Sony A7 owners

Started Feb 18, 2014 | Discussions
F8minnow Junior Member • Posts: 34
Sony A7 owners

I have been using in camera exposure meters for over 20 years, but I can’t figure out my new Sony A7

If you own a Sony A7 can you please try to help me?

Put you camera in manual mode.

Set your exposure so that your exposure meter is balanced to 0

Then, start to slowly over or under expose the photo.

Inside your viewfinder only

What happens after you pass the +/-2 mark?

Does your camera indicate +/- 3 or 4 or 5?

What indicators does your exposure meter give you when your lets say 6 stops over?

My meter has a +/- 5 stop range but will only indicate up to +/-2, the rest being grayed out, after which point, two flashing arrows appear on both sides of the meter.

Normally, only one arrow should appear, directing you which way to go.

Also note, I do not use auto ISO.

Thanks everyone.

Sony Alpha a7
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Richard Ettinger Senior Member • Posts: 1,331
Re: Sony A7 owners

The pointer stops moving at +- 2. why is this such a concern?

the EVF gives you a good idea of what your exposure actually looks like. The histogram also provides adequate data.

you may have bitten off one too many nits.

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 18,952
Re: Sony A7 owners

F8minnow wrote:

I have been using in camera exposure meters for over 20 years, but I can’t figure out my new Sony A7

If you own a Sony A7 can you please try to help me?

Put you camera in manual mode.

Set your exposure so that your exposure meter is balanced to 0

Then, start to slowly over or under expose the photo.

Inside your viewfinder only

What happens after you pass the +/-2 mark?

Does your camera indicate +/- 3 or 4 or 5?

What indicators does your exposure meter give you when your lets say 6 stops over?

My meter has a +/- 5 stop range but will only indicate up to +/-2, the rest being grayed out, after which point, two flashing arrows appear on both sides of the meter.

Normally, only one arrow should appear, directing you which way to go.

Also note, I do not use auto ISO.

Thanks everyone.

I have the same experience. The only indication you get beyond that in manual is a dark or light image.

The only way to see more than +- 2 is to use one of the auto modes. The manual knob only gives you up to three in either direction. To see more than three off, you have to go to the soft control for compensation which doesn't work in manual mode unless auto ISO is set.

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OP F8minnow Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Sony A7 owners
1

Seem weird.

No other camera on the market works in this manner.

OP F8minnow Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Sony A7 owners
1

Hi Richard,

In all other cameras which use an exposure meter located in the viewfinder e.g. Canon 40D,

After the pointer reaches past the +/-2 a single arrow appears indicating over or under exposure.

In the case of the Sony A7 Two arrow appear on both sides!

My “Live view Display” Setting Effect is Set to off and I don’t use the histogram.

I would just like to be able to use this camera like every other camera out there.

Thanks again

Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,402
Re: Sony A7 owners

That is the way it works. It's a little counter-intuitive, but you get used to it.

Send Sony a feature enhancement request to improve upon it. Whether they ever do or not is their business ... I wouldn't hold my breath.

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OP F8minnow Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Sony A7 owners
1

Thanks again everyone for your replies.

Godfrey wrote:

That is the way it works. It's a little counter-intuitive, but you get used to it.

Send Sony a feature enhancement request to improve upon it. Whether they ever do or not is their business ... I wouldn't hold my breath.

Godfrey, It’s not Counter-intuitive, It does not do what its there to do, indicate over or under exposure.

I’m not looking for any Feature enhancements; Exposure meters are included in every modern manual camera and work in the same manner.

Godfrey Do you own an A7/A7r?

I’m stunned no one cares or has a solution.

Is there no usable viewfinder Exposure Meter in my Sony A7 in Manual mode?

For those of you who have an A7 try this Indoors,

Set your camera to F16 @ 1/4000 ISO100, what does your viewfinder Meter indicate?

Normally your exposure meter should indicate an underexposure using an single arrow or flashing – sign, something.

Then Sony A7 just has two flashing arrows on both sides indicating nothing to the user.

Anyone?

Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,402
Re: Sony A7 owners
1

Yes, I have and use an A7.

Sony, in their infinite wisdom, just indicate "out of range". I didn't say I liked it, I just said it is what it is.

If the metering indication is not to your taste, dump it and buy something else. Why are you getting so nutty about it?

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OP F8minnow Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Sony A7 owners
1

I just find it hard to believe.

Your Exposure Meter on your LCD work in the normal fashion why not the one in the viewfinder?

quezra Veteran Member • Posts: 3,915
Re: Sony A7 owners
1

F8minnow wrote:

My “Live view Display” Setting Effect is Set to off and I don’t use the histogram.

I would just like to be able to use this camera like every other camera out there.

You mean you want it to closely mimic an OVF instead of use the alternative tools provided by an EVF. Most DSLR users don't use Live View on their cameras for the same reason most MILC users don't constrain their EVFs to be a poor imitation of OVF. Neither is as good at doing what the other does natively. A DSLR user prefering live view should be using an MILC instead of complaining it is bad. By the same token, a MILC user prefering not to use histograms or live view display should not complain that a MILC doesn't work as good as a DSLR. Stick to your DSLR, you will be much happier.

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SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 6,196
Re: Sony A7 owners

Godfrey wrote:

Yes, I have and use an A7.

Sony, in their infinite wisdom, just indicate "out of range". I didn't say I liked it, I just said it is what it is.

If the metering indication is not to your taste, dump it and buy something else. Why are you getting so nutty about it?

I don't think there's wisdom here. It does look more like a bug.

For now, though, I'd say the solution is to turn display effect back on. In most cases the WYSIWYG preview is the best thing about an EVF; the only reasons I can see to disable it are if you're using a manual flash or because it may help with low light AF.

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OP F8minnow Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Sony A7 owners
1

I don’t want to mimic and OVF I prefer EVF most of the time.

My Question is there a reason to put two flashing arrows instead of just one?

And why do you think this is normal?

I have used most Mirrorless cameras on the market that use EVF’s and none of them work like the Sony A7, they all work like regular cameras

I don’t have one on hand but I bet the Sony SLT cameras work in the traditional manner, as well as every other mirrorless camera from all other camera manufactures.

So why just the A7

quezra Veteran Member • Posts: 3,915
Re: Sony A7 owners

F8minnow wrote:

I don’t want to mimic and OVF I prefer EVF most of the time.

My Question is there a reason to put two flashing arrows instead of just one?

And why do you think this is normal?

I have used most Mirrorless cameras on the market that use EVF’s and none of them work like the Sony A7, they all work like regular cameras

I don’t have one on hand but I bet the Sony SLT cameras work in the traditional manner, as well as every other mirrorless camera from all other camera manufactures.

So why just the A7

Ok well obviously I have no idea 'why' but I mean it could be that in Sony's estimation +/- 2 is so over/underexposed that they'd rather warn you in blinking arrows that you've lost the shot than bother to tell you in which direction it is off, since it should be obvious in your EVF.  Honestly, those arrows are so hard to follow and such a poor indicator of over/underexposure - I find zebra, histogram and live view so much more powerful tools (and for that matter Auto ISO) for exposure balance that I find it hard to feel sympathy for someone that intentionally does not want to use any of the other excellent tools at their disposal, prefering a crude leftover from DSLR OVFs.

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SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 6,196
Re: Sony A7 owners
1

quezra wrote:

F8minnow wrote:

I don’t want to mimic and OVF I prefer EVF most of the time.

My Question is there a reason to put two flashing arrows instead of just one?

And why do you think this is normal?

I have used most Mirrorless cameras on the market that use EVF’s and none of them work like the Sony A7, they all work like regular cameras

I don’t have one on hand but I bet the Sony SLT cameras work in the traditional manner, as well as every other mirrorless camera from all other camera manufactures.

So why just the A7

Ok well obviously I have no idea 'why' but I mean it could be that in Sony's estimation +/- 2 is so over/underexposed that they'd rather warn you in blinking arrows that you've lost the shot than bother to tell you in which direction it is off, since it should be obvious in your EVF. Honestly, those arrows are so hard to follow and such a poor indicator of over/underexposure - I find zebra, histogram and live view so much more powerful tools (and for that matter Auto ISO) for exposure balance that I find it hard to feel sympathy for someone that intentionally does not want to use any of the other excellent tools at their disposal, prefering a crude leftover from DSLR OVFs.

I still think it's a bug. Mainly because the scale goes to to +/- 5 and the sensor's metering capability will at least know in which direction you're off. If they didn't feel they could accurately meter outside of +/- 2EV (which is pretty limited), they should have limited the scale to +/- 2 and left the pointer pegged at, or just past, the end of the scale when you're beyond that.

As per the OP's comment, it's not obvious in the EVF if you've disabled display effect. If you're not using display effect, having a wide range meter is really helpful in finding correct exposure quickly in manual mode. I agree that Sony should fix this.

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Richard Ettinger Senior Member • Posts: 1,331
Re: Sony A7 owners
1

F8minnow wrote:

Hi Richard,

In all other cameras which use an exposure meter located in the viewfinder e.g. Canon 40D,

After the pointer reaches past the +/-2 a single arrow appears indicating over or under exposure.

In the case of the Sony A7 Two arrow appear on both sides!

My “Live view Display” Setting Effect is Set to off and I don’t use the histogram.

I would just like to be able to use this camera like every other camera out there.

Thanks again

I'm failing to understand why this is so important. What am I missing here?

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SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 6,196
Re: Sony A7 owners

Richard Ettinger wrote:

F8minnow wrote:

Hi Richard,

In all other cameras which use an exposure meter located in the viewfinder e.g. Canon 40D,

After the pointer reaches past the +/-2 a single arrow appears indicating over or under exposure.

In the case of the Sony A7 Two arrow appear on both sides!

My “Live view Display” Setting Effect is Set to off and I don’t use the histogram.

I would just like to be able to use this camera like every other camera out there.

Thanks again

I'm failing to understand why this is so important. What am I missing here?

Doesn't sound like you ever shoot fully manual (i.e. you set the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, and the camera's meter simply gives you its opinion of the exposure).

Anyway, if you were shooting fully manual, in a way that more-or-less duplicates how I shoot manual with my Canon F-1n film camera, you would have display effect turned off (because film cameras and DSLRs focus and compose with the lens fully open, not stopped down), and the light meter readout tells you how far off of 18% grey you are, and in which direction. On the F-1n, the needle may get pegged to the top (way over exposed) or to the bottom (way under exposed), but it will always tell me which direction I need to go to get closer to correct exposure. The A7 behavior is effectively like the needle disappearing when you're not within 2EV of correct exposure.

As already mentioned, there are other reasons besides "that's what I'm used to" for disabling display effect. One is if you're shooting with manual flashes - with a manual flash, the EVF is usually too dark to compose if you have display effect on. Another is because E-mount lenses apparently stop down when focusing if display effect is enabled, which makes for slower and less reliable low light focusing... this is, IMO, another bug that Sony should fix. The lens should open wide open when auto-focusing (unless the scene is too bright for the sensor), regardless of whether display effect is enabled or not.

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Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,402
Re: Sony A7 owners
1

F8minnow wrote:

I just find it hard to believe.

Your Exposure Meter on your LCD work in the normal fashion why not the one in the viewfinder?

Re-iterating the same complaint a dozen times does not change anything.

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SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 6,196
Re: Sony A7 owners
1

Godfrey wrote:

F8minnow wrote:

I just find it hard to believe.

Your Exposure Meter on your LCD work in the normal fashion why not the one in the viewfinder?

Re-iterating the same complaint a dozen times does not change anything.

And just because it's not a mode/feature you use doesn't mean it's not a bug.

Edit: Actually, his reiterating, and your complaining about it, did make me take a closer look at what he means, here. The LCD display pegs and starts flashing beyond +2.0 or -2.0, but it still shows + or - 2.0. It doesn't just go blank. So, this is even more obviously a bug. The LCD display tells you that you're too far out on the low or high side, but the EVF only tells you that you're out of range, not low or high.

To the OP: The correct thing to do it open a Sony support case so they can document the (probably not by-design) behavior and get it into their defect/ER queue.

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SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 6,196
Re: Sony A7 owners
2

For those of you in the US wishing to report this to Sony, the number is: 1-239-245-6360.

I have opened a case on it myself.

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kaku Contributing Member • Posts: 681
Re: Sony A7 owners

I've run into this same issue myself. But glancing at the settings, you kind of intuitively know whether you're under/over-exposing. But agree, it's still (slightly) irksome.

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