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Should I?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by CJScott, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. CJScott

    CJScott TalkEmount Regular

    44
    Jul 15, 2015
    Clarkston, MI
    Carlos Scott
    So I've been thinking about getting an A7.
    I've been curious about full frame. In a perfect world, the money tree would cough up wads and I would get the A7RII. Being that it is an imperfect world, I need to lower my sights.
    I currently shoot with an a5100 and I love it, but I want to play around with full frame.
    The A7 seems to be an economical entry point into full frame (around $700 on eBay) not taking the lenses into account; I will stick with my vintage lenses for a while.
    I shoot mainly people, pets, and still life and mostly with primes as I have not invested in a quality zoom. Not so much quick stuff, and only the occasional landscape. A little macro here and there, nothing crazy.
    In your experience, how much of a difference will FF make?
     
  2. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    In my well reasoned opinion, I'll go with 'meh.'

    I had loved my Canon full frame 6D and 5D classic, but the a7 (first version) has some challenges. Its slow to start, jpg engine is terrible, so its all RAW. RAW files are lossy compressed, and I've already encountered the posterization issues with that. Control layout is not great and it eats batteries. Even when shut off.

    I do like my native 70-200/4 on it, and the legacy glass sings on it, but since picking up my a6000, i shoot the a7 mainly as a back up body. Im keeping it for now because i have specific needs for the a7+70-200.

    It might be worth playing with the legacy glass, though. Looks like you have a lot of those, but I enjoy legacy glass on my a6000 just as much.

    Just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  3. CJScott

    CJScott TalkEmount Regular

    44
    Jul 15, 2015
    Clarkston, MI
    Carlos Scott
    Thank you for the reply.
    The issues you post are what have been keeping me from pulling the trigger. I'm not sure I can justify the larger sensor when really, the main benefit I will get is high ISO performance as everything else seems to be comparable to the a5100. I'm just wondering what everyone's subjective opinions are.
     
  4. Nexnut

    Nexnut TalkEmount Top Veteran

    My personal reasons to get a FF system would be
    1. better low light performance (including AF) and dynamic range
    2. shooting some few lenses like the 35/2 Loxia uncropped and
    3. replacing my current Sony/Fuji/legacy mix (mess) with a single FF kit (less bulk and weight on the road)

    but so far it hasn't happened even though the money is waiting ...
    OTOH, from what I've seen my X-Pro1 isn't significantly worse in low-light than the A7ii and I basically have all the stuff I need for my projects which make up a good part of my job.

    PS: I'm a huge fan of blind tests and one of my favorite games is 'Name the camera/lens combo this image/print has been shot with' - can't recommend it highly enough.
     
  5. Nightdiver13

    Nightdiver13 TalkEmount Rookie

    19
    Dec 17, 2015
    Norcal wilderness
    Neil
    I find that there is an aura formed around full frame on the interwebs that blows it out of proportion and always frames it as an "upgrade". It can be a downgrade depending on your criteria. There are some benefits to FF as a sensor format, but also some compromises, just like with any sensor format. Sensor tech is always progressing, so newer iterations of crop sensors are providing ISO performance equal to or better than FF sensors from previous generations. And often times the difference between current generation sensors isn't a huge leap, but rather a small or medium step. I'd think of FF as just another camera spec that you should analyze in terms of what it provides your desired shooting output, and what you sacrifice by moving from your current crop body.

    In your specific case, you'll lose amazing AF, very small size, touchscreen, etc, and you'll gain a body with better shooting ergonomics, hotshoe, EVF, etc. Between the sensors themselves, there's a difference, but it's not huge. I feel fine using either body in any lighting conditions, and the only real difference is that I often have to go to manual focus on the A7 in light conditions where the a5100 will still AF confidently. The ISO might be a little smoother on the A7, but I really can't say I notice it. I'm not the sort to obsess over that sort of thing though. If you place high importance on super clean high ISO, I'd probably skip the A7 anyway and go to the A7S.

    For what you say you're shooting, either body will work fine, although I think the A7 is better suited to using legacy glass as there are more available custom buttons to assign, and the EVF can make it easier to see point of focus.
     
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  6. ztryfe

    ztryfe TalkEmount Veteran

    224
    Aug 19, 2014
    Mexico
    Vic
    For me the main draw of the E mount was the size of the cameras, that coupled with the prices of full frame bodies and glass, has made me decide I wont be going to full frame. The recent a6300 is one of my most expected announcements around photography...... because will push the a6000 bodies to lower prices ;)

    I shoot with an NEX 5R, and already have some aps-c lenses, plus a couple of adapted legacy macros (Macro is the one place where I dont see much value on newer glass), for me, going full frame would mean less convenience, for more expense / investment.
     
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  7. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Sensor tech is a moving target, it's true. So a current APS-C (or m4/3) sensor may perform almost as well as an A7 sensor (now two generations old). But there's one area where a FF camera will always outperform its smaller siblings: DOF control. And if that's an important part of your photography, there's no getting around the FF advantage.
     
  8. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    Random thought -- if you really like to shoot legacy glass, I wonder if the a7s might be worth looking into? Not sure how you feel about only 12MP, but the high ISO performance is great, the files are smaller (yeah!) and if it's ANYTHING like the Canon 5D classic, (which was also 12MP FF), it might render pretty nicely. I keep thinking about one myself, but the auto focus on the 7s is inferior to even the a7 classic.
     
  9. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I went from a NEX-6 to an A7 2 years ago and the NEX-6 hasn't been used since. I got double the sensitivity for about the same noise performance, better user interface (always felt the NEX-6 was working against me, not with me) and mostly better performance from legacy glass of which I own a lot. The main thing that's keeping me at FF is the dynamic range: I hardly run out of headroom with the A7, with the NEX-6 just a bit too often in difficult circumstances and the Panasonic GH2 I had before just didn't cut it. Maybe the newer APS-C cameras are on the same level as the older A7, but the new FF cameras will always have an advantage over their APS-C counterparts and there's no such thing as an overkill of dynamic range in my book; the more dynamic range the more you can do in post-processing; think of making multiple exposures for HDR which becomes less and less necessary.

    The A7's disadvantages? No IBIS, which would have been very welcome with legacy glass. Short battery life? Batteries are small and light so I just use 4 of them. AF isn't as fast as the more modern bodies. Compressed raw; not a big deal to me but that shouldn't have been. The mount is a bit wobbly, although sharpness doesn't seem to suffer from that and I'm quite picky there. Start-up time has greatly improved with successive firmware updates, but at the expense of draining the battery even when switched off. Native glass for full-frame is expensive, the APS-C line-up is much more affordable. Lenses for full-frame are bigger, negating the size advantage of the camera body. It may seem silly but my major gripe with all A7 series cameras is the lack of being able to insert data into the EXIF; now I have to make notes which is a real pain. My Nikon D200 could do that in 2006!

    Honestly, if I'd consider to return to APS-C I would switch to another brand. Each manufacturer that has both APS-C and FF product lines, tends to neglect the APS-C line-up in terms of high-quality dedicated APS-C lenses. For now that leaves Fuji and Pentax, given that Samsung is retreating from the camera business. I have seriously considered switching to Fuji but discovered quickly that carrying a bag loaded with Fuji stuff would be about the same size and weight as the Sony A7 outfit I have now; besides that I didn't like the Fuji raws and I simply refuse to work with jpegs.
     
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  10. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    The main reason why I switched from the apsc nex-6 to an A7 was the body design/grip/handling which I did not like on the nex-6. My plan (since I was streching my budget with the a7) was also to stick with my manual focus legacy lenses. After some months with the a7, I find myself very frustrated with the fact that I don't have any native lenses (except the kit 28-70). Legacy lenses are fun but not for everything IMO. Specifically, acquiring a uwa is a difficult task.

    I like most things on the A7 (over the nex-6) but If I had to do it again today, I'd probably stick with apsc since native lenses are cheaper and the variety bigger.

    ISO is a stop better for me, menu is much better although I dislike that you cannot assign all the functions to custom buttons, sensor flare IS an issue...
     
  11. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    Nick, you might find the a6000 to your liking. I sold my NEX6 and moved back to m43 and then got an a7. The menus on the a7 are stand-out, but ergonomics stink, as do lens options. The a6000 is a rocking camera and super cheap.
     
  12. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I agree that the a6000 is a great camera and a bargain at its price, but don't like how if feels in the hands - the a6300 might be better not that its all full magnesium body but still prefer that a7 series body style.
     
  13. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    939
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Sort of off the topic of the OP's questions, but now that the a6300 has been revealed, I find myself dreaming of the a6300's APS-C sensor, with all its glorious focus points, dropped into an A7Rii's body, with its 5-axis IBIS, beefy grip, larger viewfinder, and dual control dials. Update the viewfinder to have the refresh rate of the a6300 as well, and you'd have one nifty top-of-the-line APS-C flagship body. An A7000 anyone?

    Alas, I don't see anything like that happening anytime soon. So the choice remains: A6000 or A6300 in APS-C, at US$550 or $1000, or an A7 or A7ii (to start) in FF, at US$1100 or $1700, and up.
     
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  14. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I'd say if you're thinking of dipping your toes in the FF arena, you'd be much better off buying a used A7II, rather than new, Steve. Prices have fallen on used bodies since the A7RII was released. And for not much much more than a new A6300, an A7II with IBIS could allow all those legacy lenses of yours to take on a new life.
     
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  15. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Totally agree :)
     
  16. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Agree! And A7II is a better camera overall. My problem though is not the prices of the bobies but the price of FE lenses - I just can't justify spending that much on lenses so in the end you end up with a killer body but no lenses to take advantage of its full capabilities
     
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  17. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    807
    May 5, 2014
    australia
    Chris
    I moved from my nex-6 to my a7s just over a year ago. And while the nex-6 doesn't get a lot of use anymore I sometimes think I would have been better staying with apsc. The main reason I moved was low light performance which the a7s delivers in spades, I would normally try not to go over iso 1600 on the nex-6 while now ill happily go to 12800. Although I love this images the a7s produces I do miss some aspects on the crop camera as I feel it has better ergonomics, smaller form factor, lower weight, and smaller lenses. Another point of difference is in adapted lenses, now they are there intended focal length and some of my adapted glass absolutely sing on the full frame camera.

    24322529484_8a23b8daf2_b. _DSC0354 by Chris Thackray, on Flickr
    Olympus zuiko 50 1.8 non multi coat iso 5000 unsure of apature.

    Would I buy the a7s all over again ? absolutely but then again I bought it at an absolutely bargain price and am considering selling it (to upgrade) and I will get second hand more than what I paid for it new.
     
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  18. CJScott

    CJScott TalkEmount Regular

    44
    Jul 15, 2015
    Clarkston, MI
    Carlos Scott
    Thank you everybody for all the input.
    At this point, I think I am just going to wait and save for the A7II for its IBIS among other reasons. I just have not come up with enough reasons to go with the bare bones A7. The A7S looks promising, but for the same price if not lower, I can get the A7II used.
    In the case of the A7, unless I can snag an awesome deal on eBay is just not jumping at me. ISO performance is maybe 1 stop better than my current setup, as well as dynamic range. It's probably more user friendly in comparison to mine for its customization, but I've just learned to adapt. As some others have pointed out, FE lenses are quite of a monetary commitment and I'm quickly exhausting excuses to get more gear in the eyes of GF. Since I was planning to use my manual lenses for a while anyway, I think it's the right way to go.
    On another note, I am excited about the a6300 to come out since the used a6000s will come down. This will give me an EVF, ridiculous continuous shooting rate, and better customization.
     
  19. tomO2013

    tomO2013 TalkEmount Veteran

    375
    Dec 11, 2014
    There are pro's and con's to everything.
    There is no arguing with the greater DOF control or higher ISO performance with FF.
    The modern a7ii, A7sii and A7rii will have greater high ISO performance than the A6000, A6300 than the jump in sensor size alone would sugggest.
    IBIS will mean that you can keep the shutter lower for longer and still get highly detailed images. I've found that the EM-1 Olympus in real world shooting situations often produced much better images than APS-C cameras for this very reason. I cannot emphasize enough the advantage of having IBIS. Of course it only benefits slower moving or stationary subjects, but even this opens creative options for slow shutter speed effects that you cannot get without a tripod on the A6000 series APS-C.
    I've built a FF system around the A7s and A7ii - truthfully I stumbled into FF reluctantly from mu43. I got the A7s with the intention of low light video shooting , took some photos with it on a video shoot and was blown away by the quality from the 'just' 12mp. With modern fast native glass, it has a rendering output very reminiscent of medium format - possibly the effect of big fat pixels coupled with the very fast fall off to out of focus from lenses such as the 55mm 1.8 Zeiss.

    Would I like the A6000/A6300 ? Yes. I think it would augment my FF system nicely. Ideally for me Sony would release an APS-C A6300 sensor in a weather sealed A7ii style body with IBIS for sports/wildlife shooting. An A7rii would be lovely too so that I don't have to rent :) For larger prints it's great - however I've had huge prints with the A7s so really I'm probably nit picking.
     
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