Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?

Started Oct 17, 2013 | Discussions
Abhayks
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Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
Oct 17, 2013

I currently have an A55 and am happy with it. However, its already 3 years old and showing age.

Planning to replace it. My choice was A77, but was holding on as the high ISO performance of A55 is better than A77. Now that A7 is released and in the price range, I am tempted to give in to Full frame and jump. However, there are various points which are stopping me from making the switch.

  1. No 2.8 lens for A7 which can AF. Now I can use Sony A-mount 2.8 lenses but they will not AF and AF is a must ( for my skills) to shoot running / playing kids. I love the bokeh provided by my current Tamron 17-50 2.8. I can reuse this lens on A77 and still have AF. No such current option on A7.
  2. I have tried A77 and its very quick to AF, much faster than my A55. Even with the limited lens available on A7, the AF speed is still in question. I have tried Nex-7 and its AF speed simply cannot be compared to my A55. If A7 is anything as slow as Nex-7, it'll be a disaster for me.
  3. A55 and A77 are good to hold while the grip of Nex-7 feels odd. A7 is decidedly heavier than Nex-7 so should be having a better feel to the grip. But does it compares to the robust grip of A77 ?
  4. A77 battery will outlive A7 battery.
  5. The joystick on A77 proves much useful, not present on A7.
  6. On A77 I can use some cheap lenses like Sony 35 1.8, Sony 28-75 2.8 , Beercan and get very good result. The lens that can AF on A7 are very expensive and will increase my budget by a huge factor.
  7. I can use my existing Flash F43 AM with A77.
  8. Tons of used lenses and accessories available for A77. A used Minolta 70-210 :F4 can be had for as little as $150-200 and is still an excellent lens. It has great AF on A77. These cheap options are un-thinkable on A7. 

Considering all these options I am heavily inclined towards buying A77, well atleast that that my brain says. Not sure why my heart is fixed on A7 with the Kit Lens.

Would appreciate any points for an against A7/ A77. This will help me make the final decision.

JimmyMelbourne
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to Abhayks, Oct 17, 2013

Abhayks wrote:

I currently have an A55 and am happy with it. However, its already 3 years old and showing age.

Planning to replace it. My choice was A77, but was holding on as the high ISO performance of A55 is better than A77. Now that A7 is released and in the price range, I am tempted to give in to Full frame and jump. However, there are various points which are stopping me from making the switch.

  1. No 2.8 lens for A7 which can AF. Now I can use Sony A-mount 2.8 lenses but they will not AF and AF is a must ( for my skills) to shoot running / playing kids. I love the bokeh provided by my current Tamron 17-50 2.8. I can reuse this lens on A77 and still have AF. No such current option on A7.
  2. I have tried A77 and its very quick to AF, much faster than my A55. Even with the limited lens available on A7, the AF speed is still in question. I have tried Nex-7 and its AF speed simply cannot be compared to my A55. If A7 is anything as slow as Nex-7, it'll be a disaster for me.
  3. A55 and A77 are good to hold while the grip of Nex-7 feels odd. A7 is decidedly heavier than Nex-7 so should be having a better feel to the grip. But does it compares to the robust grip of A77 ?
  4. A77 battery will outlive A7 battery.
  5. The joystick on A77 proves much useful, not present on A7.
  6. On A77 I can use some cheap lenses like Sony 35 1.8, Sony 28-75 2.8 , Beercan and get very good result. The lens that can AF on A7 are very expensive and will increase my budget by a huge factor.
  7. I can use my existing Flash F43 AM with A77.
  8. Tons of used lenses and accessories available for A77. A used Minolta 70-210 :F4 can be had for as little as $150-200 and is still an excellent lens. It has great AF on A77. These cheap options are un-thinkable on A7.

Considering all these options I am heavily inclined towards buying A77, well atleast that that my brain says. Not sure why my heart is fixed on A7 with the Kit Lens.

Would appreciate any points for an against A7/ A77. This will help me make the final decision.

1. All your A-Mount lenses will work with A7 with an adapter, if you can live with the adapter implementation. They will give you AF using one of the new adapters.

2. You wont know the answer to this question until more reviews come out and it has been field tested. Some initial reports are saying A7 with adapter is faster than A99 with A mount lenses.

3. You wont know the answer to this until you hold it in your hand. This will mean waiting until it hits the shelves.

4. No evidence to suggest A7 battery power will be worse than a77 yet, unless you have seen this comparison in a report of some kind recently.

5. Same as 3 above, need to hold in hand and try before making judgment on this one.

6. You can use all of these lenses on the A7 or a7r with the adapter, but APS-C lenses wil be in crop mode, so lower MPs. The a7r gives most MP in crop mode.

7. One advantage, but if high ISO is better with FF A7 then you may not need flash so often. It depends if you rely on flash.

8. These lenses can all be used on the A7 with adapter. So you can still keep your old minolta glass and cheap sony glass and re-use them.

Personally I would wait for more reviews and decide then. In particular the performance using A mount glass on these cameras. I am very tempted to go FF too, but the cost is a slight barrier right now. I may sit on current equipment for another 1 - 2 years and then upgrade.

I like the idea of being able to use A mount glass, switch between FF and crop mode, go light or go heavy, depending on the need.

That said the A77 is a fine camera at the price point compared to the new stuff coming out. Do you want the latest and greatest with the flexibility I described above? This will cost you some money to buy into. The other option is to buy a low cost A77, invest some money in nice glass then invest in the new technology in 2 - 3 years time. This will also mean the native lens lineup will have matured for the A7 / A7r style cameras.

To me the native lens lineup is not that big a deal as i would just use all my existing A mount lenses on it, and then when I need new glass slowly invest in the new lineup over time.

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havoc315
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to Abhayks, Oct 17, 2013

Your a-mount lenses will still autofocus with a $350 adapter.  But you will lose image stabilization, which is why I'd stick to the a77, or wait for a new native a-mount body.

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to havoc315, Oct 17, 2013

Moving to FF, and also moving away from SLT pellicle mirror will offset the loss of IS. The adapter however re-introduces SLT as part of the A mount adapter solution.

A problem I find with the later SLTs is it is hard to know what benefit IBIS is actually providing in real terms. I do not see a great difference when it is on or off in most shooting scenarios.

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letsgofishing
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, Oct 17, 2013

95% of my photography is seascapes shot mainly at sunset and sunrise. I currently own a 650D with a Sigma 10-20 as my main lens. I'm not that happy with the dynamic range of the Canon. I was about to buy the A77 but then the A7 was launched. I'm not sure that the A7 would be worth twice the price of the A77 (bodies only). I should mention that I print mainly on canvas 36-48 inches wide. I would value your opinions on which way to go.

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Chris Malcolm
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, Oct 17, 2013

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Moving to FF, and also moving away from SLT pellicle mirror will offset the loss of IS. The adapter however re-introduces SLT as part of the A mount adapter solution.

A problem I find with the later SLTs is it is hard to know what benefit IBIS is actually providing in real terms. I do not see a great difference when it is on or off in most shooting scenarios.

At least some of the later SLTs (e.g. A77) have two different kinds of IBIS, one for stills and one for video. You have to be sure you're turning the right one on & off. Of course you won't notice any difference except in shots which were slow enough in shutter speed to have been spoiled by a bit of camera shake, but not so much that the IBIS can't cope with it. I seem to be steady enough that If I shoot in auto modes the auto tends to keep my shutter speeds high enough that IBIS isn't needed, i.e. it has no effect. But when I deliberately push shutter speeds lower into the danger zone i find it is very effective.

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to Chris Malcolm, Oct 17, 2013

Chris Malcolm wrote:

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Moving to FF, and also moving away from SLT pellicle mirror will offset the loss of IS. The adapter however re-introduces SLT as part of the A mount adapter solution.

A problem I find with the later SLTs is it is hard to know what benefit IBIS is actually providing in real terms. I do not see a great difference when it is on or off in most shooting scenarios.

At least some of the later SLTs (e.g. A77) have two different kinds of IBIS, one for stills and one for video. You have to be sure you're turning the right one on & off. Of course you won't notice any difference except in shots which were slow enough in shutter speed to have been spoiled by a bit of camera shake, but not so much that the IBIS can't cope with it. I seem to be steady enough that If I shoot in auto modes the auto tends to keep my shutter speeds high enough that IBIS isn't needed, i.e. it has no effect. But when I deliberately push shutter speeds lower into the danger zone i find it is very effective.

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Chris Malcolm

HI Chris

I certainly agree, most of my shooting is daytime shooting in good light so IBIS is not really required or noticeable, particularly for portrait shooting. It all depends on shooting style, lighting, and subject. IBIS does help when the camera is limited with higher ISO so the A77 benefits from it under low light conditions. I think FF, no pellicle with native lenses will definitely offset IBIS to a large degree considering the better ISO performance expected.

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letsgofishing
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to letsgofishing, Oct 17, 2013

letsgofishing wrote:

95% of my photography is seascapes shot mainly at sunset and sunrise. I currently own a 650D with a Sigma 10-20 as my main lens. I'm not that happy with the dynamic range of the Canon. I was about to buy the A77 but then the A7 was launched. I'm not sure that the A7 would be worth twice the price of the A77 (bodies only). I should mention that I print mainly on canvas 36-48 inches wide. I would value your opinions on which way to go.

And what wide angle lens would be comparable - ie.16mm on the A7?

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to letsgofishing, Oct 17, 2013

You can get the equivalent sigma for your A77, the tokina 11 - 16 2.8 is another popular choice or sigma 8 - 16.

Try www.dyxum.com lens database to see what options you have at all focal lengths.

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havoc315
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, Oct 17, 2013

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Moving to FF, and also moving away from SLT pellicle mirror will offset the loss of IS. The adapter however re-introduces SLT as part of the A mount adapter solution.

A problem I find with the later SLTs is it is hard to know what benefit IBIS is actually providing in real terms. I do not see a great difference when it is on or off in most shooting scenarios.

I find IBIS makes a huge difference........ Though you need to know where to look for it.

My hands are shaky, so truthfully, without IBIS, I lose quite a few shots.

But even my sharp shots if I test without IBIS:  When I use IBIS, the camera is able to select a slower shutter speed and a lower ISO.

So while I might get a clean well-focused shot at ISO 400 with IBIS on, if I turn off the IBIS -- the shot might still be sharp, but ISO will be bumped up to 1600, so you'll start to get noise.  In low light, with IBIS, I can get usable shots at ISO 1600.  Without IBIS, those same shots require ISO of 6400+, which are pretty unusable beyond a facebook posting type of shot.

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texascbx
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to Abhayks, Oct 17, 2013

I'm pretty bummed about the new cams. Sure you can use your old glass on it but the alpha glass I have now will not have any sort of stabilization so it's not that great a deal to me. I'm waiting for a good replacement for my A77, maybe pick up an A99 if the price drops significantly, which it should now since it would seem that the Alpha series, as we know it now, is either dead or on life support.

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zackiedawg
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Fairly simple for me...
In reply to Abhayks, Oct 17, 2013

If you're looking for a DSLR-type, larger bodied camera, stick with the A77 or the next Alpha A-mount bodies when they come out next year.

If you're looking for a lighter, thinner, rangefinder style body, then go with the E-mount bodies - either the APS-C based versions formerly known as NEX, or the new full-frame sensor versions.

Those to me are the key differences between A-Mount and E-Mount - with a few exceptions and a little crossover between them.

Key advantages to the E-mount bodies:  Thinner smaller designs are possible, super-thin registration gap allows adaptability to any other mount, and paired with the smaller lenses they can become very compact.

Key advantages to the A-Mount bodies: Typically, larger buffers, bigger batteries, larger bodies with more controls, better balanced with larger lenses.  With SLTs and past DSLRs, the focus was clearly better for things like continuous focus tracking on closing targets...though the mirrorless PDAF-on-Sensor future is as yet unknown.

I personally see no competition between the two lines at all - to me, they are different entities for different purposes...and I like that Sony is covering both markets.  I like it enough to own one of each myself - a NEX body alongside an Alpha DSLR.  I'll likely continue with this pairing - the DSLR will likely lean towards APS-C, to continue use of my Alpha lenses and with aim to maintain longer battery life, faster focus, faster bursts, bigger buffers, in-body stabilization, and the larger, beefier bodies with more controls...and the mirrorless catering more towards more compactness and light weight - it has been APS-C so far, but I'd consider full frame as well.

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Setter Dog
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to Abhayks, Oct 17, 2013

Abhayks wrote:

Considering all these options I am heavily inclined towards buying A77, well atleast that that my brain says. Not sure why my heart is fixed on A7 with the Kit Lens.

Would appreciate any points for an against A7/ A77. This will help me make the final decision.

I'm probably an odd ball a77 user since I only have two lenses for it, Sigma 18-250mm and Sigma 70-300mm. The 300mm rarely gets used. So, for me, use of existing lenses is of minor importance. My nature is to not use compromises like adapters etc.

I value the 1.5 crop factor of the a77 over the advantages of full frame. I also value the higher continuous speeds of the a77 for my grandsons Little League games.

Rumor is there will be an a77 successor in early 2014.

Jack

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Dave Oddie
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, Oct 17, 2013

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Moving to FF, and also moving away from SLT pellicle mirror will offset the loss of IS.

No it won't.  Why would it?

Camera shake is camera shake and the idea of putting my 70-300G in an A7 with an adapter making it even more unwieldy and getting remotely as many keepers just doesn't wash.

The adapter however re-introduces SLT as part of the A mount adapter solution.

A problem I find with the later SLTs is it is hard to know what benefit IBIS is actually providing in real terms. I do not see a great difference when it is on or off in most shooting scenarios.

Then I think you must be forgetting to switch it on!

I even use it with my 11-18 in museums along with MFNR to take photos impossible without IS.

If the o/p has a collection of a-mount lenses I think after the novelty of the new camera has worn off that adapter, which as you say includes the SLT mirror anyway, will be a source of endless annoyance.

With the adapter you end up with an SLT minus IS.

I think if anyone has a decent collection of A-mount lenses they would be mad to buy an E mount body to run them on.

I can see the attraction of e-mount if you have no A-mount lenses so will be buying e-lenses for AF and O?S and fancy sticking old manual focus lenses on it.  The latter doesn't interest me at all.  I have a Helios 58mm F2 that does work on an A mount body I got as a portrait lens.

Never use it.  AF and DMF are so much more fun!

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123Mike
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4 adapters, might need 2 of them = $350 times TWO
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, Oct 17, 2013

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Moving to FF, and also moving away from SLT pellicle mirror will offset the loss of IS. The adapter however re-introduces SLT as part of the A mount adapter solution.

A problem I find with the later SLTs is it is hard to know what benefit IBIS is actually providing in real terms. I do not see a great difference when it is on or off in most shooting scenarios.

I also always had the impression that IBIS was a bit of a stab in the dark. It sometimes appears to do something, if that. I get around motion blur mostly through burst shooting. I shoot like 8+ shots, and then 1 or 2 come out without blur. Lot of work filtering out the blurry ones. I was thinking of creating a photo-organizing software that finds the blurry versions and tgas them for quicker reviewing and discarding.

But about those adapters. There are two flavors, each in two sizes.

v1 straight through
v2 SLT
v3 =v1 in FF
v4 =v2 in FF

All do AF, either through that SLT based PDAF or in body CDAF (assisted by PDAF on sensor in some cases - but that's not proper full time PDAF as of yet).

If you want that best low light sensitivity, you need a v1 or v3 adapter.

If you want continue AF during video, and *fast* AF, you need a v2 or v4 adapter.

So, that's 2 adapters you need. Plus swapping, attaching, storing, tons of fidgeting.

$350 x 2 = $700 in adapters. You can almost get a used A77 for that...

Good grief.

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to Dave Oddie, Oct 17, 2013

Dave Oddie wrote:

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Moving to FF, and also moving away from SLT pellicle mirror will offset the loss of IS.

No it won't. Why would it?

Camera shake is camera shake and the idea of putting my 70-300G in an A7 with an adapter making it even more unwieldy and getting remotely as many keepers just doesn't wash.

If you have the ability to go higher ISO without affecting IQ with noise then you can increase your shutter speed therefore reducing the effect of camera shake. FF and reduction of pellicle mirror enables this. Of course it would be even better to have FF, no pellicle and IBIS all together.

The adapter however re-introduces SLT as part of the A mount adapter solution.

A problem I find with the later SLTs is it is hard to know what benefit IBIS is actually providing in real terms. I do not see a great difference when it is on or off in most shooting scenarios.

Then I think you must be forgetting to switch it on!

I even use it with my 11-18 in museums along with MFNR to take photos impossible without IS.

If the o/p has a collection of a-mount lenses I think after the novelty of the new camera has worn off that adapter, which as you say includes the SLT mirror anyway, will be a source of endless annoyance.

With the adapter you end up with an SLT minus IS.

I think if anyone has a decent collection of A-mount lenses they would be mad to buy an E mount body to run them on.

I can see the attraction of e-mount if you have no A-mount lenses so will be buying e-lenses for AF and O?S and fancy sticking old manual focus lenses on it. The latter doesn't interest me at all. I have a Helios 58mm F2 that does work on an A mount body I got as a portrait lens.

Never use it. AF and DMF are so much more fun!

The appeal for me is to have 1 camera, which I can use as a smaller size FF with primes, or I can turn it into a larger camera supporting longer lenses. It enables me to move to Full Frame, re- use my existing lenses and develop a new FF capability in a smaller body. The adapter in the middle does not seem to be much of a bother for me, considering the cameras I use now are big anyway. But i am also keen on seeing how well these new cameras operate with A mount glass.

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havoc315
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Re: Fairly simple for me...
In reply to zackiedawg, Oct 17, 2013

zackiedawg wrote:

I personally see no competition between the two lines at all - to me, they are different entities for different purposes...and I like that Sony is covering both markets. I like it enough to own one of each myself - a NEX body alongside an Alpha DSLR. I'll likely continue with this pairing - the DSLR will likely lean towards APS-C, to continue use of my Alpha lenses and with aim to maintain longer battery life, faster focus, faster bursts, bigger buffers, in-body stabilization, and the larger, beefier bodies with more controls...and the mirrorless catering more towards more compactness and light weight - it has been APS-C so far, but I'd consider full frame as well.

For professionals, or consumers with the resources and/or photography dedication to purchase both, they may not compete with each other.

For consumers who only invest in a single system -- They certainly compete with each other.  It's not as if the cameras are so different, that there is ever a situation where only 1 or the other will do.  The A7 may not be as fast as the A77 for action photography, but it isn't useless for action.  And the smaller size of the E-mount does certainly make it nicer to travel with, but it's not like nobody travels with a regular dSLR.

If, like many consumers, you are only looking to pick one system, there is clearly competition.  Go with the smaller compact size, but with fewer and more expensive native lenses... Or go with a larger size, more diverse native lens selection...

I think there is a reason Sony has been quiet on the A-mount front, until apparently next year.  And it appears they have pulled the A-mount off big box retail shelves (was never prevalent before, but now totally absent).  Sony knows the mounts can compete with each other, so they want to allow Holiday 2013 to be about the new E-mounts.  Once the excitement for the new E-mounts starts to die down, they will introduce new A-mounts.

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sybersitizen
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, Oct 17, 2013

Abhayks wrote:
A77 battery will outlive A7 battery.

JimmyMelbourne wrote:
No evidence to suggest A7 battery power will be worse than a77 yet, unless you have seen this comparison in a report of some kind recently.

The A7 battery is smaller and lower capacity, so I can think of just a couple of things that might offset that: The A7 might be more efficient in power consumption... and there is no pop-up flash to draw power (not exactly an advantage!).

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sensibill
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Re: Why to choose A7/7r over A77 ?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, Oct 17, 2013

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Moving to FF, and also moving away from SLT pellicle mirror will offset the loss of IS. The adapter however re-introduces SLT as part of the A mount adapter solution.

Not sure this holds for base ISO shooting. You can't always compare DR or SnR for things like this, base ISO will always be lower noise.

A problem I find with the later SLTs is it is hard to know what benefit IBIS is actually providing in real terms. I do not see a great difference when it is on or off in most shooting scenarios.

I see a marked difference. I'd say it's at least one stop.

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sensibill
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Yeah, it's kind of odd.
In reply to 123Mike, Oct 17, 2013

It's surprising to me how many here are saying 'Hey, cool! I'm totally getting this $2200 E mount camera with $300 adapters to shoot with my A mount lenses'.

I guess we're a wealthy forum.

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