Sony A9 vs A7RII high ISO…Full Size files

Sony A9 vs A7RII high ISO…Full Size files

By Steve Huff

Hey to all! I am in the middle of writing my Sony A9 review and was going over ISO samples. I did a comparison to the A7RII at mid to high ISO’s (all of those will be in the review) and shot the A9 this past weekend in some pretty dark situations. Take l look below at two samples, full size files so click them to see the full size. They are shot at ISO 25,600 and are both straight from camera. Same shutter speed, same lens, same settings. I also have a third file which is the A7RII file resized to 24 MP as so many always request this. This way we can see what happens when the A7rII file is resized to 24 MP, which is the resolution of the A9 sensor. One thing is for sure, the A9 is fantastic in low light and is probably the most capable, versatile camera I have ever used. I do wish it was more like $2999 though, as $4500 is steep but for pros who need speed, amazing AF, fantastic tracking AF, and great low light capabilities as well as the ability to use all kinds of lenses, the A9 is wonderful. In real world use, I have yet to have an issue for what I shoot, and the battery life is awesome. But I will have my pros and cons, and yes, there are a couple of cons, in my full review SOON.

And one OOC shot from the A9, (JPEG) at ISO 51,200

Working on the review now, so be sure and check back soon! The A9 is now shipping and in stock at most retailers. You can buy at B&H Photo using the link below:

Sony A9 at B&H Photo

Sony A9 at Amazon

How about this one? Shot in darkness at ISO 102,400 at 1/13 s with the Sony A9. NR set to LOW. OOC JPEG. The AF even worked in this room using the on camera AF assist light.


  1. Personally, I love available light photography, so ISO tests are super interesting. However this test makes no sense though?

    Why on earth would anyone shoot 1/640s at 25,600 ISO in modest light conditions?

    If this is a ‘real world’ test it could be helpful to leave the house and use the low light features to reflect actual usage. Not much of help here.

    Is there another article coming up / or maybe one I’ve missed I can’t find it?

    • Most sites use strobes to test ISO, which is awful. I use natural and available light, always. This is showing you what one can expect at ISO 25k indoors, without any real light source besides what is in the house. I also show here, in case you somehow missed it, an ISO 102K shot at 1/13 S, where I needed even high ISO. I also show you an available LOW light portrait at ISO 51,200. So this is indeed a real world “sample” which of course there will be much more in the review, as I clearly stated. There have been three A9 posts, two first looks and a review of lenses using the A9. My review is coming soon, but yes indeed, this is a small sampling of real world extremely high ISO to show that yes, it beats the A7RII and yes it can be usable up high if you need it.

    • DR is a non issue today with these cameras. With that said, it may have slightly less than the A7RII, but a non issue as there is still tons of DR. I will never blow a highlight unless I want to do so purposely for an artistic reason.

  2. The A7RII looks like it has more contrast and saturation when you look at the whole picture, but there’s much more color noise and fuzzy edges close up. The A9 looks very clean and with good definition close up, so you could crank up the contrast in post. I would prefer the A9 from these samples. Surprising perhaps. Let’s see your review.

    • This is exactly what I observed and thought also. However, since they are ‘camera processed’ JPEGs, I would like to see the RAW files side by side as well and compare them again.

  3. Looking forward to your review. So far seems like an odd camera, not sure who it’s for. It’s IQ is no better then a Nikon D5 or Cannon 1Dx 2 and it doesn’t have the lens range yet for sports shooting. I would think for most Sony shooters, the A7 series would be way more appealing. Curious if you have seen the banding and overheating issues being reported as well.

    • I find. the A9 much more attractive than my A7RII…for these reasons:

      Battery Life is amazing. I can shoot 1000 shots and have 70% battery left with the A9.

      EVF is much nicer, clearer and no blackout, AT ALL

      Feel has been refined, grip, etc.

      Dual SD slots

      Better in low light/high ISO (though small)

      Control dial on top to avoid menu diving

      Better color/exposure coming from the A9 than my A7RII

      for me, the overall AF speed improvements are also nice. For others the tracking AF will be very attractive.

      The A9 is for everyone and anyone who loves photography. It can do anything you need, and with ease. Sports, action, portraits, studio, street, still life, and yes even landscape though I will say the RII would be the better option for a landscape shooter if that is all you do.

      Everything else I would take the A9 in a nanosecond over the A7RII.

    • Joel
      I believe they are in raw because Llyold said in jpg the compression may take out some of the noises. It would be interest you or Steve take a look at ISO 100 and see the same thing?

        • C’mon Steve that is unfair to Lloyd Chambers. He is a very respected reviewer. You are providing test photos just like he is. His were at 100 ISO , yours are at 50K + ISO. His images that show the base line noise and banding are correctly exposed evenly lit shots . Not some extreme test chart image.

          • I never mentioned Lloyd, not once. I was referring to tech review site like DP review, not LC. Many reviewers do things in reviews that truly have nothing to do with real world use. But anyway, I do not see any banding at ISO 100, in any of my shots at that ISO, under any circumstance. I tried to replicate it, and no go. I just see gorgeous IQ, at almost any ISO.

          • @Huss: You understand DiggyLloyd’s business model right? No one is going subscribe to his site just so they can read how perfect every camera is. He’s a bonafide nit-picker. Put the camera on the bench and drill down – it’s what he does. Don’t get me wrong, I respect what he does and how he does it and nine times out of ten, I agree with him to a point. But the flip side of that is nine times out of ten, his findings do not translate or are of minimal consequence to my experience. If you want to see your camera under an electron microscope you go there, if you want to see a more realistic take on how the camera will perform in your hands, you come here.

    • That Wolldecke be very interesting, because I also have “lots” of patterns Ehen using electronic shutter in dark areas when pushing the shadows

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