The world usually does not behave as we expect and argue it should. You’re saying the a7III will show less noise than the competitors when used under very low light conditions. But in the end the Sony shots showed stars to the same limiting magnitude as the other cameras. This seems to be related to availability and quality of Sony SDKs, and is a big barrier for me. I can assure you that even the ace programmers of Raw development software who I have spoken to are puzzled by this as well. of a find!! Setting Effects Off” appears to perform the same function as Bright Monitoring, with a couple of twists. The settings available in the Fn menu are as follows: Drive Mode: The A7III lacks a dedicated Drive Mode Dial (Like on the A9), which means that you need to change drive mode via the Fn menu or to assign this function to one of the custom buttons. Please feel free to comment with any tips and tricks you may know regarding the setup and configuration of the Sony A7Rii. Bulb Timer or Long Exposures I have included only those menu settings that have a direct affect on night photography. I highly encourage experimenting with different lighting conditions to find your ideal ISO. Using other Raw converters might affect this. If not room on the camera if only an offer to place on one of the memory cards, please! This would explain why in your first test the +4 EV image (iso 400) and in your second test the +3 and +4 EV images (iso 200, iso 400) appear iso variant. I wanted to share this post so you could see how I tailored the Sony A7Rii to my usage preferences, so that you might start thinking about how you could customize your own camera to reflect your usage habits. Or am I missing something obvious? In well-exposed images, I saw little difference in image quality. Having some investment in the Sony ecosystem (Nex 5N + various lenses), It’s an area I’d hope Sony address, and would remove an upgrade barrier for me that’s almost as significant as the start eater issue. Main camera: Sony a7iii; Stabilized videos: Osmo Pocket; Recommended Night Photography Gear (For all budgets) Main camera: Sony A7iii. Compressed files showed more noise and magenta discoloration in the shadows. Adaptability to Many Lenses  That’s a wide range, especially for a camera with 42.4million pixels (even if it has a full-frame sensor). The amount collected also fluctuates to a lesser or larger extent, depending on the quantum efficiency of the collector (pixel). A basic solution to deal with night photography is to put your camera on a tripod and use a very slow shutter speed to give the sensor more time to capture the light. And isn’t that what you care about? So points to Sony here. Older cropped-frame cameras (Canon 7D MKII) might have worse noise because they are older and use older firmware. The Nikon seems to discolor stars only when LENR is applied. And this was with equal processing and no application of Shadow Recovery. At 24 fps videos are full-frame with no cropping. So I can’t compare it to the a7r or a7s models. By assigning this fuction to [C1], I can immediately access the SteadyShot feature of the A7Rii. Great article, I have to note one thing though. The functions that can be placed in each of the twelve available slots is quite limited, however. Some show green stars, some red stars, some show stars with green hot pixels, some show stars with little color at all! It serves the same function as “blinkies” do in image review, but is active in the display prior to taking the exposure. You will see more detail with smaller pixels but not more noise unless you are cropping photos from these different sensors to the same number of pixels. Controlling the camera via WiFi and reviewing the images immediately after capture on a large, bright tablet device is a powerful tool that I turn to intermittently during a night of shooting. Lighter Weight / Smaller Size High ISO NR: Default (-), … Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Setting this to Monitor (Manual), along with the assignment of Finder/Monitor Select to the [Down] Button, allows me to toggle the display from the LCD to EVF, or turn off the LCD during long or multiple exposures. The menu structure used in the Sony A7Rii consists of six top-level menu tabs, with each tab containing numerous sub-pages. The monitor will more closely resemble what the camera will record, the monitor will consume less power, and the glow from the LCD is less distracting to those photographing near you. The main issue I have is that one can never be sure that all camera settings are as expected when switching to a User Memory bank. One battery can get you through a night of shooting, though performance will inevitably decline in winter, as with all cameras. Changing this to Movie Mode Only disables the [Record] button unless the Mode Dial is specifically turned Movie Mode. The camera subtracts the single dark from the buffered lights. And both cameras performed much better than the ISO “variant” Canon in this test. I have finally been convinced to turn this … The 50mm focal length is made even greater when you pair it with a crop sensor camera where it can become something like a 75mm lens. However, I’ve found these post-shoot darks rarely work well, as the dark frames are not at the same temperature as the light frames, and often add noise or dark holes. It is not clear if Sony’s compressed Raws are 12-bit vs. 14-bit for uncompressed files. I receive a small commission from any sale … Use the same lens as well. Coupled with a fast f/1.4 to f/2 lens, the slow shutter speed allows real-time aurora shooting at “only” ISO 6400 to 12,800, for quite acceptable levels of noise.  This button is perfectly situated to press for auto focus, either while the camera is hand-held or when it is perched on a tripod. I’m not here to knock Sony, in fact I shoot with one, using an A7R for my astro work because of this issue. I was using the wired Vello intervalometer. See the previous section on Back Button Focusing for additional details. But that’s a nuisance to do, and should not be necessary with a mirrorless camera. That’s why using exactly same sensor, different make and model cameras may produce diff quality images.). Anyway, the a7III does look compelling. Auto 100-8000 ISO range. First, Bright Monitoring can be turned on with just one button press, while Live View Display takes three to activate. With a Firmware 2.0 Update, Sony added an optional 14-bit uncompressed, “lossless” RAW file format. But no more! All explained in my ebook! They will be the same, because it is the pixel size not the sensor area that matters. The firmware, pixel size and pixel characteristics are also all the same. Great article. Real-time video of auroras is not possible with anything like this quality with the Nikon (I’ve used it often), and absolutely not with the Canon. If capturing RAW images, the Creative Style setting will be written to the EXIF data, but ignored when creating the RAW image file. But to develop all the images from Sony, Nikon, and Canon equally for comparisons, ACR is the best choice. When used with the Genie Mini (below) the Sony fired at only every other pulse if it was in Single shot mode, an oddity of Sony’s firmware. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. I shot images over a wide-range of exposures, from 2 seconds to 2 minutes, but show only the ones covering the 2-second to 4-second range, where the “star-eater” anti-aliasing or noise smoothing applied by Sony kicks in (above 3.2 seconds it seems). An example is in a 4K video I shot on May 6, 2018 of an usual aurora known as “STEVE.”. 2. Here are my Custom Key assignments, with explanatory remarks. The cameras were on a Star Adventurer Mini tracker to keep stars pinpoints, though the ground blurred in the longer exposures. There are, however, costs and benefits to converting native RAW files to DNG. Yes, I know. I am very impressed! But the dark shadows in underexposed nightscapes withstood shadow recovery better in the uncompressed files. Is it iso invariant enough that it doesn’t matter, or are certain iso’s slightly better in your opinion for night sky images than the tier 2 base iso of 640? Camera Settings 2 > Live View Display > Setting Effect ON. As the images below show, there is a very slight one-pixel-level softening that kicks in at 4 seconds and longer but it did not eat or wipe out stars. With its good shadow details, you have to apply less shadow recovery in post-processing, which does keep noise down. When Bright Monitoring is used in dark conditions (as in night photography), the display builds up the brightness of the image displayed on the screen by accumulating photons over a longer period of time than usual, offering a Live View image that seems to  “see in the dark”. See the previous section above regarding Power Saving. This isn’t a huge detriment, as anyone who really wants to go after deep nebulosity must use a “filter-modified” camera anyway. If you measure the noise of individual pixels, larger pixels will have less noise simply because they are larger and can gather more light in any given amount of time. In shots on Bulb controlled by the External Timer, maybe the stars at 4 seconds are a little sharper still. Sony has made that decision for you, and further, the task of adjusting settings via the Quick Navigation screen are neither intuitive nor easily accomplished. Thanks for reading! It offers 4K (or more precisely UltraHD) video recording for videos of 3840 x 2160 pixels. When operating the camera controls by touch in the darkness of night, it is easy to press the red [Record] button on the side of the camera by mistake. That will be an interesting test to make as well. Heat buildup on the image sensor during long exposures causes the creation of LE noise, more commonly known as “hot pixel” noise. Seeing people head into the field with a passel of batteries just to get thru a night of shooting put me off! It works very well. I would invite you to further read my comments and images added in the Addendum. In Movie Mode ISO speeds go up to ISO 102,400, but are pretty noisy, if unusable at such speeds. Full-frame and cropped-frame cameras with similar sized pixels have similar levels of noise. Noise at typical astrophoto ISO speeds – 800 to 6400 – were about equal to the four-year-old Nikon D750. If the photo is too bright, you can decrease the shutter speed until the exposure is right. Please have a look at them again. Perhaps I’ll add examples to show that, but I would invite you to take your own Raw files of tracked star images shot with a Sony, Nikon, and Canon camera and develop them with Adobe Camera Raw, Capture One, DxO, Affinity, Luminar, ON1 Photo RAW, and Raw Therapee’s various modes. Well, it seems a7iii can be used for astrophotography, then what about a7riii? Worse is that long deep-sky exposures at high ISOs also exhibited a faint purple glow at the left edge, perhaps from heat from nearby electronics, a so-called “amp glow.” Or I’ve read where this is from an internal infrared source near the sensor. It shouldn’t. Give me a Canon full-frame any day for prime-focus deep-sky shooting. Here are some other Sony a7III features I found of value for astrophotography, and for operating the camera at night. Someone at Sony (or someplace) saw people framing in live mode cranking up the ISO to view what a +++++!!! ND filter attached to lens, between a 6 stop and a 10 stop filter. Doing two shots one below for the brightness (lower ISO/higher f//slower SS or any combination) and another for the sky above (last shot) (just opposite of first) getting a combo adjustable before saving and getting a raw to work in post. I have a Sony A7Sii and I have not used it for a night photography or for deep sky, but I’m going to now, I’ve been away from the Hobby for a while and want to get back into the deep sky stuff. The Sony A7Rii is a powerful camera for night imaging that continues to grow in popularity among night photographers, yet many are unaware of the significant impact various camera setup parameters have on their usage of the camera at night. You mention with the a7iii that it’s not completely iso invariant and that the files when pushed 4 stops were not as clean as the shot taken at iso 6400. For astrophotography, none of those auto functions are of any value. I’ve used this new function and it works very well. However, I emphasize that the noise increase from using LENR with the Sony was visible only when severely boosting underexposed images in processing. The Canon 6D MkII has a fully functional touch screen which can be, quite literally, handy at night. The Sony showed poor deep-red sensitivity, though not unlike other cameras. 1. I keep my A7RM2 vs upgrading to the A7RM3 for that reason BUT BUT LOVE REALLY LOVE the A7M3 for the sensor (ISO Invariant) and the 10 frames per second and many other likes!!! ( Log Out /  The default setting of 0 seems to be ideal for night focusing with the EVF. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Unless you actually read the full-length 642-page PDF manual (you have to download it), you won’t know about it. Pixels, or photosites, do not “know” how large a sensor they belong to. Hi, Alan. If stars are colored and misshapen at the single pixel level that’s deBayering. Some of the techniques in use by astro-landscape photographers make the use of LENR impractical as well. And, of course, the 1.8 aperture. It’s physics. If you want an objective test, rather than comparing the Sony with Canon or Nikon images, you need to compare 3.2 with 4 second images, both shot on the Sony. Which lens do you like more between the Rokinon 14mm f2.4 SP and the Laowa 15mm f2? Thanks for doing it. and not hand this over to a jpeg algorithm concocted by my camera’s manufacturer. After reading about it myself, I tested what i’d read, and saw it to be true. Obviously, anything will be better at this stage, but I have to say, this info has made me a lot more confident in sticking with Sony as I wasn’t keen on buying into a new lens system. Two highly respected guidebooks I own for the Sony A7Rii do not even mention Bright Monitoring at all! This is important for us landscape photographers, especially when it comes to low-light and night photography. Ll find the review of value for astrophotography sony a7iii night photography settings Sony ’ s “ ISO ”! For nighttime photography, which if you compare ISO 640, to check ’! 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