choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

Started Feb 1, 2014 | Discussions
Steve W Veteran Member • Posts: 4,137
My first weekend with the A7R

Well I saw an offer I couldn't resist. I've traded the X-E1 and lenses (18, 35, 60) that I was trying to sell for a Sony A7R I had been thinking about. Since it arrived mid week I've been trying out my collection of Zeiss ZM lenses I have for my Ikon. So far I've only tried the 2,0/35 2,0/50 and 1,5/50 with the Metabones mount adapter. Others think these are the ones I would have the most success with. So I will share my thoughts.

First I want to disclose I have not abandoned Fuji. I have my X-E2 and 14, 23, 18-55, 55-200, and 27 still. I've also got the 56mm f/1.2 on order. Also want to state I have a significant Canon DSLR investment that I have no plans to sell at this time with a full collection of lenses. The Fuji and this Sony have been my attempt to get an alternative small, high quality camera to travel with. The key requirements for my mirrorless quest have been high IQ, Interchangeable lenses, high quality small primes, access to zooms if I felt I wanted the flexibility, and low light performance (focusing and IQ).

So now lets talk about the Sony A7R. Adapting to the menus and form factor (thicker grip handle) has taken a little getting used to from the Fuji. Also the placement of the C3 (+) button for zooming in on playback mode seems difficult and hard for me to reach (medium size hands). Also when your in the menus the wheels make the selections zoom by very quick (like on the ISO or Picture Style menus) so I need to be a little more deliberate.

Would like a way to have the LCD consume less power in between shots since I really only use the view finder for shooting. I don't want to turn it off completely but would like to find away to configure it with just a minimal ammount of info so I how things are set but not have it actively do focus peaking, etc. I think there is a mode there I just haven't found it.

Already got used to the louder shutter. When I'm out walking in the woods I really don't notice it. Is more of a solid conformation that the image has been taken.

The focus peaking is great compared to the Fuji X-E2 (the new X-T1 offers multiple colors but I haven't tried it). This is key given my desire to use adapted glass here.

Images and IQ seem great so far. Not really taken it anywhere that I can use to show it off though. I've only been using it hand held with manual focus so I've been sure to have my DOF at f/4 to f/8 to make sure I get what I want in focus. For me believe it or not tree bark and its patterns are my test for sharpness and I know if the focus isn't just right they smear quite a bit. Its also what I do a lot of AF test on to see how well my Canon's and Fuji AF systems work. With the Zeiss ZM's and focus peaking I appear to be doing OK. Its not the camera I'm really testing here. Mor my ability to get the shot I want with it. I did decide to order the 55mm f/1.8 FE to see how well an AF lens, designed for the camera, works. It will be here tomorrow.

Accessories are not as readily available as I would like. ReallyRightStuff is out of stock on there Arca-Swiss compatible plate so I haven't put it on a tripod yet. Also, not quite sure what to do about a cable release. Saw they have a low priced wireless remote so I might get that. Relying on my iPhone and WiFi is not the approach I like. Especially with the limited battery life I appear to be getting. (Got to figure out the displays better). These two accessories I think are key if I plan to get the most out of the 36 MP sensor. I really didn't buy this for snapshots although the size with the ZM lenses are great! If I could get Sony/Zeiss to provide equivalents of their ZM line (in focal distance and aperture) that would be great. I know with AF they won't match the size but can they produce the following 2,8/15 2,8/21 2,8/25 or 28 2,0/35 1,5/50 2,0/85. Or if they want to stay MF like on Nikon ZF.2 or Canon ZE then at least optimize them so the image quality is great for the Sony sensor.

Finally, I've got to find a good forum that supports this as a prime focus. Really wish FM would promote the Sony, Fuji, and Olympus to the same status as Nikon or Canon and not push everything into one Alternative Gear section.
Any recommendations are appreciated.

Well, the experiment continues. Thanks for your time if you bothered to read this far. Steve

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photogeek Senior Member • Posts: 1,392
Re: choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

I currently own a NEX-7, and its control scheme saps all enjoyment out of shooting. From what I gather, A7/A7R have a very similar control scheme. And that's just one deal breaker among many. Another one is physics: there's no way to make a decent f/2.8 normal zoom for A7 without it being huge, expensive, and weighing a ton. That's why Sony is releasing slower lenses first, they could have just tweaked their 24-70 f/2.8 for mirrorless and released it straight out of the gate, but then disadvantages of FF would become obvious.

MrChristopher
MrChristopher Senior Member • Posts: 1,296
Re: choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

You are a great photographer so stop goofing around and join the Fuji camp.  Just do it!

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howardfuhrman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,064
Re: choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

While I have a Sony RX1, I have never tried the Sony A7. The thing about the Sony RX1 that impresses me most is that I can shoot at ISO 6400 and 12800 and get very usable photos.

On the FM website,  there is forum for Sony on which with 150+ pages forum of photos taken with the the Sony A7 http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1255248/152 . Most of the photos posted were taken with legacy lenses and most of those photos are spectacular.

On other forums, there are threads  for Fuji and many of the photos posted for the Fuji X cameras are excellent.

I have not yet seen any photos posted by photographers taken with the X-T1 so I cannot compare images from both cameras. However photos of the camera, X-T1 with all the analog dials, the flip screen and grip look great. The X-T1 looks useable, making it possibly the most usable camera available (in my opinion).

While I have some legacy lenses, at this point of my life my focusing vision is not nearly as good as AF. Therefore autofocus lenses are very important to me. Fuji has a more complete lenses lineup than Sony.

Since I believe that sensor size matters in obtaining optimum sharpness and resolution, I believe that the A7 IQ will be better than that from X-T1. How much better and whether anyone will be able to detect much difference on an 8x10, 11x14, 16x20 print is questionable in my mind.

I would recommend that before making a choice, that you wait for the real reviews of the X-T1, rather than previews, you handle both cameras, evaluate your needs to determine whether the lenses available suit your subject matter. Determine the larger size and weight of the FF lenses are  an important consideration to you.  It is possible that there is no wrong choice as both cameras are capable of producing image of excellent quality.  The main limitation of the cameras is usually the person behind the camera.

Good luck with your decision.

Graham Hill Senior Member • Posts: 1,355
Re: My first weekend with the A7R

Steve W wrote:

Finally, I've got to find a good forum that supports this as a prime focus. Really wish FM would promote the Sony, Fuji, and Olympus to the same status as Nikon or Canon and not push everything into one Alternative Gear section.
Any recommendations are appreciated.

Well, the experiment continues. Thanks for your time if you bothered to read this far. Steve

There are a LOT of A7 users at FM.  Yes you have to wade through the Alternative forum, but that is a SMALL price to pay.  Plus, the Alt forum is probably one of the best photography forums found anywhere.

liquid stereo
liquid stereo Veteran Member • Posts: 7,265
Different shooting styles/preferences maybe

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

Yeah it took me about 2 seconds. They are remakably similar in menu and operation. I prefer the ergonomics of the Sony for me (placement of dials, ease of changing ISO, manual focus is easier, easier to magnify view, change shutter speed without removing your eye from the EVF).

XT1 should be much closer in this regards due to the improved EVF and nice displays and manual focus aids. In fact it may well be the leader in ergnomics over just about any camera. That's one of Fuji's strengths - the tactile involvement of the photographer into the process of taking the image - they do it so well.

Greg.

The beauty of the market is that there are choices/tools/products to satisfy each/all of us. I've never changed the shutter-speed on anything but my DSLR. On the X100 or X-Pro1, I shoot entirely in aperture mode (and auto ISO). On my DSLR, which I use for sports, I shoot in shutter priority but everything else is aperture-priority.

As for specifics about menus and such, I think that's all a load of nonsense. For the most part, I think such things are sorted out after a week... As pointed out in this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW8Cz_v3w1E&list=UUqpOf_Nl5F4tjwlxOVS6h8A&feature=c4-overview

As imaging/photo enthusiasts we have a plethora of choices. Cell phones too!!!

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Astrophotographer 10 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,449
Re: My first weekend with the A7R

Click the multi selector top part to change the display. Like on he Fuji. Keep clicking and it will display different looks . One is quite uncluttered.

You can turn off focus peaking, its an item in the menu.

You can reassign functions from C3 button which is default the zoom button on playback images. Agree its kind of an awkward button. Reassign that function to another of the 6 custimisable buttons.

FE55mm lens is possibly one of the best lenses available from anyone right now. 2nd highest DXO mark for a lens.

FE35 is also highly regarded as one of the best in its class. 24-70 zoom though does not seem to be getting the same excitement. It seems to be good with typical soft corners for a zoom but still has Zeiss sharpness and  contrast in the centre.

Zeiss C/Y 28mm F2.8 is one that gets praise. Some use focus peaking with the EVF set to display in B and W, focus peaking set to medium and shoot in RAW. You can do the same I think with X cameras.

IQ is stunning and again probably about the best out there at present. X cameras have great IQ as well but can't match this although they come relatively close.

Greg.

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Astrophotographer 10 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,449
Re: Different shooting styles/preferences maybe

Aperture priority would be fine for X cameras but for A7r you do get shutter shock especailly at 1/125th per reviews. I tend to shoot higher shutter speeds to avoid that. I also do that with my XE1 but mainly to compensate for motion blur from being handheld. It may not be that critical with OIS zooms but I do I use it anyway.

Greg.

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Astrophotographer 10 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,449
Re: choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

I don't think the menus are the same as Nex 7. I find the A7r menus about the same as Fuji. Quite good overall. I hated Nex 6 menu so if that is the same as what you are talking about - I hear you!

Nex 6 menu seemed like it was designed by a child or someone with a hideously distorted mind! No doubt their bedroom is a mess!

Greg.

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deano7000 New Member • Posts: 2
Re: No good choice

I think you've hit the nail on the head.  I have Canon kit and I'm considering going mirrorless mostly to lose the weight/size.

The two challenges I see right now are:

  • Lack of great flash system.

A lot of my bread and butter work is event stuff where I rely on the strobe.  I do some portrait stuff too with a modest amount of off-camera flash.  I have a Canon 600EX and a couple of 580s and I'm really happy with them.  I'm not yet convinced by the flash units on offer for either Sony or Fuji.

  • The full-frame advantage.

I love to shoot at night, hand-held in natural light and my Canon 6D is great for that.  I can shoot at ISO6400 and get decent shots.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/deano7000/9560784077/in/set-72157635166261961

I haven't used the XT1 yet but I've handled other Fujis (XE-2 and X100s) and really like their approach.  I tried the a7 and it felt good.  The only thing that surprised me was how much noise/vibration the shutter seemed to make.

I think my preference is for the Fuji but I'm worried about losing the full-frame advantage at night.

Very interesting debate.

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8dany1 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

I have both camera:

A7 because: full frame, zeiss lenses with amazing micro contrast effect, flash sync 1/250 against 1/180 of fuji, shutter speed 1/8000 against 1/4000 fuji, raw 100iso VS raw 200iso for fuji.

When u shoot wide open (for example at f/1.2 with the 56mm on a sunny day you will end up having an over exposed photos.. this is not gonna happen with the A7).

Fuji because: It's fuji.... and makes feel like a real photographer.

Absolutic
Absolutic Veteran Member • Posts: 5,423
Re: choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

8dany1 wrote:

I have both camera:

A7 because: full frame, zeiss lenses with amazing micro contrast effect, flash sync 1/250 against 1/180 of fuji, shutter speed 1/8000 against 1/4000 fuji, raw 100iso VS raw 200iso for fuji.

When u shoot wide open (for example at f/1.2 with the 56mm on a sunny day you will end up having an over exposed photos.. this is not gonna happen with the A7).

Fuji because: It's fuji.... and makes feel like a real photographer.

I agree with you that Fuji has issue with Flash Xsync and 1/4000 shutter speed.  I sold my Fuji XT1 but doesn't it also have low ISO choice either 100 or 50 that can be used in emergency?  I am sure Jpeg only, but can save these wide open shots at daylight

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debo Senior Member • Posts: 1,998
Had the same needs, got a X-E1 + lenses and here are my thoughts

Had very similar (or same) needs. Was thinking whether to jump into Fuji or Sony and chose the Fuji route. Got myself a X-E1 kit + some primes. The Zeiss Touit deal popped up and expanded the system. So right now I have 12/2.8 18-55/2.8-4, 32/1.8, 60/2.4 (used, half price). Technically I don't feel gear limited (in fact I want to get rid of the 18-55). In addition I got myself a X100LE used to cover the 23mm. I tend to use the X100 for casual pics instead of the X-E1 (primarily use the X-E1 for 12mm landscape and 60mm/portaits). I find that 70% of my pictures are from my X100, shot wide open, 20% are from the 12/2.8, 10% from 60mm).

If I had to do it all over again, I might have chosen the Sony (given my analysis of my own pictures) with a 35mm (equivalent to the X100) and got myself a 12/2.8 or a 12/2 (Rokinon).

Summary: the answer depends on your commonly used focal lengths. If you are in the 35-50mm range, A7 might be the better choice right now!

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km25
km25 Contributing Member • Posts: 718
Re: Had the same needs, got a X-E1 + lenses and here are my thoughts

The A7cameras from from sony are small enough. But the lens, what few there are are still much larger then Fuji. The problem with mirrorless FF, is that the lens are going to be large. Only Leica has small lens, because they a MF only. The APS-C sensor seems to be the best suited to the mirrorless world. Small er then APS-C also works. That is with AF.

kam

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No Regrets
No Regrets Senior Member • Posts: 1,052
Re: choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

Have you considered the Nikon Df ?

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Liviu Namolovan Contributing Member • Posts: 573
Re: No good choice

This is precisely my take on this matter, David (coming from a dark side FF user though....)

debo Senior Member • Posts: 1,998
Re: Had the same needs, got a X-E1 + lenses and here are my thoughts

Agree, thats the price one pays for AF. If I get the A7 I will use it for MF with my Pentax limiteds (almost pancakes). Maybe get 1 AF lens (55/1.8 or 35/2.8)

No one stops us from using MF  

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ajamils1
ajamils1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,815
Re: choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

Sorry to revive an old thread. OP which route did you end up going?

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Arn
OP Arn Veteran Member • Posts: 3,585
Re: choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

ajamils1 wrote:

Sorry to revive an old thread. OP which route did you end up going?

No prob. I got the A7 with 28-75 (a great kit lens, probably among the best kit lenses out there), 35/2.8 (really compact combination with the body and the lens hood is ingenious) and 50/1.8 (just incredibly sharp).

I've got a Canon 600D for telephoto shots (also got a 50mm macro lens and some other lenses) and a Samsung NX20 with wide angle and fisheye lenses to compliment the A7, so those two fill in the gaps very nicely and it didn't make much sense for me the get the Fuji, even though it is a very very nice camera with great lens system.

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Arn
OP Arn Veteran Member • Posts: 3,585
Re: Had the same needs, got a X-E1 + lenses and here are my thoughts

km25 wrote:

The A7cameras from from sony are small enough. But the lens, what few there are are still much larger then Fuji. The problem with mirrorless FF, is that the lens are going to be large. Only Leica has small lens, because they a MF only. The APS-C sensor seems to be the best suited to the mirrorless world. Small er then APS-C also works. That is with AF.

kam

It is true, that in general it seems to be at least easier to design lenses for a mirrorless camera with an APS-C sized sensor. The Sony has more reflections/ghosts from internal reflections than APS-C systems, though I have not really seen those "ghosts"in my own photos and the lenses that I have for the A7 perform superbly.

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