Can't decide - A7R or E-M1?

Started Oct 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Parkettpolitur Regular Member • Posts: 108
Can't decide - A7R or E-M1?


right now, my only camera is the amazing Ricoh GR - I've just sold off my heavy, bulky 7D (+ a couple of EF lenses) and really want to buy into a new system. I was pretty set on the EM-1; the featureset is convincing, MFT is a mature system, the kit zoom is, by all accounts, fantastic, and my store of choice will give me 10% off until the end of the month. The camera seemed to be everything I'd hoped for: an interchangeable lens body with decent AF, no AA filter, very rugged, and with compact lenses that would offer equal or better IQ than my old Canon. But then, Sony announced the A7(r), and now I simply can't decide what to do. I've been reading convoluted discussions on the relative merits of MFT and FF in general and the A7R vs. the EM-1 in particular for what seems like hours. There's so many different opinions floating around, and I'm really just an ambitious newbie who's in awe of the Ricoh GR, so my confusion right now is pretty much total. What to do? I might wait until Nikon announce their rumored new compact FF camera, but then I'd lose my 10% rebate for the EM-1...

Right now, the pros and cons are as follows.

E-M1 pros:

- Probably the best mirrorless body on the market right now, better than the A7R in several key areas (AF, weather sealing / general ruggedness, IBIS). Probably faster operability in general than the new Sonys (buffer size, FPS etc.).

- Mature system with lenses for every situation imaginable.

- With rebates, I could get the E-M1 kit + the Olympus 75 f1.8 (or the 45 f1.8) for the same price as the A7R + 55 f1.8

E-M1 cons:

- Very small sensor, certainly less IQ than on the FF Sonys.

- Maybe a little expensive for what it is?

- Olympus may stop making cameras sooner or later.

Sony A7R pros:

- Full frame sensor and all the benefits that entails.

- Probably unrivalled image quality.

A7R cons:

- Very expensive, especially with my preferred lens (55 f1.8).

- No real lens lineup to speak of - yet.

- Worse weather sealing than the E-M1.

- Worse AF performance and probably worse "speed" overall than the E-M1.

- Shutter sound is very loud.

- Who knows when an (affordable) wide prime will come out.

Yeah, the Sony has more cons and less pros than the Oly, but the superior IQ makes up for a lot, I think... I mostly shoot landscapes (when on vacation; the 7D was usually too heavy and bulky for me to take along on long trips and hikes and so on), general travel stuff, some portraiture, babies and pets, and some astrophotography (the latter both during the Summer and during Winter under sometimes very cold conditions - I saw in the manual that the Sony isn't freeze proof, which is a little alarming, but then my 7D isn't freeze proof either and it never had a problem taking long exposured at -15 degrees Celsius). I'd also like to get into Macro stuff. Even though I owned and used the 7D for a couple of years, I wouldn't consider myself a very experienced shooter; I probably still make newbie mistakes all the time. I am a bit of a pixel peeper though; the GR blows me away in this regard - it's so sharp...

Please, I'm grateful for any advice at all. I get the feeling that I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't with these two cameras.

 Parkettpolitur's gear list:Parkettpolitur's gear list
Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill Ricoh GR Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +4 more
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