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Apprentice
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎02-27-2017
Message 1 of 203 (5,938 Views)

star-eater algorithm in Bulb-mode shots - please offer alternative

I love my A7RII and A6000 however Sony consistently employes a nearest-neighbor algorithm for reducing noise in Bulb shots (and with the new A7RII firmware, it now does the same thing for exposures over 3.2 seconds long!). What this means is that if I'm taking photos of the night sky, I loose a bunch of stars to this noise reduction algorithm and don't get a natural looking representation of the actual star paterns/formations in the sky. I understand Sony is trying to best serve the broader photography community but there is a segment of astrophotographers who have been excited by the A7 series but have stayed away from serious adoption due to this problem. While I would love a firmware update that would resolve this, perhaps a middle ground would be a for-purchase app that enables true RAW recording without this form of noise reduction? I know everyone into astrophotography would by the app and most people who do serious astrophotography are already doing their own noise reduction routines through subtracting dark frames, etc... so the built-in software "fix" wouldn't be missed. This would however enable high-fidelity recording of the night sky which is important for some of your customers. I'm attaching a link to one such discussion about this problem. I really hope you can come up with an app for astrophotographers (for at least the A7RII/A7SII and perhaps the A6000-series). Thank you!

 

Apprentice
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎02-27-2017
Message 2 of 203 (5,935 Views)

Re: star-eater algorithm in Bulb-mode shots - please offer alternative

Moderator
Posts: 631
Registered: ‎10-21-2014
Message 3 of 203 (5,892 Views)

Re: star-eater algorithm in Bulb-mode shots - please offer alternative

Hi Msalganik,

 

Welcome and thank you for considering SONY Community!

 

Sony takes into consideration all feedbacks to improve the performance and quality of our products and services. We're always looking to make Sony better. 

 

We'll definitely forward this concern to the proper department.

We appreciate your time sharing this feedback.

 

Regards,

-Anthony

 

Expert
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎01-19-2017
Message 4 of 203 (5,774 Views)

Re: star-eater algorithm in Bulb-mode shots - please offer alternative

[ Edited ]

Hi Anthony,

 

Unfortunately, we've already had these sorts of bland assurances before and nothing has changed - this problem is not only long-standing, it has got worse with the latest firmware upgrade. We're looking for tangible action on the part of Sony - not just another 'there-there' response.

 

John

Apprentice
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎04-16-2017
Message 5 of 203 (5,763 Views)

Re: star-eater algorithm in Bulb-mode shots - please offer alternative

[ Edited ]

Hi Anthony,

 

I would love to see a solution to this issue too. And with me, many more astro-photography enthousiasts I'm convinced. So just to clarify, this is what this is all about: http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/specific-a7sii-astrophotography-fix-request/

 

I can confirm that this is an issue on my A7R2 with with fw3.30. When doing astrophotography and using exposures longer than 3,2 sec (either in BULB or in S-mode) some median filter kicks in which just removes many of the fainter stars in the image. I know Sony intends to remove hot pixels and therefore making images 'better', but in this case - astro - the results are really not acceptable. 

 

So please sony, make this feature optional in a next firmware-update. Meaning, I can turn hot pixel filtering when using long exposures on and off in the menu.Thanks!

 

Some more info on this issue:

 

http://blog.kasson.com/the-last-word/sony-a7rii-long-exposure-spatial-filtering-with-fw-3-30/

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/59374271

Specialist
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎04-17-2017
Message 6 of 203 (5,668 Views)

Re: star-eater algorithm in Bulb-mode shots - please offer alternative

[ Edited ]

my two cents... i have the excellent and expensive Sigma Art 20mm f/1.4 but it cannot deliver anything with the body when exposure is >3.2s...

 

see here (open in a separate window to see the extense of the star eater):

 

star_eater.gif

 

star_eater_200.gif

 

Apprentice
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎04-16-2017
Message 7 of 203 (5,637 Views)

Re: star-eater algorithm in Bulb-mode shots - please offer alternative

[ Edited ]

well done @spoutnick, this clearly illustrates what we're dealing with here. the degradation in image-quality when exposing for longer than 3.2 seconds is clearly visible.

Rookie
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-17-2017
Message 8 of 203 (5,531 Views)

Re: star-eater algorithm in Bulb-mode shots - please offer alternative

Just my voice in here. Moving from a canon crop sensor to a full sensor, I bought the A7ii specifically to get better low light for astro... come to find out this is going on? im HIGHLY disappointed and demand an update! I don't want to have to switch back!

Expert
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎01-19-2017
Message 9 of 203 (5,545 Views)

Re: star-eater algorithm in Bulb-mode shots - please offer alternative

[ Edited ]

Here's another contrasting example that I shot last night -  star eating example - this shows the central part of two images taken with my Loxia 85 of part of the Milky Way, the left hand image at 3.2 seconds and the right hand image at 4 seconds. Changes are clearly evident around the central cluster of stars, with a lot of the smaller, fainter stars that are clearly evident in the left hand image censored out in the right hand image by Sony's unavoidable filtering. But other examples can be found throughout the image... very frustrating!

 

Does anyone know if its possible to roll back to an earlier version of the firmware? Or alternatively, of anyone who has hacked the firmware and who might be able to advise on how to disable this, given Sony's silence.

 

John

 

 

Apprentice
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎02-27-2017
Message 10 of 203 (5,542 Views)

Re: star-eater algorithm in Bulb-mode shots - please offer alternative

Even earlier versions of the firmware did this same thing, just starting at exposures beyond 30seconds. For serious astrophotography (which Canon and now nikon cater to) this is simply a deal breaker. They need to have this be either 1) an option that you turn off or 2) an app that provides raws that haven't been cooked like this. If they go the app route this does allow them to charge money thus making it worthwhile to update a bunch of existing/older cameras (such as the A7RII and a6000). Nikon actually used to do the same thing but has since changed their ways and backed way off on the hot pixel removal.

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