Sony A7 review from a non-pro

Started Nov 22, 2013 | User reviews thread
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zilver Contributing Member • Posts: 921
Sony A7 review from a non-pro


So far I've seen a lot of professional and manual focus experts trying the camera and give very useful insights, however I'm more of a hobbyist and enjoy new toys with autofocus, so here's my brief experience.

+++ Build quality is superb, best I've seen in the mirrorless peers, more solid than RX1, E-M1. I feel it's on par with 5D Mark III and Leica M (design is subjective, just talking about build quality)

++- Shutter, few reviews mention that sound is loud and slow, I find it perfectly acceptable and unexpectedly like it even. However I'd be more concerned about its placement, shutter botton is located on the edge of the body not top of the grip, takes a little getting used to.

++- Autofocus, not as fast as Olympus, but still feels much faster than RX1, and confidently locks in place, in low light also better than expected. The minus is that in low light many times it confirms focus but misses slightly causing minor out of focus pics, this is something I worry about.

/--- No IS, this is what I feel will kill it for casual shooters out there, I have steady hands and usually go to 1/30 at 35mm, but with this cam 1/60, even 1/100 causes image blur from camera shake. Could be me, the camera, the shutter, Dof, etc. But for sure this cam is NOT for kids shooters and not for low light without tripod.

+++ Lens 35mm, very sharp, focuses quick, this lens is a keeper for me.

++- Image quality, this is a tough one, because I have to judge it from being full frame, quality is beautiful for sure, high ISO is excellent to 3200, usable to much higher even. But I do get the mentioned 'brushstroke' bokeh rendering mentioned in DPreview's preview. If I didn't read it I might have thought it's the lens, but they say that this effect doesn't happen on A7R so I might have to try that cam. The colour is also too bland compared to Fuji but I think this is easily adjusted if prefer.

++- EVF, I'm giving this a plus because it's better than every EVF that I have used, except Oly E-M1.

Overall though, IMO this is a technological breakthrough, and any pros that handle this will want one either from Sony or demand smaller gear options from their favourite brand, those that do not want one will have a little less excuse to bash mirrorless, Leica will not die but will innovate more like they are doing with the M and hopefully will do with the new X.

Canikon still the best for action but will need to also change, Fuji is still the best in terms of image quality for me, Oly is still the most usable camera overall and one that I can easily recommend to friends because they will get good pictures without fuss, but makes me question the larger size of E-M1 a bit, new E-M5 and smaller cams from m4/3 camp will do fine I'm sure.

That's it from me, no time to go out shooting yet so just taking house items pic to test the lens. Just a note that English is not my first language so apologise for any mistakes.

 zilver's gear list:zilver's gear list
Leica Q Fujifilm X100F Leica M-Monochrom Leica M10
Sony a7
24 megapixels • 3 screen • Full frame sensor
Announced: Oct 16, 2013
zilver's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
= community average
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Olympus E-M1 Sony a7 Sony a7R Sony RX1
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