The Sony A7s - Birders' dream camera?

Started Jun 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
parallaxproblem Veteran Member • Posts: 5,335
Re: The Sony A7s - Birds vs. Wildlife (Resolution vs. Sensitivity?)

bwana4swahili wrote:

Alex P Scorsch wrote:

I think the Sony A7s would be the wildlife and bird photographer's dream camera. When the birds and animals are active it's usually about 6:00 am and relatively dark, especially in the rainforest were I often shoot. With the high ISO capabilities and the small apertures of long telephoto lenses this might be a great choice. One only has to decide if one wants to live with the relatively low pixel count. I think it would be worthwhile, even if adapters are in order for the "big guns".

Sony A7R(esolution)... Sony A7S(ensitivity)

A blend of the two would be nice but at the moment it doesn't exist, or maybe I just haven't seen it... Or maybe I'm already using it in the A7R?

Lot of talk about using an APS-C sized sensor vs. full frame. It isn't the size of the sensor that determines resolution. It is the size of the pixels. An APS-C sensor with the same size pixels as a full frame camera just gives you less field-of-view; no gain or loss in resolution. An APS-C sensor may "appear" to give you better resolution but it simply shows a cropped full frame image; the reason for the name, "crop mode sensor"!

If you want resolution for those birds and small, distant targets go the A7R route (or a camera with an APS-C sensor with the same or smaller pixels). If you want the dusk/dawn light gathering, get closer or use a longer lens and (maybe) go the A7S route.

The 36MP sensor in the A7R has a similar resolution to a 15MP sensor in an APS-C camera, the A7 equates to only around 10MP wheres the A7s resolution will offer under 6MP...  latest APS-C sensors are 24MP

No one has really had a chance to full evaluate an A7S (the reason for the "maybe" above) but I have used an A7R since Nov. '13 and it is pretty darn nice for both resolution and reasonable image quality at higher ISO's, i.e.: up to ISO3200 + a bit.

You mentioned adapters. I adapt Canon, Pentax, Minolta, M42 and T2 lenses to the A7R. Plan to go manual focus and focus peaking for those action shots, autofocus is a bit slow! Lots of good manual lenses/telescopes available new/used to choose from... You may already have them in your lens collection? I don't own any Sony lens, except a 28-70mm zoom I was given, so maybe their adapters give better performance; don't know?

Danny (NZMacro) uses MF techniques for BIF and gets excellent results.  However only the highly-skilled can do this, and even after a lot of pratice this year I am still finding MF for birds beyond my abilities.  AF performance is important for most 'ordinary people' shooting birds


As has been said elsewhere, the A7s is good for Video shooters.  Those taking mainly photos should probably look elsewhere unless they want it exclusively for 'available light' photography of largish/nearby subjects (bands/concerts?)

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