Sony A7s ISO Comparison

Sony A7S

Aside from the 4K capability, one thing everyone is talking about on the new Sony A7S is the new 12MP sensor and the ridiculous low light sensitivity that it delivers.

I got some hands-on time with the Sony A7s today and took several shots at various ISO levels. Below, I have assembled 100% crops of the images from the center of the frame from ISO 100-102400.

I shot these at f/8 but I ran out of shutter speed after 102400, which is why I’m not including the overexposed shots up to ISO 409600.

Here is the scene I snapped handheld at the Sony booth.


Now is a chart containing 100% crops of ARW files converted to JPEGs with no adjustments.


I missed focus on a couple of the shots and this is a terrible lighting scenario, but the A7S shows a lot of promise for low light and high ISO work. This is also probably a preproduction camera, so the results should not be taken as what the final production model is capable of delivering.

Here’s a larger 100% cropped area at ISO 80,000:


And here’s what the image looks like when downsized for the web (click for a 2MP-ish file):


The A7S certainly isn’t delivering “clean” shots at the extreme ISO settings; however, it will likely be the best performance we’ve seen on a camera to date when we finally get around to looking at a production model pitted against current DSLRs.



  1. forkboy1965 says

    Agreed…. pretty impressive. I typically get depressed with noise results at 800 ISO on my 7D, but I think I could live with 1600 on this Sony.

    • says

      Yeah. It depends on the use. A lot of what I publish here on Photograph Bay (product shots and whatnot) are much higher ISO than what many would be comfortable with. When you final use image is 640px wide, then you can be a lot more aggressive. For example, the top product photo of the Sony A7s was captured with a Canon 6D at ISO 12800. A little massage in LR5 and it doesn’t look half bad for what it is.

  2. says

    What means you ran out of shutter Speed at ISO400k? Which shutter Speed have you used on these shots or let’s say what is the fastest one which you probably have used?!

    • says

      I shot aperture priority at F/8 in what I thought was a pretty dark scene. At 102k, I hit 1/8000s, which is the minimum shutter speed possible on the A7s. Everything after that remained at f/8 1/8000s and was overexposed.

  3. says

    What means you ran out of shutter speed? Which shutter speed have you used or let’s say which one is the fastest one which you probably have used?!

  4. says

    Thanx for the early testimages. Looks like quite useable up to 80000 considering the jpegs haven’t been had noise reduction. What are your thoughts regarding the extreme dynamic range of the 7s ?

  5. Mare says

    Well, as far as I can see – pics are usable up to iso6400, and after that they lose a lot of detail. I expected more from this camera..

  6. says

    Very impressive indeed. I wounder how it will stack up against Nikon D3s or ever little better Nikon Df (D4 sensor)

  7. says

    Even at 102400(!) it’s still amazingly sharp. What a perfect camera for aerial photography. We’ll be getting one and do some night shots on our multicopter setup. We plan to offer it with it, I think it will be a great combo.