We should probably talk about the Sony A7

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
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Red5TX
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We should probably talk about the Sony A7
6 months ago

So that new full frame Sony mirrorless camera has finally broken cover. It looks like a giant Olympus E-M1.

My, what a big kit zoom you have.

We were going to have to talk about this sooner or later since it will be cross-shopped with Fuji's X-Series. 24MP full-frame sensor, phase detect autofocus, and an undoubtedly gorgeous EVF. All for $2,000 with the kit zoon.

That's a pretty desirable set-up on paper, but dig a little deeper and things look shakier.

Here's the supposed initial lens line-up:

Zeiss FE 24-70mm f/4.0 OSS
Sony G 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS
Zeiss FE 35mm f/2.8
Zeiss FE 55mm f/1.8
Zeiss FE 70-200mm f/4.0 OSS (coming early 2014)

Question: What's the point of moving to FF if you're going to be saddled with such slow lenses?

Fuji's lens line-up (with the exception of the tele zoom) runs circles around these lenses w/r/t speed, which negates much of the supposed FF advantage, particularly for thin DOF.

Another question: Just how big is this thing? It looks gigantic, particularly with that kit zoom attached.

I'm not saying the Sony is a dog. I have zero doubt that it has one hell of a sensor inside. However, as a camera SYSTEM, the initial roll-out looks kind of uninspired.* This, combined with Sony's spotty reputation for releasing truly desirable NEX lenses, merits a wait-and-see attitude, IMO.

What this does do is put pressure on Fuji for the X-Pro2 to be rather special. The Olympus E-M1 is squeezing Fuji from one side and now this A7 is squeezing Fuji from the other. I love my X-E1, but Fuji has got to step it up in terms of speed, processing power, and overall usability. The camera market has never been more competitive than it will be in 2014.

* It doesn't escape me that the X-System launched with three prime lenses, but at least two of them were obviously quite excellent.  So while the range wasn't there, the dedication to quality was already apparent.  Plus Fuji quickly released a lens roadmap that showed the way forward.  Will Sony do the same?

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