A7 vs NEX7 at Photototo

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by Bill, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Last January the blog Photototo did a side-by-side of the A7 and the three-year old NEX7.

    I've always questioned the idea that full-frame should be seen as a natural upgrade from the NEX (APS-C) cameras. With the new A6000 bringing IQ equal to that of the NEX7, maybe we should be shifting our hard-earned upgrade dollars to better lenses.

    Sorry. Forgot to mention that Photototo is the blog of Viktor Pavlovič.
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  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Real Name:
    Nice write up.

    I've said from the get go, the A7 is better, but incrementally. One has to decide if the step cost is worth it. For a professional, this might be, but for an average consumer just taking pictures, I would think twice. Perhaps spend money on some lenses versus a new body.
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  3. Dan Euritt

    Dan Euritt TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 11, 2014
    that is a difficult comparison to make... so much revolves around the quality of the lens, and 35mm primes are generally going to be much better than 24mm primes... if you compare both on the a7r, the differences are significant, even going from just 24mm to 28mm is a notable step up in pq.

    flip side... the sony 24/1.8 certainly holds it's own against the sigma 30mm, after they are both stopped down a bit, so it's no slouch:


    some great choices for crop sensor lenses... i'd rather buy the much cheaper sigma 30mm over the pricey sony 35mm prime, because the latter is such a dark piece of glass, it has horrible vignetting issues.

    the a7 has a better viewfinder than the a6000, no minor detail when it comes to manual focusing.
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  4. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 13, 2013
    The reason to get an A7 is if you want a FF sensor, with all that entails. Which is more about depth of field control and marginally better high ISO performance than anything else. For me it was mostly about getting more pixels, and getting a camera with at least the same IQ as my old 5DII. What sold me were the two native FE primes.
  5. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I understand the desire. Not all pixels are created equal, so I must say that the new A7s seems to offer some real benefits.

    In regard to image quality, however, the 21 mega-pixel 5DII got a DXO Mark sensor score of 79 -- just slightly behind the 24 mega-pixel NEX7.

    Also, the FE primes work fine on the NEX7 -- If you don't like the Touits.
  6. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    I wrote a whole article (in german) about why full frame is not better than APS-C with all theoretic and mythical advantages busted. The conclusion? Full frame has huge advantages - if you are in one of those two categories:

    1. You use lenses optimized for full frame (legacy or not) and want to continue using them with the field of view and depth of field you came to know them.

    2. You shoot regularly in one of the few situations where you need the absolutely best low light performance and depth of field is not a concern, like concerts. In theory, you could build a lens optimized for APS-C sensor which is one stop faster at the equivalent focal length for the same cost, size and weight as the full frame counterpart, but we all know this is only true up to about f/1.4. Nobody cares building a f/1 or faster APS-C lens with high quality, and it would be extremely difficult to do anyway. So second point short: If you want to use f/1.4 or faster lenses on a full frame body.

    For all others, there is no difference - when using quality lenses, of course.

    To be honest, that's not the whole story with most mounts. When looking to the competition, most if not all high-end lenses are optimized for full frame, so to take full advantage of your camera system and to justify the lenses price and weight buying a full frame body is worth it. As E-Mount user though, the lens selection for high-end APS-C lenses is awesome.

    DXOmark scores don't get influenced by the sensor resolution. So the Canon sensor would still be behind if it had a thousand MP.

    And you still get the 16-70 f/4, the Sony 50 1.8 and the Sonnar 24 1.8.
  7. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 22, 2012
    While I don't disagree with your overall premise that no one really "needs" FF, the difference is really more about freedom. With NEX-5N I felt stuck at an upper limit of ISO1,600 because I don't like to do PP work. With A7, ISO 6,400 has been working just fine for me (I think partly the greater in-camera image tweaking ability and JPEG engine both contribute because by lowlight scores it should only be one stop advantage). Secondly my wife is black and I'm white. While most people need dynamic range only when doing HDR, I need it just for casual snaps, especially indoors where ISO runs up quickly (and DR drops in equal measure). My brother once took a picture with his 550D at ISO 1,600 and you couldn't see my wife's face except for her teeth and eyes. Ghastly. So I need a decent DR at a range of ISOs, something the FF sensor provides nicely, and measurably better than the 5N.
    Actually yes they do, and it's one of the most important determinants. Just look at the difference in scores between 16 and 24 MP sensors in the same sensor category (e.g. APS-C) for 'perceptual megapixels'.
  8. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    That said, the APS-C sensors Sony uses are almost three years old by now. If you use sensors of the same generation, dynamic range should be comparable between different sizes, so that's not necessarily an advantage full frame gives you.

    And no, DXOmark sensor scores do NOT take resolution into account. Only their lens scores do. The 24 MP sensors have a better score because they are better overall (dynamic range, high ISO and color depth). See: http://www.dxomark.com/About/Sensor-scores/Overall-Score