choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
Steve W
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My first weekend with the A7R
In reply to Arn, 10 months ago

Well I saw an offer I couldn't resist. I've traded the X-E1 and lenses (18, 35, 60) that I was trying to sell for a Sony A7R I had been thinking about. Since it arrived mid week I've been trying out my collection of Zeiss ZM lenses I have for my Ikon. So far I've only tried the 2,0/35 2,0/50 and 1,5/50 with the Metabones mount adapter. Others think these are the ones I would have the most success with. So I will share my thoughts.

First I want to disclose I have not abandoned Fuji. I have my X-E2 and 14, 23, 18-55, 55-200, and 27 still. I've also got the 56mm f/1.2 on order. Also want to state I have a significant Canon DSLR investment that I have no plans to sell at this time with a full collection of lenses. The Fuji and this Sony have been my attempt to get an alternative small, high quality camera to travel with. The key requirements for my mirrorless quest have been high IQ, Interchangeable lenses, high quality small primes, access to zooms if I felt I wanted the flexibility, and low light performance (focusing and IQ).

So now lets talk about the Sony A7R. Adapting to the menus and form factor (thicker grip handle) has taken a little getting used to from the Fuji. Also the placement of the C3 (+) button for zooming in on playback mode seems difficult and hard for me to reach (medium size hands). Also when your in the menus the wheels make the selections zoom by very quick (like on the ISO or Picture Style menus) so I need to be a little more deliberate.

Would like a way to have the LCD consume less power in between shots since I really only use the view finder for shooting. I don't want to turn it off completely but would like to find away to configure it with just a minimal ammount of info so I how things are set but not have it actively do focus peaking, etc. I think there is a mode there I just haven't found it.

Already got used to the louder shutter. When I'm out walking in the woods I really don't notice it. Is more of a solid conformation that the image has been taken.

The focus peaking is great compared to the Fuji X-E2 (the new X-T1 offers multiple colors but I haven't tried it). This is key given my desire to use adapted glass here.

Images and IQ seem great so far. Not really taken it anywhere that I can use to show it off though. I've only been using it hand held with manual focus so I've been sure to have my DOF at f/4 to f/8 to make sure I get what I want in focus. For me believe it or not tree bark and its patterns are my test for sharpness and I know if the focus isn't just right they smear quite a bit. Its also what I do a lot of AF test on to see how well my Canon's and Fuji AF systems work. With the Zeiss ZM's and focus peaking I appear to be doing OK. Its not the camera I'm really testing here. Mor my ability to get the shot I want with it. I did decide to order the 55mm f/1.8 FE to see how well an AF lens, designed for the camera, works. It will be here tomorrow.

Accessories are not as readily available as I would like. ReallyRightStuff is out of stock on there Arca-Swiss compatible plate so I haven't put it on a tripod yet. Also, not quite sure what to do about a cable release. Saw they have a low priced wireless remote so I might get that. Relying on my iPhone and WiFi is not the approach I like. Especially with the limited battery life I appear to be getting. (Got to figure out the displays better). These two accessories I think are key if I plan to get the most out of the 36 MP sensor. I really didn't buy this for snapshots although the size with the ZM lenses are great! If I could get Sony/Zeiss to provide equivalents of their ZM line (in focal distance and aperture) that would be great. I know with AF they won't match the size but can they produce the following 2,8/15 2,8/21 2,8/25 or 28 2,0/35 1,5/50 2,0/85. Or if they want to stay MF like on Nikon ZF.2 or Canon ZE then at least optimize them so the image quality is great for the Sony sensor.

Finally, I've got to find a good forum that supports this as a prime focus. Really wish FM would promote the Sony, Fuji, and Olympus to the same status as Nikon or Canon and not push everything into one Alternative Gear section.
Any recommendations are appreciated.

Well, the experiment continues. Thanks for your time if you bothered to read this far. Steve

 Steve W's gear list:Steve W's gear list
Canon PowerShot G11 Canon EOS-1D X Canon EOS 5D Mark III Fujifilm X-E2 Sony Alpha 7R +30 more
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