Is A7rII for pros only?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by mesmerized, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    Hello there!

    I've been shooting E-M5mk2 for a while now and while I love that camera, I would like to have a better performer in low-light situations, along with other bonuses, such as shallower DOF and more megapixels. People say that in terms of picture quality and DOF both sensors (m43 and APS-C) are quite similar and the differences are negligible... Fuji wins me over with manual control, though. Not to mention its 24-megapixel sensor. I keep hearing, though, about watery landscapes and mushy greens...

    I'd go FF and get a Sony, except that A7r2 is... well, it's expensive... and I don't know if waiting a bit for the new generation isn't a better idea. On the other hand, if A7r3 brings that monster of a sensor with 60 megapixels, such a camera wouldn't be for me since the files would be enormous... 42 is more than enough for my purposes. I do want a better dynamic range and that buttery shallow DOF, though.

    Would you say A7rII is a camera for pros who make a living from photography?

  2. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    There are quite a few A7RII owners here who, to the best of my knowledge, do not make a living from photography. We also have a number of m4/3 owners who will probably chime in on their experiences moving to Sony. I have the A7II and am pretty happy with it, shooting mostly legacy glass. I could not afford an A7RII anyway, and to really get the most from it you will need excellent lenses - generally also expensive. But if you have the funds, there is no question that the A7RII is an excellent camera with an amazing sensor.

    Come on over, the Sony water is a lot of quality fun. :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  3. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    That's the thing! I can't afford those G-Masters! Nor would I want to invest in them, in all honesty...

    I would go for a small 35mm from Zeiss (or the new Sigma, which is supposedly on the way), Zeiss 55mm, the new Sony 85mm, and something wide for landscapes... perhaps the 16-35mm?

    On the other hand, Fuji is tempting, too... They have excellent glass. The 56mm 1.2 is just gorgeous!
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 26, 2014
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, I'm a big u43 user and am trying an A7Rii now (actually, it's the second time I'm trying one!). IMHO, the IQ difference isn't as big as you might imagine. Let's look at the differences:

    - Resolution. For sure the A7Rii is better with approx 40% more linear pixels is each direction over the E-M1ii. However, unless you're planning on doing a lot of cropping or printing extremely large I doubt it really matters. Dealing with uncompressed 42Mp raw files though is a major PITA so far as storage is concerned. They're four times the size of the Olympus files (80MB vs 20MB). You need to factor this in.

    - DR. The Sony beats the Oly by one to two stops (depending on whose measurements you use). However, I don't think the DR on the E-M1ii is that bad and in almost all practical cases the DR on the Olympus is not an impediment that matters - at least for me (and I do a lot of landscapes). There are lot of very good landscape photographers using u43 so I'm not alone in this view.

    - Noise. At low ISOs (100-800) there isn't a huge difference. By 1600 the Sony is definitely better but actually the Olympus (in good light) is more than good enough up to 3200. In poor light or at ISO 6400 and above the Sony is a lot better. Whether this matters to you is of course a personal thing. If there's one thing that will persuade me to keep the A7 then it's the noise handling. For people shots in low light u43 struggles.

    - DOF. The DOF differences are just that - differences; one's not better than the other. For landscapes, cityscapes, group shots, macro, wildlife/BIF, studio portraits and many other scenes then the deeper DOF of u43 is an advantage. For things requiring subject isolation, especially full-body portraits outdoors, then the narrower DOF of FF is a clear advantage. Chose your poison!

    Where it comes to wider system differences then I think the balance sways towards u43 - better lens range, better stabilisation, bodies more functional, smaller kit in general, ... I'm not dissing Sony here - I actually really like the A7 series. I'm just trying to be objective. Jumping systems is not a cheap thing to do and you need to be clear what you're hoping to gain.

    I'm still not 100% sure whether I'll stick with the Sony yet - does the low light issue really justify running two systems?
  5. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 14, 2016
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    These days storage is cheap enough not to be an issue, large capacity HDD and portable HDD's are easily available and not too expensive.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. josema

    josema TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 31, 2013
    Jose M. Alonso
    Agree. To me it would be more about processing power you need to deal with those files.
  7. jypfoto

    jypfoto New to TalkEmount

    Dec 13, 2014
    I used to shoot the E-M1 as well as the E-M1 II and also had the a7rII while now shooting the a9. The a7rII is not only just for pros but shines in the hands of a good shooter. The leverage that you have if you post process is definitely greater than the m4/3 and the high ISO performance is much better as well. Personally for me I limited my E-M1 to 1600, with a preference to stay at 800 or lower. I only really went to 3200 if I absolutely needed to. Which made shooting sometimes more difficult if you're using the 2.8 zooms. While DoF is a 5.6 equivalent and you won't get the separation, having 2.8 and trying to stay st 1600 made some shooting a little harder. Ideally you would want to shoot indoors sports with a fast enough shutter but then your ISO is creeping upwards. With a FF I would hit 6400 and be mostly ok, but 6400 on a m4/3 tended to look mushy.

    Having a 1.8 on FF doesn't mean you always have to shoot at 1.8, it just gives you the options to do so. You can go razor thin if you want to, but also stop down.

    Shooting the a9 for about 3 weeks now, I have to say I'm very happy and don't ever see going back to m4/3. But my needs are low light shooting of my kids indoors which I wasn't completely satisfied with on my E-M1 II even paired with the expensive 25mm f/1.2.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  8. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    Thank you for all replies! I appreciate that!

    Perhaps Fuji would be the perfect middle-ground then? Performs better in low-light situations, delivers 24MP, and more control over the DOF. It doesn't have in-body IS, but I can live with that... I suppose...
  9. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 12, 2014
    N├Žstved, Denmark
    From the look fuji seems to be a good choice. A nice not to expensive lens lineup and well perfoming camera bodies. Ill have to try them out myself but I can see myself with fuji in the bag instead of my current a6000 kit. Re Image Stabilization, Im totally without it and still making nice images.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    Once you've experienced having image stabilization for all your lenses, you'll never want to be without it.
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Like Like x 1
  11. pdk42

    pdk42 TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 26, 2014
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Agreed - it's great for legacy lenses too.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Hawon

    Hawon TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    If having a full frame camera is not must why not looking into A6500?
  13. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    The A6500 is $1298, the A7ii is $1548, the A7Rii is $2698.

    To me, if you do not care about APS-C vs FF, the A6500 is an excellent choice considering the features and technology in the camera.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    Thanks for the suggestion! I have to admit, though, that if I were to go down the APS-C path, I suppose I'd rather go with a Fuji camera. Nothing beats the way it feels with those manual controls.
  15. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    So much already written, I'll add my two cents.

    Any camera can be used by anyone. If I was a full-time pro and looking to sell large prints I would have one of the latest FF, probably the new A9. For the longest time, the A7 line was capable of incredible portraits, but ask them to capture any action and you were done for. With the latest A7 and now the A9, this balance has finally been established.

    Now as to the differences between the APS-C and FF sensors, the gap is really getting thin. This is not that the FF are bad, or that they still do not have an edge in dynamic range, etc, but that the latest sensors in the A6300 and A6500 are just so good that unless you are shooting in the extremes, there is very little difference.

    But for me who is a non-pro, and simply wants to produce great memories for the family, my humble A6000 is still kicking plenty of but. I am greatly tempted by the A6500, but as a side hobby, I simply am not able to justify the cost right now.

    On a side note, I recently played with the A7r2 at the local BB. A great camera, but the button layout is simply too busy for me. All those buttons and switches are just a bit too busy for me. And I know it is really not that much bigger, but as a fan of the compact camera, it just tips over the scale as what I would want to lug around at the family/friends gatherings.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
  16. ggibson

    ggibson TalkEmount Regular

    Sep 1, 2011
    I'm just a hobbyist, currently shooting an A7rII as my main camera. I used to shoot m4/3, which gave me great results, but sometimes felt lacking in DOF control or high-ISO capability. So when the A7 came out and wasn't much bigger than m4/3 cameras, I grabbed one. The files are amazingly flexible, high ISO and shallow depth of field are big steps up from m4/3. Last year I upgraded to the A7rII for faster focusing primarily. Continuous Eye-AF is huge for getting my toddler in focus.

    The 42MP sensor is also really nice since I can get a full 18MP APS-C file by just cropping. Primes are really flexible in this way, and I've gravitated towards using the Sony 28/2 and 55/1.8 almost exclusively. I also have the 16-35/4, 24-240mm, Batis 85, and Voigtlander 15/4.5, but they don't get nearly as much use.

    Overall, I think the FE system is great, but the big downside to me about it is the camera and lens size/weight. I keep an RX100ii because I know there are times when I really won't want to take the A7rII. With primes it isn't so big, but it's still pretty hefty. Sometimes I want to sell my whole system and get an RX1rII :D
  17. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    I have hardly touched my A6000 since getting an A7ii a few months ago. But I picked the A6000 the other day and started playing around with it. It feels so much more compact and lighter after using the A7ii for a few months. The full frames are still smaller than equivalent DSLRs, but not really compact system cameras the way APS-C bodies are, despite being often classified the same.
    • Agree Agree x 1