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Tennessee in full frame: Sony Alpha 7 real-world samples

By dpreview staff on Oct 31, 2013 at 00:00 GMT
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The Alpha 7 is Sony's latest full-frame E-mount mirrorless camera. It's identical to the A7R in almost every respect. The key difference: a 24 megapixel CMOS sensor with on-chip phase detection. We recently got our hands on a production model Alpha 7 and shot some real-world samples using the Sony FE 24-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, 35mm F2.8 ZA and FE 55mm F1.8 ZA lenses.

 Sony Alpha 7 samples gallery - published 30th October 2013

There are 29 images in our samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution.

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Sony Alpha 7

Comments

Total comments: 89
Lawrence Sheperd
By Lawrence Sheperd (5 months ago)

SEE ROCK CITY!

Certainly a blast from the past when you could still view the red barns up and down I-75 emblazoned with that exhortation.

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Malcolm Duffy
By Malcolm Duffy (5 months ago)

I particularly liked the landscape pictures, the colours are fantastic. I also find that the pictures of the horses are wonderful; the way that motion is captured is truly amazing. I These samples reveal A7's great capabilities. Pictures speak louder than words... Click on the images and you'll see.

0 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (5 months ago)

Commenters like your images, Shawn, look :-)

"This picture really showcases the sensor's strenghts. Very impressive."
"Very nice, incredible detail."
And this is using the A7, which is producing less noise, and the slow kit lens at 52mm:
Rider in large dark stable door against bright light coming in, scenic and FF giving space:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2736807/dsc00080?inalbum=sony-alpha-7r-samples-gallery

Happy couple riding a horse cart, showcasing Shawn Barnett's great skills:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2737734/dsc00020?inalbum=sony-alpha-7-samples-gallery

Beautiful young man, natural light, excellent picture:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2737805/dsc00273?inalbum=sony-alpha-7-samples-gallery

Actually it is quite scandalous that people here could call your work unprofessional and incompetent and none of your dpReview colleagues would intervene on your behalf. Bullying paradise.

0 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (5 months ago)

I WANT my test photos shot in auto-everything mode. If the photographer starts jimmying around with the controls I will never know whether it is Sony engineers or the photographer who are responsible. All cameras will look good if you shoot, adjust, shoot, adjust, shoot until you get a reasonable shot. But I don't really have time for that kind of monkeybusiness anymore. I have a life to lead and an artistic vision to follow.

It takes a great camera to deliver well-exposed, well-focused photos with no human intervention, and that's what I want. If I wanted to fool around with exposure meters and loupes and all that, I'd shoot with an 8x10 view camera.

So as usual, you DPReviewers just keep on doing what you're doing. You are the best.

2 upvotes
Wenetu
By Wenetu (5 months ago)

Just show me a 24Mp( or 36Mp) camera that could produce a sharp picture of a moving horse at 70mm and 1/160s... it's not a question of well-exposing and well-focusing the image, you should also choose the deep of field and the related shutter speed you need.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (5 months ago)

Wenetu, please look at the explanation linked above. Did you see my questions regarding ExifTool below?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
OfcrMike
By OfcrMike (5 months ago)

Wow, some of my fellow commenters have some pretty high standards. Blown highlights, blocked shadows, soft edges... indeed. You're probably all amazingly talented photographers whose every exposure is Perfection itself. Like you, it baffles me that your websites are not as successful as DPR. It is a wonder that Sony didn't invite all of you to the hands-on event in Tennessee. Perhaps Nikon will invite you to experiment with the new Df? We can only hope. If not, we mortal photographers will have to make do with DPR & Steve Huff and their realistic, real-world approach to showing us how new cameras might perform in the hands of photographers who are merely well-above-average.

0 upvotes
Fred Briggs
By Fred Briggs (5 months ago)

It is not a question of how skilled a photographer the reviewer is compared with the rest of us. If the DPR samples were taken in Auto mode then the photography skills (or lack thereof) of the reviewer are immaterial because they were just not used.

The settings which could have made all the difference to the quality of the samples were not controlled by the photographer, but were a best guess (in most cases pretty poor) by the camera. The operator was apparently simply engaged in pointing and shooting.

Other reviewers on the same Sony event have managed to apply some basic photography skills to this exercise and have produced more useful samples as a result. I'm sorry to harp on about this DPR, but it is just not good enough, and has been an embarrassing weakness in an otherwise professional site for a long time.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (5 months ago)

You make some good observations, Fred Briggs, thank you.

Certainly communication from dpReview about these samples has been lacking.

1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (5 months ago)

Fred Briggs, I hope you also see that some samples are very beautiful.

Shawn, do you agree that the bridge shot has motion blur?
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2737792/dsc00158?inalbum=sony-alpha-7-samples-gallery

And that some pictures are overexposed? The fern for example is much more beautiful with -25% brightness correction:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2737740/dsc00126?inalbum=sony-alpha-7-samples-gallery

0 upvotes
Amateurbob
By Amateurbob (5 months ago)

I have been criticized for judging dynamic range from displayed pictures. In regards to dynamic range for film the problem was blocked out shadows. For digital it is burned out highlights, which is more detrimental to the picture. Anyone can easily take their software and find all the burned out pixels in a picture, and all the blocked out pixels. When one has a picture with both blocked out and burned out pixels there is a problem. As for the pictures shown most of them did not have a contrast beyond what I have experienced my Nex C3 could not handle.

Excuses are being given for the lack of sharpness in the pictures being a result of the A7 used as a point and shoot. How does using the camera as a point and shoot degrade sharpness outside of the auto focus being affected by using the camera in that mode, which would be a problem in itself? Many of the pictures had enough light to burn out pixels. Lighting along with using the camera as a point and shoot was not the problem.

0 upvotes
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (5 months ago)

I've seen better images from the same event. So, is it DPR's incompetency/reluctance or is it the camera? I would bet on the tool being exceptionally capable.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (5 months ago)

Amateurbob, good thinking about automatic mode.

About the burned out highlights, do you use software to see them? Is there a picture in this set where they are a problem? Do like to use HDR?

Maybe you like your Nex C3 so much that its pictures appear to have better DR :-)

0 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (5 months ago)

EinsteinsGhost, were those pictures OOC jpgs or were they post-processed and shrunk?

Are there specific pictures you didn't like?

0 upvotes
PrebenR
By PrebenR (5 months ago)

Unimpressive. Sony makes fancy gadgets other companies makes cameras it seems.

2 upvotes
startowa13
By startowa13 (5 months ago)

Shish! There's got to be some QC here when posting pictures! This is not a camera for a soccer mom! All the shots look like P&S camera! Did anybody bothered to use anything else than Auto? It's a disgrace for a reviewer...

3 upvotes
Wenetu
By Wenetu (5 months ago)

Just look at the original jpgs with Exiftool, settings reveals that they used the camera as a point and shot: program auto, AF area and point auto, metering auto,... it's normal you got just point and shot results.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (5 months ago)

Thank you for the good information, Wenetu.
It's fine that they used the A7r and A7 as point and shoot in automatic mode, but they should have said that.

Do you use ExifToolGUI and do you know where to download it?

1 upvote
Wenetu
By Wenetu (5 months ago)

I've packed a zip with Exiftool (http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/) and the Windows GUI app (http://u88.n24.queensu.ca/~bogdan/exiftoolgui515.zip):

http://194.183.66.68/wnu/ExifTool.zip

Just extract the folder and run ExifToolGui

You can also see, for Sony cameras, the real image count, useful to check an used camera.

Comment edited 6 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Fred Briggs
By Fred Briggs (5 months ago)

I suspected that was how the cameras had been used, but didn't really want to believe it. I am sure that the reviewers in in a high pressure situation, but would it be so difficult to select Aperture Priority mode and take a little control over the process!

I would go so far as to say that pictures taken in Auto mode should not be put forward as legitimate samples, except possibly to assess the effectiveness of Auto mode, and even then should always be labelled as such.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (5 months ago)

This is nice, Wenetu, thank you :-)

Would you mind opening a thread about it in the forum so we can discuss it there? It's a great tool and you made a great package.
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/1004

What does it mean when XMP says HistorySoftwareAgent: "Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw 8.2*Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw 8.2 (Macintosh)" and HistoryAction: "saved*saved"?

Is there a way to see the jpg compression level?

1 upvote
hoju1
By hoju1 (5 months ago)

There is a far better alternative to ExifToolGui:
PIE (Picture Information Extractor). Also free, based on ExifTool, but way more convenient.
http://www.picmeta.com/products/picture-information-extractor.htm

0 upvotes
=VALOR=
By =VALOR= (5 months ago)

What a poor attempt at photography. Here you have a cutting edge camera with the power of a D800 and the images showcased are blurry and shot in terrible lighting conditions. Are there any real photographers reviewing these cameras? I mean even a semi-pro would not shoot into the sun!

The samples displayed here (and many other reviews on this site) are always of poor quality. Do you ever use a tripod? Maybe 1 flash??

So bad.

4 upvotes
Amateurbob
By Amateurbob (5 months ago)

I do not see that the pictures are any better, really not as good, as I can get with my Nex C3 with kit lens or older Pentax prime lenses. Dynamic range is no better and looks to be a problem. There are quite a few burned out pixels within the pictures. These photos do not appear to have been taken by DPreview staff in that there is no Space Needle in the group. If they were sent to Dpreview highly compressed that could partly explain the sharpness issue although there seems to be a lackluster beyond that. From what I see here I would not trade my Nex C3 for this camera. When a camera store in Seattle gets the A7 in house I will take a memory card with me and shoot me own pictures - the only true test.

2 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (5 months ago)

"Dynamic range is no better and looks to be a problem. There are quite a few burned out pixels within the pictures."
Dynamic range is always a problem in high contrast situations. That's why there is HDR and stacking. How can you see that DR is better from your camera?

"These photos do not appear to have been taken by DPreview staff in that there is no Space Needle in the group."
You are joking, right?

0 upvotes
Miwok
By Miwok (5 months ago)

Oh please!! Don't tell people than, today, an APSC 16MB sensor should be good enough for amateurs photograph, you're going to kill the business. :)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (5 months ago)

You got to wait for the RAW files if you're into IQ before making judgments.

0 upvotes
Allochka Emiliana
By Allochka Emiliana (5 months ago)

WOW, WOW The best or one of the best FF sensors ever according to DXO! "Although we can’t provide any commentary on image sharpness at this stage in our tests, the sensor in the Sony Alpha 7R performs exceptionally and is on a par with that found in the D800 models. Given the Sony’s small size, low weight and outstanding sensor performance, it’s one of the most intriguing and compelling new additions in recent times."

5 upvotes
Fred Briggs
By Fred Briggs (6 months ago)

Unfortunately these seem no better than the A7R samples in terms of applying appropriate settings to different scenes, and I have downloaded them all and looked at them carefully.

As mentioned already, in many cases way too slow shutter speeds have been used, resulting in blur, especially with moving subjects. Also poor choice of aperture for landscape and other scenes where significant depth of field is required, meaning large parts of the images are recorded as a blurry mess.

Someone else said that snapshots and simple everyday shots are the best way to get an idea of what a camera can do. I certainly agree that most of these shots are no better than snapshots, but disagree that they are in any way useful for assessing the camera - at least not if you want to differentiate between what a camera phone and a state of the art FF camera can do.

I am sure the A7 and A7R are very capable when used thoughtfully, but I think DPR are doing Sony no favours with these samples!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

The Phoblographer site posted an article about the problems with the A7(r)

http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/10/30/finding-wrong-sony-a7-a7r-far/

The biggest issue seems to be... nailing shots. They feel a tripod is often necessary.

For the rest, they complain about the inaccurate focus peaking, the faltering AF and the faulty metering.

3 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

Thanks for the link, bluevellet.

"the focusing can be hit or miss. We’ve even tried using the center area, focusing, and recomposing–and obviously that doesn’t always work either for focus plane shifting reasons."
What? Does he mean the object moving?

"When we used the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus lens, the focus peaking wasn’t so accurate ... we used some of Sony’s own lenses ... Even then, the focusing wasn’t perfectly nailed."
What is the problem, focus peaking or AF?

"So we tried a number of solutions. We stopped the lens down, and even that didn’t always help–but the issue is worse when working with the lenses wide open."
So AF is worse with more light?

"A couple of days ago, we posted an image of Petapixel’s DL Cade and SLR Lounge’s Joe Gunawan on our Facebook with lots of feedback from you folks about how the image was shot underexposed. Guess what: according to Song’s meter it is perfectly fine. And guess what again: you’re completely right."
Do you understand what they mean?

0 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

Not sure about the first point.

#2 and #3 are really about focus peaking (manual focusing) and their attempt to stop down the lens to make it easier (in theory) to use focus peaking since the DOF won't be as shallow.

They're talking about how their readers and Sony's metering are disagreeing with one another about whether the shots were underexposed or not. The camera "thought" it was just fine, their readers didn't.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 54 seconds after posting
1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

Thanks for the good explanations and abstract, bluevellet :-)

They are so sloppy and mixing things up, I couldn't understand them. It would be interesting to hear more about the focusing problems.

Did you see underexposed samples?

0 upvotes
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (6 months ago)

Steve Huff puts it well...
"When shooting any lens in manual focus, even a Sony FE lens, for me it was easy to nail focus without a problem. Some have been saying the focus peaking is not accurate..well..focus peaking is more of an aid, not a sure-fire way for critically manually focusing. I think that many testing the camera now have never really used peaking much, but using it requires some practice as well as making sure to not just rely on the peaking but on the subject in the EVF as well...
For every photo I posted here over the past few days using a manual lens I used peaking without magnification. I had no issues and 98% of my images were in focus. But I have used peaking quite a bit over the past few years so I am used to it and know what to expect from it and what not to."

5 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (5 months ago)

Exactly - the commentators have had the camera in their hands for only a day or two at a crowded and rushed photo event - and some of them don't seem to have used this type of camera much before. The differences in the shots taken at the same event with the same cameras by different people are quite telling. The ones from the Phoblographer are relatively poor compared to some others.

Many of the comments I've seen also look cut-and-paste.

The DX0 sensor scores for the A7r are almost identical to the D800 - any difference is well within their margin of error.

Waiting to see more careful shots taken with the 35mm and 55mm lenses to judge if they are worth the price.

Not everybody is as crazy about using adapters as Mr. Huff. I think Sony/Zeiss also need to get out a very good 20 or 24 mm prime for landscape photographers as well as a portrait lens.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Jotographer
By Jotographer (5 months ago)

The Phoblographer article mentioned above starts with a shot of one of the Sony cameras sitting on a computer keyboard with a computer screen behind. It is so badly exposed and composed that you can hardly see the camera itself. I don't think you can trust a site that can't even take a competent product shot themselves.

2 upvotes
jonmcphoto
By jonmcphoto (6 months ago)

It looks to me under close look that hardly any of these images are that sharp. As a matter of fact I rarely see an image on this site's galleries that make me go WOW! If I had relied on what I have seen here I don't think I would have purchased and camera. I love this site but images always lack edge sharpness to me. Am I alone on this?

4 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

The kit zoom produces noticeably worse pics than the primes.

1 upvote
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (6 months ago)

I don't know if it is DPR's reluctance, or sheer incompetence to demonstrate the capabilities of the camera. Here is an example:

You're shooting a lady on a horse, you have 70mm and f/5.6 to play with, under limited lighting conditions. Why would you shoot at ISO 50 for 1/10s shutter speed?

10 upvotes
Northgrove
By Northgrove (6 months ago)

I agree, I think it's something about JPEG compression and sometimes lack of inspiration from the photographer's part.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (5 months ago)

Actually, the problem is I didn't know the rear dial was set to change the ISO by default until I had more time with the camera. We'd just received them the night before and that was our first time to shoot with them.

1 upvote
Cane
By Cane (6 months ago)

At least nobody here is too critical.

10 upvotes
UneVache
By UneVache (6 months ago)

Excellent samples, thank you :D At the contrary to some others, I really think that snaphots and simple and well done unmodified every day shots are the best way to have a first honest idea/impression of what a camera can offer to most of us, so thanks for the time you took to share this. Keep up. I'm impatient to read about your future review of these two cameras.

7 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (5 months ago)

Thanks, I'll reply to the sane comments, not the people who would rather puff themselves up for being able to criticize someone seen as an 'authority.' The truth is I shot three cameras at once. I didn't know in advance what I'd be shooting, and these were the first moments with the cameras (the horse shots at least). I had intended to shoot just one camera, but realized I'd better start doing all of them, which left those first ones a bit off. I hadn't learned that the rear dial was resetting the ISO for me by default, and the EV dial was changing each time I took it in and out of the bag.

I do often shoot in Program mode when making galleries, partially to see what the camera does in this very common mode. Many cameras will choose too low a shutter speed and still not raise the ISO, as I've seen in the past, and that's important to note, because not everyone shoots in the semi-auto modes. Lately I shoot more in Manual mode, but seldom for gallery images.

1 upvote
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (5 months ago)

And you're right, they are snapshots. That's all they're supposed to be when creating a gallery in a hurry. Companies do their best to give us interesting things to make snapshots with at these events, and they try to make them artistic opportunities. But when there are 40-some other journalists standing around in the best spots, and the subject is not yours to command, you do what you can.

Finally, I do not claim to be a great photographer. I am by trade a camera reviewer. The photos were framed and shot to show characteristics of the sensor, lens, and various modes the camera offers. I search for texture, depth, subject pose, and try to focus on interesting parts of the scene. When a horse and rider just stand there, that's what you have to work with. Rocks, well, they're even more exciting.

When the horses were galloping, which didn't happen much, I was distracted with the fact that the lens didn't zoom with the shutter half-pressed (on the RX10). More later.

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (6 months ago)

These look really unimpressive to me. They seem to have a "compact" look to them despite their huge file sizes they lack sharpness and the colours look washed out too.

And as for those EVF's, most horrid indeed!

5 upvotes
OfcrMike
By OfcrMike (6 months ago)

Hugo808, I suspect that you may have unwittingly linked to the wrong set of photographs... the series of a7 photos I just looked at had reasonable file sizes for a 24MP sensor, impressive sharpness with the two native prime lenses, and excellent colour rendition at every ISO.

As to the "horrid" EVF... you're thinking of the a3000, which is a very different camera. The higher-end EVFs in cameras such as the NEX-6/7, Alpha 65/77/99, and now the a7/r are nothing short of incredible. They wholly obviate the now-archaic OVF to which Canikon devotees cling with religious fervor.

8 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

But OfcrMike, the A3000 still uses a state-of-the-art APS-C sensor. Yeah, the rest of the camera sucks, but IQ shouldn't.

But if Hugo is unimpressed with washed-out, blurry pics coming out of an 20MP APS-C sensor, chances are, a 24mp FF sensor won't fare that much better.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Adrian Van
By Adrian Van (6 months ago)

These images look great on my imac 27 inch monitor, sharp, low noise, good colour, fine detail - its all there. What monitor is Hugo using?

3 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

A Sony Luma monitor? :)

3 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (6 months ago)

I use the same monitor to look at all photo's, the make is unimportant as some pics look great - really sharp and colourful - but these don't. If they make the grade for you I am happy for you!

As I say, they have a look to them that doesn't impress, if they were the only way of measuring a camera I wouldn't bother with this one.

And I just don't like EVF's, your mileage may vary but i find them like staring into one of those portable TVs with a 2" screen they sold in the 70's. No substitute for a pentaprism.

0 upvotes
Adrian Van
By Adrian Van (5 months ago)

I compared viewing the images on my 27 inch imac and also on my new 27 inch Dell hi def screen. Images and contrast look better on imac and detail seems sharper. I know the gamma (1.8 to 2.2 gamma) and contrast curves are bit different between mac and windows (close but different). Different gammas do impact on amount of contrast of image, depth of shadows, and seeing edge detail. Could make the different to whoever is viewing on what system. I calibrated the imac with spyder elite 4. I have yet to calibrate the new Dell monitor but will do so. The Dell is WXGA 100% sRGB factory calibrated, but may still be a bit bright, so I need to calibrate to 120 lumens.
What is your setup with calibration. From these comments, some people see great images and some see more flatter images with less contrast I imagine.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
groucher
By groucher (6 months ago)

Very impressive set of samples. One or two show a bit of hand shake e.g.
DSC00158. Is this due to the camera's handling?

0 upvotes
Jonath
By Jonath (6 months ago)

A lot of criticism of these sample images, however many around the net from this same trip too showing what these cameras can do. If anything they prove the point that its the photographer not the camera that matters.

In terms of the cameras themselves, they're impressive, but I agree we need to wait to see the RAW files with ACR support. At low to mid ISO, Sony sensor RAW files have huge dynamic range and color depth that enables them to be pushed around more than any other file I've ever messed with. While I actually think the JPG engine is doing a decent job, it is this ability to manipulate that I'm waiting to see, the ISO 12800 RAW images on Focus Numerique, while showing noise, also show incredible detail (with auto noise reduction off!) and I can't wait to have a play to see what is possible when ACR support arrives. I don't expect it to make me a better photographer, but I do hope that the sensor will enable even better highlight, shadow and detail recovery than ever before

4 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (6 months ago)

Right now I will skip Sony lenses and use it with adapted Canon FD lenses (even if I have some E-mount and A-mount lenses already)...Never used a Rangefinder lens so I'm really interested on these kind of lenses. Can you please make a stand alone test with adapted lenses like the Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 or Zeiss and Leica M-mount lenses? Both on A7 and A7R and make a comparison.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
1 upvote
groucher
By groucher (6 months ago)

And Nikon lenses please.

0 upvotes
wootpile
By wootpile (6 months ago)

I am sure both the 7r and the 7 are fantastic cameras, but I'll wait until some other site provides "samples" before I start pepping.

1 upvote
Timbukto
By Timbukto (6 months ago)

On the 55 wide aperture shots, the more distant eye was in focus *twice* instead of the closer eye. I wonder if that was a conscious decision on the operator, or 'face' detection. I thought this is definitely not a focus/recompose type of camera?

1 upvote
name here
By name here (6 months ago)

Me not impressed. A7r samples have knock-your-socks-off quality at pixel level. A7 samples are at best mediocre (lots of jpeg/denoising artifacts, not sharp even with the prime lens). I wouldn't blame the operator. Sony may have very different imaging pipelines between the two cameras. Though I'll wait for the studio samples before making a definite judgement.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
hajime93
By hajime93 (6 months ago)

You guys should really feature Brian Smith's cover for this camera you know...

0 upvotes
stan_pustylnik
By stan_pustylnik (6 months ago)

Great IQ from both cameras!

1 upvote
Rod McD
By Rod McD (6 months ago)

Thanks. It's a pity the drab weather has made the outdoor sample shots from both the A7r and now the A7 somewhat lacking in contrast and color. Still watching both, no decisions made.......

DPR - There's strong interest in legacy lens use on these two cameras. When you do the review, could you please also consider testing some adapted RF and DSLR lenses on both bodies? Perhaps a wide and a standard? ie Side by side tests of the same lenses at several apertures on each body? Thanks.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (6 months ago)

We'll certainly try something along those lines.

11 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (6 months ago)

"We'll certainly try something along those lines."

If you do please make sure to include some A mount glass as the practicality of this is a bone on contention on the Sony forum!

0 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

Well done, Shawn, some great portraits there, thank you. The happy couple with the camera on the horse drawn cart is lovely, also the rider in the stable door. Wonderful cameras with significant weaknesses built-in by design, mainly lack of in body OIS and global shutter. And a system built to require expensive lenses for AF with a very limited choice of mainly slow ones on offer so far, and no normal lens with OIS. AF via adapters is slow.

Wonderfully detailed images even from the A7, great colours, no noise at base ISO, great dynamic range.

Although it looks like they largely succeeded in removing it in software, shuttershock is still visible at 70mm.

1 upvote
Cailean Gallimore
By Cailean Gallimore (6 months ago)

Anyone who buys a camera that is as much of an unknown quantity as this one, need to have their bumps felt.

Try before you buy.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (6 months ago)

Not enough shots of cats and brick walls yet for you? Remember, endless testing is what photography is all about!

0 upvotes
Anzere08
By Anzere08 (6 months ago)

Am I the only one seeing a lot of issues in the way these samples were shot? Lots of very low shutter speed in moving scenes (1/160 with a running horse) ? 1/100s with a moving singer? 1/50s using a 55mm non-stabilized lens etc? A lot of shots look blurry for that reason. Was it shot in auto mode?

11 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (6 months ago)

Ah yes, there is only ONE way to shoot any scene. You tell 'em Anzere08!

3 upvotes
MarkJH
By MarkJH (6 months ago)

I noticed that, too, Anzere08. Some shutter speeds that were pretty slow for the focal range / subject motion, a few cases in which critical focus missed the intended target (hitting the far eye rather than the close eye in 3/4 angle portraits, etc.)

Hard to say whether that's indicative of issues with the camera, the photographer's choices, or both.

(And Sheigzeo and your +1: seriously?)

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (6 months ago)

MarkJH, someone up voted me. Why not. But it's true, there is no ONE way to shoot every scene. If the photographer chose to use low ISO and slow shutter speeds, perhaps she or he wanted to shot motion or how the camera handles blurred pixels or some other thing.

If the photographer was tasked with making the sharpest of all images and only shoot tree bark, I would agree completely with Anzere08. In that case, make sure you are controlling your environment. But if you are testing a camera and having fun, have fun and test it. Is it able to pan well? How is focus under low shutter speed panning? How does it handle when you aren't trying to nail focus but do something else? There really are a variety of ways to shoot the same scene.

1 upvote
domina
By domina (6 months ago)

Good observation. Whether the photographer did it right depends on what was the intend. If the purpose of the test is to show sharpness potential, then the photographer failed in low shutter speed photos. If the purpose was just to test low ISOs then the shutter motion blur doesn't matter.

0 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (5 months ago)

@shigzeo. But in this case the shot was made for use as sampl images, not training excercises for shooting without motion blur.
So I would expect that shoots are taken to maximize their usability in the context of the purpose of the shooting.

(Not complaining about the pictures or their possible motion blur)

0 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (5 months ago)

I have never shot a pop singer under HMI lights in a church with a wide, dense arc of 40 other journalists competing for angle. I tried lots of different settings in a situation where I wasn't much happy with my choice of lens, nor the difficulty of the subject. At the time, though, I wanted to use the new Sony lenses primarily, not mess with Alpha lenses. Nailing focus was of primary concern, obviously, and controlling focus on the A7 takes a little learning. And yes, there is no one way to shoot a scene. It all changes if she moves, or I move, or the lens changes. I took a lot more shots than you see of this moving subject, but I generally chose them for sharpness and content. As it turns out, only a few of my shots with the A7 were as sharp as I wanted, a lower percentage than I got with the A7R. More later.

0 upvotes
jkrumm
By jkrumm (6 months ago)

The 7r shots look significantly better.

1 upvote
babola
By babola (6 months ago)

You're seeing things...

3 upvotes
OfcrMike
By OfcrMike (6 months ago)

A 36MP sensor had higher resolution than a 24MP sensor? Huh, that's wierd.

Seriously, these OOC jpegs look fantastic!

2 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (6 months ago)

Tis the day when many people are going to cancel their pre-orders.

11 upvotes
mario GTI
By mario GTI (6 months ago)

I did couple days ago actually and got myself FF DSLR. Loving it so far, I hope I made good decision.

0 upvotes
molnarcs
By molnarcs (6 months ago)

You probably did ;) Not sure what FF you bought, but can't be worse. First, the lenses for these cameras aren't going to be any smaller than DSLR lenses. Probably that's why SONY chose a slow lens as kit with limited focal range. The 28-70mm F/3.5-5.6 lens is 425 grams. The cheap Nikkor 24-85mm F/3.5-4.5 is just 40 grams heavier, and is wider, longer and a stop brighter on the long end!

Buying a DSLR gets you a huge selection of lenses RIGHT NOT at a reasonable price. 24-70 f/4 for $1200? My f/4 Nikkor goes to 120mm for the same price, and has nano coating with superb micro-contrast and colour rendition.

So what you'd gain with the A7/A7r you'd quickly lose in lens availability/price. You'd also lose any weight advantage if you think in terms of a whole system (multiple lenses, flash, etc.). With the A7r you'd lose continuous autofocus with subject tracking as well, and you'll be limited to 1.5 fps with autofocus. I get 900 shots out of my battery, I'd get 340 with the Sony, etc.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
aarif
By aarif (6 months ago)

Sony please get someone to fix your jpegs

6 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

These pictures are much more compressed than the D800 samples, in fact they are about half the size (10MB instead of 20MB). It's likely a question of settings.

0 upvotes
aarif
By aarif (6 months ago)

this is A7 24mp not 36mp

3 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

Look again, today the A7 (Exif: ILCE-7 and ILCE-7R for the A7r) pictures are only 5MB.

1 upvote
commiebiker
By commiebiker (6 months ago)

have an NEX 7, and have never been happy with Sony's jpegs...but the raw files are pretty good....have an A7 on preorder

1 upvote
ulfie
By ulfie (6 months ago)

Looks good, very good even. But not knock-your-socks-off better than say Olympus OM-D EM-5 with good primes, especially up to and including ISO 1600. Maybe Oly's jpeg engine is just plain excellent while this one is very good considering the sensor size.

5 upvotes
Anzere08
By Anzere08 (6 months ago)

OM-D EM-5 cis great but can't beat the laws of physics of sensor size. It can't do this
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSC00129.jpg

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Cailean Gallimore
By Cailean Gallimore (6 months ago)

That's true, but people have been making similar images with other cameras for years, so ho hum.

0 upvotes
Anzere08
By Anzere08 (6 months ago)

DoF control matters to me, so I will try the A7, before I buy :-) Before the A7, I would have had to buy a Leica to use a 35mm f1.2 like that.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 89