One month with the A7r

Started 6 months ago | User reviews thread
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Martin Muehlemann
Contributing MemberPosts: 880Gear list
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One month with the A7r
6 months ago

Hi

I would like to share my one month of experience with the A7r. The goods and the bads. I like the camera overall. I sold my A99 today and decided to keep the Canon 5D3.

The camera does really fit my needs. Since plenty of time, during my times of Olympus, I was looking for the size of an E-620 but with a better ISO performance and the ability to play with DOF. Unfortunately, so far no vendor has matched my needs in all aspects. I need a small lightweight camera, fullframe, weather sealed, which is capable of deliver for shooting my children, models and weddings. I go skiing with my children and it can happen that the cam ends up in snow. It must withstand this, same as the freezing temperatures of -5 to 0 degrees celsius.

My E-5 did this All gear was sealed, but, the 4/3 was just to small to deliver the IQ

The 5D2 and 5D3 are pretty much the workhorses for weddings and airshows, but too large for go skiing or even taking on my long travels around the globe for business purposes.

A99 was fine, but my last November travel was 4 weeks and to carry through the airports, 18 to be exact, is just too much effort.

A7r now looks right to me, here is the why

While all people start with the goods, I will start with the bads

1. Sony sux not to add a charger and the flash hotshoe adapter which is bundled in A99
2. Sony failed to deliver proper lenses at launch date - big fail
3. Battery sux - A99 is already bad, they new, why not provide something better
4. RAW compression. lossless!? Probably not, thats a myth.
5. AF Illuminator was deliberately disabled - why the heck
6. LA-EA4 has only A65 AF module. It would have been piece of cake to fit A99 module
7. Lousy customer service. I have Canon CPS Gold status. I get my gear fixed in 5 days or I get a free rental. Sony took 6 month to fix my first A99 body and I had to pay for fix the SSS and to pay for rental.

So, this is what I really don't like

Now here we go to what I like

1. Weather sealed. A7r + all FE lenses + my flash guns
2. Solid build
3. Small, lightweight
4. Very good IQ
5. Very good video quality
6. Good ISO performance
7. Good AF, fast and accurate
8. Highly customizable buttons. Much better than Canon 5D3

What is a must for all A7r buyers!

At least 3 batteries, battery grip and LA-EA4 adapter. I tried without. It does not work. The grip is not only helpful for portrait shooting but for better balance and carry around.

Did I miss SSS? Not really. Does the Canon 50L/85L have SSS? no. The 85L II is among the best and highest rates Canon lenses. Yes, Sony/Olympus shooters need to get used to the fact that OSS is now the key. Specially for filming. And for the rest. Back to basics

Shutter sound. Come on. My 5D2 has a louder mirror slap. The silent mode of my 5D3 kills the frames down to 3 fps. Silent mode and sports is a myth. Try to shoot "Riverdance" in silent mode. You will just not be able to capture the movements fast enough. Enjoy the show and leav the cam at home. If you are a professional and are getting payed to shoot "Riverdance" Group get a 1D-X or D4. The A99, A7 is not your gear.

Autofocus. Lot has been said. Christmas eve, all was dark, candles was the only illumination I had. FE55 mounted and I was able to capture 90% of all shots. AF was dead on and not even slow. Less than 2 sec to nail focus.

I have not had a single issue to shoot my kids. Neither I had a problem being in the snow and put the camera down in the snow. It was no problem today in the heavy rain for 1 hr.

For me the camera is a winner.

I decided for the A7r as the APS-C mode has more megapixels and the body build is better. More solid in my opinion.

A last word. This camera is not a NEX, don't compare it. It is like comparing a A99 with an A58. It is not the same league. It is not a 1D or D4 replacement for sports. Again, thats is not the same area. Nor it is an A99 because it features a complete new lens lineup.

A7, A7r and Ax whatever Sony might bring is a new tech tree. If this is good or bad, well, we'll see. Time will tell.

I am very optimistic that the new 24-70 OSS and 70-200 OSS will deliver all we need for shooting weddings and general purpose. A good makro is needed too. And hopefully we will see some 300/400mm telephoto lenses in the next two years.

Cheers
Martin

 Martin Muehlemann's gear list:Martin Muehlemann's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM +5 more
Martin Muehlemann's score
5.0
Average community score
4.7
bad for good for
Kids / pets
acceptable
Action / sports
weak
Landscapes / scenery
great
Portraits
excellent
Low light (without flash)
good
Flash photography (social)
great
Studio / still life
great
= community average
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