Landscapes - A7r vs A99, same lens (Sigma 105MM f2.8 DG HSM), same scene

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Sh_la_m
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Landscapes - A7r vs A99, same lens (Sigma 105MM f2.8 DG HSM), same scene
8 months ago

I have been shooting this landscape scene for a few months with the A99 and Sigma 105MM f2.8 DG HSM macro lens.  The lens resolves a lot of detail, so I thought it would be a good one to use to compare the A7r with the A99. Today I had a chance to do just that, using the LA EA4 adapter.  I had an initial technical difficulty with a dust spot that kept appearing, but it seems to have disappeared with a careful blowing -out of the adapter.

The following shots are converted from raw files with LR.  I had better luck with LR5 on my laptop than I did using the Adobe DNG converter on my old desktop, which doesn't run LR5, but does a fine job with the A99 files using LR4.  Both are at iso1600, because that is the iso I have been using to minimize wind movement in this series.  Noise is just not an issue, particularly on prints in scenes of this complexity, from the A99.

There is no sharpening applied, not even default sharpening in LR, although some others might prefer a bit more than I do. The files do sharpen well.  Both cameras are set to no noise reduction.  The photos are processed otherwise similarly. The A99 file, however, is converted with LR4, and not LR5,so there may be some difference there. There is a time gap of about a half-hour between the A99 and A7r shots as I dealt with the dust issues.

I don't know if the Sigma qualifies as a "lightweight telephoto", but I had the camera firmly attached to a tripod, and don't see evidence of any "shutter shock".  I was, however, at a low shutter speed today - 1/15 to 1/25 at iso 1600.

Bottom line - is the A7r a necessary addition to the landscape arsenal just because of its extra pixels?  I think you really need to think about what lenses you have.  If you don't have (or want to purchase) high-resolving glass, the extra pixels aren't really going to do a lot for you.  I will say that this Sigma (and the Sigma Art35MM f1.4) do justice to the sensor on the A99.  Not all the Sony lenses, not even some of the CZ glass, do as well.  I just think that at 36MP we are really hitting diminishing IQ returns with a lot of the lenses we have available.

The A7r is a nice solid-feeling camera in the hand. Can't make a cosmic evaluation on the basis of this one test.  Hope to have a chance to try more different situations and lenses with it.

So here are the files:

A99:

A7r:

Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Sony Alpha 7R Sony SLT-A99
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