Sony A77 II High ISO Noise Reduction

The Sony A77 II offers only three High ISO Noise Reduction settings: "Off", "Low" and "Normal" (default). The user manual doesn't say at what sensitivity High ISO Noise Reduction begins to be applied, so we've included crops from ISO 50 on up to find out.

See for yourself how the the default and lowest noise reduction settings compare to RAW files with no noise reduction or sharpening applied. Click on any of the crops below to see the corresponding full-sized image.

High ISO Noise Reduction Comparison
In-Camera JPEGs vs RAW
Simulated Daylight
Normal
Off
RAW (No NR)
I
S
O

5
0
Normal
Off
RAW (No NR)
I
S
O

1
0
0
Normal
Off
RAW (No NR)
I
S
O

2
0
0
Normal
Off
RAW (No NR)
I
S
O

4
0
0
Normal
Off
RAW (No NR)
I
S
O

8
0
0
Normal
Off
RAW (No NR)
I
S
O

1
6
0
0
Normal
Off
RAW (No NR)
I
S
O

3
2
0
0
Normal
Off
RAW (No NR)
I
S
O

6
4
0
0
Normal
Off
RAW (No NR)
I
S
O

1
2
8
0
0
Normal
Off
RAW (No NR)
I
S
O

2
5
6
0
0

As you can see, the Sony A77 II's High ISO Noise Reduction already has a noticeable effect at sensitivities as low as ISO 50, and the "Off" setting really isn't off, which is usually the case for all cameras. (Apologies for the overexposure in ISO 50 JPEGs as the A77 II's ISO 50 setting is actually closer to ISO 100.)

The A77 II's high ISO performance in RAW files is noticeably improved over the A77 though it still slightly trails the best of recent APS-C competitors, likely in part due to the approximately 0.5 EV light loss incurred by the translucent mirror. The A77 II's JPEG noise reduction has also improved over its predecessor but it's still overly aggressive at higher ISOs. Moiré is also slightly more visible than its predecessor indicative of a weaker OLPF, or perhaps the Mark II's translucent mirror has less of an impact to sharpness.

Overall, though, the Sony A77 II offers a welcome improvement in image quality over the A77.

 



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