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Looking to dive into a Sony A7/R. Looking for insight

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by DigitalD, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. DigitalD

    DigitalD TalkEmount Veteran

    352
    Mar 2, 2014
    Miami
    David K Fonseca
    Hi all. I'm new here and just joined because I'm finally ready to try out the Sony A7. I am a member on the m43 forum as well.

    So I have never owned a Sony before and I am currently shooting with a E-M1 and loving the mirror less format. I've never owned a FF digital, only 35mm and medium format film cameras. I've rented Canon 5ds in the past but that's about it. Recently a lot of Sony bodies have been making there way to auction and I'm ready to jump in.

    So Im here looking for some insight. I've read endless reviews but I always like to hear from forum members that actually own the cameras.

    My plan is to shoot mainly MF glass with the possibility of adding the native Zeiss later on. I'm fine with shooting slow as I mentioned I come from traditional film anyways.

    My thought is maybe to pick up the A7 first. See if I like it and then upgrade/trade up to the A7r. I really would like to start selling prints if I can so a big MP FF that is perfect for adapting lenses is exciting to me. I never liked adapting to the canon bodies.

    So do you think this is a good plan? Is the A7 enough to get me started or should I just jump to the A7r as they both seem to be in-demand used anyway? The advantages of no AA filter and the bigger files seem like a big advantage with vintage glass as well as not worrying about AF performance.

    Let me know what you think. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    I'm doing exactly that. I shoot AF with my E-M5 and MF with my A7. I have Voigtlander's 12mm f/5.6, 35mm f/1.2, and 58mm f/1.4 lenses, Canon FDn 85mm f/1.2L and 135mm f/2, and then a Contax Zeiss 80-200mm f/4.

    The A7 and A7r have their own strengths. Obviously 36MP is huge if you are looking for the resolution. But you'll be wanting to get the best legacy glass you can in order to take advantage of it. The A7 has an electronic first curtain on the shutter, which means there's less shake and no "shutter shock," which the A7r can potentially have problems with.

    It also depends on what lenses you plan on getting for it. Wide angle M-mount lenses have problems with color cast on the A7r to a far greater degree than with the A7.

    And then there's the price, of course.
     
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  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    ^^ What Mike says is right on the money IMHO. Only thing I'd add is that you shouldn't expect legacy wide-angle lenses, say 28mm and below, to fully match up to the resolution to these cameras, at least not in the edges and corners. In my experience even the A7 taxes those and the A7R is even more demanding. Also, almost all of my legacy glass needs to be well stopped down to deliver good resolution across the frame, typically f/8.

    That said, I'm very happy with the FF quality the A7 delivers. Can't see myself going back to APS-C for my main camera, let alone ยต4/3 (which is what I started out with in mirrorless).
     
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  4. flash

    flash TalkEmount Rookie

    21
    Apr 11, 2012
    I have both the A7 and A7r. Adapted lenses don't work the same way on both. If you're wanting to end up with an R, buy an R. Then concentrate on the best lenses for it. I wouldn't go the trade up route unless you have to.

    Gordon
     
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  5. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    I only have the A7, but I'm perfectly happy with it. As a general everyday shooter, I find the A7 more user-friendly. From the sounds of the EM1 however, it probably has the A7 beat in straight out of the box usability, so perhaps A7r would be the way to go for you, maximizing the strengths of each respective camera - where ultimate resolution, dynamic range, etc is a goal and you really need to differentiate it from your m4/3 system, then the A7r is unbeatable. The downside is I hear legacy lenses aren't great on the A7r... but the pixel density of the EM1 should be higher so you probably have a good idea about center performance with your existing lineup at least, and can make a judgment call on that yourself.
     
  6. DigitalD

    DigitalD TalkEmount Veteran

    352
    Mar 2, 2014
    Miami
    David K Fonseca
    Great input and much appreciated. Your lineup of glass is exactly along the lines of what Im looking for. This is sort of a side project of sorts because I thought I could hold out till the next iteration of this camera but I am too eager to play with a mirror-less FF but don't want to get too heavily invested so the A7 seems to have the edge for me.


    Really good points and input as well so thank you! This is why this has been hard. Though I think for now with budget allowing I think the A7 will get me there and hopefully this time next year we are all debating the A8r :D
     
  7. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    143
    Dec 13, 2013
    I have both the E-M1 and the A7r (see my sig for the rest of my gear; if you have questions, go ahead and ask). My impressions:

    - The E-M1 is by far the more polished product. Faster start-up, handling, better ergonomics, much, much better autofocus in both good and low light (the Sony's contrast detect AF is fine in good light, if unimpressive, and gets pretty dire in poor light; the E-M1 just locks with a lens like the 12-40). Customizability is higher, AF point selection is much easier (touch screen!) and it's the more user friendly camera, and, for static scenes, the better camera for low light because of the excellent IBIS, meaning you can use much lower than 1/focal length shutter speeds where the A7r will require higher than 1/focal length shutter speeds for perfect results.

    - Having said all that, the A7r is a FANTASTIC image making machine. The files are quite simply a cut above the E-M1, and for people shots and landscapes I love having the dynamic range and depth of field control of a FF sensor back. It's the camera that made me finally sell my 5DII and L glass collection, which was gathering dust due to simply being too big. Like many reviews I've read have noted, it tends to slow you down - be methodical, use good technique, shoot 1/2x focal length to hit the sharpness sweet spot. I haven't had any shutter shock issues either. I like the handling quite a lot; the shutter button's a touch too far back, it's a tad mushy, and the main annoyance for me is lack of a touchscreen (AF point selection is slow), and I miss Oly's pretty genius 2x2 dial implementation, but the two cameras actually feel very similar in hand. The biggest selling point for me is the pair of native primes, however - the 55/1.8 is a *stunning* lens, sharp wide open, and hands-down my favoruite 50 I've ever used (other than those in my signature, I also owned the sigma 50/1.4, which I loved). The 35/2.8 is less 'sexy' but it's a great little walkaround lens, and only 120 grams. The only adapted lens I've used extensively on it is the Voightlander 35/1.2 II, which is heavy but lovely, and the peaking works great.

    - Both cameras actually feel surprisingly similar in hand; 'just right' sized, comfortable to hold, great EVFs (there's not much at all between them), and complement each other perfectly: the ideal 'high performance' all-rounder, high speed, flexible camera that is the E-M1, and the 'pure quality', 'portable Medium Format' high-resolution monster that is the A7r. My passion is landscape, which is why I got the A7r in the first place, and it's become my 'prime lens' camera of choice. I may add the 24-70, but I'm waiting on a few more reviews (and some cash flow) first.
     
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  8. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    When I'm truly ready to go for 36MP I think I'll feel it. Not there yet - having a ball with the A7, though!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Snowy

    Snowy TalkEmount Veteran

    218
    Nov 18, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Barry
    Not a lot I can add to the excellent comments above expect to offer my impressions. The A7 file sizes are way more than enough for my needs, at present at least (enthusiastic amateur, with my recent cameras being a Nikon D5100 and a V1, moving to a NEX 6 which I still have). I'm using the A7 with a mix of manual Rokkors from 24mm to 200mm and the 28-70 FE kit lens. The kit lens is actually giving me pretty pleasing results. To my eye many of the Rokkors seem to suit the A7 sensor rather well. Many of them, like the 50mm 1.4 are a real pleasure to use and I am very happy with the images, which seem to require little post processing. I like the control layout of the A7 and its size. A minor gripe for me is I can accidentally move the exposure compensation dial, which has caught me out a couple of times but is soon identified and re-positioned. I like the layout of the other controls, including the shutter release position. I am really enjoying using the A7.
     
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  10. DigitalD

    DigitalD TalkEmount Veteran

    352
    Mar 2, 2014
    Miami
    David K Fonseca
    I'm glad to hear that about the kit lens. Though I want to use mainly MF lenses I thought it would be nice to at least have one AF native lens and this lens only adds roughly $200 so kind of a no brainer.
     
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  11. Snowy

    Snowy TalkEmount Veteran

    218
    Nov 18, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Barry
    That sums up my reasoning for the purchase as well. At $200 it is great value.
     
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  12. DigitalD

    DigitalD TalkEmount Veteran

    352
    Mar 2, 2014
    Miami
    David K Fonseca
    Well thanks all for your input. I pulled the trigger on a A7K and should have it next week. Love these forums. Great help and insight. Thanks!!
     
  13. jedilost1

    jedilost1 TalkEmount Regular

    93
    Oct 1, 2014
    New Jersey
    Where did you hear legacy glass is not good on A7r, I have one and am planning on using some m mount voigtlander and leica lenses soon
     
  14. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    807
    May 5, 2014
    australia
    Chris
    I think its ultra wides the a7r has problems with
     
  15. hodad66

    hodad66 Sony Guru

    582
    Feb 8, 2012
    Indialantic, Fl
    John
    Glad that I found this thread! I have an ebay A7r arriving today & I have
    a collection of older, Nikon, fast glass...... we'll see if I'm happy with their
    resolution. I also ordered the battery grip as I use a Canon FD 500mm 4.5
    and want to dampen any shutter shock if I can.

    I am selling my NEX 7 since between it and my OMD I felt as though they
    were a duplication & I favored the IBIS of the OMD for the legacy glass.
     
  16. jedilost1

    jedilost1 TalkEmount Regular

    93
    Oct 1, 2014
    New Jersey
    Let me know how it performs [emoji16]
     
  17. Dan Euritt

    Dan Euritt TalkEmount Regular

    191
    Jan 11, 2014
    most legacy slr lens designs, 24mm and wider, were designed with excessive field curvature, and the a7r shows that clearly... lens problem, not a camera problem.

    28mm primes in general are much better, except for most of the minolta 28mm lenses, unfortunately.

    i've never tried any rangefinder lenses on the a7r, but wide rf glass has a really bad rep on the a7r.

    if you wanted to posted up a list of the wide glass you have, people might weigh in with their experiences with it, on ff sensors?
     
  18. jedilost1

    jedilost1 TalkEmount Regular

    93
    Oct 1, 2014
    New Jersey
    The legacy lenses I plan on using are Leica Summicron 50mm f2, Voigtlander 35mm f1.7 and Canon 50 f1.8 LTM
     
  19. Dan Euritt

    Dan Euritt TalkEmount Regular

    191
    Jan 11, 2014
    • Like Like x 1