Sony A900 Samples and ISO Test

Sony A900 is one of the most attractive DSLR at the moment, because it is Sony’s 1st full frame DSLR, and Sony A900 provides the highest pixel count full frame sensor amount the same level competitors like Canon EOS 5D mark II and Nikon D700.

Sony a900 + Sony 24-70 mm lens

Sony a900 + Sony 24-70 mm lens

Sony A900 was announced at early September 2008 (Sony A900 (Alpha 900) announcement), after almost 2 months, Sony A900 finally available in the camera shops. So, it is the time that we can do some real photo test.

Most suitable lens for Sony A900

In order to get the most out of the 24 mega-pixel full frame sensor, you would need a very high quality lens. Amount all the Sony zoom lenses, the highest quality and most useful lens is the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70 F2.8 ZA SSM (SAL-2470Z).

Sony 24-70 mm lens - Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar

Sony 24-70 mm lens - Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar

The Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar f2.8 24-70mm Zoom Lens is a brilliant all-around performer. It is equipped with SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) design for fast, silent auto-focus, pro-quality Carl Zeiss T* coated optics to reduce lens flare, and 17-element design with two aspherical and two ED glass lens elements to minimize distortion and virtually eliminate chromatic aberration.

sony a900 + sony 24-70 mm (45 degree)

sony a900 + sony 24-70 mm (45 degree)

Can Sony A900 take DT lenses?

A lot of people ask the same question “Can Sony A900 use DT lenses?”, the answer is YES but……..

DT stands for “Digital Technology, which is Minolta A-type bayonet mount lenses (A mount). In terms of Canon lenses, DT is equals to EF-s; in terms of Nikon lenses, DT is equals to DX. DT lenese are designed for “crop DSLR” (1.5x crop).

Sony A900 can take DT lenses (Nikon D700 can take DX lenses, but Canon 5D / 5D II can NOT take EF-s lenses), but you can only use the DT lenses in APS-C mode; that means only use the center part of the sensor to take a 11 mega-pixel picture (similar case for Nikon D700). You may check on Sony’s website that DT lenses are compatible with A900 (click “Compatibility”). So, if you are going to buy Sony A900, you should choose G series and Carl Zeiss lenses.

Sony Alpha A900 24.6MP Digital SLR Camera + Transcend 4GB Compact Flash + Willoughbys Starter Kit

Lens Test : Sony A900 + Carl Zeiss 24-70mm

Before we begin with the sample photos, let’s have a lens test 1st, so we can know how well the Sony A900 and Carl Zeiss 24-70mm lens work together.

As we discussed in the last post (Best Photo Quality System – Full Frame, ASP-C or 3/4), full frame sensors use up the whole photo area of the lens. So, you can expect the photo quality of the corners may not as high as the photo quality at the center area. However, Carl Zeiss 24-70mm is a new lens that come with latest lens design from the famous Carl Zeiss and it cost US$1,700+; so we hope that this Sony 24-70mm lens would deliever some exceptional photo quality.

sony a900 + 24-70mm lens test - wide end (24mm)

sony a900 + 24-70mm lens test - wide end

sony a900 + 24-70mm lens test - wide end - center 100% crop

sony a900 + 24-70mm lens test - wide end - center 100% crop

sony a900 + 24-70mm lens test - wide end - corner 100% crop

sony a900 + 24-70mm lens test - wide end - corner 100% crop

sony a900 + 24-70mm lens test - tele end (70mm)

sony a900 + 24-70mm lens test - tele end (70mm)

sony a900 + 24-70mm lens test - tele end - center 100% crop

sony a900 + 24-70mm lens test - tele end - center 100% crop

sony a900 + 24-70mm lens test - tele end - corner 100% crop

sony a900 + 24-70mm lens test - tele end - corner 100% crop

So, you can see the center 100% crop photos shown very high quality, that is what we expected from a top level zoom lens. Meanwhile, from the corner 100% crop photos, the photo quality is not really good enough for a top class lens. One way to explain the low corner quality is that the 24 mega-pixel full frame sensor is large and extremely high resolution; so any quality problem can be seen more clearly.

Sony A900 ISO Test 1 – Out door night photos

As you may know, high ISO noise problem is a common drawbackfor high pixel desity sensors. So, you may be very interested to know how well Sony A900’s 24 mega-pixel full frame sensor handle the high ISO noise problem.

Here are some ISO test photos taken by Sony A900 + Sony 24-70mm lens at night.

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 100

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 100

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 100 - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 100 - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 200

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 200

sony a900 iso test 1 iso - 200 crop - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 iso - 200 crop - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 400

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 400

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 400 - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 400 - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 800

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 800

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 800 - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 800 - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 1600

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 1600

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 1600 - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 1600 - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 3200

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 3200

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 3200 - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 3200 - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 6400

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 6400

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 6400 - 100% crop

sony a900 iso test 1 - iso 6400 - 100% crop

From the ISO test sample photos, we can see that Sony A900 works well up to ISO 800; but from ISO 1600 on, the noise jump up a lot.

Sony A900 ISO Test 2 – Indoor studio photos

Outdoor night photos may give you some idea how well A900 perform at high ISO environment. Here are some indoor studio ISO test photos that would let you see more clearly how well A900 handle high ISO noise.

sony a900 iso test 2 - iso 100

sony a900 iso test 2 - iso 100

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 100 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 100 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 200

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 200

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 200 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 200 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 400

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 400

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 400 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 400 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 800

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 800

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 800 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 800 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 1600

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 1600

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 1600 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 1600 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 3200

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 3200

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 3200 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 3200 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 6400

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 6400

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 6400 crop

sony a900 iso test 2 iso 6400 crop

From the studio ISO test photos, you can see that Sony A900 works well up to ISO 800; but from ISO 1600 on the noise jump up and lost a lot of details. So, if you want to get the highest photo quality out of Sony A900, you should not use ISO 1600 or above.

Sony A900 sample photos

Sony A900 finally arrived to the camera shops, so it is time to use the production version of A900 to take some high quality sample photos. We expected that the 24 mega-pixel full frame sensor and the Sony 24-70mm lens can provide extremely detailed photos.

So, here are some sample photos taken by Sony A900 + Sony 24-70mm lens at low ISO.

sony a900 sample 1

sony a900 sample 1

sony a900 sample 2

sony a900 sample 2

sony a900 sample 3

sony a900 sample 3

sony a900 sample 3 crop

sony a900 sample 3 crop

sony a900 sample 4

sony a900 sample 4

sony a900 sample 4 crop

sony a900 sample 4 crop

sony a900 sample 5

sony a900 sample 5

sony a900 sample 5 crop

sony a900 sample 5 crop

sony a900 sample 6

sony a900 sample 6

sony a900 sample 6 crop

sony a900 sample 6 crop

sony a900 sample 7

sony a900 sample 7

sony a900 sample 7 crop

sony a900 sample 7 crop

sony a900 sample 8

sony a900 sample 8

sony a900 sample 8 crop

sony a900 sample 8 crop

sony a900 sample 9

sony a900 sample 9

sony a900 sample 9 crop

sony a900 sample 9 crop

sony a900 sample 10

sony a900 sample 10

sony a900 sample 10 crop

sony a900 sample 10 crop

sony a900 sample 11

sony a900 sample 11

sony a900 sample 11 crop

sony a900 sample 11 crop

sony a900 sample 12

sony a900 sample 12

sony a900 sample 13

sony a900 sample 13

sony a900 sample 14

sony a900 sample 14

sony a900 sample 15

sony a900 sample 15

sony a900 sample 16

sony a900 sample 16

sony a900 sample 17

sony a900 sample 17

sony a900 sample 18

sony a900 sample 18

sony a900 sample 18 crop

sony a900 sample 18 crop

sony a900 sample 19

sony a900 sample 19

sony a900 sample 20

sony a900 sample 20

sony a900 sample 21

sony a900 sample 21

sony a900 sample 22

sony a900 sample 22

sony a900 sample 23

sony a900 sample 23

sony a900 sample 23 crop

sony a900 sample 23 crop

sony a900 sample 24

sony a900 sample 24

sony a900 sample 24 crop

sony a900 sample 24 crop

From the sample photos, you can see that the photo sharpness and color reproduction of Sony A900 + Sony 24-70mm lens is really well. From the 100% crop of the sample photos, you may be astonished by the extreme details captured by Sony A900’s 24 mega-pixel sensor.

Conclusion

We are very happy with photo quality of Sony A900 at low ISO situation, we are amazed by the fine details captured by the 24 mega-pixel full frame sensor; although the photo quality at corcers is not as high as we expected.

From the sample photos of the bird (sample 7), flowers and butterflies, you can see that Sony A900 can capture extreme fine details; which make Sony A900 one of the best choice for take photos of birds and insects, simply be Sony A900 produce the highest pixel count photos at the US$3,000 price range at this moment. (The long awaited Canon 5D mark II is still not available in shops yet, at the time of this writing).

The drawback of using a high pixel count full frame DSLR is, you need the top of the class lenses too. Even the top class Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70 F2.8 ZA SSM shown some corner weakness, if you use a normal class zoom lens on Sony A900, you may expect to see all the photo quality weaknesses of the lens like never before.

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Posted in Sony | 1 Comment » November 9th, 2008

One Response
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