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Sony A7R delivers, even at high sensitivities (photo samples)

With its high-resolution, AA-filter-free full-frame sensor, the Alpha ILCE-7R looks sharp.

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Lori Grunin

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1 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

Low ISO sensitivity JPEGs

You can start to see a tiny bit of processing artifacts at ISO 800, but I consider it quite clean.
Lab tests performed with the Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA; field tests performed with that lens as well as the Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA.
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2 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

High ISO sensitivity JPEGs

Shadow detail starts to suffer at ISO 1600; you can see some processing artifacts on well-illuminated detail at that point, but no serious detail degradation until about ISO 6400.
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3 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

A7R vs. A7, ISO 100 JPEG

You can really see the difference between the sensors in the A7 and A7R.
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4 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

Bokeh, 55mm lens

I really like the Zeiss 55mm f1.8 ZA lens in general, and it plus the camera delivers soft, smooth and round out-of-focus highlights.
(1/80 sec, f3.5, spot metering, AWB, ISO 100, 55mm)
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5 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 100 JPEG

Given the distance I was from the squirrel with a not-very-long lens, the detail resolution looks quite good.
(1/60 sec, f5, multi metering, AWB, ISO 100, 55mm)
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6 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 800 JPEG

You can see artifacts, but the camera retains sufficient detail to be able to render readable text at this distance. It looks clean and sharp printed at 13x19 as well.
(1/80 sec, f2, multi metering, AWB, ISO 800, 55mm)
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7 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 1600 JPEG

JPEGs at ISO 1600 show some smearing on textures, but can still retain quite a bit of detail.
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8 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

Highlight recovery

As ISO sensitivity rises, a camera tends to increasingly clip highlights. The A7R preserves quite a bit of detail in the highlights that you can recover by shooting raw. (Whoops. Forgot to label the shot: raw on the left, JPEG on the right.)
(1/10 sec, f2.8, multi metering, AWB, ISO 1600, 55mm)
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9 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 3200, raw vs. JPEG

You can get some increased sharpness by processing raw starting at about ISO 1600.
(1/80 sec, f2.5, multi metering, AWB, ISO 3200, 55mm)
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10 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 6400, shadow detail

Normally it's quite difficult to recover any shadow detail in high ISO sensitivity images; while I wish it hadn't been lost by the JPEG, you can see it's still there.
(1/200 sec, f5, multi metering, AWB, ISO 6400, 55mm)
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11 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 12800 JPEG

I wouldn't use the JPEGs full size at this high a sensitivity, but they're serviceable scaled down, and shooting raw lets you recover more detail.
(1/80 sec, f5.6, multi metering, AWB, ISO 12800, 55mm)
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12 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

Colors

In its default settings, the A7R renders pretty accurate colors.
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13 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

Reds

While the camera definitely shifts hues in JPEGs with oversaturated reds, it still retains detail in the oversaturated areas. Raw shots are more accurate.
(1/80 sec, f6.3, multi metering, AWB, ISO 100, 55mm)
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14 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

Creative Styles

The default Standard Creative Style shifts hues a little, but doesn't push contrast too much.

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