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Conclusion - Pros

  • Small, light, full-frame camera
  • Excellent image quality when shooting Raw
  • Solid build quality
  • FE lenses are of superb quality, equal to the sensor's high resolution
  • Compatible with a huge range of legacy 35mm camera lenses with no field-of-view crop
  • Large, high-resolution electronic viewfinder
  • Tilting LCD offers good detail and outdoor visibility
  • Useful tools, such as focus peaking and zebra pattern (work well with native lenses)
  • Very good video quality
  • Strong video features: manual controls, audio level adjustment, and uncompressed HDMI output
  • Well-implemented dual-axis electronic level
  • Solid Wi-Fi system allows for remote shooting, easy photo sharing; NFC a plus
  • Charging via USB can be convenient
  • Classic Sony features (HDR, Sweep Panorama) work well
  • Exposure compensation dial makes Auto ISO usable in manual mode
  • Microphone and headphone ports
  • Optional battery grip

Conclusion - Cons

  • Autofocus can be slow in low light
  • Auto ISO tends to keep shutter speed at 1/FL sec, often resulting in soft images
  • High-res sensor requires dedicated approach to shooting
  • JPEG quality not as good as we'd like to see (less relevant for this camera's market though)
  • Limited selection of FE lenses
  • Tools for shooting with third party lenses need improvement
  • Long viewfinder blackout time
  • Longer-than-average startup times
  • Camera 'locks up' while buffer is clearing after continuous shooting
  • Overly sensitive eye sensor (also stays active when screen is tilted)
  • Lacks a built-in flash
  • Short battery life
  • Exposure compensation and rear scroll wheel too easy to bump accidentally
  • Menu arrangement poor and navigation a bit clunky (requires a lot of button-pressing)
  • No in-camera Raw conversion
  • No external charger included for rapid charging or keeping a spare battery topped-up
  • Included remote capture software lacks live preview

Overall conclusion

Sony's a7 and a7R made quite a splash, marking the first time mass-market mirrorless cameras took on full-frame SLRs. As the smallest and lightest 36.3MP camera on the market, the Sony a7R joins a pretty exclusive club, one that heretofore had only the Nikon D800 and D800E as members. Unlike the Nikons, the a7R has the unique ability to adapt to nearly every 35mm lens ever made thanks to a wide array of available adapters, most of them limiting these lenses to manual focus. The a7R also supports existing E-mount lenses without an adapter (though the images will be cropped by default), as well as the company's existing Alpha-mount lenses via adapters. There are only five native FE-mount lenses (one being a tele zoom we haven't seen yet), but Sony promises fifteen lenses by 2015.

We expect the higher price of the Sony a7R (compared to the a7) means that it will attract both serious enthusiasts looking for something new and professionals looking for a more portable full-frame camera, with many from both groups wanting to experiment with legacy or off-brand lenses. We also think many people will be drawn to the a7R because it's seen as 'the better one,' thanks to its higher price and higher-resolution sensor. There's a greater risk of the latter group being disappointed, though through no fault of the camera.

Image Quality

It seems reasonable that a7R users are more likely to shoot Raw, so it's safe to say most will be happy with the image quality from the a7R. Though the default JPEGs still show most of the same issues we saw from the a7, some issues won't play as large a role in the a7R's 36.3MP images as they did in the 24.7MP images of the a7. Still, we recommend JPEG shooters capture Raw when it's important, or if they think they'll be cropping extensively. Alternately, turning off High-ISO Noise Reduction gives some relief from most of the issues we found with the JPEGs, whether ISO is set high or low (oddly).

At low ISOs, noise is comparable to full-frame SLRs such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Nikon D800, keeping plenty of detail until the very highest sensitivities. Sony compresses its Raw files in a lossy and non-optional manner, which raises some concerns about a camera so likely to be bought by demanding Raw shooters. We wish Sony allowed users to save an uncompressed and un-suppressed Raw file, but we didn't encounter the theoretical limitations imposed by Sony's methods to the extent that we found it to be a problem.

One advantage to the Sony a7R is that its high-resolution sensor is matched by the high optical quality of the native FE lenses, providing confidence that cropped images can still make impressive enlargements. We were pleasantly surprised at the sharpness of the two FE primes (35mm F2.8, 55mm F1.8). The 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 makes a few compromises, but produces respectable results for a kit lens (it's only available in kits with the a7 in some markets and it wouldn't be our first choice for making full use of the a7r's capabilities). The 24-70mm F4 is noticeably better, and clearly worthy of its higher price.

Handling

Shooting with the a7R is an enjoyable experience. We like its relatively small body. It feels solid and looks good, and once you get used to its controls, it's not hard to operate with your eye to the viewfinder. As we said of the a7, the exposure compensation dial is too easy to accidentally change, and the scroll wheel on the back of the camera turns too easily, and has a default setting you'll want to change right away. We'd prefer a more substantial grip, but after extensive shooting, we got used to it. We're happy to see Sony replace the NEX-style menu system with a hybrid of the Alpha's tab-based system. We like the relative simplicity of the control arrangement, though, and the custom buttons and function menu make accessing most commonly used settings easier.

The a7R's Wi-Fi feature is excellent, offering remote control, direct uploads to Facebook and Flickr, and downloadable apps that add features to the camera. Mobile devices that support NFC make photo transfer and upload easier, requiring a simple tap. Popular Sony features such as HDR, Dynamic Range Optimizer, and Sweep Panorama all work as you'd expect.

Startup time could use improvement, as sometimes the camera isn't ready quickly enough to catch the moment. If you accidentally switch the camera off then on again, startup time can go from an already slow two seconds to five or more. Autofocus, though, is very good for a contrast-detect system. It occasionally hiccups in low light or when presented with a low-contrast subject, but we prefer it over the a7's hybrid AF system. Contrast-detect AF is potentially more accurate than phase-detect, and given the a7R's high resolution, we're pretty confident calling it up to the task, especially when used in single-point AF mode.

The a7R is able to shoot continuously at just over 4 fps, though the camera will lock up for 8-14 seconds while the buffer is cleared. Battery life on the a7R isn't sufficient for a day of heavy shooting, so you'll want to pick up a spare battery, and an external charger (since none is included in the box).

Its extreme adaptability makes the a7R interesting for those with legacy lenses, and those who like to shoot primarily in manual focus mode. Sony's peaking function works reasonably well, but we still had to focus bracket a lot to get most shots just right. (Shooting with non-FE lenses is discussed more in this article.)

Like the a7, the a7R suffers from a rather short-sighted Auto ISO implementation. What was a nuisance-level problem in the a7 is amplified by the a7R's very high resolution sensor. Left to its own devices, the camera's Auto ISO makes the wrong decision about shutter speed based on focal length. We think anyone choosing the camera because of its 'best of the best' reputation and shooting it like a snapshot camera will run afoul of this tendency often, and blame the camera. In one respect, they'd be right: the camera should either choose higher shutter speeds or allow the user to adjust the minimum shutter speed; but truly, the a7R's high resolution means its not meant for the average snapshooter. As we said of the Nikon D800E, the a7R is better treated like a medium-format camera: it should either be shot on a tripod, or shutter speeds should be set higher to avoid camera shake.

The a7R's video is good but not stand-out. The internal options - with 24p video at up to 24Mbps and 60p at up to 28Mbps - are absolutely sufficient for day-to-day usage. Autofocus works pretty well in video mode, with only occasional focus flutter, and focus peaking will help get better results for anyone willing to manual focus. Higher-end users will appreciate the range of lens compatibility, the mic and headphone sockets, and HDMI output for external recording, but the camera's partial sampling of the sensor (line-skipping) means, like the D800(E), it's likely to show moiré to a degree that may rule-out professional work.

The Final Word

Creating a high-resolution full-frame mirrorless camera that's reasonably portable was inspired. That Sony was careful to craft lenses that are not only of sufficient quality for 24.7MP but equally stunning at 36.3 essentially mitigates the current lack of quantity in native FE lenses. If Sony intends to maintain this kind of quality as the lens selection grows, their full-frame mirrorless line promises to be a premium camera system indeed. With only one major exception, the Sony a7R is ready to serve up remarkable images shot after shot.

The major exception we speak of is the camera's natural demand for greater care when selecting shutter speed. It's this we'd suggest Sony target with a firmware upgrade. Other issues, like startup time, buffer clearing, and battery life we also mentioned about the a7, and they're still true of the a7R. We think plenty of users will be willing to overlook or work around them, given the combination of size and image quality the a7R offers.

When it comes down to it, the Sony a7R's image quality, created by a combination of its high-resolution sensor and premium quality optics, make it an impressive image-maker. That fact trumps most quibbles we have about operation, JPEG processing, and even pre-processing in Raws. Its autofocus system nails focus most of the time and is fast enough for all but action photography.

It's the satisfaction we get from knowing the camera is capable of capturing excellent images that improves our assesment of the Sony a7R. So while it's not a camera we would recommend to everyone, we think for its core audience of dedicated, Raw-shooting perfectionists, the Sony a7R deserves a Gold Award.

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category.
Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.

Sony Alpha 7R
Category: Semi-professional Full Frame Camera
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
PoorExcellent
Good for
Those who have no trouble processing Raw images, and will take the time to learn how best to apply the a7R's keenly sharp sensor.
Not so good for
Snapshooters who would be drawn to the camera because of the high resolution and price tag.
Overall score
82%
When it comes to getting high image quality from a small, full-frame camera, the Sony a7R has it wrapped up. It's worth the higher price and pairs well with Sony's impressive FE lenses.

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Enter the 'Sony Alpha/NEX E-mount Talk' Discussion Forum

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Comments

Total comments: 813
12345
BobFoster

This camera is perfect if you keep the focal range 50 and below. Otherwise you are defeating the purpose of having such a compact body. That said, It is an extraordinary camera in my opinion. I have the a7 and love it. I will keep my Canon 6d for focal ranges higher than 50 such as my 70-200 2.8 because # 1 it's ridiculous to put that huge lens on it, and by the way, # 2, the metabones adapter is useless as the focus takes forever with it... The view finder actually was really good. I thought I would miss the mirror, but I almost forgot it wasn't there. It's doesn't weigh much, yet feels very sturdy in the hand as well. Excellent picture quality when shooting in raw and then doing your own post with it. Better than my 6d I'd have to say.

1 upvote
Nichocore

will my regular emount lenses fit the full frame a7R?

0 upvotes
Galbertson

Wow, new A7 at $1,295! Reconsidering over Nikon D750

Big question for me. My needs are to have LCD out to horizontal and resting Hoodman 3X loupe on it. I want hands free to operate lenses(manual legacy nikkors) right hand changing functions of camera (primarily in manual mode). Is articulating mechanism strong enough to hold up Hoodman? I had read somewhere mechanism on D750 much stronger.
Thanks!

1 upvote
PTewari

With the announcement of A7-II, do you think A7r-II is on its way?

2 upvotes
pablo OM

Could you tell me what do I need to see the raw images of the alpha r7 in Bridge and Photoshop, I already download the Phaseone and I can see the photos there but not in Photoshop, thank you in advance

P.

0 upvotes
ronguo

Though I can appreciate the objective of this review is to include as many factors as possible, most of the factors are entirely subjective and really off base for what I consider to be valid for any camera. My criteria are simple: image quality, ability to manually control all aspects of the camera as and when I want, and flexibility to use legacy lenses. The A7R meets this 100%.

The A7R has the world's best sensor. period. To take advantage of this, you will need the world's best lenses. period. Combined with a good photographer, you will get the world's best images. period.

Its the image that counts.

0 upvotes
Designic

"...most of the factors are entirely subjective..."

and

"...The A7R has the world's best sensor. period..." ??

5 upvotes
Designic

It's an extremely helpful review and has powerful tools to compare performance. Take a look at the tool for comparing images in different lighting, above. That's the sort of information many of us need before deciding on which cameras to consider. Then, before deciding, it's best to try the cameras out in the real world. This review has certainly really helped me make my own decision.

1 upvote
Sdaniella

Can the a7r allow full manual exposure (speed/iso/aperture/wb) creative adjustment control DURING video capture (not just set at beginning of video)? I can't seem to find it listed specifically on DPR's comparison specs database, or in it's review, where am I to find it (url, page location/section). Search function isn't friendly if exact wording is needed to isolate it.
thx

what other models by other mfrs have full manual creative adjustment control DURING VIDEO capture listed?

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ronguo

yes, you can make adjustments during video.
example: if you use a manual lens, you can change f-stop during video and the live view on lcd will show you the effect.
normally, I set the other parameters before shooting, so I have greater control over blur, noise, etc. always I let the camera set the wb to auto.

1 upvote
Sdaniella

I'm talking about adjusting Manual ISO, shutter speeds, for video, not just aperture (which is lense related only obviously)

I ask, because, this is a given, on EOS FF dSLR video
no sense getting something with less control.

manual or flybywire control lenses control: zoom, focus, and aperture being a given (lens dependent)

speed, ISO, frame-rates being camera dependent

(obviously, manual lens can change lens related settings)

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ronguo

yes to ISO and shutter speed.

1 upvote
Sdaniella

just so we're clear:

1) ISO can be changed during video capture running, and its sensitivity fx be seen live during capture

2) shutter speed can be changed during video capture, and its exposure fx can be seen live during capture

3m) lens aperture can be changed during video capture, and both its exposure fx and dof fx can be see live during capture (M ISO chosen, and changed during capture)
+
3a) obviously,
lens aperture can be changed during video capture, and dof fx can be see live during capture (Auto ISO chosen, and varies with light conditions)

4) lastly:
EV compensation can be chosen, and changed during video capture, and see compensation fx change live (not sure if this is done via auto shutter speed or auto ISO or a combination of both)

I know on EOS dSLR video, all 4 above are possible

not sure about the rest, as most Manual, seem to be selectable only at start of video, but not changeable during capture.

Powershot G7X, has 1 + 3, but 4(only at start), 2(no mention)

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Anastigmat

If only this camera can say "mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the ugliest camera of them all?" LOL

2 upvotes
rednec

I disagree with the statement that : '' At ISO 3200 you'll see that the a7R is neck-and-neck with the much larger Canon 5D III ''. Unfortunately sony produces significantly more noise in raw mode. Otherwise a nice camera

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Average User

As a new purchaser of this camera I want to thank the reviewer for a careful, thorough and well balanced review. Especially I appreciated the organized discussion of the menus. I printed your discussion as a little booklet to carry in my camera bag.
As natural successor to the Nex 7 the camera adds much needed low light capability when used with fast lenses. I have the Zeiss FE mount 55mm 1.8 and Zeiss Emount 24 mm 1.8. The images are also much better at higher ISO's. The preset ISO top auto ISO limit is 6400, but it's better to use it at 3200. Top auto ISO on the Nex 7 is 1600 and for good reason.
With the Zeiss 55 mm and care in holding this camera steady, the images can be stunningly clear and great bokeh. Except in low light, the Nex 7 is capable of nearly the same quality using the new Zeiss 16-70mm f4. But the colors and dark and light are just a little better handled in higher contrast outdoor shooting with the 7r.

1 upvote
Galbertson

Has anyone, reviewer or photographer with A7R, test IQ from various prime lenses from Nikon, Canon, Leica, Voightlander, of course with apprpriate adapter? It would be a fabulously interesting comparison. Especially curious how truly sharp the older preAF lenses.
Thanks, gary

0 upvotes
ST205

Gary,

I've only ever shot with Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses (ZM25/2.8, ZM50/2, ZM85/2 and Voigtlander 35/1.2II) on my A7R.

The only lens that is a bit iffy is the ZM25 as there's a lot of colour shift on the edges of the frame. The rest produce fantastic sharp images.

Some example shots:

ZM50/2 - http://wrc.smugmug.com/Family/Family/i-gK2Tsxg/0/X2/millie%20%287%20of%201%29-X2.jpg

ZM85/2 - http://wrc.smugmug.com/Family/Family/i-27tt736/0/X2/untitled-101-X2.jpg

Voigtlander 35/1.2 - http://wrc.smugmug.com/Family/Family/i-mzbvwPv/0/X2/DSC07119-X2.jpg

Cheers
Ben

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Galbertson

Ben,
Thanks for response.
Not sure if iPad issue, but clicking on your links do not work. I thought they turn yellow when link offered, yours are white, same as reading copy.???

Gary

0 upvotes
ronguo

to see photos from legacy lenses, go to Flickr (lots there). in general, the A7R sensor is extremely sensitive to lens quality and will show faults very easily. as a rule, I have found only the Zeiss Planar design comes up to the level of the sensor without postpro or apps. Distagon is another excellent lens. Leica has colour shift on the A7R and requires postpro or the add-on lens app. I have seen excellent results with Minolta 50. All others are hit or miss, so you need to experiment.

0 upvotes
Robin Ducker

I am a Nikon FX and DX user. I bought a Oly EM-1 as my back can no longer take rigorous hiking carrying 10KG of Nikon gear. So, now my pack is down to 3KG. But here is the killer: 1. the DR is not really + there as is a gritty feel to the images even using ETTR. 2. this is the biggie: the magic of a full frame image isn't there. I would back the Olympus 75 1.8 against ANY lens for sharpness and contrast. Particularly so in the case of my Nikkor 135 F2 DC. But guess what? The Nikkor kills it for Bokeh and I mean KILLS.
I and many others don't NEED 5/6/8/12 FPS -I have other tools that do that. FPS is simply a "my dick is bigger!" argument. Go and get a D4S then - just don't expect the D4S to make an A1 image. I don't take "test shots" at high frame rates to boost my manhood.

The A7 is a real camera for people who take photographs, and yes, my EM-1 is going. The Nikon 135 F2 DC stays on the Nikon and I am going to buy an A7R because it works for the type of photography I do.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
gLOWx

Another "concept camera" ?
Too expansive for "amateurs".
Not performing enough for professionals. They will get a DSLR over it.
May be ppl with too much money to spend ?
Sure it is a good camera...if you just take account of sensor...

2 upvotes
munro harrap

No, you have to be able to get the shot right first time. On this camera you cannot as they have a dreadfully long lag between the half-press and exposure. The A7 has not, so why? what is the point? Are they refusing to compete with the D800E (which has a Sony sensor too) on equal ground? Why? So much Sony do is brilliant and so much makes no sense!!

2 upvotes
brownie314

you gotta be kidding right? 2.5 fps - on the FAST model. 1.5 fps on the high MP model. I get it - these were not built for speed - but still - this is 2014! I would expect no less than 5 fps w/autofocus on the A7r and at least 8 fps on the A7 w/ autofocus. For me - this camera is a non-started just based on this. I can't justify $2k for a camera that is by far slower than my D7000. I have been looking at going FF - and was considering this camera - but no way - not at those speeds. D610 will have to do.

0 upvotes
ChapelThrill23

I'm a Nikon user but I really understand the appeal of this. To me the weight is a number that matters far more than the FPS. I almost never do anything but single shot.

1 upvote
Galbertson

Hi Chapel,
Are you using nikkor glass on your A7R? I have some nikkor AI lenses, wondering IQ on A7R.
Thanks

0 upvotes
Galbertson

Sorry for so many questions, but camera shop idiots...

When shuttering with 2 second timer, will bracketing still operate.

Is it true, though a7/a7r has e mount, you have to use adapter to use sony aps-c lenses?

0 upvotes
Galbertson

On A7R, with metabones adapter, how would nikon 35mm f1.4 compare in IQ to carl zeiss FE 35mm f1.8?

Ps, nikon is older manual F lens

Thanks!

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ronguo

the CZ has superior IQ.

0 upvotes
Galbertson

Eastwestphoto...if one has polarizer constantly on lens to improve focusing, they would constantly polarize each and every image. They would constantly have to turn front glass on polarizer depending on changing value of light. Polarizers only effective at certain angles to sun or light source.you are adding many, many restrictions in your shooting to perhaps improve focus speed.there are a great number of subjects that should not be polarized, and you will lose 2.5 stops of light.

0 upvotes
eastwestphoto

DT 18~70mm lens, Kit lenses are significantly improved on Sony Contrast focusing AF system by the SIMPLE addition of a 49mm Polarizer filter. Focus is faster and more accurate. At least on the NEX system DSLM cameras and the New Alpha A7 series! If you think about it it makes sense, polarized light is MUCH easier for the AF Contrast system to read! 18mm on APS-C chip sized = 27mm. I tested the DT 18~70mm kit lens on my LA-EA4 adapter and at full frame it covered a 24x36mm digital chip on the A7r from 70-21, then vignetted. I didn't expect it to work that well. The image was sharp, contrasty and Highly usable! This is a trade secret,I am revealing. I seriously doubt that Sony would want this info revealed? Remember a A200 series and A300 series Sony cameras are Sony A mount and have mirrors, therefore the back focal length of the lens is Longer by far than Nex APS-C lenses , which are for DSLM cameras. So on the LA-EA4 adapter, the lens works well! Regards, Don@Eastwestphoto

0 upvotes
straylightrun

I'm not sure what you're on about. I just tested my old KM 18-70 DT and it only covered 28mm FF with no vignetting. Anything less and there was too much vignetting and the corners were very soft. The standard FE kit 28-75 performs better than this lens.

0 upvotes
Shelley Sargent

I bought this just 4 days after it was released after lots of thought and research. I was originally thinking of upgrading from my Rebel XTI to a Canon 6D, I very much felt I was ready for a full frame model of camera, crop sensor was making my Nifty Fifty (50mm f/1.8) very difficult to shoot in smaller places which I found to be a common situation I landed in (abandoned buildings).
A friend highly suggested this model and I am absolutely loving it! I didn't purchase a sony lens to go along, instead opting to purchase an adapter and use Canon FD lenses and managed to get my hands on a fabulous 50mm f/1.4 for FIFTY BUCKS!
I do highly recommend this to all who are also considering the "Big Switch" or just looking for a more compact way to carry their camera with them. But I also suggest the adaptor and use of FD glass! Super cheap!

1 upvote
eastwestphoto

the old Beer Can 70~210mm minolta A works very fast and very sharp on a LA-EA4 adapter to Sony A7r.

0 upvotes
eastwestphoto

Anyone know why a Tamron AF Aspherical XR IF 28~300mm F:3.5-6.3 macro on a La-EA4 mounted to Sony A7r, will not work? The 1.4 AF telecoverter worked Okay? Same amount of pin? Lens looks newish to me?

0 upvotes
eastwestphoto

Why does my SAL1870 Sony Kit Zoom A350 camera work so well on the LA-EA4 to my Sony A7r? full frame coverage to 24, then the vignetting appears? I didnt expect it to be so sharp! very good image, Why?

0 upvotes
JaimeA

After all the waiting and the bustling excitement how is it possible that Sony released the Zeiss 24-70 Vario-Tessar for the a7r/a7 when there are so many issues with it? Didn’t the people at Sony ever take a shot or test the lens? Bad distortions; very sharp at the center but the image degrading into real softness and blur at the corners make this lens unusable. After many tries the softness remains even stopped down. Zoom lenses are useful for their versatility on the field (some of them are outstanding) especially at this zoom range. What to do? It really is disappointing, and a big tarnish on the Sony name and particularly the Zeiss. A marvelous camera, yet few primes that go with it. Certainly not enough. And unfortunately, there are no signs of an apology or a worthy lens replacement.

0 upvotes
Galbertson

Some serious blogs regarding shutter shake on A7R. My intent is to find light system, certainly not dependent upon sandbags and added weight to pack. I will be on strong tripod, shooting mostly in multiple to 1/15th second, rarely hand held. I could solve shake issue with A7, but need better IQ of A7R.

Have any of you face this issue, and what was your results?

To add, will be shooting mostly manual lenses 24-150mm. I believe this shake is diminished with this range of lenses, but the word diminish scares me. What can i expect? Would certainly not want to buy entire system only to realize images not ideal for sensor and needing to return...if i am permited.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
slpianoproject

People are over reacting with this shutter shake issue. To get the most out of the A7R you need :

1. The best of the best glass available.
2. EXTREMELY accurate focus
3. No camera movement whatsoever (in your case a strong tripod should do)

and THEN you can factor in image degradation due to shutter shake which is close to none (I have yet to see it even tho I shoot at those "dreaded" shutter speeds).

The fact is even if you get to actually see some shutter shake it'll only show up if you do an insane crop (might as well consider you missed the shot at that point) or print extremely large and examine it with a loupe!

I don't know what kind of work you are looking to do but to even consider shutter shake on an A7R as an issue you have to be part of that 1% elite photographers out there for whom every freakin detail matter because they're paid thousands upon thousands for their work.

cont.....

0 upvotes
slpianoproject

Continued :
That kind of photographer prolly have access to way better cameras and doesn't bother for the 2000$ price tag on the A7R body anyway.

What I'm trying to get to here is outside of pixel peeping, there is no way shutter shake on the A7R will be and issue. Even if it does show up, you can always manipulate your ISO just slightly (A7R goes from iso 50--320+ in small increments) and get out of the supposed "danger zone". Yet again, outside of pixel peeping, with that quality of sensor there is NO WAY you will see a difference between ISO 100 and 200, yet you doubled your shutter speed.

In conclusion the A7R has numerous flaws and quirks and while shutter shake might be real, its not what you should consider as an issue. The lack of available lens is something to consider. Lackluster focus speed and accuracy (in low light) is another. The fact that you need flawless technique to get the best out of it is a factor to consider too.

cont...

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
slpianoproject

Continued :

Just go out there and take a picture with an A7R and the FE 55mm f1.8 Zeiss and you'll see how awesome that camera really is. (try f5.6, it is just insanely sharp!). Shutter shake or not, you'll like what you see.

1 upvote
Galbertson

In many ways i am the type of photographer you speak of. My main work is shot 4x5, selling in my gallery in average 30"x40" for around $1,000. The a7r is to be light backup camera for scenarios film cannot capture. Also for macro, high def video. The a7r seems to fit ideally. Planned on adapting my old nikkor glass.

Lots on the line when i purchase gear. Yes, i sell my work, but often struggle to keep lights on, must make best researched decision, not much room to just try a system on.

I did not write all those shuttered shake articles, but certainly did listen. The sonys are only full frame mirrorless though.

0 upvotes
Galbertson

Has DPR ever taken on this shake issue? I don't think Imaging Resourse has, of yet. I can easily understand how most photographers would not see it as an issue, but the many websites and blogs regarding shake requires in depth study if this camera can be considered a ideal pro camera. Believe me, i have been looking at sony a7r since it arrived, sooo many features, functions, even buttons, i like. I just want to read an unbiased review about shake under specific slow shutter /adapted lens issue.

Please, just asking for constructive help, not destructive just because i make a living with my camera. If i could afford, i would wait for pentax 645Z. That camera just might replace my 4x5.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
l_d_allan

Jim Kasson has a lengthy series of blog articles on the A7r from late 2013 and early 2014. He addressed the "shutter shake" issue at length, and wasn't able to resolve all that well, IIRC.
http://blog.kasson.com

1 upvote
ronguo

Using an OSS lens, the shake is not an issue. Shake becomes an issue when 2 factors are combined: the photographer and legacy lens. Shake has always been a problem for SLR days, with the flipping mirrors: we simply learned to compensate. If you can't adjust yourself, you may experience shake. For the A7R specifically, the bulkier the lens and the longer the length, the more apparent the shake may become. This is why I do not use SLR lenses longer than say 75mm, but do use RF lenses up to 135mm, hand held without much problem from shake. After 135, SLR lenses must be used, and these are heavy and bulky, and thus must be tripod mounted on the lens. A monopod helps at all times, and I use this for 90mm RF lenses to obtain perfectly sharp photos when the job is critical. True, the shake is the one aspect of the camera I would like to see resolved entirely; but as it is now, it is mostly overblown by people who cannot adjust to the camera.

0 upvotes
brownie314

No FF cam is going to "shake up the market" until you can buy body and lens as a kit for less than $1000. I know this is possible, it just isn't being done yet.

0 upvotes
Galbertson

Does A7R have mirror lock up?

1 upvote
Afn

It has permanent mirror lock up :)

4 upvotes
Galbertson

Sorry, i meant first curtain, not mirror. Too bad there is no way of mechanically or somewhere in menu to put a timer, lets say 2-5 second to pre lock up or shutter the first curtain.

Why did sony have electronic first curtain on a7, but not on a7r???

0 upvotes
bawbaw

Great camera, but I wish Sony would hold off releasing bodies without comprehensive lenses that perform. The 50mm is good (although any manufacturer who cannot make a good fast 50 should make lenses full stop!) The zoom is OK ish... The Zeiss 35 is a good lens, but is not as good as the rx1 in comparison? How same lens same sensors etc...

If they had held fire for 6 months and had a wide to tell set of Zeiss nex lenses this would have been a major contender to people who need system cameras, not sensor platforms.

I know you can adapt lenses.. But full AF matched glass designed with the correct sensor requirements are what is needed here.

As Fuji proved with the xpro. Waiting and having a full system from the start has cemented success. Sony have done this over and over again now. Yes we can get the Minolta/Sony AF adapter, but it's a bodge.

Camera makers take note... There is a large population of users who would and will switch systems if you make systems.

0 upvotes
Jonath

While theoretically a great idea, I'd guess Sony's decision has more to do with commercial reality than anything else. Fuji is a case in point, despite its success the last time its imaging division reported it was loss making, we'll have to wait till mid 2014 to see if this is still true..

As for Sony, their strategy isn't perfect, but given this reality it is kind of understandable. 35 and 50 are two very popular focal lengths, for tele, there are already several high quality e-mount lenses available and with the crop-ability of the A7R's 36Mp, I'd argue that you really don't need FF glass (and it's bulk) for tele shooting.

For ultra-wide situations then MF is also OK. I own the Samyang 14mm for example, never once have I thought it could do with AF.

For me the best thing about the A7R is that it can be small if you want it to be (think Zeiss 35 or e-mount) and if you want class leading FF quality then it can also do that with aplomb, albeit with the inevitable size pay off.

0 upvotes
Camley

I don't have a problem with Sony's approach. Instead of waiting for months, I had the camera in December with an excellent 35 f/2.8 lens.
I bought a Metabones Smart Adapter so I could use my Canon lenses as well. So immediately I had the Zeiss 35, a 100 f/2.8 macro, a 70-200 f/4 zoom, a 400 f/5.6 and several more lenses.
I bought the superb Zeiss 55 f/1.8 when it was released.
Now I will take my time selecting additional native lenses.

2 upvotes
KAllen

GPS or lack of is stopping me on this. I've done the software add data thing in post and it's hit and miss for what I do.
Having gps position and height is a good plus for me and much better when added at the taking stage.
Still a possibility for my Canon L lenses when pixel count matters.

0 upvotes
hippo84

Dear Dpreview. You used CZ85/1.4 for picture quality comparison. What adapter did You use, with SLT or without it?

0 upvotes
Diobono

Any thoughts about connecting the A7r with the new series of Sigma lenses?

0 upvotes
Jonath

I've already done this and have the Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG art with the LA-EA4 adapter. OK its not as petite as the Zeiss, but the picture quality is truly outstanding and AF is snappy. Will find it difficult not to buy the 50mm when its available.

0 upvotes
Average User

I have been right on the edge of purchasing this camera, but after reading this review in detail, maybe not. I went back to the review of the Nex 7 which was nearly 3 years ago and the reason I purchased that camera. I also purchased good E-mount glass for it, and I have not been disappointed.
But this review is not like that. That review was full of enthusiasm for the Nex 7, even concluding: "in terms of out-and-out image quality it's probably the best APS-C camera yet, regardless of size." A far cry from this review, full of cautions and quibbles.
The only reason to purchase ff instead of APS-c is better low light performance. But with high quality much less expensive fast glass, and a number of problems in jpegs etc., it seems like the reviewers are telling me the real life results with my old Nex 7 is going to equal or beat the performance of this camera.

0 upvotes
l_d_allan

> The only reason to purchase ff instead of APS-c is better low light performance.

Also, more shallow DOF. And premium UWA lenses.

0 upvotes
Galbertson

With Metabones for nikon f mount to e mount, i had read in blogs, there is no apeture control. I an only assume this incorrect, my older nikkor manual lenses certainly have apeture dial/apeture control. Anything i am not understanding? This would be on a7r.

0 upvotes
AnDon

I think it means "adapter ring itself does not have aparture control ring "
Some adapter rings has control ring for Nikon "G" lenses which have no aperture ring.

0 upvotes
olddog99

If you are dealing with older lenses,you should be fine just setting the aperture that way -- assuming you don't plan to open wide then stop down, I.e. It's manual.

Newer lenses usually are missing both f stop on lens setting as well as DOF marks,. I use Leica lenses, vintage and modern lenses, on my NEX-7, because it's relatively easy.

It was a factor in my buying the 7R - not yet here. It might be more difficult if you use the Metabones Speed Increase. I haven't tried it yet.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Wang Man

Holy mackerel, my Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8 / 100mm has risen from the grave. I use the Novoflex NEX/LER adapter to attach this big bad lens to my A7r, and by golly the pictures are GORGEOUS.

One thing though, the A7r with this heavy lens is a bit unwieldy, a tripod is a good idea.

I intent to resurrect all my old Leicaflex R lens (28mm, 50mm, 135mm) with this A7r. Thank you Sony, the Leica M240 half baked "R solution" is no where close to the pleasure of using all my old Leica R glass with the A7r.

1 upvote
John Donnelly

Absolutely! I converted 12 Leica R Primes to Nikon mounts by Leitax, and a Metabones adapter. I'm so happy to be reusing these superb lenses after a decade in the drawer.

0 upvotes
Mike FL

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

Too bad.

0 upvotes
Overmars

Hmmm... if anyone wants to get rid of their A7r because of this issue. Please, think of me. I don't know what I'll do with it (can it still take pictures? No matter). Rest assured, it will be in a caring, loving home. :)

2 upvotes
Galbertson

Will LCD at horizontal hold up hoodman hood 3x loupe? Just called camera shop, they said LCD mechanism weak, lightweight, not strong enough to hold loupe. Can it be tightened, or will it only get weaker and weaker with continual use?

0 upvotes
Maaku

$2300 and no charger?

1 upvote
Overmars

On Amazon you can get a charger and two batteries for $27.

2 upvotes
PaulDavis

I felt felt you Dame way but find I like being able able plus it into any USB charger everywhere I go. I even charge it in my car. I bought a charger and extra battery on ebay for $19.00 so I found it to be a good set up.

0 upvotes
olddog99

I already have the charger, actually 2, but it's the same damned battery as the NEX-7 which is otherwise a great camera. People bitch about the Canon 5D2 and 3. They're good for roughly twice th frames. But most cameras or lenses have some shortcoming of little consequence. One thing that mattered to me was size and weight. The NEX-7 served well as a travel sub for the 5D3 and the 7R should make a good sub and more.

0 upvotes
eastwestphoto

Here is a trade secret; On the NEW Sony A7r 36Meg full frame DSLM, this teleconverter Panasonic Lumix DMV-LT52 1.4x can be mounted to the Kit lens 28~70 FE series SEL2870 and now at 1.4x its 28~100mm. OSS still works, Fine focus at 7x works, the image quality is excellent. Mounting is via step up ring 52>55mm, weight increases too 24ozs for the lens package and the lens is 80mm wide. Thats a big hunk of beautiful glass, does the F:stop increase? Hum, piece of cake! Don@eastwestphoto

1 upvote
yuri sieradzki

Is there a pssibility to connect sony7r on hotshoe a GPS to locate the place tahat it was taken/

1 upvote
Galbertson

Are all Voightlander lenses adaptable to sony a7/a7r? I read somewhere some are sharp, some are not. Hoping to be in 35-65mm range.

0 upvotes
PaulDavis

Yes they are adaptable. The range yiu are considering would been good. If you go too wide then you start running into issues.

0 upvotes
Galbertson

In comparison to 1970's nikkor glass, which might be sharper, obviously both requiring adapter?

0 upvotes
eastwestphoto

Zeiss voigtlander m42 thread ULTRON 50mm F:1.8 is a amazing lens on the A7r. manual focus 7x set for 5 sec. duration, par excellence. Don@eastwestphoto

0 upvotes
Nijuc

I m using フォクトレンダー(Voigtländer ) 20mm 1.4F and 40mm 3.5f . mage my hand shake, it comes out OK

0 upvotes
Dr Panos G Adamopoulos

I am not a Pro, but I have been taking p'graphs passionately for more than 30 years and my collection of cameras & lenses is quite extensive; predominantly Canon, Nikon & Leica, in a chronological order.
I found the marriage of Alpha 7R & 24-70mm f/4 w/h Leica Lenses an Unbeatable combination with Unlimited possibilities, at a very reasonable price; assuming one has the M Lenses.....!!!!
Imagine Alpha 7R Full Frame 37MP Focusing through a Noctilux 50mm f/0.95..... BeautiFul.....!!!

1 upvote
twfsir

One point everyone seems to miss, is that Sony was smart enough to have Zeiss make the lenses for the camera. Next to Leica, Zeiss makes the best glass in my opinion. I agree the sony name in cameras is not near as great as many others, but I do think they did build a unique camera with the Zeisss lens.

2 upvotes
Revenant

Sony Zeiss lenses are not made by Zeiss, but by Sony, just as the Panasonic Leica lenses are made by Panasonic, not by Leica. I suppose that Zeiss has approved the designs and/or manufacturing methods, but they aren't involved in the makiing of the lenses.

1 upvote
twfsir

The Sony a7R has some nice features for my purposes. I was looking for a lighter small camera than my Leica, but I wanted to be able to take decent photographs. I feel the Sony has that ability except sony needs to develope more lenses in the near future. The three lenses they currenty have are not fast enough, and I would like to see some wider angle lenses. I have used some of my Leica lenses on the Sony, and they do work well, but it sort of defeats the purpose, because it adds weight and size, and you can no longer use the auto focusing.

The reason I am writing is that I hope I can get someother owners to put pressure on Sony to develope those lenses.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Overmars

"The three lenses they currenty have are not fast enough, "

The Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA is fast.

2 upvotes
Gymstar

I really tried to buy one. Both the Sony Store at Dubai Mall and the airport tried to sell me a body. However, neither had ANY lenses in stock to fit the body. This for me gave off warning signals. Not a single lens that fit! Shame, but I'll stick to Canon for now at least.

0 upvotes
Galbertson

Are there any reasonably priced, smallish, above average resolution medium zooms for a7? My primes will be old nikkor. And it would be fortunate if zoom had image stablization, no need on primes.

I am solely landscape shooter, 95% on tripod, desiring gallery quality 16x20 and 20x24 prints, mostly b&w...should i get the a7r instead?

0 upvotes
yoyokal

I think the kill of fullframe ILC still the lens. When the big lens, say 70-300mm, attached to this camera, the benefit of mirrorless already gone. I hope in the future they make a jump to create small lenses like used on automatic focus glasses using liquid (http://www.superfocus.com/) electronically.

1 upvote
Camley

Yoyokal, the major advantage of a full frame mirrorless camera is amazing image quality in a small package, that is well suited to the wide angle to short telephoto range. This covers nearly all my photographic needs.
My Canon telephotos (up to 800mm) don't get a lot of use. I have a Metabones Adapter so I can fit these lenses on my a7, but I prefer my 7D DSLR for its better handling, tracking etc..
Certainly I wouldn't travel with any serious telephoto lenses unless I go on safari!
The Zeiss 35 f/2.8 and 55 f/1.8 make a good pair of travel lenses or you could just take a 24-70 f/4 zoom.
I think that mirrorless cameras in general (not just full frame) are not well suited to the use of medium to long telephoto lenses. You can pick up a relatively cheap DSLR to handle these lenses so much better. If you are a serious bird or aircraft photographer, you would naturally chose a DSLR. You could do it using a mirrorless camera but why would you?

3 upvotes
Bhima78

I think Yoyokal already showed that the advantage of such a great compact body with excellent image quality (such as this Sony) is made moot by the fact that the good lenses are big and heavy, making the camera less like a small mirrorless and more like a DSLR in size and weight.

1 upvote
tlacerda

I find that my A7's shutter release button is quite "mushy". There is no clear stop point for locking focus, and it never seems to click. Can someone who owns the camera chime in here? Is this defective or do u also get this?

Thanks!

0 upvotes
barry reid

Shutter button feel is pretty good IMHO, while there's no step where the focus locks there is a good level of resistance and reasonable length of travel. I find it quite easy to work with, to focus without actually tripping the shutter, certainly no worse than my 5DII or the 1Dx i used to have.

0 upvotes
siggo

Can someone please point me to some full resolution raw shots using the 55mm and 35mm lens and software to try converting them?

0 upvotes
Galbertson

Is anyone so fortunate to have purchased and objectively used both a7 or a7r and fuji x-t1. I love fuji glass and their film on my toyo 4c5. Have only owned sony TVs and recorders, not their cameras. I have had both in my hands. The fuji rear button stupidly small, but maybe could acclimate. The sony buttons nicly tactile.i am mostly blind and i must overly research. Some camera functions can be total roadblocks to advancing. A honest comparison would greatly be appreciated.
Thanks,

1 upvote
Galbertson

Curious why "reply" button not on all statements

1 upvote
l_d_allan

Just the "top" of a thread, like yours. I don't think there will be a "Reply" option on my post.
Or not?

0 upvotes
Tom in VB

As a working pro with over 40 years shooting for the worlds major mags I am beset with the following regarding the new Sony A7r

How any major camera company that is so innovative could have possibly
produced such a fine camera with a DEPLORABLY LOUD SHUTTER NOISE. This knocks it out of the potential catagory for me after I had waited so long for :
1- full frame.
2-nice glass
3- small and light cuz I'm old and weak:>

My thoughts are simple: why so close but so far?
We put 12 people on the moon and brought them all back = tech is in place.
My Leica M3 (circa 1960's) had the most beautiful soft shutter "tish" sound in the world .... it was mirrorless ... the Sony is mirrorless!?!?!

Maybe Sony should adapt the Leica shutter:> How about a Leica cloth shutter sound in the apps tabs :>:>

BTW: I'm a shooter not a gear head so I like solid basics not bells and ....

1 upvote
Glina

Leica M3 had a 1/1000 shutter. Sony has 1/8000.
Even though the A7 is loud-ish, I love that sound. Still considerably smoother and quieter than on a Sony A850.
For stealth use RX1 is still the king, but it uses a leaf shutter.

0 upvotes
Camley

Tom what digital camera(s) do you use?

When I evaluate a camera, I look at a list of features and don't get so bent out of shape over one minor issue. I certainly would not mention landing men on the moon!!

What is the top speed of a Leica cloth shutter? I believe that lens caps make almost no sound but they only have a few seconds maximum shutter speed.

1 upvote
jagatai

Remember that what this camera is doing is a bit more like what a Hasselblad does when you fire the shutter. It first has to close the shutter to prepare to take the image. It then opens and closes the shutter to take the exposure and then reopens the shutter to go back to live view mode.

I suspect the shutter could be made quieter, but there may be trade offs in terms of price or maximum speed.

0 upvotes
barry reid

I like the shutter sound. Businesslike and not a million miles from that of the Canon 5D

0 upvotes
TomUW

I find the Canon 5D on the loud side, and the A7R on the extremely loud side, plus it produces 2 loud sounds for every shot.
I was shooting a model with it and then pulled out my Canon 6D on quiet shutter mode, she couldn't tell when I was taking the image with the 6D, and the Sony reps around me were really surprised at the difference in sound levels. Cuts the A7R out of several applications for me, like anywhere someone else is recording sound.

0 upvotes
probert500

If they're recording sound get a blimp.
Either get less jumpy models or use deaf ones. How many fashion shots were done with a hasselblad - now there's some mirror slap.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 813
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