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Acceptable Noise Level A7IV 4k Video


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Hi all, 

I just upgraded from my Nikon D3100 to an A7IV (I know big upgrade 😂). Since I've never owned a nice full frame from the A7 line (or at all), I have no frame of reference for what an acceptable noise level is on this camera. I have to say, I'm a bit skeptical of the results I'm getting, especially in comparison to results I see on Youtube and such from the same camera. My questions are essentially, is the amount of noise/grain in these samples a "normal" amount of noise? Am I doing something terribly wrong while shooting and/or in post? Could the camera potentially have a defective sensor? Have I set my expectations too high? 

These are all stills from videos shot in mid-day indirect sunlight with ISO around 3200 (second native), except for the one with the blue locker which was an indoor lowlight shot at ISO 25600. All of them were S-Gamut3.Cine S-Log3 and monitoring as Rec709 in Davinci Resolve when taking the screenshot. 4 of them were shot with a vintage lens, the one with the orange dumpster was shot with the kit lens. All were over exposed by 1-2 stops. 


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    • I mostly see posterization artifacts, which are the result of lossy compressed RAW files (or bad jpeg conversion). Unfortunately, the A6400 doesn't offer uncompressed or lossless compressed RAW. The noise might indeed result from the smaller sensor than what you're used to. If you're not shooting at max aperture, you could try shooting at wider aperture and lower ISO. When you're not shooting at max aperture, fullframe versus APS-C shouldn't matter much in terms of ISO-performance combined with depth of field: at the same ISO and aperture value, fullframe offers better noise performance but with a narrower depth of field. This can be offset by choosing a larger aperture and lower ISO on the APS-C camera. If you want a fullframe camera the size of an A6400, try the A7C(ii).
    • ..unfortunately, the lighting was correct. The shot required deeper shadows. The K1 ff didnt have these banding issues [yes, I know the sensor is larger]. The film shots had details in the same light. The sony files, both the jpg and raw, had this banding/noise - with NO retouch or post adjustments [straight out of the camera]. the camera was purchased new a few years ago and I am trying to determine if there is something wrong, or the settings are wrong, or the camera just cant handle this kind of lighting [studio + softbox]. No shadow detail is one thing... banding/noise in the shadows is unacceptable. Does sony have a body this size that is FF ? Im wondering if that would make a difference..  dw
    • The root causes for banding are uneven lighting, incorrect exposure settings, or compression artefacts or certain kinds of artificial lighting, especially LED lights. Also the lens used plays a role, I have noticed it more with my sharpest lenses, looks like they outresolve the sensor when I have a uniform blue sky. There is more than one solution, and ultimately post-processing, but the root cause has to be identified first.
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