Sony a7 and Panasonic GX7: Two Cameras sitting on my desk. Must return one.

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
SMD79
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Re: Every reply helps... :)
In reply to toxotis700, 8 months ago

toxotis700 wrote:

and here i found another test of mine, with Sigma HSM lens and adapter,.

I am trying the OS on and off, but you can see how fast i can focus in video mode from one subject to another.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFNZPbPkIFo

In good light, the a7 without the adapter focuses exceptionally fast even on the level of the GX7. It's the low light AF that is a bit slower. Nevertheless, it's not the end of the world as there are good focus assist tools to help me get focus quickly. I appreciate that link. Thank you!

Good to know the SSM and HSMs would be faster, although I suspected they might be.

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SMD79
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Re: Every reply helps... :)
In reply to Marla2008, 8 months ago

Marla2008 wrote:

I use the LA-EA4 with a NEX7 all the time, and high end Sigma glass, works very well. I had the A7 but ddn't like and return, that's another story.

For headshots you don't need *that* shallow DOF either. If you're promoting your kid acting/modeling career, you want his whole face in focus in headshots. Nothing a GX-7 and PL25/1.4 can't take care of.

Good luck deciding, I understand it can be maddening, especially deciding between two formats that are solidly apart. I do like APS-C as striking a pretty good compromise between the two, but that's only a personal thing.

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

Regarding headshots, yeah, I realize a 45mm 1.8 or 75mm 1.8 would be plenty and I could even stop down a bit for a little more flexibility, and probably get an even sharper result. I got the 25mm 1.4 just to have as a walkaround fast lens (45mm was a bit too telephoto for general pics) but I wouldn't expect to use the 25mm 1.4 for headshots. Wouldn't the 50mm equivalent distort the face a bit more than a longer 45 or 75mm (90mm and 150mm equiv.) would?

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/2226/effect-of-lens-focal-length-on-portraits/p1

I haven't ruled out either format but I think at this point if I went out and got a 3rd camera (APS-C) I'd probably drive myself nuts, let alone my wife. Yesterday, I was leaning on keeping the a7 but I slept on it and today I'm leaning toward selling it again not for it's performance, but because I can get great results out of the GX7 with fast lenses, for less. It's not perfect...and I'm hoping the eyecup that arrives in 2 days will help my viewfinder experience as I've mentioned before that I have long eyelashes and the rather squished 16:9 viewfinder opening is not as pleasant to look through. I also wish it had IBIS for video and not just stills. I'm not sure how often these cameras get firmware updates or if that even would be something that could be fixed with firmware but I guess as long as I have Panasonic lenses with built in stabilization I'll be fine. Lots to think about still...

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Rickj23
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Re: Sony a7 and Panasonic GX7: Two Cameras sitting on my desk. Must return one.
In reply to SMD79, 8 months ago

SMD79 wrote:

I can't decide which to return. And I have about 3 days remaining to decide.

I'll say this upfront...I'm pretty new to photography. My background is in video. Wanted a great, lightweight, camera with FAST AUTOFOCUS to shoot my kids both at play and also for headshots. Also wanted a camera that can shoot 1080p24 and 1080p60 just in case I needed an emergency backup camera for my video work. I had a budget of around $1500.

The Sony a7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens - My first choice. I could afford it only because my brother works for Sony so I got $35% off. Woohoo! I was so excited to get it.

The Panasonic GX7 - Took me by surprise. I immediately fell in love with how fast the autofocus was. I got the 14-42mm kit lens along with a 45mm 1.8 lens for headshots. I'm bummed that there is no mic input for video but its not the end of the world. I LOVE the Autofocus speed. I love how the shutter button is less "squishy". I love how I can get some great fast lenses for not "that" much and still have a great shallow DOF. I currently have the kit lens, the 45mm 1.8 and will be receiving the 25mm 1.4 in two days. I debated getting the 12-35mm 2.8 instead of the 25mm, but it was too much for me right now.

I was set to return the Sony a7, or better yet, sell it with all the accessories (flash, extra battery, etc.) and make a few hundred buck in the process. I put the ad on Craigslist and had 2 offers right away.

But then I played with it some more and now I'm starting to really like it.

The Sony a7 - I love the EVF. Both cameras have great EVF's and LCD's. The GX7 is touchscreen, but that's not too big of a deal to me. Saves time when deleting clips mostly and then there's the touch focus which is nice. But the GX7 has an odd shaped 16:9 viewfinder which is hard to look through in my opinion. Maybe it's cuz I have long eyelashes and they hit the viewfinder but it's harder to look through. Got an eyecup on the way that may solve this issue. We'll see. I also really like the grip on the a7. It's a bit heavier, but in a good way. Remember, I don't have experience with any other photo cameras minus a Canon S95 point-and-shoot. Also, knowing that should I ever need the camera for backup for my "real video work" it does have a mic input as well as headphone jack and HDMI out which is great. I also like where the AF/AEL lock button is compared to the GX7. Naturally closer to my thumb which makes it easy. Both cameras are highly customizable which is nice.

CHRISTMAS - I spent Christmas day with the Sony a7, but I'm so new to all this that I really didn't have time to explore it. Most of my shots were indoors of my kid (2 year old) and it was a bit frustrating and slow to focus. Definitely slower AF than the GX7. So I put it down for a week. Today I picked it up and played with it again for about 4 hours outside and quickly realized in daylight it's AF was pretty close to the GX7, if not the same. It's only in low light where the GX7 AF soars way beyond the Sony. Is it the kit lens that causes the slower AF in low light? Is it the camera? Not sure. But this is HUGE and really the only reason I'm considering selling it. Well, that, and it's gonna cost quite a bit to get some good fast lenses. I see that Samyang/Rokinon/Bower have released full frame e-mount fast primes (the 85mm 1.4 seems like it'd be a great headshot lens, no?) but I can't figure out which ones are for the a7 and I'm not sure how I'd be without autofocus.

Today I got MUCH quicker with the Sony a7 and my wife is probably gonna punch me when she hears that now I'm debating keeping it since I told her that I'd stop "debating" this and keep the GX7 just two days ago. Then again, it's night time now and the GX7 will probably start to shine over the a7.

So I have to return one soon. I'm literally 50-50 today. Yesterday I was 70% certain that I was keeping the GX7. Damn.

BY THE NUMBERS:

Panasonic GX7 w/ 14-42mm kit lens and extra battery, UV filters + 45mm 1.8, 25mm 1.4 = $1900 minus $400 (I'd make by selling the brand new Sony a7 with kit lens, extra battery and HVL-f20m flash) TOTAL = $1500.

Sony a7 w/ kit lens, extra battery, HVL-f20m flash (minus Sony discount) TOTAL = $1550 (still need a good relatively fast portrait lens for shallow DOF headshots)

Not sure if writing this will help any, but I've read a ton and this site seems to be helpful sometimes for people making photography decisions. I also realize this is the Sony thread so I'm guessing I'll get more stick with Sony responses, but still it'll all help. Thanks!

You need to compare apples with apples and pears with pears.  The FF sensor has 4x the area of 4/3 sensor.  The A7, even if it has slower [or less accurate] AF, is always going to be a better camera than GX7 .... if you can put up with the larger camera and lens size.  Personally, I would wait for the NEX 7 replacement camera, which Sony will no doubt announce at the end of this month.  It might be considerably smaller and a bit cheaper than A7 ......

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JGRJR
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Re: Sony a7 and Panasonic GX7: Two Cameras sitting on my desk. Must return one.
In reply to Rickj23, 8 months ago

I just made a similar decision. I am a Canon and M43 shooter. When the A7 and A7r were announced I thought the A7r might be a unified camera for me. I will explain. My recent travel system has been m43 with a Sigma DP1 Merrill thrown in for Hi res landscape. The A7r looked like a likely unified replacement. Here is the rub. After a week I am not sure I can live with the AF and black out on the A7r.

I would compare the A7r AF to 1st or 2nd generation m43, pretty bad. Don't flame me on this unless you have compared them yourself. I am not expecting the A7r to match my old 1DMKIV or my current 5DMIII just be a little closer to the GH3. The black out is also pretty bad.

This is not a shot at the A7r just my own experience. Remember I am also dragging along a DP1 when shooting m43. The DP1 is limited to about 100-200 ISO.

My first trip with the A7r made the decision easier. My M43 large bag is the Think Tank Retro 5. I carried the 35FE 55FE CY28 and a Metabones III with some Canon glass also the small Sony flash. Well this system was noticeably heavier then equivalent m43.

The question then was how many 16 x 20 prints would I make? M43 holds up pretty well without much cropping.

Like I said at the beginning, not a unifying camera for me. I might buy it back to use with my Canon glass just for the resolution. For travel I think I would still enjoy the m43 more.

The whole A7r system is now on its way back to B&H.

 JGRJR's gear list:JGRJR's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Sony Alpha 7R +2 more
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SMD79
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Re: Sony a7 and Panasonic GX7: Two Cameras sitting on my desk. Must return one.
In reply to Rickj23, 8 months ago

Rickj23 wrote:

You need to compare apples with apples and pears with pears. The FF sensor has 4x the area of 4/3 sensor. The A7, even if it has slower [or less accurate] AF, is always going to be a better camera than GX7 .... if you can put up with the larger camera and lens size. Personally, I would wait for the NEX 7 replacement camera, which Sony will no doubt announce at the end of this month. It might be considerably smaller and a bit cheaper than A7 ......

Thanks. It's size is actually nice in a way as I like the "feel" of the a7 better than GX7. Both are nice though. Before all the madness of the a7 hit the market, I was looking at the NEX7 and NEX6. I preferred the NEX6. Not only for its features but also it's handling. Subtle differences. I feel like there's always gonna be something around the corner and I'd go crazy hanging on until the next "big update/release" from Sony/Canon/Olympus/Panasonic, etc.

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