FF & APS-C: How to justify the A7RII purchase

Started Mar 9, 2017 | User reviews thread
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,945
Re: FF & APS-C: How to justify the A7RII purchase

mcslsk wrote:

blue_skies wrote:

mcslsk wrote:

My Sony experience started with the NEX3, then the NEX 6, the A6000, A6300 and A7. Last year, I was agonizing over the question whether to stay APS-C and FF, or just APS-C, or just FF. At one point, I was sure APS-C is all I need. In fact, I sold my A7 which was not bad but behind the a6300 in image quality and speed.


Or better, if true for you, you don't need FF...

There is a significant difference in how teh a6300 senor and software work vs. A7 and A7II. The a6300 is closer to the A7R2.

Eh, no: https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-A6500-versus-Sony-A7R-II-versus-Sony-A7-II___1127_1035_996

Check the SNR and DR graphs (under Measurements).  You can also compare the Scores.

The A6300/A6500 is still a stop behind in ISO, but it matches the A7ii in DR at lower ISO values. It is not close to the A7rII.

In fact, the A6300/A6500 is very close to the A6000. The only change is the one EV increase in DR.

Mind you, this is downsampled to 8Mp, at full resolution the differences are more visible.

As to how the software works, the A6300/A6500 is ahead of the A7rII. It does incorporate the faster processor to enable third party adapters (A6000 lags here), but it has a faster PDAF grid and lower resolution. The A6300/A6500 is a much snappier camera than the A7rII.

The A7 got a firmware upgrade which makes it much closer to the A7ii in features, but the menus are slightly different. The A7ii in operation is close to the A7rII, not to the A6000. The A6000 was already a snappier camera. Some features (e.g. Eye-AF only existed on the A7 cameras).

The A7 II only added IBIS. Then came the A7RII. When I saw the price tag, I immediately promised myself do not even think about buying it. No way. 42MP are way more than I need.

Obviously, you like cropping


That promise didn't hold long. Intrigued by the additional IQ I took the camera for a test - and never returned it. There have been plenty of reviews that tell you about the good, the bad, and the ugly. For me, it is 90% complete satisfaction.

Strange that the A7 did not deliver for you, it did for many of us.

Problem 1: AF with adapted lenses. Problem 2: Less image quality than A6300.

What needs to be improved in the next model is operating speed. What could be fixed with a firmware update is the configutration of the menu, in particular AF assist behavior so that one can chose the highst magnification to be displayed first. I find it difficult to MF at the lower magnifaction even with focus peaking. But even more important would be an option to assign FF/Super 35 to a function button. Why? The fact that the A7RII doubles as an APS-C camera is for me one of the most important features.

Sure, it can double. It is also double the bulk, and triple the cost.

It doesn't double bulk. In fact, the A7RII with the FE35/2.8 is rather compact. So it depends.

Resolution in Super35 mode is more than enough.

You are a videographer?

No, I mean APS-C

When I am not out with all of my gear, I can take the E18105/4 as an alrounder, or can use only two or three FF lenses to cover a wide range from 15mm to more than 200mm. My favorite travel set up is the Voigtländer 15mm (23mm), the FE35/2.8 (53mm) and the Canon EF 100/2 (150mm). With the Loxia 21mm (32mm) and the FE55mm (83mm) you can travel even lighter yet cover a focal range wider than most standard zooms offer at better IQ. Of course, on could also always crop in post, for which the A7RII offers plenty of headroom.

Yes, cropping in the A7rII using APS-C lenses is an idea that more and more people are open too. It does allow for much lighter travel, while not giving up the FF when needed or desired.

But I prefer seeing on location how the framing works out. If you combine the price of an a7ii with that of an A6300 (or A6500), all of a sudden the price for the A7RII starts to look reasonable

Rather (used?) A7ii + A6000. Still cost half that of a (used) A7rII.

But A7II and A6000 don't work well with adapted lenses, and have old sensor technology. But of course, this post was not about saving money.

The A6000 has restrictions, not the A7ii. It works fine with 'smart' adapted lenses.

Dumb adapted lenses always worked.

Or better, one camera (A7rII) versus four cameras (A7ii, A7ii, A6000, A6000).


Expressed in cost (or dollars).

Hope this helps some of you make a decision.

With as many lenses as you outline, the A7ii would be a fine camera.

No, because of adapted lenses and the older sensor technology

You keep saying this, but this 'older sensor technology' still delivers higher IQ. The graphs don't lie.

If S35 is important, why not look at the A7sII? The A7rII is a compromise for video, although it is the 'next best' in the Sony lineup of FF cameras.

Again, misunderstanding. Don't do any video.

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The obvious question that comes to mind is whether or not the A7rII in crop mode scores above or below the A6300/A6500. My bet is that it may still score higher, due to BSI. But you'd lose some detail, 18Mp versus 24Mp.

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