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Those that went to FF / Sony A7 - Any regrets?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by tuanies, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. tuanies

    tuanies Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 13, 2011
    Graham, WA
    Tuan Huynh
    So for the last 4 years I've shot with nothing but M43 gear. I started with a GF1 + 20mm. Now I have a variety of lenses and bodies. I know I don't need full frame for any reason but its always intrigued me. The Sony A7 is on sale for $1500 now and you can get the battery grip for $100 with it. Since I really only use one lens for AF, I can just get the 55mm F/1.8 and be happy. I can get a Rokinon wide angle and legacy macro if I needed it.

    So for those that went from M43 to the A7/A7R or just FF in general, any regrets? The A7 is pretty small. My only concern is AF, but the A7R is the one that's slow. The louder shutter isn't too big of an issue for me. Plus the thing looks damn sexy. Yes I know I don't need it, but I do have a bit of G.A.S. ;) 

    Anyways here's what I have now, I'd have to sell it all to go all in though.

    • GH3 + BG + 2 aftermarket batteries
    • GH2
    • GX7

    • Oly 45mm F/1.8
    • Oly 60mm F/2.8 macro
    • Oly 9-18mm
    • Panny 25mm F/1.4
    • Panny 14mm F/2.5
    • Panny 14-42PZ
    • Panny 12.5mm 3D

    I only take two types of shots really, which is of my kids and cars for reviews.

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  2. daum

    daum Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 26, 2011
    I've had the A7r for about 2 days now, and using it with older manual focus lenses. I know one thing for sure, it will not replace my E-P5 as a daily/travel camera. Even if were to use a native lens, it is not fast enough for run and gun travel photos. The A7r will be more like a learning camera for me because it will slow me down and think.
  3. st3amco0ker

    st3amco0ker Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 7, 2012
    I started my Photography journey with m43 and a large collection of lenses and recently bought a Sony A7 + 55/1.8, and I must say the new system meets all my requirements and more. It has all the neat features that I really enjoy and makes my shooting experience very pleasant. I do see a dramatic difference in DOF, ISO, DR, and the extra wiggle room for post editing. The only downside is the limited FE FF lenses. Otherwise, I would just sell off everything and switch to Sony.
  4. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I haven't gone from MFT to A7, but I have added an A7 and 55/1.8 while keeping my MFT kit. I've also tried the A7R pretty extensively.

    The A7 and A7R are both much slower to AF than MFT gear is. Any of your cameras will focus much more satisfyingly with the Pana 25/1.4 than the A7 (or A7R) will with the 55/1.8. On the other hand, the 55/1.8 is a stunning lens. Incredibly sharp and very pleasing character. Fwiw, I don't notice any major difference in DR, and the ISO difference is less apparent than I thought it would be, probably because I don't find MFT wanting at all in those areas. There is a noticeable difference if you're looking for more shallow DOF.

    Ultimately I could more easily give up my A7 than my MFT gear. In fact, this Saturday I plan to give my A7, 55/1.8, and FE 70-200 OSS all to my dad for Father's day. I'll miss the A7, but for me the MFT gear and my Leica M gear (my other full frame system) give me all that I need.

    It sounds like you have an A7 itch though that needs to be scratched. On that basis, I say go for it. It's worth it for the 55/1.8 alone.
    • Like Like x 5
  5. tuanies

    tuanies Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 13, 2011
    Graham, WA
    Tuan Huynh
    The AF is what worries me. I remember the AF on the GF1 + 20mm, even GH2 + 20MM was fairly slow in low light. I do a lot more low light shots than anything.

    Maybe I should just consolidate bodies and get more lenses or maybe get a GH4. I love the GX7, its a pretty looking camera and IBIS and 1/8000 shutter is nice as well, two things I wish my GH3 had. If video on the Olympus E-M1 didn't suck so much, I'd check out Olympus for once.
  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The AF advantage of the A7 over the A7R is for good light only. In low light they seemed to be about the same, and the GH2 and 20/1.7 focus noticeably better in low light than the A7 and 55/1.8.

    Is the E-M1 video worse than A7 video? I hardly do any video, but the video I've done with an E-M1 was perfectly fine for my uses.
  7. tuanies

    tuanies Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 13, 2011
    Graham, WA
    Tuan Huynh
    Yea that's what I'm afraid of. I suppose the E-M1 video quality should be fine for me.
  8. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
  9. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I'm kind of baffled as to what it is about the E-M1 video that makes people say that it sucks. I'm not heavily into video, but what I have done looks pretty good to me, especially for web viewing.

    To get a better impression of the video, I copied a shot onto a thumb drive and had a look at it on our HD TV and the quality is as good as any HD movie I've watched so, once again, I'm kind of baffled as to why it's supposed to suck.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. bobbywise

    bobbywise Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    Nantes, France
    For the kind of photography I do, I don't think I'll ever use a DLSR again. So from a digital standpoint, I've turned mirrorless. In the mirrorless cameras out there, I have M43, Fuji-X, and the Sony A7. Like Fuji-X, the AF on the Sony A7 is fastish -- it's fine for me anyway. That FE55 1.8 lens is one hell of a stunner performer. I've not had problems with AF.

    We all have different opinions, and each system has it's pros and cons.
    Here's the conclusion I've come to using mirrorless gear over the last few years.

    M43 is great, but it's advantage of compactness is limited to only a few lenses really. As a result, I'm selling of much of my M43 gear, and keeping the GX1, 14mm pancake, 20mm pancake, 45mm 1.8, and maybe the 25mm 1.4.

    Fuji-X is compact, but not pocketable. Lenses are great and so is the IQ. If anyone was looking to get into a compact mirrorless system, I would recommend them Fuji-X. For me the lens size and IQ is balanced.

    The Sony A7 is the camera I'm using the most right now. Like the other systems it's also great. But comparing it to Fuji-X it has no character. Personally I don't gel with the camera, even though it has a great EVF and is easy to use. If you're into old legacy glass, then the A7 is no brainer :)  Also, if you don't care for building up a huge system of lenses (too many pollute the mind anyway), and you like shooting at a normal focal length most of the time, then the A7 plus FE55 is a must have.

    I'd say go for the A7 and FE55. If you don't like it, you can sell it on for probably little loss. If you are into adapting legacy glass, and get the A7, then I can highly recommend the 40mm Summicron-C and 90mm Elmar-C or Tele-Elmarit if you want a bit more light. These lenses match the looks of the A7 very well, and have great IQ performance at a modest price. They're also extremely compact.

    On my side, I'm not sure I'll keep the A7 forever. I still like the smaller lenses with pretty much the same IQ as FF with Fuji-X. Most of my favourite images have been taken with the X-Pro1 plus 35mm 1.4.
    • Like Like x 3
  11. tuanies

    tuanies Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 13, 2011
    Graham, WA
    Tuan Huynh
    Thanks for all the input guys. I think I'll just hang onto everything for now and wait for the GH4 to drop in price towards the end of the year.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    Have GX7 and now GH4, nocticron and new summilux is coming to my door in less than a week... I'm neck deep into m43 and I'm glad I am. I love the UWA 7-14, I love the 25mm summilux... I love the video I get with m43...

    But, when the A7 is going to sell used for peanut, you bet I'm gonna get one. It will be to satisfy my curiosity and my lust for a full frame body to use all my leica and pentax glass that is waiting quietly in the drawyers!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    ^^^ I think thats the better move here to be honest. You have great M43 glass and you would lose flexibility by selling all of it and having just the one lens + A7. Also, Im not saying to not ever buy the A7 but let the A7 system mature for another year or two before going into it.

    ^^^ Exactly, same thinking here! Im 100% committed to mirrorless now so its strictly M43, Fuji X & Sony A7 series of camera's for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. darrellc

    darrellc Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    I have m4/3 (GH4, EM1, GM1) and FF (A7, RX1, used to have D800 and 5D2).

    If you can't afford to run both systems or prefer to consolidate on just one system, I'd definitely go m4/3 unless you truly find IQ lacking on m4/3 and are willing to accept the downsides with the A7/R.

    My guess is you'd be happy consolidating bodies on the GH4. And maybe pick up the 12-35/2.8 for video and stabilization (OIS) and an excellent stills lens.

    The GH4 is an amazing camera, much improved in my opinion over the GH3 as both stills and video shooter. I used to use the GH3 for video only, and EM5/EM1 for stills, but now I find the GH4 so quick in AF and overall operation compared to the EM1, I just never pick up the EM1 anymore and may sell it (and keep an old EM5 body around for a backup m4/3 body with EVF built-in and when I really need IBIS).

    The A7 is "okay" on AF and general speed and ease of use in operation, but pales in comparison to GH4 or EM1. I primarily use it as a manual focus / alt lens platform, except for the remarkable 55/1.8 (and I find the 35/2.8 an excellent lens, with quick and accurate AF - but IQ not at RX1 level). I find it a very satisfying camera for MF, but I always miss my m4/3 when I use any of the native FE lenses.
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  15. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    Before I bought my EM1 about 6 weeks ago, I looked into the Sony A7/A7r as well as various Fuji X bodies.

    I chose the EM1 because it had the best ergonomics, fast user interface, fast AF along with great image quality, provided you keep the ISO below 1600. Beyond 1600, the files get grainy along with a color shift. It's not the best low light camera, but with good light, I have no complaints whatsoever.

    The Sony took me all of 30 minutes to know it wasn't the camera for me as the ergonomics and overall sluggishness of the camera was rather disappointing.

    The Fuji XT1 almost had me and if it weren't for the damn D-pad, I might have gone the Fuji route last month. Reportedly, Fuji will be revealing some new bodies at Photokina in September and it may well be that I add a Fuji system alongside my Olympus EM1, Canon 5D Mk.II which fulfills my FF needs as well as my super compact Ricoh GR Digital III. I believe once I find a Fuji body with the right ergonomics, it'll play nicely as a middle-ground camera between my EM1 and 5D Mk.II.
  16. gti2756

    gti2756 Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 26, 2012
    The only bad thing about FF is the size and weight as far as I can tell. I have a Nikon D600, Olympus O-MD E-M10, Panasonic GH4, LX7. I mainly take pictures of my kids who are 3 and 7 so they're always running around. I thought I might be able to sell my D600 once I got the Olympus and Panasonic but no way.

    I can get some action shots on the E-M10 and GH4 but just not as many keepers as the D600. I do like the E-M10 much more than I like the GH4 which surprised me, so I put the GH4 up on craigslist. There's nothing wrong with Olympus video either but then again I'm not some "indie filmmaker" or anything. I think most people who say you can go from full frame to micro 4/3 usually aren't shooting moving kids or sports. Others who say that are probably real bad asses. You will see all these flower pictures, landscapes or inanimate objects that look beautiful but they're easy to shoot. I like the LX7 for shooting dead objects. The lens on it is so damn sharp and the stabilizer works great.

    Nikon D600
    • Reliable auto focus on moving kids/subjects
    • Ability to crop the hell out of a photo
    • Can bring shadows and dark areas back from the dead in Lightroom
    • That creamy full frame bokeh

    Panasonic GH4
    • Amazing 4k video
    • Crazy fast auto focus, but not as reliable as a dslr for things that move
    • Feels great in the hand
    • Focus peaking
    • EVF is the best I've seen

    Olympus O-MD E-M10
    • Body stabilization is amazing
    • Fast focus
    • Tiny camera body
    • Beautiful colors
    • Noise is very pleasing compared to Panasonic noise

    So I prefer the D600 when I want the absolute best pictures or there is a lot of movement I am trying to freeze. The E-M10 I use outdoors and indoors when I don't want to carry the heavy stuff and there isn't a lot of fast movement. The LX7 is the daily carry and takes beautiful pictures of anything not moving and can get lucky sometimes freezing action.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    The A7r's AF isn't slow, it just isn't fast. Certainly compared to the E-M1/M5. Where it does really struggle is low light. In decent light the AF speed is better than the 20/1.7 on MFT. The whole camera is a 'slower' cam though, from startup to shooting and requires rigorous technique (1/100 sec for 55/1.8 is my preferred minimum shutter speed), so the true low light performance in real life is 'merely' equivalent to that of the E-M1 for static low light subjects. In good to decent light the differences are clear.

    Having said that, the A7r with the FE 55/1.8 is probably my favorite combo right now. But it is complementary to the E-M1, which is the better all round camera. Both are almost exactly the same size. The A7r also works great with adapted glass.
  18. tuanies

    tuanies Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 13, 2011
    Graham, WA
    Tuan Huynh
    I've honestly haven't had any issues since I went to the 25mm F/1.4 and the newer bodies, in terms of AF on M43. I've taken shots in extremely low light without any problems. And if the A7 is a step backwards in terms of AF speed for me, I will probably just skip it. Maybe I'll just keep the GX7 and sell/trade in the GH3. Although I've yet to own an Olympus body, so it does intrigue me.

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  19. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    If you have gas why not get some lighting ? Something like a cheetah light cl360 and good modifier could boost a lot of stuff into a much higher level of quality ?
    Or get a couple v850 basically some off camera lighting with some modifier

    Just cause you mentioned reviews ? And lighting is for sure what separates the look more than sensor size
  20. AlexH

    AlexH Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 27, 2012
    Arkansas, U.S.
    I wouldn't say I have regrets, but I also don't have a connection to the A7. It's a fine camera, don't get me wrong. The IQ is fantastic. The lenses are sharp, well designed, and produce lovely images. The high ISO performance is good. I love the shallow DoF. The thing is, it's not blowing my M43 system away. Like Amin, I'm not finding the high ISO performance lacking in my M43 camera, nor it's dynamic range. And like Amin, I'd rather part with my A7 than my E-M5. In some respects I actually prefer my E-M5 in certain low light conditions because of that 5-axis IBIS. It's just brilliant. The A7 performs well in low light too, obviously, but I guess what I'm trying to say is, the M43 systems have matured to the point where I don't feel like I'm missing out on image quality compared to larger systems. M43 does have a significant advantage when you start looking at lens options. There are so many great options.

    My M43 system will remain, but I'm not so sure about my A7. I might sell it and play with something else, or wait for something completely different.
    • Like Like x 2
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