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Thread: Sony A7R

  1. #1
    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    Sony A7R

    Wondering if anyone out there has had an opportunity to use this (particularly for landscapes)
    Canon seem to be lagging behind in terms of sensor tech. and if it weren't for my heavy investment in L Lenses, I'd probably have switched to the D800E already
    There are adapters available for L Lenses for the A7R though which would be attractive to just limit costs to the body and adapter.
    I'd be keen to see what people's practical experiences are with the sony !
    Call me Dylan! www.everlookphotography.com | www.everlookphotography.wordpress.com | www.flickr.com/photos/dmtoh
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    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    I haven't personally had any experience with it, but I follow a few people who have.. here's a fairly comprehensive review from onesuch person: http://www.stuckincustoms.com/sony-a7r-review/
    My name is John.
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  3. #3
    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    The age of entitlement isn't over, it's just over there where you can't get to it.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I had about 10 minutes play with one yesterday at a camera store.(the sale guy was quite understanding actually and they weren't busy, so... )

    In a word .. NO!

    I wouldn't trade a 5D Mk<anything>, nor a D800E, nor Pentax K3 or D300, D7100 .. etc.
    Maybe the D70s .. but not any other proper camera for one of these.
    Vf on the D70s is quite ordinary once you've got used to D300's K3's and upper level Canons.

    EVF in my opinion is pretty much still sub par.
    While it gives the illusion that it's bright, or whatever, the reality is that it's only a slight improvement in actual viewing pleasure compared to even my 10 yo digital video camera!
    The problem is of course that video feed rendering .. more like looking at a TV closeup rather than actually seeing the rendered scene.
    (of course this is only an opinion!!)

    While there are some advantages to having an EVF, like zooming for focus, the benefits still don't outweight the artificial view that the eye actually sees.

    I guess my preference is still for a slightly less bright, less 'zoomed in' view of a real projection, rather than the bright artificial view offered by these upper end EVFs.

    Camera itself is surprisingly comfortable to hold, which surprised me a lot.
    I was expecting a slippery dinky holding experience, but the grip is perfectly sculpted to suit my hand at least.
    The only point of contention was where to place my pinky finger, as there is only room for the two central fingers on the comfy and grippy surfaced grip.

    To be honest, I didn't feel that the weight saving of the camera over a lighter DSLR was enough of an advantage to go through all trouble of getting adapters.
    The weight difference between A7 and D800 is significant tho, and even the D300 now feels 'heavy' by comparison, but of there is any difference in weight between an A7 and a small DSLR(I'm comparing the D70s) such as a D5300, Canon 700D DSLR, I doubt very much most people would notice it much nor complain.

    To that end, I can see some comments made in justifying an A7 over a D800/5D sized camera in terms of saving weight .. but not over a D600/6D sized camera.
    Size .. yeah. It is smaller. But the lens takes up more volume anyhow. A D600 with 50/1.8 feels about as neutral in terms of weight distribution as does the A7+55/1.8.
    The 55/1.8 actually felt like a large heavy lens when compared to a Nikon 50/1.8(and I suspect a Canon 50/1.8. I don't know the exact specs and differences between those lenses, but the Zeiss felt bigger and heavier!
    (I'm sure someone will chime in with actual specs too tho).

    When this camera was revealed, I too was mildly interested in one, not so much for the portability of it, as I doubt I would have invested much money in FE lenses .. more so for the ability to attach all manner of lenses(via adapters), and maintain a wider image aspect.

    One thing to note about these Alpha 7 series. If you buy in Aus, you get a metabone adapter of your choice too, to play with .. so while the retail price sounds initially high in Aus, take into account a ~$400 price for the adapter too!

    I don't know how fussy you are about the aerial view you like to see through the vf Dylan, but if you are picky, I'm fairly confident you may not like it .. even tho it's apparently one of the best available!
    I'm fairly picky and pedantic about my vf image, and have spent considerable money just to get a good balance of brightness, magnification and focus separation in my vf's ..
    So take my comments about EVF's being subpar, with that level of pedantism in mind.

    FWIW: I've seen Olympus Em-somethings(EM1 maybe) .. I just can't remember them all, and even tho may talk of how much better they are than OVFs .. maybe our eyes see differently.
    And of note too, my intro into photography came more from a keener interest in video .. (at school, and later as a hobby), they all have EVFs which I used to hate back then too.
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  5. #5
    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    Dylan

    I've only had a play in store for 5 minutes my self and was quite impressed with what I could test in store.

    As for the EVF, I've got 3 sony bodies, 2 with evf, 1 with ovf. It takes very little time to get used to the evf. I use all 3 bodies regularly.

    When I head to the outback I don't want to be changing lenses too often as it increases the chance of dust getting in,so I have lenses mounted on all 3 sitting on the back seat, but I prefer either the a65 or a77 because I can see everything in the evf, without having to go looking for the rear lcd for the histogram, etc, and in strong light reviewing the shot in the evf is much easier.

    You don't want to go pixel peeping in the evf, but the rear lcd is as good as anyones for that
    Last edited by Boo53; 13-02-2014 at 11:19pm.

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    Thanks guys for the opinions - I gather there is a lot of info out there about people's experiences with reviews but was looking for more hands on experience - Trey's review was good in that regard though I see myself as shooting quite differently to his style of work so its applicability may not be there in the real world

    Things I'm looking at are:
    Performance of RAW images in terms of capturing DR : Canon cameras up to the 5d series aren't super (pretty good) and I've heard the Sony does better - you can tell from the D800 images at high iso that that camera performs greatly at high iso but I wonder about the Sony
    How well the adapters go with canon lenses - I've heard about light reflection and the need to do some home made changes to the metabones adapters which scares me away lol
    Weather sealing? Well hey canon's weather sealing has failed me so many times that if it's even a little better, it would be an improvement
    EVF - I would have to get used to this for using it for anything other than set up landscapes!
    Weight : for the hikes it would be great to have a smaller body but I don't think I'm currently struggling physically with what I'm carrying?? would be useful with a good small lens to carry around on to the streets but then again, I've heard AF is not fantastic and certainly the mk3 would be the winner there.

  7. #7
    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtoh View Post
    Thanks guys for the opinions - I gather there is a lot of info out there about people's experiences with reviews but was looking for more hands on experience - Trey's review was good in that regard though I see myself as shooting quite differently to his style of work so its applicability may not be there in the real world
    Yeah, I hesitated to post it for that reason, but decided it could still be useful..

    Here are a couple more (very brief) thoughts about night photography with the A7: http://blog.jarviedigital.com/sony-a...w-night-shots/
    He hasn't written any conclusions in detail yet though.

  8. #8
    Mark mpb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I guess my preference is still for a slightly less bright, less 'zoomed in' view of a real projection, rather than the bright artificial view offered by these upper end EVFs.
    Dylan and Arthur. You need to be very careful when evaluating the EVF. Yes they are not perfect and provide a different view than an OVF.
    What you need to remember is that the brightness of the view finder can be set, so getting the setting right is important.
    The view finder can also be set to show the picture effects, ie what you see is what you get. This will therefore show up any creative style selected or adjustments to sharpness, contrast and saturation which may be set.
    A display camera may have many of these settings altered.

    In relation to hands on experience, I suspect not too many forum members have purchase or used one based on the last camera poll. Sony is not to popular.

    Somewhere like dyxum.com have a number of members with them, with a variety of adapters and lenses, and it is free to browse without joining.

    They have section dedicated to full frame e mount here http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/emount-f...e_forum59.html
    Last edited by mpb; 14-02-2014 at 2:52pm.
    Mark


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    Not questioning the quality of the EVF, just my comfort with using it as opposed to the old posturing with OVF lol

  10. #10
    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    In case you hadn't seen it, dpreview has posted a timely review of the A7R.
    One thing you may want to look into is the battery life, which in my experience is not terribly good on all mirrorless cameras (a very generalised statement I know). Especially if you're into long exposures and you know how that chews through battery life.
    Can't really offer much more since I've only had a store play with it and haven't used it extensively.
    Nikon FX

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    I am an OLD in both senses Minolta shooter and Sony is a natural progression. I now have an A99 and an A700. My wife has an A55 so I am biased.
    I have felt and tested the A7 and A7R in a camera store and would have one in a flash as my pocket camera if funds were unlimited. It is on the want list but behind a few other items.
    And you can get adaptors to use other brand lenses. How cool is that ..john
    “Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils."

    Hector Berlioz

  12. #12
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I was just about to post the info swifty just did about DPR too.
    One thing to note too .. battery life is fairly low too, so take into account the need for a few more batteries too, and considering the lack of a flash, not only is the battery life low, but one suspects about 1/3rd of that of the average higher end DSLR(in the D800/5D range).

    And also the need to purchase an external battery charger as well(as the camera doesn't come with one).

    DPR are stating about 300 images per battery charge I think(or that could be the Sony expected shots/per charge rating??)

    As for the EVF .. the advantages are well known, and I've made a point of expressing a desire to one day see a true EVF replacement for the typical high end OVF, but at the moment, I have yet to see one, that even comes close to rendering what appears to be a natural viewing experience.
    Once such an EVF surfaces, I freely admit that I'm going to be a convert.

    The problem with EVF is not one of brightness nor contrast rendering .. but more about the pixelated quality .. to me they all still give the illusion of looking at a TV through a magnifying glass(which technically they are) as the viewfinder is a magnified view of an electronic screen.
    Pixels need to be smaller to counter the magnified effect of the dioptre or something like that.
    I didn't particularly find that the focus peaking was as good as most people claim it to be, and a proper OVF with a good quality screen still gives a better rendering and in general more accurate manual focusing.
    (I doubt that Dylan is concerned about focus peaking anyhow, as it's more relate to the topic of manual focusing anyhow).

    One thing that impressed tho was the quality of the build of the camera. Body felt like a substantial metal camera. And I likedthe squared off design of it too.

    I can't help but think had Sony not designed in an EVF, and designed it with an accessory shoe EVF system, and had a higher end external EVF accessory available, it'd have made all the difference(for me).
    At the current rate of technological advancement, I think(hope!!) that in a few more generations of EVFs to come, they should hit the sweet spot of quality of image plus all the fancypants features.
    if they can beat the issue of dynamic range, it'll be all over for the OVF beyond that point.

    As for dynamic range: According to DxO .. the dynamic range is quite similar to the D800E, which makes sense.
    At high ISO, DPR's image quality comparison tool gives you an indication as to how the A7r compares to the D800E/D800. I see a very slight advantage to the D800E for a given ISO, where the Sony has ever so slightly more chroma noise, mainly seen in low contrast areas.

  13. #13
    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    Here's a slightly tongue in cheek review from Digital Rev: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13x4gF1RPBQ

    Probably more amusing than informative, but still worth a look.

  14. #14
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Something I haven't seen or tired (of course) as I don't have a A7r :

    Nikon recently posted a new software package to edit their proprietary raw format files.

    With the D800E, I tried a couple of sample images with this new software and found that this new software allows the recovery of up to plus or minus 5Ev exposure compensation.

    So I tested this by creating a -5Ev exposure of a similarly captured exposure neutrally metered, and found that the +5Ev recovery by the software was pretty well done!
    There was a very slight amount of chroma noise visible compared to the neutral exposure, but tone and overall colour was easily acceptable even at 100% view!
    Highlight recovery wasn't as impressive tho. I found that up to about 1Ev recovery was where I'd feel secure in attempting for a good quality image.

    So considering that, the potential for 6Ev of total recovery in any given scene .. and that the A7r has the same sensor.
    Depending on the quality of raw file rendering using your preferred software, would make some landscape situations so much easier to manage/process.

    I then found that LR4 has the ability to compensate exposure by +-5Ev too(didn't know this ) .. and have yet to see if there is any benefit/differences by either software.

    So!
    Maybe the limitations of EVF, battery life, the need to purchase a battery charger separately! () .. may be worth the expense, especially considering that Sony is still offering the metabones adapter free with either of the two A7's.

    I still can't come to terms with the overall quality of the EVF, and for landscapes scenes I reckon (I think!) I'd be more inclined to use the review screen instead.


    And seriously .. how cheap are Sony in not providing an external battery charger too!
    For a mullti $K device, to save themselves $2 or so on the charger is simply rank. I guess it wouldn't stop me purchasing one, if I felt I needed it, but this lack of a power charger is simply stupid.
    Obviously the batter is capable of receiving charge over USB. so a simple USB wall socket type charger would suffice. You can get them on ebay for $2 .. and I'm assuming that Sony with their massive buying power could get them a lot cheaper than that!

  15. #15
    Member Nick Cliff's Avatar
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    I have found [ Imaging Resource ] ,very helpful for comparing cameras if you have not used this sight ,very thorough,regards nick.

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