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Pondering a Sony A7 ....

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by robbie36, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    I am considering the Sony A7 to add to my main camera which is an Olympus EM1.

    My feeling is that the EM1 is great for about 80% of my shots but that a Sony A7(r) could fill in a few wholes where the EM1 is week. I am thinking that rather than buy the new 7-14 2.8 when it comes out, I would go with a Sony A7 and 16-35 F4 mostly for use on a tripod and mostly for landscape. I also like the fact that the Sony can be usb tethered which the EM1 cannot. I might add a fast prime too. I like the Sony also because it is a bit like the EM1 ergonomically.

    Anyone else thinking the same?
     
  2. daum

    daum Mu-43 Veteran

    340
    Aug 26, 2011
    Go for it. The 16-35 with the A7r sounds like an awesome landscape combo. I have a similar set up. The E-P5 is my main camera for travel and daily use. I only take the A7r out for planned shoots or when I want to goof around.
     
  3. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Perhaps you may want to wait till Photokina. I think there's a high chance that it may have a 24MP sensor with a faster responsive AF, something better than the Sony A6000 because this is Sony's best selling camera right now.
     
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  4. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    What's the camera/lens combo going to cost? Is that a consideration?
     
  5. BAXTING

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Bradley
    Its really hard not to consider trying out a FF mirrorless camera. I keep telling myself I dont need it and I probably dont, but it definitely ia tempting to see what it can do that M43 cannot.
     
  6. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    In all honesty, there's very little that the Sony A7 can do that the latest m4/3s can't and there's a lot that the Sony A7 can't do that m4/3s can. More MP is not the solution (which is just about all that the Sony offers); it can actually become a problem.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    Well I am definitely thinking more along of the lines of Baxter's and Daum's approach. I am not looking for a better camera, simply a camera that is better in certain situations where my EM1 is less good. So for instance I dont need fast focusing - if I want fast focusing I will go with the EM1 any day. More megapixels doesnt help in a lot of circumstances but maybe in landscape with a tripod it will.

    Cost is of course a consideration but I was planning to buy the 40-150 2.8 (I have the 35-100 2.8) and the 7-14 2.8 anyways. So throw in an extra 1k and dont buy those and I am pretty much there.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    The Sony will most certainly provide greater scope for landscapes, especially if you need to crop or print very, very, large; but also from all accounts, you will be requiring a very sturdy tripod, mirror lock up and cable release to keep every pixel sharp. You'll have to start thinking like a medium/large format photographer to make the most of the cameras capabilities.
     
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  9. BAXTING

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Bradley
    I think you're right OzRay, I'm sure I wont be as impressed as I'd like to be for a FF mirrorless camera and my m43 kit does everything I need it to and more for my shooting right now.

    Robbie other than curiosity, is there any particular place where you feel like your m43 kit is lacking???

    B
     
  10. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    408
    Jul 15, 2012
    Norway
    Patrick Kristiansen
    I have been thinking in the same way for a few days now, but I have a slightly differet take on it.

    My em1 is awesome. No doubt. But in some ways, for me, a bit too serious, too pro maybe. And I'm no pro. But when on a tripod, with my best glass, slow shooting, I would like more sheer image quality.

    My idea right now is to sell the em1, get an em10 AND an sony a7. Em10 seems less serious, more fun, excellent for my casual snapping of friends and family, and mount the a7 on the tripod for the seriousnessess;)


    Patrick K
     
  11. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    So, as an amateur photographer, you want to get rid of a camera that you haven't fully mastered and feel is too much for your skill level, and instead wish to replace that with a camera that requires professional level techniques to get the best results? Excuse me if I'm somewhat confused.
     
  12. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Go for it Robbie...if you're truly curious then no harm can be done if you were to pick up a very nice used unit. What's the worst that could happen ? You try it out for a few months and sell it on, lose a few bucks but if you bought well then your financial loss would be minimal. You could however gain a lot, not least of which is possibly an answer to your curiosities.

    I'm in the market again for a FF...after having the RX1 for 6 months I've been spoilt, spoilt rotten. There no grey area here...the RX1 does things that NO OTHER camera I've had can do, those files are quite simply, stunningly good. There sure as he'll is things a FF camera can do that a micro four thirds camera can't. I'm hoping that Photokinia will bless me with and RX2 where the EVF is inbuilt and the 35/2 Zeiss Sonnar is replaced with an f1.4...but, Photokinia has a way of sorely disappointing me every time. As such, I'm looking at things the Canon D6 or the Nikon D610 to pair up with the Sigma 35/1.4 HSM.

    The day we start having auto focussing m43 lenses at sub f1 is the day when one could truly argue that there is nothing a FF camera can do that an m43 can't, until then, going FF will always be a consideration to a degree since FF is not something I'd consider for longer focal length zooms or even ultra wide angle zooms, nope, my only interest in full frame is for those f1.4 primes at 24mm, 35mm and 50mm. There is just something that I personally find intoxicating about about the images I see taken with 'wide to normal' f1.4 in front of that great big sensor...a look that until we get 12mm and 17mm f0.7 lenses we cannot achieve with m43.

    Your reasons for being interested in trying an a7 are perhaps different to mine, but it doesn't matter what our own personal reasons are...whatever the reason I say its a hell of a lot more fun to play than it is to not.
     
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  13. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I'd love to hear what the Sony A7r can do that a m4/3s can't, other than what I've mentioned.
     
  14. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Hold on a sec Robbie. The 16-35 Vario Tessar F/4 FE mount was announced but not yet available I think. Just checked BHPhoto and they don't have it yet. With the 16-35, it would only replicate what you have -- the Panasonic 7-14 f/4. So in my thinking, you are going for Sony for a few reasons.

    1, More megapixels which is good for landscape because with more you can blow up more. But then eventually a 24MP m43 will materialize. It will have to. Olympus needs to be in the race to guarantee survival of the fittest. Which is why I advise you to wait until Photokina. A 24MP m43 body will allow you to use your existing 7-14 f/4 and do landscape great. Plus their implementation of 0 sec anti-shock is MORE effective than A7's own electronic shutter setup. There's still shock on the A7. More on the A7r due to mirror slap. So therefore with the A7, you need an extremely beefy tripod and ball head to mute this vibration to ensure every pixel you record is free from shutter shock if ultimate quality is what you seek. You can not be as sloppy as a lower megapixel camera.

    This is a common fallacy I hear. More megapixels does not make for a sharper photo. It can record more detail, but also your lens imperfections, mount imperfections and shooting flaws like having a less than beefy tripod. So basically, you'll end up carrying MORE weight -- most of that come from the beefy tripod. Most serious Nikon D800 shooters carry a super heavy LINHOFF and super beefy tripod ball head and mirror-lockup to extract every last ounce of sharpness. Most of the returns store get back are from people who were frustrated with these camera not producing sharp photos.

    2, Dynamic range. Currently the full frame sensor has this advantage in both lower and higher ISO. Again, the new OMD with the new sensor may mitigate that.

    3, Sony FE mount selection is really pathetic. Most of the zoom lenses are f/4 for a reason. They try to design smaller zoom lenses so they don't look like it's big and humongous. But a full frame lens is always and will be due to physics LARGER than any m/43. To me, it's back to more megapixels as a trade-off.

    And I'm not sure the resale value of these FE lenses. You are probably better off buying the $400 Metabones Canon EF to E-mount adapter and use Canon EF full frame lenses which retains AF, aperture and IS capabilities. You can rent, lease and buy used Canon EF lenses. It's harder with the FE lenses. Canon users I see are buying A7r with the Metabones so they could use their own EF lenses. They are currently no 36MP DSLR in the Canon line up.

    4, Extreme shallow depth of field that full frame provides like f/1.4. Extreme shallow depth of field is not what you want with landscapes anyhow. You want more depth of field which the m43 provides plenty of.

    Plus, the Nikon D610 body alone is just a few hundred bucks shy of the Sony A7. It is a more rounded system, albeit NOT a mirrorless camera and you have more Nikon lenses to choose from.

    Sooner or later, Nikon and Canon will have to enter the mirrorless arena because you and I know that their DSLR sales are tanking. In about 2 years, their sales will be so bad that they will have to put out something.

    Unless you're into the Zeiss boutique lenses that Sony offers, which by themselves are great lenses, I always believe in system investment. Sony does not believe in investing on a lens system. They never did. Even in FIFA, they never do care about their Sony still and video customers. Repairs -- they sent them to either Nikon or Canon. Just expect this when you invest in Sony bodies -- as a temporary fix for full frame until the big guys like Canon and Nikon start to wake up and bring out their own better versions than the A7 and A7r. People buy Sony A7 series because there are no other poor man's alternatives to mirror less full frame. But this is a short sighted view. Long term though and as technology advances, m43 bodies will make up ground. But if you really really need the full frame option now, then the A7 and A7r provide that instant fix.
     
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  15. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    408
    Jul 15, 2012
    Norway
    Patrick Kristiansen
    Mastering is not the issue, I feel. How'd you know wether or not I know my camera?

    It is a feeling. The em5 I had before lowered the bar for casual shooting. The em1 tips the scale towards "serious" shooting again, but in some cases it has not AS good IQ as a camera with 24*36 sensor of newer gen, which this noncasual shooting would warrant. YMMV.

    In my personal case I would also love to use the entire imagecircle of my OM Zuiko's.
     
  16. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Sorry to be pedantic, but there is no mirror in the A7r :)

    A7r lacks first curtain electronic shutter so that's why it has more vibration than the A7.

    I'm confused on the claim of the A7 electionic first curtain being less effective than the Olympus 0 sec anti-shock - I've never seen anything comparing them. Not saying it isn't true, just curious if you've got a link or something where someone has tested that.

    And yes, from what I've read the A7r shutter shock can be quite annoying for a landscape photographer trying to get all 36MP of resolution.
     
  17. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I gave this some serious thought, to the point of doing some test shots in the store with the A7 and some of my legacy glass using an OM to NEX adapter. I did not consider the A7r thinking it was too costly. In the end I decided the A7 was pointless, it did not have a big enough IQ advantage over the E-M1. I think the A7R is in a different league, but I agree with Ray that you have to start thinking like a medium format shooter to get the most out of these bodies. The other thing that gave me some pause was the workflow issues with the really large RAW files. The files I shot with the A7 looked great, but so did the E-M1s.

    If you want to shoot a lot of landscapes then I really don't see the downside to the A7R, but you are going to need a big tripod like my 055XPro.
     
  18. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't get why people think you need a heavy tripod and support to use a high MP FF camera? For example the 36mp D800 has a less pixel dense sensor than any of the 16mp M43 sensors. :rolleyes:
     
  19. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    In body IS or more specifically the lack of it. In a broader sense I think I use a tripod less than I should because of IS. For the use I was considering for the A7 with legacy glass a lot of the time I would want a tripod with me and that was a consideration.
     
  20. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    The shutter shock is so great with the A7r that it gained the name "mirror slap" amongst those who own it.

    You do need to remember that photography is all about 99% blur and 1% sharpness. There is only one plane in focus and everything else is just BLUR or known as area of acceptable in focus or out of focus depending on which aperture you stop down. On the Sony A7 and A7r, this blur is magnified more than on a 16MP sensor. So you need to ensure that there is little to no movement caused by shutter shock to add on to more blur. The shutter system on both the A7 and A7r are not dampened enough to reduce vibration mainly due to the lack of mass of the camera itself. There is always a reason why you have to make a camera as a certain size and weight to allow shock damping which is why the Nikon D810 and D800 are superior against the A7r.

    I don't have a link to prove and I usually don't go by reviewers anyhow. BUT I did test it. We have recurring Sony Meetup events where Sony reps in conjunction with stores invite potential customers to come out and shoot. You are given a Sony A7 or A7r to try out with any of their lenses even against your own camera for a day in the actual field and not in the store. While the electronic shutter on the A7 is effective, the shutter still generates what I felt to be a significant amount of vibration that can effect the overall sharpness of the photos. Which is why some people actually returned their A7 or A7r back to the stores citing inability to attain sharper photos.

    Unless you are doing astrophotography and need the extra DR and HI-ISO and the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 manual lens, the Sony A7 for me is harder to justify, but I'm sure make a lot of other people happy. I felt that it still needs some more refinements to make it a great camera because it is a great concept, but not what it is now.