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!
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 Nex-6 w/ 18-55mm kit lens @ f/3.5, 18mm, ISO 100, Jpeg quality
Sony A7 @ 28mm w/ kit lens
Nex-6 @ 18mm w/ kit lens
Full Frame Sony A7 @ 28mm
APS-C Sony Nex-6 @ 18mm
Full Frame Sony A7 @ 28mm
APS-C Sony Nex-6 @ 18mm
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 Nex-6 w/ 15-55mm kit lens @ 55mm, f/5.6, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality, Tri-pod
Sony A7 @ 70mm
Nex-6 @ 55mm
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.