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Sony a7 Experience

by Jeff Keller

After a good deal of use, we've come to a mixed opinion of the Sony a7. As much as we like the idea of a small mirrorless camera with a full frame sensor, we ran into more issues than we think are reasonable for the camera's price. Many of the default controls behave oddly, adjusting settings we wouldn't expect, and there are a few image quality issues we find disappointing on an advanced full-frame camera.

Thankfully the Sony a7 can be customized to suit most of our needs, making for a better experience. There's no question that creating a mirrorless full-frame interchangeable lens camera finally allows a body that's as slim as a forty-year-old camera like the Olympus OM-1, which was a breakthrough in its day, much like the Sony a7 is today.

Fit and feel

The Sony a7's hard edges and semi-gloss paint are oddly off-putting at first, but they grow on you. The angled EVF hump is indeed an attempt to recall a bygone era, just as Olympus did with the OM-D E-M5. At first it looks a little artificial and slightly odd, thanks primarily to the camera's thinner profile and short flange-back distance, which limits how far forward the front of the 'pentaprism housing' can protrude. But it wasn't long before we got over any thought about it and focused on the camera's working surfaces and the images it made.

As for the grip, we would have almost have preferred no grip at all, as this one doesn't fill the hand enough to offer a sure hold. We like most of the controls, including the rear control dial; however, the front dial is easy to forget, and hard to actuate when you remember, and the EV compensation dial turns accidentally in a bag, and even when just hand-holding the camera; we have to check it every time we remove it from the bag. It seems like it should be stiff enough, but perhaps too much of it is exposed to the right side to prevent accidental activation.

Presence

Like the NEX-7, the a7 can use an electronic first curtain shutter. This significantly reduces operational noise by eliminating the need for the shutter to first close, then open to start each exposure. Instead, the exposure starts with the physical shutter already open for live view, gating electronically down the sensor to start the exposure. The physical second curtain shuts to end the exposure, resulting in only a single curtain sound in this mode. Nevertheless, the Sony a7's shutter is loud, whether in electronic shutter mode or not. It's a little quieter than the a7R, perhaps because of the composite front plate, but both are louder, and make noise longer, than most competing cameras, regardless of shutter speed.

Focus is quiet, however; and the only other effect the a7 has on the photographer's environment is via the very intense amber AF-assist beam, which is quite bright from the subject's perspective, and sometimes it overwhelms the scene, reducing the chance of successful autofocus. Turning it off usually resulted in faster autofocus acquisition.

While shooting portraits with the Sony a7 and a set of studio lights, we found the camera performed very well, focusing quickly under the modeling lights and delivering excellent image quality. However, when shooting in Manual exposure mode with strobes, especially indoors, you're presented with a dark viewfinder and LCD; even with your modeling lights turned way up. This is because, by default, the Sony a7 previews the expected exposure given the ambient light levels; in our case that delivered a black image to the display because we set the exposure for the strobes. Changing the Live View Display menu item to 'Setting Effect OFF' allowed the live view image to gain up, making image framing possible despite the manual exposure settings. SLR users will be unfamiliar with this aspect of mirrorless cameras because they're used to shooting with an optical viewfinder.

Handling

To us, handling is a combination of feel, accessibility, and responsiveness. Most of the controls on the a7 are accessible, and feel good: buttons press cleanly, dials turn crisply, and most of them are about where we'd expect. In the responsiveness department, the only noticeable lag is when powering on the camera, which can take between one and three seconds, and switching automatically from the rear LCD to the EVF. This takes about a second, which isn't really fast enough. It's enough time to miss a shot; over time, you learn to plan for it and move more quickly to the EVF if that's what you think you'll need.

The menus let you select which view modes are available, and you can engage different options for the electronic viewfinder and rear screen.

For its part, the EVF is a means to an end - much as we prefer an optical viewfinder, knowing that the a7 is going to capture an impressive image in a smaller package than the average full frame digital SLR makes the EVF worth tolerating. We struggle with its dimness in bright light, but appreciate the large magnification and reasonably good color. Its benefits are significant too, though, allowing the same on-screen controls as are available on the LCD, and even letting you customize which items appear on one and not the other.

One issue that came up is that the eye sensor that automatically switches between the LCD and EVF is too sensitive. For example, if you're doing waist-level shooting with the LCD tilted up, the a7 will switch over to the EVF, even though your body is still 6 inches away.

At first, it looks like Sony has simply taken the RX1 body (right) and added an extra dial - leaving an odd combination of twin control dials and an exposure compensation dial. In use, it turns out there's a shooting situation in which it suddenly makes sense.

The obvious question is whether the a7 has ended up with more dials than it strictly needs - it's certainly easy to draw the conclusion that Sony has looked at its RX1 design and added a dial, but not thought-through whether it then renders any existing controls redundant. In the case of the four-way controller dial, which Sony calls the 'control wheel,' it introduces a problem: by default the wheel, when spun, adjusts ISO. That's not bad by itself - indeed, it can be convenient - the problem is the dial turns too easily by accident. Several of our gallery shots were captured at ISO 50, which was quite a surprise, as we would generally have it set to either Auto or some other specific setting; 50 was never chosen. It wasn't until we had more time with the camera that we discovered the control wheel was changing ISO without our knowledge, so ever since we have disabled the control wheel altogether, as we didn't want to be unconsciously adjusting anything with a live dial; it turns way too easily.

In use, the two main control dials don't ever end up in conflict with the exposure comp dial - because as soon as you use the exposure comp dial it overrides any adjustment you've made with the other dials. And there's one situation in which having two control dials and a dedicated exposure compensation dial is useful - offering an effective 'Shutter and Aperture Priority' mode. The cameras continue to offer Auto ISO in Manual exposure mode, with one dial controlling shutter speed and the other setting aperture. At this point, the ability to change intended image brightness using the exposure comp dial becomes really useful.

Menus and interface

Though it has what is technically an E-mount, thankfully the a7 has a modified version of the Alpha menu, rather than the confounding menu from the NEX cameras. You can either move through each individual page with the left and right arrows, or use the up arrow to jump to the tab of grouped pages that you want - making it much easier to get to the setting you want to change. What's not easy, though, is getting to the tabs if you're on a lower menu item. Unlike most other systems, there is no control to simply switch back to the tab without scrolling up through the entire list.

Sony abandoned the NEX menu system for the a7 series, but added a row of menu tabs across the top. Alternately, you can just scroll through the entire selection of 24 screens by staying on the lower deck, which is the way Sony's other Alpha cameras work.

Many of the default settings on the camera were not to our liking, but a little adjustment of settings makes the a7 much more enjoyable to use. For instance, the simple act of picking an autofocus point is a multi-button chore until you learn the workaround. By default, you have to press the Function button, and then navigate to the Focus Area menu item. Press the OK button, then, with Flexible Spot highlighted, press the OK button again. Finally you can use the arrow keys to move the AF point around the screen. (Turning the rear control wheel selects from among three sizes for the AF point, another nice feature.) Depending on whether you already had Flexible Spot selected and enabled, that's between three and six steps just to move the AF point.

After sitting down to solve the problem, we discovered you can set the Custom 1 button to 'Focus Settings' (not 'Focus Area' as intuition might suggest), which gives you one-button access to the AF point. This brings it into line with most of its rivals, where the number of button presses required is usually one or zero.

One more thought about menus. As we often review cameras in teams, it's not uncommon to find a camera's settings have changed when you get it back from testing or use by another. The Sony a7's menu and navigation is confounding enough it was often easier to leave the settings alone and get the shot, rather than take the time to dig in and make the needed change.

Levels

The Sony a7 has an easy-to-read level system that displays both roll and pitch.

For our money, the most valuable feature spreading across more cameras is the levels display. Showing both roll and pitch, the levels on the Sony a7 are always on when we're using the camera. Particularly when employing the tilting LCD, we like the quick verification that we're holding the camera level with the rest of the world: it means fewer shots rejected for a crooked horizon.

Autofocus trouble limited to preproduction units

In our early shooting with the a7 and all three lenses in Tennessee, we had more out-of-focus shots when shooting with the 28-70mm OSS lens, a fact we mentioned in the preview. When we got back to Seattle with a full set of shipping-quality cameras and lenses, however, we weren't able to reproduce the trouble with focus, which eliminated one concern.

Still, because the of the difference in resolution, Sony's overaggressive anti-noise strategies affect the perceived sharpness of the a7's images when compared to the a7R. What should be soft bokeh is too often re-rendered as something that looks more like paintbrush strokes than a simple out-of-focus area. See our Image Quality pages for more on this subject, one that affects our opinion of the a7 in no small way.

Auto ISO

One of the more insidious issues we encountered with the a7 was its overwhelming love for a single shutter speed - 1/60 sec - when using Auto ISO. While you'll see this most often indoors and in low light, it also happened in daylight conditions. If you're taking still lifes, this isn't an issue, as most of us can carefully handhold a camera at 1/60 second. However, if anything in the scene is moving even a little bit, the photo will likely be blurry.

You can see that the vast majority of the photos taken with the a7 had a shutter speed of 1/60 sec.

The root of this issue is the camera's Auto ISO feature. The a7 doesn't let you set a minimum shutter speed, but its 'floor' is 1/60 sec. When light levels are low enough that 1/60 sec won't cut it, the camera will boost the ISO by a stop or so, but leaves the shutter speed where it was. Eventually, the Auto ISO will reach its limit (which is 6400 by default, and can go up to 25,600), at which point the shutter speed will drop below 1/50 sec.

What was interesting was that while the a7 did not observe the traditional 1/focal range guide for selecting shutter speeds with FE lenses, it did with A-mount lenses attached with the LA-E3 adapter. We were unable to experiment with the FE-mount 70-200mm F4 lens, as it's not yet available.

Once we discovered the a7's nearly constant use of the 1/60 sec shutter speed in low light, we resorted to shooting either in shutter priority mode or using Program Shift, strictly to avoid the shutter speed falling that low.

Lenses

The three FE lenses we had to shoot with were the Carl Zeiss 35mm F2.8, the Carl Zeiss 55mm F1.8 and the 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens (a Zeiss 24-70mm F4 lens is planned, but we've not seen one yet). All three are well built, but only the 35mm keeps the a7 small; the other two are quite a bit longer, particularly with their lens hoods mounted. The 35mm's lens hood is tiny by comparison. There's some wobble as it focuses, but it's quick, and focus is usually pretty accurate. Oddly, there's more wobble with this lens on the a7 than on the a7R.

ISO 250, F1.8, 1/100, 55mm F1.8 lens.

The 55mm F1.8 is quite sharp and also enjoyable to use. It also has a very thin depth of field wide open, and produces nice background blur.

Wi-Fi

One of our favorite aspects of the Sony a7 is its built-in Wi-Fi feature, which works better than others we've tried recently. It's not super fast, but it's fast enough we haven't stopped using it. In situations where we'd normally make do with our smartphones to capture a quick shot, the a7 has allowed us to create better shots, ones we'd be more proud to share, as well as more likely to keep. The 1.7MP file size that's transferred from the camera to the phone offers plenty of resolution for posting to Facebook and Instagram, and my friends got to enjoy images I captured on a real camera, rather than my smartphone.

Transferring photos is as easy as calling them up in Playback mode, pressing the function button, selecting the "This Image" button, and touching an NFC-capable smartphone to the right side of the a7. In a matter of seconds, the image is on your smartphone and ready to share.

ISO 100, F4, 1/160, 35mm F2.8 lens.

Overall

As we said, we're ambivalent about the Sony a7. There are a lot more interface difficulties than we'd like, and its image quality isn't quite as good as we expected, thanks primarily to overaggressive noise suppression. We'll get into that in the image quality pages and conclusion. However, it's tough not to admire the Sony a7's small package, and its ability to work with all kinds of full-frame lenses, even if it's a bit more difficult than we'd like (See Barney Britton's write-up on that unique aspect of the Sony a7).

ISO 1250, F2.2, 1/100, 55mm F1.8 lens.

One of us would choose the Sony a7 as a good low-price full-frame camera, even given its limited selection of native lenses. Shooting raw seems to mitigate most of the problems with the JPEG files, including the noise suppression, but we think it's fair to warn those who would shoot in JPEG that the quality is noticeably reduced. But we didn't find enough advantage to the a7's phase-detect autofocus to choose it over the a7R, whose higher resolution and very accurate contrast-detect autofocus make its images more satisfying.

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Comments

Total comments: 1609
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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
3 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
wburychka

Please no flames if the answer is obvious. I've been a Canon shooter for about 12 years, following 35 years shooting Nikon. The thing about the Sony Alpha line that had me considering another change, was stabilization in the body rather than in the lens. That has the advantage of making lenses cheaper, lighter, and less complex. The mirrorless body seemed like the next step. Lighter camera to go with lighter lenses.

So what happened to electronic stabilization in the body? It seems to me that you're giving up some--or all--of the weight savings, when you have to buy stabilized lenses. Sony guys, can you help me understand this? I am very disappointed. The A7r was going to be my next camera!

3 upvotes
PaulDavis

I'm a happy a7 shooter but totally agree. I would rather my camera be slightly bigger if needed to get the stabilization on board. Really would have put these cameras on a different level.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

wburychka:

It's certainly possible there'll be a something called the Sony A8, say in late 2014 or early 2015; that may have sensor based stabilization.

0 upvotes
wburychka

I hope you're right. In any case, I can wait. What I'm afraid of is that Sony will get a taste of the extra revenue from stabilized lenses--like Canon and Nikon have--and then not want to go back.

Indeed [timeout while I put on my tinfoil conspiracy theory hat] maybe Canon Nikon and Sony execs were down at the Geisha house one day, and Sony learned how profitable multiple stabilized lenses are compared to a single stabilized body, and ... Still, I'll wait for that A8.

1 upvote
BaroneRosso

I read somewhere that sensor based stabilization is not possible on full frame FE mounts, because there not enough space for sensor movements.

3 upvotes
hip2

but if they make a mirrorless small & light body with stabilization, there would be almost no point at all (except maybe for a full phase AF) to buy an A mount body, then no A mount lens either
i think they did not do it and wont do it for now because they don't want to sacrifice the A mount line, and its users.
maybe when the mirrorless market is so much bigger than the dslr market then they will consider it :)

0 upvotes
alzurzin

so, why not use an old-fashioned tripod ?

0 upvotes
Carl Abela

@wburychka whether Sony chooses to go with lens OS or sensor OS the fact of the matter is this, they will never match the prices of the Canon and Nikon because of the size difference. Besides lens based OS is always more effective than sensor based OS. I can see where you are coming from but basically buy a large-aperture lens.

One thing I never understood is why people are so anal about using ISOs less than 800-1600, camera sensors have come so far in IQ it really is nitpicking. Plus you can always RAW process them so what's the fuss?

1 upvote
PandaSA

BaroneRusso: if true, I think people would tolerate an extra 5mm width and height on the a7 body if they could get in-body stabilization.

alzurin: you are joking, right? why even think about body size if you're packing around a tripod?

0 upvotes
BaroneRosso

@PandaSA: it would be great, I agree. Unfortunately the problem is not the body dimension, it's the mount: to get sensor stabilization you need that the lenses have some larger coverage than 24x36, but the rays would be stopped by the mount edges.
I wanted to add the link to the article I remember to have read, but I couldn't find it yet.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
juvx

It will probably come but iv also read that in-body stabilization is for FF is extremely difficult for a mirrorless design. Its probably 2-3 years away. Keep in mind that APCs sized mirrorless arent stabilized either. Its ez to do it for an olympus em with that tiny sensor.

0 upvotes
dynaxx

I suspect the delay in publishing the A7R review is that your team is struggling to re-write that crass "dubbed Bionz X for reasons that presumably made sense to someone" comment on Page 1.

To say this comment is insensitive to the cultural differences in the country of manufacture is something of an understatement.

I can help, however ....how about ... "called Bionz X which is a jolly good name" ... go ahead and paraphrase it if you think it is too upbeat and incompatible with the rest of the review. No fee

5 upvotes
Eleson

Cmon! DIGIC 5+ is a so much better name :-D ...

2 upvotes
PaulDavis

I remember seeing some comments on here about how Zeiss isn't making great lenses any more. I also saw that these zeiss lenses were considered over priced. The new Zeiss FE 55mm made for the A7/r is the best performing autofocus model it has ever tested and is very close in image quality to the Zeiss Otis, which is the best lens they have ever tested. The FE 55mm is $999 and the Otis is 3999. Considering the match up in quality the Zeiss FE 55mm is a pretty good value. Pair it with the a7 or a7r and it is pretty reasonably priced power house in a small package. Here is the link to the DXO article.

http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Sony-Zeiss-Sonnar-T-FE-55mm-f1.8-ZA-lens-review-Exemplary-performance/Sony-FE-Carl-Zeiss-Sonnar-T-55mm-F1.8-ZA-vs-Carl-Zeiss-Distagon-T-Otus-1.4-55-ZF.2-Nikon

12 upvotes
luis caramujo

i would like to see the mighty Otus tested on A7R

1 upvote
PaulDavis

Here you go.

http://3d-kraft.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=151&catid=40&Itemid=2

1 upvote
luis caramujo

Thank´s
i meant tested by dxomark

0 upvotes
PaulDavis

Oh sorry. Lol my bad.

1 upvote
alzurzin

Zeiss not making great lenses? This is the first time I hear of this. And, I understood the Zeiss Contax G45 was the finest lens for 35mm film format. The (new) Otus is far far ahead of its time for digital sensors.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
PaulDavis

I used used he contax 45mm on my a7 for a couple of weeks. It was a nice lens. I replaced it with the zeiss Fe 35mm though. If you go way back in these comments a few had said that zeiss on a lens didn't mean anything anymore.

0 upvotes
driftnomore

next time,don't waste your money on any sony product.........

1 upvote
dynaxx

... do you mean to include Ricoh/Pentax ( and Nikon etc.etc ) buying their sensors from Sony ?

1 upvote
PaulDavis

Don't forget phase one or Hassleblad.

0 upvotes
driftnomore

some manufacturers buy their sensors from sony ,but they are executing it better than the seller.......

1 upvote
dynaxx

why not add Fuji too, in their non-Xtrans cameras ( they were all in my etc.,etc's ).

@driftnomore, you mentioned "any Sony product ( my capitalisation )" which is a sweeping statement ranging from the £40,000 SRW-9000 HDCAM-SR 2/3" Camcorder to the £25,000 Sony KD-84X9005 84inch 4K TV.

Would you like to withdraw that comment or is your knowledge of the Sony products exhaustive ?

1 upvote
pgb

To add to dynaxx, here's another Sony product that I really like -
http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/product-MVS7000X/

0 upvotes
Eleson

No worries!
I've never wasted any money on a Sony camera! :)

0 upvotes
dynaxx

neither have I. I have 2 and they are great value !

0 upvotes
Total comments: 1609
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