Pixel Shift with the Sony A7rIII - Robert Anderson

This is the first of a number of tests of the Pixel Shift technology available on the Sony A7rIII camera. We will investigate it's benefits for Landscape, Macro and Stills photography.

For an excellent presentation on how the Pixel Shift works, please check out Kevin Raber's review on The Luminous Landscape! (click to open in new window)

The first series of images is a night scene, a panorama of the City of Vancouver from one of the observation stops on the Cypress Bowl highway which is approximately 8.5 km from Vancouver and an elevation of ~700 meters above the ocean below.

The Pixel Shift images based Panorama is made up of 5 x Landscape mode images, (will try it in Portrait mode next time), which when combined, made a 85MB file.

Clicking on the file takes you to the original file where you can download to get the original image used. All the images are reduced in Smugmug so you need to download to get the full size.


Sony A7r III with Metabones V5 adapter, Canon 70-200 L Lens sitting on Arca Swiss Pano Head

Sony with 70-200 lens

Full Pixel-Shifted Panorama - original file 85MB

The Panorama is comprised of 5 panels, here is one of the panels that we will dive into.

For this comparison, the Pixel Shift image is on the right, you can see the cloud drifts have a green shading where they have been captured with a particular image from the 4 images, Pixel Shift takes for each panel. I think Sony needs to help work this issue via software upgrades.

It shows that if there is movement, better stick with normal images, do not use Pixel shifting.

Panel comparison

At 100%, the difference in retained detail is substantial. Clicking on each image will bring up the source JPG from the picture pool.

Can you tell which is the single image and which is the Pixel Shift, (4 images combined) photograph?

For this series and the two below, the image on the left is the one done with Pixel Shift. The image on the right is a single image of the 4, (normal image).

Photos

These two 300 percent crops show both the benefits and challenges of Pixel Shift technology. There is definitely improved resolution for this landscape but for this evening, the wind provided some minor movement of the 200mm f/3.2 image.

Also, one can see some artifacts around the bright lights from the 4 image layering used in the Pixel Shift process. 

I purposely made sure there was no sharpening done on this final dive and did a copy paste of all the settings from one image to the other in Lightroom to try and minimize any variances between the two images.

Please add any comments or suggestions, much appreciated,

Bob Anderson