We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

JPEG Signal to noise ratio

Sony alpha 77 review: signal to noise ratio
Sony alpha 77 review: signal to noise ratio

JPEG images from the Sony Alpha 77 show signal to noise ratio results that are on par with the Canon EOS 7D and Pentax K-5. These results show that noise is well controlled up to a sensitivity of ISO 3200, above this sensitivity value noise starts to become more apparent, but images still have lots of detail.

Raw signal to noise ratio

Sony alpha 77 review: tiff signal to noise ratio
Sony alpha 77 review: tiff signal to noise ratio

Raw images (after conversion to TIFF) from the Sony Alpha 77 have a better signal to noise ratio than the Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D300s. Although the Pentax K-5 has a slightly better score, the difference is marginal.

JPEG dynamic range

Sony alpha 77 review: dynamic range
Sony alpha 77 review: dynamic range

This chart shows that the Sony Alpha 77's JPEGs capture a wide tonal range up to a sensitivity of ISO 3200, at ISO 6400 the amount of tonal detail captured in the shadows and highlights deteriorates. This graph shows that from a sensitivity of ISO 100 to 1600 the Sony Alpha 77 JPEGS capture a greater tonal range than the Canon EOS 7D and the Nikon D300s, which is impressive given its higher pixel count.

Raw dynamic range

Sony alpha 77 review: tiff dynamic range
Sony alpha 77 review: tiff dynamic range

This chart shows that the Sony Alpha 77's raw images (after conversion to TIFF) capture a wide tonal range up to a sensitivity of ISO 6400, beating the Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D300s by as much as 2Ev. At the higher end of the sensitivity range the Pentax K-5 just has the edge.

For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.