Quick high ISO Comparison! Sony A7s vs Sony A7RII


Quick high ISO Comparison! Sony A7s vs Sony A7RII

Many h ave been asking me to do a high ISO comparison with the Sony A7RII vs the all time high ISO king, the Sony A7s. The Sony A7s is a special camera for a few reasons, one of them being the extreme low light capabilities which came about due to Sony using a 12MP sensor. The less MP on a full frame sensor usually means better low light or high ISO performance. With the new resolution monster, the A7RII, any were expecting high ISO to be mediocre. This is not the case. In fact., it looks DAMN good against the A7s. Think about it..12MP vs 42MP and the 42MP sensor is not far off. AT ALL.

As always with my ISO tests I let the camera choose exposure as this is how 99% of people use these, either in A mode, S mode or even AUTO mode. In other words, very few manually expose these cameras, so here is the output from each as exposed by the meter in each camera. What you see is what you get.

Also, these are from RAW and all noise reduction was off. Sony made some claims saying the A7RII is a NO COMPROMISE camera due to the new sensor design, Meaning, you can have high res and great high ISO all in one. Now imagine when they redo the A7s with the new sensor tech..this is when I think we will hit ISO 1 million and have it be usable. 😉 My older A7s review is HERE if you missed it! Also, before you ask, the grip on the A7RII above is the JB Designs A7RII wooden grip. 

Click each image for larger view and full 100% crops! I will go all the way to the top ISO in my full review which will be up within 2-3 weeks!






  1. Very impressive and I actually like the very filmlike grain.

    Your text makes clear you used no NR in-camera. But did you apply NR in post? I recognize the typical Lightroom grain added to a raw picture.

  2. ISO 1 million? Does that mean total visibility in total darkness? is the sensor just seeing infra-red?

  3. High ISO test

    Must be done when it is low light / dark.
    That’s when noise shows up in shadows, details get lost.

    Doing it in good light is seriously flawed.

    Common sense :
    We use high ISO when light is low / poor.
    Therefore do the test when light is low / poor.

    • Which is why I did it in my house with no lights on, it was MUCH darker than what you see in the photo as when you use fast primes they sick in the light and make it appear brighter than it is. There was still some light but not much. With that said, I always say the torture test for high ISO is REALLY low light, and my review will have plenty of this 😉

      • Steve,
        Goo info. Since in High ISO the Dynamic Range degrades dramatically, could you also do a test that has, in the same lighting (no back ground TV), Low ISO(100) with long exposure vs High ISO(12800) shorter exposure.

    • It is evident light is low in Steve’s picture but the cam will obviously compensate and make it look like it is mid gray tones…no one practically uses 12000+ ISO all the time so A7RII rocks from that perspective cos virtually no noise at 800-1600…I think you are asking for too much if you go on hiking up ISO and yet want all details in highlights/shadows etc :)…here is a picture at 16000

  4. to be a truly fair comparison, the A7R2 should be down sized to the same print size. I would think the a7r2 would be even more impressive this way. the only advantage with the a7s vs a7r2 would be with video at high iso’s, but not in photos. I do recall hearing sony does NR at high iso’s and bakes them into the raw file (even if turned off).

  5. I find it hard to believe that all NR is off in the raw processor, presumably ACR/LR. There should be at least some chroma noise, yet I see none.

        • It’s an honest mistake. In Lightroom, NR is off but color noise is defaulted to 25. I’m sure it’s the same in ACR. Double check and slide that back to 0.
          Regardless, it looks better than my D750 but with more mp which just adds to the image quality output. With 14bit raw coming, I may just grab one of these in the future for 4k video and night/landscape imagery.

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