The Sony A7s - Birders' dream camera?

Started Jun 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
Bart B Van Bockstaele
Bart B Van Bockstaele New Member • Posts: 13
Re: The Sony A7s - Birds vs. Wildlife (Resolution vs. Sensitivity?)

Ross Warner wrote:

Bart B Van Bockstaele wrote:

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?)

This claim is being made all the time, but I think it (sort of) ignores (or suggests to ignore) a rather fundamental fact about people who are taking pictures of wildlife that happens to come across their path just before or after sunrise or sunset. I am in that case myself.

While I am certainly not trying to avoid taking fantastic pictures, the likelihood that this will happen is almost zero. My goal is not to take lovely pictures, my goal is to document, i.e. provide credible evidence that what I claim to have seen is indeed what I have seen.

In my opinion, and without having used one yet (I am waiting for it to come in), the a7s is likely to be the best camera on the market at this time. After all, what use is a better resolution, if the resulting picture is a black field with nothing discernible in it?

Yes, it would be great to look that coyote straight in the eye at a metre’s distance, and the picture would probably be quite nice with even the shittiest of cameras, but what about that barely visible mink in the distance no other camera can see?

The issue in my case is not "nature photography". The issue is "science". In my search for a good camera, I have been frustrated by the fact that hardly anyone seems to be interested or even understands the issue. Most people, and all reviewers I have read, want *beautiful* pictures, while I, and people like me, want *possible* pictures. If these turn out to be pleasing, so much the better, but that is nothing more than a happy coincidence, not a sought-after one.

In that case, have you ever tried binoculars? There are some types available that can record a digital image, and the reach of these binoculars often equals or exceeds a 600mm lens on full frame cameras.

Quality is another matter...but you don't seem concerned about that.

That is actually not a bad suggestion. I was not aware of binoculars of the level you are referring to, and it is certainly giving me something to think about.

I did buy the A7s, and I like it quite a bit. I have made quite a few pictures that would have been (all but) impossible with other cameras. So, I am happy.

The lack of reach of my combination is frustrating, however. Sure, longer lenses are available, but size and weight are issues I cannot ignore and renting a camel to carry gear is not an option. I have supplemented the A7s with a Nikon P610 for more reach, but that is, alas, only usable if there is a lot of available light, and even then, its burst mode is very disappointing.

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Life is like a roller coaster. The ride is thrilling, but the end is disappointing.

 Bart B Van Bockstaele's gear list:Bart B Van Bockstaele's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P610 Olympus Tough TG-4 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V Sony Alpha a7S Sony a6300 +5 more
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