Full frame vs APSC & Speedbooster - Low Light Performance

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by jai, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    As the A7 drops in price, I have been considering selling off my APSC e-mount lenses and Nex 5R to move to full frame.

    I mostly shoot with adapted Rokkors these days, and I do own a speed booster. I am wondering if there is actually much to be gained in low light?

    The A7 is full frame, but all other things being equal would have to with ISO 1 stop higher than the 5R with a speed booster.

    Is the A7 that much better in low light? What have been people’s experience in swapping?
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Real Name:
    I have no way of knowing whether or not the A7 is "that much better" for the kind of photos you shoot, jai. But I do know that I have shot usable images at ISO 12800 with my A7, and never got anything usable above ISO 3200 with my NEX 6. That, plus the dramatically increased dynamic range of the full-frame sensor makes me highly unlikely to ever consider buying an APS-C camera in the future. I'm not saying "never." But...
  3. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    Ok so that is 2 stops better, that is interesting.

    Perhaps the extra resolution also helps, because more pixels gives you more to play with in terms of noise reduction.
  4. izTheViz

    izTheViz TalkEmount Top Veteran

    May 10, 2013
    Real Name:
    Yannis Marigo
    Moved from 5N to A7 9 months ago.
    Had no speedbooster but with similar shooting behaviors I get obviously less noise on the A7 and I enjoy the extra resolution.

    Envoyé de mon iPhone à l'aide de TalkEmount
  5. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Real Name:
    For me , my Nex-6 is acceptable until ISO 800. I've also being thinking of going FF lately but only thing holding me back is my recent 550euro purchase of the APS-C 18-105mm lens...
  6. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    Yeah, I have been holding back on buying more APSC lenses for that reason.

    And I already have a pretty significant investment in them!
  7. shaolin95

    shaolin95 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jul 3, 2013
    I guess usable or acceptable has a different meaning for all of us, but I have posted images here at 6400 (even 12800 and 25600 but I will use DXO prime for those and not post over 1440p likely) and they look pretty good to me.
    Most people agree you gain about 1 stop with FF and when I was considering FF, I decided to pass on it for now because of that very same reason. Seeing JPG samples posted by users, I realized that I wanted more than one stop to make me pay for it and the noise I was seeing was not far off from what I could get by using DXO Prime so I decided to just get a booster for my 6 and that has been working great for me.

    Of course, there is dynamic range which no speed booster will help. Luckily the NEX-6 has pretty good range and since I shoow RAW, I can get as much as possible from it.

    It would be interesting to see a comparison of speed booster vs FF for low light just pure RAW files to see how they compare though.
    Sadly I dont have FF to do it :/
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  8. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Full frame has, in theory, a 1 stop advantage over APS-C. As Sony currently wants to push full frame, they invested much more in the 35mm sensor development. As a result, some current full frame cameras like the A7s have a much bigger advantage - but that'll go over time. The dynamic range difference is due to the same reason. In theory, there should be less than half a stop difference using the same sensor technology. Considering modern APS-C sensors already reached and surpassed 35mm film (depending on the testing method), I'd argue that, for most scenes, there's no definitive advantage to full frame over APS-C.

    Color depth is pretty similar between the two sensor sizes. To get a visibly much deeper color tonality, you'll need to go to MF for now.
    • Like Like x 2