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Sony Alpha A5000 Ken McMahon, May 2014
 
 

Sony A5000 vs Nikon D3300 Noise JPEG

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  Sony Alpha A5000 results
1 Sony A5000 Quality JPEG
2 Sony A5000 Quality RAW
3 Sony A5000 Noise JPEG
4 Sony A5000 Noise RAW
5 Sony A5000 Sample images

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Sony A5000 and the Nikon D3300 within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings.

For this test the 16-50mm kit lens on the Sony A5000 was zoomed in a little to match the 18mm wide angle on the Nikon D3300's 18-55mm kit lens

I'd previously determined that the best quality on the A5000 was produced when the aperture was set to f5.6, so both models were set to f5.6 in Aperture Priority mode. For this test the cameras were mounted on a tripod and image stabilisation was disabled. RAW noise results follow on the next page.


The image above was taken with the Sony A5000. The A5000 was set to Aperture Priority exposure mode and at f5.6 metered an exposure of 0.8s at its base 100 ISO sensitivity setting. The Nikon D3300, also set to f5.6 in Aperture Priority mode and 100 ISO metered the same 0.8s exposure. As usual, the crops are taken from the area marked in red above.

In the crops below we're comparing the 20.1 megapixel sensor of the Sony A5000 alongside the 24.2 megapixel sensor of the Nikon D3300. The latter's crops therefore show a smaller area with larger image detail. Both cameras selected the same exposure for this scene, but the D3300's have a slightly warmer white balance.

With the same size sensor and a higher pixel count you might expect the Nikon D3300 to be noisier than the A5000, but casting your eye up and down the two columns of crops here what's most striking is the similarity in terms of noise levels. Both models start out with very clean looking crops at 100 ISO, and as you progress up the sensitivity scale and down the table the increase in noise levels is very slight. So slight, that you have to look closely to spot the difference between adjacent crops - 200 ISO isn't only just perceptibly noisier than 100 ISO, 400 ISO only slightly up on 200 ISO. It's actually a little easier to spot the difference if you make a 2EV jump - 100 to 400 ISO, but even then, there isn't a big hike in the noise levels.

Both models maintain impressively low noise levels right up to 1600 ISO where they're both still looking very similar. Beyond that, they still look pretty good even at 3200 ISO. At 6400 ISO the noise is becoming more intrusive and in the first sign of difference, the A5000 does look a tiny bit clumpier than the D3300 crop. The same is true of 12800 ISO and the A5000 crops also begin to look more desaturated, though that might just be a consequence of the warmer colour balance in the D3300 crops.

So at the very top of the ISO sensitivity range the Nikon D3300 would appear to have a bit of an advantage over the lower resolution A5000, but below 6400 ISO there really isn't anything in it.

While the D3300 tops out at 12800 ISO compared with 16000 ISO on the A5000, the latter offers composite modes that produce lower noise results at high ISO settings including Handheld Twilight mode which sets the ISO automatically. It's a little disappointing not to see Multi Frame Noise Reduction, which allows you to set the ISO manually, included, though you can always install the app for the cost of a few dollars.

Now head over to my Sony A5000 RAW noise results, or my Sony A5000 sample images, or skip straight to my verdict.


Sony A5000 JPEG
 
Nikon D3300 JPEG
100 ISO
100 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
6400 ISO
6400 ISO
12800 ISO
12800 ISO
16000 ISO
Not tested
25600 ISO Not available
25600 ISO

Sony A5000 results : Quality / Noise


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