February 22 2011 - Photo Jottings

February 22 2011


Anyone interested in looking at boring ISO crops?  well, there’s a lot of chatter in various Sony forums about the ISO performance of the new A580, so I thought I’d provide some side-by-side ISO comparisons of Sony’s flagship A900, the old and outdated A700, and last, but not least, the new A580.  The A580 received rave reviews about its high ISO performance when it was introduced, so how does it stack up to the older Sony cameras from the last decade?  In a nut-shell, you’ll see about a full stop ISO advantage with the A580 when displayed side-by-side with the A700 (using firmware ver. 4), and factoring in the extra resolution of the A580.

There are three sets of ISO comps on the page.  The top set shows ISO center crops from the A580 and A700, with the current Ver. 4 firmware.   The second set has the same A580 crops on the left, but with the A900 crops now in the right column.  The last set has the A700 with Ver. 3 on the left, and the most current Ver. 4 on the right (as of this review, 2/11).  More info on the page introduction.

The Sony A580 starts to really shine at very high sensitivities, and appears to out-resolve the A900 at ISO 6400, while holding better color, that’s somewhat surprising, but shows how noise reduction and sensor technology have progressed in two plus years since the A900 was introduced.  A few people claim Sony added better noise reduction to the A900 with the new firmware update.  I updated my A900 to ver. 2.00, and noticed no difference at all.  Sony says there is no modification to noise reduction in this firmware (Ver. 2.00) and I can confirm that.

Click for ISO comparison page
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