Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
nostatic
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to Iliah Borg, 6 months ago

Iliah Borg wrote:

If I want small size and weight and going to handhold A7r is out of question. The way I see A7r -- it is more of a slightly crippled digital back than a camera.

I shoot the A7r handheld all the time.

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robbinsbox
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Re: Thom Hogan's review of the A7/A7r
In reply to Horshack, 6 months ago

sure some of you must have clicked the roadmap link on thom's review, (good review btw) it shows the FE roadmap in detail. Dont know if this is accurate or not but I would be v happy if this were to happen.

Bring on the fast primes (esp 85mm)

+1 support for an optional uncompromised raw format

and tweaking the auto iso firmware, and dont dawdle sony.

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Jeff Kott
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to nostatic, 6 months ago

nostatic wrote:

Iliah Borg wrote:

If I want small size and weight and going to handhold A7r is out of question. The way I see A7r -- it is more of a slightly crippled digital back than a camera.

I shoot the A7r handheld all the time.

Yes, I shoot mine hand held all the time also. You just have to be conscious of shutter speeds. But I also use it with my RRS Series 1 tripod and the A7r plus lens with the Series 1 tripod is a much lighter total kit than the D800 plus lens plus Series 2 or heavier tripod.

A lot of people knocking the A7r need to put up straw men to justify their positions.

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Jeff Kott

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Jeff Kott
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to tomtom50, 6 months ago

tomtom50 wrote:

m43 has lower IQ, but it is not crippled by an unnecessary compromise.

Quite right tomtom. It is crippled by a necessary compromise, which is its sensor size.

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Jeff Kott

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Jeff Kott
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to Iliah Borg, 6 months ago

Iliah Borg wrote:

I do not think given I have a choice I will ever use A7r for hand-held shooting.

I'm sure with a little practice and scientific experimentation you could get the hang of it.

I mean do you really think the A7r shutter vibration would ever give you less effective resolution than with your 16 mp Nikon Df?

You might want to look at Jim Kasson's blog for some real experimentation on hand holding and the A7r:

http://blog.kasson.com/

His testing shows that you won't be worse off hand holding the A7r than the A7. In either case, your resolution would certainly be better than with your 16 mp camera.

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Jeff Kott

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osv
osv
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to Jeff Kott, 6 months ago

Jeff Kott wrote:

nostatic wrote:

Iliah Borg wrote:

If I want small size and weight and going to handhold A7r is out of question. The way I see A7r -- it is more of a slightly crippled digital back than a camera.

I shoot the A7r handheld all the time.

Yes, I shoot mine hand held all the time also. You just have to be conscious of shutter speeds.

x3... i try to stay at 1/300th or quicker when hand-held, regardless of what camera i'm shooting with.

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dan

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captura
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to Jeff Kott, 6 months ago

Jeff Kott wrote:

Iliah Borg wrote:

I do not think given I have a choice I will ever use A7r for hand-held shooting.

I'm sure with a little practice and scientific experimentation you could get the hang of it.

I mean do you really think the A7r shutter vibration would ever give you less effective resolution than with your 16 mp Nikon Df?

You might want to look at Jim Kasson's blog for some real experimentation on hand holding and the A7r:

http://blog.kasson.com/

His testing shows that you won't be worse off hand holding the A7r than the A7. In either case, your resolution would certainly be better than with your 16 mp camera.

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Jeff Kott

What A7r shutter vibration are you referring to? Do you have any real evidence of this, besides hearsay? Or did you experience this yourself?

And are you referring to the phenomenon known to Olympus owners (like myself) called Shutter Shock?

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Arcturu
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Re: Not a single shred of evidence?
In reply to captura, 6 months ago

Shutter shock was a notorious problem with the Pentax 6x7. Some people used to lean on their tripod-mounted Pentaxes in an attempt to suppress the vibration. That's one reason why other manufacturers (Bronica, Mamiya) used leaf shutters in their 6x7 SLRs. I would like to see someone put leaf shutters in MILC lenses.

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Arcturus

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Iliah Borg
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to Jeff Kott, 6 months ago

A lot of people knocking the A7r need to put up straw men to justify their positions.

While a lot of people advocating handhold shooting with 36 megapixel cameras (be it D800/E or A7r) should know better than that.

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Iliah Borg
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to Jeff Kott, 6 months ago

Jeff Kott wrote:

Iliah Borg wrote:

I do not think given I have a choice I will ever use A7r for hand-held shooting.

I'm sure with a little practice and scientific experimentation you could get the hang of it.

I did just that, and A7 provides better results compared to A7r.

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JimKasson
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to Jeff Kott, 6 months ago

Jeff Kott wrote:

You might want to look at Jim Kasson's blog for some real experimentation on hand holding and the A7r:

http://blog.kasson.com/

His testing shows that you won't be worse off hand holding the A7r than the A7. In either case, your resolution would certainly be better than with your 16 mp camera.

Jeff, you are oversimplifying my results. I found that, with the Zony 55 and the cameras in landscape orientation, I got better sharpness, as measured by slanted-edge-derived MTF50, for horizontal edges (which are the hardest for the a7R because of the direction the shutter moves, and the best for the a7, because of the anisotropic nature of the a7's AA filter) with the a7 at 1/125 and 1/250, than I did for the a7R.

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=5175

As an aside, I found the D800E's mirror slap to be at least as problematic, and probably more, although the effect mostly occurs at lower shutter speeds.

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=5188

Jim

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UnderDriven
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Good review, thanks--and I agree with Thom about the RAW compression issue
In reply to Horshack, 6 months ago

Sony deserves to be trashed for the lossy RAW compression issue--or more specifically for not offering a lossless compression option (or no compression at all). Didn't they get hammered for that on the A700? Now they are doing it again--talk about not learning your lesson...

In fact, the more negative comments Sony gets from influential people like Thom, the more likely they will fix this in a firmware update (assuming that is possible). As someone who is likely to buy an A7 soon, I want to see as much pressure on Sony as possible to eliminate lossy RAW compression. In fact, a nearby camera club is hosting a Sony representative next week to talk up the A7/A7R cameras. I wasn't planning on going, but now I might have to--just to send a message to Sony that many photographers insist on RAW files without lossy compression...

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bhill643
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yes I am a die hard sony Idiot
In reply to LTZ470, 6 months ago

yes I am a die hard sony Idiot and i do not care about any ones negative review of the sony line.

sony's countin on u.

My guess , in 1 year the 7 will be selling under $800 on ebay  and - Sony will of come out with a new version of the 7 - that will not be much improved if at all - good comparison is the nex line against the new 6000 line.

Will not get fooled again

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JimKasson
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to JimKasson, 6 months ago

JimKasson wrote:

...at 1/125 and 1/250, than I did for the a7R..

Oops. That's 1/60 and 1/125. Sorry.

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captura
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Re: Not a single shred of evidence?
In reply to Arcturu, 6 months ago

Arcturu wrote:

Shutter shock was a notorious problem with the Pentax 6x7. Some people used to lean on their tripod-mounted Pentaxes in an attempt to suppress the vibration. That's one reason why other manufacturers (Bronica, Mamiya) used leaf shutters in their 6x7 SLRs. I would like to see someone put leaf shutters in MILC lenses.

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Arcturus

I believe that Sony ran into SS with their first MILC cameras the NEX-3 and NEX-5, a few years ago. They then installed electronic first curtain shutter which effectively stopped the SS phenomenon. Why other MILC makers like Olympus didn't do the same is  beyond my grasp.

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Jeff Kott
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to JimKasson, 6 months ago

JimKasson wrote:

Jeff, you are oversimplifying my results. I found that, with the Zony 55 and the cameras in landscape orientation, I got better sharpness, as measured by slanted-edge-derived MTF50, for horizontal edges (which are the hardest for the a7R because of the direction the shutter moves, and the best for the a7, because of the anisotropic nature of the a7's AA filter) with the a7 at 1/125 and 1/250, than I did for the a7R.

Sorry for the oversimplification. I've had and used an A7r extensively for over three months and been able to get sharp shots both hand held and with a tripod viewing at 100% magnification, always taking care to watch my shutter speed.

I would think that it is fair to say that one would not buy an A7 instead of an A7r because one expected to generally get higher resolution shots with the A7 either hand held or on a tripod. In some circumstances, possibly. Generally, no. What do you think?

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exdeejjjaaaa
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Re: Not a single shred of evidence?
In reply to captura, 6 months ago

captura wrote:

Arcturu wrote:

Shutter shock was a notorious problem with the Pentax 6x7. Some people used to lean on their tripod-mounted Pentaxes in an attempt to suppress the vibration. That's one reason why other manufacturers (Bronica, Mamiya) used leaf shutters in their 6x7 SLRs. I would like to see someone put leaf shutters in MILC lenses.

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Arcturus

I believe that Sony ran into SS with their first MILC cameras the NEX-3 and NEX-5, a few years ago. They then installed electronic first curtain shutter which effectively stopped the SS phenomenon. Why other MILC makers like Olympus didn't do the same is beyond my grasp.

because it requires proper sensor support - so you have to have a sensor supporting such readout, some sensors do, some - not

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JimKasson
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to Jeff Kott, 6 months ago

Jeff Kott wrote:

I would think that it is fair to say that one would not buy an A7 instead of an A7r because one expected to generally get higher resolution shots with the A7 either hand held or on a tripod. In some circumstances, possibly. Generally, no. What do you think?

Jeff, as I'm sure you know, this is a multidimensional and complex issue. There are circumstances in which the a7 will give you sharper results than the a7R. Longer lenses favor the a7, with its truly exceptional (by DSLR standards, some Canons excepted) freedom from first curtain shock. Shutter speeds of below 1/200 or so and above 1/30 or so sometime give the a7R problems. Whether these situations are the heart of your photographic locus or corner cases depends on what kind of images you make most often and your photographic style. There are generally workaround for most all of the a7R's challenges. The only situation where I haven't found an acceptable one is portrait-mode, tripod-mounted photography in the above shutter speed range.

If you shoot with zooms, I'd give the nod to the a7R. Most zooms, at most apertures, are not capable of plumbing the resolution depths of either camera, and the oversampling of the a7R has advantages.

The a7R is a camera with great potential, and that potential is often realized, but sometimes not. OTOH, if you just want to make good C-sized images and not sweat the details, an a7 might be a better choice. It doesn't aim as high, but it's more predictable without a lot of experimentation.

All of the above is without regard to the way the cameras handle 3rd-party, non-retrofocus, WA lenses. That's another kettle of fish.

I'm afraid that none of this is definitive. For that I apologize. However, It's the best I can do.

Jim

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Horshack
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to JimKasson, 6 months ago

JimKasson wrote:

Jeff Kott wrote:

I would think that it is fair to say that one would not buy an A7 instead of an A7r because one expected to generally get higher resolution shots with the A7 either hand held or on a tripod. In some circumstances, possibly. Generally, no. What do you think?

Jeff, as I'm sure you know, this is a multidimensional and complex issue. There are circumstances in which the a7 will give you sharper results than the a7R. Longer lenses favor the a7, with its truly exceptional (by DSLR standards, some Canons excepted) freedom from first curtain shock. Shutter speeds of below 1/200 or so and above 1/30 or so sometime give the a7R problems. Whether these situations are the heart of your photographic locus or corner cases depends on what kind of images you make most often and your photographic style. There are generally workaround for most all of the a7R's challenges. The only situation where I haven't found an acceptable one is portrait-mode, tripod-mounted photography in the above shutter speed range.

If you shoot with zooms, I'd give the nod to the a7R. Most zooms, at most apertures, are not capable of plumbing the resolution depths of either camera, and the oversampling of the a7R has advantages.

The a7R is a camera with great potential, and that potential is often realized, but sometimes not. OTOH, if you just want to make good C-sized images and not sweat the details, an a7 might be a better choice. It doesn't aim as high, but it's more predictable without a lot of experimentation.

All of the above is without regard to the way the cameras handle 3rd-party, non-retrofocus, WA lenses. That's another kettle of fish.

I'm afraid that none of this is definitive. For that I apologize. However, It's the best I can do.

Jim

Very nice work on those hand-held A7r/D800E tests Jim. Thanks for doing those.

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JimKasson
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Re: Can you elaborate
In reply to JimKasson, 6 months ago

JimKasson wrote:

...if you just want to make good C-sized images and not sweat the details, an a7 might be a better choice. It doesn't aim as high, but it's more predictable without a lot of experimentation.

I don't spend a lot of time looking at what reviewers have to say about cameras, preferring to do my own testing.

However, to the degree that there's a subset of the professional reviewers coming down heavy on the a7R's shutter, consider this. If you're reviewing lenses, what you value most is predictability. There's hardly anything that feels worse than, with a deadline -- self-imposed or not -- approaching, having to rerun a laborious series of lens tests because some variable for which you failed to control jumped up and bit you in the posterior. I've been there; and I can sympathize. Telling your family that you can't do X or Y because you have to sit down with your cameras and your lenses, and your lights and your charts or stock scene makes them feel 2nd rate, and makes you feel 3rd.

So maybe some reviewers don't view the a7R's shutter with complete, detached, equanimity.

Jim

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