A7 Questions before I buy it

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by jereswinnen, May 18, 2014.

  1. jereswinnen

    jereswinnen TalkEmount Regular

    Jul 11, 2013
    Jeremy Swinnen
    Hi guys,

    I’m looking into buying the Sony A7 as a replacement for my NEX-6. As this is quite a big expense for me, I do have a few questions.

    - I do have a few NEX lenses such as the Touit 32mm. When I use them in the crop mode, do I still benefit form the advantages of the full-frame sensor? Also, if I use them not in crop mode, there will be vignetting visible, is it easy to remove this in Lightroom?

    - Regarding manual glass; do I need to be on the look for full frame manual glass?

    Note: this is my first full-frame camera.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. storyteller

    storyteller TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 25, 2011
    Crop mode means the camera only uses the APS-C portion of the sensor. The amount of vignetting varies by the lens. Some can be cleaned up but most will need to be cropped.

    I have an A7 and love it but mostly because I already had a collection of vintage lens that finally found a "home". If you've already got a nice collection of cropped sensor glass I think it may make more sense to stay with cropped frame cameras.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    Not really. I made a comparison between the A7 and NEX-6, using the A7 in crop mode and resizing the resulting pics to the same resolution (that of the A7 in crop mode, which is less than the NEX-6's). After correcting for different exposure I saw essentially the same noise behaviour and the NEX-6 files looked slightly more detailed, most probably because they had been downsized to be on an equal footing with the A7 (NEX-6 16 MP, A7 10 MP).

    So I agree with the previous poster: stick with APS-C if you have a good lens line-up already. The Touit 32mm certainly qualifies in that respect.

    Manual legacy glass almost always has been designed for 135 format cameras ("full frame"), so it's naturally at home at the A7. Rangefinder wide-angle lenses (Leica, Voigtländer, Konica M, Minolta M-Rokkor etc.) generally have problems with vignetting and color shift, requiring extra effort in post-processing. And of course if you have Olympus Pen F, Pentax 110 or cine lenses, these will usually not illuminate the whole sensor surface.
  4. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    The only one of my APS-C lenses that I kept when I made the switch from the NEX-6 to the A7 was the SEL1018, which is useable (uncropped) between ~12mm and ~16mm. There just didn't seem to be much point in spending good money on a 24mp full frame sensor and then living with 10mp images, nor in spending a lot of time in PP cropping out a good chunk of each shot to eliminate the vignetting. And losing the Touit would probably have made me weep.

    So I agree with storyteller and Ad. If you've heavily invested in APS-C lenses, you've got a tough choice ahead of you, as they won't be getting much, if any, use in the future unless you keep your NEX as a second camera.
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  5. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    If you have invested in other killer NEX lenses...you might see a nice improvement (at lower ISO) by trying an a6000 or a NEX-7 with their 24mp sensors, at a fraction of the cost of switching to the A7.
  6. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue Subscribing Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    I agree. I have the Nex5 and seriously thought about going A7. But then I realised all my lenses are APS-C except one. As such I decided the A6000 was a better investment and would see me through another few years. Don't forget not only is the A7 going on twice the price of the A6000 but also FE lenses are also more that APS-C - so if budget is tight lens cost is another factor as you will have to buy all new, whereas A6000 you can use all your existing ones.

    My plan is to start to buy FE lenses over the next few years and use them on my A6000 and then when I come to go full frame I have pre invested in the right glass for it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    When you already have a good investment in APS-C glass, let me ask you this question: Why do you want to go 35mm?

    Because there are hardly any situations where full frame cameras actually outperform APS-C cameras.
  8. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    That has definitely not been my experience. When I went from the NEX-6 to the A7, I got dramatic and unmistakeable improvements in 1) the ability to extract details from shadows and highlights, 2) to manage noise at higher ISO settings (I have taken some useable images shot at ISO 12800), and the ability to isolate the subject from the background.
  9. Schusskabob

    Schusskabob TalkEmount Regular

    May 14, 2014
    Colorado, USA
    I'm taking particular interest in this thread because, like many others, I'm in this same boat with a NEX-6 and Sony/Zeiss 24mm and have, also, been considering an upgrade to A7. I get it that the A7 would have better dynamic range and would perform better at very high ISO. I would expect that. But how would it compare at ISO 100...or 400...or even 800 with good lighting? If most of your shots are really pushing the margins, then I could see going with A7, but otherwise are the differences dramatic??
  10. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Significantly better high-ISO shots, while very welcome when I find myself indoors, are not really the main reason that I'm happy to have upgraded. Neither is subject isolation, since most of what I shoot (landscapes) is at f/8 and beyond. But the difference in dynamic latitude cannot be overstated, IMO. I'd liken it to the leap I got when I went from µ4/3 to APS-C, maybe even more. So if the clouds in your skies are often blown out, or the shadows in your foliage and rocks are inky black, then yes, the difference will be dramatic.

    As for noticeable differences at ISO 100 or 400, no, they're not that easy to see. ISO 800? Perhaps. But an easy to overlook point is that I rarely shot above ISO 800 with the NEX-6 because I couldn't. Now I can. And so where I used to limit myself to low ISO, I now have a whole range of photographic opportunities that I didn't have before.
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  11. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    The low light capability for a given depth of field is absolutely the same between the different sensor sizes. Also, a 24mm f/1.4 APS-C lens could theoretically be built for the same prize, size and weight as a 35mm f/2 lens for full frame. Of course due to a lack of super fast E-Mount APS-C lenses, this theoretical equality is not reachable right now. As for ISO, of course full frame cameras have a theoretical one stop advantage. That said, you can shoot at ISO 3200 with APS-C sensors without a problem. And then comes the theoretical APS-C lens speed advantage, which Sony unfortunately does not support.

    As for dynamic range - yep, there's about a stop of a difference. But don't forget that the current Sony full frame sensors are a generation ahead of the current Sony APS-C sensors, so the gap will close a bit. For a correct exposure, 13 stops of dynamic range should be sufficient in most situations, and if you really need more, there are techniques like HDR. Sure, for some situations that's not a solution, and having more dynamic range is a great thing, but really, is it worth all the disadvantages purchased with a full frame camera?
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  12. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    This shows how bad vignetting is with APS-C lenses. Touit is listed
  13. d1105

    d1105 New to TalkEmount

    May 8, 2014
    I was in the same situation and decided to pick up the A7 and also keep the NEX-6. There are pros to each system and keeping the NEX6 was a given especially with the price drop. My plan was to keep my existing SEL1018 to use for the A7, however I missed a lot of shots switching lenses. At the end if the day, having two bodies is a plus. 4une4u7y.jpg
  14. Snowy

    Snowy TalkEmount Veteran

    Nov 18, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'll offer my impressions, for what they are worth, having had a NEX 6 and then getting the A7 with 28-70 mm kit lens and a number of legacy Rokkors. There is actually little wrong with the NEX 6 and mine gave very results and so on. I find the EVF on the A7 a dream to use in comparison and for me that is a major plus. The IQ obtainable with the A7 is indeed a significant step up in my opinion. The range of relatively cheap legacy lenses that can be used pretty much as their were designed, as Ad points out, is a real bonus. The A7 is a delight to use in many other aspects as well and for me well worth the extra cost. At the end of the day only the person buying the camera can decide what is important to them. For good legacy glass you could look at KEH or carefully on eBay. I have purchased about six Rokkors from eBay with one dud. Luckily that was a very cheap one. All those obtained from KEH were exactly as described, so I'd prefer to buy from them if they have what I want in stock. I'd will now not bid on an eBay item if they seller does not have good feedback or a proper return policy. I'd recommend starting with a good 50mm, such as the Minolta 50mm 1.4 PG.
  15. jereswinnen

    jereswinnen TalkEmount Regular

    Jul 11, 2013
    Jeremy Swinnen
    Thank you so much for all the great answers! Became a great thread!

    Still deciding, though...
  16. Ares1

    Ares1 TalkEmount Regular

    Apr 28, 2014
    As an A7 owner ill try and be unbiased here... i think you will get an IQ improvement with either camera.

    Reasons for the A7
    - Better IQ
    - Better ISO performance
    - Weather Sealed

    Reasons for A6000
    - APS-C Lens options & existing lens compatability
    - Cost
    - Size

    What sort of photography do you do? Do you have any legacy manual glass?
  17. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Just buy whatever would make you feel you want go out and shoot. At the end is the shooting that matters most.
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