OMD E-M1 vs Sony A-7, What's the Difference?

Started Oct 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 17,700
Re: OMD E-M1 vs Sony A-7, What's the Difference?

captura wrote:

M43 vs FF full-frame. Same size and weight.,487

1. The sensor is 4x bigger.

2. Depth of field is radically different.

DOF is radically different, so now you're down to sensor size.

To get that bigger sensor:

A7 costs a bit more.  Lenses cost a lot more.

Lenses are going to be bigger.  I know that many of us come in and argue with some people here who insist that an f/2.8 m43 lens is "faster" than an f/4 FF lens (because "faster" implies that you can shoot faster shutter speeds in low light, when there's no compelling reason to shoot at the same ISO).  However, in practice, you can't always find equivalents, and most people looking for a bigger sensor actually want to exploit the benefits of the larger sensor, and so will end up with a significantly bigger & heavier kit.

AF is slower.

IS is absent for primes.

I saw the A7 & A7r yesterday at Photoplus.  They're very nicely built, well laid out cameras.  Sony had some enormous, detailed prints from the A7r on display.  To be expected; Nikon had similar prints from the D800 at last years show.  I tried one with the Sony A mount 70-200/2.8 and it focused quickly (despite the faster AF on the version II and the PDAF in the LA-EA4 adapter, it was still no match for my Nikon).  I didn't get to see the native lenses - I can kick myself for not hanging around the Sony booth long enough to at least check them out (I'm not interested in buying into the system, but would like to have seen them).  The booth was pretty crowded all day.

I also checked out the EM1.  It's well built; seems less "fiddly" than the EM5 (controls are easier to access).  I understand that it's amazingly customizable, but the UI is alien on picking one up.  (A rep at last years show was a former Nikon user who said it took a little while to customze and adapt to the EM5, but worth the effort).  I never saw a couple of the newer lenses in person; the 45/1.8 is downright TINY in person !  The 75/1.8 is nice & compact.  The 12-40/2.8 is smaller than I would have expected.  With either the 12-40/2.8 or the 12-50 kit lens, the EM1's AF was amazingly fast.  Interestingly, I found the image in the EVF somewhat more pleasant on the EM1 than the A7.  They're reported to have the same EVF, and in both cases, the resolution was so fine that the image looked very clear.  But the A7's was more contrasty and artifical looking as far as the lighting goes.  I don't know if there are in-camera settings to control that.

They're two appealing cameras/systems, but for different reasons.  I think that anyone having a hard time deciding which to buy doesn't know what he or she wants in a camera.

- Dennis

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