What is the point of Sony FF?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by WestOkid, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
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  2. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    While not without merit, the posting reads like click-bait to me. His good points are lost in his overreaching to make his posting "controversial" so as to attract visitors. He solidifies this by throwing a political statement in near the beginning of the article. The size issues, which seem to be his only real point, are not all that convincing with his screengrabs from camerasize. He should get his mitts on the real gear.

    Disclaimer: I use APS-C (A600) and do not intend to go FF, but not for size reasons.
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  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    I think he's made some decent points about mirrorless's appeal to professionals, but he stretches others (overall size and value of the EVF) well beyond the breaking point.

    I didn't buy into Sony's camera line because I thought that professionals were using them. I bought into it because their cameras suit my needs.

    If Sony's 35mm f/1.4 lens is no smaller than anyone else's 35mm f/1.4 lens, I don't care. Because I'm happy using the 35mm f/2.8 lens. And I can mount that lens on my A7II and put both in a jacket pocket. There isn't a FF DSLR made with equal specs that will do that. I can carry the A7 with the 35, the 55, and the Contax 90 in a little shoulder bag. Again, what equivalent DSLR kit wouldn't take up twice as much space, and weigh 50% more?

    So the point that mirrorless cameras aren't really any smaller and lighter is just false. It all depends on which lenses you use in the comparison.

    And when he dismisses the live-view EVF because, well, Canon and Nikon are sure to bring out a really great hybrid EVF any day now, he kind of loses credibility with me.

    So hey, mirrorless is not for him.

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  4. southy

    southy TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Feb 5, 2014
    You can only laugh at some of the rubbish that gets published online. What I don't get is all the belly aching about this system and that. The reality is we're spoilt for choice these days with a variety of awesome camera systems from DSLR, mirrorless FF or APSC, M43 and even some very capable compacts. People need to just relax, get the camera that suits their own needs and respect the fact that their choice may differ to others. Take photos and be happy.
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  5. Alex66

    Alex66 TalkEmount Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    I read this complete nonsense, it seemed like a long list to justify what he bought and that is just it its what he wanted/needs. I went with the A7 to use the 55mm lens its what I use a lot and for that its worth it to me. However I would not consider saying that buying any current camera and ones more or less from the last 5 years or so is a mistake, any interchangeable lens camera will take superb images in the right circumstances. The size thing to me is questionable as the A7 is shorter than most if not all FF DSLR bodies and I tend to carry 2 lenses; 55mm standard zoom also have no need for the 2.8 gm so it stays nice and compact for me. At the end of it though it is what works for you, not me not him not the reviewer at a magazine, you use what works for you and anyone who says different is talking foolishness.
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  6. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    He could title it: "Why DSLRs and crop format mirrorless cameras are still valid" but that probably wouldn't get as much attention.
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  7. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 22, 2012
    After reading all your responses I decided not to click on obvious clickbait :D
  8. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    This article's author is overly pretentious. Most of his points are backed by rubbish, and in the end, there is no technical merit to his claims.
    Did this guy used to work for Fox News?

    As for size comparison....this past weekend I got to handle a colleague's 5D mk3 and 100-400 f/4L. He was getting tired of the shear weight of it and I tried it out for size. It was a handful. Showed him my a6000 and a telephoto zoom. He told me yesterday he ordered the a6300.
    A 2D picture comparing dimensions is nothing close to actually having it in your hands.

    Sony A7 series is sized similarly to the bodies of 'professional' 35mm film SLR cameras. And that is appealing to me.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
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  9. pbizarro

    pbizarro Guest

    Each one is free to write whatever they want, and to read it or not. I chose not to read:)
    There are two reasons why I chose to use Sony Alpha 7 system: good cameras with excellent sensors, and excellent lenses.
    As for the size argument, when Sony makes a FF MILC about the same size of a m43 MILC (say GX series), there must be some merit:)
    • Like Like x 1
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  10. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    The article is over the top, but does make some good points especially regarding the size of the lenses. The thing is, it didn't have to be that way. I go back to the following article which explains Sony had to
    adapt a telecentric/DSLR lens design to suit the A7r sensor instead of a more compact rangefinder lens design. The result is huge FE lenses that mitigate the size advantage of the smaller body.
    I would love to see Sony or some other lens manufacturer (more likely) produce a line of rangefinder lenses optimized for the new 42mp sensor.

    Sony’s Master plan – new 85, 24-70, 70-200 and more

    "The compromise

    And, having mentioned compromise, I should explain the great compromise which has made the entire Sony E/FE system much larger than it needs to be.

    It’s all down to the A7R 36 megapixel sensor. This sensor, more so than the 24 megapixel full frame, requires a very telecentric lens design. That is, more like a DSLR lens, despite the slim A7 series body. In order to perform acceptably with this sensor, the FE lens range could not be designed to be as small as a rangefinder system equivalent, or to take full advantage of the 18mm mount to sensor distance. Brian Smith, whose images are great (not cheesy portraits) but whose technical info clearly comes via Sony PR, says this: “Mirrorless camera design has allowed Sony’s lens designers to place larger than normal lens element close to the body”. Actually, they don’t, as the design of the extenders will tell you. They’ve used a stronger degree of telephoto construction in the long zoom, allowing a smaller than normal rear element and they have taken measures to move it further away from the body – and this is a general trend. If you want to see what a properly small 85mm f/1.4 looks like try a Carl Zeiss Planar 85mm f/1.4 ZE in Canon mount – 72mm filters not 82mm, 570g versus 850g and really solid all-metal manual focus. The mirrorless bodies do provide a zone from around 16mm to 42mm from the sensor surface which can accommodate the rear of the lens, and can’t ever be used on a DSLR. But Sony does not make full use of that and can not do so because of the microlens, filter layer and structural characteristics of the A7R sensor.

    All Sony FE lenses and all CZ independent FE lenses have been designed to work well with the A7R. The 28-70mm kit lens was not, but most owners find it acceptable. They could have made some of the lenses a fair amount smaller and lighter if the A7R had never existed. The A7RII is so tolerant towards short back focus, oblique ray angle imaging, that a whole different range of lenses could be designed for it… but never will be.

    The system has to remain compatible with its earlier components, especially the first ‘flagship’ body A7R. And that is going to constrain design and increase costs for ever into the future. In contrast, see the Fujfilm X system. We have yet to find whether the new 24 megapixel Fujifilm sensor disagrees with any older lenses, but all new lenses no matter how fast, small or clever have full compatibility with all the earlier bodies and don’t seem to have any compromises in design."
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
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  11. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    I do believe the author is over the top in proving his points and there is a chance he did so for click bait. If that's the case then I fell for it. Regardless of the motives, he does make some valid points in between the drivel. Particularly for those that used size as a criteria for going with FF mirrorless. I certainly used size as a motive. Being fairly new to photography, I really didn't understand lens physics. I was one that really believed I could get FF goodness without the size disadvantage. I was clearly wrong. Everything has a price.

    That said, even if the size advantage isn't as great as advertised, it is still there. Overall size and weight of a Sony package will still be less than a DSLR equivalent. So if you want all the size and weight advantage you can get while retaining the best possible IQ and low light capability, Sony FF is the only way to go.
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  12. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    I am not a professional photographer, so my needs are different from the author's. I came to Sony A7ii from a Leica rangefinder, not from a DSLR so I find a different set of advantages and disadvantages than the author.

    SIZE : The Sony - Zeiss lenses designed for the system are larger than comparable rangefinder lenses. I have had to purchase a larger camera bag to carry all of those. However, I often shoot only with my legacy lenses, and the A7ii body is roughly the same size as my rangefinder body, so I do not often carry the larger bag. Part of the increase in size is because I can NOW use long lenses that I could not use before. I have options, and I am generally pleased with the size of the Sony FF system.

    WEIGHT : I have not sensed any issue here in my hands or arms or shoulders. I honestly do not know what the weight difference is, but I find my new Sony system to be comfortable for me to carry. For me, of course, that is all that matters.

    IBIS : Some of my travel photography and "family event" photography is done in poor light and without a tripod. This was a major reason for my getting the Sony system and it works extremely well for me. Combined with very good high ISO sensors, this has opened up many good image opportunities for me. I understand that IBIS is not unique to Sony. But Leica does not have it (and probably does not want it).

    ADAPTED LENSES : Good lenses are expensive. The ability to use lenses I already own was another major reason for my getting the Sony system. I read many reviews and tests and I understood that my wide angle rangefinder lenses would not work well with Sony. I factored that into my decision. The author seems to have had a bad experience with adapters, like forgetting to pack them. Not all adapters are "fiddly". The ability to use my good old lenses remains a source of great pleasure for me in the Sony system.

    LIVE EXPOSURE PREVIEW : This was another major reason for my getting the Sony system. With a rangefinder, I developed some skill in visualizing what the image would look like because the rangefinder viewer only provides focus and frame information plus shutter speed. The EVF gives me a few more clues about the final image, though I do not think it really gives a full impression of the final image. The EVF has many limitations, but it also has some major advantages over rangefinder, particularly with lenses longer than 50mm or shorter than 24mm, in other words with many, many lenses.

    I have not yet encountered a perfect camera system. I enjoy using the Sony FF EVF interchangeable lens system.
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  13. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    The author is obviously coming from the typical pro photog point of view (wedding/fashion) photographer where you are using 24-70 2.8 lenses or maybe a fast 85 prime. The lens size advantage is non-existent at longer focal lengths and this is not news to anyone. I would think for a landscape photographer, the opportunity to have a smaller kit is there for sure. There are different types of pro-photographers. The A7 series was not only designed for Pro-photographers. I would guess that most A7 series sales are enthusiasts who will go out and shoot with only one or 2 lenses.

    Scalability is the biggest advantage of A7 series cameras in my mind. if you need a compact kit, you can use the 35mm f/2.8. If you need something better/faster, you can use a big lens as well. All the noise about EVF/OVF comes down to preference. IBIS in the A7 cameras seems to work fine with no issues. Not sure that his quote of Fuji exec as to why they could not implement IBIS is proof that it is flawed. I would think that initially, the short flange distance seemed to be an issue with wide angle lenses but that seems to have been addressed.
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  14. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    I do agree that the A7's when matched with some of the larger FF lenses is pretty big, negating any significant size savings to DSLR's

    However, this article is just way over the top. I can not take it seriously.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  15. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    I also took the bait and read the article. Here's my thoughts:

    Sometime I got lost on what exactly the author wanted to compare: a FF system with an APSC one or Mirrorless vs DSLR/SLT??? Or is just another biased "attack" at Sony?
    I also think the article (and title) was another attempt to gain site traffic - after all, the mirrorless vs dslr or even ff vs crop is a very popular topic...

    If we are talking exclusively about the Pro Lenses (G-master series etc), then yes the author makes some valid points regarding the size difference (for the weight I'm not so sure though).

    Regarding size and weight comparison with a traditional FF dslr system, for me the nice thing about Sony's FF is that you can build the system either small (35 2.8, 50 1.8, 28 2 etc) for say an everyday travel kit (street, landscape) or build it big. I agree that the initial plan for Sony was probably to introduce the compactness of the system as an advantage vs the dslr system but at least Sony can offer a compact FF system if you wish it to be.
    I'll admit that was initially draw me to Sony Mirrorless (with a 1st gen Nex-5 and after a Nex-6) was also the compactness but after trying it for a while the (small) size was not very convenient for me personally - that's one reason I went with an A7 in the end. But I have friends that own Sony APSC Mirrorless that are very comfortable and happy with the system's size/weight. I also have friends that fed up with carrying big fat DSLR and lenses and went mirrorless...

    Not everybody goes FF just for the DoF but also for better low light capabilities/less noise in higher ISO...

    Regarding prices for FF Sony lenses vs DSLR FF lenses, yes there are differences in some cases (DSLR 16-35 or 70-200 are also very expensive) but I think some dlsr lenses are very old designs and not in the same league as Sony Zeiss/G master lenses.

    As far as adapting non native lenses, for me that one is a clear advantage no matter what the author says. Just see the AWESOME photos members here post everyday with these MF lenses! To re-give life to beautiful old manual focus lenses is something else!

    Regarding EVF's David @WoodWorks@WoodWorks covered me :)

    I'm tired to post more so I'll just leave it at that we agree to disagree with the author :)

    In Defense of Sony's Pro Mirrorless Cameras
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  16. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    I continue follow a couple of bloggers - Ken Rockwell and Ming Thein - who have largely decided to keep Sony at arm's length. Both at least seem to "get" certain aspects of what the A7 system might have to offer, while providing their own alternative technical and/or "big picture" insights that I often find to be of value.
    When someone with broader experience than me prefers a different system, I am usually genuinely curious to at least hear why.
    Slapping up a bunch of camerasize.com graphics while flagrantly ignoring certain options & advantages for the Sony system, that I have no particular use for.
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  17. nidza

    nidza TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    Stupid text obviously got its point since we are discussing. This is really useless article where author gets lost, obviously not a photographer.

    Yes, size matters, but you have small lenses and small body. If you are ambitious professional you will have big lenses in any system.

    Then he compares Fuji as small body camera, which is BTW not even FF. My A5100 is much smaller then any other APS-C or m43, and so what?

    Anyway, there isn't other smaller FF combo then any of the A7 family bodies with small lens like 28, 35 or this new 50. Fuji or any other camera comparable size can't deliver this IQ. Simple as that.

    We should not talk about this tendencious text and move on.

    • Like Like x 3
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  18. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Amen. I love my manual lenses.

    Sadly, according to the author's tagline at the bottom of the article he *is* a fashion/portrait photographer.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 14, 2016
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    I also think the article is over the top, there have been interesting posts following this article on why the lenses are designed the way they are, fractals post about the lenses needing to accommodate the shortcomings of the original A7r for example. There is a follow up article at the foot of the original and in there it's stated the new G lenses are actually a future proof design, allowing the lenses to be used with 100Mp+ sensors should they appear in the future and that is another reason they are larger than one would expect.

  20. pdk42

    pdk42 TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 26, 2014
    Leamington Spa, UK
    It's a pretty biased article for sure. Mirrorless isn't just about size of course. It might mean that for some people - but there's u43 and Fuji if that's what's important. The Sony lens range is however on the big size and it would be foolish to ignore that. It's one of the major factors that kept me away from it for so long (and might in the end push me to stick with u43!).

    I'd like to see a few more lenses in the size of the 35 f2.8 and the new 50 f1.8. A compact 24 or 20 f2.8 would be very nice, as would something the size of the OM 100 f2.8.
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