Sony a7r iii Sample Images: ISO Range

The Sony a7r iii has a well-earned reputation for boasting an extraordinarily good sensor, and it has an ISO range from 50 up through 102400. I shot some real-world examples through the ISO range to see how the ISO settings compare side by side.
Sony a7r iii mirrorless camera
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The Sony a7R IV is now out. If you’d like to see how it compares, I’ve also posted ISO range examples for it.

The Sony a7r iii has a well-earned reputation for low-light shooting. It has a superb full-sized sensor and a wide ISO range, going from 50 through 102400. But that doesn’t mean that the top end of the ISO range has the same image quality as at the low end.

You would naturally expect a few areas to suffer. The first is noise and/or mottling. Post-processing noise reduction apps aren’t quite the post-processing staple that they used to be, but that doesn’t mean that sensor noise isn’t an issue anymore. A second area that suffers is dynamic range. The Sony is neck and neck with the Nikon D850 in leading the pack in terms of dynamic range. The third aspect that suffers is color rendition. At the very top end, colors tend to get washed out, less accurate, and sometimes end up in strange casts.

As you go higher up the ISO scale, all of these areas that affect image quality tend to suffer, and that’s something that’s standard to all digital camera sensors. The question becomes, “just how bad is it?”

Sony a7r iii ISO Sample Images

DXOMark has some great technical performance tests on the Sony a7r iii’s ISO. What I wanted to do is a different approach, looking at real-world, practical examples.

Here’s a collection of images across the range of available ISO values on the a7r iii. These were all shot in aperture priority mode on a tripod with manual ISO settings. They were shot in RAW+JPG, and you can download both versions for each image in the links in the captions. Other settings were automatic white balance, Adobe RGB colorspace. There hasn’t been any post-processing applied, and you download the original JPGs as they were straight out of the camera.

To give the best idea of what the camera does, I deliberately haven’t done anything to improve the images or mitigate the effects of the high ISO settings. But that’s obviously something you can tackle in software like Lightroom or any of the other image processing apps, especially if you shoot in RAW.

And with these, I deliberately shot something with smooth tonal gradations from light to dark so as to show up any issues with noise. It’s also a good subject to test dynamic range.

With the small versions embedded below it’s hard to see any real differences aside from the obvious color issues at the high end, so I’ve included links to the original straight-out-of-camera versions of both the JPG and RAW files.

ISO 50

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 64

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 80

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 100

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 125

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 160

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 200

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 250

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 320

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 400

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 500

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 640

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 800

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 1000

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 1250

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 1600

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 2000

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 2500

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 3200

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 4000

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 5000

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 6400

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 8000

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 10000

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 12800

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 16000

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 20000

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 25600

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 32000

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 40000

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 51200

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 64000

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 80000

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)

ISO 102400

Sony a7r iii - high ISO example
Download originals: JPG | ARW (RAW)
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One Response

  1. Sorry but Sony not allowing HIGH ISO NR using RAW is unacceptable. Nikon and Canon have had it for years. A friend told me that ISO3200 for Astrophotography is the worst ISO to use on the A7Riii. I don’t shoot night astro images that often but when I do I expect to be able to use in camera noise reduction. I now have to carry 2 camera systems if I’m in the mood for sunset and night photography thanks to Sony.

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