The a7 Review

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
Gary Eickmeier
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The a7 Review
7 months ago

Sure looks like I need not worry about trading in my a77 for the a7 or 7r. They have so many flaws, clumsy controls and poor image quality issues, my a77 is so much more camera, especially for the money. You can't even use them for studio strobes without the black screen problem.

The a77 is just an APS-C camera, but what a camera! Versatility and image quality second to none and great lenses. And a whole lot more!

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Gary Eickmeier

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JamieTux
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Re: The a7 Review
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, 7 months ago

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Sure looks like I need not worry about trading in my a77 for the a7 or 7r. They have so many flaws, clumsy controls and poor image quality issues, my a77 is so much more camera, especially for the money. You can't even use them for studio strobes without the black screen problem.

The a77 is just an APS-C camera, but what a camera! Versatility and image quality second to none and great lenses. And a whole lot more!

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Gary Eickmeier

Hey Gary, I'm pleased that you like your A77, I'm happily using my A7r too and for me it's the perfect partner to my A99.  It has better IQ in lots of situations and works perfectly for me in the studio.

I guess my point is that it's fine to like and talk up your camera but slamming other people's choices like that is pretty rude.

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dlkeller
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Re: The a7 Review
In reply to JamieTux, 7 months ago

I see nothing rude or out of line in his comments although I might add the need for a clunky adaptor to use A mount lenses or buy over priced FE mount  to his list of complaints.  I didn't find the DPR analysis very encouraging for meeting what I want in a camera.  Glad you are happy with yours, but then you also have the A99 to shoot with to avoid the A7 issues for those types of photography.

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Kiril Karaatanasov
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Re: The a7 Review
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, 7 months ago

Glad you like A77! Great camera despite the SLT technology that cripples IQ.

I hope soon enough sony give us new generation of DSLR! It seems inevitable given the new high quality A mount lenses that SLT cannot justify.

Anyway if you consider A7 as a secondary body or even replacement. I would advise you to look at a reviewer that does not have strong association with a merchant that may be tempted by commissions form other brands. DPR did historically made bad comments about Sony products well beyond reality. A7 is just the same case.

Some reviews I found good are:

1. DxO Lab report on sensor performance

2. Camera Labs evaluation of all camera parameters and performance vs. Nikon an dCanon products in the same price range

3. Steve Huff series of articles on using A7 and A7r in various circumstances with manual and AF glass.

4. Focus Numerique if you happen to like french.

5. Imaging Resource that happen to do quite a big deep dive into A7r and go as far as rating it camera of the year! wow how dumb given DPR's sarcastic review.

..and countless others that strangely enough can tweak their JPEG settings and also are able to use the various camera modes.

Note that the JPEG & RAW quality and Auto ISO on A77 or A99 are not any better compared to A7. So....

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Jabez02
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Re: The a7 Review
In reply to Kiril Karaatanasov, 7 months ago

Very nicely put. Pity that some people see what they want to see.but that's the way of the world.

I was considering writing to DPR to suggest that they really should downgrade their opinions on Nikon cameras as I can't use my A and E mount lenses on them ?

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: The a7 Review
In reply to Kiril Karaatanasov, 7 months ago

Kiril Karaatanasov wrote:

Glad you like A77! Great camera despite the SLT technology that cripples IQ.

I hope soon enough sony give us new generation of DSLR! It seems inevitable given the new high quality A mount lenses that SLT cannot justify.

Anyway if you consider A7 as a secondary body or even replacement. I would advise you to look at a reviewer that does not have strong association with a merchant that may be tempted by commissions form other brands. DPR did historically made bad comments about Sony products well beyond reality. A7 is just the same case.

Some reviews I found good are:

1. DxO Lab report on sensor performance

2. Camera Labs evaluation of all camera parameters and performance vs. Nikon an dCanon products in the same price range

3. Steve Huff series of articles on using A7 and A7r in various circumstances with manual and AF glass.

4. Focus Numerique if you happen to like french.

5. Imaging Resource that happen to do quite a big deep dive into A7r and go as far as rating it camera of the year! wow how dumb given DPR's sarcastic review.

..and countless others that strangely enough can tweak their JPEG settings and also are able to use the various camera modes.

Note that the JPEG & RAW quality and Auto ISO on A77 or A99 are not any better compared to A7. So....

Hi Kiril

Many have tested sony cameras out by removing the SLT mirror and comparing. IQ seems to be the same with or without the mirror. I am not sure where you get the idea IQ is crippled, other than the 1-2 stop of light loss. Light loss does not equate to crippled IQ.

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digitalshooter
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agree he did not bash anybody, man things are OOC here! (nt)
In reply to dlkeller, 7 months ago
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nandbytes
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I just want to know how good the EVF is?
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, 7 months ago

Why doesnt any one answer this question!?

How good is it compared to A57/A77/A99 (I know A99's is considerably better than A57, I am just giving a range)?

May be I will call sony next and ask them...

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Kiril Karaatanasov
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Re: The a7 Review
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 7 months ago

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Hi Kiril

Many have tested sony cameras out by removing the SLT mirror and comparing. IQ seems to be the same with or without the mirror. I am not sure where you get the idea IQ is crippled, other than the 1-2 stop of light loss. Light loss does not equate to crippled IQ.

Jimmy I have been shooting A mount for 9 years and following closely every Sony prduct in this timeframe and I will not buy SLT. I hope Sony soon return to DSLR.

Should I remind you of the ghosting artefacts since A55 and onwards? Should we discuss EVF lag vs. DSLR?

I also have another problem with SLT which is that AF is not improved nearly as much as it should be despite the IQ and EVF lag hit that we take. I owned Nikon D600 and D700 for a while and AF is substantially more accurate than Sony's phase detect AF seen in cameras like A99 included.

All I want is a simple thing a full frame camera with 85/1.8 lens that does not err in focusing ever. Nikon does err some times. A99 errs much more often and has no 85/1.8 lens. NEX-7 with 50/1.8 never goes wrong! Same goes for A7 now - no errors in focusing at all.

So you know ghosting from SLT + not so accurate focusing..lack of OVF...I am better off with A7 - no OVF either but the rest is working as expected. I also get those manual focus tools "that desperately need improvement" as per DPR. Fortunately on my copy of the A7 camera I have somehow improved version of firmware with very nice and working focusing aids so not a problem for me.

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Kiril Karaatanasov
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Re: I just want to know how good the EVF is?
In reply to nandbytes, 7 months ago

nandbytes wrote:

Why doesnt any one answer this question!?

How good is it compared to A57/A77/A99 (I know A99's is considerably better than A57, I am just giving a range)?

May be I will call sony next and ask them...

A99 is much better professional camera! No point in comparing here. IQ is probably on par.

A77 will have somewhat worse image quality vs A7 in some cases e.g. high iso or very fine detail. A77 is much faster and feels more solid in overall experience than A7. I would not buy A77 ever though as it is not well balanced from my perspective, NEX-7 is much better for me.

A57 is a beginner camera compared to A7. So no point of comparison here unless you need the phase detect focusing for Af tracking for example i.e. sports, animals those types of things A57 will do much better. Portraits, trips, fashion, studio, landscape, architecture, stock etc. A7 is just a different league compared to A57. You can get good images with both.

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nandbytes
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Re: I just want to know how good the EVF is?
In reply to Kiril Karaatanasov, 7 months ago

Kiril Karaatanasov wrote:

nandbytes wrote:

Why doesnt any one answer this question!?

How good is it compared to A57/A77/A99 (I know A99's is considerably better than A57, I am just giving a range)?

May be I will call sony next and ask them...

A99 is much better professional camera! No point in comparing here. IQ is probably on par.

A77 will have somewhat worse image quality vs A7 in some cases e.g. high iso or very fine detail. A77 is much faster and feels more solid in overall experience than A7. I would not buy A77 ever though as it is not well balanced from my perspective, NEX-7 is much better for me.

A57 is a beginner camera compared to A7. So no point of comparison here unless you need the phase detect focusing for Af tracking for example i.e. sports, animals those types of things A57 will do much better. Portraits, trips, fashion, studio, landscape, architecture, stock etc. A7 is just a different league compared to A57. You can get good images with both.

I guess you didn't read my main question in the title - "I just want to know how good the EVF is?"

I know the rest of story lol...

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: The a7 Review
In reply to Kiril Karaatanasov, 7 months ago

Kiril Karaatanasov wrote:

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Hi Kiril

Many have tested sony cameras out by removing the SLT mirror and comparing. IQ seems to be the same with or without the mirror. I am not sure where you get the idea IQ is crippled, other than the 1-2 stop of light loss. Light loss does not equate to crippled IQ.

Jimmy I have been shooting A mount for 9 years and following closely every Sony prduct in this timeframe and I will not buy SLT. I hope Sony soon return to DSLR.

You will be waiting a while, they have stated they will no longer produce traditional mirror based DSLRs.

Should I remind you of the ghosting artefacts since A55 and onwards? Should we discuss EVF lag vs. DSLR?

Which was resolved in subsequent camera releases, and in the a55 and a33 was generally accepted to be a non issue.

I also have another problem with SLT which is that AF is not improved nearly as much as it should be despite the IQ and EVF lag hit that we take. I owned Nikon D600 and D700 for a while and AF is substantially more accurate than Sony's phase detect AF seen in cameras like A99 included.

AF speed is super fast on my a77. You are correct Sony is not so advanced with their af like other manufacturers, but how does this relate to the IQ crippling of SLT you mentioned?

All I want is a simple thing a full frame camera with 85/1.8 lens that does not err in focusing ever. Nikon does err some times. A99 errs much more often and has no 85/1.8 lens. NEX-7 with 50/1.8 never goes wrong! Same goes for A7 now - no errors in focusing at all.

Its is always best to select the best camera that suits your needs or you desire, I think this is something that is fundamental. I just find it odd you find the a99 focusing bad when you have never owned this SLT camera.

So you know ghosting from SLT + not so accurate focusing..lack of OVF...I am better off with A7 - no OVF either but the rest is working as expected. I also get those manual focus tools "that desperately need improvement" as per DPR. Fortunately on my copy of the A7 camera I have somehow improved version of firmware with very nice and working focusing aids so not a problem for me.

DPr commentary on manually focusing tools on the a7 seems to have received a lot of criticism from those actually using the camera. I am not sure if you should put much weight onto this, but suit yourself of course, its your money.

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tbcass
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Re: The a7 Review
In reply to Kiril Karaatanasov, 7 months ago

Kiril Karaatanasov wrote:

Should I remind you of the ghosting artefacts since A55 and onwards? Should we discuss EVF lag vs. DSLR?

The ghosting artifacts were eliminated by a redesign of the mirror with all SLTs after the A55. This is from the DPR review.

"There was a lot of discussion when the A55 was released of an issue known as 'ghosting'. This was evident in early SLT cameras, and took the form of faint 'ghost' images of bright highlights in some images. Most of the time ghosting was completely invisible, but we did find a few examples amongst our thousands of test shots which exhibited the phenomenon - caused by internal reflections inside the SLT mirror.

We're pleased to report that the SLT-A77's images are free from ghosting. Even in situations like the scene above - a nighttime street scene, overexposed from the metered exposure to ensure that the bright highlights are clipped - there is no ghosting to be seen at all. Sony's claims to have improved the SLT technology in its newest generation cameras are borne out in our testing."

The lag issue has been hashed out over and over. It is no longer even discussed because it is simply not an issue. Even the slideshow effect isn't a problem once you get used to it. I use it successfully shooting sports and other moving subjects all the time. It's not a problem for me.

So you know ghosting from SLT + not so accurate focusing..lack of OVF...I am better off with A7 - no OVF either but the rest is working as expected. I also get those manual focus tools "that desperately need improvement" as per DPR. Fortunately on my copy of the A7 camera I have somehow improved version of firmware with very nice and working focusing aids so not a problem for me.

Your claims are wrong and you would know that except you don't shoot with an SLT camera. All you know is from inaccurate second hand information. I find SLT focusing very accurate.

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Tom
Look at the picture, not the pixels
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Miss use of the ability to do 100% pixel peeping is the bane of digital photography because it causes people to fret over inconsequential issues.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63683676@N07/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25301400@N00/

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tbcass
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Re: I just want to know how good the EVF is?
In reply to Kiril Karaatanasov, 7 months ago

Kiril Karaatanasov wrote:

I would not buy A77 ever though as it is not well balanced from my perspective, NEX-7 is much better for me.

Strange you would say that because the NEX-7 is certainly more front heavy than the A77 with most lenses.

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Tom
Look at the picture, not the pixels
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Miss use of the ability to do 100% pixel peeping is the bane of digital photography because it causes people to fret over inconsequential issues.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63683676@N07/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25301400@N00/

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tbcass
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Re: I just want to know how good the EVF is?
In reply to nandbytes, 7 months ago

It appears that Mr Kiril Karaatanasov feels the need to defend all E-mount mirrorless cameras without knowing all the facts.

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Tom
Look at the picture, not the pixels
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Miss use of the ability to do 100% pixel peeping is the bane of digital photography because it causes people to fret over inconsequential issues.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63683676@N07/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25301400@N00/

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nandbytes
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Re: I just want to know how good the EVF is?
In reply to tbcass, 7 months ago

tbcass wrote:

It appears that Mr Kiril Karaatanasov feels the need to defend all E-mount mirrorless cameras without knowing all the facts.

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Tom
Look at the picture, not the pixels
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Miss use of the ability to do 100% pixel peeping is the bane of digital photography because it causes people to fret over inconsequential issues.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63683676@N07/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25301400@N00/

Lol, I think I will just go to the sony store (I am sure I am close to being banned now, I go there at least once every week lol) and try one. Seeing that no one seems to answer my ONE question lol.

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K E Hoffman
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Re: The a7 Review
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, 7 months ago

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Sure looks like I need not worry about trading in my a77 for the a7 or 7r. They have so many flaws, clumsy controls and poor image quality issues, my a77 is so much more camera, especially for the money. You can't even use them for studio strobes without the black screen problem.

The a77 is just an APS-C camera, but what a camera! Versatility and image quality second to none and great lenses. And a whole lot more!

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Gary Eickmeier

It has limitations... IT IS NOT DESIGNED AS A REPLACEMENT FOR A-MOUNT CAMERAS like A99 or A77.  I hope people will see what you see.. Its not a replacement.. get over it...

Its a good camera if it meets the needs of the users..

And it will for many people ..

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K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<
Don't Panic!.. these are just opinions... go take some pictures..

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JamieTux
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Re: The a7 Review
In reply to dlkeller, 7 months ago

dlkeller wrote:

I see nothing rude or out of line in his comments although I might add the need for a clunky adaptor to use A mount lenses or buy over priced FE mount to his list of complaints. I didn't find the DPR analysis very encouraging for meeting what I want in a camera. Glad you are happy with yours, but then you also have the A99 to shoot with to avoid the A7 issues for those types of photography.

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Dave

OK it wasn't directed at any one person but I don't find the controls clunky at all and for some situations it's actually quicker and easier to control.

The IQ in the right conditions on the A7r is better, Gary complains about that versus his A77 with no explanation as to why his A77 could have better IQ.

He also says that you can't use studio strobes with it, well I've been shooting for clients in the studio with no issues.

Add that to Garys past negativity and that's why I saw it as a slight on other people's choices, apologies if I caused offence.

Had Gary highlighted that his camera choice still felt like the right one for him following the review or even highlighted why the A77 is better instead of putting down someone else's choice based on one review then I would have not responded.

As for my feelings on the A99 vs the A7r, I've posted them a few times in the forum.  Biggest wins of the A99 for me are IBIS, ergonomics with longer lenses, the more articulated screen and battery life.  A7r wins on IQ, portability and lens choices (I have m mount lenses too).  If I could have only one and had to use it for everything it would be the A99 but despite that at the moment at least I prefer the A7r and find it more fun.

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kartikjayaraman
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Re: The a7 Review
In reply to JamieTux, 7 months ago

JamieTux wrote:

Had Gary highlighted that his camera choice still felt like the right one for him following the review or even highlighted why the A77 is better instead of putting down someone else's choice based on one review then I would have not responded.

As for my feelings on the A99 vs the A7r, I've posted them a few times in the forum. Biggest wins of the A99 for me are IBIS, ergonomics with longer lenses, the more articulated screen and battery life. A7r wins on IQ, portability and lens choices (I have m mount lenses too). If I could have only one and had to use it for everything it would be the A99 but despite that at the moment at least I prefer the A7r and find it more fun.

There is no perfect camera, even a lot of money cannot buy the perfect camera. Nice to know A77 worked for OP but really the A7 and A77 compete in different categories. The A7 competes with the A99 and D800 not the A77. A good camera is what is good for YOU and suits your needs. To answer your question regarding the viewfinder, the A7 has a nice and bright XGA OLED EVF which is pretty good IMO.

But we love to discuss gear don't we? Coming to the comparison with A99, you have great points but let me add the following pros and cons so it may help someone deciding between the A7 and A99:

Pros of the A99 over the A7 (There might be other minor advantages which I may have left out)

1. Some people like the "big and fuller" feel of the camera.
2. Dual memory card slots are good for professional photographers
3. GPS
4. More articulated screen (Nice for video shooting)
5. Focus Limiter (*)
6. SLT for relatively faster AF (**)
7. Better battery life due to size (***)
8. IBIS (****)
9. According to DPReview, better JPEG quality (*****)
10. ISO limiter but I am not sure of this and whether it has any advantage

* If you are using quality lenses, they should have AF limiter switches
** You can make an A7 AF faster than the A99 by using an SLT adapter for $348
*** The A7 batteries are much smaller so you can pop in a couple in your pocket to compensate
**** Non issue if you are shooting faster than 1/focal length for stills but useful in video
***** Non issue if you shoot RAW

Pros of the A7 over the A99

1. Better image quality at all ISO (I can post the image quality chart again if someone needs it). I think the A7r leads and A7 follows closely.Tha A99 is no slouch, but technically behind the A7/A7r.
2. WiFi (Although A99 does support EyeFi)3. Much better focus points. The focus points on the A99 barely touch the rules of thirds grid, if you use AF-D its slightly better. The A7 has focus poins almost all around the sensor (CD+PD combined)
4. Much more Portable
5. It is compatible with an extraordinary amount of lenses because you can get adapters for different lens mounts. You can get very creative with this flexibility.
6. Cost - Body is $1700, around $1000 (50%) less than an A99 - Lets exclude freebies for now.
7. Subject tracking is much more usable as AF points cover larger area.
8. Better post processing support - Lightroom/Camera RAW already have built in profiles for E mount lenses for correction/compensation (useful if you shoot RAW and do not use IDC).
9. A7r is actually cheaper than A99 and will give you even better image quality
10. Can be converted into an SLT as needed with the adapter to provide fast AF (faster than A99 with native A mount lenses) with the new, faster processor (*)
11. Apps provide creativity like time lapse videos. Almost limitless possibilities depending on what apps/software you use.

* Even after adding an SLT adapter the A7 is far less light and less bulkier than the A99 if portability is your concern.

I just started posting my A7 pics on my Flickr stream.It also has some A500 photos. I can bet that without reading the description, you will not be able to determine which camera shot which pictures

I bought the A7 because FOR ME image quality and cost were the most important considerations. I couldn't find a better camera and decent kit lens for around $2000 which takes good pictures at all ISOs.

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JamieTux
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Re: The a7 Review
In reply to kartikjayaraman, 7 months ago

Great post - I thought I'd put the dual memory cards in as a plus too, thanks for that one

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