Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

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ktmei Regular Member • Posts: 390
Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

Might switch over to Sony A7 Series. I'm not a professional and I mainly do street photography in NYC. I also do occasional portraits and long exposures as well. Would the Sony A7 be a good choice for nothing extreme (sports, etc) and be good for a stills camera? Or is the 5-axis IBIS a good enough justification for paying about $500+ for the A7II? Low-light performance does not matter too much for me but there are times where I just happen to take pictures during the evening or in conditions where there is no ample light.

Thanks.

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Mick Porter Regular Member • Posts: 191
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography
4

ktmei wrote:

Might switch over to Sony A7 Series. I'm not a professional and I mainly do street photography in NYC. I also do occasional portraits and long exposures as well. Would the Sony A7 be a good choice for nothing extreme (sports, etc) and be good for a stills camera? Or is the 5-axis IBIS a good enough justification for paying about $500+ for the A7II? Low-light performance does not matter too much for me but there are times where I just happen to take pictures during the evening or in conditions where there is no ample light.

Thanks.

The autofocus on the A7II is way better than the A7, and the IBIS is really useful. Another difference is the sensor reflections in A7 can be pretty bad (manifesting as green blobs), but if the pictures aren't critical that's probably not an issue for you.

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OP ktmei Regular Member • Posts: 390
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

Mick Porter wrote:

ktmei wrote:

Might switch over to Sony A7 Series. I'm not a professional and I mainly do street photography in NYC. I also do occasional portraits and long exposures as well. Would the Sony A7 be a good choice for nothing extreme (sports, etc) and be good for a stills camera? Or is the 5-axis IBIS a good enough justification for paying about $500+ for the A7II? Low-light performance does not matter too much for me but there are times where I just happen to take pictures during the evening or in conditions where there is no ample light.

Thanks.

The autofocus on the A7II is way better than the A7, and the IBIS is really useful. Another difference is the sensor reflections in A7 can be pretty bad (manifesting as green blobs), but if the pictures aren't critical that's probably not an issue for you.

besides these upgrades, would the a7 be a great way to get into FF on a budget? The A7II would be a nice camera to have for its upgraded features but it doesn't matter much to me if the regular A7 is usable.

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Mick Porter Regular Member • Posts: 191
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography
1

ktmei wrote:

Mick Porter wrote:

ktmei wrote:

Might switch over to Sony A7 Series. I'm not a professional and I mainly do street photography in NYC. I also do occasional portraits and long exposures as well. Would the Sony A7 be a good choice for nothing extreme (sports, etc) and be good for a stills camera? Or is the 5-axis IBIS a good enough justification for paying about $500+ for the A7II? Low-light performance does not matter too much for me but there are times where I just happen to take pictures during the evening or in conditions where there is no ample light.

Thanks.

The autofocus on the A7II is way better than the A7, and the IBIS is really useful. Another difference is the sensor reflections in A7 can be pretty bad (manifesting as green blobs), but if the pictures aren't critical that's probably not an issue for you.

besides these upgrades, would the a7 be a great way to get into FF on a budget? The A7II would be a nice camera to have for its upgraded features but it doesn't matter much to me if the regular A7 is usable.

Yes, great value FF

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biza43 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,896
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography
2

If your lenses have image stabilization, save some money and go for the A7.

If not, get the A7II if your budget allows.

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sportyaccordy Veteran Member • Posts: 9,167
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography
1

ktmei wrote:

Mick Porter wrote:

ktmei wrote:

Might switch over to Sony A7 Series. I'm not a professional and I mainly do street photography in NYC. I also do occasional portraits and long exposures as well. Would the Sony A7 be a good choice for nothing extreme (sports, etc) and be good for a stills camera? Or is the 5-axis IBIS a good enough justification for paying about $500+ for the A7II? Low-light performance does not matter too much for me but there are times where I just happen to take pictures during the evening or in conditions where there is no ample light.

Thanks.

The autofocus on the A7II is way better than the A7, and the IBIS is really useful. Another difference is the sensor reflections in A7 can be pretty bad (manifesting as green blobs), but if the pictures aren't critical that's probably not an issue for you.

besides these upgrades, would the a7 be a great way to get into FF on a budget? The A7II would be a nice camera to have for its upgraded features but it doesn't matter much to me if the regular A7 is usable.

I've had both. The A7II is definitely worth the upgrade, for several reasons; the most important IMO being the ability to adapt and autofocus any Canon EF lens, and any lens with a mechanical aperture ring (via the Techart Pro). There are more and more affordable native solutions as well... I suppose you could just get an A7 + Samyang 35/2.8, but the A7II will yield more sharp shots close to and below the 1/FL shutter speed. Indoors and at night that will prove to be beneficial.

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JpGomez Regular Member • Posts: 147
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography
1

ktmei wrote:

besides these upgrades, would the a7 be a great way to get into FF on a budget? The A7II would be a nice camera to have for its upgraded features but it doesn't matter much to me if the regular A7 is usable.

A7 for FF on a budget? Of course, it is the most inexpensive among Sony FE series. That camera got me from APSC to FF world, I stumbled to a fantastic deal locally.

A7 is a very capable camera, as long as you know how to work with its limits and maximize strengths.

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OP ktmei Regular Member • Posts: 390
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

JpGomez wrote:

ktmei wrote:

besides these upgrades, would the a7 be a great way to get into FF on a budget? The A7II would be a nice camera to have for its upgraded features but it doesn't matter much to me if the regular A7 is usable.

A7 for FF on a budget? Of course, it is the most inexpensive among Sony FE series. That camera got me from APSC to FF world, I stumbled to a fantastic deal locally.

A7 is a very capable camera, as long as you know how to work with its limits and maximize strengths.

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The best gear is the one you have.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jpgomez/

Yeah I plan on using it mainly for street photography and nothing professional or selling prints.

Couldn't help to notice your gear list but how is the 28mm f2 lens in terms of IQ and overall ergonomics? Plan on getting that instead of the 35 2.8 because of cost factor and I can always crop an image but from the looks, the 35mm is a lot compact and smaller compared to 28mm.

Thanks

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mcslsk Senior Member • Posts: 2,679
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography
1

Get a7 now, a7M3 later.

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ChrisLovesUgly Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography
1

If you like the 35mm focal length, also look at the RX1/RX1R. One of the best 35/2 lenses you can get along with the A7/A7ii sensor and a compact body. Also does silent shooting.

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OP ktmei Regular Member • Posts: 390
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

mcslsk wrote:

Get a7 now, a7M3 later.

yeah i dont think ibis will be of any use for the work I do but later on for professional work I'll definitely look into the Mark 2 or Mark 3 in the future. Thanks for the response!

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Antone
Antone Senior Member • Posts: 1,174
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

ktmei wrote:

Couldn't help to notice your gear list but how is the 28mm f2 lens in terms of IQ and overall ergonomics? Plan on getting that instead of the 35 2.8 because of cost factor and I can always crop an image but from the looks, the 35mm is a lot compact and smaller compared to 28mm.

Of course, with the A7 series you can buy a lot of classic manual focus/aperture lenses from the old film days. This was the principal reason I bought a used A7 - to use all my Canon FD lenses, including my 35mm f/2. What I find appealing about the A7ii is IBIS. I'm on the fence about getting one, though.

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RGBCMYK Senior Member • Posts: 1,702
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

As someone that has shoot a ton of street I actually would recommend the a6500 if your budget allowed or the a6000 or a6300.  Since you didn't say that you really needed low light I think in normal daylight you would have a difficult time seeing a huge improvement in sensor quality and the weight, size and frame rate is just fantastic on the street.  Coupled with the 24mm lens you have an amazing combination that you can carry for hours a day and peoples perception is that you have a point and shoot.  I have a huge gallery on my instagram and my website that is probably 80% a6300 with the 24mm.

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Pics293
Pics293 Regular Member • Posts: 154
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

RGBCMYK wrote:

As someone that has shoot a ton of street I actually would recommend the a6500 if your budget allowed or the a6000 or a6300. Since you didn't say that you really needed low light I think in normal daylight you would have a difficult time seeing a huge improvement in sensor quality and the weight, size and frame rate is just fantastic on the street. Coupled with the 24mm lens you have an amazing combination that you can carry for hours a day and peoples perception is that you have a point and shoot. I have a huge gallery on my instagram and my website that is probably 80% a6300 with the 24mm.

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From my understanding, a7/ii - neither has silent shutter so that is why I am leaning to the a6300. A6000 does not and don’t need ibis. And use as backup when I do go to ff.

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Pics293
Pics293 Regular Member • Posts: 154
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

ChrisLovesUgly wrote:

If you like the 35mm focal length, also look at the RX1/RX1R. One of the best 35/2 lenses you can get along with the A7/A7ii sensor and a compact body. Also does silent shooting.

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Yes pretty cool camera.  But will not allow to build up lens collection and is 12-1300.00 used.

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Dkingtorres New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

I have sony a7 and a7rii, both of them are very good to street photography. I like a7 because is lighter than a7rii, but if you have good lenses, the a7r2 is better thanks to IBIS and his great sensor and resolution.

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Pics293
Pics293 Regular Member • Posts: 154
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

Dkingtorres wrote:

I have sony a7 and a7rii, both of them are very good to street photography. I like a7 because is lighter than a7rii, but if you have good lenses, the a7r2 is better thanks to IBIS and his great sensor and resolution.

Sorry I have only handled in store. Doesn’t the lack of silent shutter cause people to notice you more for street photos?

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OP ktmei Regular Member • Posts: 390
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

Pics293 wrote:

Dkingtorres wrote:

I have sony a7 and a7rii, both of them are very good to street photography. I like a7 because is lighter than a7rii, but if you have good lenses, the a7r2 is better thanks to IBIS and his great sensor and resolution.

Sorry I have only handled in store. Doesn’t the lack of silent shutter cause people to notice you more for street photos?

from previous usage of other cameras, yes. silent shutter or electronic shutter doesnt produce any noise compared to a mechanical shutter.

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maurobbianc New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

Christopher,

since you do street photography with Sony's, let me ask you a simple question:

Is it possible to have the camera on but both the display and the viewfinder off?

It would allow to save power and avoid unwanted glare that gives away your intentions when in the street.

And/or does the camera wake up quickly if fallen into standby mode? It would allow to react quickly.

These two simple questions have been the main obstacle to switching to Sony's from Canon's DSLR.

Many thanks,

Mauro

RGBCMYK Senior Member • Posts: 1,702
Re: Sony A7 or A7II for Street Photography

maurobbianc wrote:

Christopher,

since you do street photography with Sony's, let me ask you a simple question:

Is it possible to have the camera on but both the display and the viewfinder off?

It would allow to save power and avoid unwanted glare that gives away your intentions when in the street.

And/or does the camera wake up quickly if fallen into standby mode? It would allow to react quickly.

These two simple questions have been the main obstacle to switching to Sony's from Canon's DSLR.

Many thanks,

Mauro

I probably shoot 70% plus my images using the rear screen pivoted out shooting from my waist using the rear screen so I use the rear screen when I shoot but I turn off the review function.  I have turned off the rear screen when shooting in a theater but I have never turned off the viewfinder too and I don't know if turning off both is possible.  If you turned off both how would you operate the camera?  You can turn off the review function plus turn off the rear screen but I don't believe it is possible to turn off both screens with the camera on.

I started shooting on the street with the nex7 and progressed to the a6000 on to the a6300 and now the a6500.  The way I shoot and use the camera I often get over 1000 images per battery but I don't let the camera go into standby / sleep mode I physically turn off the camera and then turn it on to shoot.  Starting with the Nex7 I often grabbed my camera out of my bag only to find the camera hot and still on with a depleted battery and here is where I got in the habit of just turning it off.  I never turned off my Canon cameras I always just let them go to sleep and to wake them up just depressed the shutter button and it would wake up.  I found that this technique didn't work well for me with the sony and waking the camera up took just as long as turning it on with the plus of a long lasting battery.

One observation of people switching to a mirrorless camera is they want it to be the same and it is not.  I had a friend hand me their a7rII and ask me to set it up so it operated like their Nikon d810 and I said this isn't your d810 and it needs to be set up and operated like a mirrorless camera leveraging the advantages of what the tool brings.   Yes both take pictures but learning to use the camera it will be a very different experience and power management is different too.

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