Going back to DSLR...

Started Jan 28, 2014 | Discussions thread
Astrophotographer 10 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,724
Re: kinda funny...

I just sold my D800e for a Sony A7r and am happy with the change.

D800e is a great camera but I found I wasn't using it because of its size.

A7r IQ is much the same as the D800e perhaps a tad better. The ooc jpegs and raws are better because I prefer the Sony white balance which is very very good (almost as good as Fuji's).

I like the evf and WYSIWYG in the EVF which makes the adusting of parameters very easy and fast plus manual focus with the Sony focus peaking a snap and very fast.

I found that my D800e had a slight green bias in images sometimes. Just a bit but I am pretty sure its there. The D800e is a pro camera so it can do anything. Sometimes I found it too complex and I was forever fiddling with it instead of taking the shot. I think the Sony handles backlit subjects better than the D800e does.

Overall I jumped at the change because I got the compact size and evf I had grown to love with the XE1 but the same 36mp sensor with truly no AA instead of a self cancelling AA filter which does add a little to the IQ.

Also whilst Sony do not have many lenses for the A7 just now what they do have is sensational. The Zeiss FE35mm F2.8 is one of the sharpest lenses around. Small and light - beautiful colour - just wow.

AF is very good but the D800 would be better at sports type scenes with AF tracking. XT1 may be a match there to D800. I never had attention on AF with the D800e and I never had any left side AF issues that a lot were complaining about early on.

The FE55mm F1.8 has now just received DXOMarks highest score for an AF lens. Sharpness is on par with the Zeiss Otus 55mm which is a $4000 lens. The Zeiss 24-70 F4 is just being delivered to people now and also seems a big winner. A 70-200 is out later this month.

But there are tons of legacy lenses that make this A7r really sing. You can use lenses from anyone.

I currently love the Canon 70-200mm F4 L on the A7r. Only cost $600 as well! AF is very slow with the Metabones adapter so treat it like a manual lens and the Metabones as a way to adjust aperture really.

Contax G Zeiss 45mm F2, 90mm, Zeiss Contax Yashica are outstanding lenses. Canon FD L are popular as are Nikons with high quality adapters (Novoflex).

So the beauty of the Sony is you can get the cost of the lenses down to a fraction of new expensive Nikon lenses and choose the best from a range of manufacturers. And the Sony Zeiss lenses as they come out so far are at the best performance of any lens type category.

File sizes are smaller with A7r in RAW. It also has a tiltable screen, wifi and NFC to connect to a blue tooth phone. You can control it remotely with a smart phone if that is of interest.

All at a lower initial cost.

Basically there was very little if anything the D800e could do my A7r could not do. AF on fast moving objects probably. I have not really done a comparison as I did not use the D800e for that either. I have no attention on AF on the A7r on native lenses. That's me though. LCD is better on the A7r and I like the ability to review images on the EVF as its easier to see zoomed in than the D800 which has a relatively poor live view implementation and manual focusing is a bit slow. I installed the magnifying eyepiece on the OVF on my D800e and that was a nice upgrade. It makes a bit easier to manual focus as you can see a bit better. The green dot that shows when you are in focus is a bit old fashioned on the Nikon. The Sony is light years ahead there and the new XT1 seems likely to have taken a step forward from Sony.

Sweep panorama function is one biggie Nikon does not have that Sony and Fuji have. I use that a lot and get a beautiful wide view using a 35mm lens or a bit wider. I used that to great effect in a European holiday last year. A pano with that Zeiss 35mm is sharp as and renders a gorgeous wide angle view. Superb.

Anyway, something to consider. You stil get that awesome sensor the 36.4mp Sony Exmor that is also in the Nikon D800 but with no AA filter so its more like D800e but as I say just a tad better Video would be better with the A7r. The first time I used the D800e for video it seemed like junk.

The AF on lenses in video is very crude on the Nikon and you should just use manual focus whereas AF works perfectly on the A7r with video and video output looks super lifelike with superb stereo sound. With the Zeiss 24-70 which has optical stabilisation video is actually quite sensational on the A7r.

One little thing to that is handy is the A7r has zebra stripes so you don't overexpose skin in portraits. Useful for video and stills. Another is digital zoom so you get 3 lots of focal lengths with your full frame lens. Go to APS crop (stiill 24mp!) and from there go to digital zoom and you get an additional 2X zoom. Could be handy.

I found menus on D800e to be very good and the A7r is almost as good but not quite. Still they are very good for a Sony (not their strong point right? Have a look at menu on Nex 6 - wow, a kid could have designed better - A7r is quite good). I also find the dials and layout to be veyr well done on the A7r and ergonomically I find everything is where my fingers lie to adjust when shooting so I don't need to take my eye from the EVF (apart from the odd fumbling to hit the C1 button for magnified live view  - I'll get used to it). Its also quite customisable.

Me, I'll be ultra happy with my A7r and Zeiss lenses and an XT1 and 14,23,35,56 primes and 18-55 zoom. The best the camera world has to offer for my tastes at the moment.


 Astrophotographer 10's gear list:Astrophotographer 10's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8 Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 +1 more
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