My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus

Started Dec 13, 2013 | Discussions
Sush15
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My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
Dec 13, 2013

I have had the A7 with the Zeiss 35mm F2,8 lens for just over a week now and have been very unhappy with how it focused especially in indoor evening light in my living room. It would mis-focus about 45% of the time. The A7 had good quality output when did focus well though and it was great in bright outdoor light. Not good enough overall for what it cost. Got tired of reading all the reviews and opinions online so decided to bite the bullet and try out A7R (not hoping for much). I received the A7R today and I have to say that it focusing faster, far more accurately at the same settings and lens in the same conditions. I am much happier with it and immediately boxed up the A7. Its a huge difference in my opinion for indoor evening light focus. I don't need the extra mp and the double click is not ideal but the quality of the pictures is immediately noticeable and focus is noticeably better. The decision as to which one to keep was very easy to make when I really thought I would be returning both. So much happier thus far with A7R unfortunately my wallet isnt. Just sharing my experience.

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blue_skies
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to Sush15, Dec 13, 2013

Sush15 wrote:

I have had the A7 with the Zeiss 35mm F2,8 lens for just over a week now and have been very unhappy with how it focused especially in indoor evening light in my living room. It would mis-focus about 45% of the time. The A7 had good quality output when did focus well though and it was great in bright outdoor light. Not good enough overall for what it cost. Got tired of reading all the reviews and opinions online so decided to bite the bullet and try out A7R (not hoping for much). I received the A7R today and I have to say that it focusing faster, far more accurately at the same settings and lens in the same conditions. I am much happier with it and immediately boxed up the A7. Its a huge difference in my opinion for indoor evening light focus. I don't need the extra mp and the double click is not ideal but the quality of the pictures is immediately noticeable and focus is noticeably better. The decision as to which one to keep was very easy to make when I really thought I would be returning both. So much happier thus far with A7R unfortunately my wallet isnt. Just sharing my experience.

This is exactly the opposite of the digitalrev' review on this lens...

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Sush15
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to blue_skies, Dec 13, 2013

yes I know.. I have seen that review a few times and really enjoyed his style of reviewing. I just couldnt understand why my A7 wouldn't just focus. Both cameras are very sensitive to hand held shake. However in the same conditions and equipment A7R has been much much better. Even street outdoor shots are sharper too. Really had wanted A7 to work out for me, it was cheaper!!!

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blue_skies
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to Sush15, Dec 13, 2013

Sush15 wrote:

yes I know.. I have seen that review a few times and really enjoyed his style of reviewing. I just couldnt understand why my A7 wouldn't just focus. Both cameras are very sensitive to hand held shake. However in the same conditions and equipment A7R has been much much better. Even street outdoor shots are sharper too. Really had wanted A7 to work out for me, it was cheaper!!!

Did you try another A7 unit? And did you enable PDAF focusing, for sure?

Also - this has come up a couple of times now - the double-click of the A7r seems to actually reduce the camera shake when you click the shutter button.

On the Nex-7, my first shots were all fuzzy, because I was pressing the shutter button too hard, causing camera shake induced blur (not helped by holding the camera beside my face).

I think that the A7 is even more sensitive to this (depending on lens), and maybe the shutter is so feather-light to counter-act this effect.

Still, we have to learn to feather this shutter, and not press it like a button.

Some have also reported getting more luck with upping the shutter speed in the beginning.

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Sush15
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to blue_skies, Dec 13, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

Sush15 wrote:

yes I know.. I have seen that review a few times and really enjoyed his style of reviewing. I just couldnt understand why my A7 wouldn't just focus. Both cameras are very sensitive to hand held shake. However in the same conditions and equipment A7R has been much much better. Even street outdoor shots are sharper too. Really had wanted A7 to work out for me, it was cheaper!!!

Did you try another A7 unit? And did you enable PDAF focusing, for sure?

Also - this has come up a couple of times now - the double-click of the A7r seems to actually reduce the camera shake when you click the shutter button.

On the Nex-7, my first shots were all fuzzy, because I was pressing the shutter button too hard, causing camera shake induced blur (not helped by holding the camera beside my face).

I think that the A7 is even more sensitive to this (depending on lens), and maybe the shutter is so feather-light to counter-act this effect.

Still, we have to learn to feather this shutter, and not press it like a button.

Some have also reported getting more luck with upping the shutter speed in the beginning.

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Cheers,
Henry

Hi Henry,

No I did not try another A7 unit. I got a lot of photos with camera shake so I was definitely very conscious of it, made me very careful with the handling however and made sure I locked in focus before clicking however the pictures were just not focused.

I still have to be careful with the handling of A7r but it just seem to focus at the same speed as A7 but just far more accurately.

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rishi o'
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to Sush15, Dec 13, 2013

Appreciate the feedback. It's really bizarre to me that some folks are having this issue. It's one of the reasons I hesitated buying the A7. Almost seems like some units are faulty.

Sush15 wrote:

I have had the A7 with the Zeiss 35mm F2,8 lens for just over a week now and have been very unhappy with how it focused especially in indoor evening light in my living room. It would mis-focus about 45% of the time. The A7 had good quality output when did focus well though and it was great in bright outdoor light. Not good enough overall for what it cost. Got tired of reading all the reviews and opinions online so decided to bite the bullet and try out A7R (not hoping for much). I received the A7R today and I have to say that it focusing faster, far more accurately at the same settings and lens in the same conditions. I am much happier with it and immediately boxed up the A7. Its a huge difference in my opinion for indoor evening light focus. I don't need the extra mp and the double click is not ideal but the quality of the pictures is immediately noticeable and focus is noticeably better. The decision as to which one to keep was very easy to make when I really thought I would be returning both. So much happier thus far with A7R unfortunately my wallet isnt. Just sharing my experience.

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LTZ470
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to rishi o', Dec 13, 2013

Marla had the same issue…soft photos A7…IBIS would go a long way for Sony for sure….

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IdealCamera
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to Sush15, Dec 13, 2013

Your reports of camera shake are intriguing. My experience with the A7 has been that I can hand hold a 50mm at 1/10 to 1/15 without great difficulty and there's some shake at 1s. Without OSS, I must confess I'm very satisfied.

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Sush15
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to IdealCamera, Dec 13, 2013

is this in low light indoor shooting conditions? (no flash)

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viking79
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to Sush15, Dec 13, 2013

What focus settings on A7?

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jkspepper
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to blue_skies, Dec 13, 2013

Sush15 wrote:

yes I know.. I have seen that review a few times and really enjoyed his style of reviewing. I just couldnt understand why my A7 wouldn't just focus. Both cameras are very sensitive to hand held shake. However in the same conditions and equipment A7R has been much much better. Even street outdoor shots are sharper too. Really had wanted A7 to work out for me, it was cheaper!!!

Did you try another A7 unit? And did you enable PDAF focusing, for sure?

Also - this has come up a couple of times now - the double-click of the A7r seems to actually reduce the camera shake when you click the shutter button.

On the Nex-7, my first shots were all fuzzy, because I was pressing the shutter button too hard, causing camera shake induced blur (not helped by holding the camera beside my face).

I think that the A7 is even more sensitive to this (depending on lens), and maybe the shutter is so feather-light to counter-act this effect.

Still, we have to learn to feather this shutter, and not press it like a button.

Some have also reported getting more luck with upping the shutter speed in the beginning.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

You do realize that PDAF is not used in low contrast low light situations right? PDAF only works in good light in bad light the camera relies only on the CDAF
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jkspepper
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to Sush15, Dec 13, 2013

I'm in agreement with you in that I didn't see the a7 focus any better than the a7r especially in low light. I've stated many a time that they are for all intents the same, ie PDAF is not the panacea many are looking for
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Sush15
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to viking79, Dec 13, 2013

Not sure I understood your question ,

I was comparing autofocus

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Sush15
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to jkspepper, Dec 13, 2013

jkspepper wrote:

I'm in agreement with you in that I didn't see the a7 focus any better than the a7r especially in low light. I've stated many a time that they are for all intents the same, ie PDAF is not the panacea many are looking for
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Well my point was that I was comparing output in same conditions and settings as well as equipment. A7R was actually IN focus and sharp with nicer detail. A7 just didnt like to focus in low light, missing focusing about 45% of the time.. A7R just seems to focus quicker with fewer issues surprisingly. Even when IN focus the A7R pictures are just more pleasing compared to A7. Someone explain why? is it the mp difference? (I was lead to believe it shouldn't be noticeable)

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LTZ470
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to IdealCamera, Dec 13, 2013

IdealCamera wrote:

Your reports of camera shake are intriguing. My experience with the A7 has been that I can hand hold a 50mm at 1/10 to 1/15 without great difficulty and there's some shake at 1s. Without OSS, I must confess I'm very satisfied.

Yes, technique could be involved as well, but we know several of the folks that are stating this are excellent photog's...

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M Powered
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to LTZ470, Dec 13, 2013

For you to miss 45% of the shots, I would rule the A7 you had was defective.

I went through a few bodies, and the one I currently have I would nail 99% daylight focus, and 95% indoor focus, mainly from hand shake.

I average 1/50 sec ISO 1600 F 2.8.  Thats to give you guys an idea how dim my definition of "indoor" is.

When funds become sparingly, I might pick up the 7R as a back up.  Until then, the 7 has been awesome

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M Powered
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Re: My 2 cents : A7 vs A7R focus
In reply to M Powered, Dec 13, 2013

Oh, one question, of the out of focus shots, where they majority front focused?

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Dirk W
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Could be that higher pixel density is better for CDAF
In reply to Sush15, Dec 13, 2013

This is just my own speculation but it could have to do with the higher pixel density on the A7r sensor. I assume that - especially in low light - only CDAF works on both cameras (I think Sony's on sensor PDAF is a HOAX or fake anyway, since I have neither seen the PDAF pixels on the sensor nor any AF improvement on my NEX6 over the 5N, but that's another story).

So, CDAF on both cameras. CDAF hunts for the highest contrast / sharpness of the object that you focus on. And I could imagine that the 36 MP sensor is able to find some small and fine lines/shapes in the AF area where it can hang on to for the AF, whereas the same lines/shapes are too fine for the coarser-grained A7 sensor. This could explain why the A7 AF hunts focus without success in some situations where the A7r focuses alright.

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sroute
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Where's the authoritative source?
In reply to jkspepper, Dec 13, 2013

jkspepper wrote:
You do realize that PDAF is not used in low contrast low light situations right? PDAF only works in good light in bad light the camera relies only on the CDAF

I myself have passed on the above tidbit to others, but I'm trying to recall where we learned details like this and wonder if we are regurgitating folklore or hard fact.

Is there anywhere that details exactly how the A7's autofocus works under different conditions?

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tokiaday
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Re: Where's the authoritative source?
In reply to sroute, Dec 13, 2013

I wander what auto focus mode you are using. My a7 doesn't have auto focus issue on low light.

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