November 22, 2014, 04:37:33 PM

Author Topic: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?  (Read 22811 times)

neuroanatomist

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #195 on: August 08, 2014, 08:57:16 AM »
You are certainly welcome to that belief.  Just understand that based on sales figures, you are in the minority. 
The sales figures argument in two consecutive points. Come on Neuro, that's beneath even a fanboy like you.

So a Mercedes isn't as good as a Ford Focus based on sales? Sorry, I laughed so much a bit of wee came out.

There you go again, applying your value judgement as to what is best and thinking it's universally applicable.  Which gets a line worker the 20 miles from home to work better – the Ford s/he can afford, or the Mercedes s/he can't afford.  I need to fit three full-sized child car seats in the second row of an SUV, but the Mercedes GL550 (their biggest SUV) isn't quite wide enough...so despite being a very nice vehicle, it's not 'best' for me.

Everyone's needs differ, so there can't be a universal 'best' (although it may not be possible for you accept that fact).  However, it's a reasonable assumption that people buy what they believe is best for them, to best meet their needs.  So, while it's not tenable to state that Canon or Nikon is 'the best', the sales figures – empirical, objective, verifiable information – support the contention that more people believe that Canon dSLRs are the best...for them.


How droll.  At least, I hope it's supposed to be droll.   If that's the best you can do as a 'solid theory' and you actually believe it, that's just sad.
You're a smart guy, that much is clear. But smart guys suffer from psychosis too, in fact most people who do are very, very smart, so smart is no guide to logical and sensible deduction.

Implying that I suffer from psychosis.  Nice. 

Why did you come here (then leave, but turn up again like a bad penny)?  Oh, that's right – to "address" me. 
Well...good job, Dean.

EDIT: I made the rolleyes emoticon larger, since Dean seems to have missed it the first go around.  I also forgot my </sarcasm> tag, I do that a lot, it seems...
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 04:11:46 PM by neuroanatomist »
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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #195 on: August 08, 2014, 08:57:16 AM »

SiliconVoid

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #196 on: August 08, 2014, 10:25:51 AM »
Zigzagzoe, you obviously have an affinity for the D8xx (and/or possibly just anything with Nikon's name on it, or anything with a Sony made sensor) and you created a fresh account on a Canon site so you could inform everyone of your preference - and that is fine. The D8xx is also a fine camera, for some photographers, because it can provide a specific solution to a specific need - not because it, and Sony, produce the end all be all in photographic reproduction.

(Sorry.. I don't really do quotes, and even if I did there are far too many needed to address the volume of brand-fan-biased statements made in your posts - and I am long winded enough as it is.)

The A7S has a great sensor in it, and is a pinnacle example of what a large percentage of the industry (not just Canon users suffering from mp-envy) have been proclaiming and wanting for years. Which is to put todays tech in a sensor that provides minimal work flow in a package that offers lens flexibility, SLR AF performance, reasonably flat ISO performance curve, and solid field ergonomics. The A7 line obviously does not come through in all those areas, most notably lacking in system lens selection and ergonomics, but does demonstrate that MP and +.5ev shadow DR at base ISO is not all there is to this industry. I think the resistance you encounter might stem from your perspective that the area of photography that takes place at base ISO is so significant as to be all that counts in photography when coupled with less than half a stop of shadow DR... and obviously (whether mentioned or not) a complete acceptance of data provided by a rating-for-hire service like DxO - and that is fine as well, for you.

The reality however is that across the entire spectrum of photography more images are captured outside base ISO than within - and at an exponential level - and that is where the D8xx is simply bested by many, if not most. Therefore evaluating the performance of a camera across a reasonable sensitivity range is more relevant and substantive than what might be produced at one specific sensitivity setting. That is not to say that low ISO isn't relevant, but attempting to quantify in comparison to something like the popularity of low speed film is quite skewed. ASA64 speed film for example was certainly popular, and because it did produce the best imagery, however that was/is because of the limitations of light sensitive substrate materials - not because lower sensitivity always produces better IQ. Digital imaging technology does not actually have a 'native' operating range, it is not limited by any specific sensitivity, it is simply the design of the sensor chosen by the manufacturer. Standard film sensitivities are most often targeted in digital sensor design because our environment (the intensity of sun light) and photographic preferences (controlled dof) etc, maintain a demand to retain those sensitivity settings. As an example of preference versus need; Once ASA200 and ASA400 were being produced within acceptable output standards (mid1970s) those speeds not only sold more than lower speed films, even during the rather limited time of sale (~1970 to early 2000s) they accounted for more sales than the total of ASA64/ASA100 film combined. Even if we concede that base ISO were ones only requirement, you still could not evaluate 'pure' IQ -purely- on DR (the only component of IQ something like the D8xx has over anything else) as literally everything else in the visual spectrum are factors of the whole. Measuring 'pure' IQ purely on DR is flawed logic and indicates one who does not know enough about what goes into IQ as they should.

To continue visiting something like the D8xx; The majority of its DR 'advantage' only exists in shadow/dark regions, AND only at base ISO, AND only by .5ev, which is a very subjective need/benefit. If a photographer has no need or intention to raise the shadows of an image then the D8xx offers nothing other than MP, which is an even more subjective need/benefit. DR range (as is measured and rated today) is not an measurement of accuracy, it is a range of a spectrum. If you plotted visible dynamic range on a linear scale (-6 to +6 in this example) the D8xx at its best sensitivity setting offers nothing that is not available from any other camera between say -4 to +4, and when certain exposure modes are enabled it can be increased to -6 to +5 staying within its best sensitivity setting, which is great. However maintaining honesty its curve in highlights steepens to the point of clipping prior to its increased highlight range. Basically it offers the user an option of trading some detail in its increased highlight range to gain some shadow range, which brings us back to the previously mentioned 'advantage' - if not raising shadows, it is purely subjective benefits.

In comparison, the A7S provides an exceptional performance range that would benefit a greater percentage of its industry than anything else available. At base ISO it provides greater IQ (DR + TR + CS) than anything on the market, and through its operating range it maintains a performance curve advantage that just gets greater as ISO sensitivity increases. As is proclaimed by DxO, it is -currently- the king of low light, tone, color, and even DR (because the majority of photography doesn't need .5ev of recoverable shadows at ISO100) - BUT just as IQ is a measure of more than one parameter, a camera is measured by more than its sensor. Were it not for a very significant failing in system lens options and ergonomics the A7S could very well displace a substantial amount of Canon/Nikon market share.. as it is though, as a whole, it simply fills a void, of a niche, just like the D8xx and every other camera that has ever been produced.
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pbr9

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #197 on: August 08, 2014, 10:41:58 AM »
Well, i've been a long time reader of the website and forums, but i was always too busy to register.
I have a couple of questions for ZigZagZoe and whomever might have had experience with Canon, Sony, Nikon somewhat recently.

First i have to say that i don't give a **** about brand names, i care about producing images, and my loyalty is to my wallet and to producing quality images, so i'm going to completely ignore brand evangelism.

So far Canon has been serving me just fine, and i had a couple of situations in Borneo where i'm pretty much sure any other camera would've died on me (and a 7D actually did for a couple of days)
This being said though, there are situations where i could definitively use more information available to process, more creative freedom, and so on.
From what i can understand, you use or have used 5D Mk.II, 5D Mk.III, Nikon D800, would this be correct?
I've been considering an extra body and Sony pretty much wrecked my plans by introducing more choice, so while things were relatively simple some time ago, D800, D800E, now you have these, D810, and Sony A7, A7R, A7S.
Do you have any experience of the A7 models? How do they fare compared with the D800, D810, in terms of capability of the raw to be processed to considerable lengths? What about vibration? Is the D800, D810, A7/A7R really that stringent when it comes to user technique versus the 5Ds (tripod or monopod, mirror lock, electronic shutter), or using it hand held will still produce decent results?

Battery life, body robustness, do you think they would literally take a beating - being bounced against rocks, mud, being semi-drowned ? Does the A7 feel as robust? The design of the A7 models reminds me somehow of the Minolta X700 and somehow i associate it always with a fragile feeling. What about your experiences with high ISO (for available light shooting or night time street photography, not high shutter speed or action photography), any views on this? Finally, what about your experience with the Sigmas on the Nikon bodies? I love my 35mm Art, beautiful tones, flare resistance is phenomenal,  and so on, but one keeps on reading about AF issues. I had none yet, but after so many complains one starts to wonder if there is a completely different behaviour of the Sigmas on Canon and on Nikon bodies. Did you by chance had any chance to verify this?

I was considering the D800E and the A7R, but the A7S and now D810 appeared. I might wait a couple of weeks for Photokina and make a decision, any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I can only speak of the Canon 5D Mk1, 2, 3 and the D800, and a week of the D810.

Sorry, I've not used the A7 series, I've jest read what everyone else has read. They look great, but I wouldn't go for a Sony yet.

Maybe the A7s of video, but for stills, I'd still stick with the big two. Others may have more info for you on Sony, but I have too little to be worth using I'm afraid. I love their sensors, but I prefer them when they are in someone else's camera body.

I confess i find the A7S idea interesting, i'm not entirely sure if it will be worth it in reality, but it is interesting

Quote
If I'm 100% honest, if Canon have served you well, and you're happy with the images, then I see no reason to go elsewhere.

Canon has served me well and continues to do so, but i cannot deny some quirks i find when processing my raw files, things that perhaps didn't affected me so severely or to such a large extent earlier, and that are starting to affect me more, or perhaps i just became more demanding about what to expect of my images and the ability to process them.
I suppose my ideal camera system would be a 1D with a Sony sensor, and a mix of (weather sealed) sigma art lenses and some select Canon L lenses, but this is not going to happen.

Quote
Look hard at what you are lacking from them. The advantages of the D4s or the D800 are easy to list.

Are those features what you are looking for? Can you afford the switch without going into into hardship?

A D4s would probably be overkill, but a D800, D810, A7/R/S is something i am considering

Quote
I've talked about the advantages of the D800/810 of course, and if you're starting from scratch, I'd go for the Nikon every time.

But if you have a set of glass you like and you like your images, then why spend the money to switch?

You need a good reason to switch, and I had a handful of deal breakers, but you've got to look at what you'd gain and decide if it's worth it.

From what i was able to judge so far, personally it seems i would gain a considerable amount of latitude in post processing mostly. I'm presently worried about what might in the end turn out to be irrelevant, ergonomics, menu, AF behaviour though this isn't necessarily such a deal breaker.

Quote
Yes, the DR and IQ is better at lower ISO's and the D810 focus system is as good as the 1DX (it's the D4s system), I think the ISO up to 12800 is up there with the best (not the A7s though, nothing can touch that).

Good to know, i had no idea it was the same AF system as the D4s's.

Quote
Above that the D810/800 do start to suffer against their lower megapixel competition, but to compare like for like you do have to take the 36 meg down to 21 meg (in the case of the 5D Mk3).

I haven't done that, so I don't know. I did it with a D3 though and the D800 held it's own when taken to 12 meg.

I don't have a 25000 ISO shot in my 60,000 Aperture library and doubt I ever will, so it bothers me not. It may bother you though.

The highest ISO shot I've sold was 6400 on  aMk2 of a concept but that's rarity.

In my 'real' work, 3200 is my max for asking someone for $200 for an 8x12 print, and I prefer sticking to 800 max if i can.

Anything more seems dishonest unless you're doing reportage or weddings which is a whole different marketplace, and more about the quality of the moment captured than the quality of the IQ.

Thanks for the information. Sometimes i need to push ISO quite a bit, specially in night time photography (i don't like carrying a tripod, i know it is stupid considering the particular field).

Quote
As for bouncing them off a rock? The Nikons are as tough as anything else. The Sony's do look like toys don't they? I have no idea how tough they are but they don't look very tough.

Yes, i had a 1D3 bouncing of a couple of rocks and both the 1D3, a 7D and me being semi-drowned in the Mahakan. The 1D3 continued working just fine. The 7D worked for a while, then it shorted and the batteries were drained, so i agree with you, the A7 just doesn't inspires me a feeling of confidence in its survivability. The Nikon D800/D810, i don't know, i hope so, it certainly looks more robust the A7. The D4s specially looks built to last, i would certainly expect the D4s at least to be as robust as my 1D3 turned out to be.

Quote
Battery life is much improved on the D810, not that it was bad before, but it's gone from 900 - 1300 FF shots on one battery. Don't quote me on those figures, as I don't have them to hand, but it's roughly right. 30% improvement, basically.

Apologies if that wasn't as decisive as you'd have liked.

All the best.

Dean

Thanks for taking your time to reply, i'm still gathering some information until Photokina, so every tidbit helps.
Regards,

Pete

dilbert

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #198 on: August 08, 2014, 11:53:49 AM »
Regardless, my primary point is, as usual, that cameras (and systems) matter more than sensors.
And your primary assumption, as usual, is the assumption in YOUR view that Canon is a better system negating all other considerations.

The fact, as I've stated frequently, is that more photographers have chosen Canon dSLRs over any other brand consistently, every year for the past 11 years.  It's also a fact that I have chosen Canon, but those two facts are independent. 


I for one do not believe Canon's system is superior.

You are certainly welcome to that belief.  Just understand that based on sales figures, you are in the minority. 

So #1 in sales is the only metric worth considering when it comes to judging whether something is top of pile or not?

scyrene

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #199 on: August 08, 2014, 12:00:08 PM »
I'm not taking sides, I just want to try and bring some balance to this discussion...

Actually John, you insist that Canon is better for EVERYTHING. If Canon isn’t better at something, then no one needs that feature, so they should still buy Canon.

Strictly untrue, cf:

Can you find a post where I claim that Canon sensors deliver better low ISO dynamic range than Nikon/Sony sensors? No, because the opposite is true, as I've stated more times than I can count.  I've also lost count of the times I've stated that if I were primarily a landscape shooter, I'd be using a D800E and 14-24/2.8G.

I don't take photos of my kids or some birds. I take photos that earn quarter of a million dollars (AU) per annum.

And Nikon is best for ME.

As I have said before, this is ad hominem (or whatever the equivalent is to oneself - ad ipsum?). Your personal success does not make your opinions more fact-based. It might well make you more believable or trustworthy, but that is a separate matter (and a subjective choice). Can we not strive to argue points, rather than people? Some of your points are correct. Some seem not to be. This is independent of your ability to make money - just as the validity or otherwise of Neuro's points (not all of which I agree with) have nothing to do with how he makes a living.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #200 on: August 08, 2014, 03:57:04 PM »
I take photos that earn quarter of a million dollars (AU) per annum.

~US$230K, it takes you a whole entire year to make that much?  Am I supposed to be impressed? 



School yard stuff.

You complete and utter worthless piece of …

Puerile, immature stuff, indeed.  Possibly understandable coming from a petulant child on that schoolyard to which you refer, but from someone purporting to be an adult, it's merely pathetic.
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raptor3x

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #201 on: August 08, 2014, 05:24:54 PM »
I take photos that earn quarter of a million dollars (AU) per annum.

~US$230K, it takes you a whole entire year to make that much?  Am I supposed to be impressed? 

Remember, you can't just compare length, it's length times diameter plus weight over girth divided by angle of the tip squared. =)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 05:38:25 PM by raptor3x »
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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #201 on: August 08, 2014, 05:24:54 PM »

jrista

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #202 on: August 08, 2014, 06:46:19 PM »
*SIGH*

I have apparently lost all interest in CR forum debates...  :o

neuroanatomist

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #203 on: August 08, 2014, 07:23:20 PM »
Someone even created an account on here to send me a message thanking me for it.

LOL.  He's a much better bad penny than you.  You should visit him in Sweden, he'll take you out to shoot pictures of barbecues and awnings, then show you how to push underexposed shots several stops to look for noise.  You'd have loads of fun, I'm sure...   ::)


Absolutely, but I got really bored waiting for you to answer any actual camera related questions so I thought I’d amuse myself.

Good to know that your being crass and insulting amuses you.  Says a lot about you as a person.  You're someone I hope to never meet, and further discussion of any sort with you is truly a waste of my time.

Be well.
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jrista

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #204 on: August 08, 2014, 08:13:27 PM »
You guys, I really have to say, BOTH of you are utterly pathetic. It's reciprocal childishness. This is shameful. It's distasteful. It's downright sad.

While we have certainly had our debates on these forums, some of the biggest when he-who-shall-not-be-named was around, but those still stuck to the technology. But this?!? This, right here...this is rock bottom. This is disgusting. This is so far below the level of adults that I'm ashamed to have to write this post. Worse...this is not the first time it's occurred!! ZigZag, you've brought a really disgusting element into our forums. Your first post was interesting. That was it. Since then, you've done nothing but pick fights and be childish. You aren't here for any reason other than to poke and prod at Neuro. Neuro, the only reason your here is to poke and prod at ZigZag. You've done nothing but fuel fights and act childish.

This IS a child's playground, and you two ARE the bullies. And you feed off each other while you revel in childishness.

Knock it off!  >:(  :-[

traingineer

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #205 on: August 08, 2014, 09:14:56 PM »
*SIGH*

I have apparently lost all interest in CR forum debates...  :o

What a shame...  :(

Anyway, I've got a question for you Jrista, what filters are you gonna get for the SBIG?  ;D
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raptor3x

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #206 on: August 08, 2014, 09:58:55 PM »

A technique he uses to undermine anyone who does not agree with him that Canon is 100% perfect and there is no need for any other camera manufacturer, and that any discussion on the subject is irrelevant.


I'm curious if you actually believe this is what he's been saying or if you're just trolling him.
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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #207 on: August 08, 2014, 09:59:32 PM »
You guys, I really have to say, BOTH of you are utterly pathetic. It's reciprocal childishness. This is shameful. It's distasteful. It's downright sad.

While we have certainly had our debates on these forums, some of the biggest when he-who-shall-not-be-named was around, but those still stuck to the technology. But this?!? This, right here...this is rock bottom. This is disgusting. This is so far below the level of adults that I'm ashamed to have to write this post. Worse...this is not the first time it's occurred!! ZigZag, you've brought a really disgusting element into our forums. Your first post was interesting. That was it. Since then, you've done nothing but pick fights and be childish. You aren't here for any reason other than to poke and prod at Neuro. Neuro, the only reason your here is to poke and prod at ZigZag. You've done nothing but fuel fights and act childish.

This IS a child's playground, and you two ARE the bullies. And you feed off each other while you revel in childishness.

Knock it off!  >:(  :-[

I couldn't agree more. I'm waiting for Neuro to actually talk about cameras, which he is free to do at any point.

Bullies bully everyone. I just bully the bully.

How many comments has he made now with no mention of cameras? I've lost count.

When he started throwing cheap sarcastic shots thinking I wasn't reading (e.g. "Surely you remember Dean, our award-winning professional photographer who's one-day spree of posts disappeared?  He seems to have inhaled the stench of DxO's BS quite deeply..."), and making his technology points by mocking the intelligence of others which is his routine technique, I bounced that mentality back to him, fully assuming Neuro wouldn't like to be on the receiving end of it, anymore than the people he does it to.

I did not expect it to have gone this long without him answering valid questions about his claims of why his gear is the only gear anyone should own.

The stubbornness is strong in that one.

When he started throwing insults...you should have WALKED AWAY. I'm really sick of hearing you take pot shots at Neuro, just as much as I'm sick of hearing him take pot shots at you. My prior post was about the BOTH of you. That INCLUDES YOU. Your just as stubborn!! Walk away man...your no better...and it's just pathetic!  ???

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #207 on: August 08, 2014, 09:59:32 PM »

jrista

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #208 on: August 08, 2014, 10:21:19 PM »
*SIGH*

I have apparently lost all interest in CR forum debates...  :o

What a shame...  :(

Anyway, I've got a question for you Jrista, what filters are you gonna get for the SBIG?  ;D

That's probably another topic, bit most likely the Astrodon Gen. 2 E-Series for LRGB, and the Astrodon Narrow Band filters. The Astrodon are ridiculously expensive, though. I'll probably start out just getting luminance data (unfiltered), as it's somewhere between $650 per filter for the narrow band, and about $600 or so for the LRGB set.

traingineer

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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #209 on: August 08, 2014, 10:38:46 PM »
*SIGH*

I have apparently lost all interest in CR forum debates...  :o

What a shame...  :(

Anyway, I've got a question for you Jrista, what filters are you gonna get for the SBIG?  ;D

That's probably another topic, bit most likely the Astrodon Gen. 2 E-Series for LRGB, and the Astrodon Narrow Band filters. The Astrodon are ridiculously expensive, though. I'll probably start out just getting luminance data (unfiltered), as it's somewhere between $650 per filter for the narrow band, and about $600 or so for the LRGB set.

About the narrow band option, are you going for the 5nm filters or 3nm?
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Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« Reply #209 on: August 08, 2014, 10:38:46 PM »