You guys are too kind. If you simply tested a camera (vs. a FLYING camera) with this kind of performance, you would give it a 55. Quit pussy-footing around :-). This much money for such - at best - average compact camera pictures doesn't seem like a great value. It would appear that the helicopter portion is better than the camera portion.
I guess the question that the review omitted is what the competition might be like?
The silence from DPR about the potential status of a review on the A77II is deafening. Numerous posts on the blog here expressing distress about the lack of a formal review, and not a peep from DPR. Is DPR too busy to respond? Or is no response thought wiser than bad news (that a full review isn't going to happen)?
TheEnthusiast: Ever since I sold my A77 and all my APS-C lenses to go full-frame with the A99, I've sorely missed the compactness of the A77. The A99 beat the old A77 in low-light performance by a solid two stops, and the colors in the A99 are terrific. But the A99 is a boat anchor. While I can't give it up, I've been looking for something smaller-lighter as a second camera. At the top of my list have been the A7r and the Leica T. Both of those cameras have walk-around zooms that are somewhat compromised, apparently due to an attempt to attain the last measure of compactness.
One of the things I truly loved about the A77 was the superb 16-50 lens. It doesn't have the Zeiss name or even the G-designation, but it is relatively compact and a fantastic value. Its only significant flaw was some mid-image, barrel-like distortion that I noticed most when comparing RAW images to camera-corrected jpegs of the same shot. The A77 II with the 16-50 lens is a tempting package to me.
I've had the A65, the A99, and now the A77II. I found that the weight of the CZ24-70 plus the A99 just about a pound more than I wanted to tote around even with a shoulder strap. I could be persuaded back to FF by a A99II if it was a real home run. Loved the 24-70 but like you said, the combination is a boat anchor. It's all tradeoffs. I also think that the AF system on the A77II is better than the A99. Way better sports camera, esp, with the deeper buffer.
Here's another classic mis-step associated with the once-over-lightly treatment. DPR is just plain wrong when they state "The electronic viewfinder, on the other hand, is unchanged" (from the A77). Nope. It's not. Way better control over contrast, and way better in low light.
K E Hoffman: Five months! Do you want me to drive down to Seattle on the weekend and help with review, I will :) . This is the best APS camera ever made under $1500. You should be getting these reviews out in 30-60 days.. Are we going to wait until after Christmas for D750 and 7DII reviews? I can even bring my own camera!!
It appears that DPR has gone in the direction of once-over-lightly reviews of everything under the sun vs. detailed reviews that are timely for major products. Since they have been trying to hire someone, I suspect they are seriously short handed. I agree that it is a unique camera (I love mine), but there are also some issues that suggest it was rushed to market (particularly the overexposure in bright light, and the dismal smartphone interface).
Speaking of hot bullet points, which of the first impressions reviews of new cameras will make it to a final (full) review? Some? All? Is this information a state secret?
Waiting with baited breath. Not to be confused with being baited by manufacturers.
CFynn: Why all the complaining?
I have a D800E and I know about all the things it will do better than the A7/A7r - but I can certainly also see the attraction and value of the Sony cameras.
For some types of photography, I know I would prefer to use a camera like the A7r.
If you don't like the camera, and never intend to buy one, just move on and stop moaning. There are plenty of other choices out there that will be much better for you - but I'm sure this camera will be the most suitable camera available for a few others.
Congratulations to Sony for providing a new full frame choice that is well thought out and different from the other full frame cameras out there.
Nice post and agree with all your points.
But if you took away moaning and grousing, people who post on the blogosphere would only have trolling, hachet-jobbing, and passing gas. It would take all the fun out of the brand wars nonsense on DPR! You're clearly just a killjoy. :-)
obeythebeagle: What a bunch of belly-aching! The camera (A7R) is an awesome, unbelievable gift! It heats up camera competition like nothing seen in many years and we all benefit. Can you imaging how boring Nikon and Canon stuff would be if Sony wasn't constantly pushing?1) It may have the best IQ of any camera period. Worth repeating, it may have the best IQ of any camera period. Certainly it will be up there with the more than awesome 800E. Isn't IQ what we really want?2) Lightest, smallest, cheapest (w A7) ff.3) Zeiss glass (and coatings) for crying out loud.
Good points there. But belly-aching, grousing, whining, brand-trolling, and other forms of bickering are what keep this website going strong! You are obviously a killjoy :-)
Mirrorless _ user: I DONT UNDERSTAND. What I see is a cheap chance to get a camera that take GOOD pictures. NOT ? I start taking photographs with a used Panasonic G10, and it was at no point the best camera (distant of that) but I was fun taking my first shots of my baby and learning in the process. Now I have a G5, that is a good camera, but (like all cameras) have low points (SLOW and inaccurate continuos AF, not superb in low light or super high Iso.. just to say some) Again, it's a good camera, but I not paid a fortune for it, just $400 one month ago.I applaud SONY for give us a chance to get a cheap camera WITH A VIEWFINDER that take VERY GOOD pictures, even better than many other more expensive cameras !!!!!!!!NOT all the cameras have that it will be expensive !!!!!!SUPERB !!!!!!!!!
Good summary of what happens on DP blogspace - but you left out trolling, brands wars, and general rudeness. Pictures? No time for those, too busy w/ trashing the opposition. :-)
utphoto: Beautiful form factor and ID. The lens is a disappointment...sharp in the center, soft on the edges and corners. All it take is a comparison of the Nikon D600, Ricoh GR and the Pentax K5IIs. They all clearly are superior in the corners and as an example check out the smearing of lettering on the batteries in the lower left hand corner vs the others or the watch face on the opposite corner. At higher ISOs the Nikon and Pentax are also significantly less noisy. It continues to amaze me that Nikon and Pentax do a superior job of implementing SONY sensors.
Where are you getting your information about the lens on the RX-1? Testing by DxO shows the lens to be as sharp or sharper than any 35mm F2 lens, including the razor sharp Sigma that just got an 89 and a Gold award in DP testing. And where are you getting your information on noise? Obviously you don't own and haven't really had any experience with the product.
Well after the RX-1 has proven a market for this type of camera, perhaps Nikon is aiming at folks that can't afford the high price of that camera. Does that make it an RX-1 wannabe? Or if the RX-1 is, as some have suggested, a Leica wannabe, does this mean that this camera becomes a Leica wannabe wannabe?
Or does this post just prove that I should have had more coffee this morning before hitting the blogosphere?
photo nuts: Brilliant strategy to generate web traffic in DPreview.
Nothing beats a multi-way fanboy fight. ;)
Yes, well put - all this proves is that we are a highly tribal and ideological species - and we already knew that! Trolling and fanboy hooliganism is easy to create and hard to stop. Too bad none of that has anything to do with photography.
Douglas F Watt: Well I'm not sure what anybody else thinks, but this is much more problematic than DP reviews appears to appreciate. First of all every new camera is going to shoot this test scene instead of the old test scene. How in the world are you going to compare newly reviewed cameras to older and previously reviewed cameras unless all those old cameras shoot the same test scene too. It seems to me one of the great advantages of your standard scene comparator tool was the huge database of images at different ISOs both JPEG and RAW that were shot with every camera. This means the you could compare easily a 100% view across four different cameras with little hassle. How are you going to keep that functionality with this new test scene unless every old camera re-shoots this new scene?
Well, that's actually very reassuring and thanks for responding so promptly. You guys will make a lot of extra work for yourselves on this one!!
I assume that you have lots of older cameras around to re-shoot the standard scene with? I for one will miss the gold coin (from the Martini vermouth bottle?) Made some important (and correct) decisions about cameras from that gold coin.
Well I'm not sure what anybody else thinks, but this is much more problematic than DP reviews appears to appreciate. First of all every new camera is going to shoot this test scene instead of the old test scene. How in the world are you going to compare newly reviewed cameras to older and previously reviewed cameras unless all those old cameras shoot the same test scene too. It seems to me one of the great advantages of your standard scene comparator tool was the huge database of images at different ISOs both JPEG and RAW that were shot with every camera. This means the you could compare easily a 100% view across four different cameras with little hassle. How are you going to keep that functionality with this new test scene unless every old camera re-shoots this new scene?
gchamp727: This better have some kick-ass (as in D600 level) high ISO performance or I am giving up on Sony and selling my Sony gear. They blew it on the A-77 and from what I see, they don't support any firmware upgrades after a new model comes out. On top of that, in the non-camera world, they have been trying to rule the world and have the hackers attacking their websites (which I agree with). Sony is just too big and does not care about its loyal customers. We would be better off if the next earthquake swallows the whole damn company.
By my eye (did some comparisons of A99 and A65 at high ISO), this camera will be roughly two stops better in terms of noise compared to A77/65. It will be about 1/2 F stop poorer than D600 with virtually identical sensors given the ~ 30% light lost via the SLT approach, but that's not huge. My brief shooting experience with the A99 was pretty impressive in terms of noise, with usable ISO 6400. So don't blow up the company yet!
kjeldsendk: The amount of "fanboyish" posts here is staggering. It's about time we got some moderation going and the owners of this site made an effort to improve these forums/comments. Read though the posters history and pick some moderators please...!
This is an amazing camera anyone claiming something else is not objective in any way whatsoever.
With that being said there is plenty of room for discussion without resorting to petty fanboy huff and puff matches.
Canon shooter since the EOS 650 planning to buy a 1DX
Agreed. The oneupmanship and petty competitiveness on the site are worrisome and at times really out of control. It's like the fans of hostile sport teams! We are all supposed to be interested in the same thing, can't we improve our dialogue?? - if we can't shouldn't the moderators step in and set limits?
Guidenet: There are huge computers in modern cameras. These computers have operating systems and applications just like your home computer. When a new operating system for Apple, Windows or Linux is released, we can expect a few crashes here and there until it gets ironed out. It's fairly normal. Even with huge beta periods and a lot of testing, computer bugs crop up after release. Nobody likes it, especially the releasing company. No matter how un-rushed you are to market, it happens.
There are two types of errors; syntactical and logical. Syntax errors are usually all caught in beta and other testing. This is where you made a grammatical error in your coding. A logical error is much harder to find. It will only crop up when that logic is tested. It might mean a series of events simultaneously triggering another series of events where something in the middle tried to divide by zero.
Finding these bugs is not that hard and pretty trivial to repair. I'd buy one today without issue.
I couldn't agree more Graybalanced. Both the software and hardware in a high end DSLR are both so complicated, it speaks to the kind of effort put into testing that there aren't more problems. Expecting no problems in a new system (and that even extensive testing will or should catch all issues) just isn't realistic.
kdaphoto: Such hyperbole, extreme views, and misinformation used to be the domain of political pundits. Based on many of the comments here, it's sad to see that it has come down to camera fans. Do we really need a partisan divide based on camera brands?
Apparently we do. I am astonished at the level of bickering, nasty comments, mean-spirited competitiveness and oneupsmanship associated with camera blogs! Can't we disagree more respectfully? it's really like watching Red Sox and Yankee fans or Real Madrid and Barcelona fans go at each other. And this is about cameras and photography!! Jeez. Come on guys!! And does anyone believe that this kind of discourse helps improve the field . . . or our experience in it?
z9z9z9z9: I think anyone who has looked at the comparative dimensions of the Nikon and Sony sensors (23.2x15.4mm vs. 23.5x15.6mm) realises that this is not the same sensor. You can't "tweek" photosite pitch -- it's a static design parameter.
Well, that's nice z9, and very concrete, but you are missing the forest for the trees here. Nikon has never MADE (fabricated) a single sensor to my knowledge. They pass on specification requests to the big chip players, mostly Sony, who create a chip for them. The 36MP in the D800 is a Sony chip with Nikon microlenses and probably some other parameterization. Just to create RAM chips from scratch (from design to fabrication plant) is a 1 billion dollar project - to create CMOS sensors from scratch is even more expensive. Why would Nikon, with no experience in this aspect of the business, not buy the chips from established players? You guys again are very concrete. Nikon says it 'designed' the chip - that's not the same as making it. If Nikon had gone into the sensor business, they would have trumpeted this (constantly?) and you would have heard about it. Sony made that chip.
It is astonishing that people on this site continue to cling to the notion that the sensor came from someone other than Sony. Come on guys. It's noise profile in RAW is very similar, and more to the point, no one else is making a 24 MP sensor. It's JPEGS actually look slightly worse than the A65 JPEGS, but its RAW noise looks like ~ 1/2 stop better than the A65 (but not NEX-7) - exactly what you would predict from the light loss associated with the SLT approach. Still, a great deal for $699. Nikon will sell a boatload.