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Features

For the most part, the a7's feature-set resembles that of cameras like the NEX-6 and NEX-7. While the majority of a7 users won't be using Auto modes, the camera has a fair of well-implemented point-and-shoot modes, named Intelligent and Superior Auto. There are also customizable 'Creative Styles' as well as 'Picture Effects', which is where you'll find things like toy camera and selective color.

Below we've selected some features that will be of most interest to the enthusiasts who are considering the a7.

Non-native lens support

Thanks to Sony's release of the E-mount specifications, a plethora of third-party lens adapters is now available. The Alpha 7 is, by far, the least expensive way of using 35mm film lenses such that they offer their originally intended field-of-view - the 'acme' of the trend of using old lenses on mirrorless camera. Sony offers a number of tools to support manual focus of these lenses, including magnified view, focus peaking, or the combination of the two.

When shooting older - especially fast primes - 'wide open', accurate focus can be a challenge, even with the availability of magnified focus view and peaking. To have any chance at all you really do need to be in magnified focus mode, but a typical 'classic' prime made for film is likely to be pretty hazy wide open, much more so than a modern native FE lens. As a consequence, depending on the specific lens that you're trying to use on the a7, you might find that it doesn't always deliver enough contrast for focus peaking to bite onto until the aperture is stopped down a little.

View our gallery of Sony Alpha 7 / 7R photos taken with third-party lenses

You'll certainly need to set peaking to 'high' for the best chance of getting it to work. With focus magnification activated and peaking set to 'low' or 'medium', you're unlikely to see any highlighted edges at all. Set to 'high' we've found that the system has a decent chance of highlighting some edges, typically non-organic edges like text, but softer subjects, like the features of someone's face, frequently just don't deliver enough contrast for peaking to work reliably at any of its three settings.

Regardless, the fact remains that turning peaking up to high is your best chance for accurate manual focus with this kind of lens in magnified live view mode, and as such it's the setting we'd recommend. Sadly, 'high' peaking isn't very useful in normal (unmagnified) live view mode, and generally plasters peaking highlights all over the scene across a very wide range of focus. It is entirely possible for focus peaking to outline pretty much everything in the viewfinder at its 'high' setting but for your image to be magnificently out of focus when you look closely.

Ideally, when working with older lenses 'wide open' we'd love the option to separately define a peaking level of 'low' for normal unmagnified live view, and 'high' for the magnified view. Hopefully this can be added via a firmware update.

For more on this topic, read our 'Using third-party lenses on Sony a7 / a7R' article.

Electronic first curtain

The electronic first curtain - which is not found on the a7R - shortens the lag between shutter releases by eliminating the step of lowering the shutter before the photo is taken. The difference between having the e-Front curtain on and off isn't huge, but if you keep mashing the shutter release (with autofocus turned off), you'll probably sense it. This feature also makes the a7 a bit quieter when shooting. The maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 sec isn't affected by the e-Front curtain setting.

There are two cases in which Sony recommends turning this feature off. The first is when using high shutter speeds when using a large diameter lens, with which ghosting might occur. The other time you'll want to disable it is when using third-party lenses, as you may otherwise get uneven or inaccurate exposure.

Classic Sony Features

Despite being a higher-end camera, the a7 still has many features from the NEX line. These include HDR, Sweep Panorama, and multi-shot layering

The HDR feature takes three shots in a row, each with a different exposure. The interval between each shot can be ±1EV to ±6EV. As one might expect, you cannot use HDR in Raw or Raw+JPEG mode. Here's an example of the a7's HDR feature:

HDR off, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, f/8 HDR on, auto setting

As you can see, the HDR feature, at the 'auto' setting, nicely balanced out the contrast. The HDR version of the photo does look slightly 'fake', though, so you might want to adjust this one manually if that's a problem. In our NEX-6 review you can see how each HDR step affects the final image.

Sweep Panorama was the first feature of its kind, and Sony's implementation is one of the best. You can pan the camera in any direction, with your choice of standard or wide angles-of-view. When shooting left or right, the resolution of standard and wide images are 8192 x 1856 and 12416 x 1856, respectively.

Sweep Panorama, standard size, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, f/4.5

In the example above, the a7 produced a panorama with no major artifacts. There's also a moving subject near the far right of the frame, which didn't get sliced into multiple pieces.

One thing we noticed about Sweep Panorama on the a7 is that it's fairly noisy (as is the shutter in general), and that you have to pan a bit slower than on, say, a 'regular' NEX camera.

There are several multi-shot modes on the Alpha 7, in addition to HDR. Two similar features are Hand-held Twilight and Anti Motion Blur, which aim to reduce blur by combining a series of four exposures into one. The difference between these two features is that Anti Motion Blur takes subject motion into account, which may result in a higher sensitivity being used, in order to ensure a sharper photo.

Multi Frame NR, which is for JPEG shooting only, combines multiple images into a single photo with reduced noise.

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Comments

Total comments: 1614
12345
CityHunter

After a decade of losing money on TVs, and four consecutive net loss-making years, Sony is running out of time and money. I won't buy camera from a company that might not exist anymore soon in the near future.

0 upvotes
straylightrun
1 upvote
Galbertson

With articulating at horizontal is mechanizm strong enough to hold up Hoodman 3X loupe without supporting with finger?
Thanks

0 upvotes
danydan78

hi
Id like to know something about sony A7
I hear so many great comments and how great this camera is.

i just got one and I have some concerns regarding live view and viewfinder

When taking pictures, the image through the viewfinder or lcd screen is fuzzy/grainy. Especially in darker environments. It's not as bad in bright light conditions. The pictures themselves are perfect and exactly what you'd expect even when viewed on the lcd screen of the camera

could yo tell me if this is on all sony cameras or just A7
could it be coz of lens or do i have to change my settings

thank you

0 upvotes
snapshtr

I have a NEX-7 and was considering upgrading to the A7. After reading this review I have second thoughts. It's definitely a step up but the improvement in IQ is not as much as I expected, given the significantly larger sensor size.

0 upvotes
ijustloveshooting

built quality term is just a mess in the internet reviews. If something built in metal, it's built is great, if plastic then so so...this is a big bs...From my own lessons learnt, do not take all these comments in the net so serious.

0 upvotes
ijustloveshooting

I've been shooting with nex for two years and started wonder how fuji x systhem is, due to a lot of reviews with huge praises...bought xf35 F1.4, 23 F1.4, xf1024 and two x-a1...for example, sel35 from Sony, outer areas are plastic, bayonet is metal whereas xf35 F1.4 is built all metal, and reviews says great built quality...Let me tell you, two years of sel35 usage, 0 dust spec in the lens, but after two weeks of very careful usage with xf35, there are a lot of dust specks in the lens, on the rear element that can not be cleaned without disassembling the lens. So, very slow and noisy focus system of Xf35 whereas sel35 is light years faster and almost zero noise...Also, xf35 has non internal focusing system, all the fron element moves front and back, moving parts that can be easily damaged if you drop it..So where's the praised built quality?

1 upvote
ijustloveshooting

So another very praised lens, XF1024, reviews says awesome, terrific, outstanding sharpness, built quality bla bla bla...
Bought it, used it two weeks and shocked to see how cheaper, twice lighter SEL1018 produces sharper, greater photos....In the net, SEL1018 is a good but not great lens, whereas XF1024 is an outstanding Fuji...That's another BS...SEL1018 is definitely producing sharper images across the frame, in the center, a lot better...and none of these overpriced fujis has no weahter sealind, dust sealing etc...so where and what's the built quality?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tranlucentFinn

dpreview should test A7 again with 1.02 firmware. Amazing jpeg quality now + starp up times are fast now. I can`t understand bad build quality and ergonomics issues at all. Totally amazing camera. Ony WI-FI sucks, playmemories transfer is Super slow .. I just says "preparing for tranfer for 5-10 minutes bofre transfer starts. I think this is more play memories issue than sony a7 issue. So I put airplane mode on, batteries will last longer too.

3 upvotes
SandyW5

I get very fast Playmemories transfer from my A7, but maybe that is because I have an SSD.

0 upvotes
SamSaveMax

I disagree with DPreview rating on the final word for "Build Quality and Ergonomics & handling"
Build quality is very good to excellent and I wonder why DPreview rated just above average.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
bluevellet

Because there are better built cameras out there and the A7 pales in comparison therefore it can not be excellent.

1 upvote
vratnik

because there is Fuji X-T1

0 upvotes
Mel Snyder

Build quality today need be just good enough to enable the camera to last its likely useful life - which is at best 3-5 years. My Canon F1 is much better built, as is my Leica M4P.

Could the A7 be more robust? - yes - but why? We see no complaints that it is falling apart under even tough use. No D600 type recalls. I recall when the Canon T90 was introduced in plastic - horror! from the brass/machined metal crowd when introduced in 1986. They're still in use today.

For a camera likely to be obsolescent within a decade, it's built very well. It will last far longer than most complainers will care to own it.

4 upvotes
simonmay

Could a Sony Universal Smartwatch 2SW 2 release the shutter of a A7 without an Android phone involved?

0 upvotes
guyfawkes

@dpreview.

You comment that the distortions can't be turned off in jpeg. But according to my menu structure they can, individually, or completely.

Can you comment, please?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler

Which page does it say that on - it'll need to be corrected.

Whether you can turn off the correction depends on which lens you mount - some of the lenses are designed with the correction as part of their design, so you can't turn off the corrections for those (the menu option is ghosted-out when they're mounted).

0 upvotes
Galbertson

Since eyesight progressily failing, and ears incresing in acuteness, if i record at 60p, is audio of higher quality tan recording 30p? Often times the sound is more powerful of ear than eye. No reson to use up card space if mainly for audio

0 upvotes
gravee

No, the audio and video are not tied like that. You change the settings for each separately, I haven't read the full specs on the A7 but I don't think it allows you to change much about how it records audio. If you switch to 60FPS the audio stays the same only the video is encoded differently at the end.

0 upvotes
ppando

What I'd like to know, is when somebody will make an aftermarket battery grip for the A7/R for say, at least half the price? Anybody know of anything in the works?

0 upvotes
Galbertson

East west,
Any lens that requires use of polarizer to optimize, otherthan specific intended use of polarizer, is certainly a lens i would never purchase.

0 upvotes
eastwestphoto

SEL2870 Lens a kit lens said to be of low quality, WELL NOT so!
1. take the dam Sony hood off.
2. get a 55mm rubber collapsible sunshade
3. Put a 55mm Polarizer filter on, any will do.
4. Screw the sunshade into it , so you can rotate for polarization max effect
5. Use DMF 7x fine focus, in auto or P modes
6. Results will astound you at 24x playback magnify!
why, the cameras AF system is contrast on A7r based and Passive on A7. Contrast increases through a polarizer, so the AF system is faster and sharper.Will DMF mode fine tuning focus, the results are amazing. Its not the lens folks, its the poor skills of the photographer.Regards, Don@Eastwestphoto

1 upvote
Carl Abela

I'm sorry but I strongly disagree, I know the AF is to blame sometimes for a lens's lack of sharpness. So I tried it manually focused which is a breeze on the A7 thanks to the peaking. This lens is cruddy and soft, end of story.

Plus I don't want to bloody DIY a focus filter in order for a lens to perform properly, that's just plain shoddy. I want to spend more time taking pictures and less time twiddling a polarizer.

0 upvotes
Arindom

I'm Sorry, but I strongly disagree to you Carl. My sony 28-70 is pretty awesome for sharpness, its just that, it requires right light to be sharp enough. I have done some outdoor shooting with this lens, and have received some real sharp images and pretty ok sort of bokeh, well I never expected to have any bokeh from this lens in the first place. You must learn, how to use your camera and lenses first, before speaking about it.

0 upvotes
Mel Snyder

Aridom, I agree. I found myself shooting with my kit lens a lot last week when I was walking around with my daughter and 10-month-old grandson. I was shooting in restaurants and stores as well as backyards in shade, on playgrounds etc. It is not quite as sharp as my great legacy primes - but shockingly close, given its price.

DxO doesn't get it always right, but they did on the 28-70, even though they mounted it on the not-recommended-by-Sony A7r. It's a vastly better lens than its critics claim, and as DxO noted, arguably a vastly better buy than the 24-70 pseudo-Zeiss.

1 upvote
SandyW5

I am alternating between my old Hexanon AR 50mm legacy prime lens and the Sony 28-70 kit lens. Love the perfect IQ delivered by the Hexanon (takes me back 38 years!) and love the convenience of the zoom and autofocus of the kit lens, not to mention the IQ which is fantastic.

0 upvotes
Tripodasaurus

I have been looking for a full format camera with a tiltable screen that's in my budget for a long time as tripods don't come up to my eye line. I was hoping this to be it but although the spec sheet says RAW is uncompressed format the conclusion says RAW is compressed and lossy. I'm not sure I like lossy RAW files in case one needs or wants to re edit them etc. Could this be Sony's way of helping to differentiate between this and their other more expensive cameras. I wonder if the A7R does the same.

0 upvotes
vratnik

you're looking for a camera with TIFF support.

0 upvotes
Galbertson

Need some serious advice....mostly blind, but still shoot 4x5 of wilderness landscapes,. For many reasons, down to a7 or a7r to pack in with 4x5 for extended exposures/night/quick macro,/60p video....would prefer a mid range zoom a,d one prime. Since the kit 28-70 relatively small in relation to other FF zooms, how poor or good is its IQ? Would a better aps-c zoom on a6000 have just as good print quality as 28-70 on a7?

0 upvotes
marc petzold

The FE 28-70mm Sony "Kitlens" Zoom is way nice, and stands
it's ground well compared to the much more expensive SEL-2470Z Zeiss Lens, see the comparsion for yourself here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53341796

you'll loose 4mm focal length at the wide angle, but the lens
is unbeatable compared to it's low price. (could be bought for
as low as ~250 EUR into german DSLR forum, for example)

1 upvote
Mel Snyder

I agree, Marc. People have gushed all over the 24-70 because it costs 3-4x the kit lens, but still needs to be stopped down and limited to a 30-60mm range to perceptibly demonstrate superiority to the kit lens.

The kit has a plastic mount, which makes it lighter and probably more rugged than the metal 24-70, too

I have a 24mm Canon FDn f2 that - wide open - blows the doors off any 24-70 at 24mm at any aperture.

0 upvotes
Galbertson

Marc and mel, thanks. An additional question...if one use identical lenses, even most highly rated prime, on both A7 and A7R, could the difference in IQ be obvious to human eye...who else...in 24X36 print, viewed at approx. 12" away?
Exposures made only on sturdy tripod, approx.1/15th second, ISO 100f16.

0 upvotes
Mel Snyder

No, the difference is not likely to be visible without serious cropping. I have two 24x36 prints from my A7 and my Nikkor 70-210mm f4/f5.6 AF zoom from the 1990s, and they are razor sharp and noise-free at normal viewing distance (3-4 feet - and "abnormal" 1 foot, too ;-)

0 upvotes
Mike FL

Sony 7 is NO longer a "Weather sealed camera" due to LIGHT LEAK issue.

1 upvote
chr68

Imaging resourcetest Nikon D800E and Canon 5D Mark III. They also have light leak issues.

2 upvotes
bluevellet

It doesn't refute what Mike said...

2 upvotes
hippo84

A7 is still dust and moisture resistant http://store.sony.com/a7-full-frame-mirrorless-camera-zid27-ILCE7/B/cat-27-catid-All-Alpha-a7-Cameras?_t=pfm%3Dcategory

0 upvotes
Mel Snyder

I thoroughly challenged my A7 (highest ISO, 30 second exposure, bright sunlight, rocking/torqued lens on all four axis) - no leaks.

One of great "chicken little" issues in the history of optics. There is no "proofing" against stupid camera handling.

0 upvotes
Andy Dan

Ok, regarding the posterization...I've downloaded the arw and the uncompressed nef (page 13 of the review, bottom) and put them in lr 5.3. At each file there is a loading time where you can see the posterization effect in both. After loading there is no posterization. Pushed them to +3.8 ev and there is no posterisation in eiter. So, my opinion is that dpreview was using an older lr.

P.S. I use a calibrated Dell Ultrasharp U2413
P.S. Nikon is cleaner in the shadow area on the right but again, a +3 or +3.8 ev is kinda extreme for any raw file imo!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
sheepr

Just wonder if anybody has raised this elsewhere. I am needing FF for DSLR partly because existing lenses are designed for FF. If an entirely new camera system is developed like the A7/A7R, is it correct to say that FF should not be a limit to the max sensor size? Just my stupid idea.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
gravee

FF is not the limit to max sensor size, they make larger sensors such as medium format. Specialized applications can use sensors much larger but there's no practicality in putting something like that in a DSLR, plus more people (not photographers) are concerned with Mega Pixels not sensor size.

0 upvotes
F8minnow

Why do reviews of the A7/A7r fail to mention the lack of a correctly working reflective light meter in the viewfinder?

Thanks

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3626724

0 upvotes
PaulDavis

Because the issue your link is talking about is completely pointless. Absolutely doesn't effect the usage of the camera. Here how you can meter the exposure yourself, if the screen is pitch black you are way under exposed. Of it is completely white, you are way over exposed.

9 upvotes
SAEED ZED
0 upvotes
Charles Bowers

Not for street shooting or any fast moving situation. Focusing is horrid to non-existent if you want to capture the moment. After spending two weeks street shooting for the most part - all things considered you need to be on a tripod or to have lots of time to focus first. So forget capturing a "moment" that is fleeting. There are still many features that are just plain wrongly done or not thought thru from the standpoint of real world usage. I've had the NEX 5 and NEX 7. The a7 is better from many standpoints but still lacks the focusing capability of even a low end DSLR. Very disappointed. Sony just can't get this line of cameras up to professional standards yet. Too bad. Would love to see them really make a full-frame mirrorless light weight camera be worth the money. But then their lens choices are just weird. What is the world are they thinking. I don't want to put a 2 pound lens on this camera. That totally defeats the go lighter mantra.

1 upvote
Overmars

Went street shooting with a group last night with the kit lens. It was fantastic. Yep, with the kit lens!
I did not use a tripod. Focusing was dead easy (if you know what you're doing).
If the kit lens can perform as well it did at night, then I have no worries at all about what the FE 35mm can do.

You don't want to put a "2 pound lens on this camera"? Then don't.

5 upvotes
quezra

I always wonder what kind of seriously weird lighting people must be shooting under when they complain the A7 is slow to focus. Sure, it's not D4 fast but it is not miss-your-shot slow either. It's far better than any of the previous NEXes, and practically instant in daylight.

5 upvotes
PaulDavis

I didn't know my zeiss 35mm was 2 pounds. Certainly doesn't feel like it. I think Charles comments are just wildly exaggerated. I was taking pics of my daughters on swings yesterday and it tracked them fine. I don't see any difference from my nex6 and my a7 when it comes to focusing.

3 upvotes
dyoon153

Briefly tried hands-on in Sony store. I Liked the compact size and light weight, still being a FF. Overall spec is worth drooling over... but I was a bit disappointed that it didn't feel that durable. Maybe I am spoiled by K-5II...

0 upvotes
urbanplanner

Loving the reviews and specs. My only concern is the focus hunting... I'd love to be able to shoot selfie-interviews without worrying about this problem. Has anyone crafted an electronic focus limiter for these cameras? Even if it's a really binary, crude setup like the old school lenses with a switch? <20 feet, >20 feet? Wouldn't this help a lot?

0 upvotes
ppando

I've had the A7 since January. I was getting tired of lugging my DSLRs around and wanted a compact ILC, but I wanted full-frame and the ability to change lenses. I finally popped for the A7 and I love it! It's going to be my new wedding, portraiture and fine-art camera. Looking forward to getting the battery grip and some fast Zeiss glass for it in the future. This cameral fills the bill for me. Light, compact and full frame. I think it's the future of cameras.

http://imagepro.photography.com/michaelcline

6 upvotes
Mazymus

How would the video on this compare to RX-10??

0 upvotes
InTheMist

Slow to start, slow to focus, bad battery: mirrorless.

0 upvotes
Kivivuori

All technical gitzmos included, but no soul. Sorry.

2 upvotes
Arn

All of the exposure modes (P/S/A) are broken with Auto ISO and even program shift doesn't work. When for example dialing a larger aperture, the camera will only increase shutter speed, it will not reduce ISO.

Shutter speed priority sticks to f/4, even with the 55/18!

Aperture priority will raise the ISO all the way to the maximum before lowering shutter speed under 1/60 with any lens or focal length!

Sony needs to fix this ASAP with a firmware update! I have this working perfectly with every other camera (even my compact cameras RX100 and Canon S95 can do this perfectly right, not to mention all my DSLRs). I don't expect to see this sort of cock ups on a camera of this level. AutoISO is one of the very best features of modern digital cameras, but somehow Sony was able to mess it up here, even though they get it right for compacts.

1 upvote
Overmars

Only had my A7 a few days.

I've put it on auto ISO and shutter priority, and yes, it does start of on f4. But a bit of moving around (eg. out my window, my book case) and it DOES change.

Yes. Aperture priority when raised to the max produces a lower shutter speed. Doesn't really bother me. Switch to manual.

Not sure if it needs a 'fix' imo.

Still playing with it though. Having fun!

1 upvote
Arn

I'm glad your having fun, but it doesn't change the fact that Auto ISO on this camera doesn't work at all as it should. I have six other cameras with a fully working AutoISO (in fact I haven't seen a camera in years with this crappy AutoISO). But for some reason Sony messed it up here, even though they got it right with RX100 and RX100II. When I pay 2000€ for a camera (and almost another 2000€ on lenses), I expect a simple feature like this to work.

2 upvotes
PaulDavis

I think Sony should allow allow the user to set the min. And Max settings for aperture and shutter speed during these auto modes. Them trying to predict what people want doesn't work. Most people think the 1/60 shutter speed is too slow and allows for camera shake, your the first comment I have seen seen that wants it slower. There anything wrong with that it just shows that we all have different needs. I think must people would want max aperture speed to match the lens attached. So a firmware update where people can customize these settings would be great. For now if I want the max aperture I shoot in manual mode or aperture priority mode.

1 upvote
Frank C.

why not shoot M-mode and coerce the camera into choosing the correct iso, wouldn't that work?

4 upvotes
Galbertson

I remember my little nikon E? Wonderful apeture priority body, even accepted pro f lenses. Soooo much fun to find a dark scene at night, set it at f22, focus, on tripod, hit the shutter, and maybe an hour later..."click"...perfect exposure. Nikon still says that camera cannot shutter past one second.

Anyway, don't use auto iso, put on apeture priority, set iso in safe range for available light....beautiful images.....or just shoot full manual. Lots of fun.

0 upvotes
Ray Kroll

I am considering purchasing my first full frame camera and like what the A7 kit has to offer in size, Raw photos, HD videos, Wifi and price. I am however concerned about the reviewers comments about the disappointment in JPEG photo quality. In looking at the sample JPEG photos illustrated, as an armature photographer, they look very good to me (compared to what I am used to). Would appreciate feedback from current A7 owners on their experience with JPEG quality.

0 upvotes
PaulDavis

I have had my a7 since the beginning of December. I shoot in both Jpg and raw. I shoot jpg day to day of my kids, family, and casual stuff. I got tired of always shooting raw and having to process photos that I was just gonna share on Facebook or with family and friends. So I shoot raw for paid work or shots that are really important to me. That all. Being said, the Jpgs out of the camera work great and look nice. Dpreview comments on the jpg output was mostly regarding the higher iso noise reduction. If you reduce the in camera noise reduction you will get a much better Jpg at higher iso settings. So far I have zero issues with the Jpg output on my a7 although raw is gonna get you better results as usual.

1 upvote
PaulDavis

I should also mention the following about the as well: the camera is really versatile. It being so small and having the nfc feature can take the camera anywhere without it be in convenient and instantly share photos from it with my phone. So I get take the types of shots I get with a high end camera and share them like I shot them with a smart phone. It's really the first ff camera that is practical for everyday use.

1 upvote
quezra

I summed up my thoughts on DPR's "analysis" of JPEGs here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3612932

TLDR: All the faults they find are non-issues or trivially easy to correct in-camera.

4 upvotes
PaulDavis

Quezra, you say it perfectly in this post. Thanks for articulating it so well.

2 upvotes
Ray Kroll

Thanks for the great feedback Paul and Quezra. Wow what detail and knowledge! You sold me on the A7. Now my only decision will be whether to purchase the kit 28-70 lens or the Zeiss 24-70. Appears I would be getting a $200 break going with the kit lens however I read the Ziess would provide better image quality and stabilization. In your view, for $900 additional cost going to the Zeiss 24-70 am I really going to notice that much difference, as an amature photographer? Or would I be wiser to start with the kit zoom lens and add other Zeiss lenses at a later time?

2 upvotes
PaulDavis

I would go with one of the primes actually. Go with the 35mm if want to keep it compact and go with the 55mm if you want the best in image quality. The 55mm was rated the second best lens DXO labs has ever tested. Both lenses are great on the A7. If you must have a zoom I would just stick with the kit lens and buy one of these primes to compliment it.

0 upvotes
Ray Kroll

Thanks Paul. I appreciate your learned opinions. They are very helpful.

1 upvote
sanar

thanks very much for the additional information on jpegs. as an amateur trying to get into photography this level of detail really helps to make decisions on the purchase and im sold on this Sony right now.

0 upvotes
Docmartin

Any thoughts on this?

http://www.leica-boss.com/2013/12/the-problem-with-sonys-zeiss-fe-sonnar-t-fe-35mm-f2-8-za-sel35f28z/

It´s not a lens problem as the title suggests but apparently seen with most lenses and more likely a sensor (or processing) Problem.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Heaven is for real

Not a big deal. Note the final thought...most impt of all..."This camera system is not for the weak at heart. It’s a little like using a medium or large format system – you have to do a little work to get spectacular results. The FE 35mm f/2.8 is a costly optic, and throws some obstacles in your path. At the same time, it’s astoundingly sharp and the images really do pop and sizzle. It’s got a wonderful, emotional, and interesting look. Is it right for you?"

3 upvotes
bajanexile

Sorry to say it, but I have not experienced ANY issues like these and I have shot hundreds of frames. I never shoot JPEG's so cannot comment on those. Be aware that mounting Legacy Lenses by means of Adapters can give rise to issues such as Colour Shift. This is very well documented, especially with Leica lenses and is nothing new. The problem can be circumvented with a bit of software called CornerFix, see:

http://chromasoft.blogspot.co.uk/2008/01/cornerfix_15.html

If you are not an experienced Photographer you would do well to stay out of this application. Unfortunately, Leica lenses are some of the best optically and if you already own some of these, you will want to crack the issues. Similar problems occur when Leica Glass is adapted to the Sony NEX7. If you are worried, stick to the Sony FE Range of lenses or use one of the Sony A-Mount Range of lenses plus the LA-E4 A-mount adapter.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Stefan Zeiger

The RX100 has the same issue. Is it the Sony sensor design or the Zeiss lens design?

0 upvotes
bajanexile

Sorry, I have pasted the incorrect link to the single image referred to in Part 2. It should read:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bajanexile/11433322075/in/set-72157638774329873

0 upvotes
bajanexile

The Sony a7R E-Mount Camera with Full Frame Sensor (ILCE-7R) - Part 3

Pros:
(1) Extended Dynamic Range, noticeably better than my Canon FF Camera System
(2) Easy to recover hidden detail in shadows
(3) Very good Resolution with appropriate high quality lenses
(4) Excellent EVF
(5) Relatively compact and light VS a traditional DSLR
Cons:
(1) Lack of off the shelf high quality FE Prime Lenses
(2) Quite poor Battery Life. I predominantly manually focus my lenses using Live View, Zoom and Focus Peaking. You can expect ~ 240 Frames from a battery charge
(3) Slow Start Up from Switch On

Hope this is of use to some of you

Steve

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
bajanexile

The Sony a7R E-Mount Camera with Full Frame Sensor (ILCE-7R) - Part 2

If you do not have the time/inclination to look at all the images then perhaps just open:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bajanexile/sets/72157638774329873/with/12170516174/

It was shot as a Single RAW Frame with Conversion using Sony's FOC Image Data Processor software and saved as a 16-Bit TIFF File in the sRGB Colour Space. Further processing was performed and a B&W Conversion made. Once you have opened the image on Flickr you will see three White Blobs in the bottom right of the Lightbox view. Single Right Click on this and then on "View all sizes" and open the image as the Original Size i.e. at 2000 Pixels in its widest dimension. The detail resolved and the Dynamic Range are very good for a Single Frame capture.

0 upvotes
bajanexile

The Sony α7R E-mount Camera with Full Frame Sensor (ILCE-7R) - Part 1

Having read this review, I thought that I might share some images and thoughts about this new Sony Camera System. I already own the Sony
ILCE-7R with a Sonnar T* FE35mm f/2.8 ZA lens and have nearly two months experience with the System. While it is NOT the Alpha 7, it will be similar, You will find my Set on Flickr at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bajanexile/sets/72157638774329873/with/12170516174/

There are 29 images in the Set, all "Real World" images NOT Test Charts or Brick Walls. All have been shot using Available Light and the majority from a Manfrotto Carbon Fibre tripod as this is the way I work.

0 upvotes
Richt2000

Hey DPR, do you have an eta for the A7r review? Surely 90% of the work is done already within the A7 review?

TIA

0 upvotes
knize10

They are starting to ALL look alike, Nikon, Fuji, Sony, etc.

0 upvotes
Arn

What do Nikon and Fuji have that looks like the A7?

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
dougster1979

df....x-t1, . I agree, picture quality is pretty similar across the board. The only way manufactures can be individual is to concentrate on styling, function.

0 upvotes
Arn

DF's Full frame sensor does not produce similar image quality to X-Trans APS-C.

0 upvotes
Docmartin

The problem of sensor reflections mentioned by Just a Photographer below has been reported by many others too and appears to be a real problem with no likely fix in sight (unless Sony is offering free return and modification of the A7 sensor´s cover glass). As the reflections occurr not only in night shots but also when shooting against the sun, they are a real concern and far more common than the infamous Fuji orbs which were difficult to obtsain even when trying hard (and have finally been fixed for that matter). A deal breaker for this otherwise great camera! What a pitty ...

4 upvotes
quezra

A very exaggerated problem of a very specific type of photo (star bursts), and common to a lot more mirrorless cameras than the A7. Sony will probably happily tell you: Stick to shooting native lenses, and don't stop down so much.

4 upvotes
Just a Photographer

Not at all exaggerated if so many people experience this problem!

This problem on the Sony A7 and A7r is very, very real and very widespread. You can call it exagerated, but thats probably because you are biased towards Sony.

Once it happens to one of your photo's i'll bet you wouldn't be pleased anymore with your Sony.

And i am pretty sure its going to happen sooner or later.
You can't turn off the sun and you can't turn off street lights at night to avoid these artifacts.

5 upvotes
quezra

1) I don't shoot the sun, 2) I shoot at fast apertures at night

If you don't shoot star bursts on a tripod at f11-13 this is a non-issue. If you're a starburst lover, sure, go for a DSLR instead, I bet Sony can survive without your patronage.

4 upvotes
Docmartin

The problem also occurs at large apertures, albeit to a lesser extent. So, shooting with the lens wide open is no remedy. There is no easy or universal fix. By the way, the same reflections also occur with native FE lenses (1.8 50 and 2.8 35) to the same extent as with (almost all) adapted lenses.

Sure, other cameras may show similar artefacts under similar conditions, but with one exception (Fuji "orbs"), to a lesser extent and by far not as obtrusive and "ugly" as with the A7.

It is a major problem which Sony has to address in order not to loose credibility and trust.

3 upvotes
quezra

"lose credibility and trust"? Over an issue 99% of users are unlikely to ever encounter or not even notice? I think you're exaggerating a smidgen. I bet most people don't even know what star bursts are. Meanwhile, Fuji's orb problem is a great example of how little impact that issue had in the 'credibility' and 'trust' of the brand - almost zilch.

4 upvotes
Docmartin

"Fuji's orb problem is a great example of how little impact that issue had in the 'credibility' and 'trust' of the brand" - That's only because Fuji admitted the problem, handled it in an obliging, accommodating way and finally fixed it and everybody was content. Fuji listened to customers, heeded their complaints and did not leave them standing in the rain ...

This is my understanding of credibility and trust.

1 upvote
quezra

The problem is that if you follow the link and read how the problem manifests, it is almost (but not entirely) absent with native lenses, but very pronounced with film-era lenses. Sony will most likely write it down as within their bounds of tolerance for the native lenses because well, pretty much every mirrorless camera gets these (you need to read all the pages of J.A.P.'s link, not in a selective way, if you want an objective perspective). Now I'm sorry but I've never heard of a company worry about problems you encounter when you adapt third party lenses on to their camera. And native lenses don't have this issue in anyway close to as significant. I've shot some stars myself with the 55/1.8 - not because I do it but just to see it for myself - TOTALLY OVERBLOWN NON-ISSUE is my conclusion.

2 upvotes
Docmartin

One of the (if not THE) major selling point(s) of the A7 is its ability to adapt almost any lens. Most who buy it at this stage will buy it to shoot legacy 35 mm lenses at their native AOV. Who will buy a camera with only 3 native mount lenses available? Those who want to shoot Sony / Zeiss FE lenses will wait for a year to see how the lens line develops and then buy the A7/A7R's successor - (hopefully) minus the teething troubles of the current models.

1 upvote
PaulDavis

It's pretty simple, If your gonna be shooting a lot third party lenses and will be shooting a lot of night scenes with small apertures then you need to know that this is an issue you will run into. If you own the camera or choose to buy it this is just a limitation you workaround when shooting. It is always good to know your cameras limitations, they all have them. I have had my a7 since the day they came out and haven't ran into the issue yet with with lot of hand held night shooting, which means wider aperture settings. I'm gonna see if I can purposely male it happen now that I am aware of the issue.

3 upvotes
Roland Karlsson

@quezra. I have not the slightest idea whether this problem is HUGE or small. But one thing I do know, and that is that I surely would not buy this camera if it works badly on "film era lenses". For me. its only big selling point is that it is a FF camera that can take my old lenses. So ... I really want to know the extent of this problem.

1 upvote
Average User

In these comparisons, you have not included the D5200 (which is not quite the same as the 3200) or the Sony Alpha Nex 7. Very relevant, because the Nex 7 jpegs looked really beautiful up through 3200 compared to nearly all the other aps-c cameras and is an important head to head comparison for those considering an upgrade; and the D5200 is actually the highest scoring APS-C of any kind on the DXOMark camera sensor score.(84 vs 83 for the D7100).
That makes it especially important given astonishing new APS-c capabilities using the new Sigma 18-35.
Do you think you can include them?

0 upvotes
Richt2000

Hi DRP - when is the A7r review expected to go live?
The A9r will be out soon knowing Sony!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Just a Photographer

Sony rushed their camera and it comes with a BIG problem:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3613281

5 upvotes
Heaven is for real

How so when DP "detailed" review of the camera did not even mentioned it even once?

2 upvotes
Just a Photographer

Meaby just follow that link and see for yourself? Many complaints from very different people. All complaining about artifacts in their pictures.

DPReview might have commercial interest and therefore rather not tell people what the real problems are with this camera?

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
quezra

So moral of the story is don't shoot adapted lenses on the A7 directly into light sources unless they have modern coatings?

2 upvotes
Richt2000

Thats not a problem for me, as I don't severly over expose huge parts of my image.

4 upvotes
Roland Karlsson

This is a reflection from the sensor. And those dots is an image of the actual pixels. Some cameras have this problem.

It is quite hard, when taking night shots, to not over expose the street lights.

I assume it is likely bad to exaggerate or underestimate the problems this may cause.

0 upvotes
Ben Stonewall

BionzX-bot is a new Transformer who gets slapped around by the other FF-bots because he never gets it quite right!

1 upvote
Heaven is for real

A7/r are not perfect, no camera is, but both cameras are excellent cameras. Many of us are very impress and really enjoying using them. DP review is ONE review and all other reviews gave the two cameras 4 to 5 stars out of five. It is your loss.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
dead eyes open

Ben Stoner, better lay off the bong...

1 upvote
bluevellet

DPR gave the camera the equivalent of 4 stars (80%).

"Bubububut not gold award!"

1 upvote
ayshmaddie

I'm from India and I bought the Sony Alpha 7 on the 4th of Jan 2014. Used it for a day and the next day it would not power on or charge! took it to the service centre where they said it was a power problem and had to be forwarded to a larger service centre in bangalore. After no calls, emails or updates for 2 weeks, I called them to find out that it was a problem with the motherboard and it was being sent to Delhi. I have since called, emailed, posted on facebook and twiter and received little or no response to my efforts. I have been promised call backs from the service centre and received none! it has been a month of running after them now. I have a shoot in Sri Lanka I needed it for and it now looks like I won't have my camera back in time for the trip!

What is the use of making a great camera when the after sales support is so terrible? I think everyone considering buying a camera from Sony should know what they are getting into.

1 upvote
Heaven is for real

Sorry to hear your problem. I have no problem at all using their customer service here in the US so it must be because you are in a third world country. Anyway, somehow I don't believe your story. You are new to the DP review and this is your first post and already posting libels against Sony. I blame you also for not bringing a backup camera. Professionals alway bring two to three back-up cameras!

3 upvotes
Bangers and Mash

Heaven is for real -- be nice now. Just because its his first post doesn't mean he hasn't the right to express a little frustration about the manufacturer, although I do agree that service could be a problem from where he is located due to a lack of facilities to handle his problem.

Back up camera. I do agree that anyone doing a shoot for someone should indeed bring a backup camera. Honestly, we don't know from what he said whether he does or not. From what I gather, he's just disappointed that he can't use his new toy in Sri lanka. I know I would be disappointed.

I don't think its fair to insult a person by telling him that he is from a third world country. Perhaps the majority are living below our standards, but that doesn't make it a third world country by any means. How would you like it if someone made a derogative comment about where you live?

So, like I said -- be nice. It doesn't hurt. :-)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Heaven is for real

@Bangers, and you think this is being nice slamming the whole Sony corporation when the problem could be just few local incompetent employees? "What is the use of making a great camera when the after sales support is so terrible? I think everyone considering buying a camera from Sony should know what they are getting into."

3 upvotes
Bangers and Mash

Heaven is for real -- and how would you feel in his shoes? What's with this slamming thing? I think you have been reading too many MSN stories. :-) Everything today, no matter how minor, is referred to as slamming. A video becomes popular on the Internet and its called viral. A little bit over played with vocabulary don't you think. Words used to get media attention. Come on now my friend, the man is upset with all the back and forth response. Does he not have the right to be upset. To be honest with you, many, if not most over on this side of the pond would be livid.

3 upvotes
Just Ed

That's a horrible experience for a new camera.

I don't know what the laws are in your part of the world
it would not be tolerated here in the U.S.

Hope you can get a working copy soon and that you will then get to enjoy your new camera.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson

@Heaven - there is a difference between slamming a corporation and slamming an individual. The corporation do not care the slightest - the individual might though.

1 upvote
neelkanta

After-sales service in India is generally appalling compared to most countries, so your grievances could easily be directed at any other major brand. Setting up an efficient service network with sharp logistics and warehousing is extremely difficult in India, and it's not as simple as applying "1st world" solutions and experience to the "3rd world". Most corporations have standardized service processes they'd like to follow globally, and setting up unique structures for India is difficult to swallow. Also there seem to be standard responses in India for problems dealers and local service centers encounter that rarely occur in other countries. Like failing "motherboards". Somehow if the reason for failure sounds catastrophic, it hides incompetence (and that's universal). For all you know the problem was probably a minor thing, and your local service center's poor assessment or inability to deal with the problem caused you the scale of hassle you ended up experiencing.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
SandyW5

India is third world; get over it.

0 upvotes
GeorgeD200

I think I'll wait for the rebadged Hasselblad "Venus" version. I like exotic wood, and am trying to get rid of $9500. I'll probably have to wait another year, too.

7 upvotes
quezra

Nothing spells true quality like a grip made of wood. I mean who knows where wood is mined from!?! It must cost half the body by itself!!

4 upvotes
PaulDavis

Yeah, pressing the shutter button doesn't feel right unless your pressing down on an emerald.

6 upvotes
PandaSA

Why is there no dislike button? People should know they have sadly missed the point.

2 upvotes
Roland Karlsson

Dislike buttons in forums is a means for harassment.

0 upvotes
Mister J

No built-in flash, no buy. Pity.

1 upvote
quezra

Yeah just like Canon FF cameras which no one ever bought.

23 upvotes
stillzman

It is truly your loss,

6 upvotes
draschan

haha. really funny.

4 upvotes
Carl Abela

@quezra No one ever bought a Canon FF? Have you even heard of the 5D mark I and II? Those cameras have their own cult following.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Heaven is for real

Carl, you missed quezra sarcasm ;-)

13 upvotes
quezra

Bingo :)

0 upvotes
axian

There's really no need for built-in flash on full-frames as it is fill flash. If your lens is not fast enough for the lighting conditions and you absolutely need to blow out the shadows, you might as well pull out your smartphone.

0 upvotes
shadowoflight

lol. if a built-in flash is what you need, then you're looking at the wrong end of the market, no offence.

0 upvotes
dead eyes open

Carl, you're a sharp as a tack! ;)

0 upvotes
SandyW5

Built in flash is a menace and spoils many a shot.

0 upvotes
hip2

Can anyone tell me what the base iso of the A7 and A7R is ?
i read long ago during the announcement time that it was iso 200, but now i cannot find any page that specifies it clearly, and DPR tested the max DR at iso 100 which leads me to think that either the base iso 100 now, or that DPR mistakenly thinks it's iso 100 and tested it like (even if it may not make any difference in actual DR numbers in the end)

1 upvote
quezra

It is 100. It has interpolated options of 50, 64, and 80 as well.

2 upvotes
hip2

thanks. is there a way to verify the base iso ?

0 upvotes
chr68

For A7, dxo mark has measured 76 for both body setting on iso 100 or 50.
For A7r it is 73 ISO.

2 upvotes
zino

Just got my a7, what a great piece of art. It's way better then canon and nikon put together. Canera weight and picture quality is something both canon and nikon can dream off.

7 upvotes
sandy b

Tradeoffs. Nikon uses those sensors in cameras that are different, someways better, someways not. I prefer Nikon, but greatly admire the Sony's.
And saying the Sony is way better than canon and Nikon put together makes you sound ten years old.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
km25

I would rather deal with weight of the Nikons, then deal with all the factors of the A7/R. The advantage of mirror less cameras is that you can use RF lens from CZ and Leica, ect. on them. But you cannot use anything wider them 35mm. Good idea, poor execution. The sensors are good. But the rest is not. Maybe the A8/r will be a good camera. Sorry, but Sony think it through. This camera on as idea is great, but the A7 falls short.

4 upvotes
hip2

actually, you can. just not all the legacy wide angle lenses.
you only need to check the design of the lens before buying it.

2 upvotes
stillzman

You can use wider lenses, you just have to do a little PP to correct the photos afterwards. If you haven't already, give the camera a try for a few days and see how you like it, do not base your judgement solely on reviews on the web, especially this one.

3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer

Some wide angles are fine. For the ones that aren't, it's no fun trying to fix unless you really enjoy spending extra time at the computer.

0 upvotes
Richt2000

Ha Ha, I can put your Nikon glass on an A7r and actually improve my landscape workflow, as Nikon's Live view is donkey meat!

Plus I don't have to re-calibrate my reds and blues like I do with Nikon. I get blue and Red with Sony instead of dirty blue and dull red with Nikon...

0 upvotes
sillen

DXOmark tested the 55mm lens for A7, and their rating shows its the best performing autofucs lens ever tested by DXOMark:

http://www.dxomark.com/en/Lenses/Ratings

"In fact, the Zeiss Sonnar has similarly high peak sharpness and outstanding uniformity with less than 5% loss in sharpness across the field at any given aperture value"
"the lens is a bright 1.8TStops, and image quality is outstanding"

http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Sony-Zeiss-Sonnar-T-FE-55mm-f1.8-ZA-lens-review-Exemplary-performance

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
14 upvotes
Mina J

Just left Samy's Camera in Beverly Hills, CA and the sales representative said that the RX10 was a better deal than the A7 or 7R, mainly because of the lens on the RX10. I'm just saying.

0 upvotes
Heaven is for real

If you want fixed lens, go for it!

0 upvotes
PaulDavis

That doesn't really make sense. It has a 1" sensor which in no way will compare to any FF sensor and the lens I would expect to have the usual distortions that come from a super zoom lens. I guess if you keep it in jpeg mode it can correct it. You won't get the same DOF or dynamic range either. You also don't get the same amount of controls at your finger tips. The RX10 looks like a nice camera but it seems like an odd comparison.

4 upvotes
quezra

The FZ200 is a better deal than the RX10, mainly because of the lens on the FZ200. I'm just saying.

Race to the bottom, woohoo!

1 upvote
PandaSA

PaulDavis: sorry, you're thinking of the RX100.

0 upvotes
PaulDavis

No I'm talking about the rx10. Although both cameras have the same size sensor and Long zoom ranges. So I guess my same argument would apply to both cameras unless I'm mistaken the rx10's specs.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer

It's simple (and this applies to Fuji, too). If you buy a fairly expensive camera with a fixed lens, you tell everybody that's all you ever wanted. Problem solved.

1 upvote
hip2

@PaulDavis, you should seriously try the RX10 before writing that the FZ200 is a better deal.
the FZ200 is cheaper, i agree, that does not make it a better deal :)

0 upvotes
PaulDavis

I didn't write that. I think the guy that did write was being sarcastic. From what I know the rx10 is is a pretty sweet camera.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 1614
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