Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!

Started Nov 30, 2013 | Discussions
rishi o'
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to blue_skies, Dec 1, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

zilver wrote:

Well, the mirrorless world at least

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/11/29/the-sony-a7-and-a7r-camera-review-by-steve-huff/

seems he thinks A7 is best all around, while A7R is best for ultimate image quality. he asks why does Sony make us choose!? I agree!

In Steve Huff-esk way, he yet finds another 'best of the best' camera. Two in fact, because he refuses to choose winners.

Interesting read, as he still leaves some straws for the m43 users, but he seems to have changed his opinion a lot otherwise. I guess he is experiencing and realizing the flexibility of the FF format and the A7 cameras, and seems impressed.

I choose the A7 over the A7R for personal reasons, the biggest one being that I don't need the 36Mp IQ, especially since Sony had to take out some of the features (EFC being the mist noticable one). I agree with Steve's comment here.

I think that Sony designed the cameras with this in mind, yet, with the A7R outselling the A7 by a 2:1 ratio, I wonder if people are buying just on spec.

Or perhaps this was only the pre-order ratio and is not telling much yet.

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Cheers,
Henry

Faster, more accurate contrast based autofocus is a significant reason to pay extra for the A7r versus the A7. David Kilpatrick has good insight into why the A7r does better in low light / small aperture (where pdaf doesn't function) focusing than the A7. Since I do a lot of low light / high ISO shooting myself, I'm willing to pay more for accurate autofocus capabilities in such environments.

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Rod McD
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to zilver, Dec 1, 2013

Hi,

Once I'd adjusted my own 'sensor' for the excitable language and the fact that it was the same for the EM1 a few weeks ago, I think his descriptions are useful enough. However, for me, there's a very significant omission - he failed to address the lack of top notch wide angle lenses. Yes the ZFE35mm looks excellent, but what are we to do for wider lens? Waiting for a native FE wider lens doesn't inspire confidence in the system.

I'm a landscape enthusiast, a former medium and large format user. The A7s look, and still look, like a boon for the trekking and traveling photographer. They are small, light, sealed high res bodies that will take almost any lens ever made. But a body doesn't make a system...... I've seen many a post about issues with corner illumination, color shifts, and worse from RF lenses. What I'd love to see would be a few convincingly beautiful posts from 20-24mm DSLR lenses that worked well without PP to address the corners. Hopefully someone who's actually received a camera will try a few accessible 20-24mm lenses and post them SOOC.

Still sitting (very hopefully) on the fence,

Rod

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zilver
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to rishi o', Dec 1, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

zilver wrote:

Well, the mirrorless world at least

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/11/29/the-sony-a7-and-a7r-camera-review-by-steve-huff/

seems he thinks A7 is best all around, while A7R is best for ultimate image quality. he asks why does Sony make us choose!? I agree!

In Steve Huff-esk way, he yet finds another 'best of the best' camera. Two in fact, because he refuses to choose winners.

Interesting read, as he still leaves some straws for the m43 users, but he seems to have changed his opinion a lot otherwise. I guess he is experiencing and realizing the flexibility of the FF format and the A7 cameras, and seems impressed.

I choose the A7 over the A7R for personal reasons, the biggest one being that I don't need the 36Mp IQ, especially since Sony had to take out some of the features (EFC being the mist noticable one). I agree with Steve's comment here.

I think that Sony designed the cameras with this in mind, yet, with the A7R outselling the A7 by a 2:1 ratio, I wonder if people are buying just on spec.

Or perhaps this was only the pre-order ratio and is not telling much yet.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

Faster, more accurate contrast based autofocus is a significant reason to pay extra for the A7r versus the A7. David Kilpatrick has good insight into why the A7r does better in low light / small aperture (where pdaf doesn't function) focusing than the A7. Since I do a lot of low light / high ISO shooting myself, I'm willing to pay more for accurate autofocus capabilities in such environments.

-- hide signature --

There's so much conflicting reports on AF accuracy.

My own testing saw the A7R more accurate as well but many reviewers also found A7 to be better as Sony's contrast detect of A7R sometimes misses your intended focus point for a more contrasty point close by.

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Brian Caslis
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to Rod McD, Dec 1, 2013

Rod McD wrote:

Hi,

Once I'd adjusted my own 'sensor' for the excitable language and the fact that it was the same for the EM1 a few weeks ago, I think his descriptions are useful enough. However, for me, there's a very significant omission - he failed to address the lack of top notch wide angle lenses. Yes the ZFE35mm looks excellent, but what are we to do for wider lens? Waiting for a native FE wider lens doesn't inspire confidence in the system.

I'm a landscape enthusiast, a former medium and large format user. The A7s look, and still look, like a boon for the trekking and traveling photographer. They are small, light, sealed high res bodies that will take almost any lens ever made. But a body doesn't make a system...... I've seen many a post about issues with corner illumination, color shifts, and worse from RF lenses. What I'd love to see would be a few convincingly beautiful posts from 20-24mm DSLR lenses that worked well without PP to address the corners. Hopefully someone who's actually received a camera will try a few accessible 20-24mm lenses and post them SOOC.

Still sitting (very hopefully) on the fence,

Rod

In the video by The Camera Store in Canada, they used a Canon UWA zoom on the A7r. In the video there wasn't any obvious problem shown but it's hard to say for sure from a video. Look at about 12:20 minutes into the video.

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rishi o'
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to zilver, Dec 1, 2013

Faster, more accurate contrast based autofocus is a significant reason to pay extra for the A7r versus the A7. David Kilpatrick has good insight into why the A7r does better in low light / small aperture (where pdaf doesn't function) focusing than the A7. Since I do a lot of low light / high ISO shooting myself, I'm willing to pay more for accurate autofocus capabilities in such environments.

-- hide signature --

There's so much conflicting reports on AF accuracy.

My own testing saw the A7R more accurate as well but many reviewers also found A7 to be better as Sony's contrast detect of A7R sometimes misses your intended focus point for a more contrasty point close by.

We will see. I'd use the spot AF setting which would prevent the camera from choosing a contrast AF point outside the box. David's explanation made a lot of sense to me in theory. I wrote it in another post but I'll write it here again:

"AA filters reduce fine detail contrast and tend to smooth the luminance peaks and troughs used by contrast detect focusing to decide when the image is most sharp. Removing the AA filter has a small but significant effect on the speed and accuracy of contrast detection focusing, along with an improvement in many irregular textures like distant woodlands, lawn grass and human skin. So if you incorporate image processing able to remove some of the resulting moiré, it makes sense. This is the route being taken by most other makers now to get the best possible live view auto follow-focusing."

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2013/10/16/sony-a7-merges-nex-and-rx-lines-rx10-revives-classics/

I also read that the PDAF doesn't function in low light or apertures smaller than f/8 on the A7. It seems fair to conclude that the A7r will perform better under these circumstances which makes sense. I'm waiting for the dpreview review for the autofocus issue and the cinema5d and phillip bloom review for the video before I pull the trigger. I keep going back and forth and it drives me crazy because I'd like the camera system before I head out of the country in a month.

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captura
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to Brian Caslis, Dec 1, 2013

"When the Nikon D800 started selling, a good amount went to people who basically used them as a point and shoot. So there seems to be a lot of spec buying by people not very camera savvy. Especially at this time of the year. They just the BEST and they decide this on specs."

- A lot of people bought the Sony RX1 to be a fancy point & shoot, and the same thing will also happen with the A7.

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captura
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to jennajenna, Dec 1, 2013

jennajenna wrote:

Hentaiboy wrote:

Huff's a camera whore. The Nikon Df will be his favourite next week

And the previous week he was foaming over the Olympus OMD. Huff's opinion is as worthful as a child who loves candy.

That's pretty funny.

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captura
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to zilver, Dec 1, 2013

zilver wrote:

blue_skies wrote:

zilver wrote:

Well, the mirrorless world at least

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/11/29/the-sony-a7-and-a7r-camera-review-by-steve-huff/

seems he thinks A7 is best all around, while A7R is best for ultimate image quality. he asks why does Sony make us choose!? I agree!

In Steve Huff-esk way, he yet finds another 'best of the best' camera. Two in fact, because he refuses to choose winners.

Interesting read, as he still leaves some straws for the m43 users, but he seems to have changed his opinion a lot otherwise. I guess he is experiencing and realizing the flexibility of the FF format and the A7 cameras, and seems impressed.

I choose the A7 over the A7R for personal reasons, the biggest one being that I don't need the 36Mp IQ, especially since Sony had to take out some of the features (EFC being the mist noticable one). I agree with Steve's comment here.

I think that Sony designed the cameras with this in mind, yet, with the A7R outselling the A7 by a 2:1 ratio, I wonder if people are buying just on spec.

Or perhaps this was only the pre-order ratio and is not telling much yet.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

Faster, more accurate contrast based autofocus is a significant reason to pay extra for the A7r versus the A7. David Kilpatrick has good insight into why the A7r does better in low light / small aperture (where pdaf doesn't function) focusing than the A7. Since I do a lot of low light / high ISO shooting myself, I'm willing to pay more for accurate autofocus capabilities in such environments.

-- hide signature --

There's so much conflicting reports on AF accuracy.

My own testing saw the A7R more accurate as well but many reviewers also found A7 to be better as Sony's contrast detect of A7R sometimes misses your intended focus point for a more contrasty point close by.

I think the meaning was that the A7r has faster/better AF in low light conditions, but the A7 is better when it's hybrid PDAF comes into play.

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zilver
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to rishi o', Dec 1, 2013

Fully understand your frustration as I keep going back and forth as well. I have both now for a while, one will go to my brother later, he's fine with any of them.

Your analysis makes sense because I also find that in low light A7R is tack sharp and hardly misses focus.

But I keep coming back to that shutter noise and little blackout after each shot, the A7 is quicker and noticeably (for me at least) more fun to shoot in this regard.

So I guess Steve Huff is right that why Sony had to make us choose, A7 without AA filter would've been great.

Anyway good luck with what you decide!

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rishi o'
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to zilver, Dec 1, 2013

zilver wrote:

Fully understand your frustration as I keep going back and forth as well. I have both now for a while, one will go to my brother later, he's fine with any of them.

Your analysis makes sense because I also find that in low light A7R is tack sharp and hardly misses focus.

But I keep coming back to that shutter noise and little blackout after each shot, the A7 is quicker and noticeably (for me at least) more fun to shoot in this regard.

So I guess Steve Huff is right that why Sony had to make us choose, A7 without AA filter would've been great.

Anyway good luck with what you decide!

Thanks for the feedback. The other issue is the shutter noise and the 36mp file. I'm a bit worried that 36mp might slow my computer down too much when processing raw.

Do you find that the A7 misses a lot of shots in low light as compared to the A7r? I'd love all this put into perspective as compared to the Sony Nex 7 which is what I'm upgrading from.

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ZzzooM3
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to Brian Caslis, Dec 1, 2013

Brian Caslis wrote:

Rod McD wrote:

Hi,

Once I'd adjusted my own 'sensor' for the excitable language and the fact that it was the same for the EM1 a few weeks ago, I think his descriptions are useful enough. However, for me, there's a very significant omission - he failed to address the lack of top notch wide angle lenses. Yes the ZFE35mm looks excellent, but what are we to do for wider lens? Waiting for a native FE wider lens doesn't inspire confidence in the system.

I'm a landscape enthusiast, a former medium and large format user. The A7s look, and still look, like a boon for the trekking and traveling photographer. They are small, light, sealed high res bodies that will take almost any lens ever made. But a body doesn't make a system...... I've seen many a post about issues with corner illumination, color shifts, and worse from RF lenses. What I'd love to see would be a few convincingly beautiful posts from 20-24mm DSLR lenses that worked well without PP to address the corners. Hopefully someone who's actually received a camera will try a few accessible 20-24mm lenses and post them SOOC.

Still sitting (very hopefully) on the fence,

Rod

In the video by The Camera Store in Canada, they used a Canon UWA zoom on the A7r. In the video there wasn't any obvious problem shown but it's hard to say for sure from a video. Look at about 12:20 minutes into the video.

Did you see the post from Sanjeet ? He's got a few ultra wide-angle shots.

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ZzzooM3
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to zilver, Dec 1, 2013

zilver wrote: There's so much conflicting reports on AF accuracy. My own testing saw the A7R more accurate as well but many reviewers also found A7 to be better as Sony's contrast detect of A7R sometimes misses your intended focus point for a more contrasty point close by.

I think you will find the a7 focusing behavior quite similar to the NEX-6 Hybrid AF. If you have to have the absolute fastest most accurate focusing system, I do not think either of these cameras are it IMO.

Otherwise, you'll find AF quite good in most lighting situations. In low lighting, you may find that using MF with your desired Peaking Level (Low, Mid, High) & Peaking Color (White, Red, Yellow) performs very well (albeit slower).

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zilver
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to rishi o', Dec 1, 2013

I had Nex 7 when it first came out and I find A7 on par with it (and Nex 6) in terms of accuracy. A7 is quicker both in day light and night light but accuracy is about the same.

A7R is to me a little slower than the A7 but more accurate in low light.

Sorry this is all relative terms, to me, I was so excited with the Nex 7, and this A7 gave the same feeling of excitement but A7R gives me the feeling that I'm holding the latest technology which is very cutting edge but I'm just not that inspired to shoot when actually using it.

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rishi o'
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to ZzzooM3, Dec 1, 2013

ZzzooM3 wrote:

zilver wrote: There's so much conflicting reports on AF accuracy. My own testing saw the A7R more accurate as well but many reviewers also found A7 to be better as Sony's contrast detect of A7R sometimes misses your intended focus point for a more contrasty point close by.

I think you will find the a7 focusing behavior quite similar to the NEX-6 Hybrid AF. If you have to have the absolute fastest most accurate focusing system, I do not think either of these cameras are it IMO.

Otherwise, you'll find AF quite good in most lighting situations. In low lighting, you may find that using MF with your desired Peaking Level (Low, Mid, High) & Peaking Color (White, Red, Yellow) performs very well (albeit slower).

Keep in mind that if the A7r is better at autofocusing in low light, the peaking sparkles will also be more accurate with the A7r than the A7 meaning that manual focus people who use peaking should get better results with the A7r.

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SonyForNow
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to lolopasstrail, Dec 1, 2013

lolopasstrail wrote:

Funniest thing is, so many of the responding posters write the exact same style.

I try to get past the headache part and pull out some really useful information. It seems the takeaway is this is the best camera ever. I think I read the same about the Olympus EM1 and a Fuji or two. After that, the direct commercial that if you want to buy this bestest camera ever, just go to this link.

I'm looking forward to real world reviews from someone who has no links to making money from gushing over the latest newest expensive commercial product.

Exactly! In five years they'll be on eBay for 20% of new price (being generous). My E-M5 was called a "Game Changer" yet already supplanted by newer models 1 1/2 years later. In the USA it's the Nikon D3000's and Canon Ti's that have taken over sales wise for DSLR's. Also apparently Steve still uses a land line and hasn't heard that cell phone cameras have already taken over the world.

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AlterZgo
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to lolopasstrail, Dec 1, 2013

Why bother reading his review?  You knew that was his writing style going into it.  His enthusiastic writing style is the same in all his reviews (doesn't mean he doesn't criticize a product when there are issues - same goes for his review of the A7/R).  There is useful information interspersed with his excitement.  What's wrong with that?

Also, after reading the review, I did not see where he claims or even implies that the A7/R is "the best camera ever."  Did you actually read the article or just jump to this conclusion after looking at a couple of paragraphs?

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tecnoworld
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to zilver, Dec 1, 2013

The article is not bad 'per se', but I wouldn't consider it as 'universal'. That's an opinion of a professional having quite specific needs. How many ppl have a studio for photographical work, have hundreds of thousands dollars in equipment, have gorgeous models for their shooting sessions? That's the kind of guy that will really take advantage of such cameras.

For all the others, a good aps-c or m4/3 camera will be more than enough, being much cheaper and with much smaller lenses.

My 2¢.

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victorjrr
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to zilver, Dec 1, 2013

Thank you very much for posting. Probably one of the most detailed and succinct review I’ve read.

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ZzzooM3
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In reply to zilver, Dec 2, 2013

zilver wrote:

Congratulations, you won't regret it!

Excellent post thank you. I've read about as much of these 2 cameras as I could find since they were announced. For some reason, this review brought it all together and into perspective. Made my decision and pulled the trigger .. a7

Sony Store order says ships in 1-2 days .. $1529.99 body only

<lou

Just got the "Sent to Warehouse" email .. Now all I need is my Metabones adapter. Come on B&H; 'tis the season

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Poagao
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Re: Steve Huff review A7/R, say they will take over the world!
In reply to LoneReaction, Dec 2, 2013

I spent quite a while trying the cameras out in the store. The A7r feels slower than the A7 because of the extended shutter sound and blackout time. The A7r shutter sounds like coins falling through a series of slot machine gates. The store had several models out, and some had gone to sleep. They took several seconds to wake up. Turning the camera on also took several seconds. It would seem interminable if one was watching the shot one desired disappear. Also, the rear screen is apparently either on all the time or off all the time, necessitating menu-diving to switch (according to the staff, anyway).

If I were to buy this camera, I think Huff would be right in that it would require slowing down one's style. I'd have to keep the sleep mode at 30 minutes (i.e. the maximum time as apparently you can't just turn mode off), keep the back LCD off, as I don't chimp anyway, turn off all the wifi/NFC/whatever stuff that drain the battery, and also have several batteries on hand in order to make it work for me. I'm not sure yet whether it would be worth spending all that money for the limited advantages over a 5D with the 40mm 2.8.

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