Sony Alpha 7R Review
Body & Design
The photos in this review are of the a7, which is nearly identical to the a7R in terms of design.
The a7 and a7R are the world's smallest and lightest full-frame interchangeable lens cameras, by a considerable margin. The design is a mix of the Olympus OM-D E-M5, Sony RX1 and NEX-7, and it feels extremely solid. The a7R's body is made entirely of metal, unlike the a7 which has a plastic front plate and slightly cheaper-feeling dials. The body and FE lenses are sealed against dust and moisture.
Ergonomics are generally good, though some may not care for the relatively 'shallow' grip. The front, rear, and exposure compensation dials are all within easy reach of your fingers, though the menu button (on the top-left of the back plate) seems oddly placed. Sony's had issues on their RX-series cameras with the placement of the movie record button, which was easy to bump. On the a7R, the button is essentially on the right side of the camera, so it'll take some work to accidentally press it.
Top of camera
The a7R has a good selection of dials, though Sony is a bit limited for space here. On the far left you'll see one half of the stereo microphone. At the center is the hot shoe, which Sony calls the Multi-Interface Shoe. What this means is that the shoe can handle external mics, video lights, and an XLR adapter, thanks to a set of contacts concealed under the front lip of the shoe. Modern Sony external flashes can take advantage of the interface, and Sony offers an adapter to use with the company's older flashes and third party flashes made to take advantage of the old proprietary mount (Model number ADP-MAA). No accessory flash is included with the a7R.
Continuing to the right, we have a mode dial that has the usual P/A/S/M modes, as well as two custom spots. There are also positions for movies (which can be taken in any mode), Sweep Panorama, scene mode, and Intelligent Auto.
At the far right you'll find the shutter release (with power switch underneath), exposure compensation dial, a customizable button, and the front dial.
Size compared to Canon EOS 6D
|The Canon 6D - one of the smallest full-frame cameras - still towers over the a7/a7R.|
Until the a7R, the smallest full-frame interchangeable lens cameras were the Canon EOS 6D and Nikon D600/D610 (which are about the same size), unless you consider the very pricey Leica M9. As you can see from the above photo, the a7R is much smaller and lighter, due to the fact that it has no mirror to deal with. The camera isn't pocketable by any means, but it's much easier to carry around.
In your hand
|The a7R has a sizable grip that makes it easy to hold (at least with standard-sized lenses). There's enough room on the back for your thumb to rest comfortably without pressing any buttons.|
LCD and Viewfinder
Sony certainly hasn't skimped on the LCD or electronic viewfinder on the a7 twins. The tilting 3-inch LCD has 1.23 million dots and a 4:3 aspect ratio. As you'd expect, the screen is sharp, and outdoor visibility is decent at default settings. The LCD can tilt upward by 84 degrees, or downward by 45 degrees. One negative is that when the LCD is tilted down, the camera does not sit flat.
The a7R's OLED XGA electronic viewfinder (which Sony calls the TruFinder) will be very familiar to anyone who has used the NEX-6/7 or a99 cameras. The viewfinder is large with a magnification of 0.71x, and extremely sharp, with nearly 2.4 million dots. The OLED technology means that there's no 'rainbow effect' that can plague EVFs that use a field sequential system. The viewfinder eyepiece is large and is far away enough from the camera for glasses-wearers. It also does a good job of keeping incident light from leaking in.
One thing that we didn't care for is the sensitivity of the eye sensor which automatically switches between the LCD and EVF. If you're doing waist-level shooting with the LCD tilted up, the sensor will switch to the EVF while the camera is still 6 inches away.
|Bald Eagle by anisah|
from Features - lips/mouth
|heron and fish by APenza|
from A Big Year - birds
|Cows Cowering Under Rare California Super Cell by RBFresno|
from -The Old Cows-
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.