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Sony A7s Becomes DxO Mark’s New Low-Light King, Falls Short in Other Categories



The DxO Mark verdict is finally in for the much-lauded Sony A7s, and as you might expect, it steals the low-light crown from the Nikon Df handily. The problem is, it seems to fall short of its main competition (the other two A7 cameras) in every other category.

If you didn’t see the low-light score coming, then you’ve been hiding under a boulder… not a rock, a boulder. Many tests have come out, the most relevant of which we’ve tried to share with you here as the camera has made its way into photographers’ and videographers’ hands, and all of them impressed.

DxO’s score confirms this low-light supremacy. In terms of raw numbers, the A7s scored a 3702 in the Low-Light ISO category, putting it a full 423 points ahead of the former low-light king, the Nikon Df.


But that’s where the good news stops. Not that the rest is bad news necessarily, just disappointing given the excitement this camera has generated for the “pixel size is more important than everything else” crowd.

Compare it to the A7 and A7r and the A7s looks like a bit of a one-trick pony… two if you add an external recorder. Those tricks are low-light capability, where it is the undisputed champ, and 4K video capability, which is limited by the need for the aforementioned recorder.

That out-of-this-world low-light score came at the cost of a full stop of dynamic range and some color depth performance. Of course, DxO makes sure to mention that the A7s it outperforms both the A7 and A7r in every category when used above 3200 ISO, but it had to sacrifice base performance to get there.


What does this tell you about the A7s as a photographer’s camera? Well, you can form your own opinions on that, but the general gist is that this is a camera for people who value low-light performance above all other metrics.

You give up resolution overall, and dynamic range and color depth suffer at base ISO (not that they’re bad by any means, just lower than the other Sony options), but what you lose at base you gain when you have to shoot hand-held in low-light.

Combine that with the (sort of) 4K capability and the portability of the mirrorless full-frame system, and you could potentially have a new favorite for concert photographers. Click here to read the full DxO Mark review, and then let us know what you think of the results in the comments down below.

(via The Phoblographer)