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Sony Alpha 7 Review

January 2014 | By Jeff Keller, Richard Butler


Review based on a production Sony a7 running firmware v1.0

If there's one thing that you can say about Sony's digital camera business, it's that they've experimented with many different concepts. From SLRs with dual autofocus systems and Translucent Mirror Technology to its NEX mirrorless line-up, Sony has gone down virtually every avenue in digital imaging. Its latest products - the Alpha 7 and Alpha 7R - may be the most exciting products to come out of the Sony labs in some time. The company has managed to create full-frame cameras which are about the same size as the Olympus OM-D E-M1. In other words, the Alpha 7s are much smaller than their full-frame interchangeable lens peers (such as Nikon's D610 and the Canon EOS 6D), an achievement made possible primarily because they're not SLRs.

In addition, Sony is also unifying the Alpha and NEX brands, so all future interchangeable lens cameras will now fall under the Alpha umbrella. Being mirrorless, the a7 would have otherwise likely been prefixed with the letters NEX.

The a7 and a7R are identical in terms of physical design, with the main differences being the sensor and autofocus system. The a7 features a full-frame 24 megapixel CMOS, while the a7R has a 36 megapixel CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter. The a7 uses a Hybrid AF system (with on-chip phase detection) similar to the one found on the NEX-6, while the a7R has traditional contrast detection. The a7 is also capable of electronic first curtain mode, which allows for a quieter shutter, and reduces the potential for 'shutter shock' vibration; this is absent from the A7R. Both cameras use Sony's latest Bionz X processor and also have XGA electronic viewfinders, tilting LCDs, Wi-Fi, and weatherproof bodies that resemble that of the Olympus E-M1.

As you'd expect, Sony had to come up with new lenses to take advantage of the full-frame sensors, and they'll be known as 'FE-series'. Five lenses were announced to start with (listed below), with ten more promised by 2015. Existing E-mount lenses will work, though the image will (necessarily) be cropped. If you have A-mount lenses laying around, those too will work, as long as you pick up either of Sony's full-frame-ready adapters (the LA-EA3 or LA-EA4).

Sony a7 key features

  • 24.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with OLPF
  • E-mount with support for FE, E, and A-mount lenses (with adapter)
  • Bionz X image processor
  • Hybrid AF system with 25 contrast-detect and 117 phase-detect points
  • Weather-proof alloy and composite body
  • Multi-Interface Shoe
  • 3-inch tilting LCD with 1.23 million dots (640x480, RGBW)
  • XGA (1024x768) electronic viewfinder
  • Diffraction correction technology
  • Full HD video recording at 1080/60p and 24p; uncompressed HDMI output
  • Wi-Fi with NFC capability and downloadable apps

The a7 uses a 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor with a low-pass filter and on-chip phase detection. This 'Hybrid AF' is supposed to result in speedier AF, supporting the camera's ability to shoot at 5 fps with continuous autofocus. The more expensive a7R, on the other hand, has a 36 megapixel sensor with no optical low-pass filter and a more conventional contrast-detect AF system.

Both the a7 and a7R can record video at 1080/60p and 24p, with manual exposure control, headphone and mic ports, an audio meter, zebra pattern, XLR support (via adapter), and live, uncompressed HDMI output.

Bionz X Processor

The company's latest processor, dubbed Bionz X for reasons that presumably made sense to someone, is considerably more powerful than the previous generation, allowing what the company says is more sophisticated processing.

Sony is being a little vague on specifics but is touting the new processor as offering 'Detail Reproduction Technology' which appears to be a more subtle and sophisticated sharpening system. The company promises less apparent emphasis on edges, giving a more convincing representation of fine detail'.

Another function promised by the Bionz X processor is 'Diffraction Reduction', in which the camera's processing attempts to correct for the softness caused by diffraction as you stop a lens' aperture down. This processing is presumably aperture-dependent and sounds similar to an element of Fujifilm's Lens Modulation Optimization system (introduced on the X100S), suggesting it's something we should expect to see become more common across brands in the coming months.

Finally, Sony says the Bionz X chip offers a more advanced version of its context-sensitive, 'area-specific noise reduction', which attempts to identify whether each area of an image represents smooth tone, textured detail or subject edges and apply different amounts of noise reduction accordingly. Later in the review, we'll show you just how well this system works, and also the problems it can create.

Lenses

While the a7 has an E-mount, you'll need to use Sony's new FE-series lenses to take advantage of its full-frame sensor. Existing E-mount lenses will still physically fit, but as they're only designed for use with APS-C sensors, their image circles won't cover the entire frame properly (just like using Sony's DT lenses on full-frame Alpha mount cameras). While five FE lenses were announced at launch, they were not all available at 'press time', and the 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS will only be sold as a kit lens for the a7. All of the lenses are weather-sealed, but while the zooms include optical stabilization, the primes do not.

Here are the five FE lenses that have been officially announced:

Model MSRP Availability
24-70mm F4 Carl Zeiss OSS $1199/£1049 February 2014
28-70mm F3.5-5.6 Sony OSS Kit only Now
70-200mm F4 Sony G OSS TBD TBD
35mm F2.8 Carl Zeiss $799/£699 Now
55mm F1.8 Carl Zeiss $999/£849 Now

Sony plans to have a total of fifteen FE lenses by 2015, including macro and ultra-wide models.

The first five Sony FE lenses include two standard zooms, two primes, and a tele zoom

We're slightly surprised by Sony's strategy here: it seems a bit odd to be making two different standard zooms to start with, rather than adding a wide-angle zoom. And while it's great to see a couple of primes, both look somewhat slow given their prices. The 55mm F1.8 is a bit long for a 'normal' lens too. We'd have loved to see a fast 'portrait' lens in the 85-135mm range early on, but hopefully Sony will offer one soon.

The two cameras are perfectly capable of using existing E-mount and A-mount lenses, and you have the choice as to whether the image is cropped. If you choose to crop, the resolution will drop to 10 megapixels on the a7, and the equivalent focal length will increase by 1.5X. Sony also gives you the option to not crop and use the entire sensor, though this is likely to lead to strong vignetting.

Image 1
24mm full-frame lens - APS-C Crop Off
Image 2
24mm APS-C lens - APS-C Crop Off
Image 3
24mm APS-C lens - APS-C Crop On

The camera offers three options for its APS-C crop mode - Off, Auto and On. With it switched Off, you'll see Image 1 with a full-frame lens and Image 2 if you're using an APS-C lens. With it switched to Auto mode, you'll get Image 1 or Image 3, depending on whether you're using a full-frame or an APS-C lens. And finally, with it On, you'll see Image 3, regardless of which lens type you put on the camera.

The a7R with LA-E4 A-mount adapter and 50mm F1.4 Zeiss lens

Sony's A-Mount lenses will require the use of an A- to E-mount adapter. Somewhat confusingly Sony now offers no fewer than four such adapters, which differ in their autofocus capabilities and format coverage. The LA-E1 and LA-EA3 offer contrast detect autofocus for lenses that have built-in focus motors (i.e. SAM and SSM), but only manual focus with other lenses, while the LA-EA2 and the new LA-EA4 use Sony's Translucent Mirror Technology to offer autofocus with all lenses. The LA-EA1 and LA-EA2, however, were designed for APS-C NEX cameras and will vignette strongly when used on the a7(R); the LA-EA3 and LA-EA4 are needed to give complete sensor coverage with full-frame lenses.

Adapter Full autofocus? Full-frame ready?
LA-EA1
No
No
LA-EA2
Yes
No
LA-EA3
No
Yes
LA-EA4
Yes
Yes

It's well worth noting that the a7 and a7R are able to accept a huge range of other lenses via readily-available third-party adapters, including old manual focus lenses from long-dead systems such as Minolta MD, Olympus OM, and Canon FD, as well as those from current systems such as Nikon F, Pentax K and Leica M. What's more, in principle these lenses should offer the angle of view they were originally designed to give - so a 24mm will be a true wide-angle again, for example. So if you have a cherished collection of old manual focus primes sitting a closet, the a7 may be just the camera to bring them back to life. More on that later in the review.

Kit options and pricing

The 24 megapixel Alpha 7 sells for $1699/£1299 body only and $1999/£1549 with the 28-70 F3.5-5.6 OSS lens. For those who are curious, the 36 megapixel a7R is priced at $2299/£1699 body only.

The most notable accessory for both cameras is an optional battery grip (VG-C1EM) - a first for an E-mount camera. This grip adds controls for vertical shooting and holds an additional battery, and will set you back around $300/£259.

The a7 does NOT come with an external battery charger, instead relying on internal charging over USB. USB charging is quite slow (and it makes having a spare battery on hand more difficult), so picking up the BC-VW1 or BC-TRW external chargers is probably a smart move.

Other accessories include camera cases, an off-shoe flash adapter, wired and wireless remotes, and screen protectors.



If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2014 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 1600
12345
NumberOne
By NumberOne (6 months ago)

Thank you very much DPReview for another "free" review of this camera.
Most forum members - forget - they can download and review the test files in their own/usual photo work flow.
This is what I always do whenever a review (or preview) is published; before (or in the meantime) I do try/test it myself "lively on the field/shop".
Being a long time user of other brands, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the A7s presentation where I could try the cameras for some minutes, after which I ordered the A7R + 24-70 F4 and some other lenses and optionals.
I totally disagree with many cons this review brought to table, but quite frankly, DPR's review hasn't change my opinion and buying will a bit ( or a pixel... :) )
This is my best advise to all complainers&supporters - Move on, buy or don't buy the camera.
I do fell sorry, though, for all those who's buying decision depends on others review/comment about their piece of gear, being those fair, accurate, or not.
My opinion, of course... ;)

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

From the conclusion: "The areas that need the most improvement are related to JPEG image quality." This is either disingenuous or editorial boneheadedness. Set NR to low, 90% of the problems identified solved (posterization and heavy NR). Don't like the sharpening? You have 3 different lower notches to tweak in Creative Style:Standard. It's not an area in need of improvement, it's an area that can be adjusted to taste as the "improvements" are already available in-camera, in the exact place you would look for if you want to tweak your JPEGs. Shame on you DPR.

Are you really asking Sony to release a firmware that switches the default settings for you?

29 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

So do you think it is acceptable for a camera of this level to have a noise reduction system that resembles that of a compact camera? The jpeg engine software needs rewriting. The majority of people who shoot jpeg never take their cameras off of default settings. Would you not even welcome the best jpeg settings on the camera to be improved? Because that is what would happen if they rewrote the software from scratch as long as they did it correctly this time.

5 upvotes
quezra
By quezra (6 months ago)

JPEGs on the A7, from a JPEG shooter's perspective:
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3612932

6 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

nm

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (6 months ago)

OK Stu 5. We get it. We got it a long time ago. You don't like Sony. You don't like positive comments about the A7/A7r. It's fine. Really! We are OK with that, and most importantly from your perspective, we all KNOW about it.

Now on to something new. A new, positive or constructive comment to read.

7 upvotes
Elaka Farmor
By Elaka Farmor (6 months ago)

The first I read is: "By putting a 24 megapixel full-frame sensor into a body nearly the same size as the Olympus E-M1, the Alpha 7 is arguably the most ambitious camera Sony has ever made."

The 36mp Sony 7r doesn´t count?

8 upvotes
_P
By _P (6 months ago)

Some people get wobble because A7 is being compared with DSLRs. Well, it has one of only handful of sensors capable of delivering high end results as far as IQ is concerned. Who cares if it has a mirror in front of it or not?

So let’s compare it with E-M1 in terms of everything else except IQ itself: ergonomics, lens lineup etc. What’s to compare???

Now, what would most people love, would be the E-M1 body/ergonomics/one-third-of-the-lens-choice-would-suffice with A7(r) sensor in it. THAT would have been a hit and a real blow into CaNikon duopoly!
In such case those wobbly people would be first ones to put it in a pole position with D800 and D5m3.

Anyone reporting his/hers amazement coming from personal A7 usage exclusively focuses on the IQ, ignoring obvious design faults. This is good enough indication for me to respect review findings. DPR has a duty to report and elaborate on every area where A7 excels and disgracefully fails. That’s what they did, and should be respected for.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 52 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
blue_skies
By blue_skies (6 months ago)

Oh, I don't know. I never comment here, but your post seems to come from someone who has not handled either product well, if at all.

The EM1 is hyped for what it does well, but it has only a fairly narrow overlap with the A7. And what it does well can in fact be covered by many more affordable camera models as well. That is, the EM1 is a different type of camera, in a different class. I don't know if your statement is true for most people.

Also, your statement on A7 usage people is very far beside the fact. Lots of users have pointed out lots of quirks - as in every camera model that has surfaced to date. DPR is not the camera police that has an exclusive on that.

What is different, a user may comment on a quirk because of prior experience, because of learning (how to, or how not to), or because a dialog has sprung about a topic. But coming from a user comments are very specific and very correct.

DPR posted findings that go against most other reviewers and user comments.

8 upvotes
blue_skies
By blue_skies (6 months ago)

Perhaps in their own analysis that is what they observed, but most users would comment that DPR simply does not understand how to use such a camera and how to interpret their findings. Granted, they wrote the review three months after the camera’s introduction, and there should have been some familiarity with the camera. They could simply have asked some A7 users simple questions.

The mere fact that DPR points out a 1/60th as a preferred (or most frequented) shutter speed makes A7, and Nex users, wonder – as this is an old problem, with many solutions. Why Sony has never changed their algorithms is a good question, but why DPR ignores all the prior wisdom around this problem is another question. No experienced Nex nor A7 user would use the camera like that, especially with a non-stabilized lens. [An A7 user commented that Sony should allow min-shutter speed settings as well as a slow (1/0.5FL) OSS, normal (1/FL) and fast (1/2FL), assuming that the camera knows the FL of the lens]

8 upvotes
blue_skies
By blue_skies (6 months ago)

This carries forth in many of the technical details. I mean JPG quirks above ISO 12,800. Does that then imply that up to (including) ISO 6,400 the camera is perfect? And, if so, isn’t that a very strong plus?

I, for one, am not getting too worked about about the review, understanding Sony as a company. They simply don't care. Had this been Canikon, or even Olympus, there would have been great consternation. Sony is far more consumer oriented than all the other camera manufacturers combined, and they think in terms of 'this year's product', and not as a product-life-cycle.

The A7/r, in many respects, is evolutionary. It borrows heavily from prior products (mostly Nex and RX1, Nikon-sensors), but has improved wherever possible and reasonable (Bionz-X). I mean, you build on a good thing, and you improve on a bad thing.

7 upvotes
blue_skies
By blue_skies (6 months ago)

The reviewers seem to have completely missed the evolutionary aspects of

the camera - I mean, which FF camera has as many JPG filters and other JPG applications as the A7/r? Yet, they are commonly found in P&S and Nex cameras - so they are not interesting/meaningful/important. And neither are the JPG quirks as they are indeed a bit overhyped in the review.

When the A7/r news hit however, it hit like a bomb. Even though long anticipated, its price-point startled many, and the camera definitely catered to newbees, who otherwise would have long waited to enter the FF-DSLR domain. I mean Canon-5D, Nikon-600, that is for pro's and semi-pro's, right?

The A7/r looks and feels like a toy camera, by itself. Don't get me wrong - it feels a lot more substantial than a Nex camera next too it, with a much better button feel and impressive hump, but place it next to a FF-DSLR camera and you kind of wonder - what in the world?

7 upvotes
blue_skies
By blue_skies (6 months ago)

And this is where I think the review completely missed the point. Why are so many attracted to this camera? Simply because it is smaller, or even cute? I don't think so.

Many of us where afraid that the first E-mount FF-DSLR would look a lot more like the A3000 than like the A7. When it was rumored that it would not look Nex-7 like, but larger, and would borrow from RX1, the speculation was rampant that it would have IBIS, and hide inside a SLT-like body.

Luckily it did not. However, if it had, would it have mattered to so many? After all, it uses the E-mount, which means that virtually all legacy lenses can be adapted to work with this new camera.

8 upvotes
blue_skies
By blue_skies (6 months ago)

And herein lies the crux imho - the reviewers completely missed what this camera has brought to the market. FF-mirrorless, enabling all FF lenses to be used at their full capacity. Mirror-less is nothing new, by now, FF lenses are nothing new, but being able to freely combine the best, or worst, from different manufacturers, and different eras, is something that could not be done until now.

Well, there is Leica. Technically, a lot could have been done with the M9 or the M240. But at their prices, why use anything other than Leica lenses. And there is no AF, no EVF, and so few of the, now-expected, in-camera features.

But, in seeing the camera as a novelty, any reviewer would have to start from there. If I, as a reviewer, use prior experience, e.g.: FF-DSLR; APS-C DSLR; mirrorless; brand, Sony, Fuji, Olympus, etc.; include my prior knowledge to analyze this camera, I will lose at least half the audience.

5 upvotes
blue_skies
By blue_skies (6 months ago)

Many early reviews were boring - they list features and then say things like 'it works great'. Wonderful, but non-interesting. Some reviews were specific - either highlight a plus or a minus (remember Ken Rockwell's flare ghosting images?). Silly perhaps, but a bit more interesting. And many reviewers simply would not take sides (remember's Steve Huffs promise to compare Rf lenses?).

Here comes DPR's review, and they have a reputation of being thorough. A review can be 14 to 20 pages long, and follows a number of standard templates that are common in all reviews which makes it great to compare them. Then there is a user/usability section in which they typically point out things that are good AND that need to be improved. That is great - a reviewer has to be critical, otherwise they are just fanboys - and we have seen some criticism leading back to manufacturers action (remember Fujis X100 review and Fuji's response)?

4 upvotes
blue_skies
By blue_skies (6 months ago)

Go back a few months and watch what happened when the A7/r was officially announced. It was like a bomb had gone off at all the photography forums, DPR and elsewhere. Regardless of product, discussions where about the A7/r. This had not been this pervasive before for any other product. Kudos to Sony. And in understanding the why, the reviewers would have had a perfect opportunity to write an impressive review.

The A7/r is not perfect. I don't even think that any camera is perfect - they all have pluses and minuses. But the A7/r inspires, it changes behavior, it rewards, it lets people experiment, it moves markets forward. There is a great story here, one that is very much missed in DPR's review (I almost type rant).

Kudo's to Sony for building it. But I'd pick up the Rev.1 while it is available. After such reviews there may never be a Rev.II

5 upvotes
blue_skies
By blue_skies (6 months ago)

So, reviews matter. Also - there is another review upcoming: the A7r. It will borrow from the A7 review, as many of the specs are identical, but it will read different, for two reasons: 1. the JPG problems are not as present on the A7r (default values at high ISO) as on the A7, and 2. the camera is state-of-the-art, second to none other than the D800E. You don't go throwing mud on such a tool and maintain credibility - you have to admire something first

As to the responses to the review - I think these are rather normal. Users do not only have a pride (ownership) and seek justification (after the purchase), but they also have a true-hands on experience and will read the review differently. Had DPR's review's been timely, i.e. before the masses go their hands on the A7/r and before they could get comfortable, the response would have been fairly mild, I am sure. But now, with almost all A7/r users being 'experienced', the review is read far more critically, and errors are amplified.

6 upvotes
Bamboojled
By Bamboojled (6 months ago)

@blue_skies
Dude shut the ____ up!!!

2 upvotes
doreme
By doreme (6 months ago)

I'm not sure why there's a concern for speed defaulting to 1/60. We can always use the speed priority mode and set the desired speed w/auto ISO or use the manual mode w/auto ISO.

1 upvote
sillen
By sillen (6 months ago)

The review gives me an impression that it is partly a reaction to all the positive news that has surrounded the A7, or a defense speech for the legacy types of FF systems.

When comparing negative A7 aspects then the competition is referred to as D600 and 6D. When reviewing the A7 strenghts there is no clear mentioning of D600 and 6D.
Would have been nice if the review explored what it means to photography to slim down full frame equipment as much as the A7 does. Instea dof dicsussing current market segmentation, rather discuss the changing segmentation and new types of photographers. Understandably many photographers work with the old type of SLRs such as 6D and D600, since those are the type of systems that has been round for a long time. Think of what new types of photography can be achieved with such a small FF camera system A7 opens up. And what about the combination with high quality glass from Zeiss and interesting 3rd party lenses? What new types of users will be empowered?

4 upvotes
dynaxx
By dynaxx (6 months ago)

The review template does not ( perhaps it should ) have a section in the Specification page under "Optics and Focus" to show if the camera has auto-focus tuning ( Sony call it AF Micro Adjustment ) which is quite common nowadays in good quality cameras.

I find this very useful on my camera and when I searched the A7 manual it says it can only be done when the LA-EA2 or LA-EA4 adapters for A mount lenses are in use. Can someone explain why there is this restriction ? thanks

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (6 months ago)

Because contrast detection autofocus generally does not require adjustments, where as phase detection focusing (classic DSLR and LA-EA4) is inherently more prone to front- or backfocusing.

5 upvotes
Ralf B
By Ralf B (6 months ago)

Also, because contrast detection autofocus generally happens on the main imaging sensor, hence on the plane the image is taken.

2 upvotes
dynaxx
By dynaxx (6 months ago)

Thanks very much Troj and Ralf ; a little confused though.

The reviewers say "The a7 uses a hybrid AF system, which puts 117 phase-detect points onto the camera's CMOS sensor, alongside 25 contrast-detect AF points". I know that contrast detection usually requires a couple of exploratory "detects" to find out if the image is front or back focused before it can head in the correct direction but I assume the phase detect points eliminate this step ( or is it the AF assist lamp that is criticised here ? ). If the coarse focussing is done using the phase detection/AF Assist lamp and the fine focussing done by contrast detect then your points about the absence of fine focus tuning tools make good sense.

0 upvotes
JohnEwing
By JohnEwing (6 months ago)

"Social media mavens"? Please expand.

0 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (6 months ago)

We need to report straight to Sony for problem with JPEG and for the RAW lossy compression. They really need to add feature for option to choose from using RAW max 14 bit or choose lossy compression of 12 bit. And we need to let them know there is a serious side effect problem with JPEG when using High ISO NR on even you are shooting as low iso as 50 or 100, still exhibit banding/posterisation/artifacts. Sharpening is good so far not as oversharpened like Nex 7. Sony people who work at Sony do not come here to see problems here. They expect to hear from you through phone call or email or through technical support. If you don't send, they don't know what is really happening.

1 upvote
Heaven is for real
By Heaven is for real (6 months ago)

How do you know they don't come here to read the reviews and comments about their cameras?

0 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

harold and SonyA7r are Sony employees? It would explain a lot.

1 upvote
naththo
By naththo (6 months ago)

Do you really have a clue what is a big company is about? "BIG COMPANY"

They are terribly busy staff often not having time to come here to sniff around with so hard to find real complaint but is constantly filling up with troll, flame, fanboy and brand bashing. And is hard to find real review here. Its very crowding in this comment/forum. They prefer to see you send the message to them through email, or through online support or contact them. Sony is a friggen huge company with not just Camera, computer, tv, etc etc etc go on long list of it. Same with Canon and Nikon. So please stop being SO LAZY and just send them message. FFSS

1 upvote
Heaven is for real
By Heaven is for real (6 months ago)

Natho, do you know who is Brian Smith? Look around on the Sony forums.

1 upvote
Kiril Karaatanasov
By Kiril Karaatanasov (6 months ago)

lossy compression is 14 bit as well!!!

DPr have no clue what they are discussing in that section. Sorry to have to go to such explanation.

Sony compression just record 7 or 8 bits per pixel and supplements few more bits of info on a group of (I remember 16 )similarly colored pixels.

They also apply a sort of curve to the RAW file to remove some highlight detail that is never reproduced in JPEGs and in this way focus more on shadow detail.

So RAW file is 14 bit.

I agree ti would be nice from Sony to add uncompressed RAW for comparison purpose and for situation one feels deserves the extra space.

A7 is higher end camera than M1 and A99 so certainly it needs a bit more options.

4 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov
By Kiril Karaatanasov (6 months ago)

On the BIG COMPANY. I too work for one and many of us engineers have a goal set to visit our forums and actually help users. So....

2 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

I don't know either way if Sony visit this forum but I know other companies do so it wold be surprising if Sony did not.

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (6 months ago)

"oversharpened, like NEX-7"? I use this camera since it came out, never have seen an oversharpened picture from it. What makes NEX-7 simply special is the fact that the sensor is the most sharp one you can find, what makes it a mess, is that beyond 200 Iso it's a crap. The sensor records that sharp, there is no sharpening in the camera when you work on RAW, and for jpeg, you can ask not to sharpen at all ro to reduce noise, despite that here, it looks like some is still applied, even when shut off. A NEX 7 sensor with a good noise ratio up to 3200 ISO would be a dream machine, maybe in 10 years, who knows.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Avobanana
By Avobanana (6 months ago)

I cannot find another reason why else a top of the line full frame Sony Exmor sensor would be beat up like that in a review based on questionable JPEG settings and test when it's superior RAW quality for its price AND size class were sidestepped completely.

Surely there is no objectivity when the reviewer started off by making fun of naming schemes.

10 upvotes
Avobanana
By Avobanana (6 months ago)

I agree with many points about handling and operational speed as well as auto ISO. But the image quality part is bull crap.

I own the 5D3 and many more canon lenses. And I don't own the A7 but A7R. I have used and seen samples from the A7 though. From my experience I can objectively say that the Sony beat the Canon flat out in image quality in both RAW and JPEG and bear in mind the Canon cost twice as much.

Strange that in the review of the 5D3 there isn't any dissecting of JPEG file to check for posterization and the likes. Neither for the EM1 which has such an upbeat tone throughout the review. Image quality were simply described as great or excellent for these cameras. Why not we put those images side by side and compare? Same price, same size what's stopping them? No they have to dig up obscure problems in JPEG.

It feels as if review works were done after they have a set opinion of a camera and then go out of their way to search for evidence to prove their point.

21 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (6 months ago)

Sony JPEG is as bad as Canon. JPEG = compressed file. Even if you use maximum quality, it still a compressed file. It compress everything, details, tonal range, colours bit, etc. Shoot RAW only and save the RAW as a archive. And use it to edit and save into JPEG file for web view, show off to your friends/family on tv or so, make slide show but leave RAW files intact in archive.

2 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov
By Kiril Karaatanasov (6 months ago)

Agree on this!

It is not the findings of the review. I would love every review to be this punctual.

It is the language and the sense that they somehow had to find things to complain about. Most of the cons apply to M1 just as much. The only one they mention in the M1 review is the problem with AF in poor light.

But M1 shares much more - JPEG over processing at default settings short battery life, compressed RAW to name a few. M1 even has other problems on its own that were skipped - I was amazed to see M1 has not enough processing power to keep decent frame rate with various options turned on. This is a huge problem for all Olympus cameras and DPR choose to ignore it review after review.

The D600 review too overlooks a bunch of issues that are a problem in daily use. Ok in that case they do skim through the issues but kind of do not include them in the overall rating in the cons secrtion.

13 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

@Kiril Karaaranasov

Whoa! Back up, this is too rich. You fanboys are now ok with that level of scrutiny in a review, you just wish it was applied to every camera review? So there's actually nothing wrong with the A7 review, the silver rating is warranted? After a 1000 comments and 3 days of whining, this is quite a reversal.

As for the E-M1 (you brought it up), you need to turn the assist lamp off on the E-M1 because low light focusing is hopeless with it?The E-M1 is slow? Buffer's pathetic? No charger with the camera? Problems with the eye sensor? Limited selection of lenses and the few out there are all outrageously expensive? You insist the E-M1 has many of the same cons as the A7 and this was ignored by DPR.

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

Hang on, Kiril makes a very valid point, and you lump it into a different context.

Read the M1 and A7 reviews again with Kiril's comment in mind - you'll see that he has a point. Your comment has not, other than an emotional outburst.

The A7 report is really overbearing and repetitive on what most users would consider a minor issue (JPG at 12,800 and above) and is slamming the camera for what many consider operator errors.

Sure, Sony may have gotten the 1/60th wrong, but any photographer would have marked this down and then use the camera the way he/she would have wanted it. Not the Sony way and then go 'but..."

Finding issues and reporting them is one thing. Weighing them uneven in different reports for different brands is another thing. Showing final judgement in which minor issues overshadow the achievements is just silly.

I know, it happened in the X100 review too, and it let to a good thing (new FW).

But ignoring all that this camera brings is a bit silly.

5 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

I've been here in this comment section since it started and had the chance to read all of Kiril's replies (ugh), I know he has been running like a headless chicken in all directions, I can easily spot his BS. He's selectively using this as is latest crotch, arguing that A7 had this as a con but Y camera didn't but should therefore A7 review is invalid. We had a discussion elsewhere we talked about the A7 cons DPR missed and of course, he's not going to argue for the consistency of having them included. These reviews are imperfect, they don't all come of the same mold, the same assembly line or from the same writer/reviewers so you take them as they are. Different.

And get out of the bubble for a moment and notice that I'm far from the only one who thinks the review is anal-retentive perhaps, but definitely fair.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
blue_skies
By blue_skies (6 months ago)

If you don't like the message, shoot the messenger?

Works on you the same way? Per your profile, you switched from A7/r to EM1 and you have been quite negative on the Nex forum since.

Buyers remorse or purchase justification?

Whatever Sony put out there, it seems to have rattled cages, as there are many, I mean many, posts showing up from non-users, both here in the comment section as on the forum boards.

If I don't own a product, why would I care to track it in forums and comment sections? Makes you wonder, doesn't it.

Kiril may have been inconsistent - I have no clue, did not read those conversations at all - but in context of his rebuttal, I must again say that he made a valid point.

Whether the camera worked for you or not, or whether another camera works better, or not, or whether Kiril and you have been at bat in a different conversation does not change this.

Can you comment in context of his post alone, ignoring all else?

3 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (6 months ago)

@bluevellet: What exactly do you mean by: "He's selectively using this as is latest crotch". Crotch? Really?

Your arguments have long lost coherence. You are swinging wildly at anyone who seems to have something positive to say about a camera that you have taken an irrational dislike to. With every utterance of the word "fanboy", you show your own intolerant "fanboyism".

Don't buy a Sony if you don't like or need one. And for your own sake, take a break. ;-)

4 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

Because from the first 5 or 6 pages, the review was bullocks. As in untrue, biased or whatever you want to call it. Then, briefly, in this part of the comment section, it switched to being accurate, but not even-handed compared to other camera reviews.

But today, it switched to a conspiracy/smear campaign.

So about you guys let Kiril defend himself instead butting in and second-guessing and just stick to the A7 and the review? That goes double for you, Dave, I don't interfere with your spat with Stu.

0 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (6 months ago)

I've a spat with Stu? Thanks for the news. I'd hardly call it a spat when I strongly disagree with someone.

By the way, do you know what the English speaking world understands by your use of the word "crotch"? Do you have a dictionary handy?

Why spend so much energy on a Sony product review article, when you clearly have nothing good to say about them?

Leave people to discuss the reviewed product and find out information on something they may be interested in purchasing. They aren't spending your money, nor is their purchase of a Sony, Pentax, Nikon, Canon or other brand intended to be an insult to you.

2 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

Yes, a spelling mistake, o instead u, amazing, such a thing as never happened on the internet and has never been used as a diversion.

If this review had been met with a collective shrug, there'd be nothing to discuss really. Everyone would have their say and then it would die. This is not the case though. And I'm discussing the product, just because I'm not cheerleading for it, it doesn't mean my take is any less valid. If you want 100% A7 gospel, I suggest the official Sony corp. forum. No much differing viewpoints over there. Nirvana.

1 upvote
mm1975
By mm1975 (6 months ago)

For a camera that was reviewed based on default settings, it is amazing how the review was ever done - I am pretty sure the default setting for the power button is OFF.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
21 upvotes
Ralf B
By Ralf B (6 months ago)

" I am pretty sure the default setting for the power button is OFF."
Touche!

6 upvotes
Grrrippp
By Grrrippp (6 months ago)

I doubt the default setting to be OFF, but the default location for the battery is within the packaging and not in the camera.

2 upvotes
Heaven is for real
By Heaven is for real (6 months ago)

Default settings is without a lens so I am glad they chose to use one to do their test ;-) and I hope it was not VIVITAR lens :-)

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Patrick Murphy-Racey
By Patrick Murphy-Racey (6 months ago)

I'vr been trusting DPR for years on reviews and until now, I've always found great advice, often the very first look at new products, and sound comment that usually is proven to be sage. After reading about a camera that I own, am continually amazed by, and which makes incredible images with any dang lens I want to stick on it, DPR's stock has dropped more than a few points. The A7 is a game changer. Any thoughtful photographer, or videographer for that matter, will see this is the case. I predict that the A7 will be the benchmark body that will mark the end of the Cold War that has raged between Nikon and Canon in the AF era. Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus, Hell, even Samsung are far ahead of the big two. It will be nice to see them play catch-up for a change... The D4 and 1DX don't have built-in flash, focus peaking, open lens mounts, or half the A7's weight, bulk and size. As for the review, I hope DPR will try again soon, and get it right this time... Mirror-Less is more.

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

DPR will get it "right" next time? As in the A7r?

Most of the cons from the A7 on top of shutter shock/lag/noise, color shift, slower at nearly everything, wide angle problem... I think it's unlikely.

2 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

So just because you own the camera you think it is perfect. If it was perfect it would be out selling the 6D, 5D MKIII, D800 and D610. As it is the sales are nowhere near doing that. It is not even close to outselling a single one of them. So the photographers you talk about don't agree with you. If they did they would be buying it. There has also been one in-depth review that looked at the video side of things and was critical.

The people who I know who use use DSLRs for video during their work will not touch the camera although when using full size video cameras they are happy to use Sony. They say it is just not good enough. They prefer using the 5D MIII as they say it is the better camera for their video needs compared to the A7/A7r.

Oh that cold war you talk about between Canon and Nikon in the AF era... it was started by Minolta. It took a while for Canon and Nikon to get on board but look how it ended up for Minolta...

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (6 months ago)

And the obvious fallacy pops up again, translating quality directly to best sales. If there were no other factors at play, why aren't wel all driving Lexus (higher consumer satisfaction, lower failure rates) instead of BMW/Audi/Mercedes?

Overlooking the other obvious fact that "we" are really comparing SUV's and sportscars again.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (6 months ago)

@Patrick Murphy-Racey: Nice to hear from another person who has put the camera through its paces.

Be prepared to hear from the gang here who don't like Sony and won't like you either for expressing a positive comment about their latest groundbreaking product. :-)

0 upvotes
guamy
By guamy (6 months ago)

That's a lot of money to pay for a conveniency plus bringing a wife to carry in her purse...it must be big purse, i bet.

0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (6 months ago)

Well yes that would be a lot of money if you bought it just because of its size. I think most are buying it because it has a nice ff sensor in it as well. It is a little bit bigger than my nex 6 with the zeiss 35mm on it so it easily fits into a small Camera bag or or I would say an average sized purse. I actually use the same camera bag I used for my nex 6. So going from that to a ff camera while. Maintaining the same bulk is great.

1 upvote
guamy
By guamy (6 months ago)

They just made the body thinner..but still not pocketable..what's their point of making thinner?... nada.

0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (6 months ago)

I'm not sure what you are comparing this camera too but as a long time slr user can tell you this is way more convenient to carry than my older systems. It isn't pocketable but I can convince my wife to hold in her purse for time to time. ;-)

4 upvotes
Heaven is for real
By Heaven is for real (6 months ago)

Out of the 1100 comments, I can count how many agreed with the review because probably they never tried the camera, never owned this camera or hate Sony in general. On the other hand, probably close to 95% A7 owners disapprove of the findings by DP in regards to JPG quality. How could 95% be so wrong or maybe DP is wrong? It is like majority of scientists believe global warming is man made and a few it is not!

20 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

You can see the problems on the samples from the test. Now if 95% of the A7 owners (a figure you are plucking out from the air) disapprove that shows they either cannot see the problems on the samples (a bit worrying) or they are in denial and just do not want to see the problem. The fact is DPR cannot be wrong if the evidence is in the photos and two cameras were tested by 3 reviewers. Or are you suggesting DPR faked the evidence?

3 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (6 months ago)

I would certainly make sense those who agree with the conclusion are uninformed 'Sony haters', whereas those folks who spent the best part of two grand on this camera or are heavily invested in Sony are totally nonpartisan. I used the camera, agreed with the review conclusions and yet I just ordered an RX100 II and use several NEX models regularly. I don't love or hate Sony, mainly because I struggle to form an emotional bond with a giant multinational conglomerate corporation, even if they make some great products.

6 upvotes
dynaxx
By dynaxx (6 months ago)

I think you put have your finger on the problem with this review Simon - if you and your reviewers struggle to form emotional bonds ( you don't mention whether the same struggle applies to financial bonds ) with big camera makers then this absence of passion leads to gloomy ( I called the tone doomladen in another post ) negative writing that dwells on defects and glories in artifacts. This downbeat review is upsetting your followers because groundbreaking cameras, even flawed groundbreaking cameras, should be celebrated not knocked.

When the first page includes a pitiful comment like "dubbed Bionz X for reasons that presumably made sense to someone" we all know what will follow.

Counselling is available.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
17 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (6 months ago)

I totally disagree Dynaxx. Doing so enables them to be objective, not emotionally tied to a multinational conglomerate corporation.

Ya got to me kidding me.

C

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
dynaxx
By dynaxx (6 months ago)

true pro's ( such as sports commentators ) can suspend their personal allegiances for the duration of the task at hand - how can you be passionate about photography without love for the camera/lens/sensor makers who develop improved tools for the artform ?

4 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

"Those JPEG's look strange and I missed several photo ops because the camera was napping, but boy, do I love Sony. Flaws? What flaws? To hell with the review, let's just give it a gold award!"

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Kiril Karaatanasov
By Kiril Karaatanasov (6 months ago)

@Simon guys I wish you keep the same level of punctuality as you do with A7 on every review you guys make.

Unfortunately form my own experience with other cameras like M1 and D600 I see you overlook issues on those cameras to produce a positive rating.

M1 for example has too slow of a processor for the many functions it offers and it struggles often to respond sometimes even blocks. I did not see this in the cons section.

D600 had far too many ergonomic compromises that you mentioned lightly in the review and those are a substantial problem in daily use. Much bigger problem that A7s manual focusing Aids or iso settings.

3 upvotes
HFLM
By HFLM (6 months ago)

That comes down to PERSONAL preference! I had the A7 alongside the D610 and EM1 (I own now the last two). I wanted to go mirror less for all my bodies but chose against Sony. Although I liked it a lot it was not right for ME. The other two felt better in my hands, where quicker to respond. The D610 image quality is at least on par with the Sony, in my and other opinions even better (http://photographylife.com/sony-a7-vs-nikon-d600-iso-performance). I didn't like the delays (EVF switching off often, takes some time to be usable again) and the battery life (honestly, one should add the charger and 3 batteries to the price, as well as some lens adapters, as there are too few right now). EVF wasn't as good as my EM1s in MY opinion and many review sites see this similarly. I admire Sonys management decision to go for it. But don't take this review personal. It's very good in my opinion, much more detailed than what you find elsewhere. If you don't agree ignore the negative points.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (6 months ago)

@dyanaxxx "you don't mention whether the same struggle applies to financial bonds"

What exactly are you implying?

0 upvotes
dynaxx
By dynaxx (6 months ago)

Hello Barney,

Simon's touching admission about his emotional bonding struggles with big camera companies opened the door to a humorous, I hoped, jibe about "payola" influenced reviews so I walked right on in.

It was tongue-in-cheek and, unlike quite a few posters here, I really don't think the reviews are influenced by your big bookstore company owners.

On a more serious note, I can't believe that all your reviewers are like Simon and have no personal attachments to camera/optics makers. I see no problem if you have and like I said below somewhere when someone disagreed with my point, part of being a professional journalist is that you can suppress these allegiances when at work.

The review was gloomy in tone from page 1 and I think the reason is more likely having a team rather than one reviewer, not bias.

In fact, I was easy on Simon because, by chance, I was reading his old review of the Fuji S5 Pro and he lists the ABSENCE of Raw compression as a ..... CON !

3 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (6 months ago)

@Simon Joinson, didn't your infallible DPReview bomb the RX100 II in that review? Now you ordered one. This should be a comedy on some channel.

By the way, good choice on the Sony - I've an RX100 II in my own bag and love it. Of course it doesn't replace my Phase One if anyone is going to go down that route as an argument.

@dynaxx, you are making some good points! Very good points! How innocent was Barney's question though? lol

1 upvote
dynaxx
By dynaxx (6 months ago)

Thanks Dave. Methinks Simon/Barney/Shawn "doth protest too much" though, as old Will Shakespeare put it and, as we all know, the over-defensive are as guilty as sin.

It was a poor review ( the first impressions review was equally negative ) on many levels and no amount of faffing from DPR can undo the damage ; if it was not because of bias then the only alternatives are incompetence, time pressure or disgruntled writers. Pick almost any other review from a few years back ( even those that grant no awards ) and the tone is very different

1 upvote
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (6 months ago)

1) I love cameras, and i love photography. I have a fondness for many models, and I know some brands do certain things better, but none have my blind loyalty. And I do not 'love' or 'hate' any camera manufacturer. I've been working, independently, in this industry for well over half my life, and i've been lucky that I always had access to any camera I wanted. I own many cameras, some 100 years + old, some new, and have owned scores more. All the brands make some great, some good and a few terrible cameras. To suggest anyone that doesn't agree with your opinion is a 'Sony hater' is simply childish. 2) The S5 Pro review was almost 6 yrs ago, when storage was expensive. The complaint was valid (you can compress raw files losslessly) 3) The RX100 II is not perfect, but it got a high score, a silver award and was described as 'best in class'. It got our 'enthusiast compact of the year' award. I also own a Fuji X100, which is also far from perfect. Your point scoring is missing the point.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (6 months ago)

The only thing that surprises me from the DPR staff is how they put up with some of the personal attacks from average folk here, without removing them from the site. That is patience and thick skin if I've ever seen it . Truly remarkable.

2 upvotes
dynaxx
By dynaxx (6 months ago)

Thanks for the clarification Simon and for the declaration of love of photography that I share. You are responding to multiple points from multiple posters, I know, but to make things clear I have never accused anyone of being a Sony hater ever on this forum. My point is that a poor review of an important camera undermines your reputation and needs to be investigated.

1 upvote
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (6 months ago)

@cgarrard A forum with just cgarrard wouldn't be much of a forum.

Learn to accept difference and argue your point. Embrace the passion people have for their interests and the conviction with which they hold opinions or buzz off (only joking, seriously, just joking on the buzz off part).

DPReview have that part right, even if it "surprises" you.

0 upvotes
jennyrae
By jennyrae (6 months ago)

initial impression on A7 is very good. did not fully test yet because did not buy camera because 24-70mm not yet available. AF is very good and better than RX1. jpeg cannot say if there is problem. also, like RX1, interface is very poor as usual. I cannot see A7 top RX1. but A7 is good partner with RX1 if with 24-70mm lens.

2 upvotes
Jonath
By Jonath (6 months ago)

This is honestly not a cynical comment and is aimed more at Sony than DP, but I recall that Sony restricted sale of the A7 and particularly the A7r to its own store and selected retailers which didn't include Amazon for several months, certainly in the UK. Will the next version be sold through Amazon from launch in future? Will be interesting to see...

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (6 months ago)

I'm pretty sure it was available from Amazon in the US from day one.

1 upvote
quezra
By quezra (6 months ago)

Er Amazon UK/FR/DE were among the first to get the A7 outside Asia, certainly UK A7 owners were showing off their shiny new toys before anyone in the US got theirs. I received my pre-ordered A7 on Dec 2 or 3 in the US (via B&H), but it got delayed a day by snow. UK online orders had theirs late November. B&H did pull a fast one in the US, releasing about a week earlier than the official launch date that Amazon and Adorama followed. Who's fault that was (or whether it was simple miscommunication) is anybody's guess.

3 upvotes
Jonath
By Jonath (6 months ago)

A7r wasn't available in Europe on Amazon till December as I recall and certainly a good few months after launch. Recall A7 on amazon US early (but A7R not straight away) will check sources. Again, not cynical but wonder if it will change their approach to distribution? Was an early adopter so recall deciding where to purchase from and amazon not being an option.

0 upvotes
quezra
By quezra (6 months ago)

This is only the second month the A7 has been available so "a good few months" isn't physically possible. Did you pre-order? If you weren't early in the pre-order queue it's possible you had to wait for a second shipment.

2 upvotes
Jonath
By Jonath (6 months ago)

I ordered on day one, actually the a7 cancelled and then ordered an A7r two days later, from Sony UK. I wanted to buy a pre-order from amazon for obvious reasons but couldn't. I recall checking back several times and it wasn't available for pre-order for quite a while. I just checked the site and it says it was available from launch in the meta data, but that isn't true, I know as I looked several times, maybe its picking up US data?

0 upvotes
quezra
By quezra (6 months ago)

I don't know about the A7, but I do remember the FE 55/1.8 being available for preorder on Amazon UK for a great price of £718 at the lowest... then it disappeared (I know because I had it in my wishlist, and the product suddenly went 'unavailable') for quite a while and when it reappeared it was up above £900. Maybe the same happened to your A7r?

1 upvote
Jonath
By Jonath (6 months ago)

Maybe. I just remember checking obsessively as I spend thousands a year on Amazon. UK site never had it, not even a listing till well after launch, baffled its showing as available from launch in the data, A7R isn't a difficult search string to type!

0 upvotes
Viramati
By Viramati (6 months ago)

I have they A7 and FE55 and FE35 and am blown away with the results I'm getting from this little gem. I actually used it on a job last night along with my leica M and found that the A7 did most of the work. I personally give it a platinum award!!!
I would add that this is the first time that I have owned or used a Sony camera and that I mostly have used the Leica M system for my recent work both personal and professional

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

"and am blown away with the results"

You should get out more often. Market right now is full of cameras which can "blow" you "away with the results."

And many of them, lenses included, can be had for the half price of one M body.

1 upvote
Charlie Lab
By Charlie Lab (6 months ago)

Good to finally have a full review up. I tend to agree that the "cons" were weighted more that I would have done, but overall a pretty fair assessment. I like what Sony has done with the A7/A7R and if I were buying a new camera today, it would be one of these. Not perfect, but very good for my style.

GREAT for landscape & street photography, natural light portraits, & using older manual-focus lenses. The accuracy of CDAF focus should be noted in addition to the slower focus compared to PDAF. Small/light weight FF such a huge plus.

NOT GREAT for fast action or sophisticated flash work. Limited glass selection means it is (temporarily) limited in native lens use.

I appreciate that the reviewers did not like the "feel" of the camera - as shown by the lowest score in "ergonomics and handling" - but also recognize this is the most subjective of sections, and the most customizable.

Overall, Sony deserves to be applauded for innovation, this pushes the art of Photography forward.

2 upvotes
Viramati
By Viramati (6 months ago)

after using a Leica M the ergonomics of the A& are like being in heaven at least as far as the grip is concerned

12 upvotes
YSP
By YSP (6 months ago)

Once again, ditto: Canon, Nikon, & other camera manufacturers:

Bring out a compact, lightweight (Please notice the 1st two keywords here are "compact"--not full size camera bodies, & "lightweight"--vs: full/large-size & HEAVY DSLR body-types), full-frame, weather-sealed, interchangeable lens format, digital-image camera, etc, then let the fair comparisons begin. (*Remember the "Mack semi vs the Ford pickup truck scenario" I referred to earlier; they're both vehicles mind-you but, different categories altogether. The same can be said here, digital full-frame camera's (vehicles) yes but, different categories altogether: "compact/lightweight vs full-size/heavier bodies").

Also like others here have said, Sony has been known (like other camera makers) to update/improve their cameras via downloadable hardware updates to fix issues from slow-startup speeds to jpeg compression/processing ratios - meaning problems cited in the "DPR jpeg issues realm." Just wait for the improvements to come

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
DT200
By DT200 (6 months ago)

And when you make the bodies smaller, don't cripple them like Sony did. The A7 focuses poorly in doors and can't follow moving subjects. Oh, and make it operate faster than the Sony and don't settle for 1.5 or 2 FPS continuous shooting while focusing (even entry level cameras these days aren't that slow!).
Also, make them work with more than 3 native lenses and sell those lenses for under $1000.
Then you'll get the Gold Award.

3 upvotes
Paullubbock
By Paullubbock (6 months ago)

I like the idea of small compact full frame cameras. It would be nice to also have affordable compact lenses to go with them. I have had great fun with the inexpensive Canon EOS M because it is so small and easy to carry around and have bought all the available lenses for it. I have tried full size L lenses like the 24-105 and it works fantastic but now the lens is twice as big as the camera and weighs twice as much.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

EF-M lenses are simply the best in quality at lowest price. EF-M 22/2 beats nearly every aspect of Sony 24/1.8 except it got a bit smaller aperture.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
dynaxx
By dynaxx (6 months ago)

even if the big 2 were capable of making a full-frame mirrorless camera ( Nikon definitely are not ) then their primary motivation, profitability, would stop the project before it got to the drawing board. Years of heavy spending on advertising at the expense of R & D is coming home to roost

2 upvotes
obayedh
By obayedh (6 months ago)

@ Shawn Barnett

Did you actually test/shoot the a7/r JPEG? Just wondering! :)

5 upvotes
Richard Franiec
By Richard Franiec (6 months ago)

I would like to suggest running four reviews for every piece of gear as follow:
1. As is: for people who want to find out results of controlled testing (strict statistical sampling data) and also personal experience of the reviewer(s) - for open-minded - keep this as standard format.
2. The review containing only pros, cons and award badge for slackers. Maybe you can even divide this into sub categories:
-fanbois and some owners of the gear in question (gold badge)
-haters of the brand or concept (no award whatsoever)
-not interested in any way in the gear but willing to chime in (the question mark (?) award).

LOL.

Most importantly, don't worry if your opinion seems unorthodox and does not stick well with the impressions of other luminaries - more power to you thanks to your vigilance and honesty.

2 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (6 months ago)

@Richard Franiec: I know you meant it as a joke, but that would solve a lot of problems here if implemented. lol

The reality is that no one is 100% right in these situations. Not the reviewer. Not those who expected to see different results. And certainly not the flock who migrate to articles on brands they don't like, just to poop all over positive or constructive comment.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (6 months ago)

One thing that bodes well for Sony is that their fan base seems almost as fired up as Nikon (who simply cannot do anything wrong). In a world full of excellent cameras, having customers who take comments about anything less than perfection as vicious slander, this unquestioning loyalty is nice to have.

6 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (6 months ago)

Sony is a med/small player in the camera market and this is not that much their fan base, but more likely people inspired by innovation!
The diffusion of innovation theory - simple!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffusion_of_innovations

First 2.5% innovators + second 13.5% early adopters = Sony A7/r
At the oposote end last 16% Laggards = Nikon D600, Can 6D!
The huge number of comments is a result of this review creating confrontation of exactly those two groups!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
obayedh
By obayedh (6 months ago)

It's fun to be a Canon fanboy and I understand that!

Did you use the a7/r? Read all the reviews on the Net and read the dpreview one and see how biased it is. The camera is not perfect and no camera does. The shutter noise is worse than even any other Sony cameras, but saying JPEG image quality is worse is a deliberately misleading information IMHO.

It does not cost to be honest and being neutral my friend! :)

12 upvotes
le_alain
By le_alain (6 months ago)

be honest :)
each one is opinion.
I read in another review the jpeg engine was the best ever done in a camera ...
And I thought, why wrote such a malhonnest information ?

3 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (6 months ago)

@AbrasiveReducer: I'd say that the majority of Sony camera users couldn't care less about the review. They're just happy to use the product. Same with Nikon, Canon, Leica, etc. users.

Not sure which is yours. I can tell by the tone of your comment, I may have hit on it in that list ;-)

The issues here seem more directed at DPReview and their review strategy. You'll find similar comments expressed after other reviews where great products get smacked down for reasons that make sense to the site. Then you have people who don't use, and never will use the product, piling in to give their 2 cent's worth.

1 upvote
NCB
By NCB (6 months ago)

Of course the D600 and 6D are peer to the A7. They all use FF sensors, they are all essentially exchangeable lens camera, they all have a typical range of features, and they compete with each other. The fact that the A7 uses an EVF is a technical detail. It's an important detail, because some people will think that's good and some people will think it isn't; for a lot of people, though, it's not a deal breaker.
Strikes me this is an honest, informed review. Whether it puts people off the camera or not depends totally on the priorities of each individual, as always. Bottom line is, the A7 breaks new ground, for which it should be applauded, and has a number of weak points. Sony can and should fix some of them (A8?). Some of them are inherent in the concept, which is why Nikon and Canon will remain stiff competition.

5 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

And unless the problems are pointed out they will never be sorted out in the future models. If everybody just excepts it as it is the camera will never develop. There would be no point Sony wasting money on improving it.

1 upvote
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (6 months ago)

The D600 and 6D share the same features (FF sensor and interchangeable lenses) with Leica models as well, but I've never seen them comapred or put in one category with Leica camerasl!
The Nikon D4 and Canon 1D have even more common features with D600 and 6D than the A7 (including major feature mirror, prism & PDAF) but according to DPR are different categories, why? Any tendency here?

3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (6 months ago)

The reality is that most of the people who buy this stuff are not cost-no-object professionals so the price creates separate categories.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
NCB
By NCB (6 months ago)

Everlast66 - The D4 and 1D don't compete with the D600 and 6D; different markets. The D600 and and 6D do compete with the A7; same market. The Df doesn't compete with any of the above; unique market. Likewise Leica; unique market.

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (6 months ago)

Just because a sports car and SUV are in the same price range, doesn't mean they operate in the same specific market.

2 upvotes
WhiteBeard
By WhiteBeard (6 months ago)

"Strikes me this is an honest, informed review"
The main problem with this review is the JPEG appraisal. Not only do the studio shots completely contradict their conclusions, but they even removed from this forum a post with a link from an A7 owner bashing their conclusions. Something's wrong here...

4 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (6 months ago)

@NCB
This is the problem - categories are not a scientific FACT but peoples PREFERENCE if you think D600 and 6D are one category with the A7, for others A7 and Leica M models are one category and DSLRs are totally different category and irrelevant!
So for some this review makes sense for most it does not and this is obvious by the comments.

1 upvote
Hemisfear
By Hemisfear (6 months ago)

Something seems rotten in Denmark, or at lest DPReview!
There are some serious issues with this review!
Either camera payola, a lack of understanding or very poor reviewing skills is in full effect on this one!
Poor Jpegs? They didn't like Focus Peaking, WTF!!!!!!!!!
It's my thinking that everyone is owed an apology on this one! lol

15 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

So your honestly saying you cannot see the problems in the jpegs... they take a split second to see.

4 upvotes
WhiteBeard
By WhiteBeard (6 months ago)

Take a closer look at the studio shots at 3200 ISO and reconsider...

3 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (6 months ago)

From now on, imagine the Con in reviews if the camera lacks focus peaking!
If that doesn't happen, there is a problem in Denmark ...

2 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (6 months ago)

Apart form some noticable bias in the reviewer agains the A7/r I think the problem with most DPR reviews is ULTIMATELY their camera categorisation. It has not been clearly defined and the easiest way to mark down a cmera is to include in the wrong or higher category and then slam it as much as you like comparing to the other cameras there.
Sony's comeptitor to Nikon D600, Can 6D is A99 and it is clearly a completely different product comared to A7. Obviously A7 is not designed to compete with D600/6D and is not trying to do what these cameras do. Why DPR did not compare to any of the Leicas?!?
This is like comparing the first gen iPad to a TV or full spec-laptop when it was first announced! If there are no competitors to certain product it should just get a Gold Award and thats it - simple.

16 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

This is from the Sony press release:

The new α7 from Sony delivers all of the advantages of a 35mm full frame image sensor and lens interchangeability in a truly compact body. Without compromising on image quality, shooting comfort, functionality or AF performance, the α7 delivers stunning photographs that were previously only possible on large high-end cameras.

So try telling Sony that it should not be compared to a Nikon D610, Canon 6D etc.

5 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (6 months ago)

@ Stu 5
The statement that you are not compromising on AF performance in not completely true indeed or at least misleading. However, you have to keep in mind that marketing statements are always full with statements that can not be proven and misleading.
For example from Canon 6D site:
"The EOS 6D DSLR camera is the ideal tool for unlocking your creative vision."
How can they prove this is the ideal tool, actually I would rather think a Leica or the Sony A7/r would be even more suitable to unlock your creative vision!

4 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

Everlast66 that is not the same thing though, they are not comparing it to another camera. They are simple stating that the camera is ideal for unlocking your creative vision. They are not even saying another could not do that either.

Sonys statement is comparing it to other cameras though. That is a big difference. As soon as they said that they have made it fair game to compare it to D610, 6D, 5D, MKIII and D800 etc.

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

I think many members are opposed to the review comparison simply because it is unfavorable to the A7.

The same thing would have happened if compared to other mirrorless (cropped-sensor) cameras. The A7 would have shown a relative edge in IQ to then be crushed by a simple performance and operational comparison.

1 upvote
blue_skies
By blue_skies (6 months ago)

I think that both statements are a bit of a stretch.

I am reading on the Nex forum user comments on the review, and it is not about the unfavorable rating, it is about the review not reflecting the typical professionalism that we were used to from DPR.

I sense no conspiracy here, just inadequacy.

And what camera exactly would crush the A7? That is such as stretch - heck, any P&S would crush any mirrorless camera because it is simply smaller. But that doesn't mean anything to a (would-be) user. You sound like the biased one here, not DPR.

But DPR would have done everyone a favor by recognizing the camera for what it brings,. This camera is opening a new chapter and that is something worth highlighting.

A (late) review that goes against the typical user experience deserves questioning. Users would point out quirks as well, but they would surely be more balanced about what the camera does, and does not, in a final score.

If any camera crushes, it is the A7 doing the crushing...

1 upvote
AsifR
By AsifR (6 months ago)

Love the A7R. Using it with my Canon Zeiss 50mm 1.2. It seems to fit my shooting style -where every picture is deliberate. Definitely not for fast shooting environments, or for capturing sport shots. Great as a street camera since the noise level is so low even in high ISO.
Check out some of my images below (all images untouched -just converted from RAW to jpeg in Lightroom)
http://flic.kr/s/aHsjRbnxy8

Cheers,
-Asif

6 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

Was the first one shot through a window as I am wondering what are all the marks in the sky and the smearing on the word 'bank' and the small bright mark just above and to the left of the word 'branch'?

0 upvotes
AsifR
By AsifR (6 months ago)

Interesting observation. I was actually outdoors. Not sure where the blue markings are from. Dirty lens, maybe? The smearing on the Bank is similar to the smearing on PNC. It looks the same on the raw file as well.

0 upvotes
WhiteBeard
By WhiteBeard (6 months ago)

"Canon-Zeiss"? ? ?

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

Just had another look but this time the largest file. The coloured Blob on the building looks the same. They are sort of greenish/blueish. There is also that bright green traffic light in the photo as well. Is there a connection? You took another photo afterwards of the billing. That one only has one faint mark on it so unless you cleaned your lens in-between? They almost look like some sort of reflection hence why I asked about the window.

0 upvotes
AsifR
By AsifR (6 months ago)

Canon mount Zeiss 50mm 1.4. I am using a Metabones adapter.

Stu, Thanks for checking. Yeah, I did not see that mark on the subsequent photo, and I did not clean the lens in-between either. It may be reflection related.

0 upvotes
AsifR
By AsifR (6 months ago)

I think I know what happened. Upon closer inspection, there seems to be really tiny "water spots" on the UV filter in the same exact sequence as the spots in the picture. I have never seen them affect a pic before.

0 upvotes
YSP
By YSP (6 months ago)

@Mrrowe8 & Shawn Barnett

*Merriam Webster's definition of the word "peer:"
"Full Definition of PEER
1: one that is of equal standing with another : equal; especially : one belonging to the same societal group especially based on age, grade, or status."

Comparing the A7 camera to a different and UNEQUAL class, is not the way it should be handled or considered. And the reason is... this camera is in a WAY DIFFERENT CLASS from the DSLR's that have been around for Quite A WHILE. There is no "bull" in that statement either.

As I had mentioned or hinted too in my prior statement, IF & WHEN Canon & Nikon (or whoever) bring out a compact body - interchangeable lens format - full-frame - digital camera - that is in the Sony A7's class, then let the "peer-comparisons" begin. But only the most recent camera versions--of course--equal in every form.

*http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/peer

7 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

As in digital, full frame, interchangeable lens camera class.

0 upvotes
quezra
By quezra (6 months ago)

"Heavily processed"? You admitted that the JPEG engine did a better job than your RAWs without artifacts until ISO12,800; You criticised NR at the highest setting for being too strong, you admit the posterization is occasional and very hard to see. The problem is on the one hand you think there are people who use JPEGs but heavily PP; or that those who want the camera to do the PP work for them are unaware of how to tweak the settings to their liking. The truth is, if a JPEG user intends to PP a lot he should be using RAW (duh), and if they intend not to, they are probably not pixelpeepers but should be informed of the plethora of in-camera customization options that cover sharpening, NR, contrast, etc. Instead you have this weird amalgam of JPEG user who PPs a lot who also pixel peeps... these are two different types of user. The JPEG user should be directed to the camera settings, the PP/pixelpeepers should be using RAW. This is true of every camera, not just the A7

1 upvote
quezra
By quezra (6 months ago)

The only way you can complain about in-camera tweaking options if the highest setting isn't strong enough, or the lowest setting is too strong. The highest setting being too strong requires a simple fix: knock it down a notch. The lowest setting being to weak... erm hit it up a notch. But I'm not sure on what planet having a range of options for people with differing tastes is a 'con' on the camera just because you didn't like it at a particular setting.

2 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

That would be fine if you needed to pixel peep to see the issues but you don't. You can see the problems at smaller sizes as well.

0 upvotes
quezra
By quezra (6 months ago)

I have over 1,000 A7 JPEGs in my library. Can't find a single instance of posterization, heavy NR (I switched mine to low on day 1!), or sharpening artifacts.

2 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (6 months ago)

From above:
...from Canon 6D site:
"The EOS 6D DSLR camera is the ideal tool for unlocking your creative vision."

I guess it should be beaten to death if it doesn't compare well to the new Hassy 50MP ...

1 upvote
KL Matt
By KL Matt (6 months ago)

Shawn, it surprises me to see you write things like "If not [a DSLR], then to which camera would you have us compare it?" Obviously the only full frame cameras that are in any way similar to the A7/r are Leicas. Considering what they cost, the revolutionary nature of the Sony becomes even clearer.

0 upvotes
travelshots_dpr
By travelshots_dpr (6 months ago)

I don't get why Dpreview criticises the JPG quality. In my eyes, JPG quality of A7 exceeds the quality of the JPGs of the cameras that Drpreview has compared. ISO 6400 easily shows that A7 retains better detail. Not only in high contrast, but often also in low contrast. Yes, the JPGs might be heaviey processed, but that's what camera JPGs are for: Getting readily processed images out of the Cam. For everyting else, RAW is the choice.

12 upvotes
texascbx
By texascbx (6 months ago)

I think the review was skewed. Sony generally gets slammed for doing new things. But Sony is totally off track with their lens selection and the prices they charge are as always, outrageous for their mediocre lenses and unreal for their good lenses.

7 upvotes
DT200
By DT200 (6 months ago)

We knew this was coming. When the A7 was announce and long before anyone had tried one, these same Sony fans were creating threads in every forum about how it will be the best camera ever. Before ever holding one some were convinced it would get a Gold awards and the highest rating.
The facts are different though. When compared to a year old D600, there is nothing the camera does better except that you can attach more legacy lenses to it, but you have to manually focus. Beside the D600 doing everything better, you can attach more legacy lenses that can auto-focus, something the very large majority of camera users prefer (oh and there are a few hundred manual focus legacy lenses in every shape and size that work on the D600 too).
It is nice that Sony was able to remove the grip and superior focus system from a DSLR to make a camera smaller, but it adds many severe limitations. When you look at how the camera performs, clearly the A7 should be rated somewhere below the D600.

6 upvotes
Camley
By Camley (6 months ago)

Are you saying that the Sony fans behave differently from the other camera forum fans!
Unfortunately Popular Photography reviewed the A7r and not the a7. However, they said "With the A7r, Sony has provided some of the best imaging performance you can get, and done it with a camera small enough and light enough to bring with you wherever you want to go. And that in short, is why we've named it our 2013 Camera of the Year".
They also say the "For the highest-quality images possible from an ILC today, the Alpha 7R is your best option by far.
I think that is why Sony fans like these cameras so much.

11 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (6 months ago)

"When you look at how the camera performs, clearly the A7 should be rated somewhere below the D600"

...or you would lose sleep over it? ;)

They're not even operating in the same class, regardless of what any review says. Mirrorless cameras are generally not directly targeted as DSLR replacements.
And in this case, because if you're looking for a FF camera with a good LV experience, one that fits practically any glass in existence, shoots 1080P at 60 fps, one that is lightweight and relatively small, especially with small primes, shoots up to 1/8000s as a bonus and offers a good sensor to boot, there is no substitute.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

I am just wondering Camley do you think Sony would have taken out a massive advertising feature in the next issue if it had not got such a great review in the previous one?

0 upvotes
Camley
By Camley (6 months ago)

Stu 5, Sony advertises all over the media. Is it just possible that the a7r got a good review because it is a good camera?
Test results are published with the article. Other cameras get good reviews in Popular Photography. Which camera do you use - I will check to see if it got a good review.

2 upvotes
WhiteBeard
By WhiteBeard (6 months ago)

"clearly the A7 should be rated somewhere below the D600"
...if it weren't for the D600's inferior IQ and lack of detail in high ISO JPEG shots. I have neither camera nor do I own any other Sony of Nikon gear; I just analyze the DPR studio shots and come to my own conclusions.

1 upvote
fahfah
By fahfah (6 months ago)

If this doesn't convince you that DP has a ridiculous bias AGAINST Sony, nothing will.

15 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (6 months ago)

and yet we named the RX100 as Best high-end pocketable compact, the RX100 II as Best enthusiast compact camera a couple of months ago

Of the 32 Gold awards we've ever given, Sony is in second position:

Canon 8 Sony 7 Nikon 5 Olympus 3 Pentax 3 Panasonic 3 Fujifilm 3 Ricoh 1

Sony is also tied for number 2 (with Nikon) in the Silver Award leaderboard, at 14, (Canon has 17).

Explain to me exactly how the decision to give this particular camera a silver award shows evidence ridiculous bias?

13 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

Simon they will not like you pointing out the facts like that! :-)

4 upvotes
jonny1976
By jonny1976 (6 months ago)

simon they are sick people..every review out there states the poor handling poor shutter and poor af...three things that make a camera a faulty camera with a great sensor...i tried it in ashop and really i was ready to buy it for use my pentax ff lenses, but the camera feel strange, the shutter sound is awful the af is subpar in low light and normal in good...two af lenses...this is a good camera for those who like to manual focus

1 upvote
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

Or just buy it to hang around their neck and there is a huge amount of those people out there. I use to sell cameras to them on a regular basis. Great for business.

0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (6 months ago)

Looking at the awards distribution I would say Sony has done pretty good. It also shows that there doesn't seem to be any visible evidence of a bias here. Considering how much dpreview scrutinizes all the cameras they review I always found if a camera got an 80% or higher, that usually means it is a pretty darn good camera. So being a certified Sony fanboy I was happy to see the a7 getting an 80% and silver award.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (6 months ago)

Go Simon, love it. Just remember though, pointing out facts to them seems to bring out even more denial. Either way.. great review. Honest.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (6 months ago)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have gone through the Looking Glass...

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (6 months ago)

I think the person who wrote this review was either drunk or is just looking for reasons to write the camera down the drain.

The quality of this review isn't worth the disk space it is stored on.

It is a fine camera, period

23 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

If you bothered to read it fully you would know the camera was reviewed by three people:

Jeff Keller, Shawn Barnett, R Butler

They also tested two copies of it to make sure they did not have a bad copy as well. The camera is far from perfect.

8 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

@Iggy: "it's a fine camera. Period."

That's so convincing. I give up. Do you have a fine Sony fridge as well?

4 upvotes
JakeB
By JakeB (6 months ago)

Translation: The reviewer had the nerve to point out flaws in a camera I own. WAAAA!!!!

2 upvotes
Camley
By Camley (6 months ago)

Stu 5 why are you always so negative? All cameras are far from perfect. What camera do you use?

5 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (6 months ago)

I see Stu 5 make lots of negativity toward any camera.

2 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

It is not being negative, it is being realistic. The camera has problems. It is known it was rushed to market and it shows. Sony have cut cost by using parts from RX1 rather than design the camera from scratch. Even though they design their own sensors they used existing ones which have been around for a little while. They could have designed a sensor from scratch that could have worked with an EFC in the A7r but they did not bother. It is pointless saying there is nothing wrong with the jpegs when the issues with them can be seen. The trouble is a few people are just sticking their heads in the sand in denial about the above average problems the camera has.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (6 months ago)

"They could have designed a sensor from scratch that could have worked with an EFC in the A7r but they did not bother."

Simplistic reasoning. Unless you work in the sensor business and more specifically at Sony Semiconductors, you have no idea whether that is currently possible, especially at a point of cost that would even warrant bringing out the camera to begin with.

But let's talk about your sales statistics again. ;)

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
WhiteBeard
By WhiteBeard (6 months ago)

There is something definitely wrong with this review, I am no Sony fanboy but an engineer: facts matter. What they show on the tests just don't align with their conclusions. I used to love DPReview - still do, in a way - but this time, I think they should really do a follow-up review.

3 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

TrojMacReady if that is the case it is quite simple you either bring it out as a more expensive camera with the EFC or you don't bring it out at all until you have developed a sensor that can have a EFC. What you do not do is bring it as it is and then say the problem does not exist.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (6 months ago)

Where did they state that shutter shake does not exist? All cameras without EFC suffer from it to some extend under certain conditions, lighter cameras generally more than heavier. See also certain Leica cameras.

It's like saying Nikon should have never marketed the D800 either. Silly claims when there's plenty ways to exploit that resolution still.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

The problem with Sony is they know how to make a good sensor (and a good transistor radio), but have no clue as to what makes a good camera.

Well, it's not really a problem, as there are sufficient camera makers around.

I'll make an exception for the RX1, which is nice, if only it had a viewfinder.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
quezra
By quezra (6 months ago)

Funny you slam the A7 but praise the RX1 since they have nearly identical controls... the A7 is so clearly based off the RX1 it even inherits several of its flaws (e.g. shutter button location, the ridge and hard to reach menu/C2 buttons)

8 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

Actually I only praised one Sony camera to elicit just the kind of reply you just gave. I like the RX1 for its image quality and apparent simplicity with a fixed 35. It needs a viewfinder of course, and the handling sucks.

Still.... nice camera.

3 upvotes
Grrrippp
By Grrrippp (6 months ago)

Handling or handler?

1 upvote
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

Grippppppppppp, let's put it this way. I grew up with what I consider "real" cameras, beginning with a Werra. Awful handling by the way. The handling of slrs, size, weight, dials, knobs and ergonomics in general wise, has never been surpassed, and is only equalled (leaving weight out of the equation) by pro quality dslr's and Leica M. The A7 is severely lacking in that department.

I've been shooting with a fully manual slr this week. So much better than gazing at a display and diving into menus, layer by layer.

2 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

Beware of the Werra is what we use to say in retail. Looked nice but not great handling as you say. And not the most reliable camera either. We stopped buying them secondhand as they always went wrong on us when we offered a 6 month guarantee.

0 upvotes
Grrrippp
By Grrrippp (6 months ago)

@MikeF4Black

I don't feel the urge to dive in the menu at all. And the ergonomics of the camera hasn't prevented me a single time from getting the shot... since the camera was set up.

It's the same process for every new device. It's like getting to know your car, your laptop, pretty much everything new.
The camera customisable to a very large extent and you can make it work the way you want it.

Here's what I did - quite straightforward:

-Enable flight mode (pretty much doubles battery life)
-Enable raw (or disable NR)
-Clear out the fn Menu
-Configure your buttons and remove ISO from the dial
-Dial in A or M with auto ISO
-Disable image review
-Remove the clutter from the display windows on LCD and EVF
-Enable peaking and configure it (mine:high yellow)
-Set display to EVF only or Auto (now it's a pain you can't configure the LCD for reviewing)
-Swich to M mode whenever light gets low
-Start shooting

Ever since, I haven't dug in the menu a single time.

3 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

@Stu5: I have fond memories of that Werra. I must have been 14 or 15. Never certain if your roll of film was properly inserted, no rangefinder, no exposure meter. It was always a surprise what came out after developing. It had a good lens though.

A Zenit was my next camera... The handling certainly was better.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
1 upvote
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

@Grippppp: I know, know your camera and you might actually grow to like it. The way you did it is probably close to the way I shoot my D800 (and the D700 before that): like an FE2, and get all the distracting electronics out of the way. I thought the A7 was too small for comfortable ergonomics. The D800 fits me perfectly there, but it's not light. I don't have zooms and usually carry only one prime at a time, so that makes a difference.

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

Yes the Werra lens was very good. The camera is quite a timeless design and although it takes film still has a very modern look about it.

1 upvote
framed1
By framed1 (6 months ago)

This review feels a little bit aspirational/hopeful, along the lines of 'we're not there yet but we're almost there'.

So a question (my first on dpreview so be gentle :-):

Do these new new 'semi-affordable' FF cameras (under ~$3000) produce better pictures than today's top APS-C cameras?

1 upvote
Camley
By Camley (6 months ago)

Yes they do.

1 upvote
jeremyclarke
By jeremyclarke (6 months ago)

It was interesting to compare the NEX 6 with the A&7 in the various widgets of this review. Rarely did it seem to have significantly more noise or less detail than the A7, and other than a couple fun-but-not-mandatory dials there's little else to differentiate them (other than about $2k once you've bought a couple of primes).

I can imagine why someone would get the A7 to have the maximum possible quality+megapixels out of a Sony, but the NEX 6 seems shockingly close in most ways, especially compared to the analogous difference between Canon 700D and 6D (where the comparsion widgets will make the 700D look like total crap at high ISO).

Sony seems to be making a line of cameras that make it hard to spot the difference between full frame and APS-C size sensors, which is wonderful IMHO. It's great to know they won't cripple the enthusiast camera just to boost the pro one. I wish this review had spend a couple paragraphs pondering what you get over a 700$ NEX 6.

0 upvotes
jeremyclarke
By jeremyclarke (6 months ago)

Just to make my statement a little more accurate, there were two differences I noticed when comparing NEX 6 and A7:

1 - At super-high-ISO the A7 had less noise by about 1 stop, though maybe it was more like 1/2 stop. With both cameras at ISO 6400 the A7 wins by a small margin, but with the A7 at 6400 v. NEX 6 at 3200 the result is at LEAST a tie, if not slightly a win for the NEX 6.

So noise difference is noticeable but they were totally in the same ballpark. Considering that the NEX 35mm lens would be half the price, have OSS and has f/1.8 instead of f/2.8, you can decide for yourself whether you can "find" one stop worth of light to make up the noise difference that full frame gives you over APS-C ;)

1 upvote
jeremyclarke
By jeremyclarke (6 months ago)

Second difference in quality between NEX 6 and A7 visible in the comparison widget of this review:

2 - In the contrast-testing sections of the image (B&W circles, lines in the bottom right corner) the NEX 6 showed heavy color distortion around the black parts. This happened all across the ISO spectrum, and is almost certainly chromatic aberration caused by the lens. I mention this because it is very noticeable and could distract from more important issues.

It also pointed me to the fact that the lens used on the NEX 6 in the test shot was an AWFUL choice. For some reason they used the "DT 50mm F1.8 SAM", a $170 lens intended for Sony's APS-C DSLRs (used with an adapter?!?). The A-7 instead used the $1700 "85mm F1.4 ZA Carl Zeiss".

So if anything the lenses (literally Sony's cheapest lens v. super-expensive-prime) mean that the NEX 6 should look EVEN WORSE than usual by comparison. The fact that the NEX 6 is so similar to the A-7 in those tests is a testament to it's excellence.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
framed1
By framed1 (6 months ago)

Thanks very much for the replies!

0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (6 months ago)

I went from a nex6 to the a7. There is no comparison in low light performance. I tend to have less loss in in the high lights and low light areas when shooting raw. Plus there are much more controls at your finger tips with the a7. Otherwise it feels like an older brother to the nex6. I would not tell someone they need to ditch their nex6 for this but there are some really nice features it has that my nex 6 didn't. I should mention I loved my nex6. It is what I recommend to most of my friends.

1 upvote
jeremyclarke
By jeremyclarke (6 months ago)

The extra controls seem really useful on the A7, though one thing that annoys me is that on the A7 (and NEX 7 for that matter) you have control over what each dial does, making it 10x more usefu. It seems like the NEX 6 has enough dials, but forces them into a single configuration which isn't right for everyone (I often want to leave aperture wide open and would rather have ISO+shutter on the wheels rather than aperture). This seems especially true in the P/A/S modes where it seems like often only a single wheel is even active?

In the early reviews there was a universal refrain of "hopefully more control over wheels will be added by firmware later", unfortunately it seems like that isn't going to happen. Even my old Canon S95 (high end compact) had settings to control the effect of it's two wheels.

I wish Sony would update the older cameras with the new firmware from the A7, as with old iPhones it would probably bridge the gap of a huge chunk of the new "features" of the A7.

0 upvotes
jonny1976
By jonny1976 (6 months ago)

cxall a doctor for sony a7r and the other user...they are getting sick..

2 upvotes
Grrrippp
By Grrrippp (6 months ago)

Judging by these comments, I would go and see a doctor.

2 upvotes
jonny1976
By jonny1976 (6 months ago)

sure i hope they are 5 years old..screaming like a child for a silver award..neverr seen something like that...but we are used...sthey are not photographer they are child who want have the most famous and good camera to show off them wo friends and strangers. that's all.

0 upvotes
Grrrippp
By Grrrippp (6 months ago)

Ok, so what are you doing here then?

1 upvote
68craigdale
By 68craigdale (6 months ago)

The viewfinder is critical part of a camera, I think it is wrong to give any electronic viewfinder such a high rating especially considering their so so performance in low light.

1 upvote
Grrrippp
By Grrrippp (6 months ago)

I do agree the viewfinder is a critical part of the camera.
In that respect, it has not disappointed me whatsoever. In fact, I've always hated the low quality of EVFs, but this is the first one I greatly appreciate.

It performs very well under low light conditions, at least when paired with a fast lens. With a slow lens, the frame rate decreases, but that's actually a helpful indicator the shutter speed is getting too low for capturing subjects.

I definitely prefer it over an optical viewfinder for manual focussing.

7 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

I've tried the A7's (and Fuji's and Olympus' offerings) EVF's many times. Only tourists upgrading from arm's length peering at a tiny display would feel that that is "great". Try a truly good optical viewfinder, then come back and let us know what you really think.

1 upvote
Grrrippp
By Grrrippp (6 months ago)

...Such as the viewfinder of my 5DII you mean?
The EVF of the A7 is about the same size and is a lot better for manual focussing. Only a SLR from the 70s offers better MF, such as my Canon A-E1 and T-70.

An EVF gives you accurate live-view, correct DOF and overlaid information. Where can you find an OVF which sports this (not counting the Fuji X-Pro1 - that is not TTL).

3 upvotes
Camley
By Camley (6 months ago)

I agree with you MikeF4Black that a good optical viewfinder is hard to beat. Try to photograph aircraft landing at an airport peering through the viewfinder with a 400 mm lens for a couple of hours with an EVF! For that reason, I have a Canon 7D for telephoto and action work.
DSLRs are still better suited to handle large telephoto lenses and take action shots where good tracking is required.
However, an a7 used for wide to short telephoto, is a light package with higher image quality than APSC so it gets more use than the 7D these days.

2 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

What I really hate about EVF's is the constant "building up" of the image as you move the camera (maybe you shouldn't), and the unnatural look of the thing.

The OVF of a D800 is not ideal, compared to f.i. that of my F2AS, but it certainly beats any EVF I've ever tried, and I've tried a lot of them.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (6 months ago)

you probabely have never had the opportunity to look into a Sony EVF. Never have seen anything building up there, and, I see the noise of the sensor, what is important when you shoot in the dark. For manual focusing with peaking, an EVF is a must. A OVF is just more bright, and for all the rest it's a pain in the a.. I use both, and EVF is the most fantastic thing I know, Sony EVF, i mean.

0 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

@Shamael: read my post. Yes I did. Resolution better than Fuji, still the building up thing and flickerey in a shop environment. Not pleasant to look through at all, but then I'm probably spoilt (and old/oldfashioned).

I could get used to it of course. I spent a summer (2009) using an EP-2 with the EVF, and that was allright; IQ was great btw. I sold that one.

0 upvotes
WhiteBeard
By WhiteBeard (6 months ago)

I have worked with good optical viewfinders on my old Minolta SLRs; while they were much better that most, if not all, optical VF in today's APS-C format cameras (they are like looking at the end of a tunnel), I still prefer EVFs. My modest G3 has a very good one and the latest models are much improved. With the amount of customizable info you can add in the EVF, the 100% FOV, the instant review of the shot you have just taken, I even prefer them to the excellent OVFs on FF cameras. Add to that the size/weight advantage...

0 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

@Whitebeard and others: with all due respect, I don't feel the need to see what I've just shot in my viewfinder, even if would be "exactly" the same as what I would see on my supposedly hi quality home screen. I don't the rear display on my D800 a lot either. I've taken the trouble to get accustomed to the camera, and know within a certain range what to do and what to expect.msame with my film slr's. I don't need or want an EVF for that, it's just an annoyance to me.

0 upvotes
bartolyni
By bartolyni (6 months ago)

Does it really need to get 10 gold stars just because its Sony? I guess reviewers should be let free to point out their findings regardless of the fear factor of big brand. Being one of the fist mirrorless full frame cameras does not necessarily translate into the best..........Those who bought into sony need to be realistic as ergonomics, IQ and Jpeg engine is not sony's strength!!

4 upvotes
Grrrippp
By Grrrippp (6 months ago)

The A7 and A7R are definitely the best full frame mirrorless cameras :-)
IQ is on a very high level, especially when shooting RAW.
For the exceptions not shooting RAW, JPG is quite good.

Ergonomics are quite good once you have adjusted the camera to your likings.
Actually it's quite snappy as well.

12 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (6 months ago)

No it doesn't. OTOH I expect more than
"The a7 does not provide live view in Speed Priority mode."
Like, for instance, what it does provide! The list of this it doesn't provide can be quite long, like "it doesn't peel bananas."

6 upvotes
jonny1976
By jonny1976 (6 months ago)

why people want convince the world that their camera is nappy, when even the more fanboysh reviewer out there has already state that is slow, responsive and af...this is a great sensor that can be used to shoot manual lenses...u are happy ? good...if not you just have two lenses left...the handling is not good...is a square design without a great grip. a

1 upvote
pcblade
By pcblade (6 months ago)

@jonny1976 take one in your hand but be prepared to reach your wallet : you will not let it leave your hand :-)

4 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

I gather from Grippppppppppppppps incessant interventions that a Leica M is not mirrorless? Wonder where they hid that mirror, and what it does.

1 upvote
Seth Honeyman
By Seth Honeyman (6 months ago)

In the rangefinder

1 upvote
Grrrippp
By Grrrippp (6 months ago)

I believe I won't tell you any news saying that Leica M series are rangefinder cameras (M stands for Messer - and so they hid the mirror in the M-logo and in the rangefinder:-)).
So no, it doesn't have a mirror, but as it is manual focussing camera, you can hardly call it "mirrorless", do you? It doesn't have a built-in viewfinder as well.

It's a different class of camera altogether.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

And I was thinking that piece of glass I was peering through on the M5 I once had (no, not the car) was a viewfinder... Something with parallax and that big Nokton 1.1 obscuring my view, so maybe a "view obscurer"....

0 upvotes
jonny1976
By jonny1976 (6 months ago)

i have tried it in a shop...and put it down after a second...really i hate evf...sorry when u look through a cinema viewfinder like i do every time i raise m,y 645d, this camera is joke, in every sense. by the way i have the k3 that as regarding as af and features trash away the 7r and slap provide similar iq in the same small package.
the only eve camera for me is the gh2 or 3 for the cinema features. if i had to add a ff model the d800e with superb af and flash system and possibility to mount the sigma 120.300 will be my chichi..but i agree this is the best camera if u have old manual lenses u want to try. but i'0m not a fanatic of manual lenses.

1 upvote
KL Matt
By KL Matt (6 months ago)

I think what is at issue here may be a matter of tone: DPR seems on the whole not so convinced of the significance of this camera for digital imaging in general. Although I do dislike Sony as a company and in particular as a camera company, you've got to give it to them: They built what we've all been dreaming of for the last ten years. A full frame sensor in a body as compact as the smaller 70s slrs. I suppose I can't blame DPR. My own personal review if I had access to the camera might be: Amazing! Pity (camera maker x) didn't do this instead of Sony. But that's the thing: if this is where things are headed, other makers will follow, so it's still a win. Bust out your party hats, DPR, things just got interesting again after a long wait.

14 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

It's truly amazing how an objective review of a photographic product from a manufacturer that used to excel at making transistor radios elicits so many heated comments. The term "fanboy" really gets new meaning here.

All very amusing; it certainly makes for an entertaining read.

5 upvotes
11saje
By 11saje (6 months ago)

Would be nice if you could elaborate a little more on sensors design by Sony. Thank you.

10 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

Yes, great technology; my D800 is eternally grateful for its sensor, and I mean that. Camera design is something else again, and so is "sensible" innovation and "evolutionary" development.

1 upvote
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (6 months ago)

@MikeF4Black The delicious irony of your comment is that you were so moved by your own fanboyism to make that kind of comment.

Thanks for amusing and entertaining the rest of us too. Take a bow ;-)

17 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

@DaveE1: I respectfully refuse to be (called) a fanboy. My screen name might lead you to think so, but you're wrong! http://www.mvagusta.net/forum/showthread.php?s=a7b90e5c88c11e19d5f601589b998ff2&t=15499

For totally irrational reasons I wanted a Nikon and got myself an FM2n 25 years ago; still have and stuck with the brand. No reason to change, no fanboyism. The discussions are entertaining though.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Grrrippp
By Grrrippp (6 months ago)

Interesting.
"A photographic product from a manufacturer that used to excel at making transistor radios"

First, there is clear bias in your statement. Secondly, did you ever consider what makes a digital camera?

A digital camera is an optical instrument which allows its user to create an image of an object and store it in a way it can be reproduced later.

So there are 3 factors here:

1- Optics
2- Recording and storage
3 -User interfacing

For the optics, the company's own expertise was extended by partnering with a company which does optics almost exclusively, and that for quite some time.

In a digital camera, recording and storing an image happens exclusively by electronics, mostly transistors.
It helps to have been an expert in that respect.

The interfacing is largely around bundling ergonomics and software.
While not perfect, the expertise learned by having produced millions of all sorts of devices is also of help here.

So, objectively, Sony has some starting ground, not?

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
8 upvotes
Grrrippp
By Grrrippp (6 months ago)

btw, I have never been a fan of Sony; quite the opposite in fact.

But I picked up the camera because of its strong appeal towards me: FF in compact clothing. That's what it is.
And having it for 2 months now, I must say it has not disappointed me.

The beginnings were a bit hesitant though. A firmware upgrade would sort out the majority of glitches.

1 upvote
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (6 months ago)

Maybe in flatscreens (I've got a very good Sony flatscreen), not in cameras. I've yet to see a Sony camera with decent ergonomics and handling. They've really squandered that Minolta and Konica heritage.

1 upvote
WhiteBeard
By WhiteBeard (6 months ago)

You obviously didn't examine the studio shots or read the review in detail or the meat of the negative comments. Most of the criticism is based on objective evaluation (and I'm not even a Sony user) and some on real longer term experience with the camera. While there may be a dose of subjective emotion in some comments, I find your own criticism to be gratuitous, ill-advised (Sony makes some of the finest sensors used by many other camera manufacturers) and rather insulting.

0 upvotes
Shiranai
By Shiranai (6 months ago)

Good noise reduction for jpegs but the raws are still no match for 5DMkIII and 6D. Less detail and grainier noise, especially if you look at the light blue and purple color fields at ISO 6400. Even the noise reduction isn't able to fix this.

1 upvote
naththo
By naththo (6 months ago)

Good noise reduction in JPEG is false in A7. Fact: High ISO NR is causing a huge problem across all A7 camera that introduce banding, posterisation, distortion/artifacts that occurred in JPEG. Even in Nex 7 as well I have experienced it. The ACR raw software done outstanding job on noise reduction for raw files from Nex 7 I have had and A7 will do the same, those sensor are very similar apart from one is APS-C and one is FF. So far I don't see problem in raw either out of new A7. It looks like it is down to your own software or human error either way.

0 upvotes
Apollwnios
By Apollwnios (6 months ago)

Sony A7R
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5493/12069795943_858b35f81c_k.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7385/11995715276_8b60065f9e_k.jpg

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5482/11918749876_4b9a6f9ff8_o.jpg

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
kadardr
By kadardr (6 months ago)

What I got here from the review and the comments:
Never get jumpy and buy a camera at the time of launch. Wait until the dust settles.

5 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

What I got after reading 900+ comments:

1. The world's against Sony. To make things right, it's important we all take it easy on this great innovator.

2. Reviews are for advertising products, not to inform people.

3. Reviews should include shout-outs, owner interviews & profiles.

4. All Sony's press releases should be required reading before setting out to write a review.

5. If you went investigating something, only continue if early results are positive. If they're not, stop immediately and speak of it to anyone.

6. If you are seeing something odd, don't write it down in the review. Instead, consult the Internet, ignore all places which confirm the oddity & only focus on resources which ignore it.

7. The review should be randomly peppered with words like "innovative", "revolutionary" and "full frame".

8. Limit specific mentions of competing products as much as possible. Less is better.

9. Self-censorship is a trait of a disciplined mind.

10. Shutter shock is a myth!

14 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (6 months ago)

@bluevellet I'm not sure anyone could care what you think of their comments. Seems a touch arrogant of you to draw up that silly little list, as if your own comment somehow means more that those of everyone else. Just being honest with you.

Besides, you've way too much time on your hands if you are reading 900+ comments at the end of one product review. Pick up a camera, any camera, stroll out into the fresh air and press that shutter ;-)

20 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

Consider it a quick, light-hearted summary of the most outlandish comments made in this comment section (and the NEX forum). No one is specifically singled out. Take it or leave it. At least 8 people at this point do care.

And there was no need to read it all in one go, it's been growing for the last 48 hours with always something new to read whenever I surf back here. You see that trail with other comments of mine left here at different times .

5 upvotes
WhiteBeard
By WhiteBeard (6 months ago)

Did you pause to ask yourself why there are so many comments? I follow DPR since 2005 and I have seldom seen so many; perhaps this review hit a nerve?

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

Product hyped to high heaven gets thrown back to harsh reality. Fanboy meltdowns follow.

I post at a big video game forum (of which Sony is coincidently a major player) and that type of hyper emotional reactions are common. People get heavily invested in their gear of choice and get hostile when challenged.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (6 months ago)

Something tells me, bluevellet, that if Sony made spoons, you'd also be a member of a cutlery forum making the same pointless arguments.

2 upvotes
osv
By osv (6 months ago)

dpreview shoots jpegs with noise reduction turned all the way up, then says that the a7 jpeg noise processing is bad??

quoting quezra from yesterday: "The question is, why didn't you try out NR-low and NR-off in Xfine mode?"

still waiting for an answer...

pro shooters do noise reduction in post, not in-camera.

so why treat a7 jpegs like they came from an iphone? dpreview credibility is taking a beating over this... you guys need to re-examine the way that this was handled.

11 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (6 months ago)

Because noise-reduction on is the default. Furthermore, it's called High ISO Noise reduction, so it should not apply to ISO 100 - but it does, apparently. If you turn it off, the noise goes up.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

probably it's not on/off but strong/weak levels.

2 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (6 months ago)

So, the 'bad' examples was fully knowingly shot with a setting that produced the worst results?
Is that correct?

Just wondering, what setting was the PASM dial on when you received the camera?

7 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (6 months ago)

Thats called Posterisation from High ISO NR on or even at other level. Its an epic failure for that. Avoid that at all cost. Wait till Sony send out firmware update for that. Or just shoot RAW only I prefer that too.

1 upvote
quezra
By quezra (6 months ago)

It's amazing that the fact that the camera comes with a much better range of in-camera image quality tweaking settings than any NEX before (including higher rated ones like the NEX-7), yet the one thing DPR found fit to comment on was what NR was on the highest setting. And faulting default sharpening at ISO 12,800 and up. When there's 7 sharpening levels in-camera. And it did a better job than their own efforts in RAW, by their own admission.

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

DPR calls full size DSLR cameras (the Nik D610 & Can EOS 6D) as the Sony A7's peers. What is wrong with DPR?? They're totally different beasts altogether! How can you compare a full-body/full-weight/full-frame DSLR to a compact/light-weight/full-frame digital camera? Furthermore, those "so-called peer models" (which they're not) have been around for a while (a lot more room inside as well) whereas the Sony A7 is brand spanking new and...as of currently..."one of a kind."

You can't compare them in the least bit--until the competition, brings out the same type/same class! It's like comparing vehicles such as a large Mack semi-truck to a Ford pickup truck, they both haul & transport--but size, engines & power-ratios will differ dramatically! -Here's how it would sound like: "The Mack semi hauls massive weight effortlessly whereas the Ford pickup truck has a considerable amount of trouble & strains to keep up when hauling the same size load."

*Very, very, unfair and invalid DPR!

11 upvotes
Mrrowe8
By Mrrowe8 (6 months ago)

Actually I call bull on your statement , the comparison is completely valid and it's the market share Sony is going after so in order see how it fares it MUST be compared in image quality , handling & so on ..yes it's a very unique camera but if it's wants to really occupy this segment of the markets then it has to be compared ..

3 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (6 months ago)

If you were shopping for a Full Frame digital camera with interchangeable lenses, what are your options, YSP? D610, 6D, D800, 5D Mark III. Or do you have another recommendation?

2 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (6 months ago)

sony A99

11 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

would recommend D800, 5D3 or D610, 6D in that order.
get newest 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 for the mount
and these should be the best cost performance gears
(Canon lenses are better but I'd say they are very near).

anyother mount will only cost more and perform worse.

1 upvote
robertog
By robertog (6 months ago)

Why A7 was not compared to Leica M 240 ? That's it's the closest camera in the market today.

3 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (6 months ago)

I think when most most people shop for a new camera they have a price range and compare what's within that price range. But when a new ff is introduced can't ignore how it compares to existing ones.

0 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (6 months ago)

What is your reasoning here yab? You have extensive knowledge of these cams or have just read the specs? I thought you only used Phase One anyway?

1 upvote
JamesHurst
By JamesHurst (6 months ago)

I don't agree. Some of us (like, me) specifically want a FF camera. I don't shop for a price range - I have an idea of the capabilities I want (low-light, video) and I'll look at and compare FF cameras whether they're $500 or $2500. That the A7R is compact, introduces a real choice for me: do I want to lug the extra size of a 6D or D610, or go with this compact little gem? I actually don't know anybody who says "I want to spend $721.39 on a camera today: let's compare what I can get for that."

2 upvotes
jonny1976
By jonny1976 (6 months ago)

sony fanboish at at the maximum power in this page...a dream to read those people getting craz

2 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (6 months ago)

@Simon J
I rest my case ...

1 upvote
The Lotus Eater
By The Lotus Eater (6 months ago)

"sony A99"

LOL. That omission says quite a lot.

6 upvotes
jerrith
By jerrith (6 months ago)

@Shawn Barnett, looking at your list of options, it's quite obvious you are biased and should not write reviews without a disclaimer :-)

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

an entry-level full-frame SLR with 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 costs about five grands and this may be too high a price for newbies. then some turn to "cheaper" solutions and end up in spending more for far less capable gears.

do get those with years of budget you plan to spend. get some more especially if needed to qualify for professional service, which is the only place you will visit Canon or Nikon for years.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (6 months ago)

Yes James your right, no one says I want to spend 721.39 what can I buy. That would stupid and unless you are an idiot you would know that is not at all what I said. I agree that people might just be comparing ff cameras but even then they would still be considering pricing. If you can afford any camera you want then good for you but most of us are not in that boat.

0 upvotes
Jarnee
By Jarnee (6 months ago)

5 native lenses?? I wanted to buy this based on all of the amazing sample pictures and videos I saw on gadgetlove.com, but now I think I'm going to have to hold off. An adapter isn't going to cut it. Some of the better "real world" samples here: http://www.gadgetlove.com/products/Cameras/Sony-a7

3 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (6 months ago)

The A7/r are designed as ENTHUSIAST cameras and definitely NOT pro cameras simply because they employ new technologies that have not been optimised and improved through several camera generations.
As such they are capable of incredible results under suitable conditions, and enthusiasts (who innovative products are designed for) will rate them highly and will find them INSPIRING.
At the same time people looking for semi/pro gear will find them lacking in certain areas and inconsistent!
As such I think the review does not serve them justice comparing against the D610 and 6D, which are also more expensive as well (and boring as hell).
Sony did a great attempt with those two cameras, lets judge them against other manufacturers' attempts to INNOVATE - oh wait, noone else is innovating in FF yet, maybe we should wait a bit longer!

10 upvotes
SonyA7r
By SonyA7r (6 months ago)

A pro can use an iphone camera so what is your point? You never shot A7/r so for sure you don't know what you are talking about.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (6 months ago)

It looks like you don't know what you are taking about. A pro is someone earng their living with photography, you know, PROfession. Everyone who knows what they are doing can achieve great result with a low end camera, but no, for your surprise iPhone cameras are not used for pro work!?! Are you 11 or what?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (6 months ago)

Real pro camera is either Canon 1DX or Nikon D4. That is semi professional out of Sony A7 and A7R, not full professional.

0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (6 months ago)

I think this camera is more for enthusiast and maybe semi pro photographers. Not that a pro won't use it but The majority of buyers are gonna be people not afraid to take the camera out of manual mode. When I'm looking into a new camera usually have a budget and look at cameras in similar price ranges within my budget. O would think that would be a normal way to compare cameras for an enthusiast.

1 upvote
SonyA7r
By SonyA7r (6 months ago)

Either DP's review is flawed or they have something against Sony. I read tons of review and NOT a single review mentioned about subpar jpgs of this camera. Actually, it was the opposite.

17 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (6 months ago)

SonyA7r, you may be suffering from biasanalysis-ness. How many times are you going to repeat the same thing in one comments section?

1 upvote
jonny1976
By jonny1976 (6 months ago)

poor af, poor shutter bump, poor handling, ..great sensor you can find in much better cameras like d610 or d800e....poor native lenses line up, ok you can mount every ons, but people that want af, i thought the majority out there remain with 2 native lenses, and sony is not famous for releasing lenses in time and the lenses that are needed. what do you expect?

2 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (6 months ago)

Well today I can prove that low light AF is not an issue for me. Probably Im just lucky bugger for this A7. Sorry to burst bubble. Pop!

2 upvotes
jonny1976
By jonny1976 (6 months ago)

i repeat probably fanboish don't understand...what is good for u maybe is average for somebody else...that's why somebody review camera and u not...and every review of people who review every camera say it's a poor af,....even people who always praise every camera to obtain money form sponsor like that poor photographs using leica , is saying the same.

0 upvotes
WhiteBeard
By WhiteBeard (6 months ago)

I am rather puzzled by your conclusion on the bad JPEG high-ISO performance of the A7 when I scrutinize the studio shots, especially zooming on the playing cards, the B&W drawings (family applauding a painting and bearded man portrait), colour portraits and bills/coins. I find the detail, contrast and lack of annoying artifacts (look at the hair of the Jack of Hearts, middle card in top right corner, with the Nikon D610) much more appealing on the A7 at high ISO (say 3200) than the Nikon D610 and even the Canon. Considering the 610 to be a clone of the D600 as far as IQ is concerned and that you piled superlatives about the D600's low noise at high ISO, either something is wrong with your studio shots or your conclusions. For myself, based on these same studio shots, I would be quite happy with the A7 and ecstatic - albeit even poorer - with the A7R!

15 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (6 months ago)

DPR is a truly amazing camera database.

Want to compare IQ? Go to pages 17 or 18, select A7 and A7r against, say, Nikon D800 and Canon 5DMk3, and see by yourself.

Review conclusion? Well... Lack of flash has not been in Cons for 5DMk3, but is suddenly a drawback for the smallest in class A7. Right. And so on, and so forth.

The issue with DPR's is that it pretends to be scientific, takes months to prepare a review, which is stuffed with mind-boggling charts and minute details, and then comes to the conclusion based mostly on reviewer's personal preferences... It is this contradiction that causes all the controversy, IMHO (of course).

27 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (6 months ago)

"Want to compare IQ? Go to pages 17 or 18, select A7 and A7r against, say, Nikon D800 and Canon 5DMk3, and see by yourself."

Except of course their testing is broken and they test "same" ISO with different exposures for different cameras, rendering the comparison invalid.
Flat resolution charts and endless menu enumeration which I bet nobody reads in their entirety - here they are.

But want a scientific evaluation of such all-important characteristics like autofocus, tracking, metering, auto modes "intelligence" - you are out of luck.

4 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (6 months ago)

> "Except of course their testing is broken and they test "same" ISO with different exposures for different cameras, rendering the comparison invalid."

Won't argue with that, but it still makes much more sense to me than, say, comparing cameras based on DxO marks of their sensors, and lenses based on MTF charts -- even done in "controlled conditions", with all bells and whistles... In other words, I for one simply do not know a better source of "raw" information.

0 upvotes
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