Sony A7 and A7r firmware updates

The Sony firmware updates have arrived for the Sony A7 and A7r. Sony claim that these offer improvements in image quality, as well as speeding a few things up.

I downloaded them. Just prior to this I took a whole series of test shots, jpg. and raw at all ISO settings. I then installed the updates and took the same test shots again.

As has been reported widely the start up time for the cameras is improved and there seems to be a slight improvement in AF speed. But image quality? Well maybe, but if there is any improvement in either sharpness or noise control then I'm struggling to see what it is. It may well be measurable, but I see no significant changes to raw or jpg. files at any ISO. I'm quite prepared to believe that there is something there, but whether it's enough to make this claim of 'improved image quality' justified I'm not prepared to say. Certainly there are no real differences that you couldn't take care of with very minor tweaks in your chosen post processing software. Maybe it gets rid of the 'phantom artefacts' on the jpgs. that only a few people can actually 'see'.  So removes something that isn't there? Wow, that's useful.

So there's an element of the 'kings new clothes' about this update. The speed improvements are welcome, however small. However the files from both cameras are pretty spectacular already so it would be doubtful that there would be any great IQ improvement anyway. Worth updating? Well yes, it's always useful to fix bugs and have things up to date, but I believe it's still more useful to work with that aforementioned processing software than expect this update to produce dramatic results. Which is usually the case with these things. 

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