MayaTlab0: Tanks Fuji.
But that's probably giving camera manufacturers too much credit. So I'd rather say : at last, Sony.
Sony release plenty of firmware updates, including adding peaking to cameras that didn't have it and adding various features to the UI. More common though are simple updates to support new lenses and lens profiles and the like.
So far as Canon 7D update goes, well that's another debate, but I wholeheartedly believe they were deliberately holding back on the original release to keep 'upgrades' for the next model. When release times kept getting pushed further and further back, they released a firmware update to keep the 7D, which is even now still a 'current model' a bit more current. 1DX I don't know a heap about that update, but my guess is it had something to do with a likely D4S announcement.
The only manufacturer that I think of 'above' the others with regards to FW updates on already solid cameras is Ricoh and they have definitely been doing it a lot longer than Fuji.
Oh and Nikon are by far the worst, deliberately breaking third party battery support AFTER people buy the camera and additional batteries... That makes them the dunce of FW updates.
Leandros S: Is this the first time that an *announcement* of a FW update has been syndicated, rather than its actual availability? Will this get reported twice now, or what? Recent Pentax FW updates did not get a mention...
Depends if there was a press release or not. DPR sometimes makes an entry when a manufacturer announces the update or sometimes when the update is available, usually the latter as that is when the press release is.
However sometimes they pre announce FW updates if that is when they are notified of it.
Sometimes manufacturers don't do a press release as such and therefore unlikely to grace these pages.
Poweruser: And what about the dreaded triple button push for live loupe? I want a simple one-touch action like on the NEX series.
I´d also like to add a minimum shutter speed for Auto ISO.
Is anyone listening out there? SONY?
Its two presses, but hey who's counting when we can have a whinge instead? Guess you've used the camera a lot then?
Oh and there is this thing called manual, it allows you to use Auto ISO and guess what? You can use any shutter speed you like. But you've used the camera a lot, so you already know that.... As an expert and all.
Why because Fuji gave their users focus peaking via a firmware update and improved the menus a bit? Oh gosh I wish Sony would that... Oh wait, they did, long before Fuji made a mirrorless camera. But yeah, no you're right, everyone is copying Fuji now.
Maybe every camera manufacturer can release betaware like Fuji do and then provide trickle updates, the focus definitely feels snappier after all ;)
dynaxx: Why wouldn't a metal barrelled Zeiss lens cost more than the two plastic 35mm Canikon lenses mentioned in this Lab Test Review ? Compare the three lenses when they have been used for five years ( and their re-sale values ) and you'll see where the value lies.
The slower f/2.8 is inevitable is you want to keep the weight down to 120 grams and still have a durable construction.
The Sony has a focus distance scale, it just appears (somewhat more usefully) on the display rather than the lens.
Agree the SLR lenses are better 'value', but those lenses on the A7 are rather big. So if it's a specs sheet you are looking at sure, they are better (own both Sigma 35mm f1.4 and Canon 35mm f2 IS), but keeping the lens this small with this high performance is a trick in itself. Compared to other '35mm equiv' lenses in mirrorless system cameras the Zeiss 35 trounces the all.
Saying that, the comparison I would like to see more closely is with the little Canon EF 40mm f2.8... that is a good performing lens, around the same size with adapter and costs a fraction of the Zeiss (also have the 40mm).
Still buying the Zeiss for the A7, makes more sense for that system than the SLR lenses.
Interesting you mention that the 70-200mm f4 G is beautifully well balanced on the A7/R Barney, many have suggested it's 'too big' but it looks pretty good to me. Care to share a few more thoughts on the feel of the two together?
abortabort: I love all the comparisons to the D800 in the comments here (and to some extent in the reviews), but here's the thing:
The A7/R are not competing with the D800, nor 5D III. They are already very competent cameras and if they are what you are after I am sure a friendly retailer will be able to help you get your fix.
Fact is the A7/R don't have any natural competitors, they offer us something that we've never had before. So the comparisons are largely meaningless. We don't usually compare a D800 to a 1DX now do we? Why? They are both full frames right? Yeah but they are in a different class, that is why most of the time we don't compare them.
But when we find something that defies comparison due to being something completely new, we tend to grasp onto whatever we see as closest, but that doesn't really work does it?
I mean when the iPhone came out I saw lots of comparisons to this and that, Windows Mobile, Nokia E70, Palm Centro, BlackBerry etc. But it couldn't be directly compared because it was something new.
If you are going to try to compare to something, it would have to be the Leica M's, not a D800 or whatever. Think of the D800 and it's ilk as a desktop computer, a workhorse for getting shiz done. Now think of the A7/R as a shiny new smartphone, super cool, but when you compare it to the workhorse it could NEVER replace it right? I mean there are so many things it can't do that the big powerful desktop can do... it's a 'toy' for rich people with more money than sense right?
Yep, now is a time to stand up and proudly condemn the A7/R in the same way you said they would have to prise your Window Mobile, or Palm or Nokia from your cold dead hands and how a smartphone would never be anything more than a gimmick.
Remember that iPhone didn't even have apps. No 3G. No GPS. Battery life was terrible. Couldn't video call... and all the rest.
Now go back to condemning then for not having 30 years worth of accumulated lenses and short battery life. (even though they have 30 years of accumulated lenses).
@ yabookie - people said the same thing about iPads, 'cool but why would you not just buy a laptop that does more?'. 'it's a toy for people with more money than sense'. I bet more than a few of the naysayers in this very thread are guilty of saying that, but now either own an iPad, or another tablet that has been brought out since that actually compete in that 'class'. Same with the modernisation of smartphones.
You sir dis' every Mirrorless that comes along with your DoF calculator... but when this came out you couldn't do that any more, so the best you can say is it isn't as good as a D800. Well done.
@ MJC - Price and being 'a camera' does not make them the same class. Yes they both have a sensor and a lens mount, some buttons and take photos but that is where the similarities end.
Going back to my comparison, if you looked at an inexpensive notebook vs an iPad: They both have a processor, a screen, an operating system and can both browse the web and look at documents. But they aren't the same class of device. Yes if you had say $500 and didn't have either you might weigh up between the two, after all you want something that can browse the web and look at documents, but that does not make them in the same class. Same price yes. You might even choose the laptop because it 'does more' and that's fine as well. But that doesn't mean it was designed to compete against each other.
I can also buy two very different class of cars for the same price. I have to weight up what my needs are, as an individual, but that doesn't mean those two cars are competing in the same segment, as what you are weighing up are whether you are going to choose a car from one class or another.
Last example: I have $500 and I want a nice watch, but I also want an iPad. I can only buy one. Does that mean that iPads are competing against watches too? What if I want a decent suit? Or a piece of artwork, or a night away in a luxury hotel? Are all these things competing in the same class or are they competing for my dollars as a personal choice?
I love all the comparisons to the D800 in the comments here (and to some extent in the reviews), but here's the thing:
bobbarber: I have a comment on the "performance" discussion on this thread. I do not own this camera, nor do I own a FF Nikon or Canon. But I do own MILCs and a DSLR.
DSLRs are snappier and more responsive. No question. However, in other ways they are less capable. For example, you get much better information in the viewfinder of a mirrorless camera, and you can do manual focus much better. It is no contest. When you can do a 10x zoom on a subject at a wide aperture, you can nail the focus every time. This is handy for very fast lenses, or macro shooting, etc. If the argument is, "DSLRs can do that too, in live view," well, yes they can, but only slowly. Very slowly. And only on the back screen. So even performance is difficult to define. This camera might perform better for some people, in the kind of shooting that they like to do, than the corresponding DSLR.
@ Yabookie - Because PDAF either needs a dedicated sensor or on sensor. On sensor just isn't there yet, even with dual pixel AF like the Canon 70D still isn't at dedicated PDAF levels yet. On top of that, well designed CDAF systems (that's sensor, lens design, lens motors, processing) are already eclipsing PDAF in their current markets for AF-C and with PDAF support AF-C is now becoming possible, but still only with CDAF optimised lenses. PDAF has had its place and worked very well, but those lenses just can't be carried into a whole new era of AF systems. New lenses will need to be designed. If a mirrorless camera was so easy and PDAF lenses so simple why do you think that not one lens from PDAF era, by the OEMs nor third parties have been made in mirrorless mounts? I mean it would take nothing at all for someone like Sigma to release their entire catalogue of lenses in E-Mount... except that not one of them will work well (apart from the DNs which ate CDAF lenses).
@ Yabookie - This is plain wrong. PDAF lenses do not work with CDAF well at all, they are simply not designed for it. This is why LV always sucks so badly on DSLRs and why after 10 years they haven't really improved.
It's also why companies design whole new lenses systems, because that lens system 'prized' by their loyal customers become completely useless on an entirely LV based system.
On sensor PDAF helps though, as it can assist with determining focus so the lenses have to hunt less. This type of system still has its flaws though.
As for offering LV while taking the shot when the mirror is up... Uhm yeah, that's not going to work. There is obviously the possibility to provide a LV feed through an optical viewfinder setup to enable LV through the viewfinder. however this would be rather expensive and until the LV focus of PDAF lenses is sorted it would be a huge waste of time / money to implement. Oh and that system will also have blackout when taking the shot so....
McJ: If this was a dslr, it would have been panned as the worst performing camera of the last 10 years. But since it's mirrorless, it magically gets "gold".
I will probably buy this camera myself as a slow digital back for my 30+ year old primes, but I feel sorry for those that buy this as a general purpose camera because it got "gold" in this test.
So you are going to spend money on it despite its drawbacks? Did you ever stop to consider that others might do that too and that like you, those people who buy it, or those people who review it, think that the Pros outweigh the Cons?
A review like this is meant to establish the Pros and Cons so that people considering buying this camera can make an informed decision about whether it suits their needs or not. Those who it doesn't will come in here and insult it and not buy it and those who it does will praise it and buy it.
The award it is given is not a metric, or a score it is based purely on what some people think and what it does for the market as a whole. Anyone who buys it based purely on this award deserves to be disappointed because they didn't weigh up for themselves.
Kendunn: It certainly is a great era in digital photography with cameras like this and the Fuji and Oly. The only thing I see is the cost of lenses are crushing. Not saying that the best Canon and Nikons are cheap, but they seem to always have a cost effective alternative either new or used to their best that still offers really good performance. I mean if you had to start over with a Sony system you could easily drop a ton of money on the body, couple of lenses, and a flash.I am not sure if I would like the EVF, but everyone says its great, so maybe if there isn't any lag. As far as size I am sure its great for travel, but I have found smaller cameras are hard for me to use as they feel pretty cramped. I think a DSLR is just right. Maybe if they could get voice commands that actually worked it would be much better to have a small camera. It would be nice to be able to whisper to the camera to switch ISO or focus mode, etc
@ Tonio - So reviewers say the don't like the dial and therefore it doesn't count (according to you) but I say the dials on the Df are redundant (also according to you) and my comments are 'beyond reproach'? Yeah that makes sense.
The dial on my A7 has never been bumped accidentally once, nor have I gotten a single shot that wasn't what I wanted as far as ISO is concerned. I have not had one shot that was out of focus either for that matter, where it wasn't the person using the cameras fault. Reviewers are welcome to say and do what they like, I thought the whole point of comments on reviews was to add a different angle... if we are all to take reviews as 'fact' then why have comments at all? Is it solely to pat the reviewer on the back?
As for the Df - Yes the dials are redundant. You can have 50 dials on a camera and if they all do exactly the same thing then that is nothing more than redundancy, they add no additional function. If you need two dials to work together to perform the function of one dial, than that is purely bad design. The Nikon has a mix of those two, but collectively between its dials (which there are more of physically) they perform no additional direct function than found on the A7.
The rest of your comment is just pure troll nonsense.
Just a Photographer: GOLD!Are you serious????
- Autofocus can be slow in low light- Its autofocus system nails focus MOST of the time...- Long viewfinder blackout time- Longer-than-average startup times- Short battery life- Camera 'locks up' while buffer is clearing after continuous shooting- Menu arrangement poor - Limited selection of FE lenses
These are really BIG issues not something to be overlooked by serious photographers. Still giving this camera a 'gold' status seems to me like Sony paid DPreview to give it this status.
@ Just a Photographer: "A 2 year old sensor borrowed from the D800E"... Erm, I think it is Nikon whom 'borrowed' it, it is a Sony sensor after all. you wouldn't be shouting about how great Nikon are without Sony.
NCB: Sony deserves credit for producing an innovative camera which is capable, under the right circumstances, of producing excellent pics, and all in a light and compact body, for a full frame camera. BUT GOLD? Seems to me DPR has shrunk the market this camera is supposedly aimed at to the point it can consider that award. Fact is, it has quite a lot of minuses, ones which rivals from Canon and Nikon don't possess. It should be judged against the market those cameras are aimed it. It's a good first attempt from Sony, but GOLD implies that it's outstanding in its market, which, unless you shrink the market as I indicated, it patently isn't.
And what IS it's market? Please define that for us...
No need, the Sony has an extra 2 dials over any DSLR (except Df, but those are redundant extra dials), that means you have direct access to ISO... No more push this and turn that to change a setting.
If you are worried about size, can always add the grip, it still remains slender and light.
Not as many lenses as a D800?... that's cool, it's 'crap' lens selection has already produced the highest ranked AF lens and guess what? it ain't available for the D800. All the 'better' AF on the D800 doesn't mean much when the lens you have to compete with the Zeiss 55mm f1.8 is a $4000 MF lens.... Also Zeiss. Plus that lens also happens to work on the Sony, with better MF aids than a D800 could hope to have...
Kid Plutonium: One small niggle: could you DPR guys please stop saying: "...processor, dubbed Bionz X for reasons that presumably made sense to someone..." every time you mention the Bionz X processor? I've read this exact same phrase three or four times since the Alpha 7/7r was announced.
It appears on every review of a Sony camera with any iteration of Bionz processor ever. It was probably funny, once. Now it is just rather tired.
abortabort: I think DPR should have included some actual coverage of the LA-EA4 Alpha adapter. Adaption of lenses in covered more properly in other reviews by DPR and despite the SLT adapters being available for a couple of years are seem mostly to have been ignored.
This adapter isn't 'just' for adapting lens mounts, it actually adds significant functionality to the whole camera, by adding a second AF system (with motor drive supporting the mount fully going back 30 years), it actually converts this mirrorless camera into a fully fledged DSLR (DSLT). That is not only quite an achievement, it means that cameras like the A7 and A7R become convertibles - One camera to cover many use cases. No longer having to choose between buying a mirrorless or a DSLR.
Is it perfect? Is there confusion about what it is for? This is why some in depth coverage by DPR on what it IS for as well as how well / badly it works is more important than the assumption 'it's just another clunky adapter'.
@ FZ750 - The E-M1 doesn't come with adapter in the box, nor the Nikon with the FT1 etc, they still got covered. It is a key function of the camera. In fact DPR did cover 'third party lenses' as a separate article and again... nothing in there either.
Point is, it should be more than a footnote that says:
'Boy isn't it big, we stuck with small'and
'Boy isn't it confusing there are so many models'
@ Vignes - I have, I own both. Yes the AF points are better spread on the 6D. On the 6D, despite the spread, in lots of situations only the centre point is much good... Just like the LA-EA4, so no real advantage there.
This can be fine anyway, sometimes. Obviously neither of these are 'top end' PDAF systems, but they are still very competent nonetheless and it adds a pretty big extra dimension to the camera.