The Sony a1 (or Alpha 1, or α1, or ILCE-1) is Sony’s latest flagship mirrorless camera. And it’s a helluva camera in all sorts of ways.
One aspect I’m focusing on here is its high ISO performance with still images (video performance will be different). When shooting stills, the a1 has an ISO range from 50 to 102400.
So I thought I’d put together some sample images shot at various high-ISO settings. This isn’t an exhaustive scientific test, and it’s not meant to be. My purpose here is to provide some real-world examples.
But first, a few points to clarify what this is and isn’t. I’m focusing here on still images, not video. When shooting video, the available ISO range is more limited–ISO 100 to 32000–and the results will be different.
These are all shot in RAW, with the versions you see here on this page generated by Lightroom. But they’re deliberately only very lightly processed with a little exposure and contrast tweaking, but they’re a lot flatter than I would normally do.
I also haven’t employed any denoising processing with these, although that’s certainly an option, one that’s most likely to be used on the very high ISO images. The camera has its own in-built processing to reduce image noise, and it generally does a very good job. It can apply that to JPGs—that includes the preview thumbnails generated with RAW files and embedded within those RAW files. But if you’re shooting RAW—as I nearly always do—your post-processing RAW processor app will regenerate those previews itself, and you’ll lose the benefit of the in-camera processing.
I’ve tried to include some side-by-side shots of the same scene at different ISOs. For a closer look, there’s a link under each image to download the original RAW file, although a heads up that they run to around 105MB each.