Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial

Started Dec 11, 2013 | Photos
Marla2008
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Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
Dec 11, 2013

I wrote a little A7 review yesterday that is now up to close to 130 posts, and has turned into a flame war I did not expect it to be. It's ok though, people have emotional response to cameras because they love them, and debate is always a good thing to have, even when heated. But I'm also using the A7 a lot and don't want to just talk about it, so i'll share a few pictures now.

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"If you don't have an expression, you don't have a shot" - Peter Hurley.
http://itsnotthecamera.wordpress.com/

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Please provide me constructive critique and criticism.
Sony Alpha 7
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miro3
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to Marla2008, Dec 11, 2013

Good pictures.

BTW, do you have the FE 35mm 2.8 lens?

Is your copy free of vignetting and other issues?

Can you post some pictures taken with it?

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boardsy
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to Marla2008, Dec 11, 2013

Thanks for these Marla, they look great, but you don't say which lenses you used, and this size doesn't do justice to the large sensor and high MP count, for forum pixel-peepers especially!!   A few 100% crops would be ideal.

I'd also love to see some of your soft Olympus 50/1.8 shots, at different apertures - I'm not doubting your experience, but still, can scarcely believe a sharp lens on APS-C, but made for FF, can just  fall apart on the A7! 

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Alan
my Flickr

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bill hansen
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to Marla2008, Dec 11, 2013

Very nice set! I like them all. As for crops - I don't think we always need crops. Photography is more than testing for sharpness of image noise.

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Bill Hansen
Ithaca NY, USA

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Sonyshine
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to Marla2008, Dec 11, 2013

Very nice work Maria  - I do like the portraits especially.

I read your review with interest and as I don't own this camera I didn't comment - it seemed well written from my perspective though.

 Sonyshine's gear list:Sonyshine's gear list
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WoodWorks
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to Marla2008, Dec 11, 2013

Phew! I started scrolling through your photos, and I thought, "What's this? Is Claire turning into a landscape shooter?" But then I saw the sixth photo of Marla, and I knew that all was well again in the world.

Thanks for posting these. It's nice to get such a pleasant respite from the Sturm und Drangover in humpville.

I got my A7 on Monday, and haven't had the chance to do more than scroll through the menus due to the press of work. But your reviews and experience have only served to whet my appetite. Here's hoping I get the chance to take some images soon.

David

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sroute
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Stop measurebating!
In reply to boardsy, Dec 11, 2013

Lenses draw differently on different sized sensors. A lens with performance dip towards the outer region can look much sharper on an APS-C camera than on a full frame camera. This isn't hard to understand - the smaller sensor covers only the sweet spot of the image circle of many lenses.

But this isn't necessarily a bad thing when moving up to full frame... sometimes crop sensors rob good lenses of any sense of character, and not every shot needs edge to edge crispness. Indeed when working closer in often you don't want an antiseptic looking frame.

But... why are we even having this discussion in a thread that's about images? Why does anyone care about 100% crops? Vignetting (most full frame lenses vignette wide open)?

Going with the water theme above, here's a couple from the A7r on a recent dull day, along with two others:

Finn Slough, Richmond, BC - A7r / FE35

Sharp enough? That begs another question: Does the scene even need to be ultra-sharp to work? What it could use is nicer light but there's no button on the A7r for that.

Ok, here's something for measurebaters - I always want to know how a lens will perform in the sun. This is a quick grab shot of some ornamental plants behind my vehicle at lunch last week caught in high wind. The lens handles flare exceedingly well, retaining high contrast even with the sun fully in the frame. I can tell you my Sigma 35/1.4 DG, a very popular 2 pound full frame lens, can't do this:

A7r / FE35/2.8 meets the sun

Old lens does well:

A7r / Contax Distagon 28/2.8

Small enough to take anywhere, capable enough to take on all the challenges I need it for, the A7r is a great tool for me. Your mileage may vary.

A7r / FE35/2.8

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Mel Snyder
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to Marla2008, Dec 11, 2013

Marla - are you downsizing your images? The originals are really tiny vs. those of the "stop measure-bating" poster.

His are large, clear and illustrative. Yours aren't on my Dell U2410 calibrated monitor.

Can your re-post them full size?

PS: I agree re images. It's amazing how revealing they can be. A guy posted an image yesterday shot at 12800 ISO purporting to show the performance of the camera at that high ISO with a Niko 105mm f2.5 AiS lens. I own one, put it on my NEX-6, set up a night shot - and got better results. Why? Because no part of his frame was in focus, and he had a small amount of camera movement. Defocused areas show noise much more obviously than sharp areas - and in his case, he even post-processed to reduce it.

There is a lot of smoke blown here on the forum by people purporting to "test" cameras and lenses. One guy yesterday claimed my results could not be true because the DxO measurements of the A7 were clearly superior to those of the NEX-6...as if that had any bearing on real-world testing.

When Viktor (verybiglebowski) runs a test, you can take the results to the bank. Same with "Yuri." Those who spout photozone or DxO or other non-real-world tests, IMO, deserve to be ignored when it comes to real-world shooting - like YOU do.

Marla2008 wrote:

I wrote a little A7 review yesterday that is now up to close to 130 posts, and has turned into a flame war I did not expect it to be. It's ok though, people have emotional response to cameras because they love them, and debate is always a good thing to have, even when heated. But I'm also using the A7 a lot and don't want to just talk about it, so i'll share a few pictures now.

-- hide signature --

"If you don't have an expression, you don't have a shot" - Peter Hurley.
http://itsnotthecamera.wordpress.com/

 Mel Snyder's gear list:Mel Snyder's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha 7 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS +12 more
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boardsy
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Re: Stop measurebating!
In reply to sroute, Dec 11, 2013

Not "measurebating" - but I can't tell anything about camera/lens performance from a 850 x 567px re-size. This is a FF 24MP camera!  As I said the images look good. Yours are more useful, and very nice also! Great flare control.

Alan

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sroute
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Posting Larger Images = A Good Thing
In reply to boardsy, Dec 11, 2013

I'm not disagreeing with you there, it's nice to be able to see images large on our large screens so they can be fully appreciated. I'm not not a big fan of posting 100% crops and such when the topic is image focussed, not pixel-peeping focussed.

For web-publishing my default export from Lightroom and other tools is sized to 2048 pixels (I'm a technologist by trade and still think in Base 2) along the longest dimension of the image. This covers full screen use for the vast majority of monitors out there at this time.

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WoodWorks
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Re: Posting Larger Images = A Good Thing
In reply to sroute, Dec 11, 2013

sroute wrote:

For web-publishing my default export from Lightroom and other tools is sized to 2048 pixels (I'm a technologist by trade and still think in Base 2) along the longest dimension of the image. This covers full screen use for the vast majority of monitors out there at this time.

Good tip! I think that will be my habit too from now on.

David

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Marla2008
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to bill hansen, Dec 11, 2013

bill hansen wrote:

Very nice set! I like them all. As for crops - I don't think we always need crops. Photography is more than testing for sharpness of image noise.

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Bill Hansen
Ithaca NY, USA

Thanks for that Bill ! I don't even save most of my shots bigger than this, because I don't need bigger, and I am a strong advocate of NO pixel peeping

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"If you don't have an expression, you don't have a shot" - Peter Hurley.
http://itsnotthecamera.wordpress.com/

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Marla2008
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to Mel Snyder, Dec 11, 2013

Mel Snyder wrote:

Marla - are you downsizing your images? The originals are really tiny vs. those of the "stop measure-bating" poster.

His are large, clear and illustrative. Yours aren't on my Dell U2410 calibrated monitor.

Can your re-post them full size?

PS: I agree re images. It's amazing how revealing they can be. A guy posted an image yesterday shot at 12800 ISO purporting to show the performance of the camera at that high ISO with a Niko 105mm f2.5 AiS lens. I own one, put it on my NEX-6, set up a night shot - and got better results. Why? Because no part of his frame was in focus, and he had a small amount of camera movement. Defocused areas show noise much more obviously than sharp areas - and in his case, he even post-processed to reduce it.

There is a lot of smoke blown here on the forum by people purporting to "test" cameras and lenses. One guy yesterday claimed my results could not be true because the DxO measurements of the A7 were clearly superior to those of the NEX-6...as if that had any bearing on real-world testing.

When Viktor (verybiglebowski) runs a test, you can take the results to the bank. Same with "Yuri." Those who spout photozone or DxO or other non-real-world tests, IMO, deserve to be ignored when it comes to real-world shooting - like YOU do.

Mel if you click on the images, you'll get them as big as I initially saved them, that's it. Now, you are going to get me in major trouble, but hell with caution : this is my strictly personal view, but to me the NEX6 has OOC better IQ than the A7, in jpeg settings. By "better" I mean clearer and sharper, with the A7 beating the 6 for noise I'd say by one stop. For info I"m on my second A7 unit, and had 3 of the NEX6. The A7 also wins for DR, I can't say by how much, but significantly. Don't get me wrong the A7 is a fine camera, but I'd lie if I said I'm awed, or even super impressed, by its overall IQ. To me, aside DR that is SPECTACULAR, it fares below other FF cameras I've had.

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Sonyshine
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to Marla2008, Dec 11, 2013

I still think the 16mp Sony sensor is the best Sony sensor.

It strikes a great balance between image size, detail and noise and works beautifully with native E glass.

I sometimes wonder if I should have got a Nex6 instead of my Nex7 but I'm not going to bother changing now - especially now I am up to speed with the menus and tri-navi!

 Sonyshine's gear list:Sonyshine's gear list
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Marla2008
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to Sonyshine, Dec 11, 2013

Sonyshine wrote:

I still think the 16mp Sony sensor is the best Sony sensor.

It strikes a great balance between image size, detail and noise and works beautifully with native E glass.

I sometimes wonder if I should have got a Nex6 instead of my Nex7 but I'm not going to bother changing now - especially now I am up to speed with the menus and tri-navi!

Yes the 6 has the edge in IQ, but when I owned both (which happened 3 times) I never picked up the 6 because the 7 is so much better in use, and so much nicer to hold. A 6 chip in a 7 body would be killer;

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sidebyside
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Re: Posting Larger Images = A Good Thing
In reply to sroute, Dec 11, 2013

sroute wrote:

I'm not disagreeing with you there, it's nice to be able to see images large on our large screens so they can be fully appreciated. I'm not not a big fan of posting 100% crops and such when the topic is image focussed, not pixel-peeping focussed.

For web-publishing my default export from Lightroom and other tools is sized to 2048 pixels (I'm a technologist by trade and still think in Base 2) along the longest dimension of the image. This covers full screen use for the vast majority of monitors out there at this time.

Excuse my lack of knowledge on this but I could use some help understanding this. See the attached screen shot. These are my usual setting when exporting from LR for web publishing. Are you suggesting that the pixel count on the long edge should be 2048 for better quality web viewing? How about the 350K file size and resolution of 300? My previous experience is with film and still have much to learn about digital.

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boardsy
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to Marla2008, Dec 11, 2013

Marla2008 wrote:

this is my strictly personal view, but to me the NEX6 has OOC better IQ than the A7, in jpeg settings. By "better" I mean clearer and sharper, with the A7 beating the 6 for noise I'd say by one stop.

Not disagreeing with you, and I have neither camera - but how are you comparing the images from NEX-6 and A7 - at what sizes and JPG settings? As you probably know, looking at both OOC at 100% is not valid, as the sensor sizes and pixel pitches are different. If you don't at least resize them to the same pixel dimensions you are looking at different things, apples and oranges. hard to believe the NEX-6 has better IQ!

I don't usually post original images, I assess them at 100% always, and my usual output size 2048 x 1365 is I think a good balance of Flickr-friendly, large enough for most screens, and enough for a little pixel peeping also!

And here's my Olympus 50/1.8 on my NEX F3, at around f5.6, 2048x1365

Olympus 50/1.8, NEX F3, at around f5.6, 2048x1365

http://www.flickr.com/photos/59079068@N02/11076824215/

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Alan
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sroute
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Lightroom Export Settings
In reply to sidebyside, Dec 11, 2013

Hi there - I have a user preset for web-sized publishing purposes that sets a bunch of things including location, PPI, etc:

  • For screen purposes you can ignore pixels per inch; that's very much a print-related option. 
  • I don't sharpen more for screen use; some do - you'll need to experiment to see what you like.
  • JPEG quality 90 gives you a very high res file but helps tame some of the size which might be important to you if you are emailing files to friends and family. I've not found it necessary to put a limit on file sizes.

As I shoot mostly landscape orientation the above settings work out fairly well 90% of the time.

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Marla2008
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to boardsy, Dec 11, 2013

boardsy wrote:

Not disagreeing with you, and I have neither camera - but how are you comparing the images from NEX-6 and A7 - at what sizes and JPG settings? As you probably know, looking at both OOC at 100% is not valid, as the sensor sizes and pixel pitches are different. If you don't at least resize them to the same pixel dimensions you are looking at different things, apples and oranges. hard to believe the NEX-6 has better IQ!

I understand what you mean, and you'll have to forgive me for not being a pixel peeper, and actually fighting pixel peeping. I have to be given credit one thing though, I have *extensive* experience with the NEX system, as a peek at my blog will show. Yes by DxO ratings and 100% magnification with properly resized files to match sensors resolution, the A7 is probably well ahead. What I'm talking about is wow factor about picture after picture after picture. Despite all my tweaking of all possible jpeg creative styles, the A7 has slightly duller midtones and is natively way less sharp than the 6/7. Please note I do NOT have any FE lens to use it with, so my perception might be completely different if I did. But with either the SEL35 in crop mode (which now puts it at lower resolution than N6, doesn't it !?) or legacy lenses ) the N7, and moreover the N6, images have more natural "pop" out of camera.

This is ONLy MY opinion, your are more than welcome to have a different one, and I'll totally respect it, but I know what's true for ME, and how I'm really on the fence as to whether keep the A7 or plain go back to N7 and live happily ever after (or until Sony offers an updated version of the RF shaped E mount camera).

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"If you don't have an expression, you don't have a shot" - Peter Hurley.
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boardsy
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Re: Discussions are fine, but pictures are crucial
In reply to Marla2008, Dec 11, 2013

Marla2008 wrote:

boardsy wrote:

Not disagreeing with you, and I have neither camera - but how are you comparing the images from NEX-6 and A7 - at what sizes and JPG settings? As you probably know, looking at both OOC at 100% is not valid, as the sensor sizes and pixel pitches are different. If you don't at least resize them to the same pixel dimensions you are looking at different things, apples and oranges. hard to believe the NEX-6 has better IQ!

I understand what you mean, and you'll have to forgive me for not being a pixel peeper, and actually fighting pixel peeping. I have to be given credit one thing though, I have *extensive* experience with the NEX system, as a peek at my blog will show. Yes by DxO ratings and 100% magnification with properly resized files to match sensors resolution, the A7 is probably well ahead. What I'm talking about is wow factor about picture after picture after picture. Despite all my tweaking of all possible jpeg creative styles, the A7 has slightly duller midtones and is natively way less sharp than the 6/7. Please note I do NOT have any FE lens to use it with, so my perception might be completely different if I did. But with either the SEL35 in crop mode (which now puts it at lower resolution than N6, doesn't it !?) or legacy lenses ) the N7, and moreover the N6, images have more natural "pop" out of camera.

This is ONLy MY opinion, your are more than welcome to have a different one, and I'll totally respect it, but I know what's true for ME, and how I'm really on the fence as to whether keep the A7 or plain go back to N7 and live happily ever after (or until Sony offers an updated version of the RF shaped E mount camera).

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"If you don't have an expression, you don't have a shot" - Peter Hurley.
http://itsnotthecamera.wordpress.com/

Absolutely - and if you're an OOC JPG only shooter, than that's what matters! Maybe the N6 jpg engine looks better to you; the APS-C crop factor uses the central sweet spot of any FF legacy lens, and possibly adds a little contrast by cropping as well, so maybe that gives a little more OOC pop to your taste. Try a hood on your FF lenses on A7 (which they might not have needed on NEX), just to see if contrast/colour is improved, but central FF sharpness should be fine.

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Regards,
Alan
my Flickr

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