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Noise profile

JPEG artifacts

JPEG, ISO 800

Noise, ISO 3200

A77V vs. Canon EOS 7D, ISO 1600 JPEG

A77V vs. Canon EOS 7D, ISO 3200 no NR

Sharpness

Color settings

Colors

Bokeh, 16-50mm lens

Video, good light

Video, low light

Overall, the A77 delivers a solid noise profile for its class. On JPEGs, you can see just a hair of degradation on edges at ISO 800, but casually noticeable noise-suppression artifacts don't kick in until ISO 1600. JPEG artifacts are another story (see next slide).
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
At midrange ISO sensitivities, I spotted the occasional compression artifacts (top), which take the form of excessive blockiness.
(1/30 sec, f2.8, ISO 800, AWB, pattern metering, 16-50mm lens at 40mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
You can see how the combination of noise suppression and sharpening both mushes up and emphasizes detail on Grace's fur and eye, producing a slightly special-effect-type look.
(1/100 sec, f2.8, ISO 800, AWB, pattern metering, 16-50mm lens at 35mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
You can get results with fewer artifacts by shooting raw at ISO 3200.
(1/40 sec, f4, ISO 3200, AWB, pattern metering, 16-50mm lens at 40mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
At ISO 1600, I'd call it a tie for JPEGs: they both have some artifacts, though not egregious ones, and are close enough that it's a matter of taste.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Without any noise reduction applied (in Adobe Camera Raw), this is what the two cameras produce. I think the size of the "grain" is what determines the type of noise-reduction artifacts you'll see. When processed, however, the images look extremely close.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
For the most part, the camera does a good job of sharpening JPEGs without going overboard, at least at the default settings. The lens is nicely sharp as well.
(1/160 sec, f5.6, ISO 200, AWB, pattern metering, 16-50mm lens at 50mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
While I don't like the way Sony's default Creative Style color setting pushes the hues, the A77's Neutral setting works quite well.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Just a few examples of the A77's color rendering. Some were shot using the default Standard Creative Style setting--the two shots of roses on the left and bottom right tuber--and the others using the Neutral option.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
I really like the new 16-50mm lens; in addition to being able to be bright, fast, and able to focus fairly closely, it produces lovely out-of-focus highlights.
(1/80 sec, f2.8, ISO 100, AWB, spot metering, 16-50mm lens at 26mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The A77V produces excellent video, with a nice tonal range and no artifacts like moiré or rolling shutter. (Crop from frame grab at 100 percent)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The low-light video gets soft, but overall is pretty good for its class. (Crop from frame grab at 100 percent)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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