Canon 6D vs Sony NEX 6 – High ISO Noise Test (1600 & 3200)

Canon HQ - Hong Kong

Everyone knows that the full frame sensor of the Canon’s all perform exceptionally well at high ISO’s (in some online tests I have seen the Canon 6D even beat the 5D mark 3, though very marginally – contact me if you want the video I saw of this)

The question here is how does the Sony NEX 6 with the smaller sensor stack up to currently one of the best in the business, the Canon 6D ?

I decided to shoot comparisons: same lighting conditions, same subject, same camera settings and as close to the same focal length as I could get. I used the 17-40 F4 on the Canon 6D and the 10-18 F4 on the Sony NEX 6. All the shots were taken at F5.6 on both cameras. Both camera’s obviously perform with very little or no noise at low ISO’s. SO – the main aim of this test is to see how usable they are when the ISO creeps up to the higher range.

I have always tried to shoot at no more than ISO 800 for my professional work. But, now the technology is getting better is it safe to go higher and still maintain quality? Having said this I would still not even bother shooting up at 6400 or higher. So with this in mind, these tests were run at ISO speeds of 1600 and 3200.

The test was conducted at Canon’s main showroom in Hong Kong (see insert pic top right).

Click on the images to open the full size in a new window. The below are all 100% crops of the original unedited RAW files. Canon 6D on left, Sony NEX 6 on right.

Canon 6D vs Sony NEX 6 – ISO 3200 :
Canon 6D vs Sony NEX 6 - ISO 3200

Canon 6D vs Sony NEX 6 – ISO 1600 :
Canon 6D vs Sony NEX 6 - ISO 1600

Canon 6D vs Sony NEX 6 – ISO 3200 :
Canon 6D vs Sony NEX 6 - ISO 3200

Canon 6D vs Sony NEX 6 – ISO 1600 :
Canon 6D vs Sony NEX 6 - ISO 1600


Conclusion

When I started the test I assumed the Canon would kick the ass of the Sony. However, I was very surprised to see how close they came.

The Canon 6D got the edge in my opinion, but only just… the Sony was not far behind.

To get this kind of performance in such a portable camera as the Sony NEX 6, which can (with certain lenses attached) be called “pocketable” is really rather astonishing. I did actually play with some simple noise reduction on both images later on and images from both cameras were very usable at ISO 1600 and ISO 3200.

I don’t need to ramble on too much more, you have seen the shots for yourself above, I welcome any of your comments or questions. If you found this post inetresting or useful, please click “LIKE” below. Cheers.

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