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Testing

December 9, 2013

Sony A7 VS Sony Nex-6 – Lab Testing with Kit Lenses..

SonyAlphaLab - Lab Scene

Had some down time today and got to do Lab Testing with the Sony A7 VS the Sony Nex-6 and respective kit lenses. Aperture range tests with each camera for a head to head comparison of the two sensors and kits as a whole. Even though the kit lenses vary in focal lengths, the results are very similar when you apply the crop factor. This is why Sony decided to go for the 28mm on the full frame kit lens as apposed to a 24mm I guess. Hopefully Zeiss or Sony will come out with a 24-105 f/4 or something similar for the full frame e-mount lens line-up.

The field of view is very similar, although not exactly the same. The perspective and depth of field are a bit different when looking through each camera and kit lens combo even though the focal length equivalent is very similar @ 28-70mm(A7 kit lens) VS ~27-80mm(Nex-6 18-55mm kit lens – sel1855) equivalent w/ crop factor.


I set up the “Lab” with depth of field in mind, and used a telescoping pole to hold my Macbeth color chart in the distance, as you can see from the feature photo on the top left.  I also had my little test charts set-up so you can see center and corner sharpness straight off the camera with some confidence.
I set-up the Full Frame Sony A7 first @ 28mm and centered it the scene how I wanted it. I then took all the test photos and swapped out the cameras without moving the tri-pod at all. So, your seeing a 1 for 1 comparison of kit lens wide open to full zoom, full frame vs aps-c, same exact spot in the “Lab”.
 

Sony A7 VS Nex-6 – Lab Testing

Camera settings were basically all auto as far as metering goes, hence the slightly dark exposure which Sony is known for when in average metering mode. I used the flexible spot focus point with each camera and AF for the focusing. I also turned off Steadyshot on both cameras, used the 2 second self timer, and shot Raw + Jpeg. I still need to update Lightroom, don’t worry Raw coming soon..

Updated Lab Scene:

Also note how much closer the “Lab” is to being completed. Wood like tile on the floor and most of the molding is now up 😉 Still need to finish the baseboard heat on the back wall, and make that pole look like a cool beam or something..

Click Photos for the Larger ~1000px images!

SonyAlphaLab - Lab Scene

SonyAlphaLab – Lab Scene

I used the same exact tri-pod location for both cameras. The Nex-6 is physically a little smaller so the center of the lens/ sensor, was slightly lower than that of the taller A7. Therefore you will see the Nex-6 images have a slightly lower point of view compared the A7.

Check out the full scene first and how it varies from the full frame A7 vs the Crop Factor Nex-6. Not how the point of view/ angles and perspective are a slightly different. It’s more noticeable in the corner areas. Also note the bokeh rendering difference. Don’t forget this is 24mp vs 16mp, so the 100% crops cover a little bit different areas even though the images are the same size here.

Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/3.5, 28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality

Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/3.5,  28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test

Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/3.5, 28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test

Sony Nex-6 w/ 18-55mm kit lens @ f/3.5, 18mm, ISO 100, Jpeg quality

Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/3.5, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg

Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm, f/3.5, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg

100% Crops – Focus Area – Lab Scene

Sony A7 @ 28mm w/ kit lens
Nex-6 @ 18mm w/ kit lens
@ f/3.5
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/3.5, 28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm, f/3.5, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
@ f/5.6
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/5.6,  28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/5.6, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
f/8
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/8, 28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/8, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
f/11
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/11,  28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm, f/11, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
f/16
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/16, 28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm, f/16, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
 

100% Crops – Center Area – Lab Scene

Full Frame Sony A7 @ 28mm APS-C Sony Nex-6 @ 18mm
f/3.5
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/3.5,  28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/3.5, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
  f/5.6
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/5.6,  28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/5.6, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
  f/8
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/8, 28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/8, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
f/11
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/11,  28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/11, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
f/16
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/16,  28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/16, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
 

100% Crops Top Right – Lab Scene

Full Frame Sony A7 @ 28mm APS-C Sony Nex-6 @ 18mm
f/3.5
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/3.5,  28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/3.5, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
f5/6
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/5.6,  28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/5.6, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
f/8
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/8, 28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/8, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
f/11
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/11,  28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/11, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
f/16
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/16,  28mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm,  f/16, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg
 

Zoomed in to the maximum focal length on each kit lens, you might think the full frame Sony A7 has the advantage @ 70mm vs the 55mm of the Nex-6 kit lens. The crop factor is the issue though, and the 55mm actually becomes an effective ~82mm on the Nex-6 if you do the math (55mm X 1.5x = ~82.5mm) So, the Nex-6 and sel1855 kit lens actually have the zoom advantage over the 28-70mm A7 kit lens believe it or not. See for yourself in the full scene below and remember both cameras are in the same exact spot on my tri-pod for the test shots.

Also note how each camera exposes when using average metering and a bright light source in the center area with no exposure compensation.

Sony Alpha A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ 70mm f/5.6, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Tri-pod

Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/5.6,  70mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test

Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/5.6, 70mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test

Sony Nex-6 w/ 15-55mm kit lens @ 55mm, f/5.6, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Tri-pod

Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 55mm,  f/5.6, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg

Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm kit lens @ 55mm, f/5.6, ISO 100, Lab Test, Jpeg

 100% Crops – Zoomed To Max w/ kit lenses

Sony A7 @ 70mm Nex-6 @ 55mm
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/5.6,  70mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/8,  70mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test
Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/5.6,  70mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens @ f/8,  70mm, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Lab Test


 

Closing remarks

As you can see from these Sony A7 Vs Sony Nex-6 Lab Test Photos, the Full Frame sensor offers a distinct advantage in the depth of field department if you’re looking for more separation and large balls of light. Even @ f/5.6 if your close to the subject. The A7 also has much more resolution (24mp vs 16mp), so the detail is noticeable greater in the 100% crops.

On the top right corner test shots, the Sony A7 kit lens seams to be a bit soft at the very corner. About half way through the test chart and then to the upper right is where I see it. On the Nex-6 test shots, the corner crops appear sharper. Note in the full Lab scene images above, the Sony A7 has the test chart in the very corner of the frame, and the Nex-6 has a few inch’s to spare in comparison. Therefore the Nex-6 kit lens corner crop is going to look a little sharper because of that reason and I wanted to make sure you took note of it when comparing.

The vignette (darkening in the corners), is more noticeable on the full frame A7 camera and kit lens, and the dynamic range appears to be about the same in these jpeg files. The raw files should show an advantage to the full frame A7 in my opinion.

That is about it for now, but I have the A7 Vs Nex-6 High ISO Lab Test Shots to process, and the Metabones III lens adapter with the EF 24-105 f/4 L IS Lens mounted to both cameras for comparison as well, so stay tuned! I also posted a teaser High ISO on Google+(click here) if you want to take a look..

Please feel free to comment, ask questions, and requests always welcome 😉

Jay

 

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Thanks,
Jay

 


About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!




11 Comments


  1. gabriel

    Thanks for the test. I feel proud of my NEX-6 after this! 😀


  2. TomasV

    Hi Jay, thanks for all the tests.

    I was wondering how is it possible that the quite similar focal lengths (28mm on A7 and 27mm on NEX-6) give such different viewing angles?

    I really like the 16mm pancake on my NEX-5 (24mm equiv.), should I ever invest in the A7 I guess the 28-70mm kit lens would show even smaller viewing angle compared to the 16mm.


    • Jay

      Hi Tommy,

      No problem at all and great question. It does seem a little odd that 1mm gives that much more field of view, but the Nex-6 was slightly lower as well as the front of the lens being further back do to smaller size. That also helped a bit with the Nex-6 seeing so much more. The front of the lens really needed to be in the same exact spot for the test to be perfect.

      The kit lens is a pretty solid performer all around for the money Tomas, but a quality G or Zeiss 24-105mm f/4 would be killer and perfect for most shooting situations on the full frame A7 in my opinion. A fast f/2.8 lens is not going to likely for the higher telphoto lengths on this camera system do to weight I believe. The A-Mount cameras will have those lenses super fast heavy lenses like the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and 24-70mm f/2.8 lens etc..

      The kit lens was designed to keep the A7 full frame package as affordable as possible as a kit. Higher quality primes will really make this camera shine, just wait 😉

      I hope that helps,
      Jay


      • TomasV

        Thanks for the answer, I realize that kit lenses are made for their value. I still have hard time convincing myself to buy a lens that costs almost as much as the camera itself, if not more 🙂


  3. flavioross

    Great stuff Jay,

    The 18-55 is an underrated lens, lot of people bash because its sold as a kit.
    Have you tried the 28-70 in the NEX 6? Im curious to see how it perform in a APSC camera 😀 . I think the performance may be very good because its a full frame lens?


    • Jay

      Flavio, Yes, I also agree 😉 When I first got the Nex camera it was the Nex-c3 with the 18-55mm kit lens. I was blown away at the quality strait off the camera way back then! I knew Sony was on to something great and hoped on board…..

      Jay


    • Zaph

      “Have you tried the 28-70 in the NEX 6?”

      I’d be really interested in seeing this too!


      • Jay

        Hello Zaph and I have not tried that combo unfortunately, but others on the web have! Apparently it works really well although not that wide at 28mm with the crop factor. It works out to an effective ~42-105mm on the Nex-6.

        Sorry I could not be more help, but doing a few google searches should find you something on dpreview.com or another huge forum.

        Jay


  4. Angelus

    Great lab, i’m jealouse of all your extra space 🙂

    First i notice indeed is that the 18mm on the crop gives a wider angel which gives the Fullframe with 100% corps even more advantage, and ofcoure the 24mp.

    Great too see that the Fullframe gives u more then a f-stop bokeh above the F5.6 on crop. Strange thing on the Fullframe the lightballs are bigger and more out of focus but they are not as round as the crop camera.
    Which gets me too the next question, are the blades in the FF kitlens the same amoung as the crop kitlens?

    Thanks for the lab testing jay, i must say the nex6 holds his place very well, but i understand what makes the A7 that much better, it really is a beast, can’t wait to see fast primes on it.


    • Jay

      Angelus

      Great lab, i’m jealouse of all your extra space 🙂

      Thank you very much 😉 I really love the new wood looking tile! The space will be filled up soon when the large format printer moves in and all my other photography gear. It’s all crammed in the garage and upstairs currently while we finish up the construction. I can’t wait to have it all set-up again permanently. The backdrops and studio lights in particular I want set-up all the time. That will make it really easy to do portrait tests on Layla or Michele with ease. As it stands now I have to set everything up somewhere and break it all back down. Studio photography with the A7 coming soon…

      They both have 7 aperture blades, but I think it might just be the size differences of the actual blades? Could be totally wrong though;)

      Glade your liking the lab testing and thanks again for the kind words 😉 Fast primes coming!

      Jay



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