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Sony Alpha 7R Review

February 2014 | By Jeff Keller
Buy on GearShop$2,298.00


Review based on a production Sony a7R running firmware v1.0

If you're looking for our review of the Sony A7, please click here.

If there's one thing 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.

Here's a quick summary of the differences between the a7 and a7R:

  a7 a7R
MSRP (body only) $1699 / € 1499 / £1299 $2299 / € 2099 / £1699
Sensor 24.3 megapixel 36.3 megapixel
Optical low-pass filter Yes No
AF system Hybrid AF Contrast detect
Front panel construction Composite Magnesium alloy
Electronic first curtain Yes No
Continuous shooting 5 fps 4 fps
Flash x-sync 1/250 sec 1/160 sec
Weight (loaded) 474 g 465 g

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 a7R key features

  • 36.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with no OLPF
  • E-mount with support for FE, E, and A-mount lenses (with adapter)
  • Bionz X image processor
  • Sealed alloy and composite body
  • Built-in Multi-Interface hot shoe
  • 3-inch tilting LCD with 1.23 million dots (640x480, RGBW)
  • XGA (1024x768) electronic viewfinder
  • Diffraction correction technology
  • Continuous shooting up to 4 fps
  • Full HD video recording at 1080/60p and 24p; uncompressed HDMI output
  • Wi-Fi with NFC capability and downloadable apps

While the a7R is really focused on still image quality - due to its high resolution sensor without an AA filter - it's also quite adept at video recording. It records 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 a7R 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, the 70-200mm F4 lens wasn't available to test alongside the camera. 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 Now
28-70mm F3.5-5.6 Sony OSS Kit only Now
70-200mm F4 Sony G OSS $1499 Mid-April
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 SSD), 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/a7R may be just the camera to bring them back to life. More on that later in the review.

Kit options and pricing

The a7R is sold in a body only configuration, for a price of $2299/£1699/€2099.

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 a7R 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 button 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, wireless remote, and screen protector. One accessory that's surprisingly absent is a wired remote shutter cable (though the camera can be controlled via infrared remote or Wi-Fi).



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: 805
2345
pew pew
By pew pew (7 months ago)

sony is spot on the minimalistic designs lately with the nex\ a7

9 upvotes
Lng0004
By Lng0004 (7 months ago)

Correction: NEX has always been Alpha. It was Sony Alpha NEX.

5 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

basically they are all compacts,
compacts and ILC for interchangeable lens compacts,
though some happen to be big,
some happen to be called Alpha or NEX.

0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (7 months ago)

Yet you need to point out that 'bionz' made sense to somebody in every single Sony review ever. Yes we get it, it's a stupid name, but all the processor names are stupid in cameras.

4 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

dubbed Bionz X for reasons that presumably made sense to someone... It like a where's Waldo in every Sony review.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

maybe they only said it once. all others are copy-n-paste.

1 upvote
guytano
By guytano (7 months ago)

"dubbed Bionz X"

Not everyone reads every Sony review, so I say keep it in all of them. It is a silly name, no reason not to mention it.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

I'll get one even if it's called rubbish as long as it works well, even if it's called Leica or Zeiss.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
blink667
By blink667 (7 months ago)

If both the A7 and 7r have a problem shooting jpegs, and I'm taking DPRs word on this, neither is a complete camera and are simply niche-ware. I want FF that shoots beautiful jpegs as well, which shouldn't be much of a stretch.

2 upvotes
quezra
By quezra (7 months ago)

The JPEGs are very good, read this: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3612932 and then re-read DPR's 'complaints' about JPEGs and see whether they're actually a bad thing. You may need to shoot at ISO 12,800 and refuse to touch default settings though!

6 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (7 months ago)

@ blink667
Would you like a camera that goes out to shoot for you so you don't have to get up from the couch, or goes to the studio or events, then post-processes the RAWs sends them to the client and transfers the payment to your bank account?

6 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

I really would like a camera that deals with my clients and transfers money to my bank account. On some days I would not mind my camera processing my raw files too. Really the jpgs on my a7 are great. just turn off the noise reduction and you are ready to go for lazy photography.

3 upvotes
bstolk
By bstolk (7 months ago)

None of the samples shot wide open? I would like to see that DOF, especially from that f/1.4 lens.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (7 months ago)

There's no native f/1.4 lens for A7.

0 upvotes
quezra
By quezra (7 months ago)

Ah, DPR... the contortions you have twisted yourself into to explain why you wasted so much time on JPEGs on the A7 then wrote them off on the A7r are just delightful. :) I am also glad you guys got a crash course in legacy lens usage c/o Roger Cicala. Thumbs up to Mr Cicala!

15 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

I would be willing to bet most people buying either of these cameras will be shooting raw to the same extent. I would think it is safe to say most people moving up to a FF sensor are shooting raw, for that matter. To put one in a jpg user class compared to the other seems like a stretch.

2 upvotes
guytano
By guytano (7 months ago)

People buying this to shoot jpeg are probably not going to notice any issues.

8 upvotes
HFLM
By HFLM (7 months ago)

What an arrogant comment. Why not starting your own review platform. There are many quirks with the A7. Look at the green flare problem when shooting lights in the dark, for one serious issue even with the 35mm/2.8.

1 upvote
KBarrett
By KBarrett (7 months ago)

Given that many of the "Cons" in this list are not present in the A7 review (and then that some of the A7's "Cons" are necessarily present for this camera but not listed), I find it unbelievable that this camera earns a "Gold" rating and the superior A7 earned "Silver."

I guess the reviewers really bought into the marketing of that little red letter on the front of the camera.

15 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

I think they should breakdown the features, give each a weight, evaluate each, add to a total, and color the final score (give the reviewer 30 words for summation statement if s/he doesn't like the score, but prohibit anyone from intentionally adjusting the result). the team reviews the procedure together every season, maybe twice a year.

sadly it seems that DPReview doesn't have the habbit to locate and solve problems.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HFLM
By HFLM (7 months ago)

Green flare problem with A7 is absent with A7r. No AA-filter + higher resolution gives more pleasant files.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

hi Shawn I think it could be worse if it was me. I mean I'd like to see people accumulate good ideas and wash out bads to make an ever improving team.

0 upvotes
ebrandon
By ebrandon (7 months ago)

Thank you DPReview for a very careful thoughtful review. I've been shooting this camera daily for months and still learned quite a bit from the review.

I also think your recommendations -- both praising the camera for methodical raw shooters -- and warning deep pocketed snap shooters away -- are right on the money.

9 upvotes
tesilab
By tesilab (7 months ago)

I think a couple of the Cons in the conclusion are a little silly, and a couple legitimate defects should be mentioned in their place namely:

No in-camera Raw conversion -- It's cute that some cameras offer it, but is the camera such a sensible tool for doing raw conversions?

Limited selection of FE lenses -- a brand new system is introduced with some stellar lenses. How many lenses should any manufacturer have ready at launch for a new camera?

Missing cons (mentioned in the review proper) are the loud and extended shutter sound (however fond of it you became) and the lack of a lossless raw file output option that would do even better justice to the sensor in some cases.

7 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

They did mention how good the limited selection of lenses were. I think they understand that it is a new camera so there limited lenses. It is important to let people that may not understand this fact that there is not as many native lenses available yet. So at the moment it is a con.

3 upvotes
quezra
By quezra (7 months ago)

Still the best is they cite lack of built-in flash on a compact FF camera, but won't knock the 5DIII for exact the same lack of flash. And then they pretend that they objectively list 'everything' as a con if it's there (take note of how short 5DIII's 'Cons' list is)

2 upvotes
armandino
By armandino (7 months ago)

this camera is designed for minimalistic gear to carry around, I think it would benefit more than the 5D for a built in flash. For my own taste I am glad that neither have it. For real work a pop up flash has no use, and I feel that compromises the integrity of the camera.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Esign
By Esign (7 months ago)

Well, they should have started with something like 21f4.0, 28f2.0-2.8, 35f1.4-2.0, 50f1.4, 85-90f1.4 or zooms covering two or three of these lengths.

0 upvotes
Yxa
By Yxa (7 months ago)

The flash of for example the Nikon D800 acts as a wireless commander for external flashes
Many Canonites seems not to be aware of this and thinks is just an onboard flash
It's a big minus to be without it

4 upvotes
lenseye
By lenseye (7 months ago)

Marketing nonsense to get people buy new products. If excellent image quality is what you're after, just get a D7100 for 1/3 of the price. You'll never be able to tell the difference. Actually you will... D7100 is probably better... there are other similar brands too, I'm not an ambassador for Nikon...

4 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (7 months ago)

But you don't have a clue what you're talking about and have probably never even touched the A7r. A good compact camera for 1/3rd of the price of the D7100 will do your job I think.

13 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

what lenseye says is not ture though D7100 is good.
and Zeisschen doesn't have to tell us s/he is well educated.

0 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (7 months ago)

@lenseye
You are an ambassador for trolls!

5 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

If the d7100 is good why why don't you buy the a6000 for half of its price? Or a used nex that has the same sensor? Your gonna get get the same image quality as as the d7100.

1 upvote
armandino
By armandino (7 months ago)

$35,000 for the new Phase One back must be the most retarded product then...

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (7 months ago)

The review says that Sony now offers 4 different adapters but the EA3 and EA4 replaced the EA1 and EA2 respectively.

3 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (7 months ago)

My understanding is that the EA1 and EA2 are not replaced but designed for APCS sensor bodies and the two new ones for full frame sensor bodies.

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (7 months ago)

The last part of your comment is true, but the new ones work just as well on APS-C (in effect they just add compatibility with FF cameras) and while still listed on the Sony website when you search for them, the Sony Store tags them as discontinued (and you can no longer buy them from there).

For current buyers of new adapters, that should remove half the confusion. ;-)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Richt2000
By Richt2000 (7 months ago)

Great review of a great camera.
As an owner, I would agree its a niche camera for IQ enthusiasts / professionals who strive for the best image in a light weight body.

I certainly wouldn't recommend it for action (eg sports or wildlife) or 'snapshooters' who would be better off with a Canikon DSLR or m43 /bridge/compacts respectively.

But as an outdoor landscaper, who primarily hikes up a mountain or treks in a desert, it's got to be the ultimate weight:IQ camera we have been waiting for.

2 upvotes
mx5002
By mx5002 (7 months ago)

thank you DPR for an excellent review. i highly appreciate your thoughtful comments about shutter shock and the A7R's auto focus capabilities. your review has diminished my concerns about this camera and i will probably purchase it soon.

3 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (7 months ago)

Playstation wins against Sega Mega Drive

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

still a great interchangeable body for Canon EF lenses,
though I don't like the operation/ergonomics a bit.

0 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (7 months ago)

We've never seen you liking anything so no surprise here...

11 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

that's not fair. we are all human and can make errors and wonders. you can make wonders. even Zeiss can bring out something good, as long as it's designed and made on the other side of the world.

0 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (7 months ago)

I thought you only respect "real" German made Zeiss and the rest is just a crappy but overpriced Sony lens with a blue badge. You need to get more consistent with your trolling yabokkie.

8 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

no problem "real" German used to be the king, the best in the world, but that's generations ago and no good any more even in 1970s standards (Germans and Japanese used to make lenses of the same design, but made in Japan were way better in quality at lower cost, and Germans gave up).

basically you can think that Germans reached their peak in 1950s (Leica M3) but collapsed quickly in 1960s.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Ranford Stealth
By Ranford Stealth (7 months ago)

What camera does Yab use & recommend? Does anyone know? Whatever it is it must be superior to Nikon Fuji Sony Panasonic Olympus Leica etc. Perhaps we might see some samples? His gallery & gear list are empty (surprise!) so where can we see some images taken by this intellectual colossus? You know, to help us understand that photography is so much more than just hardware & theory. It is, isnt it? Just wondrin'.

4 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (7 months ago)

He gaffer tapes his cameras because "real Pro's" do so. So nobody will ever know what camera he really uses...

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

as I said I don't judge by brand but a brand can have a score as a summary of the products. any brand cannot live alone with the link cut.

often why some people use a certain camera is because they have no knowledge about it. love is blind and blind people love the cameras they use.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Ranford Stealth
By Ranford Stealth (7 months ago)

I'll ask again. A simple question that even a troll could answer. You bag Everything except for Canon dual pixel af. Is that available yet? No matter. What camera do you currently use & recommend? Anything? Nothing? Do you have a portfolio? Just kidding! Your mushroom patch must be awesome. So a third time. Put up or shut up. After all your ignorant putdowns of various brands on these forums, what do YOU use & recommend?

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

> simple question that even a troll could answer.

thanks for the kind question

> what do YOU use & recommend?

I hope people could think and find out themselves with their own head. the best way to learn and remember.

0 upvotes
Ranford Stealth
By Ranford Stealth (7 months ago)

People learn by asking questions, its always been this way. OR they go to the person's gear list. Yours of course is empty. So, "using my head", I come to the conclusion you neither own nor use a camera. I could be wrong. So again, what do you use? Its very simple. WHAT do you use & recommend?

2 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

"as I said I don't judge by brand but a brand can have a score as a summary of the products. any brand cannot live alone with the link cut.

often why some people use a certain camera is because they have no knowledge about it. love is blind and blind people love the cameras they use"

Wow that is deep.... Your blowing my mind man! Lol

0 upvotes
eddie_cam
By eddie_cam (7 months ago)

If you need the buffer, JPEG smearing (look at page 15, high ISOs) is quite a drawback. I hope Sony will offer a firmware update with less JPEG smearing at NR=low.

2 upvotes
sunilkumar
By sunilkumar (7 months ago)

Full Frame small body, great prime lenses. Still people have complains but when it comes to leica which is small too people dont have complains on zoom.

4 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (7 months ago)

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)
short battery life. And even lossly compressed RAW on a 36MP camera targeting pro looking for quality (elsewhere they wont need 36MP).

So you don't see your subject while shooting, you shoot too late, your camera won't be able to shoot when necessary, display may stop working, you will not have enough autonomy and you will need to buy an optional charger and battery. Single memory card slot (no backup!)? Wifi without live view (as I have on my Panasocnic LF1/Leica C). And your raw won't be real raw?

Is it a middle-end $300 compact camera? or a toy for hipster?
My first owned DSLR, Nikon D70 could do better in many areas!!!

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
Richt2000
By Richt2000 (7 months ago)

Sounds like you need a DSLR, not a compact landscape camera!

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
pew pew
By pew pew (7 months ago)

now put the nikon D70 cons, you will fill 3 pages

13 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (7 months ago)

Sounds like he has MENTAL health issues!

11 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (7 months ago)

Yes, but as a camera, a working camera, it do it's job with it's IQ limitations. And that's I ask for, not perfect images, but to be able to shoot the moment.

That's why I extensively use pocket cameras, always with me, on pocket or my messenger bags.

If you look at photography master of 50's, 60's, 70's , technical quality is laughable compared to what you could get out of a pocket camera today with raw files. That's not the technical perfection that matter, it's the instant.

ADDED: maybe in this case, Sony A7R is perfect for landscape shooting on a tripod (and I think it should be great at that!). But why invest in a small full-frame DSLR for that usage?!?

MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE: As a photographer for the last 15 years, having used many SLR, Nikon mainly, Pentax and Canon too, maybe I am a little ill to think that I have to see the subject, that my camera should react IMMEDIATLY, that I could shoot after burst with a working EVF/1OVF/Display. Maybe I am ill. Or not?!?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (7 months ago)

I said mental health issues because of your trolling and not your requirements for the camera. A mentally healthy and balanced individual would just say "this camera is not for me" and be cool with this!

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
13 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (7 months ago)

If you keep asking why, you're not the target market. Be happy with what you have instead of worrying why others are happy with other tools.

4 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (7 months ago)

Just stick with your DSLR and get over it that Sony can make great cameras. Or are you just upset because you just bought a D610 some weeks before there was a much smaller and cheaper camera that would have done the job?

3 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (7 months ago)

So for who is this camera that isn't able to shoot instantly, at this price tag, that have issue in low light, that have 36MP incredible sensor but compressed raw, that is leightweight, but need adapters and heavyweight lenses to giuve the best, or need to be used with a 35mm f/2.8 (lol) ?

Let me know, as you should know for which people this camera is targeted?
Hipsters as I suggested?

ADDED: happy with my choice, don't need D800E (my second option). Would need a D800 with a great 24MP sensors instead :)
And when I bought it, I had the A7r in hands, and I heart the shutter sound. Maybe you shoudl hear it too????

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Richt2000
By Richt2000 (7 months ago)

You have classed yourself as a "snapshooter" - see the "not so good for" recommendation! Ha ha!

6 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (7 months ago)

@ritch2000 maybe, but in studios fashion shooting I won many prices for my clients. Maybe it's worthless for you.

And on the field, I am pretty happy with what I do :)

Prices and informations available on pv. I don't want to show that. I am a photographer as probably 90% of people on these forums and on dpreview. But my work is a little private (evene if I show some old photos on my websites), and you don't have to judge a photographer by it's cover. I think arguing is important.

Oh and my snapshots are not so bad after Lightroom processing, and seems to be good on big sizes too. Maybe you could not master an actual pocket camera?!?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (7 months ago)

I find it funny:
@richt200 said I am a snapshooter while he use a Sony RX100
@zeisschen said "The combination of A7r and 35 2.8 is reason enough for me. It's less than half the size and weight of a FF-DSLR. " so f/2.8 @ $3000 buget including taxe? lol
@ shawn Barnett, dpreview editor, don't seems to know for WHO this camera is targeted (maybe a valuable information)
@TrojMacReady maybe it's opposing any idea, you should look at he's forum interactions (click on he's name on the thread)
@Everlast66 has a mental issue with trolling (look at he's forum entries clicking on he's name)

So what?
My question is clear: for WHO this camera is targeted with it's issue with basic photography?
Hipsters?

A common trend about some of these people, if you click on their profiles and their gears on the bar, is that they mainly use Sony gears (nothing about that, as I wrot the RX100 and RSX100-II are great photography gears), or even own the a7r...

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richt2000
By Richt2000 (7 months ago)

Yea, I can't stand fashion or studios - each for their own.
Definitely not the camera for you though!

Used and loved plenty of compacts. The RX100 is amazing IQ, different tools for different jobs, or though I do like the Nikon A and Ricoh GR...

I've recently sold my Canon 1Dsiii and 5D2 for the A7r - better for MY needs.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (7 months ago)

@iAPX
It's not a camera for you go ahead. No need to make an extra review for yourself and tell anybody your reasons why you don't like it. I have it and I'm satisfied. Some colleagues of mine have it and they never even use a DSLR before, just because they were not interested in a big and heavy cameras but interested making high quality pictures. So you see the target group now? Dpreview mentioned that there are some firmware "issues" that could make the camera a platinum award winner, but for manual shooting in raw they don't really matter much at all.

3 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (7 months ago)

I heart you too.

Prizeless (...), all these testosterone driven comments.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
6 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (7 months ago)

Liked you @torjmacready, last comment :)

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

please be gentle, gentlewomen and gentlemen.
let's not call names, but lenses and cameras, ... call brands.

0 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (7 months ago)

Yes, I don't like trolls and most other people don't either. I think trolling was partially criminalised in some countries as well.
Yes I made 2-3 comments to trolling people today, but this is because this review seems to be a magnet for trolls.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (7 months ago)

@iAPX
Do you have a problem accepting the fact that there are cameras in the market not made for your needs?

4 upvotes
ZhanMInG12
By ZhanMInG12 (7 months ago)

No. The compression artifacts are invisible unless you look at b&w pictures with only one channel open.

VF blackout is significantly reduced on the normal A7.

All of my bodies lock up or enter a slow mode when buffer fills, including Canon, Nikon and Fujifilm bodies.

1 upvote
guytano
By guytano (7 months ago)

@ iAPX:

This camera isn't really for capturing "the instant" . There are other types of photography, you know. This camera is very well suited to many of them. Much more so than a pocketable point and shoot.

2 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (7 months ago)

And so concludes a beautiful car wreck of a discussion thread.

0 upvotes
pew pew
By pew pew (7 months ago)

I´ve read the full review, seems spot on, thks for the honest review.

3 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

I really though it was spot on too. I bought the a7 but it is interesting that this and other reviews say the autofocus is better on this camera. I purposely bought for the better autofocus and ended up choosing the wrong one! lol

1 upvote
gskolenda
By gskolenda (7 months ago)

Please, Please update these reviews, it's 2014!!
We need more info on Video Specs!!!!!!!

Bit Rates!! File type!!! Uncompressed Video? video focus modes?

Hello McFly!!

3 upvotes
Bill Bentley
By Bill Bentley (7 months ago)

LOL, +1 for Marty.

5 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (7 months ago)

+2! Great Shawn!

2 upvotes
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (7 months ago)

The body is worked over carefully in the review but not direct mention of the buttons and wheel trapped in "the ledge".

Still a great achievement, but I am constrained to wait until the ledge disappears and the shutter button and front wheel have their position reversed.

Presumably Sony will look around for some "best practice" menu systems from their rivals as well.

Nevertheless a great camera and if anyone really needs one sufficiently for their purpose they will quickly get used to operating it.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
lecoupdejarnac
By lecoupdejarnac (7 months ago)

I have an A7R (former Canon 5DmkII user) and I agree: switching the shutter button and the front wheel would be great.

But only a minor ergonomic annoyance; overall the operation of this camera is pretty good.

0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

That would be a great swap. When it comes to the menu system though I am very happy with it.

0 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (7 months ago)

If you want to stay lightweight,m use a 35mm f/2.8 (f/2.8, really???), elsewhere, add a grip, buy a charger, add lens adapter and use real high quality lenses. Oh I forgot an optical viewfinder, that will be on the hotshoe (so no more ability to control studio flashes, even with an adapter!)

You end-up paying more than you will for Canon or Nikon gears, and moreover it's even heavier, while not having the natural grip that you have on a Full frame SLR, due to the slim thin body!

I value size, using "expert" pocket cameras for a long time: Fuji F10, Panasonix LX3, Canon S100, Leica C, etc.
But for full-frame shooting with the real great lenses that these 24MP+ sensor deserve, you need a real body to have balance in hand (forget your old 70's or 80's lens they are just low-pass resolution filter!).

Dumb!

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (7 months ago)

Are you trolling regularly or just had to blow off some steam here?
If you are doing this regularly, have you sought professional medical help with your trolling?

7 upvotes
Richt2000
By Richt2000 (7 months ago)

Funny macho reasons!

A7r + nikon 18-35G & Contax Zeiss 35-70/3.4 is probably the sharpest two lens (lightest) landscape set up covering 18-70mm you can carry up a mountain.

I carried a 1Ds, 17-40, 24-70/2.8ii to Everest basecamp. Not again thank you!

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (7 months ago)

I recommend you to take it in your hands with real adapters and lens, then use the shutter, just to hear it.

I am not trolling, you will rarely see me criticizing Canon cameras (that I don't use but are usually great cameras), nor even some really awesome pocket cameras.

But hispter's tools as this is the case for this Sony, YES!

I was expecting sony to do great DSLR, or even great pocket cameras (and they do with RX100 and RX100-II), not hipster cameras to be rebadged as Hasselblad ASAP.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

Love that you keep saying Hipster. It is a very hipster thing to do on a site with little use of the hipster word. I think if you listen to shutter sound closely you can here the word hipster. This camera certainly isn't for guys in tight black wife-beaters that take selfies of themselves and their biceps for an avatar.... certainly a none hipster. I wasn't sure if I was a hipster but since I own an a7 and after reading your comments, I now know for sure. I am a hipster!

6 upvotes
LeicaBOSS
By LeicaBOSS (7 months ago)

Dude ,you seem to have a real axe to grind, but your arguments aren't really cogent.

You've clearly not really shot with either of these cameras nor the lenses available for them (did you hold one in a store for 20 minutes so you could complain about it from a place of expertise?). You're also clearly unfamiliar with the many "70's and 80's" lenses that still are not matched by the mass-market modern lenses.

Even Canon has no answer to its own "antiquated" 50mm f/1.0L. Meanwhile, people are joyfully shooting their 50 Summiluxes, ZM 50/2 planars, Zeiss 35mm's, Contax 85mm's, Leica R zooms, Schneider optics... with their A7 and A7rs.

And here you are... insisting that old lenses can't keep up and that "you need a real body." :/

6 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (7 months ago)

@LeicaBOSS
My last comment, objective, simple. I had it in hadns, with it's available lens, while buying my D610.
And I know for sur 70's 80's and 90's lens having taken photography courses in 1980.

Last comment. regards.

0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

Last comment? You mean no more hipster comments? This hipster sad..... :'(

4 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (7 months ago)

@iAPX
Do you have a problem accepting the fact that there are cameras in the market not made for your needs?

2 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov
By Kiril Karaatanasov (7 months ago)

@DPR will you be publishing tests for the lenses? 24-70 is interesting to me. Review mentions this lens does better than the kit lens. would be nice to have a bit deeper assessment - aberrations, bokeh, flare.....

2 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (7 months ago)

" 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."

Not true at all. Most of non-telecentric rangefinder wide angle lens below 35mm is almost unusable with A7r.

2 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (7 months ago)

Are you saying those lenses don't adapt? I don't see that they say they are good. I actually prefer using SLR lenses on the A7R, like Canon FDn lenses are about perfect size with it.

4 upvotes
lecoupdejarnac
By lecoupdejarnac (7 months ago)

It is true: many wide-angle lenses below 35mm have aberrations when adapted, but many of them can be corrected with Lightroom's Flat Field plugin or another app like Cornerfix.

It just takes a little effort to setup a correction profile. They even fix the color casting issues.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
ZhanMInG12
By ZhanMInG12 (7 months ago)

You can still USE them. The effect is another question.

I don't know anyone with a biogon or early super-angulon that is eager to use them on any digital body. Not to mention that many of such lenses actually will damage the curtain with their protruding rear elements. They are however a minority. Over 90% of all rangefinder lenses I can think of will work smoothly on the A7r.

0 upvotes
Edward Nowak
By Edward Nowak (7 months ago)

I'm not sure about the "most" modifier. Here are some stunning results with the Voigtlander 15mm Heliar mounted on the A7r:
http://sebimagery.com/blog/2014/2/9/sony-a7r-and-the-voigtlander-15mm-heliar-cv15

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (7 months ago)

Sounds like gold or platinum with Sony lenses. With non-Sony lenses, having to "focus bracket" most shots sounds more like brass or zinc. And why would Sony want it otherwise?

1 upvote
57even
By 57even (7 months ago)

Anyone posting here who disagrees with the rating, go ahead and write your own reviews. I will make sure and tell you what I think of YOUR opinions. In the meantime I can read for myself and decide if the rating applies to me or not.

If your recent purchase doesn't get a gold award, boo hoo.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
10 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (7 months ago)

Fine with me. I'm an a7r owner, and probably one of the most vocal detractors of its build quality and ergonomics. I LOVE its output, but that is it. It's a sensor attached to a ridiculous body and interface. But it's a great sensor.

15 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (7 months ago)

Did you try to put your index finger behind the strap? Suddenly it becomes really ergonomic ;)

2 upvotes
57even
By 57even (7 months ago)

Well, that's honest of you. But I think Shaun was pretty up-front about the pros and cons - enough for anyone to make up their own minds.

If you are a long distance hiker who takes landscape photographs, its a great camera. Bit limiting though. But I guess you should judge a camera against its intended audience.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

basically it's a D800 that takes Canon lenses, gives me image quality I cannot have with a Canon body, and almost everything else I have to bear with, my review in three lines.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
57even
By 57even (7 months ago)

Its not a D800. It has the same sensor. Is an OMD the same as a G4?

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

okay a good sensor buried in rubbish is called A7R.

OMD cannot be GH4 for Pana won't give Oly good video.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

Calling the body rubbish is a total overstatement.

3 upvotes
utomo99
By utomo99 (7 months ago)

Some of the problems can be solved by firmware update if Sony want. I hope Sony try to fix it

3 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (7 months ago)

Just curious, but other than build quality and resolution (which is a curse as well as a blessing) why is this rated a good bit higher than the A7? To my mind, the A7 is the better of the two, more manageable RAWs, less noisy shutter, faster AF etc.

I'm confused!

6 upvotes
SteveCooper
By SteveCooper (7 months ago)

Shawn, did you ever have one of those days when you just can't make anyone happy? ;)

2 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (7 months ago)

I feel A7 and A7r should share the same score after reading both reviews, considering the price difference and not so much difference other than pixel count.

3 upvotes
blink667
By blink667 (7 months ago)

Excellent point; given the price differential, the similar rendering of jpegs, slow autofocus and the uber loud shutter on the 7R should be enough of a downside to drop it down to the silver equivalent of the A7.

0 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (7 months ago)

Not true at all.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinstelbrink/sets/72157638008570035/

0 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (7 months ago)

Shawn,

What I'm particularly confused about is that plenty of people who own ff DSLRs have 20-24mp sensors in those DSLRs. They seem to be able to take great photos with them. Almost none of them shoot jpeg. So why focus on that aspect for the A7 and not for the A7r? I would posit it's completely irrelevant to buyers of both cameras.

The review does not focus on the fact that there are significant weaknesses of the 36mp sensor, primarily around shutter speed and RAW/TIFF size. I still only use my D800E infrequently because of the RAW files. Combine that with slower AF and I'm lost by the rating.

Ps none of that is to say the A7 should have gold, but it seems odd to rate the A7r higher.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (7 months ago)

Canon 6D with Canon 70-200 f4 L IS is no bigger or heavier than an A7 with Sony equivalent lens.

So, compact shmompact.

3 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (7 months ago)

The A7R+70-200 is about 200g (13%) lighter and ~10mm or so shorter.

4 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (7 months ago)

And the 6D with a 35mm lens? Any 35mm/APS-C camera will weigh similarly with a similar mid-range zoom on it because the lens dictates the size and weight.

You can't take your 6D and make it smaller. You can with the A7r. I think cameras like the A7/r are proving that digital cameras (and late era film cameras) simply got too big. The best size was the 1970's SLR, a bill which the A7r fits to a tee. The problem we face now is what to do with all the buttons and dials that never were on film-era cameras.

Sony obviously don't know what to do. There are too many, and most are unlabelled or carry multiple functions, much of it isn't merely duplicated, it is randomly spread to other buttons.

Size is great. Interface is terrible. I'd take a Canon or Nikon for interface any day, and I like neither.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

should forget 70-200/4 (of any brand) and
get a 70-200/2.8LIS2 and 24-70/2.8L2, really great lenses.

weight difference means little if any, if it's the image quality that one cares, and if one doesn't care, just get a QuickSnap which has a plastic lens that Fujifilm says better than Leica Elmar.

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

So an additional 12MP, no AA & full a metal body + the loss of a few things like EFS & Phase detection is worth 4% + a step from Silver to Gold and results in a bit of a change in the tone of the overall review.

:-)

Fair enough I guess the change in tone seemed noticeable to me. Is the JPEG image quality of the A7 & A7R actually worse than the A99 as your scoring bars actually seem to indicate?

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (7 months ago)

Re: Scoring - Cameras are scored compared to their peers and around the time of launch. As standards and expectations rise, with time, it becomes increasingly hard to achieve the same score, if other cameras raise the bar (so no, it's not necessarily less good than the a99).

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
mick232
By mick232 (7 months ago)

This must be the first review site I know where products must be launched on the same day to be comparable.

I also wonder which camera in the test group has raised the bar - after all, of all the cameras in the test group, the A99 was the camera launched before the A7, no camera launch in between.

3 upvotes
gerard boulanger
By gerard boulanger (7 months ago)

"Re: Scoring - Cameras are scored compared to their peers and around the time of launch"....

So, I guess when the Pentax K3 review will be done, that body will be already obsolete, and yet it has been picked as camera of the year!
Just because of that DPR should do a review, but not in 6 months...

0 upvotes
Yxa
By Yxa (7 months ago)

Does A7r have a full metal body?

0 upvotes
love2travelfar
By love2travelfar (7 months ago)

A camera with the highest image quality, compact, solid and can accept all my valuable lenses I have collected over the years regardless the mount (!). What not to like, seriously?

12 upvotes
gdfthr73
By gdfthr73 (7 months ago)

I still think these are the Ugliest (notice the capital U) cameras since the Pentax K-01 (maybe Uglier) but not as ugly as the Hasselblad Lunar. Size wise they are not that much better than a d600 or 6d. IQ is great I'm sure but man what a dog!

1 upvote
ric63
By ric63 (7 months ago)

I just looked up the Pentax, I dont mind it :-)

2 upvotes
bollzy
By bollzy (7 months ago)

I kind of like this "Eastern" design. It reminds me some unbreakable vintage Zenit SLR.

1 upvote
ric63
By ric63 (7 months ago)

Oh man what a camera,
Mine stopped working years ago.
I now use the Zenit as a wheel chock for my truck.

2 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (7 months ago)

I had a Zenit 12. Unbreakable. Died of old age... I still have it, however, and I plan to resuscitate it. Probably after I will retire... Cheers! :)

0 upvotes
Macadesigner
By Macadesigner (7 months ago)

Seriously? under CONs
"High-res sensor requires dedicated approach to shooting"
"Tools for shooting with third party lenses need improvement"
"Lacks a built-in flash"
"No in-camera Raw conversion"
....what kind of Cons is that....just enough to make the CONs list as long as the PROs list?

The camera for sure is not perfect, but...com'on thats lime...

8 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (7 months ago)

haha

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (7 months ago)

So long as it's not a lemon, that's fine.

4 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (7 months ago)

Another Lime, this time after a shot of TQ. Excellent Shawn!

0 upvotes
armandino
By armandino (7 months ago)

It is a good thing to point out limitations that somebody could easily overlook when purchasing, no matter how minor they might look to some.

0 upvotes
Macadesigner
By Macadesigner (7 months ago)

Ok, first of all.
High resolution requires dedicated approach to shooting...It's not a CON of the camera...It's user's problem, Dpreview never mention it as a CON for D800 but user aware. "Tools for shooting with third party lenses need improvement" is not the camera's CON as well...If adapters, it's the third party company's problem, the camera is designed to use native lenses, and give you convenience to use third party lenses...it's better than almost most other camera's offering...the other two to be fair it's ok. I'm not a Sony fan boy, I used and owned other brand as well...these to me is just funny to be a CON for a camera...I rather you put in the "Vibration problem some user raise on the internet". Thats CON of the camera...have fun guys

1 upvote
moimoi
By moimoi (7 months ago)

Shutter vibration that makes blurry images, have you forgotten dpreview?

It is a HUGE con.

5 upvotes
tt321
By tt321 (7 months ago)

I think it is covered under dedicated approach to shooting...

5 upvotes
DDWD10
By DDWD10 (7 months ago)

I thought that was implied by the phrasing of "shaking up the market".

8 upvotes
dbm305
By dbm305 (7 months ago)

What Shawn says about shooting it like an MF camera is fair enough when it comes to camera shake; but shutter shock is another matter - it's a flaw. There are lots of potential ways of fixing it: electronic first curtain, a shutter that only goes to 1/4000 and which might not as much vibration. Maybe they couldn't do it yet, but it does count as a 'con', and a distinct con from the general fact that a very high res camera needs careful shooting. I'm still tempted though.

4 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (7 months ago)

The point is that shutter vibration can be eliminated by mounting on a solid tripod, in our testing, and its impact on hand-held images appears to vary, so it's not clear-cut that it should be a con.

In our experience, the much more significant issue is camera shake, and this can be worked 'round with higher shutter speeds.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
moimoi
By moimoi (7 months ago)

Nonsense, there are so many situations for which you will be unable to shoot with a tripod. It is a flaw, and it cannot be denied.

6 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (7 months ago)

@moimoi - then we must be imagining all the sharp hand-held images we got.

The risk of blur from the camera itself doesn't appear any higher than with the Nikon D800E.

3 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (7 months ago)

Alas the A7R lacks electronic first curtain shutter, making it very problematic for shutter speeds in the 1/2-1/30s range, even if mounted on tripod. We have already seen tests that show you will get some blur due to this and can't be avoided if you need these shutter speeds, such as you would use in landscape. Nikon D800E does not have this issue as it does have EFCS. So in some cases blur cannot be eliminated by mounting on tripod.

1 upvote
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (7 months ago)

R Butler so why are so many other websites saying otherwise? Other websites are saying the shutter speeds need to be higher than used on the D800E. Have you done side by side testing?

Shutter vibration being eliminated by a heavy tripod is nonsense. On a lot of lenses that simply does not work. The photos still show vibration. Again a lot of other websites are reporting this. Plenty of sample photos around showing the issue. Perhaps DPR have not tested the camera with enough different lenses to make a generalisation like this.

0 upvotes
dbm305
By dbm305 (7 months ago)

Hmm. I suppose if the shutter speed needed to combat camera shake is also high enough to eliminate shutter shock, then that's a way of thinking that for practical purposes it's the same issue with the same fix...

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (7 months ago)

@Stu 5 - I can't comment for other websites, since I can't be sure of the problems they're having.

However, if you can eliminate image shake at a broad range of shutter speeds by attaching firmly to a tripod, then it suggests the problem isn't simply shutter shake. We have tested this, we aren't seeing the problem when the camera is solidly secured.

When not on a tripod, we're seeing some signs of shutter shock, but the far bigger issue we encountered was hand shake and failure to dampen the body.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Just another Canon shooter
By Just another Canon shooter (7 months ago)

"High-res cameras like this must be shot like they are medium format cameras. Raise the shutter speed when appropriate or mount the camera on a solid tripod."

Nonsense. Sensors with that density existed for many years - including every crop camera made today, and the D800. Such a terrible shutter vibration, at 1/80, not even 1/30, is something unique to this camera. It is a major flaw.

Also, downsized to the size of a 20-22mp sensor, it still looks very bad.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (7 months ago)

@R Butler Yes but that only works with some lenses. Others show vibration.

0 upvotes
Hwirt
By Hwirt (7 months ago)

A fair and comprehensive review, and another great photographic tool from Sony.

13 upvotes
historianx
By historianx (7 months ago)

Another Gameboy console posing as a camera. Pass.

2 upvotes
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (7 months ago)

A Gameboy among Ataris, Commodores and Amigas.

17 upvotes
ric63
By ric63 (7 months ago)

ROFL
You guys are running scared.
Lets rubbish something we are scared of.
Gameboys changed the world.
Sorry, I guess you are still playing frogger while standing up using old fashioned heavy and now outdated equipment.
Sony brings out many things to please everyone, they try something new and out there, they get flogged, they try something retro, they get flogged, at least they try.
What has Canon brought out? A re jigged plastic entry level camera and call it new?? Behold the new 1200! But it has a Canon badge it must be good! (says the rebadged Lexus driver that has no idea he has paid 4 times as much for a Prius)
I cant wait till Sony buys out Canon or start selling their sensors to them as the do Nikon!

12 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (7 months ago)

I'd take the Amiga in that company.

3 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (7 months ago)

@ric63: aaaaa... Well, Canon has brought an interesting compact lately. And the 200-400 f/4 with built-in 1.4X converter. And, the digital photography world, as we know it today... Don't think Canon is dead. Please. Read the 2013 financial statement. Compare it with Sony. And btw, I have a PC at home that can simply crush ANY console... Cheers! :)

0 upvotes
ric63
By ric63 (7 months ago)

Point taken Zerg :-)

0 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (7 months ago)

Thing is, I still need more than 22 Mp for my MP-E 65 lens (for the crop). So this Sony camera is somewhat interesting in this respect. But, to buy a just a sensor for 2000+EUR is a bit too much... Even if I can afford it, no problem. I simply don't care about the other specs. So Canon folks should indeed do more for me than the 1200D and put that prototype beast on the market. Cheers! :)

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

ric63 your have a long wait for Sony to buy out Canon. That new entry level camera as much as you dislike it will fly off the shelves and far out sell any of single Sony DSLR or mirrorless model.

0 upvotes
Edward Nowak
By Edward Nowak (7 months ago)

Zerg: Canon's revenue for fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2012, was $40.2B. Sony's revenue for fiscal year ending Mar. 31, 2013, was $72.2B.

0 upvotes
wudyi
By wudyi (7 months ago)

Nikon D7100 got 85% which is better than this camera, so I'll get D 7100 instead.

4 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (7 months ago)

I seem to recall that the shutter in the A7 shook the camera quite a bit, and the one in the A7R was worse?! In my book that would be a huge con, no matter which camera we're speaking about.

Not a mention in the Con list — has the shutter noise/shake been eliminated, or what?!

4 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (7 months ago)

To Shawn: the D800 has much much less shutter shock than the A7r does in the hand, and is much quieter. The first exposure I took with the A7r made me think it was broken, out of the box.

I then got used to it. But dear me, it is loud, slow, and annoying. I've had the D800 for a year and a half now and from the first exposure wasn't shocked by anything. It is a much easier camera to shoot using the same lenses.

But the A7r has many plusses like great live view and magnification. But shutter shock is bad. And it isn't comparable to the D800. I've found that the resolution is of very little concern. I generally get sharp photos from a D800 at 1/1 focal length/exposure time, but with the A7r, it is a bit more hit and miss.

The camera simply isn't made to take the massive clunk that goes on inside... that or the shutter lag from the time you press the shutter button to the time the exposure is taken is longer and therefore, more susceptible to movement.

Bad design.

4 upvotes
tesilab
By tesilab (7 months ago)

@Tord, the A7 has an electronic front curtain option. It is enabled by default, but if it is turned off, then the shutter should be about the same as on the A7r. If turned on, it should click only once rather than twice, without potential to shake the camera just as the exposure begins.

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

shigzeo ? it is between 2.5 to 3x focal length on the A7r. No idea how that did not get mentioned on the con list. There are other things missing off the con list as well.

1 upvote
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (7 months ago)

I don't get "camera motion blur" with my D800e. Handheld is pixel sharp.

2 upvotes
Retzius
By Retzius (7 months ago)

The camera and lens look very "Contax" to me.

I like it...

This could be the Contax RXIII.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
ebrandon
By ebrandon (7 months ago)

And this camera LOVES contax lenses. Put the 28 f2.8, 35 f2.8, 50 f1.7, 85 f2.8, or 135 f2.8 on it and you've got a small, perfectly balanced, extremely good looking package that works better than can be imagined.

1 upvote
G Sciorio
By G Sciorio (7 months ago)

Small body with a larger sensor means larger lenses. If the majority of the weight and bulk is in the optics...and if there are so few native lenses I don't see any major advantage over a DSLR.

18 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (7 months ago)

dont forget

- the fact that much smaller flangeback distance translates to more compact lens design

- even with FF, there will be some (relatively) small lenses (think primes). Huge sizes of FF DSLR bodies make the combination quite unbalanced.

- MILC lenses typically focus much faster in video (and LiveView) mode.

4 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (7 months ago)

The short flange distance only helps a bit. The fact is that very small lenses have a
very short throw to the sensor that creates problems with sensors that did not happen with film. Note the problems with short Leica M lenses on the A7/R and other mirrorless cameras

0 upvotes
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (7 months ago)

IF the majority of the weight is in the optics I agree. However, often it's not.

2 upvotes
Richt2000
By Richt2000 (7 months ago)

Try mounting contax zeiss glass on a Nikon DSLR. Or canon glass on a Nikon. Or Leica RF glass on a Canon DSLR....

4 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (7 months ago)

The combination of A7r and 35 2.8 is reason enough for me. It's less than half the size and weight of a FF-DSLR. This camera is not a Sports shooting replacement, don't forget Sony still has the A-Mount for the big and heavy lenses.

7 upvotes
tesilab
By tesilab (7 months ago)

Depends on the lens. I have tiny Contax G lenses. The 90mm f/2.8, 45mm f/2 have no issues with this camera. My tiny 21mm and 28mm are problematic, but for some applications they may still worth be using. I could go out with all four of those lenses together in my jacket pockets if I chose.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

I think a lot of old lenses perform poorly for they haven't seen maintenance for decades. it may worth a try to let someone see them.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Yxa
By Yxa (7 months ago)

Zeisschen
why not a RX1 then?

0 upvotes
mediman30
By mediman30 (7 months ago)

If you haven't tried the Sony a7r coupled with the Zeiss 55 FE lens, you're missing out on life! Don't buy it yet, just try this combination in the nearest camera shop near you and I will let you decide what you think of this camera and lens combination. Boy oh boy...

13 upvotes
HFLM
By HFLM (7 months ago)

It's great, but the average photographer doesn't need it. For printing a maximum A4-A3, for seeing differences mostly at 100% only? Professional landscape photographers will have an advantage, but I wouldn't pick it over a D800e at this stage. Two years from now there would be more reason to go with an A7(r), but I bet Canikon will have a solution at that time, too.

3 upvotes
mediman30
By mediman30 (7 months ago)

I agree with you completely, it's a camera for demanding photographers whose priority is performance and quality - just like what the D800e is capable of delivering but in a heavier and bulkier package. Two years from now, maybe Sony will have the A9, too.

3 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (7 months ago)

@HFLM
So the average photographer doesn't need an A7r but a D800e?
Even if canon has a solution in 2 years, Sony will already be the "new Canon" because they are they will have a large range of lenses made for full frame mirrorless whereas canon only has 3 lenses for APS-C mirrorless (compared to the 25 that Sony e-mount has TODAY). It's simply a matter of who is first. Canon better catch up soon or it's over.

7 upvotes
HFLM
By HFLM (7 months ago)

I didn't say an average photographer would pick a D800e, I would if I had to choose now. Most reviews don't rate the APS-C E-mount Sony lenses that high, to the contrary. How many do Sony have in two years from now and at what price point? Zeiss lenses are very expensive. To really make an impact they need more affordable ones. It's only a tiny fraction of photographers paying over 1000$ per lens.

1 upvote
AndreSJ
By AndreSJ (7 months ago)

never buy the first attempt at anything no matter how impressive they are. A7 mrkii will be the the camera to get

5 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (7 months ago)

or mk3

2 upvotes
ric63
By ric63 (7 months ago)

Hey Andre,
I get your point, but I would have missed out on 3 great cameras (that I still use) if I had of waited until mkII A100, H1 & RX10
I say go for it :-)

3 upvotes
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (7 months ago)

Why not?

My EOS 5D was awesome!

1 upvote
zumto
By zumto (6 months ago)

congrats to sony on the A7r,top notch image quality,impressive lenses to match the stellar iq

0 upvotes
QuarryCat
By QuarryCat (7 months ago)

dpreview is going crazy…. for sony

the Zeiss lens are fantastic, but I hate the camera I tried (7R) - it's a nightmare for shooting without tripod, for shooting in dim light or in dark, it is a nightmare for architecture, it is nor good for my portraits…

I like Alpha 99 and I even like Nex 6 bit Alpha 7R is a waste of recources for me.

1 upvote
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (7 months ago)

I suggest you don't buy it then.

10 upvotes
tlinn
By tlinn (7 months ago)

You lost me when you suggested it's inappropriate for architecture and portraits—and you forgot to mention how unworthy it is for sports...

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
PaulDavis
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

How would it possible be a nightmare for architecture? You put it on a tripod and press the shutter button. Lol. Surprised you can operate your a99 if you can not figure out how to successfully use the a7.

2 upvotes
QuarryCat
By QuarryCat (7 months ago)

it isn't simply good enough - sharp only in the center. I made today some pictures withe the Fuji X-T1 against Alpha 7R -
thanks no more Alpha mirrorless.
It is just good for a few subjects.
no need for full frame

0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (7 months ago)

What no OVF?

0 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (7 months ago)

No OVF thank god. Much prefer the EVF now.

10 upvotes
cplunk
By cplunk (7 months ago)

no matchstick meter either?

And where's the crank to wind the film?

8 upvotes
sunilkumar
By sunilkumar (7 months ago)

i will like film lever...can we show picture counter too :-)
Sorry i cud not resist and liked your statement.

0 upvotes
Devendra
By Devendra (7 months ago)

good to know sony caught up with 36mp FF after couple of yrs

1 upvote
Boerseuntjie
By Boerseuntjie (7 months ago)

The 36mp Nikon is a Sony sensor and Sony has a 50mp Medium format sensor they sell to Hassy,Phase one, Pentax so who has the catching up to do exactly?
For a so called engineer you sound quite stupid

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
19 upvotes
ric63
By ric63 (7 months ago)

Amazing the Canikon people cant see the wood for the trees.

6 upvotes
HFLM
By HFLM (7 months ago)

There is more than just a sensor. Many companies diversify and concentrate on their primary goal: build a camera. If I were a Nikon CIO I would buy the best parts from whatever company there is to build a camera. What about lenses (Zeiss)? Shooting a lot with an EM1 and D610 I prefer Nikon for longer periods. It just fits better in my hands. There is a minimum size I feel comfortable with. Additionally, I don't understand this brand wars, ridiculous (my dad is better than your dad, like in Kindergarten). Compensating something? As much as I like a mirror less camera, for me a DSLR is still not dead and I like using it a lot.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Boerseuntjie
By Boerseuntjie (7 months ago)

@ HFLM with no sensor there is no camera, just like in the old days with no film there is no picture.

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
1 upvote
mike kobal
By mike kobal (7 months ago)

told you so. Silver for the A7, Gold for the R :)

11 upvotes
ric63
By ric63 (7 months ago)

well done Mike.
Lotto numbers for next week please?? :-)

6 upvotes
neil holmes
By neil holmes (7 months ago)

Seems fair.
I do think the A7 is a better camera in many ways though.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
gerard boulanger
By gerard boulanger (7 months ago)

I am surprised the "cons" in the conclusion does not mention the shutter noise. The A7r is even noisier than the A7.
I guess pro won't like the noisy shutter?

5 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (7 months ago)

Loud shutter should definitely be a con a 'pro' level camera (if that's what this is)

1 upvote
Max Savin
By Max Savin (7 months ago)

I have an A7 and A7r. They are both much quieter than my D800 or 1DSmk3. They are noisier than an NX7.

2 upvotes
Fredy Ross
By Fredy Ross (7 months ago)

very difficult to understand why there is no mention of e-mount lenses losing the OSS when used in cropped mode. After all this time you should be well aware of this and not say only that all e-mount are compatible.

2 upvotes
Cheng Bao
By Cheng Bao (7 months ago)

1. Not all aps-c e-mount lens lose OSS
2. mounting aps-c e-mount lens on A7r is never the intended use of it

3 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (7 months ago)

"Solving the corner vignetting problem"
Way before Sony A7, there was Leica M8 and M9.
Back them the main topic was Vignetting and Shifted Microlenses.
It is pretty odd that this topic has not been raised around these Sony Digital Rangefinders.

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

If you are shooting 3200 iso it means the edges are over 12,800 iso because of the vignetting problem.

0 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (7 months ago)

Sony:"Winning."

6 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (7 months ago)

That's for sure for Sony. What about the customer? Cheers! :)

1 upvote
Total comments: 805
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