A7R hands-on impression from a Nex-7 user

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tn1krr
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A7R hands-on impression from a Nex-7 user
5 months ago

Just visited a local trade show, the Digiexpo where Sony had the new FF E mount cameras on display. since it was midday in friday the place was not too crowded and I got to play with the 7R maybe closer to half an hour. So here's some hands on impressions from a Nex-7 (referred as N7 in this text) user, no pictures as it was not possible to use my own memory card

- A7 feels better and nicer when holding it, for a few different reasons. There grip is better than on N7, about as nice as my N7 is with Jim Buchanan's Grip. The control wheels have solid click to them so no more accidental aperture or exposure compensation changes some people had with N7

- the EVF improvements are very clear. Sony stand was quite dark yet the EVF did not show color noise and contrast and optical improvement were easy to see. Much more OVF like than the one in N7. When I first grapped the A7R the EVF had some lag/tearing, but when I dialled the aperture etc to my liking the EVF response was very nice and did not see any lag on it

- most customization issues from N7 are history. The customizable buttons in A7(R)have much more stuff one can assign to them, for example optical stabilization on/off, peaking level etc. can be assigned to quick controls. Did not even touch Fn menus yet that have a lot of stuff assignable too, but with the 2 user-definable custom shoot profiles available in the mode dial and other configurability improvements I'm quite positive one can configure the camera in a way that Menu does not need to be accessed on everyday usage

- back button AF from N7 is still there and there may be even more flexibility with it (did not try and figure everything in the settings), but I managed to configure the A7R for my normal usage mode of "hold back AF/MF button to AF". There is also menu item "Pre AF" that could mean that the constant hunting some (most?) of us hate can likely be disabled

- AF. The A7R was equipped with the 28-70 A7 kit lens for some reason and they did not seem to have other glass there and the AF did not really impress me. There was hunting and AF speed was nothing to write home about. That lens obviously is not fast focusing. AS we know from APS-C cameras the lens has a big effect on the AF speed; my 16-70 focuses way faster than my SEL50 does. I'm ready to believe that FE Zeisses focus even significantly faster, but the "blazing fast" some revievers claim is propably exaggeration and for sports or similar the LA-EA4 + A mount glass is the way to go

- the nice Sony representative encouraged me to test my Metabones Mark III Smart Adapter + Canon 100/2.8L IS that I had with me. Works just as nice as with my N7, I did get the impression that AF might be slightly faster than with N7 but really cannot be sure until I get to test them side by side. There was a few more interested people around when I tested the adapter/lens and they were clearly impressed that one could fully use Canon glass. The Sony dude joked that maybe I want to stay on their stand for the day with the adapter and lens; I said sure but I'm taking the camera home with me in the evening in that case. No deal

- asked about delivery schedules and they said they are still on track for mid November so in about 2 weeks I should have my A7R and 35/2.8 and 55/1.8

All in all I liked the camera a lot. I'm quite down to earth when it comes to claims about AF speed we're seen and I never expected the A7R to AF like a D600. To me the superb 36 MP FF sensor+ a huge list of usability improvements over N7 is what I want and it seems that is gonna be delivered. I went to Nikon stand just the see the other 36 MP FF camera there is and was more convinced than ever that the possible portability and EVF of A7R + 35/2.8 is the way to go for me.

 tn1krr's gear list:tn1krr's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R Sony a6000 Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Sony 85mm F1.4 ZA Carl Zeiss Planar T* Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM +10 more
Nikon D600 Sony Alpha 7 Sony Alpha 7R Sony Alpha NEX-7
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