Home · Register · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Sony Forum | Join Upload & Sell

       2       3              9       10       end
  

Archive 2015 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.

  
 
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.
Continuing our discussing on this subject that started here.

It's documented on the Sony's A7RII Help guide that resolution is limited to 12 bits when using the following shooting modes:
*My commentary below the modes.
  1. Silent Shooting
    *I would turn this mode OFF for critical work

  2. Long Exposure NR (when the camera automatically captures a black frame after the exposure)
    *I would turn this mode OFF and capture a black frame instead

  3. Bulb (more than 30 sec. exposure)
    *Once you pass 30 seconds your files will gain 1-stop more noise and have 1-stop less dynamic rage. If you are doing Nightcapes and need ISO 400 or higher, the noise increase from the bits reduction will be unnoticeable according to the article below. Another workaround is to take several 30-second exposures and stack them in Photoshop as Smart Object –> Stack Mode -> Summation. So (2) 30-seconds stacked this way will end up looking the same as a 1-minute exposure.

  4. Continuous Shooting. (Including Bracketing continuous shooting)
    *When using Bracketing, do not set the camera to continuous shooting

Jim Kasson put this to test with the A7II and was able to verity something that we had suspected from the initial A7RII online samples. 12 bits will make your shadows worse by about 1 stop and the image will also lose about 1-stop of dynamic range. It's very noticeable when recovering shadows in post-processing.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

"When the shutter is not set to bulb, and the shutter mode is set to continuous drive, speed-continuous drive, continuous bracketing, A7s’s silent shutter, and any possible combination of these, the linear, pre-tone-curve, bit depth of the camera is 12 bits. With all other settings, including single bracketing, the linear bit depth is 13 bits.

The loss of precision associated with the affected shutter modes causes an increase in the read noise by about one stop, a decrease in the dynamic range by about a stop, and more shadow noise, as can be seen in this photon transfer curve of the a7II’s performance in the two modes."

Read Full Article

For landscape photography the only real issue will be Bulb mode as other modes can be avoided. The good news is that the loss of precision associated with the Bulb shutter mode can only be really noticed at base ISO. The higher the ISO setting the less noticeable this side-effect will be since there is little analog read noise to dither the ADC signal.

Your thoughts?



Aug 03, 2015 at 12:03 PM
GMPhotography
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


Tend to agree. Most of these things are avoidable in the first place for landscape shooting. Also even with long exposures say early early morning shots with maybe ND filters on and such you will be running mostly at base ISO anyway and with such large DR going on , not sure it will affect us too much. Like everything with every system there are compromises . We as photographers need to figure those out and create workarounds for them. I view this as not a big deal but I am also hoping these things maybe changed with what they say they are working on is loosy compression files.

If you ask me this maybe the biggest issue we are facing. Everything else from the A7r seems to have been fixed or added features that where needed have been addressed. Leica M shooters need to remember also they bought Sony and Sony sells Sony glass and they will never directly support 3rd party lenses , although some things like Canon glass with there designs and 3rd party adapters will see a bonus here. People need to remember this as you bought Sony and you can't sit here and moan about your Leica 24mm M lens that gets smearing, thats your issue not Sonys. Folks need to have the proper perspective on this stuff, its not about you but as a system that you are buying into. Either its what you need or not, its up to you to do your homework and figure this stuff out. I come from many many systems and that includes high end digital Medium Format backs and even at 50k there are tons of work arounds to deal with, its not about what you pay for it that solves the issues its using you learned knowledge how to get around stuff like these and work the system for its best effect.

Im not thrilled at dropping down to 12 bit with these settings but lets remember this before you hit the buy button and understand it than moaning about it after the fact. I have been doing this for 40 years and there is not anything remotely close to perfect. I will say this though I am really looking forward to replacing my A7r as if you got everything correct with it the files are outstanding for 35mm FF shooting. Given the new feature sets and issues that are now fixed, I am expecting even better results. End of day regardless of costs its always going to be about the IQ of the files. From what i have seen already I think Sony nailed it. Unfortunately sometimes things like this issue Fred brought up are issues we will have to deal with.

So I propose this instead of the bitching and moaning. Lets work on those workarounds that will actually HELP end users. Im all in on that one once we get this in our hands and see first hand.



Aug 03, 2015 at 12:29 PM
snapsy
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


Regarding the Silent Shooting mode (fully-electronic shutter), I think the decision on using it for critical work will depend on whether it further reduces shutter vibration vs the EFCS mode (Electronic First Curtain Shutter). The majority of shutter vibration for most exposures occurs from the first curtain because that curtain moves as the exposure is starting and thus has more time to resonate through the camera during the exposure, whereas the second curtain moves as the exposure is ending and thus most of its vibration should resonate after the exposure is over. Both modes will be significant improvements over the A7r because without an EFCS you have the additional vibration from the second curtain closing before the exposure even starts (see the video here for a demonstration of non-EFCS shutter movements).

I suspect the Silent Shutter wont noticeably reduce image blur vs the EFCS. But if it does the extra noise from its 12-bit operation can be offset by bracketing the exposure even for cases where bracketing wouldn't otherwise be called for, to increase the SNR of the entire final image esp from the deep shadows where the 12-bit operation has the biggest negative impact.



Aug 03, 2015 at 12:38 PM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


GMPhotography wrote:
Tend to agree. Most of these things are avoidable in the first place for landscape shooting. Also even with long exposures say early early morning shots with maybe ND filters on and such you will be running mostly at base ISO anyway and with such large DR going on , not sure it will affect us too much. Like everything with every system there are compromises . We as photographers need to figure those out and create workarounds for them. I view this as not a big deal but I am also hoping these things maybe changed with what they
...Show more

Long exposures are not affected. Only when they exceed 30 seconds (Bulb mode)
In Bulb mode, base ISO makes the bit reduction more noticeable as the article demonstrated.

In my opinion, the bit reduction is way more noticeable than the RAW compression. the RAW compression does not bother me at all as you need special conditions to make it show on the images. I demonstrated that in my review and after shooting exclusively with the A7R, it never show up in any of my images.



Aug 03, 2015 at 12:41 PM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


snapsy wrote:
I suspect the Silent Shutter wont noticeably reduce image blur vs the EFCS. But if it does the extra noise from its 12-bit operation can be offset by bracketing the exposure even for cases where bracketing wouldn't otherwise be called for, to increase the SNR of the entire final image esp from the deep shadows where the 12-bit operation has the biggest negative impact.


I'm hoping EFCS will completely remove image blur. We will find out soon enough.



Aug 03, 2015 at 12:45 PM
GMPhotography
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


Fred Miranda wrote:
Long exposures are not affected. Only when they exceed 30 seconds (Bulb mode)
In Bulb mode, base ISO makes the bit reduction more noticeable as the article demonstrated.

In my opinion, the bit reduction is way more noticeable than the RAW compression. the RAW compression does not bother me at all as you need special conditions to make it show on the images. I demonstrated that in my review and after shooting exclusively with the A7R, it never show up in any of my images.


Thanks Fred I misunderstood that first part as far as the Raw compression issue that has been talked about so much. I never ran into a issue ever either. Like to see the loosy compression just to end the debate myself.



Aug 03, 2015 at 12:50 PM
retrofocus
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


I am waiting to see the tests with the A7R II come in, and those things mentioned here are useful to know. For my kind of shooting, it might mostly affect potentially silent shooting - already on my A7R I have long exposure NR deactivated, rarely use Bulb mode or exposures > 30 seconds, nearly never used the continuous shooting mode either.


Aug 03, 2015 at 12:51 PM
jamato8
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


GMPhotography wrote:
. . .

If you ask me this maybe the biggest issue we are facing. Everything else from the A7r seems to have been fixed or added features that where needed have been addressed. Leica M shooters need to remember also they bought Sony and Sony sells Sony glass and they will never directly support 3rd party lenses , although some things like Canon glass with there designs and 3rd party adapters will see a bonus here. People need to remember this as you bought Sony and you can't sit here and moan about your Leica 24mm M lens
...Show more

What Sony has a is a camera they promote as being adaptable to many different lenses. That is how they are wedging this into the market. So why would people be expected to focus on native glass when Sony puts this out as a camera that amenable to a wide array of lenses on the market?



Aug 03, 2015 at 01:04 PM
snapsy
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


jamato8 wrote:
What Sony has a is a camera they promote as being adaptable to many different lenses. That is how they are wedging this into the market. So why would people be expected to focus on native glass when Sony puts this out as a camera that amenable to a wide array of lenses on the market?


Agreed - Sony even bundles non-native lens adapters with their A7-series bodies in certain markets, so it's clear that Sony understands and even intends these cameras to be used with third-party lenses.



Aug 03, 2015 at 01:10 PM
snapsy
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


GMPhotography wrote:
Im not thrilled at dropping down to 12 bit with these settings but lets remember this before you hit the buy button and understand it than moaning about it after the fact. I have been doing this for 40 years and there is not anything remotely close to perfect.


I think most would agree but if camera makers want their installed base to keep dropping thousands of dollars on body iterations then the onus is on them to continue reducing the gap between what's offered and perfection.



Aug 03, 2015 at 01:14 PM
vario1
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


Snapsy
Can you give me an example where Sony is actually packaging a non-native lens adapter with the camera, not the camera store?
I have yet to see that, but, YMMV.



Aug 03, 2015 at 01:20 PM
retrofocus
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


snapsy wrote:
Agreed - Sony even bundles non-native lens adapters with their A7-series bodies in certain markets, so it's clear that Sony understands and even intends these cameras to be used with third-party lenses.


True so especially for the Metabone adapter to be used with Canon lenses - clearly Sony wants to get a bite from the Canon camera market. Also the improved AF performance of Canon lenses with adapter on the Sony A7R II is likely because Sony knows that many photographers are vested in Canon lens gear and prefer using those lenses first. The approach is first to make them enjoy the new mirrorless system and then hopefully they will upgrade later to FE lenses, too.

Regarding MF shooters with alt gear - I have two thoughts here. One is my experience at a Sony sponsered mirrorless event where Sony specifically showed an A7 camera with MF adapter bundled with a Nikon MF lens to make people aware of this option. So clearly Sony uses it as marketing advantage. On the other hand, I have a hard time believing that the use of MF/alt lens gear on A7 series cameras is a focus area for Sony at the moment. Rather the focus is on improved AF capability in general. That's why I am a bit cautious at the moment to be too over-excited about the A7R II - some improvements might come with debits in another area even it certainly doesn't look that this is the case right now since the backlit sensor should even improve some alt lens performance.



Aug 03, 2015 at 01:21 PM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


vario1 wrote:
Snapsy
Can you give me an example where Sony is actually packaging a non-native lens adapter with the camera, not the camera store?
I have yet to see that, but, YMMV.


Outside the US they did that when the A7R was released. However it was the Metabones for Canon as they know it works great.

Going back to the 12-bits reduction...
It's worth pointing out that this shortcoming was not introduced with the A7RII. It got more attention now because it's properly documented.
The shooting modes listed above affect all A7 series cameras.



Aug 03, 2015 at 01:22 PM
retrofocus
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


vario1 wrote:
Snapsy
Can you give me an example where Sony is actually packaging a non-native lens adapter with the camera, not the camera store?
I have yet to see that, but, YMMV.


It was done with the original A7 series in Australia (with Metabones III adapter) - unfortunately not here in the US or in Europe.



Aug 03, 2015 at 01:23 PM
snapsy
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


Fred Miranda wrote:
Outside the US they did that when the A7R was released. However it was the Metabones for Canon as they know it works great.


Works great with some lenses, provided the adapter was a well-centered!



Aug 03, 2015 at 01:28 PM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


snapsy wrote:
Works great with some lenses, provided the adapter was a well-centered!


True, I went through 3 adapters to find a centered one. (parallel mounting flanges)
Reminded me of the pain of buying a Samyang lens.



Aug 03, 2015 at 01:32 PM
jamato8
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


Fred Miranda wrote:
Outside the US they did that when the A7R was released. However it was the Metabones for Canon as they know it works great.

Going back to the 12-bits reduction...
It's worth pointing out that this shortcoming was not introduced with the A7RII. It got more attention now because it's properly documented.
The shooting modes listed above affect all A7 series cameras.


And as we expect more from the camera, because Sony states there is more, people would understandably concerned when what should be more, becomes less. Some say we can't expect a perfect camera, true as expectations are different, but we should be able to expect to get what they say will be delivered, without having to read the fine print. I will not make an excuse for a camera company because they fail to meet the standards they have set forth.



Aug 03, 2015 at 01:48 PM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


jamato8 wrote:
And as we expect more from the camera, because Sony states there is more, people would understandably concerned when what should be more, becomes less. Some say we can't expect a perfect camera, true as expectations are different, but we should be able to expect to get what they say will be delivered, without having to read the fine print. I will not make an excuse for a camera company because they fail to meet the standards they have set forth.


I agree and discussing these shortcomings and ways to avoid them is beneficial to anyone considering this camera.



Aug 03, 2015 at 02:14 PM
gdanmitchell
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


jamato8 wrote:
Some say we can't expect a perfect camera, true as expectations are different, but we should be able to expect to get what they say will be delivered, without having to read the fine print.


This is a familiar pattern, I think, with just about all cameras and brands as they go through the announcement, first sales, and wide-spread usage cycle — not just a Sony thing. I see the three phases roughly as follows:

1. Announcement — Many hope/expect that product will be "miraculous" in some way and focus on the positives.

2. First sales — As the product gets into the hands of the first buyers, who put it to practical use and look for its limits, things are discovered — both positive (it is as good or better than expected) and negative (ways in which it doesn't quite match the expectations).

3. Wide-spread use — For the most part, the initial "extreme" (positive and negative) reactions smooth out and the great majority of users find that the product is very good and works quite, expectations and reality come into better alignment, and buyers come to understand more fully both the inevitable pluses and minuses.

(Though this Sony thread inspired this post, it is not meant as a specific comment — much less a negative comment — on the very interesting Sony camera offerings as much as it is meant as a general comment on the process that accompanies the release of new products.)

I like Fred's comment in the post above mine.

YMMV,

Dan



Aug 03, 2015 at 02:55 PM
dennishh
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · A7RII 12-bit mode. How to avoid it.


Great discussion!

Edited on Aug 04, 2015 at 11:37 AM · View previous versions



Aug 03, 2015 at 04:01 PM
       2       3              9       10       end




FM Forums | Sony Forum | Join Upload & Sell

       2       3              9       10       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username       Or Reset password



This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.