in DPReview tests. Unfortunately DPREview do not seem to be perpetuating this same test on newer cameras, so there is little basis of comparison for 'older' vs. newest camera capabilities. But it does illustrate that 'DR' increases do not necessarily increase the max brightness which a camera can record!

QUOTED IMAGE

The Sony cameras shown above do 'go darker', yet also 'not so bright', in spite of the fact that they have the reputation for 'wide DR'

I have a lot of questions about their test methodology. Using their widget, I compared the Canon 5DIII and the Rebel T3 (1100D). Going by DR alone it shows both cameras with near identical DR but every other review site shows a big difference. Digging deeper if I compare the T3 to the Nikon 800, it's also almost the same. (1/3) stop difference. So what are they really measuring?


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Wilt
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Aug 18, 2017 20:17 as a reply to  @ gjl711's post |  #13

Well, you can see the cameras tested, so you should be able to go to the DPReview tests of each camera and read what they say they are testing. In any event, if the same test methodology were applied to all four cameras, the differences themselves illustrate 'better' performance by some cameras, regardless of the ability or inability to understand precisely what's being tested, I would think.


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Aug 18, 2017 21:06 |  #14

Wilt wrote in post #18431332 (external link)
Well, you can see the cameras tested, so you should be able to go to the DPReview tests of each camera and read what they say they are testing. In any event, if the same test methodology were applied to all four cameras, the differences themselves illustrate 'better' performance by some cameras, regardless of the ability or inability to understand precisely what's being tested, I would think.

I agree with what you are saying, as long as the methodology is consistent between cameras, it's a valuable data point. What I was wondering is what they are measuring as if you look at the data, it does not reflect real performance nor does it reflect many other test sites also testing DR. That's why I wqas wondering what their criteria is.


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Aug 18, 2017 21:36 |  #15

I had the 5d3..i have an a7sii

the DR capabilities are worlds different.. a7sii is awesome in that sense.

however ,, you take a major hit in other areas .. mainly in auto focus .. and of course at 12mp , cropping is very limited


if you are mainly a photo person tho ,, I would think twice before going a7sii


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