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Sony Alpha 7 Review

January 2014 | By Jeff Keller, Richard Butler
Buy on GearShopFrom $1,498.00


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
  • Sealed 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: 1605
34567
kadardr

http://diglloyd.com/blog/2014/20140123_2-SonyA7R-shutterVibration-CallForAction.html
serious stuff

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Docmartin

Wow, this kill´s the A7R. Hopefully the A7 (with electronic first curtain enabled) is not concerned ...

0 upvotes
dead eyes open
4 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer

I love this guy. He probably, seriously, expects Sony to make a public declaration and beg forgiveness. If Lloyd is very lucky, he'll get a letter saying if you don't like it, don't buy it. But I doubt it.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
naththo

codswallop is correct! I haven't had issue with A7 with e shutter at all. And I am glad I don't choose A7R over A7 cos of too many missing feature and no OPL is not my type no thanks.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Just a Photographer

There are some serious names in that petition.

Seems like Sony f*cked up pretty much.
Reducing shuttervibration via a firmware update? - Highly unlikely!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 60 seconds after posting
1 upvote
naththo

Also I noticed if you press shutter, your hands move and shake a little as you force to push fully to take picture.

0 upvotes
Stu 5

naphtha you have not had an issue with the A7 because the problem is only with the A7r.

2 upvotes
MotoJB

OUCH...I won't be buying either the A7 or A7R at this point.

0 upvotes
jonny1976

It was clear something was wrong...too lord shutter for such a small camera...sa always Sony good idea ad implementation.

1 upvote
Grammaloreto

Misleading Review: Please Be Objective..continued

- usability with non-Sony branded legacy glass doesn't always lead to great results because Sony did not make this camera to be used with non-Sony glass. That would be too much to control for. I mean how can a manufacture tailor a camera to work with lenses from every other manufacturer on the planet? Although many have seen the flexibility of being able to do so with the Sony E-mount cameras, that cannot be a factor to base your rating for this camera. Especially when the camera does work like a charm with Sony A-mount glass and the provided LA-EA4 adapter.

The Sony A7 does an excellent job in the IQ department, has a great build quality and user interface/controls and deserves more than this pathetic rating.
The only downside to the Sony A7 is the lack of Sony FE lens system. Given the fact that the currently available Zeiss: 35mm 2.8 and 55mm 1.8 already have received rave reviews, future releases may also be pretty darn good.

7 upvotes
DPReview Staff

Silver is not pathetic. 80% is also quite good. We did not judge it based on its performance with third party lenses; indeed, we praised its adaptability.

9 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer

This is the pot calling the kettle black. Normally, one might say "If you use a non-Sony lens we can't guarantee the results" but Sony isn't offering many lenses. So it's not an incredible stretch to bet somebody will buy the camera with the intention of using non-Sony lenses.

2 upvotes
Grammaloreto

The Sony A7 works great with Sony A-mount lenses, and I believe that Sony does have a decent existing A-mount lens system. So you cannot say that Sony is not offering many lenses.
However, using A-mount glass on the A7 is still a temporary solution. Sony needs to release more FE lenses, but this not going to happen overnight.

2 upvotes
Grammaloreto

Also Shawn I think the rating was heavily based on "jpeg performance", which I think is not right for this category of camera.
I would be very critical about jpeg performance if it were a $500 camera, something like the NEX-3N.
For a full frame camera people usually look at raw IQ and lowlight ISO performance. The A7 excels in both of those areas.

4 upvotes
juju

I feel that the review is very harsh I think the camera should get a special praise for bringing the smallest, first ever full frame quality in such a small package.

Examples:

1- No external charger. Yes, well, the camera is also noted to be the cheapest full frame body around. period. Add $60 for a charger, it is still the cheapest! What about the positive that it has USB charging then?

2- Included remote capture does not include live view. What about the fact that the camera has a NFC/Wifi live view capture. One can download newer version of the app. The newer remote control/smartphone has not only live view but touch focus….

3- A lot of the limitations on the layout come form the size. Overall for the size the grip and layout and custom button design is outstanding, in my opinion.

4- 3rd party lenses? Well, what about the fact that it DOES have zebra, focus peaking and magnification?!

. The camera is not perfect, but it sure deserves a gold award if any other DSLR does...

19 upvotes
naththo

Deserves gold will not work because of downside is AF is having problem in low light but is very common across other camera also though. Using MF will fix that.
Another downside that prevent from having gold is posterisation in JPEG when using high ISO NR switched on. It really impact the ranking score of review. So Silver is about right for that.

1 upvote
DPReview Staff

Please read the Pros sections, not just the Cons. Cons are not meant to condemn, they are offered for your consideration.

5 upvotes
Just a Photographer

Better harsh then not being honest!

I'll understand that Sony fans rather had not seen so much critics about their cameras. It just shows that Sony isn't ready to compete with Nikon or Canon though Sony does some innovative stuff.

3 upvotes
naththo

SonyA7r, it is part of A7. I have experienced the same problem as Dpreview did. Lots of people also notes the problem with posterisation in JPEG when High ISO NR is switched on. Even did happened back to Nex 7, thats way back to couple years ago. It is not a new problem it been around that long in Sony Nex series. I turn off the High ISO NR and posterisation is gone in JPEG shooting. Although most of time I prefer to shoot RAW for better quality overall.

1 upvote
juju

I am not a Sony fan or a fan of any brand in general. And I have not
vested interest whatsoever in having those cameras get a gold or no award at all.I have several cameras and have been reading many reviews on the a7 and a7r.

The camera is not perfect: Slow AF, battery life (yet again this one has to be put in perspective of size), …

Shawn, I also read the positives. It still strikes me that the review is and the conclusion in particular is somehow negatively biased. Again, if you put as negative the limitation of the tools for 3rd party lens, the limitation of the app, you should point out in all the gold awarded SRs their enormous size, the fact that many do not have wifi at all or yet alone apps for going time lapse and other cool features,...

I think everyone realizes that those cameras are not perfect, the comments taken line by line are all fair but the overall impression reading the long list of negatives is more negative than the camera deserves, in my opinion….

3 upvotes
kimchiflower

This is undoubtedly the first in a number of FF mirrorless bodies from a number of manufacturers (if Canikon ever wake up).

Normal pancake primes will really make this combo shine, but as the cover image shows, you can't get away from those huge bulbous lenses for many applications.

I think the Sony RX1 is a better application of the FF sensor in a compact form, but you have to tip your hat to Sony's innovation recently

2 upvotes
Tom Wuergler

I have read a lot of good things about this camera and applaud Sony's ability to innovate in the fairly boring FF sector.
What does not convince me at all is the camera + lens ecosystem. While the camera body has an excellent form factor the lenses necessarily render the whole package very large. Both MFT and Sony NEX have shown that excellent picture quality can be achieved with the combination of a modern sensor and top notch lenses. If the lenses are reasonably compact (like the prime lenses in the MFT universe) then it becomes perfectly possible to achieve a picture quality that hardly requires post processing while one can comfortably drag two or three lenses along at all times.

0 upvotes
facedodge

This seems like a very nice camera, but I'm okay with having a full frame DSLR (Canon 5D3) that can do the heavy lifting and a separate small mirrorless (EOS M with 22mm pancake) that can handle the rest. I appreciate that Sony tried to give you the best of both worlds, but I think we are still a ways off.

1 upvote
DT200

Their problem is to save space they removed the things that most FF camera uses like such as the OVF, the superior focus system, the comfortable grip, etc.

2 upvotes
UnitedNations

I AM SO GLAD I DID NOT BUY THE SONY A7!

If you cannot avoid blurry photos with 1/60 in the A7... just imagine how blurry the A7r would be.

Disastrous indeed.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
naththo

Your post does not make sense at all.

I have no issue problem with the shutter speed when I was using P or other program setting. 1/60 is coming from A program which is only the problem. Sony will have to issue firmware fix for that sometimes.

For indoor photography or in low light, I prefer M program over all others so I can set the right one whatever I like.

1 upvote
yabokkie

put an A7 on a huge stone, then
put an huge stone on A7 and shoot from a remote release.

0 upvotes
guyfawkes

Unfortunately, I get blurry hand-held pictures all the time with non-stabilised lenses, be they on my film cameras or digital. It isn't the camera, it's my inability to hold it steady.

I'm acutely aware of this, so always try and shoot at 1/125 or faster, or use some form of support, be it a tripod or wall. I don't lambast my Leica film cameras because of my own shortcoming.

1 upvote
MikeF4Black

The shutter vibration problem manifests itself in particular when the camera is on a tripod, less so when the camera is handheld. You should be able to figure out that the problem lies with the camera, not the shooter. Only to be expected from a company that is best at making transistor radios, and for whom cameras are unfamiliar objects.

0 upvotes
naththo

Because you accidently left OSS on when put on tripod or when using wide angle, thats a Darwin Award for ya!

0 upvotes
Camley

UnitedNations
I am so glad you did not buy one as well. Do you understand anything about the 1/60? Do you understand how easy it is to avoid 1/60?

1 upvote
SonyA7r

Stop comparing EM-1 to A7, they have two different sensor but if you insist of comparing the two...NO CONTEST AT ALL

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-A7-versus-Olympus-OM-D-E-M1___916_909

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
naththo

Yeah and reading this more text below is making me tired either. Pointless really. My review is pretty much sum up same as Dpreview review it. Nothing changes the fact. 8/10 and silver award make sense to me. Don't think gold will do. And of course Olympus is on completely different league compare to Sony FF. I don't think Olympus want to jumpship to change to APS-C and causing chaos because there are a lot of lens already out there that fit with 4/3rd sensor. So Olympus will stay with 4/3rd for now so is same as Panasonic. I think jumpship it is a huge risk. Sony took a risk like this nowaday with new two FF A7 and A7R. But thats only because Sony is a huge company they can afford to. Also Pentax/Ricoh is not confident to jumpship it to FF either as they already got too many lens match the current Pentax APS-C camera line up so they are staying with APS-C as well.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
topstuff

I am a big fan of the Olympus EM-1. But you are right.

There seems to be a group of people here on DPR who think that "Whatever the question is, the answer is EM-1".

This is silly nonsense.

The EM-1 is the Swiss Army Knife of cameras. It has the means to try anything.

But it still does not mean that you don't need and use specialist tools. The A7 is a specialist tool. You either have a need for it or you don't.

8 upvotes
yabokkie

Swiss Army doesn't fight with Swiss Army Knife.

1 upvote
G1Houston

"We're slightly surprised by Sony's strategy here:"

I think we can see a pattern now with SONY's lens road maps. When they introduced the NEX, they had the 16/2.8 as the "walk around" pancake lens, which is too wide. Only recently they introduced a "portrait" lens, but it is 50mm, again too short. The 55mm for the A7 is too long, but perfect as a "portrait lens" for the NEX, but the two NEX lenses mentioned above seem perfect for the A7. I think the lens designers for NEX and A7 must have gotten their assignment folders mixed up. What do you think?

The 35/2.8 is the only lens that can show off the compactness of the camera, a key design/marketing feature. However it is f2.8 and priced at $800. A key reason for this "slightly sueprising" decision, I speculate, is that it will not make the R1X look too overpriced. Is there a photographer in SONY in charge of the lens road map?

2 upvotes
Thoughts

I think Sony should spend some money to hire some guys from Fujifilm to manage the lens road map...

11 upvotes
topstuff

I am amazed at the number of people discussing the Olympus EM-1 in comparison to the A7.

This makes no sense at all. They are completely different cameras designed for completely different shooting styles and purposes.

All they have in common is relatively small size.

One is absolutely not better than the other. Which suits different people is entirely personal to them, the way they like to shoot and the subjects they like to shoot.

3 upvotes
quezra

Well given the similarity in price, you can imagine a typical consumer setting aside a budget for his camera might be comparing the tradeoffs between the two. Obviously in terms of output and performance they are very different beasts, but from the perspective of a consumer, their similarity in price make them very likely to be compared.

3 upvotes
yabokkie

A7 looks better but the AF speed.

an A7 with an f/4 zoom should perform similar as an E-M1 with an f/2 one, both low cost lenses sold at unreasonable premium prices though. another thing they share.

0 upvotes
topstuff

Well IMO if two consumers compare an A7 to an EM-1then they do not know what they are doing or what they want from photography.

A pick up truck costs the same as a regular car. People usually know which is most suitable for them. Same should apply to cameras.

If someone buys an EM-1 and then complains that the images don't crop too well and lack resolution, or buys an A7 and complains that he can't keep up with his kids football tournament, then the problem is not the camera.

This is why comparing the Em-1 to the A7 is irrational and illogical.

4 upvotes
DT200

"an A7 with an f/4 zoom should perform similar as an E-M1 with an f/2 one".
DxO says that is not exactly true. As pointed out for measurements at most ISOs the DR difference is about 1/2 a stop instead of 2 which is very surprising.

0 upvotes
yabokkie

> they do not know what they are doing or what they want from photography.

before anyone can claim that, given two photos shot with different cameras with EXIF deleted, can anyone reliably tell which is from which?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
naththo

Yeah I would ask them why deliberately delete Exif for? Leaving Exif there is very helpful and useful for most people to find out what setting did you use, what lens did you use etc.

0 upvotes
topstuff

"before anyone can claim that, given two photos shot with different cameras with EXIF deleted, can anyone reliably tell which is from which?"

That is not the right question. It is irrelevent.

If on the other hand, you have a picture where you want to crop substantially ( for example ) then the differences would be completely obvious.

But if someone is just buying a camera to take snaps of their kids in Disneyworld and look at them on their iPad, then ALL of these cameras are pointless. They may as well use a Sony RX100, or Rx10 - or even their iPhone ( which of course is exactly what is happening and why cameras sales are falling so fast)..

0 upvotes
yabokkie

I don't know Japanese invented photography in 1995 with EXIF. I take photos and you guys can leave EXIF with you.

from DxOMark.com
A7, 90, 24.8 bits, 14.2 EV, low-light ISO 2248,
E1, 73, 23.0 bits, 12.7 EV, low-light ISO 757,

though I don't know exactly how DxO did the tests,
delta dynamic range = 14.2 - 12.7 = 1.5 stops,
delta low-light ISO = log2(2248/757) = 1.6 stops,
I assume there should be an error of 0.3 stops,
while the difference of sensor area be 1.9 stops.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
cybm

I think ppl are not stupid, just because they compare two "differetn" things. Resolution is just only one thing... dynamic range is also important etc... How fast you can focus etc. many things. I think most of the PPL (who look for MILC etc.) take care about size. These camreas are small and they have nearly the same price. Of course they start comparing!!! They know what they want to use this camera for...

0 upvotes
stevez

I think the comparison is valid considering the style, price and that they're both high end mirrorless cameras. From an image quality standpoint they're really not that far apart until you get into the higher ISO values and even then the difference is a lot smaller than I would have suspected.

0 upvotes
naththo

No exif, you are cheating. Please have exif on next time then I believe you.

0 upvotes
RedFox88

but they both take pictures and they both are EVIL.

0 upvotes
jonny1976

every review states what dp say..great sensor, poor handling and poor responsive with af behind competition and a shutter sound that i'd say scary.
why fanboys pussycats get so burnt is without sense...u like the camera, great. but don't come here and tell us the om e1 is slower or less responsive of the a7, is a joke really.

1 upvote
le_alain

Love the sound of the A7 shutter, using first elctronic curtain
:)

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
1 upvote
jonny1976

http://www.cnet.com.au/sony-a7-339345644.htm
http://gizmodo.com/sony-a7-a7r-review-so-long-dslrs-hello-future-of-ph-1469132320
Ergonomics are incredibly important on a camera, because your hands do all of the work. On the A7/A7r, many of the controls miss the mark just barely.
I didn't find shutter lag to be a problem, but one factor that certainly creates the perception of it is the extremely loud shutter noise that accompanies both cameras.
http://photographyconcentrate.com/sony-a7-review-is-the-autofocus-too-slow/
The problem is the autofocus. We purchased the A7 with the 28-70 kit lens and it seemed like that lense was particularly slow at focusing. It was especially bad in low light conditions.
+http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/reviews/compactsystemcameras/129473/3/sony-alpha-7-review
the AF performance is good for single shots, but we'd have to say it's not as rapid or as versatile as the AF system employed by the Olympus OM-D E-M1, which really does set the benchmark

0 upvotes
naththo

Yup Kit lens is to be blamed for causing AF problem cos it is a cheapskate lens. Sony ZA or Carl Zeiss will do a lot better job imo.

2 upvotes
PaulDavis

I think dpreview did a good job with this review. It is pretty obvious that this camera is either gonna be loved or hated. There isn't a whole bunch in between and that is the way way the review is. There are features that will suit some some and flaws that will drive others bonkers. You can also tell by the comments that this is true too. Us users either really enjoy the camera and then others just can't figure out why we do. I think it is pretty impressive for a first edition camera like this to score as a well as it did.

2 upvotes
jonny1976

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A7/
When I took the A7 into dimmer conditions, its AF performance fell further and took a second or even longer to lock-on. Revealingly the best Micro Four Thirds cameras comfortably out-performed the Sonys in dim condition.
But in my tests so far I'd say autofocus is the Achilles' Heel for the A7 and especially the A7r.
Relatively clunky shutter sound and no silent option.
http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/sony_a7_review/conclusion/
he A7 unfortunately inherits most of the A7R's flaws, most notably the still slightly sluggish auto-focusing, poor battery life and in-camera charging, the quieter yet still rather loud shutter release,
http://tech.uk.msn.com/cameras/sony-alpha-a7-review
it felt a little slow from time to time and a little inaccurate too.

0 upvotes
Docmartin

Has anyone an explanation why the A7 is doing so much worse than the OMD EM-1 with its comparatively tiny pixles (and using also a Sony sensor) when it comes to dynamic range?

0 upvotes
DT200

Wow. t DxO says there is barely a 1/3rds stop difference between the EM1 and A7 at most of the ISOs measured. Since the OMD uses F/2.8 zoom and the A7 only has an F/4 zoom, the EM1 will usually have 1/2 to 2/3rds a stop more DR. I guess Sony put better tech into the Olympus sensor?

0 upvotes
SonyA7r

Doc, you are misinformed...
http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-A7-versus-Olympus-OM-D-E-M1___916_909

No contest at all!

3 upvotes
Jogger

What are you talking about, in terms of DR, the A7 has 14.2 ev vs 12.7 ev compared to the EM1.. funny thing is that the point and shoot RX10 has 12.6ev. Nice FUD attempt.

1 upvote
naththo

Full frame capture more light than smaller sensor. Thats probably reason why. If it was APS-C vs EM1 they would be pretty close in term of dynamic range like Nex 7 for eg. FF is only slightly better in one stop brighter than the small frame.

0 upvotes
arcaswissi99

The silver award says for me this is a really good camera and in deed raw quality is very good even more with A7R. I tested both.
Probably I´d give a gold award if IQ was everything. Unfortunately a good raw pic isn´t everything to make you happy - at least not me. Cons: a shutter placement which gets my finger cramped, a trigger with no pressure point thus I produced more unintentional shots than with all my former cameras together, a illogical menue system, a shutter like a machine gun (A7R) which forced me to at least 1/250 (hello AutoISO 1/60 isn´t enough) to get sharp pics, no external charger are for me a good reason to reduce from gold to silver.
I hope for all the hardcore fan boys that Sony won´t bring an A8(R) within a half year and firmware of A7 will be still 1.0 also in 2 years.
As every review is a weighting of personal experience I can´t see any biasing of Shawn and want to thank him for a review which isn´t whitewashed. And Sony good start anyway.

2 upvotes
tesch

So they gave it a bad review. What did you expect? It doesn't mean your pictures suck.

0 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov

The review of A7 is not bad. I just hope they be this honest iwht Olympus and Nikon.

e.g. mention the M1 lagging live view that is a deal breaker for me

3 upvotes
cpkuntz

Is a Silver Award bad now? They brought up some fairly minor issues, and acknowledged they were relatively minor.

5 upvotes
naththo

Ignore those flame/troll, brand bashing.

I bought that camera and quality is outstanding. I have no issue problem with AF here seriously. Low light maybe it may be hunting but I really can't see that issue. It is common across any DSLR camera, even Canon 5D MKII had a focus hunting in low light. If you can't do AF lock, turn on MF and do it through viewfinder, it is not hard, peaking focus with red colour on helps alot through EVF. Practice makes perfection. Real photography people use MF sometimes when required. I don't trust AF for portrait and trees, gardens photos cos it confuses the distance between the camera and the subject I want to lock focus on. AF works so well on very flat field, but lots of variation of distance confusing the AF. Its very common. If you whinge about AF, then thats your problem, not my problem or anyone problem here. Send it back or start do your homework project on called "Learning how to use Manual Focus".

4 upvotes
naththo

This sensor is way a lot better than someone claim about Olympus. Full frame catch more light, more details and much less noise than smaller sensor to compare. I can prove that. I compare my old Nex 7 against A7. A7 wins cos I found that it capture MUCH more light and much better detail than Nex 7 and A7 has a significant much less noise than Nex 7. FF don't lie, its the most advantage I have seen. The only downside is that leaving High ISO NR on giving you weird artifact or banding/posterisation. So leaving it off fix that problem and fix that later in photoshop. But I prefer take raw images most of time. The white balance had a lot improvement over Nex 7 so far. This kit lens is average joe to be honest, middle is sharp, but distortion and loss of sharpness in corner/edge. Next lens I will be getting is Sony ZA 24-70mm F4 in February will be much better off with. Handling is so comfortable to hold.

0 upvotes
naththo

Having combined with CDAF and PDAF Is a huge bonus for me. I haven't done proper test of fast moving subject with PDAF so I will have to do that soon. Having hump in middle accommodate the EVF and giving it much more room for much larger rear viewfinder which is great idea though. Even this camera is weather sealed over Nex 7 is not which is great thing as well. It is a bit heavier than Nex 7 I must add that too. The placement of SD card is much better than the old one so its easier to insert and remove SD card. Luckily I have Nex 7 battery rechargable and A7 is same battery as Nex 7. Wifi transfer through computer is very cool! It is a bit slower but good idea. So I can leave SD in and not have to remove and insert again that can wear out SD gold contact overtime. You do require WIFI modem to do so through your computer. I have test ISO 3200/6400 and I am impressed with the noise is a lot less than Nex 7. Overall I give it 8 out of 10 from me to that!

0 upvotes
konanon

If I may be allowed to dream...put that sensor in the E-M1 and you have yourself the perfect mirrorless camera. Well, for me at least.

Wait a minute. Aren't Olympus and Sony in some sort of partnership? Wouldn't that be interesting. The alpha 8 with E-M1 technology.

Dream session over.

0 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov

M1 and A7 are identical even in most defects escribed in this review!!! I compared them side to side.

M1 actually is worse in terms of responsiveness and often lags and struggles with preview framerate....A7 never has these issues.

the problem is M1 review was super positive and this one downbeat.

Objectively the differences are:

M1 - better Af in low light, more options, couple more customizable buttons

A7 - more dials, less confident Af in low light, better video options, much more responsive and fast camera overal

0 upvotes
cybm

Ive choosen the M1 to compare the dynamic range to A7, and M1 had a much wider dynamic range with a smaller sensor according to DPR. Hmmm...

0 upvotes
Stu 5

E-M1 has better autofocus full stop. It is quicker in daylight and much quicker in low light. So does the E-M5. The problem is you are comparing the A7 to the wrong model. You should be comparing it to the E-M5 which has a similar build quality although still has the edge on build. It is unfair to compare the A7 to the E-M1 as the A7 is not designed to be a top end full frame camera where the E-M1 is designed to be a top end M43 camera. The A7 is at the budget end of the FF market.

You must have had the E-M1 set up wrong as the last thing it is is less responsive. It switches on quicker, it has faster AF, menus are quicker to use, the buffer is larger, it saves Raw files quicker (yes the A7 files are larger but the Nikon D610 saves the files quicker as well). A lot of reviews are saying the E-M1 is the more responsive camera to use. It is just quicker.

1 upvote
Stu 5

But that is to be expected as you can't have a larger sensor and have a camera that is as quick but not have to pay more money for it. That will be for higher spec Sony model if they bring one out.

0 upvotes
naththo

cybm you are deliberately talking about wider dynamic range on E-M1 is out of JPEG not RAW files at default of ISO 200 at normal graduation which is wider than Sony A7 JPEG at iso 100. The user setting of ISO 100 dynamic range I look at is on par with Sony A7 ISO 100 dynamic range, they are both in JPEG. JPEG is never as good as RAW. Raw will have MUCH better information in bits and will have much wider dynamic range than the JPEG though. Sony A7 still beats hand down on RAW dynamic range better than E-M1 overall. Although Sony has much better noise in shadow at low ISO than Nikon current Toshiba sensor that got disturbed with banding and Canon sensor with colourful shadow noise like in 70D. While SOny A7 has much better noise at higher ISO than E-M1. Although that is not a fair comparison since E-M1 is only 4/3rd sensor and Sony A7 is a FF.

1 upvote
Neroon

That will be the A9r...

0 upvotes
Akpinxit

"FF" as for now meant "premium" . Not much so with a7 . With its' current handling issues (FPS , JPGs and compressed RAW , lens choice ) this is just another annual model ammature update , which by chance got included big sensor .

1 upvote
Kiril Karaatanasov

Thsi is silly. Since there is no previous camera on which this updates....

5FPS is not bad. Many of the top DSLRs are 5 FPS - D610 is not much faster.

the other things sony should fix. But compressed RAW for exampel was something users chose in a900 and Sony removed the uncompressed option no one ever used.

1 upvote
Plastek

?! noone ever used? lol

1 upvote
DT200

Kiril Karaatanasov, the A7 can barely do 2.5 FPS while focusing and the D600 is more that twice that fast.
Also having compared the EM1 and A7 side by side, the EM1 is much faster to operate, faster to focus and faster in frames per second. The A7 had some serious slow focusing issues in low light too.

2 upvotes
Chrisflower

I honestly think that someone was trying to find negative aspects before positive ones during this review.

The section regarding JPG quality was focused a lot on the "hair in the soup" as opposed to the postive side of things.

I normaly think that you are a good and trustworthy site, but here you totally lost me. (it's not the result, it's the sound behind it)

2 upvotes
nandadevieast

Someone said it on another forum, how true:
"I think that was an unfair review that got too hung up on details and missed the bigger picture about what a massive breakthrough this camera is.
And I dont even like the camera."

5 upvotes
robbo d

In principal....i'm hearing you, but is that not what most of these reviews do, pick out details, because for one person, that detail may seem to be the positive or negative that breaks the deal.
Are we not to check all this out ourselves and make our on decisions??
It's a bit like their scoring system and the fascination with video in these cameras and how much that means to the BULK of users.
This gets 80% and silver, while 70D gets 83% and gold.
My Pick is that K3 will get gold and around the 80% mark, marked down on video again........yet the guy who can't care less for video will think its a 90% platinum and he should not concern and just buy it.
Of course it's breakthrough and I don't much like the look of it or it's ergonomics either, but sure a lot will and take what they want out of it without worrying too much about Dpreview.

0 upvotes
Akpinxit

But that is what this (and like it) site for : to give us the in-depth review , to dig out small handling issues and flows . The "big-picture-breakthrough-revolutionary-product" would be well covered by its' company press release .

0 upvotes
HFLM

To finish: I like the A7, it serves as a complement to my OMD for shallow depth of field work, where speed is not important (changing from looking at the lcd to the viewfinder takes the camera a long time compare to the OMD, it's MUCH slower then my EM1 or the previous D7100 I used, in my opinion). No camera is perfect. Everyone can weight positives and negatives personally. But it's childish to take a review personal.

3 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov

Are you sure? I did not notice any slowness with A7 or any super speed with M1. Except M1 live view lags far behind especially with switched on effects.

0 upvotes
jonny1976

if 25 review say the camera is much slower than em1 maybe is you? i tried both tin the shop for 5 minutes is clear that the em1 and the gh3 are a ferrari compared to sony a7 speed...in every aspect from af to start to reviewing.

0 upvotes
Camley

So if the EM-1 got a silver award you would OK with that?

0 upvotes
HFLM

Why is it such a great marvel to have a FF mirror less, only because it's the first (what about Leica)? For me it's a natural progression of increasing the sensor in already existing technology. The first digital SLR, the first mirror less ever, yes, but was the hype the same for the first mirror less APSC? It's a very good camera, too much for most who only print A4 or not even at all. Most differences are only seen at 100% (so too the JPG issues mentioned here). Many claim it's the best mirror less. That's very objectionable, because it depends on personal preferences. People always compare extremes (lightest FF vs. largest m43), which doesn't make sense. There is always some overlap. Size and form factor are only nice if used with small (expensive) primes. Fast glass especially zooms are large and heavy and the form factor is ridiculed. Even the 55/1.8 (which I admire due to it's quality wide open) is large and makes the depth of the A7 similar to a 6d or D610 with 50mm lens.

3 upvotes
twfsir

It would be nice if Sony devloped a range of lenses for the Sony a7r as quickly as possible, and some were faster lenses. Zeiss can certainly do it. Next to Leica they have great lenses.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
KL Matt

This system is a major coup and perhaps the road forward for the interchangeable lens camera market. That's huge news. The (here somewhat maligned) camera is proving popular and has captured the attention and imagination of the entire photographic community. Sure, it's not perfect. But the first of its kind rarely is. Nit picking this body's faults is most certainly missing the point, which is: it does indeed work fairly well, apparently. The electronic viewfinder and live view, the operating speed despite massive resolution, the AF (in good light at least), it's all good enough. And those are the key problems no one else had yet been able to master to the degree that they could market a palatable FF mirrorless evf system. And now, here it is. And it's being embraced by many. At this price, it changes everything. DPR's grudging acceptance of this big development puzzles me.

18 upvotes
Jogger

Whats interesting is that no other company is really in a position to come out with a direct competitor; this is very similar to the RX100, RX1, and RX10.. no direct competitors. The Fuji mount may be large enough to accommodate FF.. even then, i doubt they would want to put resources into FF. They seem set on APSc. Oly and Pana are stuck with m43. Nikon is lost. And Canon is idling. Leica will always be a niche player.

3 upvotes
DFPanno

@ Jogger - Good summation. Life-long Canon shooter and all my recent acquisitions are Sony. RX100, RX1, and soon an A7R.

2 upvotes
KL Matt

No, I don't think Fuji's mount is large enough and certainly their optics will not cover the full frame image circle. Ricoh/Pentax could mount a challenge if they chose to. Sadly, they appear incapable or unwilling to do so. It's still early days, however. There are huge risks, but Sony can afford to take risks and not go bankrupt. Smaller camera makers are not in such a position -- they are forced to sit by and watch while the big guys duke it out. Canon and Nikon are simply doing the smartest thing -- letting the little guys spend all their money on R&D until it's clear where the market is headed, and then they'll cover that segment with their own (likely more successful) offering. You've seen this behaviro with pancake lenses, small SLRs, small mirrorless systems, etc. Canon and Nikon are always late to the game, but they can obviously afford to be. They don't risk trying to push the market one way or another because they don't have to: wherever it goes, they'll be there anyway.

1 upvote
quezra

This is how DPR bias is actually anti-innovation. In business, it's well known if a market is heavily saturated, the smart thing to do is create a segment that didn't previously exist. Apple have been great at this under Steve Jobs. But when Sony try the same in the camera world creating an innovative camera that does a little of everything pretty well and shows how the giant DSLR isn't the only way to get good IQ while a small camera doesn't have to have a small sensor, the DPR reviewers compare it against the best of all possible worlds ... and so it gets compared against mirrorless in some cases, against FF DSLRs in others. And in the end this kind of thoughtless review ends up supporting the conventional wisdoms and established paradigms of the big 2. But probably since they're a popularity driven website at the end of the day, they have been pandering to established demographics instead of being interested in stretching our ideas of where innovative photography can go.

9 upvotes
bluevellet

Imagine an receiving a phone call on your Iphone, you pick it up and it takes several second to wake it out of stand-by mode. To the point of missing calls in the process

Imagine an App store with only 2 or 3 apps, the rest you just hijack apps from Nokia running some clunky Symbian emulator on your Iphone.

Imagine your Iphone telling you have a voice message, you try to listen to it and it's garbled and difficult to understand. So you need to download it and run it through Soundforge on your PC to clean it up and finally understand the whole message.

I don't think DPReview is anti-innovation, I think they just reward what works. So while you guys are screaming "look at the FF sensor!", DPReview answers "yeah, we've been taking photos with it for the last 3 months, here's our thoughts about this flawed thing."

1 upvote
KL Matt

I don't know if I would go so far as to say DPR is anti-innovation. I suppose instead I'd say in faithfully performing their self-ordained duty to give this digital camera a thorough technical and operational review, they've failed to see the forest for the trees: In this case, it's the system that matters, and the design philosophy within the context of the other players on the market that's behind this unique system. Sony went out and did what every gearhead camera geek has been dreaming about for the last 10 years. They went out and stuck a full-frame sensor in a body as thin and small as the smallest high-quality SLRs of the 70s (Olympus OM, Pentax MX), putting full frame image quality in an interchangeable lens package that is unobtrusive for the first time since perhaps Leica, which most people can't afford. It's as if they fail to understand that this inherently involves design compromises, but is still a reason to celebrate, not an opportunity to criticize the compromises.

0 upvotes
DT200

There are so many here that create a fantasy word in order to justify their favorite brand camera. When fans start claiming the A7 sensor has higher IQ than the D600 when DxO proves the opposite, you can clearly see this. One guy even claimed the A7 has better handling, better controls, higher IQ, better native lenses than the D600 which really has me scratching my head. And now suddenly no one ever uses JPEGs.
As I said before the D600 almost everything better than the A7 (especially the important things like focusing, speed, IQ, more/better auto focusing lenses, etc.). The D600 has hundreds of more legacy lenses that it can use AND auto focus with, and once you add and adapter to the A7 the size difference is reduced.

13 upvotes
ProfHankD

E-mount cameras can autofocus not only native E-mount, but also all A-mounts (very fast), all Canon EF/EF-S, and all Contax G. That's way more AUTOFOCUS lenses than any other camera ever made. Nothing wrong with the D600, but it's not the "game changer" that the A7 is.

10 upvotes
Stu 5

It does not autofocus all A-mount lenses very fast. It varies from lens to lens.

6 upvotes
DT200

In order to use an A mount lens a mirror is used to block 30-40% of the light reducing IQ. The focus system is also a step below the one use used on the A77 and 2 steps below the A99. It is also no match for the Nikon AF system.
So if you are looking for better IQ, better lenses, better focusing, better performance, a better grip, a real OVF that doesn't black out or have a delay, you will want to pass on the "game changer".

7 upvotes
roomnoxii

@DT200
The mount adapter for A-mount does not reduce light by so much. It's actually just 1/3 of a stop.
But I do agree that the A7/R has all those little things that bother me as well, especially the slight lag when switching to EVF from Live View. It's barely there, but I notice it because I use an A77 right now which switches immediately. And that shutter sound! Wow, it scares the hell out of people.

I was about to get one last week, but have decided to hold off and see if Sony will be upgrading their APS-C top end soon.

The A7 is a game changer alright, however that doesn't mean it's an excellent camera per se.

2 upvotes
jonny1976

autofocus with metabones take 3 4 second ....wow. amazing. you can stop a turtle!

2 upvotes
Stu 5

I hope that is 3 to 4 seconds and not 34 seconds! :-)

0 upvotes
ProfHankD

Rated lowest of the full-frame cameras? I have an A7 that I'm using for very technical work and I can't agree. Aside from any IQ arguments, I think the EVF alone should justify gold, as would the fact that it can use just about any lens ever made.

However, DPReview did catch my biggest gripe: the 1/60s A mode preference. Basically, all Sony models have followed the 1/focal_length rule, but they have a long tradition of assuming unknown lenses are 50mm, hence selecting 1/60s. Allowing the user to manually set the minimum speed would be a step in the right direction, but the real fix is to let the user tell the camera about the unchipped lenses and maintain a list of such lens data to select from instead of the "shoot without lens" choice. That lens info should go into the EXIF and be used to compute 1/focal_length, or perhaps even allow a user-specified default slowest shutter speed to be registered for each lens.

6 upvotes
shoevarek

Well. I thought about such firmware feature since I acquired A900 few years ago. It would be more useful to me than many camera improvements to date. It seems however that it is beyond the skills of Sony firmware developers to implement it.

1 upvote
Stu 5

Using it for very technical work does not mean it is good for everything.

Why should it get a gold for the EVF alone when the E-M1 is better and the one in the new Fuji is rumoured to be larger and better. Remember DPR will already be working on a hands on test of the new Fuji.

3 upvotes
ProfHankD

My "technical work" involves computational photography research which is, to say the least, very unforgiving about IQ issues.

None of the competing FF cameras DPReview ranked higher than the A7 has anything like that EVF, and I do indeed think it is a qualitative improvement over the best OVF -- particularly in allowing you to see focus and DoF, which autofocus DSLR OVFs sacrifice in order to make the view brighter (installing a 3rd-party focus screen helps somewhat). DSLRs also have the issue that PDAF can't work stopped down -- which you need to see DoF; without manual focus aids in the OVF, you simply don't have much of an option.

1 upvote
iAPX

What is the interest of a FULL FRAME mirorless?

If this is size, maybe we should use them with a pancake (there are none), not with the big lenses that are offered. It's even worse when you look at the adapters for old Sony lenses.

Do they have any commoon sense at sony?!?

2 upvotes
Felice62

What it is all about m43 when you see someone shooting EM1 with oly 300F/2.8 stuck on it??? Does that make less weight than shooting 5d3 with EF600l? by what margin?

Does that, then, make any sense?

0 upvotes
jl_smith

Full frame in a much smaller package than a DSLR.
Compatibility with lots of 3rd party, nice MF lenses.

The inevitable pancakes will follow I'm sure.

1 upvote
zink

"The inevitable pancakes will follow I'm sure."

With such a small mount to sensor distance? I doubt it.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jogger

Pancake lenses are seriously compromised designs to get them to that size and shape. Might as well use a phone camera at that point. FF is about image quality, if that is not your concern than just use a phone camera.

1 upvote
socode

Have you seen any legacy lenses? They are often 2/3 the size/weight of a modern AF equivalent.

The FE lenses are far from massive also.

0 upvotes
Avobanana

Pancakes may or may not be compromised. The canon 40 f/2.8 is known to be an exceptional performer. The reason is because there is very few elements needed for correction at that focal length.

0 upvotes
Plastek

If image quality is your main concern: use a proper DSLR.

This camera got very little to offer in that regard (mostly because huge lack of any lens line up what so ever. What they have now are... what? 4 random lenses? What a joke).

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Felice62

I might sound paranoid but all that criticism about A7 artifacts with quite a bit of an effort trying to induct this 'poor image quality' I don't quite like.
I haven't seen any such attempt in any other camera test so far..
Is it only to be extremely picky?
Why not so with Canikon bodies?
..
The fact is that the A7 is a real great camera selling for the same amount of money EM-1 is selling here in Europe.....

9 upvotes
jl_smith

Because the artifacting was a known phenomenon with the A7s as opposed to other cameras? So if DPR knew the situation could exist, they went about to prove it and demonstrate how/when it rears its head.

That doesn't mean the A7 isn't a great camera, but it's an issue to be aware of.

4 upvotes
cybm

I think A7 is a nice "first" try from Sony,obviously it has to be improved to make it as a TOP product. Even its a full frame machine now (because of things I mention below) I would choose Olympus OM-D EM1 as a hobby photographer.

The most important things should be implemented / improved:
- built-in stabilization (sensor shift)
- touch-screen
- speed up and improve the focus speed and accuracy (weak low light performance)

0 upvotes
harold1968

Focus is fast and more accurate then phase detect
Really

1 upvote
cybm

I made my conclusion acc. to the Cameralab's and DPreview's tests. Both sites mentioned that out of the phase detection area and specially in low light conditions the focus is not so fast :\

1 upvote
naththo

You miss the point. Real photography uses MF for some situation that AF can't do like trees, gardens, portrait etc that can confuse any camera with AF cos of variation of distance between camera and the subject.

0 upvotes
jonny1976

focus is not fast..not comparable to can ikon....this guy is the worst fan boyish ever seen in preview. desperate with this silver, he needs a doctor.
go in any shop and try the em1 gh3 and a7. those who say a7 has fast af are simply too biased to be believed.
every review i have seen, tells the same, great sensor, bout slow af in low light and normal in good light, also poor responsive camera.

1 upvote
SonyA7r

I will never choose EM-1 over A7 because of the following stats

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-A7-versus-Olympus-OM-D-E-M1___916_909

No contest all!

3 upvotes
Camley

I would choose the a7 over the EM-1 for its image quality which is the most important factor for me.

1 upvote
DDWD10

Seems like a lot to give up for less size/weight. And that's just the body, not the lenses.

That said, it's a good first step and I'm sure that Sony will refine this product into something truly great.

3 upvotes
Jogger

Not sure is about giving up. Its not meant to be a D4 competitor.. its meant to be the smallest FF ILC, which means a different set of design trade-offs.

1 upvote
DDWD10

I see your point, but the laws of physics still dictate large, FF-image circle lenses no matter how small the body is. Wouldn't balance suffer using large lenses on a small body?

1 upvote
avronaut

No word in regard to the RX1/RX1R? That is disappointing.

0 upvotes
bobbarber

Maybe I'm off, but I'm thinking here of the Panasonic G1. I owned one. It was a great camera, but the first of its kind, and subsequent models were better specified, had more features, etc. The G6 I have now is a much better camera than the G1 was. This also sounds like a great camera, that will be improved in subsequent iterations. I hope so. I like the idea of FF mirrorless.

0 upvotes
JF69

Full-frame mirrorless is here? Actually it's been "HERE" a long time, it's just that the review took long to be ready ;-)

2 upvotes
naththo

Um nope, it never arrive in Australia till xmas. So I wouldn't whinge waiting for review so long. USA get stock first then Australia comes later maybe few months later where I live. So too bad have some patience for review to come through.

0 upvotes
CGF

The ratings section of the review is a bit confusing. In the text and links, the camera is compared to the canon 6d and Nikon d 600, but in the ratings, those camera are mid level full frame while the a7 is a semi-professional full frame. It is confusing where dpreview thinks this camera fits into the hierarchy.

0 upvotes
naththo

I agreed its only semi professional for A7. Professional one would be pointing to D4 and 1DX. Canon 6D and 600D should remain semi professional not mid level.

0 upvotes
Rooru S

"But, while it has done a remarkable job creating these two cameras, we feel that some refinements are necessary in order to make them more competitive with the likes of the Canon EOS 6D and Nikon D610."

Why compare it to SLRs when it's a mirrorless we are talking about???

3 upvotes
Plastek

Because of it's price point and sensor size (and the fact that it's also an interchangeable lens camera).

1 upvote
JohnEwing

Why compare it with cameras with smaller sensors when it's a full frame? Why compare it with cameras with fewer pixels? Why compare it with cameras with more pixels?

In other words, why not compare it with SLRs if it's trying to offer similar performance?

It's all about image quality, handling and ergonomics, not religion.

4 upvotes
quezra

The trick is to compare it to whatever suits your narrative when necessary. So "loud" shutter? Only if you're comparing it to mirrorless. JPEG artifacts? Only if you place as much importance on the JPEGs as you would in assessing compact cameras. Ergonomics? Only when judging it against FF DSLRs that are much larger. You can see why the narrative comes off looking like an unprofessional hatchet job. Yet the final scores are the actual corrective that kind of show how irrelevant most of their complaints really are.

3 upvotes
zink

Why compare it to SLRs when it's a mirrorless we are talking about???

That is my point of view too. It has the same price as the OM-D E-M1 and the best Fuji mirrorless is not far behind. A mirrorless camera is about having the same IQ of a good SLR, but without the bulk. I sold my SLR and bought a NEX-5 (own a NEX-6 now) a few years ago and never looked back. Now it is even possible to have SLR FF IQ in a small package. Sony deserves more than a silver award for that. But what does dpreview do? They are going to compare this little camera to some huge SLR's and they miss what this camera is about. It is not about the compromises you have to make when you put FF into a small mirrorless camera. It is about the freedom such a small camera gives you and the possibility to use almost every lens ever made.

2 upvotes
twfsir

I agee with you. One reason I like the Sony a7r is that is is smaller and lighter than the SLR's cameras. It takes great photographs, and when they have a full compliment of lenses it will be a important step in the right direction.

1 upvote
Plastek

So what - let's run comparison with Nikon 1?
Don't be silly.

0 upvotes
Segaman

Now i know why they don't review gear as often, people are really critics about it, it adds some flavor to this website.
People here are aware.

2 upvotes
Ian Leach

The 28-70mm lens looks rather poor for landscape shots. The cityscape photo DSC00583 at f9 is terribly soft well in from the edges.

1 upvote
naththo

Ian, you forgot that is a Kit Lens not a real stand alone lens. Kit lens always have lower quality than the real stand alone lens. Thats why I am waiting to buy new Sony ZA 24-70mm F4 next month to go with A7 that will produce MUCH better quality than that Kit lens. That Kit Lens only worth $50 or so to me in Australia when combined in package with A7. It worth nothing compare to real lens.

1 upvote
guyfawkes

I just wonder how many who are posting here actually own the camera and therefore have first hand experience of it, or are they merely repeating what they've read and in doing so have formed their own, unsubstantiated opinion?
For the record I own it and whilst it is not perfect, which camera is, its blend of features and performance make it a solid performer. No issues with its jpegs, but its RAW is superior.

Pixel peeping is helpful only in looking at how a camera performs at the extreme, and seeing how another camera performs under the same shooting conditions, but it otherwise has no meaning for everyday shooting.

And for those intrigued by the lossless 14/12 bit RAW argument, I was intrigued too, so have a look here and make up your own mind:

http://www.diyphotography.net/12bit-vs-14bit-raw-and-compressed-vs-uncompressed-does-it-matter

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
Docmartin

Regarding the compressed vs uncompressed RAW "issue" you may be right, but I want to choose! I am not happy at all with Sony´s attitude to secretly force it upon us. I want to be able to turn compression on and off.

1 upvote
Felice62

I own the A7 since it appeared and I am very happy of its performance and IQ.
I admit Sony's jpeg engine does not honor the quality of the A7 sensor but shooting RAW that does not bother me at all. I have the clear impression that at DPR they've been trying to drop more than a shadow on an otherwise, somewhat, exceptional toy..

2 upvotes
naththo

I have no issue problem with Sony RAW file, I don't see any artifact or banding or even no posterisation. Thats applies to both Nex 7 and A7 I have. But what irritate me is that ACR raw editing leaves a lot of green cast or cyan cast in blue skies while incamera JPEG produces a lot better result. Thats why I have to get colour checker and fine tune those to match the JPEG incamera colours. It gonna take some time to fine tune it to match it. I am not interesting in tripe of Passport Colour Checker software or ACR calibration these auto calibration are not accurate imo.

0 upvotes
rrccad

the RAW files aren't just compressed. they are lossy compressed and will toss away alot of tonal values, especially when you have a quick transition between light / dark zones.

Not sure why you'd show a Nikon comparison - for the most part, nikon does their firmware right.

Seems odd to create cameras that are supposed to be all about the IQ .. and then you toss away nearly 8000+ tonal values in your effort to normalize each channel down to 1773 unique values.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Docmartin

Completely agree with rrccad. Sony´s approach defies any logic.

1 upvote
naththo

Thanks for the link guyfawkes thats a great one to read on. I couldn't see much difference between 12 and 14 bits. But Shadow/colours may show bit of difference for that Nikon part, like the 14 bit one shows a bit warmer than 12 bit. But once again I can't see much difference.

0 upvotes
Docmartin

I agree, the differences are subtle. We are "complaining" at a high level here. But thats how it is as todays cameras are so advanced, differences in IQ are getting smaller and smaller. Nevertheless, there IS a difference and the difference is real and may matter for critical shots. I just hate to be mislead by Sony that the A7s RAWs are truly 14 bit when in fact they are only 11 bit. Why dont they just say it? Providing the compression algorithm is "intelligent" we may even get an Advantage - but Sony has to disclose what the camera does with the RAW files and why.

1 upvote
luis caramujo

I own a A7R. When i press the shutter button, the sound remainds me that for the theme i choosed i will get the best possible result.
If i wanted ease of use, i would have chosen a m4/3

1 upvote
sierranvin

When I hear the sound the shutter button makes it reminds me that with an average or at least a silenceable shutter, the animals I had hoped to shoot would not have reacted to me, now looking unnatural, or, worse yet, turned and run off!

0 upvotes
KW Phua

FF can give good IQ, but other features are importance for producing great pictures. Not ready yet, for this camera. Sony just need to get some fund from the fanboys to further improve the next camera. Well done Sony.

1 upvote
Elaka Farmor

One of the cons "Limited battery life". I have not yet seen any camera with unlimited battery life ;-)

26 upvotes
DaveE1

Good point, Elaka. And funny too.

3 upvotes
Plastek

Limited comparing to other cameras in similar price point (which got far better performance).

My English is far from perfect yet I understood that statement just fine - no idea why you can't.

2 upvotes
BarnET

Dslr's will always have better battery life then mirrorless.
They don't need the sensor to put through live information the whole time.

0 upvotes
Plastek

Life's harsh, isn't it? ;)

0 upvotes
Elaka Farmor

Plastek, my English is even worse. But despite that, I think people very well understand my irony - no idea why you can´t.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Dimit

Fact: THE A7 is the best MIRRORLESS camera AS OF THIS VERY MOMENT.Period.
Minor improvements can be made in future as in every other manufacturer's model,isn't it self understood?
As far as the jpeg's peformance,I can assure it's STUNNING!..and I'm not on a ''noise reduction on'' habbit.
Just LEARN the camera and you're OK.The-otherwise respectable-reviewers may find some digitally oriented faults-which one can easily overcome-but ,as far as I can gather seeing their photo samples,they are not experienced ''photographers''
Every sinle camera has it's pros and cons but for what Sony has achieved,this tool is A REVOLUTION,NOT JUST EVOLUTION.
Platinum award for those who know!!!
P.S. Don't bother with all junk lenses which you can anyway use..FE Zeiss are excellent,bespoke made.No comparison with Canikon ones.

22 upvotes
bluevellet

I'm sorry, man, but the editorial staff disagree with you. In fact most users here disagree with you as seen in the mirrorless poll. Even Sony fans disagree with you since they chose the a7r over the a7 in the same poll.

You're free to like what you like though.

14 upvotes
Plastek

No, it's not a revolution, no it's not the best mirrorless ever. People voted - it couldn't even get a first spot for best mirrorless last year. So don't get too excited, fanboy.

1 upvote
TrojMacReady

McDonalds sells the best food, people voted. ;-)

5 upvotes
Eleson

@bluevellet
with users you mean dpr users, not a7 users, right?

2 upvotes
Plastek

TrojMacReady - people voted with their wallets for cheap-fast. That's compacts, and they get most sales of all dedicated camera.
We talk here about preference, not sales number (though A7 looses in both: sales and user preferences).

0 upvotes
naththo

A7R is the weakest leak.

Why: Lots of feature missing when A7 has more feature than that.
Another problem 36MP FF is inferior in quality compare to A7 is much sharper than soft looking 36MP. Similar eg to 24 MP APS-C is inferior compare to 16 MP APS-C is much sharper. It should limit at 24MP for FF and 16MP for APS-C. More the MP, more softness, more noise and more diffraction as a consequence.

Another weakest link is no anti aliasing filter is for the loss. I hate it. Moire is horrible!

A7R, you are the weakest link, goodbye!

I hope Sony learn a hard way, never ever take off the filter. Its totally unnecessary. I still get razor sharp shot out of sensor with filter on.

I agreed it will be MUCH better quality when combined with Sony ZA or Carl Zeiss. Thats enough I think.

0 upvotes
naththo

For more information. I can prove that when I scanned film with 4000 DPI it looks sharper than when scanned at 7200 DPI. 4000 DPI for 35mm is about 20MP or so in file size. I have experiment with that Plustek Opticfilm 120 as I own it too. So its pretty much well said that having 24MP is plenty enough for FF, over is just too much and detail is not as sharp as 24MP or less for FF.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady

"We talk here about preference, not sales number (though A7 looses in both: sales and user preferences)."

You were talking about votes related to a poll. And now that you're admitting to the fact that we can't compare apples and oranges, I'm still not sure why you're comparing a 4/3 camera with a FF camera, both clearly targeting different markets (for various reasons, including frame coverage).

Also, you don't have sales statistics to back up your claim, only a gut feeling and irrelevant numbers (local, single retailer, non verifiable and worst of all, very short term) such as Amazon ranks, at best.

2 upvotes
matty_boy

I'm as baffled as some others about the very heavy weighting that seems to come from the reviewers perception of jpeg processing. We have an a7r alongside a D800E in store, connected to a 4K monitor. I have to say the general consensus is that jpeg output is good, much more inline with other reviews i have read, but reviews are subjective i suppose. The a7 has been a massive hit, i think the size and form are great but its the price that has really got customers excited. Id also say that professionals tend to use jpeg a lot, especially when quickly posting reportage stuff but the a7r is a consumer Full frame camera, id say these users (based on experience selling this sort of kit for many years) are much more likely to use RAW anyway. I really haven't seen the kludgy sharpening artefacts mentioned though and the evidence on here really seems inconclusive.

13 upvotes
DaveE1

I think we put too much weight on the opinions of the reviewers to be honest. It is just their opinion about just another piece of equipment that happens to keep them busy on another day.

To get the most out of these reviews, just take a look at the specs, the nice photos and some of the images. DPReview does those well, and on a technically great site too. However, the opinion bits are just that. Opinions. It has been a long time since I bought anything based on a DPReviewer's personal preference.

Don't get me started on the business intricacies involved in running a site owned by a big retailer and sponsored by companies that produce the product they review.

3 upvotes
Stu 5

Sharpening artefacts have been an issue with Sony Jpegs for a long time and I am surprised that working in a camera shop you are not aware of this and cannot see it on the files. I am guessing the 4K monitor might be a TV monitor so that could be the issue? Your one of the very few shops that are finding the camera is selling in large numbers. Lots report the opposite.

0 upvotes
naththo

A7 has posterisation problem when high ISO NR is on even when you shoot JPEG at ISO 100. Thats unfortunate incident but it did happened to my Nex 7 also. I prefer having it high ISO NR off and posterisation is gone. I prefer raw shooting over JPG so I can get much better quality photos out of software at later time.

0 upvotes
matty_boy

Stu 5: I didn't say I'm not familiar with jpeg artefacts, I'm aware of them, Sony are relatively new to serious photography and most P&S cameras are very similar so i wouldn't really scrutinise them and we've never really shifted much Sony stock. The a7 certainly seems to produce good jpegs and its not just me who thinks this. Given the set up we have its on a par in most cases, with the D800 standard output but it is all subjective at the end of the day. For monitor we are lucky to have a Dell Ultrasharp 32" (not cheap!!) calibrated using a DataColor Spyder (which sells surprisingly well). Im not sure where your sales information is from but news from our reps is that the Sony's are selling strongly (better than many of the big brand Full frame models). Full Frame cameras (other than the 5D MkII which must have broken sales number records based on our experience) dont sell in large numbers. Even the Sony's with a decent piece of glass will set you back £2K definitely doing well though

1 upvote
Docmartin

Lossy RAW compression in a FF camera? This is a no go !!!

Sony advertise the A7/A7R as 14 bit colour depth, but apparently it even lags behind the 12 bit of smaller (e.g. MFT) sensor cameras?

2 upvotes
zodiacfml

I hope it can be solved with firmware update.

0 upvotes
Docmartin

I doubt very much this will be changed. Sony obviously delibertately implemented RAW compression on this camera to increase its speed. Removing compression via a firmware update would have a negative impact not only on the continuous shooting rate but also significantly slow down shot to shot rate in single shot mode. This would greatly reduce usability.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
TrojMacReady

Actually, compression can also slow down cameras, it all depends on the hardware (CPU power vs buffer memory and memory bandwith).

It's odd to see so much weight given to compression when it's been used for about a decade and the A99 already lacked the option of uncompressed RAW. On top of that, most compression methods used by makers today, are lossy in reality.

4 upvotes
Docmartin

Maybe you are right that other manufacturers are also empolying RAW compression (lossy or lossles) to SOME extent (but not as much as Sony does). But advertising the A7/A7R as 14 bit output is misleading to put it mildly. If I buy a 14 bit camera, I don´t want one with effectively only 11 bit which secretly uses an unknown and undisclosed compression algorithm.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Plastek

Note: lossless compression is not the same as lossy compression.

A7 uses lossy compression.

1 upvote
TrojMacReady

I have yet to see a comparison between the lossy compression methods used that proves the Sony version is more lossy. The Nikon lossy version compresses every MP to about 1MB (36MB for the D800), similar to the Sony version, so at least file size is similar in those modes.

And all those algorithms tend to be propriety.

To my mind, the main complaint here should be the lack of an option for uncompressed or non lossy compressed RAW. Not the fact that there is lossy compression.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Docmartin

@Plastek: Lossless compression won´t bother me at all, ín contrary, it´s a good thing to have.

It is the LOSSY compression of the A7 which bothers me. Sony advertises the RAW Output as 14 bit, I pay for 14 bit, so I want to get 14 bit and no less. Anything else is cheating.

1 upvote
Docmartin

@TrojMacReady: completely agree - my only complaint is the lack of an option for uncompressed (or losslessly compressed) RAW. Unless this is fixed in a Firmware update (which I doubt very much), this is the only reason I will not buy an A7.

0 upvotes
naththo

Um...I am absolutely sure Sony can add a new feature in firmware update to add both lossy compression raw and lossless compression raw in option you can choose with. So far I have not seen such an issue problem with raw editing software when I use raw file out of A7 and Nex 7, I don't see any banding, artifact or posterisation at all. Nothing. Remember Nikon had to add lossless compression to it when people demand it.

1 upvote
Docmartin

"Remember Nikon had to add lossless compression to it when people demand it."

Right, but Nikon HAD to. Nikon as a Company serving hundreds of thousands of (rela) professional fotogs has a far better history (and NEED) to LISTEN to the end user than has Sony as a "consumer" company.

0 upvotes
Mister J

No bult-in flash? No A7 for me then, as clunky add-ons add time, weight, and a camera bag to my load. Looks reasonable otherwise, though since I'm mostly a jpg shooter, maybe not the best to go for. Think the Pana GM1 more me.

0 upvotes
Plastek

GM1 is completely different type of camera :) Just compare a size - GM1 is actually a pocketable, small mirrorless camera that brings some value in that over a DSLR. This one? Is just little bit smaller (mostly in depth) than a DSLR, but still bulky enough for you to carry it exactly as if you'd carry a DSLR, so... if you are concerned about size - A7 is not an option.

3 upvotes
Ian SS

What is one of the most important factors in photography, lighting, if you are serious about taking good photos, built-in flash is not an option.

6 upvotes
cheddargav

This is sarcasm right?

3 upvotes
Plastek

Ian - and if you have a build-in flash you always use it for lighting your photos, right? Haven't discovered commander mode yet?

1 upvote
YiannisPP

"a7's photos suffer from many of the same issues as Sony's compact cameras. These issues include posterization and clumsy sharpening and noise reduction algorithms"

Hum, when reading this one would be excused to think that DPR is indeed being overcritical of Sony. Are we talking about Sony's consumer compacts? Or the RX100/RX10? Because the latter jpegs do not "suffer" at all.

9 upvotes
James Booba

Dear DPR

is it possible to stop judging the internal JPG engine on all cams, lets say > 500USD, cuz seriously, buying a cam for 1500 or more USD with RAW i cant care less bout JPGs. was nice 5 years ago - with small SD cards, but nowdays? Tilt screen on a cam is far important/usefull then crappy JPGs.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
bluevellet

I don't care about video specs in camera reviews, can they skip that too?

Oh wait, some people might be interested in that.

27 upvotes
sharkcookie

Personally I couldn't care less about JPG output and I tend to skip that part in camera reviews. But I'm not everyone and I realize that JPG output is very important to many users. So heck yes, a review should take a close look at JPG quality and rate it.

1 upvote
Rasmus Rask

I bought the Sony A7r for 4 reasons. Superior image quality (shooting RAW), a second to none image IQ / portability ratio, legacy lens compatibility and the shear happiness of being a first-mover on a truly INNOVATIVE product. Talking to colleagues and reading up on the internet I can safely say that several other Sony A7/A7r owners agree with me on these purchasing criteria.

I could not help think that only 1.5 of the 4 criteria’s is actually represented by the rating – image quality and to some extent third party lens compatibility (how it works and not the uniqueness of the offering). I think the review should be based more on the actual camera offering and less on a rigid template.

So I would suggest that DPReview in the future base reviews on 1) an extended list of scoring parameters to cover ALL RELEVANT parameters, and 2) a weighted relevance factor, to cover ONLY RELEVANT parameters. In this way you would get a score based on the uniqueness of the specific camera offering.

3 upvotes
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