Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?

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kartikjayaraman
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Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
6 months ago

Sony Alpha a7 Mirrorless Digital Camera with FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens

$1998

Sony A77 with no lenses

$2798

I understand that A99 has a better lens selection as of now, however Sony & third parties are definitely pushing for many more E mount lenses in 2014. I know A7 lacks in some features related to the A99 (AF, IBS etc) but does that really warrant a difference a $800 difference? The image quality for A7 supposedly far surpasses the A99 with E mount lenses and high ISO performance is better.

Do you think the A7 is selling at a discount right now because it was Sony's first "experimental" model? Actually the A7r is selling for $2298 (still cheaper than the A99) but has image quality right up at the top with its massive 36 MP clarity (possibly due to the lack of AA filter). Given a choice, which one would you go for NOW?

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K E Hoffman
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to kartikjayaraman, 6 months ago

I think it is selling for less because a CAMERA is MORE THAN a SENSOR and the A99 is much MORE camera than the A7.  The A7 is FF for people who have a need / desire to have a small body.

Just like the NEX (name may be going away) is for people who want APC in small mirror less format.

It also appeals to people who have Canon lenses etc who want FF and small for a lower prices.

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K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<

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capt bob
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to kartikjayaraman, 6 months ago

"The image quality for A7 supposedly far surpasses the A99 with E mount lenses and high ISO performance is better."

Thats a pretty bold statement , What test lab came up with that?

The 99 is a Pro Camera while the A7 is an entry level FF mirrorless

Couple of the features that are a must for me is IBIS and the Most Excellent Focus limiter among others.

To use A mount lenses on the A7 you must use the Laea4 ff adaptor making the Mirrorless into an SLT , A7 is a great Camera I would replace my Nex 7 with one but I would not do the same with my 99.

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kartikjayaraman
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to K E Hoffman, 6 months ago

I would like to understand what makes you think the A99 is a better camera than the A7 or A7r? The A99 has some pros and cons and so do the A7 and A7r. Its pretty much a tie between these cameras (features wise), Yeah one has GPS, one does not, one has WiFi and one does not, one has 177 AF points, one has 19 and so on...details here...no need to go over it...

http://snapsort.com/compare/Sony-A7-vs-Sony-SLT-A99

http://snapsort.com/compare/Sony-A7R-vs-Sony-SLT-A99

Now I understand that some users would prefer one over the other and that is perfectly understandable. But from what I see, the main purpose of a camera is to take good pictures and help take pictures in challenging lighting conditions. So for the same brand, why the huge difference (percentage wise, the A99 is around 50% more expensive than the A7) despite being a year old.

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kartikjayaraman
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to capt bob, 6 months ago

I am referring to using the native E mount lenses only. Here are the scores by DXOMark: I think the A7 and A7r are ahead in every "core" area, especially the low light score:

DXOMark scores

I am not sure what qualifies as a "professional camera" - I am not a professional, but I see a professional camera is one that can provide best value (cleanest image) to a client, help the photographer to shoot in challenging lighting conditions and by creating image quality which requires less editing so the photographer can get more work done, provide weather sealing etc...which is mostly there in the A7 and the E mount line. (Existing) Lens selection is definitely a factor and I completely agree with the advantage that A99 has (I mentioned it in my thread).

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jjcpa
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to kartikjayaraman, 6 months ago

A99 is selling at $2000 in a store here in Canada. I am still hesitating to get it or not.  It has in-body stabilizer and tilt LCD which I need. I am using 5DII now.

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K E Hoffman
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to kartikjayaraman, 6 months ago

kartikjayaraman wrote:

I would like to understand what makes you think the A99 is a better camera than the A7 or A7r? The A99 has some pros and cons and so do the A7 and A7r. Its pretty much a tie between these cameras (features wise), Yeah one has GPS, one does not, one has WiFi and one does not, one has 177 AF points, one has 19 and so on...details here...no need to go over it...

http://snapsort.com/compare/Sony-A7-vs-Sony-SLT-A99

http://snapsort.com/compare/Sony-A7R-vs-Sony-SLT-A99

Now I understand that some users would prefer one over the other and that is perfectly understandable. But from what I see, the main purpose of a camera is to take good pictures and help take pictures in challenging lighting conditions. So for the same brand, why the huge difference (percentage wise, the A99 is around 50% more expensive than the A7) despite being a year old.

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  • CaptBob got some..
  • IBIS and full time Phase Detect AF
  • Better LCD Tilt System  Higher Res display
  • Based on some posts the EVF etc is more responsive.  Some complaints about turn on time from new A7 users.  I know the A77 my EVF is always ready to go.
  • focus limiter..
  • then just hold it.. larger hand fitting body smaller hands might prefer the A7
  • More FPS matched to a faster focusing system.
  • I am pretty sure they are the same sensor with the A7 microlens system added to deal with the close sensor to lens distance on the edge of the sensor.
  • The DXO number that site grabs is only 1/2 stop.so really not difference. probably the difference between SLT and no SLT mirror infront of the sensor.
  • A99 has User memories like you A77 for storing settings.. A7 does not that I can see
  • And smaller body has a much more menue driven UI vs quickly accessed User buttons, joysicks and dials.

And the A7 shutter is LOUD because there is no body size to muffle the noise

Its a nice camera but its not a competitor to the A99 it is for a different type of user and set of needs (a few will overlap but not really)

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K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<

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K E Hoffman
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to kartikjayaraman, 6 months ago

kartikjayaraman wrote:

I am referring to using the native E mount lenses only. Here are the scores by DXOMark: I think the A7 and A7r are ahead in every "core" area, especially the low light score:

DXOMark scores

I am not sure what qualifies as a "professional camera" - I am not a professional, but I see a professional camera is one that can provide best value (cleanest image) to a client, help the photographer to shoot in challenging lighting conditions and by creating image quality which requires less editing so the photographer can get more work done, provide weather sealing etc...which is mostly there in the A7 and the E mount line. (Existing) Lens selection is definitely a factor and I completely agree with the advantage that A99 has (I mentioned it in my thread).

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PLEASE Note the total Sensor rating for A7R and A99 are statically the same.. 89 to 90

The ISO number looks big until you realize ISO DOUBLES each step.. so that is only 1/2 stop.. basically the cost of the fulltime SLT on the A99 and if you added the $400 SLT adapter to the A7 it probably scores the same.

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K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<

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kartikjayaraman
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to jjcpa, 6 months ago

jjcpa wrote:

A99 is selling at $2000 in a store here in Canada. I am still hesitating to get it or not. It has in-body stabilizer and tilt LCD which I need. I am using 5DII now.

This is a good example of a person for whom this decision is quite big - (moving from Canon to Sony or new to Sony). On one end Sony is launching more E mount lenses (I believe Sony knows the A7/A7r doesn't have IBIS so they will include it in all the new FF lE enses) and on the other end is the A99 with a lot of existing lenses but native A mount support and no E mount support.

I think (but not sure) that E mount cameras like the A7/A7r and newer can use all A mount lenses but the newer E mount lenses cannot be used on the A mount cameras. So its a big decision, investment wise for people like jjcpa and probably me as I am planning to upgrade after many years. And the writing is on the wall that Sony is investing to churn out more E mount lenses from both itself and 3rd parties. There was actually a pre-order E mount Carl Zeiss 24-70 FF lens selling on eBay for less price than the A mount

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kartikjayaraman
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to K E Hoffman, 6 months ago

K E Hoffman wrote:

PLEASE Note the total Sensor rating for A7R and A99 are statically the same.. 89 to 90

The ISO number looks big until you realize ISO DOUBLES each step.. so that is only 1/2 stop.. basically the cost of the fulltime SLT on the A99 and if you added the $400 SLT adapter to the A7 it probably scores the same.

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K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<

Ok lets assume they are statically the same. The A7r still has greater resolution (36 MP) and both cameras still have slightly better ISO performance (albeit half stop as you mentioned). Lets keep the SLT adapter out for now. We are just referring to the camera and E mount lenses. Still the cameras are cheaper than the A99. And that's my whole point - you are getting better quality photos (possibly videos too) for a lot less.

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K E Hoffman
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to kartikjayaraman, 6 months ago

kartikjayaraman wrote:

jjcpa wrote:

A99 is selling at $2000 in a store here in Canada. I am still hesitating to get it or not. It has in-body stabilizer and tilt LCD which I need. I am using 5DII now.

This is a good example of a person for whom this decision is quite big - (moving from Canon to Sony or new to Sony). On one end Sony is launching more E mount lenses (I believe Sony knows the A7/A7r doesn't have IBIS so they will include it in all the new FF lE enses) and on the other end is the A99 with a lot of existing lenses but native A mount support and no E mount support.

I think (but not sure) that E mount cameras like the A7/A7r and newer can use all A mount lenses but the newer E mount lenses cannot be used on the A mount cameras. So its a big decision, investment wise for people like jjcpa and probably me as I am planning to upgrade after many years. And the writing is on the wall that Sony is investing to churn out more E mount lenses from both itself and 3rd parties. There was actually a pre-order E mount Carl Zeiss 24-70 FF lens selling on eBay for less price than the A mount

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SIMPLE:

Note:

NOT Every E-mount Lens is stabilized.  Sony and lens maker decide which lenses are stabilized.

Almost no A-mount lenses are stabilized.  Tamron and Sigma did a couple but usually don't include it in the Sony versions

NO SONY A-mount Lenses / NO Minolta A-mount lenses are stabilized.

ALL Lenses on A99 are stabilized.. That is a big difference  a few stabilized lenses EXPENSIVE vs DOZENS of Stabilized lenses.. some that can be bought for under $200 [old Minolta glass]

In general there is no need to run e-mount on A99 as Amount lenses are better... Note Sony is limiting zooms to F4 in most cases where A99 has F2.8 zooms etc.

E-mount is not a Pro Platform it has designed limitations...   Pros can use it.. and get good results but they have to adapt to slow lenses and limited lens choices and limited stabilization lens

The A7R has one real value to some serious enthusiasts over A-mount.  It adapts to some other lens sets like Canon and Leica that give it real value to some.   Blogger Ken ROCKWELL Challenged Canon to do this 10 years ago.. and recently declared Sony the Winner of the challenge..

Its a good camera for the price... so is the A99.. but to take advantage of the A99 you need to have money to build a set of Sony FF lenses.. to use the extra focusing features.

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K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<

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K E Hoffman
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to kartikjayaraman, 6 months ago

kartikjayaraman wrote:

K E Hoffman wrote:

PLEASE Note the total Sensor rating for A7R and A99 are statically the same.. 89 to 90

The ISO number looks big until you realize ISO DOUBLES each step.. so that is only 1/2 stop.. basically the cost of the fulltime SLT on the A99 and if you added the $400 SLT adapter to the A7 it probably scores the same.

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K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<

Ok lets assume they are statically the same. The A7r still has greater resolution (36 MP) and both cameras still have slightly better ISO performance (albeit half stop as you mentioned). Lets keep the SLT adapter out for now. We are just referring to the camera and E mount lenses. Still the cameras are cheaper than the A99. And that's my whole point - you are getting better quality photos (possibly videos too) for a lot less.

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IF you are shooting slower moving subjects and landscapes etc.  the A7 will give you the SAME IQ as the A99, the A7R trades more pixels for some more noise, slower focus without the SLT adapter and no AA filter which can create issues with some kinds of photos especially if you crop them.

SENSOR is only about 60% of IQ, the system that manages the camera, lets the photographer manage it and focuses is the other 40%.

and the A99 going to be an easier camera to use for photographers that manage there camera controls .. My Zoo shots I was jumping to spot focus, shifting exposure because black bears and white wolves expose differently (I didn't post the black bear shots.. just not that interesting)

I suspect what's going on.. you got the A77 don't like the noise at 1:1 and so ordered an A99 now you are thinking maybe you should return both and get an A7.. and maybe you should its a good camera if don't need the extra capabilities of the A99 and are fine with the limited options for stabilization.

BUT there is not going to be an absolute empirical proof that the A7 is an A99 for 60% of the price etc.   But it may subjectively be a better camera for what you care about..

Just understand it is designed NOT to be a low cost A99.

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K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<

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dlkeller
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to kartikjayaraman, 6 months ago

If you are limiting the A7 to E mount lenses you are limiting it to a very small lens selection, and even smaller and more expensive, offsetting camera body price, if considering full frame lenses.  It really is your choice as to what camera you like, but KE's arguments pretty well sum up why the A99 is considered a more capable camera.

This discussion has been around for some time now, beginning with the APS-C A Mount DSLT models as compared to APS-C NEX cameras.

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Dave

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kartikjayaraman
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to dlkeller, 6 months ago

dlkeller wrote:

If you are limiting the A7 to E mount lenses you are limiting it to a very small lens selection, and even smaller and more expensive, offsetting camera body price, if considering full frame lenses. It really is your choice as to what camera you like, but KE's arguments pretty well sum up why the A99 is considered a more capable camera.

This discussion has been around for some time now, beginning with the APS-C A Mount DSLT models as compared to APS-C NEX cameras.

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Dave

Thanks KEH for the explanation.

Dave, Yes the lens selection is definitely a factor but Sony just launched 5 FF lenses and I think their target is many more ( I believe 25 or so) in 2014. Third party manufacturers will also be launching several. The scene was different before October 2013. However with the way Sony is heading, its going to be an interesting year.

KEH, yes the cheaper Minolta lenses you mentioned is a strong point for the A mount, but IMO newer lenses usually have better optics, less artifacts and better support.

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123Mike
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to kartikjayaraman, 6 months ago

I want the A99 to win, because I wish it'd be better. But, it's not. Siding with scientific evidence, the A99 is inferior IQ wise. Some people like to talk and chat and fantasize that away. I wish they were right. But, they're not.

I seriously hope Sony comes up with a better A mount FF... but WHEN? IF AT ALL???

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topcon2
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to kartikjayaraman, 6 months ago

Call me a cynic, but IMO Sony's pricing strategies for these cameras have nothing to do with their respective capabilities, and everything to do with the Sony CEO's perception of a captive market for the A99 vs the conquest sales potential for the A7.

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K E Hoffman
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to 123Mike, 6 months ago

123Mike wrote:

I want the A99 to win, because I wish it'd be better. But, it's not. Siding with scientific evidence, the A99 is inferior IQ wise. Some people like to talk and chat and fantasize that away. I wish they were right. But, they're not.

I seriously hope Sony comes up with a better A mount FF... but WHEN? IF AT ALL???

It depends on what you care about.

Brian Smith doesn't bet his lucrative celebrity portrait career on A99s for the little benefit Sony may grant him in being an open user of the product and he can afford and access any gear he wants Sony seems to be his favorite from what I read and see.

But he also doesn't shoot high ISO portraits..

There is no one sensor for ALL lighting and subject needs.. the sensor will always be Greener on the other mount for one reason or another.

I am still getting to know my A77 but even being well aware of the Noise cost to the design.. I love the thing and am looking forward to taking some time this winter to go do some street shots etc.  My Zoo outing today with the 70-300G no Lum NR  Minimal sharpening ISO 400-1600 for large Web postings... If I am shooting for large wall I will need to adapt to ISO 400 or less and for normal prints ISO 1600 or less but its an amazing machine.  I am optimistic that the new one will be better.

One of the things I got today was using the LR highlight recovery to deal with Artic Fox, Bald Eagle and White Wolf shots is just how much range the RAW has.. I didn't find a highlight I couldn't recover.. That is sweet news since blown highlights was my main issue with the KM5D a few years ago which as at the time a sweet High ISO camera.. and still has less noise at ISO 800 than the A77. But no detail at all with 6MP.

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K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<

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007peter
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because LESS parts & more integrated circuits
In reply to kartikjayaraman, 6 months ago

There are less parts in A7/R than A99.  A7/R Being the newest sony camera, has newer integrated circuits with more component integrated into the motherboard itself to saved manufacturing cost.  There is the DEMAND factor to consider as well.  A7/R is in demand, and mass production lowering per unit cost.  A99 wasn't a hot seller, productions may have been cut thus increase per unit cost.

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jackgreen
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Re: because LESS parts & more integrated circuits
In reply to 007peter, 6 months ago

1. it's slower, both in continious shoting and most probably in AF

2. Sensor-based Phase-detection is not yet proven technology

3. a7 is less versatile, less lens, cant use screw-driven lens.

4. less fault tolerant, 1 SD card slot.

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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to K E Hoffman, 6 months ago

I think it is selling for less because a CAMERA is MORE THAN a SENSOR and the A99 is much MORE camera than the A7.  The A7 is FF for people who have a need / desire to have a small body.

Just like the NEX (name may be going away) is for people who want APC in small mirror less format.

It also appeals to people who have Canon lenses etc who want FF and small for a lower prices.

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K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<

He pretty much nailed it. A99 is all around better. Only reason for a7 is size. Nothing else. A99 is better in every way. Yes a77 is cheaper. I still bought an a99 instead.

You obviously disagree, and don't understand our logic. So go buy an a7. You will be limited by it at some point and will miss shots that an a99 wouldn't miss.

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