I while ago I wrote a post about the low noise performance of the Pentax K-5 when used an high ISO and I thought it would be interesting to also look at the performance of my Sony Nex 6 when used in high ISO. It’s particularly interesting at the moment since this is the time of year when most days are murky and it’s quite common to be taking pictures using the high ISO setting on the camera.
All the pictures above were taken at an iso setting of at least 6400 as I walked home from work in a semi-dark Stevenage. The results are I think reasonably impressive in that I was able to take all these pictures hand held in what is almost dark with just street lighting. Obviously the dark parts of the images are quite grainy and the detail is quite mushy but by no means un-usable; you can see better detail by looking at the full size versions here.
However if I compare the results with pictures taken at similar iso on the Pentax K-5 I think there is a noticeable degradation in the sony pictures. Although this wouldn’t persuade me to carry all the weight of the Pentax around for normal shooting, I might use the DSLR if I was taking pictures in reduced lighting.
The lens used was a takumar 55mm f/1.8 fitted on a camdiox focal reducer which gives an effective max aperture of about f/1.2. The post processing was done in Lightroom 5 but only to remove some highlight over exposure and set the colour balance. I didn’t apply any noise reduction to the images at all – these are raw images converted in lightroom to jpeg with the noise reduction the camera applies only.