Updating ps3 firmware
(Most of my exposures are made between 5 and 20 seconds.) Now, with the latest firmware updates on the a7RII and a7SII, what was once a problem that only affected the niche case of Bulb exposures now affects all reasonable untracked astrophotography exposure times (4 seconds and up). I’ll admit that it is a problem that requires a fair bit of pixel peeping.
Fellow landscape astrophotographer Michael Frye has made a great analysis of what you can expect from the a7RII.
The result is an astrophoto with less stars and the appearance of diminished resolution.
Sony a7RII, a7SII and a7RIII cameras with the latest firmware exhibit this problem for all exposure times longer than 3.2″.
There are ways to deal with the issue depending on the camera you are using.
Most of the time, a longer than recommended exposure time, which will cause the stars to trail, can help hide the issue by stretching the appearance of the stars past the threshold of the spatial filtering algorithm.
But hidden in these improvements is a change that affects the image quality when shooting long exposures, particularly astrophotos.I have confirmed the issue myself and it has been discussed and analyzed many times on other places around the online photography community, particularly on the DPReview forums, Cloudy Nights, Jim Kasson’s Last Word, and more recently on Sony Alpha Rumors.Bad spatial filtering isn’t new to Sony’s Alpha cameras.All told, some photographers might never even notice the issue.
But as our community shifts more and more towards the enthusiast, to the photographer who really cares about the finest capability of their equipment, an issue like this is tremendously disappointing to many of us.I have previously recommended Sony gear to countless numbers of fellow photographers looking for the best landscape astrophotography cameras.