Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to osv, 4 months ago

it just seems that the things that he missed are so obvious to those of us who use these cameras.

If they are obvious, then he does really need to mention them?

as steve huff put it: "The resolution of the LV and EVF on the A7r is double that of the D800 LV, and the EVF is much easier to use than the D800's OVF"

The first part of that sentence is a fact that could have been mentioned but is probably not that important to his usage. The second part is an opinion that he likely doesn't share.

plus one for huff, zero for hogan

Camera reviewing is now a competitive sport?

another example of how he's not understanding his readership was his fixation on the raw file situation... he devoted a bunch of prose to something that most of us don't notice, or are able to work around, in the worst case.

His point is that if you are not discriminating enough to notice these pixel level issues, then why do you really need 36MP? If you read his other articles, he often writes on "maximizing image capture" so he is consistent.

even with those raw file issues, wouldn't you rather be shooting sony a7r raw than any raw file that canon offers on their cameras? sony simply has more latitude in their raw files than anything canon currently offers, which i didn't see him mention.

So you missed the part where he said "I think that a lot of folk considering something like the Canon 6D or Nikon D610 ought to take a long look at the A7, for instance. [...]The sensor in the A7 is the same as in the Nikon D610, which I consider the best 24mp full frame sensor currently available."

I'm not sure you actually read his review at all.

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Jeff Kott
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to Tuloom, 4 months ago

Tuloom wrote:

Repetitious and precisely zero new information.

Actually, there was one piece of new info. He says the optimal ISO for normal exposures is 200. Since the dynamic range according to DXO is 14.07 at ISO 100 and 13.15 at ISO 200, I'm not sure why he says this. Can anybody explain?

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to LWS2013, 4 months ago

LWS2013 wrote:

Tom's reviews are designed to get people talking and get people visiting his site,

Well, yes, that's the point of publishing reviews on a web site - so people can read them.

he might have offered unbiased reviews in the past but not anymore, he's a total joke.

I don't think Thom would ever claim to be unbiased - his biases are fairly clear as to what he wants in a camera.  The only possible unbiased review is a simple recitation of facts and measurements and even then you can be biased in what/how you measure.

I knew that he would dump on the A7/R as soon as I saw those photos of a grubby looking A7

At least you know he actually used it!

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neil holmes
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I think it is a good review
In reply to Horshack, 4 months ago

Horshack wrote:

http://www.sansmirror.com/cameras/a-note-about-camera-reviews/sony-nex-camera-reviews/sony-a7-and-a7r-review.html

But then I shoot jpegs on a A7 with adapted lenses.

I do think he is over cautious regarding using adapters....most MF adapters are less than $20 posted from China and most seem to work well.

The other thing is Manual focus with the A7 is just so easy compared to any other camera I have used....not for all of course but a big factor for me.

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to Jeff Kott, 4 months ago

Jeff Kott wrote:

Actually, there was one piece of new info. He says the optimal ISO for normal exposures is 200. Since the dynamic range according to DXO is 14.07 at ISO 100 and 13.15 at ISO 200, I'm not sure why he says this. Can anybody explain?

You should send him an email asking for clarification.  My guess is that it's the difference between theory (DxO) and practice with actual raw converters like ACR/LR.  DxO DR is only concerned with the top and bottom and not the vast middle.

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landw
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to robert1955, 4 months ago

To be honest he's just turned into a more pretentious version of Ken Rockwell. I can't take him and his self-important writing seriously.

He spends half his time explaining what camera manufacturers are doing wrong because his opinion is obviously the only valid one with him being so awesome, well-informed and balanced.

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LouMeluso
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to blue_skies, 4 months ago

Yes, correct. Sorry, Henry.

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Dandrewk
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to Horshack, 4 months ago

I love his books on Nikon cameras,  and most of his writings, but how can an author who owes SO MUCH of his livelihood on Nikon be expected to be balanced in his reviews of the competition?

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Tim Devine
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 4 months ago

DxO makes DxO Optics and DxO Optics Pro.  They aren't theory, they are actual raw converters, not so unlike ACR/LR.

DxO profiles the lenses with each camera and creates profiles for the lenses and the cameras.  If anything, I think DxO was gathering all this data for use in their raw software and they decided to start the whole DxOMark thing to put that data to other uses.

-Tim

Erik Magnuson wrote:

Jeff Kott wrote:

Actually, there was one piece of new info. He says the optimal ISO for normal exposures is 200. Since the dynamic range according to DXO is 14.07 at ISO 100 and 13.15 at ISO 200, I'm not sure why he says this. Can anybody explain?

You should send him an email asking for clarification. My guess is that it's the difference between theory (DxO) and practice with actual raw converters like ACR/LR. DxO DR is only concerned with the top and bottom and not the vast middle.

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Will Frost
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to Horshack, 4 months ago

Well, that seems about right.

He hit on the primary disadvantages of the A7r.

He pointed out that the A7 is lots more fun to carry around than Nikon's equivalent.

And, he pointed out the primary reasons people pick full frame are pretty darn specialized.

If I was made of money, I'd buy an A7, because I like FF for the shallow depth of field advantage, and I'd look forward to using manual focus lenses. The extra stop of high ISO is pretty nice too. Perfect! Heck, I like cropping to the square, so most of the APS-C E-mount lenses would do just fine. Like those really inexpensive Sigmas.

If I was intent on being the next Ansel Adams, and so I was chasing pixels, I wouldn't buy the A7r. Chasing pixels means tripods, and carrying stuff, and thoughtful setups. The otherwise enormous weight of a D800 plus lenses is less of an impediment, especially compared to the size and weight of a 4x5 film kit that a D800 would replace. He's right. If I'm chasing pixels, I'm not going to mess with shutter shock or compressed raw files. It's not worth it.

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dbm305
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to Will Frost, 4 months ago

If I was intent on being the next Ansel Adams, and so I was chasing pixels, I wouldn't buy the A7r. Chasing pixels means tripods, and carrying stuff, and thoughtful setups. The otherwise enormous weight of a D800 plus lenses is less of an impediment, especially compared to the size and weight of a 4x5 film kit that a D800 would replace. He's right. If I'm chasing pixels, I'm not going to mess with shutter shock or compressed raw files. It's not worth it.

Mabe not worth it to you; but I do a lot of wilderness photography on foot or on bicycle.

I can bring an A7r and a few lenses and a tripod. And better than can: I do. I stopped bringing the 5DMk III on trips like this a few years ago; just too much hassle.

NO: shutter shock. As far as I can tell it's a rare case where the effective resolution ends up worse than the A7. Mostly it's better even in the so-called 'dead' zone. But I'm not often in the dead zone, or on a tripod, can contrive no to be. Would I prefer a quieter shutter? Sure. Would I give up on 1/8000 second  to get it? Sure. But does it mean the A7r is not worth it for chasing pixels? Hell no.

Ditto the lossy compression. I don't think I've seen an artefact yet. I"m prepared to believe there are things you can do that might bring something on (a frind claims that if you darken a sky by changing the luminance of the blue channel, and then mask and aggressive mess with the curve in photoshop you can bring on posterisation). But once again, not a deal breaker. And in fact I'm not sure I want to deal with even bigger files.

So for my purposes, it's A7r thanks. Used with care better than the A7; used with moderate care at worst no worse. And I don't think the A7 implementation of PDAF is very exciting (I do hope the A9 or A7II or whatever has focus like the A6000.

For what it's worth, here's my take on Thom Hogan. He writes about, and uses, FF Nikon DSLRS and micro four thirds, and is comfortable with that (my situation a few years ago except Canon)

Now the A7 series is not as intimately ergonomically nice, versatile, and predictable as a D800E and the best lenses.

Nor is it as compact as M43, especially with a large lens kit.

Using both systems is not a bad solution.

But if you want one system, because you want FF quality when travel, or don't want to mess with two systems, the A7 is a great compromise. Actually a mind blowing compromise.

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osv
osv
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 4 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

it just seems that the things that he missed are so obvious to those of us who use these cameras.

If they are obvious, then he does really need to mention them?

obvious to us isn't obvious to those who have never used these cameras, obviously

i'd like to believe that the purpose of a review is to give an unbiased look at the product, for those who are interested in purchasing it, but that's apparently not the case here.

as steve huff put it: "The resolution of the LV and EVF on the A7r is double that of the D800 LV, and the EVF is much easier to use than the D800's OVF"

The first part of that sentence is a fact that could have been mentioned but is probably not that important to his usage. The second part is an opinion that he likely doesn't share.

given that he didn't offer an opinion on evf usage, it's all unsubstantiated guesswork.

what we can guess at is that the omission of ovf vs. evf comparisons, magnify functionality, etc., indicates incompetence and/or platform bias.

plus one for huff, zero for hogan

Camera reviewing is now a competitive sport?

certainly a competitive bid for eyeballs! garbage reviews generate controversy, which in turn generates traffic.

what's interesting is that this thread certainly has a variety of extreme opinions, from both sides of the isle.

even with those raw file issues, wouldn't you rather be shooting sony a7r raw than any raw file that canon offers on their cameras? sony simply has more latitude in their raw files than anything canon currently offers, which i didn't see him mention.

So you missed the part where he said "I think that a lot of folk considering something like the Canon 6D or Nikon D610 ought to take a long look at the A7, for instance. [...]The sensor in the A7 is the same as in the Nikon D610, which I consider the best 24mp full frame sensor currently available."

I'm not sure you actually read his review at all.

i commented on his obsessive focus on relatively unimportant a7r raw quality issues, and you responded with his quote about sensor comparisons?

those things are not relevant, which begs the question of who actually read what, lol

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Dennishh
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to dbm305, 4 months ago

Just what I need is a Nikon apostle reviewing a direct Nikon competitor, kind of like having the Fox review the security of the hen house. Not only that but he does this just before a Sony firmware update that address most of his criticisms. Almost every reviewer has stated that the A7 an A7r was not the camera system that should be used to shoot sports, so what does he do but shoot sports.

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dave92029
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to osv, 4 months ago

I have a lot of respect for Tom and enjoy reading and value his reviews...BUT, when comparing two cameras I do believe that their Cost must also be considered.

The  Nikon D800e retails for approx. $3,300 vs $2,300 for the Sony A7r.  The Nikon costs 43% more than the Sony so it does more things faster and better. If you are a professional reviewer who gets to use their gear for free, this may not matter to to you, but in the real world where I live, price matters. When I pay more I expect to get more.

When doing Tom's comparison and factoring the difference in price, weight, and size, I can see why many are buying the Sony A7 and A7r. Sure, there are cameras that are "better" but not close to Sony's price, weight and size.

I add weight and size, because many would not be able to take that great photo, because their fabulous FF DSLR was home because they didn't want to carry that 5+ pound monster!

No matter how many great things a camera can do, if you don't take it with you, it doesn't matter. Size and weight does matter...a lot! IMHO

Tom ignored, or didn't give enough weight to the differences in Price, Size, and Weight IMHO. Otherwise he did an other informative review. ;>)

Dave

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Charles Currey
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to osv, 4 months ago

osv wrote:

captura wrote:

Horshack wrote:

http://www.sansmirror.com/cameras/a-note-about-camera-reviews/sony-nex-camera-reviews/sony-a7-and-a7r-review.html

Thom Hogan has been dumping on Sony for some time now. He has become very much of an M43 fanboy.

10 minutes of my life that i'll never get back, lol...

he very briefly attempts to compare the 6d/610 to the a7, but nowhere in the review does he mention evf focusing versus ovf focusing?? he ignores one of the biggest reasons for going with these sony cameras.

he claims to have used the a7 for months... how could he not know how to use the camera, after handling it for that long? maybe he just never uses manual focus? he doesn't understand basic camera operation; probably because he's a blogger, not a photographer.

the phrase "d800e" never gets mentioned in the review, but he uses a7r vs. d800 in the same sentence... does he not understand that the a7r sensor setup compares directly with the d800e, not the d800? does he even know that there is such a thing as a d800e?

unfortunately he's not alone in his incompetence...

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dan

You had best read the review again.

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GaryW
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 4 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

it just seems that the things that he missed are so obvious to those of us who use these cameras.

If they are obvious, then he does really need to mention them?

Why would users who know these obvious things need to read a review?  

...another example of how he's not understanding his readership was his fixation on the raw file situation... he devoted a bunch of prose to something that most of us don't notice, or are able to work around, in the worst case.

His point is that if you are not discriminating enough to notice these pixel level issues, then why do you really need 36MP? If you read his other articles, he often writes on "maximizing image capture" so he is consistent....

The raw compression issue doesn't affect everything, all of the time, so one could want 36mp and still deal with this occasional irritation.

As for Thom, we all have our biases.  I doubt he was too far off-base. I don't think I'll take the time to read the article though; what interests me more are the reactions to it!

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Godfrey
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to Horshack, 4 months ago

Horshack wrote:

http://www.sansmirror.com/cameras/a-note-about-camera-reviews/sony-nex-camera-reviews/sony-a7-and-a7r-review.html

Good, solid, sensible review. Thanks for posting the link.

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tex
tex
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I don't think he is wrong, exactly
In reply to Horshack, 4 months ago

I own an A7r, btw, plus the NEX7 And an A850.

So, I think he says some things that are real.  I definitely want an untouched raw file, don't you????---let's hope we get something like that in the coming firmware update.  I know it means much larger files:  I don't care.  I shoot slow.  I knew what I was getting into when I bought a 36mp FF camera. Although based on things I've been reading lately there seem to be more than a few people who have no idea why they want these cameras.  I am reminded of middle aged wealthy men with slow reflexes buying high end sports cars to drive on American highways in what is probably second gear in those cars.  And wondering why they have to put their cars in the shop so frequently.

Also, the shutter shock problem is real.  There's a boatload of testing on it, now.   And it's very unfortunate.  But I can work around it (and I'm using the camera with the vertical grip, and will see if the added mass helps...).

Where I think there is a problem with the review is the comparison to full size DSLR's .  I don't see that as a valid comparison---I already have a full size DSLR that I love and continue to use.  I wanted something smaller.  The NEX7 was close---and would be more then close if there were no other options, but now there is.  I'll continue to use it, probably for any grab type photography I might do, and set up for stitching (and I'm getting more excited about that----it's a great size for a stitching camera!).  Still, I needed something in a small package that performed at least as well as what I already had full size.  I may not have gotten that completely, but it's looking good enough at this point.

So, that size bit is a big deal, and so is the evf---that is working out very well for me as it brings back manual focus for me----AF was starting to be a problem for me.  When it's good it is very good, but when it's not......I've had more shots ruined by AF problems in the past several years than with good ole' MF zone focusing----which is way easier to do with legacy MF lenses (or the new Samyang/Rokinon/ Bower/ WILL YOU PLEASE MAKE UP YOUR @#$*&%! MIND ABOUT THE NAME!!!! lenses, or Zeiss and other new MF) than with AF lenses.  And, btw, I like buying lenses from whom I wish, and at least with Sony that's a real option, and a better one than m4/3 imo.  I'm not seeing a lot of problems with my adapters so far.  These are the points Thom isn't stressing as hard as the negatives.

So it's the emphases I see as less than acceptable from a critical standpoint.  Optimally, criticism should critique from within the parameters of the object class of the object being critiqued: tragedy within its tropes and concerns, comedy within its.  Don't criticize comedy for being insufficiently serious and vice versa.  So it is here:  comparisons against DSLR's are not entirely appropriate, any more than comparing them to m43 format.  The difficulty is, there really isn't a populated object class for these cameras----there isn't anything to compare them to.  Right now they are black swans.

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Paul Richman
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ISO 200?
In reply to Horshack, 4 months ago

Interesting and well written article.  Not as "flamey" as I had expected.

The one thing new and surprising to me was his statement that ISO 200 is the optimal ISO setting, except for long exposures.  Is that documented elsewhere?  Do you agree?

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Jabez02
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 4 months ago

Erik, it depends upon the target audience. As a long term Minolta / Sony user who has read quite a few reviews, "reviews" and op ed pieces on the A7 and A7r What is obvious or assumed is quite different from a largely Nikon based audience.

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