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Shooting with the Sony Alpha 7 and Alpha 7R

By dpreview staff on Nov 15, 2013 at 02:37 GMT

We've been shooting with Sony's Alpha 7 and Alpha 7R over the past few weeks to get insight into how the compact full-frame cameras behave. While the two models are twins, they're by no means identical, with each sibling very quickly showing its own, distinct personality. We'll be publishing more in the coming weeks as we move towards completing our review, but we wanted to share our perspective now that we've had some experience to inform our opinion.

368
I own it
414
I want it
76
I had it
Discuss in the forums
368
I own it
569
I want it
107
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 2381
12345
Eurostar
By Eurostar (2 months ago)

I wonder if a version of the 7R without the EVF will come later. I would use the camera just for landscapes, and would have nn problem with just the rear monitor to compose and focus.

0 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (3 months ago)

3 possibilities why the review is still not ready:

- DPReview is overworked/understaffed and this review got lost/got delayed

- They're waiting for something, firmware update or something, before finishing the review.

- It's a negative review and are afraid of the backlash. Anything less than a gold award gets fanboys in a frenzy. See what happened with the GX7 and Nikon DF review.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
1 upvote
TomUW
By TomUW (3 months ago)

A small full frame camera with a high quality 28mm 2.8 lens would be a nice follow on to the several Olympus XAs I used in the days of film. But there is a deal breaking problem for me with this Sony combo. The image quality is really high, comparable to my current Canon FF, give or take a bit, depending, but there is NO IMAGE STABILIZATION. Hello? I'm using it hand held at at higher ISO the noise creeps up too much as well. Well wait for version 2, I guess.
I even saw a review of this camera where all the images were blurred from camera shake, sigh.

0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (3 months ago)

Full review coming soon? I have owned my a7 for a month and love it but I need DPR's confirmation that I made the right choice!!!!

0 upvotes
LaFonte
By LaFonte (3 months ago)

????
"I need DPR's confirmation that I made the right choice" is really WTF moment of the day. Print it on T-Shirt you will make a lot of money.

4 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (3 months ago)

Lol, I made the comment because although I already own the a7 I still find myself checking the site all the time to see if the review is done yet. Even if they end up hating the camera I will still love it. The comment was really just me making fun of myself for checking to see a review of a camera I already own is done. The t-shirt idea is awesome... but I might need confirmation from other people first.

4 upvotes
JustSomeOldDude
By JustSomeOldDude (3 months ago)

Just a heads up to anyone using the studio comparison to compare the Pentax with the Sony here. the Sony's 7 and 7r are using carl zeiss 85mm f1.4 lenses.(Sony's sharpest lens) The pentax's have 50mm f2.8 lenses for this test. not truly a fair comparison considering the 50mm would move the scene further back than the 85mm

2 upvotes
luis caramujo
By luis caramujo (3 months ago)

I think A7R is the benchmark (iso 50) at some areas of the scene

0 upvotes
RDMPhotos
By RDMPhotos (3 months ago)

ISO range is only 100-25600 unfortunately.

Wish Some mirror-less cameras would have an ISO in the double digits.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

ND filter?
Base ISO is mostly ISO 200 these days. Go below that and you will lose dynamic range. If you need the lower ISO for long exposures or shooting lenses wide open in bright light mount an ND filter.

0 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (3 months ago)

Actually ISO 50, 64, and 80 are available as well. Our specs table shows only the non-expanded ISO settings.

0 upvotes
michael19843
By michael19843 (3 months ago)

The a7R looks like it's an innovative product offering the best sensor available in a lightweight package. I currently use a Canon 5D Mark III and although it's a fantastic camera I haven't been impressed with Canon's recent products in particular the lack of product development of a small camera with a sensor to rival Sony's. Releasing a large megapixel camera in an X series body, assuming they can develop a suitable full frame sensor, is fine but Canon need to react to Sony and Nikon's innovative product releases.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (3 months ago)

In an earlier post, I pointed out issues I was having with converting the Sony RAW files and it wasn't until I downloaded the, admittedly, very limited converter software from Sony that I began to appreciate the image quality from my A7.

Well, for anyone interested, here is the proof of the pudding where an Adobe conversion (which has had to be reveresed engineered) compares very unfavourably with the same file converted using the Sony software.

I hope, Brandon, that you will allow this link as it is very useful for anyone wishing to get the best conversion from A7/A7R RAW files.

http://www.leica-boss.com/2013/11/lightroom-adobe-camera-raw-vs-sony-image-data-converter-for-a7-and-a7r-raw/

0 upvotes
harold1968
By harold1968 (3 months ago)

Interesting, but Sony is one of the few companies that published its RAW specs. Rhds

0 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (3 months ago)

@harold1968,

I was under the impression that Sony hasn't released full details of its RAW specs. Or have I got this wrong?

0 upvotes
bonejure
By bonejure (3 months ago)

Comparing captors using different lenses is useless. The Nikon captor tests were done using a Nikkor f1.8G 85mm and the Sony tests were shot using a Zeiss 85mm f1.4. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how a Nikon lens ususally fares against a top rung Zeiss. I've used both and the Zeiss will resolve much more. I'd like to see how the Nikon D800E compares with the Sony 7R with the same lens mounted on both cameras. That would give us some real indicators......otherwise it's not a valid test at all.

2 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (3 months ago)

Hello, bonejure.

I agree. For a truly valid comparison there needs to be as few variables as possible, and comparing a Nikkor lens on a Nikon body with a Zeiss on a Sony doesn't really tell us much except that one combination may be better than the other, but is this the lens or sensor/processor?

Both lenses need to be compared on both bodies. But this type of comparison will only be valid if the lenses are truly interchangeable. I don't know if the Nikkor or Zeiss are fully interchangeble with the bodies. It is possible to attach a Nikkor to the Sony, but only via a manual adapter, I believe, so the Nikkor isn't fully compatible.

However, things could be different if the Zeiss lens was available natively in a Nikon mount. Is it? I don't know.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Cacophonic Visions
By Cacophonic Visions (3 months ago)

There is a Zeiss 85mm f1.4 available for Nikon mount, however, it is not the same lens as the Sony ZA version. First off it lacks the AF of the Sony one, and is also slightly optically inferior.

0 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (3 months ago)

This is interesting. Thanks for the update.

0 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (3 months ago)

Part 2.
I was beginning to think I'd made a mistake in buying the A7 as it wasn't my intention to splash out on additional expensive primes, but to use the best of what I had. Things changed, though, when I downloaded Image Data Converter and I was amazed at just how much of a difference this made to the RAW conversions. It isn't a particularly well featured programme, it won't permit layers or batch conversion, for example, but the twelve or so adjustments are more than enough to produce the goods.

Hopefully Sony will release full details of their RAW file so we don't have to rely on reverse engineering which is not quite up to the task.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Skytalker
By Skytalker (3 months ago)

How can you appreciate an image at its best when you do not have the adequate RAW converter ?
But don tell let me guess. You shoot JPEG and that is relevant to it.
I would really like to see your portfolio, I mean, an exhibit on how you impart magic with this fantastic camera.

2 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (3 months ago)

I find your comment quite offensive and rude.

You presuppose I shoot in jpeg. You haven't the slightest notion of what I shoot in, so why such inane comments? In fact, I shoot in RAW for about 90% of the time. Jpeg is used as a back-up.

And as far as I can find out, no commercially available RAW converter is up to the task of converting the latest version of Sony's ARW file. Adobe is not up to the job, as I understand that they are obliged to reverse engineer it, not exactly adequate, IMHO. Wouldn't you agree?

And it isn't necessary for me to post a portfolio to be in a position to comment on my PERSONAL experience of this great camera.

I think you ought to get a life.

5 upvotes
Skytalker
By Skytalker (3 months ago)

No need to go defensive. Apart from your experience that is personal, I find you lack precision and consistency in your statements. While you are entitled to post them on a forum as personal experience(s), none can be forced to agree on your findings.
Until supported by data and facts your statements are nothing more than "bed night stories".

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
1 upvote
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (3 months ago)

@Skytalker.
Well, I don't see anywhere in my post where I said or even intimated that others were forced to agree with me. As I clearly pointed out, my experience was personal. It is left to others to determine if their experiences match mine or not.

I note earlier in one of your posts, and I quote "I have no interest in this camera". Does this mean you don't own or have used it enough to form your own personal opinion about it? Or are you simply trolling and making up your mind from what others have said?

I don't quite see what "facts" you talk about are missing. The "facts" are as I reported about my, and let me reiterate, my PERSONAL experiences I initially had when using the camera.

We won'd always agree with what photographers posting here say, but we all have a right to express an opinion, so long as that itself is based on fact. Using the camera and commenting upon it does, to me, constitute a fact, doesn't it?

If you don't like it or agree, well that is your problem.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (3 months ago)

Too many people have opinions when they don't, or never have, owned the camera/lens in question!

0 upvotes
Michael Berg
By Michael Berg (2 months ago)

The jpegs out of this camera are fantastic. I mean sure, you can tinker with raw files forever but for 95% of all shots the jpegs are all you really need.

The only reason I shoot raw these days is because I want the option of fixing the white balance. Frankly it's amazing that no standard has emerged that would extend jpeg exif information to allow the relevant rgb adjustments to be made losslessly to jpegs. If that was possible I doubt I would bother to shoot raw tbh.

0 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (3 months ago)

Part 1.
After some deliberation I ended up buying the A7 as possibly the best overall version for me.

I've had it for just a week and initially I was somewhat underwhelmed by the jpeg and even the RAW images didn't come up to what I had anticipated. RAW conversion was being carried out in Zoner Photo Studio Pro 16 where I was surprised to find it opened the RAW files. But I am convinced this isn't optimised for Sony RAW images so I converted to DNG, with which I know Zoner works very well. Still not quite what I had hoped. I preferred the images from my Nex 5N and using the same optics. So something was amiss.

Optics used are not the latest super duper Leica or Zeiss models, although I do have some R lenses. I primarily shot with an Olympus f1.2/55 and Minolta f1.4/50 which I know from experience are particularly fine samples of these lenses.

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

It would be great if Sony released a fast 35 mm FE lens.

It would also be great if Sony released an RX1 fixed lens version. ;) The body on the A7 seems way better than the RX1, which I find really small, and slow to use due to the lack of buttons.

Sony seems to be incredibly capable of designing cameras with small bodies, but a body along the lines of the Fuji X100s (i.e. an RX1 in the body of the A7, or perhaps slightly smaller?) would just be fantastic.

0 upvotes
Skytalker
By Skytalker (3 months ago)

At high ISO the image is smeared, no details. I remember it is the same Sony typical image when I used to have the A700. It is very obvious even if the same senzor like in the D800 the signal processing is far below the Nikon one. I have no interest in this camera.
Happy New Year !

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
harold1968
By harold1968 (3 months ago)

BS

The images I am seeing out of this with he new FE primes are not matched by any current 35mm camera, except the RX1

5 upvotes
Skytalker
By Skytalker (3 months ago)

Well I think you should see an oculist, I think you eyesight is faulty !

1 upvote
FlyingDreamPig
By FlyingDreamPig (3 months ago)

I agree.

Also notice that the Nikon RAW on D800 is over 70mb at ISO 3200. The Sony RAW is smaller than jpeg at ISO 3200. With high ISO, the noise itself would cause increased file size so the assumption here is that Sony is actually doing noise filter and smudging even for their RAW. The Sony file size is near constant for all ISO levels!

Unless someone want to say that Sony has a compression technique that yields lossless compression that outperforms jpeg lossy compressions! unlikely!

0 upvotes
Jeff2013
By Jeff2013 (4 months ago)

Wow, I am just thrilled with my new A7R!! My D800E has always worked great for telephoto nature shots and infinity-focus landscape shots, but has been very inconsistent on accurate focus for wide-open close-up shots (all Nikon professional glass). If I calibrate my lenses for accurate eye focus at 4 feet, focus accuracy will not always be there at longer distances and visa-versa, since, unlike Canon, Nikon only provides lens calibration for one distance. I like those tight, wide-open bokeh shots, so this has been a chronic problem for me on the D800E and D7100. Of course, for freehand shooting, Live View is not an option. The A7R, on the other hand, is dead-on accurate every time, no matter what distance I shoot! I am also surprised at how good (and fast) it focuses in low light - it actually seems equal to the D800E. Eyelashes and pupils on my models are now always razor sharp on 100% crops, no matter what distance I shoot. I couldn't be happier.

6 upvotes
forest green
By forest green (4 months ago)

I believe it is new masterpiece in digital photography.
Many thanks to Sony company to made it.

4 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (4 months ago)

the first thing that came to my mind was ...how are those leica m9s etc gonna cope up with this... its like 1/4 of the price and manual focusing on sony's peak focusing is just sweet...

0 upvotes
Jake64
By Jake64 (4 months ago)

Small grip on a small body + full frame telephoto lens = ergonomic problems?

0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (4 months ago)

Yes. I shot my a7 with a rokinon 85mm a mount lens at an event and my wrist was cramping by the end. The rokinon is a heavy lens but no as much as a good quality telephoto would be. I think the battery grip will help with The ergonomics because you can get all fingers sharing the load better. You can put a telephoto on this camera but it was really intended to be a compact system so there are some sacrifices in ergonomics with larger lenses. I found the rangefinder manual lenses work better with the a7 due to their smaller size and weight. I replaced the rokinon 85mm with a contax 90mm. Feels much better now.

3 upvotes
Photographer 1
By Photographer 1 (4 months ago)

I purchased the a7 with the 35mm 2.8 and the results are nothing short of amazing. The dynamic range and low light capability provides results that I have not seen with my Nikon D800 and the a7 is half the weight. It's nice to see Sony out in front when they have been selling their image sensors to their competitors for so many years. I can't wait to get the Zeiss 24-70 zoom lens when it is available. I look forward to buying more of the Sony lenses they will introduce in 2014. I am finaliy a Sony convert.

11 upvotes
Imagingfix
By Imagingfix (4 months ago)

For the reviewer – To draw attention to OOC Jpeg quality makes absolutely no sense! If you are making reference to IQ it should be based on the cameras best capable file type.

1 upvote
David Wyoming
By David Wyoming (4 months ago)

So how much longer till we get a full review of the A7 and A7R? The First Impressions Review left too many unanswered questions for me to purchase an A7.

3 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (4 months ago)

D800 and ANY shadows are improved by simply getting rid of ALL Black. I move the slider right to -100 or -88 in Lightroom with all RAW files using medium contrast curve and hey presto, a lot of noise vanishes and there is what you see with your eyes instead. But, as a Sony Fanboy (R1 lover from way back) here they have profoundly poor ergonomics AND very bad shutter lag. I would hate to have to carry this thing around with those impracticable adaptors. Better wait then till their range for Full-frame sensor models mirrorless is respectable and the ergonomics and shutter delay has been dealt with folks, so come back in another 2 years....

1 upvote
TONYOZ
By TONYOZ (3 months ago)

Hi, I own D800 and interested in your comments about LR management of D800 files. 3 dumb queries. 1. Can you pls explain what a medium contrast curve and resetting black slider does to improve image? what does medium contrast curve look like in the curves sub-panel, and 3. what camera calibration do you use in LR for D800 (camera standard or other calibration profile)?

0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (4 months ago)

Love my a7. I'm currently shooting it with a contax 45mm g zeiss and Techart adapter. Photos are sharp, camera is small, and lots of controls at my fingertips. Plus I just love the the sound of the shutter. Clicks like it means it.

3 upvotes
draschan
By draschan (4 months ago)

question: will the A7r sensor compare to the A7 sensor like the D800 to the D600 in terms of dynamic range? One is able to pull the D800 shadows like I haven't seen this before. I'd choose the A7r based on the fact it has more dynamic range than the A7. (besides the fact that I like having cameras without AA filters). (I'd be more than fine with 24 mp. the main thing for me would be the question about DR...)

0 upvotes
PWRUSS
By PWRUSS (4 months ago)

A7R tests:

Very pleasing, high resolution results with the Canon 40mm, 24-105, 70-200, 70-300, Samyang 35mm, Tamron 90mm macro, Tamron 70-200 F2.8.

Odd, very poor left hand edges on the C15, Samyang 14 and Canon 17-40mm but suspect tilt on my adapter, a different model is on order. In the meantime, I have dismantled the adapter and inserted a shim to attempt to correct tilt-yet to test properly but initial results show significant improvement.

Tamron 28-75 sharp centre but terrible edges on the A7R-pity, as lens very good on D7100.

Will be ordering the FE35mm, and awaiting test results on the FE 24-70mm. Hoping Sony produce a high quality FE 16-35 IS in the future as I understand from the available reviews that wide-angles lens probably need to be matched to the A7R for best results.

0 upvotes
PWRUSS
By PWRUSS (4 months ago)

Having used the A7R for 3 weeks, both real world shots and tests I am very happy with the camera, based on use with Canon and Nikon converters but no FE lenses to date.
The nikon converter (Fotodiox) allows aperture to be set on G lens but no AF or OS.
The canon converter provides OS on all lenses tested but not AF at the same time. On non-OS lenses the AF only works on a few of my lenses:
EOS 40mm, 17-40, 70-200 F4 IS.
No AF on the C50mm F1.8 II, 24-105, 70-300IS, 15mm Feye, Sigma 150-500.
The Canon 50mm F1.8 and 15mm do not work with my camera, they often cause the camera to lock up. This could be an adapter problem, so look forward to reading other's experiences.

5D mk II going for sale. A7R great on a tripod, or landscapes / static subjects. For action / movement / anything likely to move the A7R reviews indicate it is likely to disappoint (focus very slow on an adapter) but I have a D7100 available which is wonderfully quick.

1 upvote
JaimeA
By JaimeA (4 months ago)

In case you need a battery charger instead of the supplied cable connector: The Sony A7 / A7r uses EXACTLY the SAME BATTERY (W) and charger as the NEX cameras.
If you have any other NEX camera, use the same charger. BC-VW1.
-- You can find the battery charger at any Sony Store or at the Sony Store online site. It sells for $65. I do not mind it because of the convenience, as I have bought 3 additional batteries.
-- I do not know why this charger is not yet listed at B&H.
After the Nikon D800 and the Canon D5III I am thoroughly satisfied with this Sony masterpiece.
By the way, I am a professional photographer; travel and architecture, and a demanding man.
A bit of advice. Before you complain, use the camera and understand it. Many opinions are written by people who have not yet learned how to use the equipment correctly. (It is true that the accompanying Manual is very poor and the Sony Support on line is as of now practically nonexistent for this camera.)

4 upvotes
Photographer 1
By Photographer 1 (4 months ago)

I agree in being totally and throughly satisified with the a7 "Masterpiece".

1 upvote
ToniLaird
By ToniLaird (4 months ago)

This is a fantastic camera and it was on my shopping list for next year. However, it doesn't matter how good a product is if the manufacturer cannot provide professional support should things go wrong. I have the Sony A77 (including one for my wife) and just after the warranty ended my camera stopped working. I have received the most atrocious support from Sony and we are now looking at moving to Nikon or Canon.

5 upvotes
Vincent Bockaert
By Vincent Bockaert (4 months ago)

The widest available wide angle is only 24mm? That is a very serious limitation.

0 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (4 months ago)

Or 16mm with the factory supplied adaptor and Sony/Zeiss wide zoom?

1 upvote
Vincent Bockaert
By Vincent Bockaert (4 months ago)

I see, thanks for pointing that out. Now we are talking business!

1 upvote
einarsoy
By einarsoy (4 months ago)

I sold my Canon 5D mark III to get the Sony A7R, I don't regret it !

You can check some of my pics taken with the SONY A7R :

http://www.flickr.com/photos/einarsoyland/11512613035/

The whole set so far:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/einarsoyland/tags/sonya7r/

I am very pleased with the camera and the results I am getting.

Take care and merry xmas
Einar Søyland :)

4 upvotes
Leon Lusignan
By Leon Lusignan (4 months ago)

Sony's sensors s.ks again. I tried them both bad colors with bad corners and smearing.
Only 2 ff sensors on market from D4 Nikon's and 6D from Canon's.
In crops world Fuji is real one. You can see by yourself Kernocks test here:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/comparisons/2013-12-leica-sony-canon/index.htm

0 upvotes
JaimeA
By JaimeA (4 months ago)

You must be kidding to trust Ken Rockwell. His expertise is devoted to taking shots of his kids. Apart for some shots of old rusted cars we have not seen anything worth mentioning. His scatological language us inappropriate to say the least. Look elsewhere.

3 upvotes
JaimeA
By JaimeA (4 months ago)

Try this. Take a photo using the Sony NEX 7; boost the sharpness and the contrast and you will end up with an identical shot taken with the Fuji of the same subject at the same time. I find the shots done with the NEX cameras have a much greater dynamic range and are far more manageable than Fuji's. I find Fuji's shots like a lady with too much makeup.

1 upvote
Sergey Kostrov
By Sergey Kostrov (4 months ago)

>>...Try this. Take a photo using the Sony NEX 7; boost the sharpness and the contrast and you will end up with an identical shot taken with the Fuji of the same subject at the same time.

I have Sony NEX-5N ( dreaming about A7R... ) and this is exactly what I do when shooting.

0 upvotes
JaimeA
By JaimeA (4 months ago)

What I meant to say is that I find the Fuji shots very contrasty and overly sharpened. Personally I feel more comfortable with the Sony approach, especially the NEX7. This camera gives admirable results. I have just purchased the Sony A7 with the kit lens. The shots have been taken in A mode keeping f/7.1 as the constant aperture. The camera automatically regulates the best exposure by changing the ISO up or down. The photos look extraordinary fine. The colors are absolutely tops. I am profoundly happy with this unique camera.

1 upvote
magneto shot
By magneto shot (4 months ago)

ken says..iphone 5 dynamic range and tone ...soemthing along those lines, are better than any dlsr.....now...what was it ur referring to again...

0 upvotes
GarysInSoCal
By GarysInSoCal (3 months ago)

Try this... max out your Sony & Fuji images with the best editing skills you possess... and you won't even come close to the amazing dynamic range, low noise quality and superior resolution of the NIKON D5200... ;)

1 upvote
TerryBoyd
By TerryBoyd (4 months ago)

I am keen to hear that I may be able to use some of my old Zuiko lenses, including a treasured 50mm F1.2 (!) Can you confirm that the old OM lenses are adaptable? This could well be a selling point for me I guess, since lens availability is rather limited at present.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (4 months ago)

Yes, you'll be able to use all of your old OM lenses with an adapter.

3 upvotes
pgb
By pgb (4 months ago)

I have three good OM's 24,50,135 and I thought these would a be a good start with the kit or possibly the 24-70 Zeiss later. Being able switch to 1.5x crop mode would reduce lens swapping with the primes.

But this thread will make me wait for more user reports -
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52686010

0 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (4 months ago)

switching to crop mode does nothing for you in this case o.O

0 upvotes
David Myers
By David Myers (4 months ago)

What a shame this new test scene is so poor! The lighting is uneven: The lights should have been much further away and true strip lights used (not long soft boxes) to avoid the semi circular bright spots on the left and right sides of the set. Because of this the centre is correctly exposed but the image gets progressively overexposed towards the left and right sides.

Also light scatter in the entire room is causing reflections of the room contents in the reflective surfaces of the prints and glossy items destroying the black densities and subject contrast with room reflections.

If I was building and lighting a 'reference' set like this I would do it in a black room with well distanced and shielded strip lights and shoot through a black velvet 'wall' with a hole for the lens. Even lighting and reflection control is needed to maximise contrast and resolve the highest detail.

Sorry DP Review but this a 'Fail' as a test setting!

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (4 months ago)

"If I was building and lighting a 'reference' set like this I would do it in a black room with well distanced and shielded strip lights and shoot through a black velvet 'wall' with a hole for the lens. Even lighting and reflection control is needed to maximise contrast and resolve the highest detail."

DUH! Everyone knows that! Yet, so few apply simple obvious basics.

I find the test scene on imaging-resource.com to be very good.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (4 months ago)

I agreed Timmbits, the studio scene off imaging resource is much better.

0 upvotes
JJ Rodin
By JJ Rodin (4 months ago)

I find this NEW studio scene COMPLETELY USELESS for looking at high resolution comparison with good quality DSLRs !! Useless!!

DPR needs to fix this with some HIGHER detailed (ie -hard to resolve) money pieces, lithos or something - their OLD Studio scene was FAR SUPERIOR !!

Did I say USELESS ? Oh BTW, I meant USELESS !!

7 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (4 months ago)

Find the Phase One camera in the list. Then start looking around again (the little scrap of blue material is a good place to start). There is soooo much more detail in there than it first appears. Trouble is, compared to that, everything else looks pretty much the same!

2 upvotes
JJ Rodin
By JJ Rodin (4 months ago)

Thanks for the suggestion, but since I/no-one knows what details ARE there (except using the Phase one), it is a POOR resolution test! Tests are for KNOWING what is there and to see or NOT see, not to guess.
This new studio scene is USELESS for a diagnostic test of relative resolution ! PATHETIC! It certainly suggests DPR does not know what they are doing - SAD! It certainly lessens my respect.
The Old scene is better and should be used for all DSLR type sensor/cams, let P&S/cell phones use this new INADEQUATE poorly developed scene!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
KAllen
By KAllen (4 months ago)

Just what I thought, there is the IQ Phase one then everything else.

1 upvote
Morpho Hunter
By Morpho Hunter (3 months ago)

I agree. Why oh why did DPR change the test scene - the new one is terrible! Perhaps someone should start a petition to reinstate the old one.

0 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (4 months ago)

I spent some time with the A7 and A7r recently, testing various features for my own interest. I only had one 28-70 lens to play with so variables between cameras were minimised.

I have to say that what I found, in two aspects, was in direct contrast to what this preview states.

Firstly, the autofocus on the A7 was miles quicker than the A7r, especially in dull light. Both were very accurate.

Secondly, I preferred the A7 images (RAW files viewed in Lightroom). This is because they held colour better when pushed, were cleaner and recovered highlights better. Also, with that lens, it was very hard to see any detail advantage with the denser A7r sensor but the latter's files are much slower to work with on the computer. In scenes with high dynamic range, both sensors are near-miraculous but the A7r files are flatter. That should make them better to work with yet I found it hard to match the clean, punchy look of the A7 files.

I say all this for people considering the choice.

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (4 months ago)

Thank you for the good insight.
I had already made up my mind that I'd prefer the a7 - 24mp is plenty, and larger photosites are better too. And from what you are describing, I will prefer the output from the a7 by much.

2 upvotes
mahlemiut
By mahlemiut (4 months ago)

Did you also compare it with the native Sony Converter Output? Ok, the handling of the sony conver is awfull, but it seems, that adobes reengineered raw engine is not really optimal for dealing with the A7r files. I had a look on it the last days and what I have seen, there is much more detail using the sony converter. For any reason LR 5.3 looks somehow blurry on the same files, even if sharpening in the sony converter has been set to 0. Hope, I will have a bit more time these days to take a deeper look and also using the way over arw-nef conversion.

0 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (4 months ago)

I looked at the RAW files directly in Lightroom 5. Later I converted them to DNG and looked at them in Lightroom 4. Because Lightroom 4 does not recognise either camera, it applies a neutral initial conversion with no special corrections. I then played around with the files, trying to find the best possible settings.

The 28-70 lens was clearly the limiting factor at the pixel level on the A7R in terms of resolution but, even so, you're only getting 20% more pixels in each direction with the denser sensor and it will be a rare experience to really benefit from that. I mean, print those A7 files large and you are extremely unlikely to complain about resolution!

Conversely, the higher resolution of the A7R masks the noisier output because you can apply more noise reduction and it will be rare that you'd print a big print and wish you had the cleaner files of the A7. You can always work the files to compensate for the the flatter look and duller colours at higher sensitivities.

0 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (4 months ago)

The one thing you cannot work around is the fact that the A7R files are noticeably slower on the latest, well-spec'd MacBook Pro Retina and are amazingly slower on an older MacBook Pro.

Except for the utter pedant fanatic (like the kind of very dedicated landscape photographer who is used to carrying a quality tripod and taking a lot of time over every composition, for example), the A7R brings no advantage over the A7 and clear disadvantages. Not that the indulgent types who always want to buy the latest and greatest care. 36 mp brings more bragging rights than 24 mp and that is what sells expensive cameras (though the A7 with lens is less expensive than many expected, kudos to Sony).

1 upvote
Greg Gebhardt
By Greg Gebhardt (4 months ago)

The lenses are too slow to take this camera serious!

2 upvotes
Rob Sims
By Rob Sims (4 months ago)

My CV35/1.2 does not agree with you ;-)

7 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (4 months ago)

I have plenty of old lenses that disagree with you as well.

2 upvotes
sapralot
By sapralot (4 months ago)

Announced on Oct 16 - and still no review? What the heck?

2 upvotes
clistchris
By clistchris (4 months ago)

absolutely dreading making the wrong decision! a7 or a7r??????? I sold all my nex 7 gear to be able to afford this lenses and all. I am an amateur but a serious amateur I really want to make sure I am making the right decisions here.
I would also like to shoot short films on the camera and I here the a7 is better for video...I most use manual focus so AF doesn't really matter to me. I love landscape, street and photography. Someone point me in the right direction please!

1 upvote
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

you are in the right direction mate, just wait for 24-70 f4 Zeiss OSS.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (4 months ago)

I don't see how you could go wrong with the a7.
But do bare in mind that the a7 s are the first of a new generation.
There will be further evolution.
That having been said, there isn't anything I could think of, that is lacking here, or that I might want, that this doesn't already offer.

2 upvotes
thiirane
By thiirane (4 months ago)

Timmbits,
I am sure you are correct. Sony has a long history of innovating. I was so temped to make the jump and purchase NEX 7 when it came out but I wanted a full frame. I was enticed by the RX1R its quiet leaf shutter and full frame but the focal length was too small for portraits. Then Nikon came out with D800 but I don't want to have to lug around a heavy body. I am again temped by A7 and A7r but the shutter I have read is very noisy. I wish there were a quieter shutter preferably a leaf shutter as I like the flexibility for flash photography. I would hold my breath for a leaf shutter. I also read that access to the batteries was problematic. Has anyone hear about the shutter and battery issues?

0 upvotes
VynerStreet
By VynerStreet (4 months ago)

I think there is much to recommend these cameras, however there is one feature that rules them out for my professional work, and that is the lack of Tethered Shooting ability.
When my camera is positioned 10ft up a pole over a perfectly positioned still-life I don't what to be up and down a ladder to press the shutter for the 25th time!
Unless someone has a workaround, this can only be a nice walk around kit.

0 upvotes
Rob Sims
By Rob Sims (4 months ago)

Both A7 and A7R have wifi, which lets you link to a phone or tablet and works pretty well.

You get the live-viewfinder view displayed on your phone/tablet, as well as full control (once you've updated the camera software) over aperture, shutter, iso...etc. and of course, the shutter button. No need to go climb up the ladder every time ;-)

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

teathered was the older tech. you have much more with wifi-nfc remote control!!

0 upvotes
VynerStreet
By VynerStreet (4 months ago)

Thanks for your replies guys. Yes, I appreciate these cameras have wifi, but can you imagine how long I'll be waiting for the raw files to download! I'll think I'll be sticking to my Canon and Remote Pro software for the time being!

0 upvotes
Rob Sims
By Rob Sims (4 months ago)

Probably a very very long time as the current app only sends a jpg to the phone (leaving the RAW on the camera!). If you want RAWs copied over a solution would be to pick up a cheap EyeFi card to send the RAWs to your computer instantly - while still using your phone to operate the camera.

I imagine this is a better solution than having to patch cables up around a 20ft ladder!

2 upvotes
dave
By dave (4 months ago)

I like most everything about the A7, except the grip and poorly placed shutter button. If the grip is so great, why did they use a small ladies hand to demonstrate how well it fits the hand. I can see that she isn't comfortable holding it. The shutter button placement doesn't allow her to have a secure grip on the camera. The is a classic case of form beating function.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

bec the lady hand is prettier!! :)

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (4 months ago)

SERIOUSLY?
judging ergonomics from a picture???
think, lest you troll. ;)

1 upvote
shawnfb
By shawnfb (4 months ago)

my 5d3 with Canon 50mm 1.4 is more "portable" and focuses MUCH faster than that train wreck of A7/adaptor/and 50mm..

2 upvotes
Rob Sims
By Rob Sims (4 months ago)

Yup agreed - just such a shame it weighs and costs so much more, has terrible LiveView autofocus, can't mount lenses from any manufacturer you choose and that the image quality isn't as good :-(

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
13 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

wait for the 50mm native lens then :)

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (4 months ago)

re: Rob's reply

ROTFL

@shawnfb: you do have a fine camera, and love it justifiably so.

But this is the beginning of a new generation of camera. This will capture the hearts (and market share) of those who are migrating to FF today.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
1 upvote
JaimeA
By JaimeA (4 months ago)

Dear dpreview: When-o-when are we going to see a full review of the Sony A7r? Practically everybody else has reviewed it. It is the hottest of the hot new cameras.
Reviews in dpreview for top cameras have become extremely scarce nowadays. We always trust dpreview but the waiting has become too long.

14 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (4 months ago)

Maybe they are waiting for someone competent to come up with a better test scene before doing that review?

2 upvotes
kexiang
By kexiang (4 months ago)

I didn't even distinguish the gap between the A7 and A7R in high ISO presentation, especially under the 12800 ISO, A7 did as nearly same as what 7R did, just from my opinion, anyone could explain?

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (4 months ago)

I would expect the a7 to do slightly better in high iso, as the photosites are larger.
But who shoots at 128K iso anyways? Seems to me that if you "need" that high an ISO, you may have other problems on your hands.

1 upvote
pedromeyer
By pedromeyer (4 months ago)

I bought a 18-200 Tamron lens which is very good for my NEX-7 can I use this lens on the new A7r ? or does it need a lens adapter, and in case I do, which one?

I also have some new LEICA M lenses, will they fit the A7r directly or with an adapter...

0 upvotes
kexiang
By kexiang (4 months ago)

Apparently your lenses need to be adapted, for all the Sony camera you have. Anyway, 18-200 Tamron is E mount? I jealous that you have "some" new LEICA M lenses LOL!

0 upvotes
Mel Snyder
By Mel Snyder (4 months ago)

Incorrect - All E-mount lenses from the NEX-7 will work on the A7(r) just fine. Most, but not all, will need to be used in "crop" mode (just an APS-C area of the FF sensor) - but some appear to be useful full frame, especially if the APS-C baffle can be removed from the lens.

2 upvotes
clistchris
By clistchris (4 months ago)

you loose a lot of resolution with the a7 will have 10 megapixels and 15 on the a7r.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (4 months ago)

We will have to wait and see just how bad the vignetting is.
You might be able to manually crop the images a bit, rather than relying on the /1.5x crop that the camera does. Maybe a /1.1x or /1.2x will suffice to leave you with very usable images.
What they showed here (on dpr) is a vignetting simulation that isn't anywhere near reality, as the image circle should be much wider than the sensor area.

1 upvote
blindshooter
By blindshooter (4 months ago)

Hmm, image stabilization is no longer there - usage of my 'old' lenses a little limited ;(

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (4 months ago)

Indeed... I'm surprised to not see any ibis for old lenses and the new primes.

0 upvotes
j3rrykil
By j3rrykil (4 months ago)

SIIICK camera. GJ sony. When i get enough money i'm definitely investing in sony. Now i just need to pay off those student loans :\

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Max Thunder
By Max Thunder (4 months ago)

If you first compare the jpeg's at 6400ISO, the a7R sensor seems miles ahead compared to D800 or 5D3 but it is only an illusion. First there must be something wrong with your processing of D800 jpeg, like you forgot to apply NR or something. Then if you observe the raw files, you realize that the biggest improvement comes from the jpeg processing as the raw pictures are noisy as hell no matter the camera. I could even say that noisewise, the 5D3 sensor does a better job for some colors likes orange, yellow, or pink.
Nevertheless, the a7R jpeg's are incredibly good, with much better details, colors and blacks than any other camera.

1 upvote
Carlos Loff
By Carlos Loff (4 months ago)

These cameras are terrible UGLY but that said, I think CaNikon should be very AFRAID

0 upvotes
Mel Snyder
By Mel Snyder (4 months ago)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think the new A series is SHARP. Many thought the NEX-6 and NEX-7 were ugly, too.

Can't wait till I can afford and justify an A7 or an A7r. As long as the stock market keeps rolling, I'd rather own an extra two shares of Google or 4 shares of Apple. I was just forced to put the price of an A7r as a down payment on a new car when my Acura TSX passed 201,000 miles. Right now, I don't need an A7, and with luck, $3000 worth of Apple/Google stock will appreciate enough by mid-2014 to pay for my new A7r!

1 upvote
clistchris
By clistchris (4 months ago)

I think the camera is freaking gorgeous. soooo yeah lol

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (4 months ago)

Says someone who owns (or wants) a pentax k3?

I think this is a very handsome camera.

1 upvote
Jule Bykiarr
By Jule Bykiarr (4 months ago)

Issues with memory recall function A7k
how can I save my settings to memory slot 1 or 2?
I have set memory on button c1 and help guide to button c2 in the button customization dialogue.
I change from fine to raw, from hdr auto to autobracketing with 3 stops, and i choose my white balance preference, I want to store my presets i'm used to work with to slot 1 in the dial rig, I try pressing button c1 to save my settings, on bottom screen there's indication to EXIT pressing the central button, not how to store, I was assuming it was a solidstate memory and it would had saved itself that way, but no way. So, I am obviously missing something with the recall function.... PS : Every time I switch from Manual to 1 or 2, it gets back to FINE,DRO-AUTO,SINGLESHOT. but on M-Manual it keeps aperture value and shutter value *eg. Bulb*...
Any help would be much appreciated... ty.

Besides, autobracket do agrat job and HDR out looks really great... but...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
hip2
By hip2 (4 months ago)

@Jule, you just select a memory bank (1 or 2) and you press the central button, it will save and exit.
if you press the menu button, it will exit without saving.

0 upvotes
Footloose1949
By Footloose1949 (4 months ago)

Looks impressive, but will not pass full judgement on this until I see some reviews of this body using A-mount lenses, as I already have a Dynax 9. Disappointed that something as fundamental as a main-powered battery charger is not included with the body. The idea of having to leave the body hooked up to a charger, unless, with the body, also comes an adaptor so you can charge it on the move from a car's 12v supply, rather than that aslso being an optional extra as well.

0 upvotes
hip2
By hip2 (4 months ago)

it charges with a micro USB cable, so you can use your current usb charger from the car. if you have a high power one, you can get the battery back to 80% very quickly.
also, you can use the camera while it charges while you can't if you have to put your battery in a wall charger and don't have a spare :)

0 upvotes
Mel Snyder
By Mel Snyder (4 months ago)

The Sony charger costs less than $40. For the same $40, you can get a Wasabi charger and 2 extra batteries, and a car charger cord is included.

If you can't afford that, you can't afford an A7.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (4 months ago)

still a cheap move not including the charger to be honest.

0 upvotes
SonyAAA
By SonyAAA (4 months ago)

Why is the 7 so much better than the more expensive 7R?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 2381
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