Exactly why the Optical View Finder & the SLR is so completely screwed up in this digital world.
Its a century old "periscope" technology invented for the first submarines and trench warfare in WWI.
It was built for the film era when you couldn't see what the film was gonna see, so you would settle for the next best thing & see what the lens is seeing.
I've been saying this since the Sony A99 that bringing professional quality electronic view finders to the digital sensor is the most important development in photography.
Its about seeing what the sensor is seeing, even before taking the shot. My LCD panel is permanently turned inwards now. I don't chimp like a chimpanzee after each shot anymore because if the EVF looks right, the sensor has captured it right.
The LCD display is opened for waist /floor/overhead shots only!
Look at the unnecessary complexity of the operation! Look at how the mirror & shutter bounces several times before coming to rest! Vibration blur geddit!
What BS... announcing it in February when availability is 4 months away! That's desperation for you - trying to keep customers onside when they are leaving in droves!
Given the impending release of the Sony sensors with superior DR and how the mirrorless A7 is changing the pro landscape...
& look at the pricing!
zorgon: Why only UHS-I when Fuji and Panasonic already have cameras that support much faster UHS-II? In fact why even bother with CF at all when UHS-II SD cards are so much faster?With 50MP RAW files, it's going to take forever to catch up with the buffer.
@The Squire / @Dr_Jon,
Try learning your stuff before you spew!
All RAW formats are lossless forms of file compression. Raw... geddit?
If you have a bone to pick with any camera's compression, that's because you have some subjective taste problem with the JPEG files. Lots of people have problems with JPEG output for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Oly. That's because they've all got their underwear on wrong somehow on some mornings.
The real sad thing is... you don't even know what you are shooting .... DUD!!!
naththo: Pentax is making FF camera. So will be interesting to be Canon vs Nikon vs Sony vs Pentax. Who will win the battle? Most likely Nikon yes they are master in low noise.
Sony makes the sensors for Nikon, Oly, Panasonic, smartphones etc. etc. - they are the only true sensor kings, geddit?
Noise level same as 5D Mk III? That means noise is still inferior to the flagship Sony sensors.
Reckon the DR will be inferior too. What price resolution?!?!
Let's wait for the Sony mega-sensors coming out anytime now (rumoured for Q1 2015)!
Jeff Fenske: Great to see, but they're still *stuck in 3:2*, though, which seems unnecessary now that the mirror box is gone.
Why not implement a *multi-aspect* ratio sensor to capture more of what the lens sees? Many shots are better in 4:3, and achieving a native field of view in 16:9 is a great benefit too.
An *oversized* square or round sensor would be the ultimate — capturing everything the lens sees, and making tripod repositioning from landscape to portrait (or vice versa) unnecessary.
That's a stupid suggestion. You have a fixed image circle from the lens. You make the sensor to capture as much of that in the aspect ratio must common in the industry.
Why waste expensive sensor pixels when you can do everything by cropping in Photoshop (& using your brain before you frame your shot).
otoklikBG: One thing to keep in mind is that inside A7s is sensor meant for Video cameras, not still photography. It's at video that it really shines. Fact that this also makes stills this good is a great bonus to the Sony name.That said, I am Sony fan(boy) and ditched canon for them because they tickle my gadget itch more than anyone else. Sony is at their best when they let their engineers run rampant and create all kind of thing. from Betamax and Walkman to this day they always improved and innovated (even if some standards lost their advantages really quickly like MemoryStick which speed got overtaken withing 12 months). But at the same time I feel like they are innovating themselves into corner and with so many new and innovative camera's and sensors (including announced curved ones) thy can't keep up with lenses. Especially compared to Caninkon competition. Also, their lenses, by economy of scale, tend to be more expensive while not being quite as good.
@FLM - Typical ridiculous ignorance of u folks with no understanding of photography. You dunno what mirror slap is but you make ignorant cheap throw away remarks like "use mirror-lock up".
So you use mirror lock up with every handheld shot then?Did you even know that a tripod is needed to use mirror lock up?So you are gonna shoot people & sports & EVERY DAMN THING with tripod & mirror lock up?
In the film days (only 10 yrs ago) photogs were stricter with themselves wrt to technical issues like reciprocity failure and mirror vibrations.
But nowadays anyone with a digicam calls himself a photog. Hence your ludicrous nonsense.
Which explains why you don't understand the issues. If shutter vibration is an issue, you somehow can't fathom the problems associated with shutter AND mirror vibration?
Finally, since you can't fathom any of the above, I wouldn't expect you to understand the implications of seeing what the sensor is seeing as opposed to seeing what the eye/lens is seeing.
I'm no fan of anything except innovation and technical excellence. Problem with you fans is that you don't get it cos you are too busy being a fan.
Of course the technical quality of the A99 shots are higher when I have up to 4.5 stops in-body image stabilisation advantage over any Canikon at focal lengths up to 70mm (with any lens). It is a MASSIVE GAME CHANGER. Even if you are half blind you can see the difference of 3-4 stops can't you?
I can take 1/8th s shots handheld with my Zeiss f2.8 16-35mm, 24-70mm lenses at ISO 800. Other photogs would have to shoot at 1/30th s & ISO 3200 (while suffering the full effects of mirror vibration blurring + mirror slap noise) during a theatre performance.
Who do you think gets the job & the published picture?
Dester Wallaboo: My biggest complaint with the Sony cams is that they are mirrorless.... yes.... I know the advantages, but the disadvantages outweigh the advantages in my book. Being at the mercy of a monitor to know what is coming through the lens is a not what I would call a great method for shooting. Yes, I use ML so I can get full histograms while shooting using a monitor. But at the end of the day the only real way to see what is coming through that lens, outside of long-exposure photography, is to look through the lens itself with your eye. Unless Sony has recently put in screens that can display full RAW dynamic range, which I'm certain they haven't, you are at the mercy of a monitor that cannot even display full sRGB, let alone ProPhotoRGB, and certainly not RAW.
... cos you get near-time delayed feedback - AFTER pressing the shutter.
Thus you waste shutter counts, waste battery life, waste storage space taking unnecessary shots & most importantly waste time chimping/reviewing your shots on the LCD, missing the next shot.
With the EVF, you see instantly the limited DR that a sensor can capture. Its limited DR is EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT to see!
Your eyes' infinitely wide DR fools you into taking shots your sensor is incapable of capturing. This was the premise of Ansel Adam's zone system - guestimations in grey scale based on 10 stops.
Here's something most don't even know... with EVFs, you know whether a shot in the studio with studio flash is off or spot on INSTANTLY after the shot without taking your eye off the EVF.
I'd never go back to that century old relic called the periscope-pentaprism-mirror because I understand all that.
I take much fewer shots now but with more keepers. Chew on it and let the thought brew.
You are the perfect example of the ignorant pentaprism-OVF dinosaur.
The whole reason why I moved to the A99/A7 paradigm is the same reason the mirrorless brigade moved to theirs.
You dinosaurs spew the nonsense about wanting to see what your eyes/lens is seeing. So LOOK! Why do you need to put a heavy cam to your eyes to see what your eyes are seeing?
When I put camera VF to eye, I want to see what the SENSOR is seeing. I want to see an immediate exact prediction of what the sensor will GET.
WYSIWYG. That is the paradigm you dinosaurs fail to get. That is why you need to chimp and check your LCD after every shot.
Whereas I finally get to enjoy what it was like to shoot film (not needing or being able to check the shot, just concentrating on what is coming next) during the digital age.
OVF in the digital era is half-baked half-screwed...
Peter K Burian: Man it seems like a lot of work went into this test merely to show that a camera with ultra high ISO options is better than a camera without those options .....**IF you ever need to shoot at insanely high ISO.** Or am I misunderstanding what this is all about, Rishi?
I cannot recall *ever* needing to use an ISO higher than 6400. What the heck are people shooting at ISO 100,000? What needs are actually met by ISO 400,000+? Why not use a tripod or set the camera on something solid in night photography? (Or do people often shoot soccer/football night games at a 1/1500sec. shutter speed? How many people do so?)
(I'm sure a dozen guys will now attack me and say that they need ISO 100,000+ daily and that I know nothing about anything.)
A lot of work went into reaching this conclusion: ..So the bottom line is that the a7s is average at ISO 6400. (At more moderately high ISOs (6400 and below) ........... A7S will be similar to that of full-frame cameras of its generation.)..
You obviously are a simple cam person & shoot in none too challenging situations. Plus, you do not know your photography much.
During the film days, PJs used to talk about the "need for speed" & use ISO 800 film, even push it to 1600 even though grain & colour suffers.
For professional shooting lighting levels we go above 6400 all the time. I've had shots that go to 10,000, 12800, 25,600 requiring extensive manual noise reduction work. Such as shots of the President of my country at night (no flash possible).
Need for speed involves understanding that shooting without flash often gives the best, natural results. Cue concert/theatre/dance performances. Even with flash, the most skilled photographers use fill flash at the lowest most imperceptible levels for a natural look. You want as much of the ambient light to fill the shot.
The A7S allows that. Even if native 12 megapixels ain't enough, the likes of Genuine Fractals /OnOne magic on super clean pixels with huge DR will rock.
... my LCD display cos I know the exact exposure/colour tone & temperature before I shoot. The LCD is permanently closed inwards & only opened when I need to shoot at the waist level or ground level.
Its ironic how these are also precisely the reasons that allow mirrorless camera users to take better pictures than many traditional pentaprism OVF relics. Try looking at the great work found on m4/3, NEX, Fuji, Alpha forums/interest groups (on a photographic technique level, not pixel peeping level).
Exactly... after 5 yrs of Nikon, 15 yrs of Canon, my Sony A99 simply knocked Canikon out of the park.
Its not just any one thing - something the fanboys don't get.
Its not just the image-stabilised full frame sensor that gives me extra 3-4.5 stops on EVERY lens.Its not just the Carl Zeiss lenses.Its not just the total lack of mirror vibration so there is no blurring at handheld shots below 1/60th seconds.Its not just the lower noise so I can do theatre work better.Its not just the electronic 1st curtain and shutter release response time which is faster than the EOS 1DX.Its not just the Sony sensor tech that is found in cameras like Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Phase One medium format.Its not just Sony sensor tech that is in Samsung/LG/Sony/Oppo smartphone.
Heck, its not even the EVF, which means I no longer need to chimp on
Ditto what some have already pointed out. The difference will be huge in video. Someday somebody will make a consumer grade full frame 1080P video cam with exactly 1920 x 1080 pixels on the sensor. Or 4K video with only 4,096 x 2,160 pixels on the sensor.
Until then, this is the closest you can get.
I can imagine bringing both the A7R and A7S for work or travel. The former for daytime outdoor shoots and the latter for indoor/night time shoots and video. What a combo. It'll be like the old days when different film bodies were loaded with different speed film.
Wolfgang Fieger: They are showing their new cases with adaptor mounted Alpha glass as they lack original glass....That's ridiculous, caught in their own mounts chaos
What are you talking about? Alpha mount glass is their own original glass - the Sony adapter merely puts the flange distance back.
evoprox: What does this remind me of ??? I can only hope for you guys that they don't repeat the NEX desaster (more bodies than lenses) and come out with some decent glass pretty quick before they ditch it altogether yet again. After 3 years in the NEX world my money goes to Fuji these days - couldn't be happier.
Again a lot of whining by the ignorant who do not know the lenses available to Sony users. There's this thing called google?!
I own & use the Carl Zeiss and Sony G professional lenses & have EVERYTHING that any serious photographer would ever need. They fit on A-mount, APS-C (which no professional cares for) and (with Sony's adaptor) the FE series with full functionality & breathtaking results. Clients love my work.
Its always u amateur lot who want to skimp on cheap lenses for cheap small sensor systems but then whine that they do not fit on full frame bodies etc. etc. Grow up!
Look at the clowns above who claim to defect to Fuji or Olympus - those are small sensor size system solutions! Which is where u belong!
Don't come to a full-frame sensor thread like these A7 ones whining if you don't belong to the big league in the first place! Try going to the EOS 1 threads whining that your crappy lenses don't fit & see how you get flamed.
peevee1: "Sony told us that recording 4K footage internally would have meant moving away from the small footprint of the A7-series body."
Right, because you need a huge body to record 4k... oh, wait, GH4 and every new smartphone records one! Sounds like Sony A7BS to me.
Another jerk with no understanding of the technicalities involved - the sheer amount of data involved in proper 4K recording from FF sensors offering so much dynamic range.
Since we are on the subject of an "open mind", perhaps readers ought to be more discerning and learn to ask relevant questions regarding any writer's claims instead of taking it all in hook, line and sinker.
Instead you pointed out some irrelevant thing about shutter speeds required to shoot non-static subjects when the reviewer shot simple static shots of non-moving subjects.
"I find 1/125 is a maximum shutter setting I like to shoot at, and go for 1/160 or 1/250 if the light is there, just to be sure."
- I find it odd that an "open mind" sets such arbitrary rules without reference to all the facts of the situation. No reference to focal length (oh right you don't know what the reciprocal rule is) or the speed of the subject matter.
My experience (& obvious knowledge of the basic rules) tells me what (lowest acceptable) shutter speed to use for every situation, for the required sharpness and lowest possible noise, not some arbitrary "maximum".
Preternatural Stuff: I have several criticisms of this article (obvious flaws in the review):
1. Problem with the 1/60th shutter speed
This criticism doesn't cut it when most cameras do the same in Program/Aperture priority mode.
2. Related to the 1st point - camera shakeThe writer needed 1/100th shutter speed to get a sharp picture using a 50mm prime lens.
More fundamentally a question of the writer's technique (or lack there of!). Most photographers can get great shots at far lower shutter speeds. I can easily shoot handheld at 1/15th or 1/30th no problem (without image stabilisation). 1/60th is plenty sufficient according to the reciprocal rule too.
3. Inability to get sharp focusAgain a huge flaw with the review - the writer uses what he conceded were bad lenses - hazy, cheap ($10!), flawed, ancient (65 yrs old!) - more suited for the scrap heap.
How does one blame the A7's focus peaking/viewfinder etc. for being not good enough to purchase?
If you want half-decent pics, use decent lenses!
& on the subject of an "open mind", perhaps readers ought to be more discerning and learn to question what any review claims instead of taking it all in hook, line and sinker.
1. You acknowledged that focus peaking relies on contrast detection but you can't spot the obvious flaw in the methodology of using foggy lenses from the scrap heap?
2. "If you are walking around taking pictures, you are very likely to see blur at 1/60 regardless of focal length."
I don't think you understand the reciprocal rule, camera shake & what causes picture blurring. Of course FL matters. If u get blurring just cos you are walking around & just cos u are shooting at 1/60th, u are quite a hopeless photog.
None of the reviewers pics involved a moving camera (ég. on a rocking boat or vibrating car), or even fast moving subject matters & yet the reviewer complains about not being able to get a sharp pic. That indicates problems with basic technique &/or lens.
& to think that all my students learn the reciprocal rule as one of the 1st things about shutter speed!
3. I don't own the A7 - why should I defend anything. Why are u defending a badly çonducted review?