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Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless
  
 
itai195
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p.175 #1 · p.175 #1 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


I've been shooting an OM 21/2 with no notable issues so far. I'll get a chance to use it more seriously in a couple weeks.

Only issue with my lens is the aperture ring is a bit stiff. Need to figure out if there's an easy fix for that.



Feb 18, 2014 at 06:44 PM
ryanpfleger
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p.175 #2 · p.175 #2 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


So out of curiosity, how long does it take you guys to charge a battery through the USB connection on the camera? I like that the camera can be used to charge the battery, as this means it easily connects to my solar charger for simple charging while away from the grid for long periods.


Feb 19, 2014 at 08:23 PM
molson
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p.175 #3 · p.175 #3 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


ryanpfleger wrote:
So out of curiosity, how long does it take you guys to charge a battery through the USB connection on the camera? I like that the camera can be used to charge the battery, as this means it easily connects to my solar charger for simple charging while away from the grid for long periods.



My first charge took a little over 5 hours.



Feb 20, 2014 at 02:50 AM
molson
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p.175 #4 · p.175 #4 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


FlyPenFly wrote:
Are there any problems shooting Olympus OM wides on the A7? I would assume it shouldn't be a problem because of the distance?



Lots of light falloff in the corners wide open, but I don't think that'a unique to the A7.



Feb 20, 2014 at 02:51 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.175 #5 · p.175 #5 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


Custom Setting Suggestions by Mark Galer (Sony Ambassador).
It could be helpful for those trying to customize and understand the A7/A7R menu options:

http://creative.adobe.com/share/d5567ee5-76c5-4e45-95db-b34597f0db4c?feature_set_id=b06fb6c7-7d18-4b6e-aa0e-888e459228fb



Feb 21, 2014 at 03:01 AM
lumis beans
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p.175 #6 · p.175 #6 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


Fred Miranda wrote:
Custom Setting Suggestions by Mark Galer (Sony Ambassador).
It could be helpful for those trying to customize and understand the A7/A7R menu options:

http://creative.adobe.com/share/d5567ee5-76c5-4e45-95db-b34597f0db4c?feature_set_id=b06fb6c7-7d18-4b6e-aa0e-888e459228fb


I went through the whole bloody manual to see if I could turn that forsaken scrolling shutter speed off in the EVF... the one that concomitantly kills the histogram. I missed this:

Exposure Set Guide - OFF, OFF, OFF, OFF, and never to be turned on again!

Thanks for that.



Feb 21, 2014 at 04:11 AM
pixeljohn
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p.175 #7 · p.175 #7 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


Mark Galer does a nice job.


Feb 22, 2014 at 06:32 PM
Jochenb
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p.175 #8 · p.175 #8 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


I got the A7 with 55/1.8 FE. A few things are better than my RX1, some things aren't.
It has better ergonomics, faster AF and I can finally choose a small AF spot. A tilting LCD is very convenient.
The RX1 has better build quality, a much nicer shutter button, a silent shutter (the difference is huge) and is quite a bit smaller. I also like the aperture ring.
My issues with the A7 so far are the sensitive spongy feeling shutter button and most of all: the sensor flare. Shooting with the sun in the frame or just outside it is a pain in the behind.

Even though I'm not the biggest fan of the 55's bokeh in some situations, I wanted to try the lens because I've seen some amazing results from it.



Feb 22, 2014 at 06:48 PM
flash
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p.175 #9 · p.175 #9 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


Those shooting the 10-18 as a ff lens at 13-18mm. How is the edge performance?

Gordon



Feb 22, 2014 at 09:34 PM
dennishh
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p.175 #10 · p.175 #10 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


Sold mine because of edge smearing and purple edges. It was very good in the center but the edges required more work than I was willing to do. Nikon 14-24 has replaced it along with more trips to the gym.


Feb 22, 2014 at 10:08 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



philip_pj
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p.175 #11 · p.175 #11 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


How different we can see things! I have just spent two solid weeks with the RX1 and a7r and mostly the 55/1.8 using them interchangeably. My experiences are the exact opposite of yours, lol.

The RX1 is a fine but fragile little camera, harder to hold, less ergonomic, fussy storage of it with the EVF attached, weaker battery, less controls and customisability. And I really enjoy the a7r shutter release! It feels much more solid and has a fine half press step, even the finger pad over the release works better and minimizes jabbing, esp in the -30 degree cold we experienced when finger feeling has disappeared. The camera is much less prone to unintended camera shake due to its larger mass and grip. The EVF and screen are hugely improved and are a pleasure to use, AF spot handling much more sophisticated once both focus area and focus settings are assigned. The FE55 is almost perfect, has overall very fine bokeh and focuses accurately in ultra poor light, e.g. 1/15s-ISO6400-f1.8. It takes its time but gets it right. Using the RX1 aperture ring is harder than the front dial in a right hand camera also.

Build quality is something one reads about but no or few details are usually given. The RX1 has a more fragile battery door, vulnerable EVF, tiny hard to find buttons. Fit of body components feel very similar to me. I see little to complain about in the a7r.



Feb 23, 2014 at 04:20 AM
Jochenb
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p.175 #12 · p.175 #12 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


Philip, I said that some things really are better than the RX1:
Jochenb wrote:
It has better ergonomics, faster AF and I can finally choose a small AF spot. A tilting LCD is very convenient.


I actually like that you can make the RX1 look like a P&S. Combined with the silent leaf shutter you can be very discreet.
The RX1 a fragile little camera? You must be joking? Remember that I'm talking about the A7 and not the A7R. The RX1 is a solid feeling piece of metal. Not that the A7 is bad at all, but not at the same level. The whole frontplate is plastic.
More fragile battery door? I don't agree again. It's at the bottom... so you never touch it when holding the camera. With the A7 you can feel the door squeaking when you hold the camera a certain way.
Tiny hard to find buttons on the RX1? Now I really start to ask myself if you still have this camera next to your A7R? I'm looking at both my A7 and RX1 as I'm typing this and the buttons look identical.
The shutter button might be a personal thing. I often shoot 2 photos with the A7, when I only wanted one. It's so sensitive and feels spongy.



Feb 23, 2014 at 09:44 AM
wfrank
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p.175 #13 · p.175 #13 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


Congrats to the camera Jochen. Looking forward to see what you do.


Feb 23, 2014 at 09:59 AM
wfrank
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p.175 #14 · p.175 #14 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


BTW, I dont think the A7 have any quality issues as far as build. It has a bunch quirks but that goes for any camera I've had including the 5D2.

I have to admit that before the A7 was released I was hoping for a non-EVF camera such as the RX1. But now I realize that if it had been that way, I would have kept my 5D2.



Feb 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM
Jochenb
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p.175 #15 · p.175 #15 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


Thank you Wilhelm.
Maybe I give the impression that I don't like the A7 very much and that I have issues with the build quality. That's not my intention, I was only comparing it to the RX1.
The build quality is just fine and better than many other mirroress cameras (I tried most of them in 2013). The grip feels great. The EVF is great and better than the one for my RX1 (it has better eye relief). The tiltable LCD is great. The smaller AF spot mode is something that I've always wanted on the RX1. The AF is faster. And so on and so on...
It's because I like the A7 that I'm so disappointed about the sensor flaring. During my first walk with the camera I even got ghosting in half the photo when the sun was just outside of the frame. This with the native 55/1.8. I've never seen it on any camera I've ever owned.
Now I have to make up my mind. Keep it and cope with the problem, return it for a refund or exchange it for an A7R (which has other issues though).



Feb 23, 2014 at 10:44 AM
Toothwalker
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p.175 #16 · p.175 #16 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


Jochenb wrote:
It's because I like the A7 that I'm so disappointed about the sensor flaring. During my first walk with the camera I even got ghosting in half the photo when the sun was just outside of the frame. This with the native 55/1.8. I've never seen it on any camera I've ever owned.


If the sun was outside the frame it is not sensor flare, but lens flare or camera flare. That said, sensor flare is a big issue with the A7(R) and a potential show-stopper for me.



Feb 23, 2014 at 10:55 AM
Jochenb
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p.175 #17 · p.175 #17 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


Toothwalker wrote:
If the sun was outside the frame it is not sensor flare, but lens flare or camera flare. That said, sensor flare is a big issue with the A7(R) and a potential show-stopper for me.


You have much more technical knowledge than me, so sorry if I mix up terms. One thing I know is that I've never seen it this severe on other cameras.
I posted this example (with the light source in the frame) in the A7 image thread:


There's a halo around the light source and look at the flare blob. Every LED of the light source is clearly defined. So weird.



Feb 23, 2014 at 11:10 AM
Makten
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p.175 #18 · p.175 #18 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


Jochenb wrote:
There's a halo around the light source and look at the flare blob. Every LED of the light source is clearly defined. So weird.


Get rid of the filter and the blob will disappear. The halo is from the sensor toppings though.



Feb 23, 2014 at 11:50 AM
Toothwalker
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p.175 #19 · p.175 #19 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


Jochenb wrote:
You have much more technical knowledge than me, so sorry if I mix up terms. One thing I know is that I've never seen it this severe on other cameras.
I posted this example (with the light source in the frame) in the A7 image thread:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7437/12703591435_e3e1b23c26_o.jpg
There's a halo around the light source and look at the flare blob. Every LED of the light source is clearly defined. So weird.


Here are a few clear examples of the A7 sensor flare:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1255248/20#11983941
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1247655/142#12018676
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1274129/0#12142220

The sensor flare emanates outward in the radial direction. Your halo kind of fits the picture.

The mirror image of the LEDs is due to reflections between the sensor and optical flats such as filters. Some lenses can deliver mirror ghosts without filter attached.

Every LED is clearly defined because the mirror ghost is a faithful copy of the original, just much attenuated. The light source itself would appear in the same way if you'd photograph it through a strong ND filter.








Feb 23, 2014 at 12:25 PM
Samuli Vahonen
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p.175 #20 · p.175 #20 · Official: Sony A7 and A7R Fullframe Mirrorless


After been finally able to shoot A7 and A7r in normal daylight conditions (Greece, it's still murky ugly (and currently snowless) winter in Finland) AND having few months field experience it's time to summarize A7 and A7r again. My first summary was after 2 batteries, and can be found from here: Page 119, post #4

To understand my point of view for those who don't know me:
- I mainly shoot nature (landscapes, nature portraits (trees, rocks, etc.), close-ups and macro - very rarely animals).
- I shoot >95% from tripod. So ISO 100 performance really matters, I rarely ever use larger than ISO 400 for actual photos (ISO 3200+ is only used for test photos with 10 stop ND filter or IR filter). Also this means I have most of time camera (or lens/adapter) having Arca/Swiss-plate.
- I prefer primes; f/2.8 is very slow lens for me as I want high quality and lenses typically perform the best closed down at least 1-2 stops.
- From rendering style perspective I prefer high contrast (micro and macro), high quality boke (notice! not quantity, but quality) and good color rendering. I don't pixel peep, but I do print large. So I'm not typical "sharpness, sharpness and sharpness" kind of photographer, what seems to be common trend here. Also I think I can tolerate some aberrations quite well (compared to average photographer), as I don't do the pixel peeping.
- I mostly shoot mid focal lengths, mainly with normal lenses (my favorite focal length) - I have primes from 21mm to 180mm, but mostly use 3 primes e.g. 28/~50/135 (or 21/28/~50, or 50/85/135 etc. depending on environment I'm shooting in).
- For me performance is more important than size&weight, however as I hike long distances I can appreciate light equipment. If price/value ratio would be better, I would not hesitate to jump medium format, but the digital backs with large sensors and good lenses cost 5-20x compared to the fullframe stuff we use. As medium format sensor size is only <2x compared to full frame, the gained value of medium format doesn't make sense in my use.
- I have shoot with digital Canon EOS from ~2001 until end of 2013, but haven't used any Canon lenses since 2008 (few exceptions like few shots with 100L macro) and mainly used various Zeiss and Leica lenses since 2005. Since 2008 over 99% of shooting has been done with Zeiss ZE lenses and Leica 180APO. I have also shoot Nikon DSLRs (D700, D800 and one "pro" model don't remember the model) on wedding as 2nd camera and other random stuff. In 2013 I also got Sony α850 with Zeiss 2.8/24-70 for autofocus shooting from boat.
- I have shoot with "EVF" (5DmkII live view + LCDVF) since 2008, so the EVF of Sony is nothing groudbreaking to me. I was really stunned by the hype of "first full frame EVF" as I have been doing it already 5+ years, but as always some people don't realize/utilize possibilities their current tools they have, so I guess this hype was understandable (I'm always amazed how much people don't use their and their equipment potential - it hits me every time).
- I hate fanboys and their "everything is ##cking great"-posts and prefer different approach; "know your equipment faults and understand how mitigate them/what can't be done/what should be avoided to use your equipment to get most out from yourself and your equipment"

With A7 and A7r I have mainly concentrated using FE35 and FE55, as I have always preferred native mount over adapting (e.g. when ZE mount become available from Zeiss I sold all ZF mount lenses and replaced with ZEs). And before 2014 spring I want to get clear understanding are FE35 and FE55 up to the task or not. In addition to native lenses I have shoot with Zeiss ZE lenses with Metabones adapter. And some lenses, which were not possible (or very difficult) to adapt to Canon, like Minolta 58mm f/1.2 and Canon FD 85mm f/1.2.

Even my summary may sound negative, I'm almost fully committed to Sony FE-system; have sold most of the Canon bodies (just one 5DmkII remains), Canon lenses and flashes. Currently considering should I switch the last 5DmkII to A7 or wait for next generation of FE-bodies. I guess if you want to get all positive summary from me you have to ask me about Zeiss ZE 2/135, Phottix TR-90 or memory cards - can't figure out any other equipment I have, which wouldn't have issues which need to be mitigated all the time.


Sony A7/A7r

Physical ergonomics:
+ Small size&weight, nice camera to put into the bag and carry
+ Tilting LCD, very nice to get low views (or high views IF Arca/Swiss-plate in adapter/lens or dedicated plate)
+ EVF resolution and image quality on "non-bright" condition
- Small size; For handheld shooting with medium size male hands (my glove size 10) camera is awful, luckily no issue for me as I don't shoot much handheld - however in summer shooting from boat will be handheld and not really looking forward to it from ergonomics point of view
- Button/wheel placement (e.g. power switch, I still sometimes accidentally switch off the camera when trying to adjust front dial)
- Various sensitivities of buttons e.g. rear wheel up/down/left/right are over sensitive and I press them accidentally, but other buttons OK
- Various sensitivities of wheels, e.g. in manual mode shutter speed wheel (front wheel) twists smaller tripods so that framing changes, while ISO-wheel (lower rear wheel) can be rotated accidentally while grapping camera from back. Really liked to shoot with camera having own wheel for Aperture, Shutter and ISO, but had to disable ISO from rear wheel as it was accidentally adjusted all the time.
- Shutter button behaviour; I still haven't get used to it's numbness and take photo when I press it just to get rid off magnifier mode AND sometimes camera don't take photo even I'm 100% sure I have pressed the button to as far as it goes. However this can be easily mitigated by $1,98 eBay IR remote, which has good feeling of the button, you know for sure did you press it or not (however there are "software ergonomic" issues with IR-remotes, more about them later)
- Generic Arca/Swiss-plates prevent the rear LCD to be tilted so that it can be seen from underneath camera
- EVF; eyepoint is very low, can't see image edges properly without moving head little
- EVF; is positioned too "flush" to rear of camera, could come 1cm further away from camera rear face
- EVF; not good in bright light - brightness is very low (have set it to max permanently) and due to design there is light leak from underneath and eye socket doesn't prevent light entering from sides either
- EVF; very hard material doesn't feel good against eye socket

Software "ergonomics":
+ Camera can be customized nicely (buttons and Fn menu). However in practice I have NEVER used the Fn menu in field, as all usually used functions are in rear lower wheel buttons for direct access.
+ One can setup, which views are rotated in EVF/rear display, when pressing display button.
+ Electronic level function - this is really great feature, however it could be little more accurate.
+ Custom WB implementation is nice, like it very much as well as 3 different banks.
+ Bulb mode shooting with IR remote (first click open shutter, second click close shutter) is very nice for short bulb exposures.
- Menu system is really weirdly organized, logic doesn't make much sense and as there is no logic one has to remember where items are hidden. There are 4 functions, which I have used after setting up cameras: Format card, Setting Effect On/Off, Finder/Monitor/Auto (when the sensor fogs up/froze I have to set this manually), Area Setting (when travelling set to different time zone). After few month usage I still can't find them fast from menu. Would be nice to have "Fn-menu", which could include menu items OR "favorites/bookmarks" (like Canon 5DmkII) in menu, which can be set to display as default when one enters menu.
- Sluggishness; sometimes camera feels very slow. Part of this is contributed by camera not being "shutter priority" like Canon/Nikon SLRs; whenever you press shutter it takes photo (depends on settings of course, AF-focus people can forget this for sure...). Disabling sleep mode and turning camera off when not shooting improves situation. Also disabling Playback of the last image helps.
- IR-remote control doesn't work if menu/focus magnifier/previous image in Playback still open. Due to this I have set my cameras to not display Playback of the last image automatically, however other faults can't be mitigated by settings.
- Camera "intelligence" when manually focusing; turning focus ring does make focus move faster or slower depending how you turn and when camera things focus is correct it sticks to that distance. Makes FE55 (FE35 this is not as bad) real hard to manual focus, I actually use now AF as MF is too cumbersome due to this serious defect. Mitigation is to use lenses with real mechanical focus ring e.g. Zeiss ZE series.
- Focusing with shooting aperture; nice for focus shift compensation but focusing f/11 is lottery - don't get this wrong; the subject will be in DOF, but the focus plane may not hit the target and this can be seen in images. This requires "scroll aperture wheel to large aperture, focus, scroll back to shooting aperture". Mitigation to this is not to use FE lenses in AF mode, but due to previous fault (above) it just brings other issue instead of fixing situation. Maybe correct mitigation is to pay the big buck and get Otus 55 and stop dreaming cheap substitute could do the job (from current native FE lenses I find only FE55 worth having).
- Combining bracketing and shooting mode to one menu is huge mistake; one HAS to have wired or wireless remote to shoot HDR as 2/10s delay can't be combined to bracketing.
- Bracketing; not possible to shoot HDR "sweetspot" 1.3-1.6 stop brackets - I get too much "HDR look" with 2 stops EV, as I prefer my HDRs to look natural, not the candystore colors and huge halos what HDR is usually used for. When I bracket 1 stops is not enough. Only possibility is to bracket 0.7 stops and 5 frames and delete the two extra frames.
- APIs and camera SDK (based on initial information from few months ago, haven't checked if API or SDK has changed since) don't allow set exposure relevant stuff but are more for "send photo to Facebook"-stuff. If these would be done properly camera could have app for HDR shooting, aperture series shooting for equipment testing, time lapse app, bulb shooting app etc. Step to correct direction but implementation sucks.

Accessories:
+ Metabones EF adapter; great tight fit (some may say too tight) to lenses and camera. Two modes for focusing with wide open or shooting aperture. I personally like electronic aperture and shooting with Zeiss ZE has been very enjoyable.
+ Most adapters have tripod foot, which I find very nice. Specially considering how fragile and flexible the lens mount is compared to typical Canon EOS camera for example.
- Wired remote from Sony has as crappy shutter butter feeling as camera's shutter button.
- Wired remote connector is "computer connector" (very much like USB-B), which is mechanically no good for actual field use; pull cable once accidentally and "motherboard" of camera is ruined. The idea of plastic and not so tight connectors (like plastic connectors of Canon EOS remote connector for pro/semipro cameras and Minolta (e.g. used in α850)) is that when cable gets stuck somewhere and pulls camera it should come easily and if something breaks it's the cable not camera.
- As system is very young and "non-pro" there are no timer/interval capable remotes. Makes it hard to do time lapses (or one has to depent on phone/tablet and battery eating WLAN operation). Long bulb exposure have to be taken so that there really needs to be person ending the exposure, while as with Canon/Nikon/Sony SLR with Minolta connector/Pentax/etc. SLRs can be used devices like Phottix TR-90 (or Canon TC-80N/Nikon MC-36) with less interruption from photographer. Really annoying for example to take 30 minute exposure, as photographer has to come back to camera after 30 minutes and end exposure, then wait 30 minutes for dark frame. While with proper timer release this could be done setting 30 minute exposure and getting back after 1 hour once the camera has finished the dark frame. Also would be very easy to set bulb exposure from camera if there would be menu option for that. PS. The ones you find from eBay and claimed to be for A7(r) are mostly for Sony SLRs (they have all plastic connector, while for A7(r) it has metal outer shell).

Last but not least - Performance:
+ Image quality at base ISO (and low ISOs) is really good [remember me coming from 5DmkII]; color, dynamic range and noise all really good
+ Weak AA-filter (A7) / lack of it(A7r); microcontrast is really high (can't get same out from 5DmkII even with sharpening) - more or less better performance from all good lenses with A7/A7r than they did with 5DmkII
+ Not sure if relevant to above OR due to camera software, but both cameras seem more immune to diffraction, when comparing to 5DmkII - for example f/11 landscape gets dull with 5DmkII and require local contrast enhancements and special sharpening, while A7/A7r images are mostly fine @ f/11
+ Less vignetting than with 5DmkII sensor; most of Zeiss ZE lenses and other familiar lenses to me show less vignetting in A7 and A7r
+ Manual focusing implementation/behaviour is ok with lenses with real manual focus ring (nothing groundbreaking, but same performance as 5DmkII)
- Sensor internal reflections; both A7 and A7r give bad results when strong light source (night photography in city for example where streetlights are very much brighter than rest of the scene) are included into image or very close to being included. For me this requires quite hard compromise; no daylight photos where sun in the frame, no nightphotos with moon in the frame, avoiding HDR scenes where dark shadowy part is next to cloudy sky etc. Time will show do I need to keep one Canon body just because of this defect OR will future FE cameras fix this (not likely as same issue has been already in NEX cameras for ages and Sony haven't done anything to improve situation).
- Sensor internal reflections/camera reflections; need to add some light blocking inside adapter (FE35 and FE55 have very efficient light blocking in rear of the lens) as light sources just outside image can cause serious issues [of course part of adapters are just stupidly designed; the chromed parts of lens mount visible to sensor] - anything like this isn't needed with Canon/Nikon adapted lenses.
- A7r specific: "Shutter shock"; as Sony A7r doesn't have EFCS there is subpixel blur in some situation. To mitigate this FE55 is longest lens I'm going to shoot with A7r, and even with it shooting with panorama head is out of the question. As I have A7 as well, not really issue for me.
- A7r specific: Magenta and green color tints with native lenses (FE35 and FE55) - this is something I would expect using Leica M lenses, but not native FE-mount lenses!!! These can be seen also with A7, but it's not as bad, but still requires post processing on some image.
- Random operation of camera vignetting correction (e.g. f/5.6 is corrected OK, but camera forgets to correct f/6.3); vignetting is corrected to RAWs directly in camera so this has actually effect also on RAW based workflow. Also vignetting correction doesn't correct properly and sometimes corners can look uneven (e.g. blue skye) due to correction. To mitigate behaviour is easy; just disable the correction, but it leads to more work in post (assuming one doesn't like vignetting).
- Flexible and most fragile full frame lens mount I have ever seen (compared to Canon EOS/Nikon F/ContaxYashica/Leica R/Pentax K/Olympus OM/etc.). The metal front plate on A7r seems to have no effect on this, sure feels more rugged but most likely reason why it's metal to transfer heat from camera internals more efficiently. In past I have used to carry one camera on tripod, hand or neck all the time while hiking, but I don't think I dare seeing how much the mount flexes for example with Zeiss 1.4/35 hanging from camera when using neck strap. To mitigate I'll keep cameras in backbag while walking (makes things considerably slower, but that is not always bad thing). Also weak mount spring contribute to behaviour like Carsten pointed out.
- Battery life could be better. One week just shooting (didn't have family etc. disturbing) I managed every day with just 6 batteries (using two bodies; A7 and A7r) in normal outdoor temperatures. One day was close to that being not enough (shoot lots of sea shore long exposure with ND filters), but I managed to pull it through re-using batteries, which I had replaced earlier as their charge got below 5%). So for weekend shooting while in woods (=no electricity) ~15 batteries should last no matter what happens, even shooting some star trails at nights. Also it seems camera doesn't really "sleep" when IR-remote usage is possible, so to mitigate I ended up just putting camera off when I put it back to bag. This also improved sluggishness as turning camera on from off is usually faster than trying to get it to awake from sleep-mode.
- Battery pricing; in USA Sony batteries are <35USD/battery, while here they are >85EUR/battery. Well I guess next time going to New York have to visit B&H and buy half dozen of them. Luckily the non-Sony batteries have been as good as original this far (actually the other brand I got 2 battery + charger set seems to give better battery life than Sony original batteries).
- Lenses with electronical aperture AND focus shift annoying to use compared to 5DmkII. In 5DmkII Aperture mode and Manual mode are a) having own "memory" for Aperture while shared in Sony and b) A mode and M mode are next to each another in mode dial (while in Sony there is Shutter mode in between).


FE35
+ Really good on focus plane; high micro and macro contrast, small aberrations
+ Small and light
+ Highly effective native hood (thou don't do any good for me as I shoot with polarizer >90% of time)
+ For slow 35mm lens high subject separation and nice boke (depending your scene) [can be negative if you are "I want all sharp front to back"-kind of shooter]
- Boke quality when background is multilayered (complex structures at multiple distances partially overlapping e.g. pine branches at 3m against pine branches at 6m and 15m = shooting inside forest). Notice! most people never notice this as urban backgrounds are typically planar and multiple different distance planes don't interfere - but for me as forest shooter this is the kill strike rendering lens useless for >75% of my use.
- Weird circular color tints, which can be seen on snowy or otherwise neutral scenes (don't shoot landscapes where there are clouds...) which are hard to correct. These don't disappear when lens is closed down like FE55 color tints.
- Vignetting; lens has been made way too small, there is still difference even between f/8 and f/11 in vignetting in outer corners (in very outer corners, harder to fix than soft vignetting).
- 49mm filter in ~60mm diameter lens - seriously Sony?? To mitigate this usability defect I use 49mm to 58mm step-up ring and 58mm polarizer.


FE55
+ Really good on focus plane; high micro and macro contrast, small aberrations
+ Excellent subject separation
+ Boke quality mostly very good
+ Small and light
- Weird circular color tints, which can be seen on snowy or otherwise neutral scenes (don't shoot landscapes where there are clouds...) which are easier to correct than FE35 color tints. Also they seem to disappear when shooting f/8 and f/11.
- Boke issues; double line boke and magenta/green contrast edges in boke
- Hood not effective as it could be; this is most likely since Sony has designed it to work also in FE35 (it works fine, no vignetting etc.). Considering sensor reflection issues I would prefer more efficient hood. Damn same to me as I shoot mainly with polarizer, but might mean something to people who shoot mostly without polarizer.
- 49mm filter in ~60mm diameter lens - seriously Sony?? To mitigate this usability defect I use 49mm to 58mm step-up ring and 58mm polarizer.




Knowing what I know now, what I would have done differently?
1. Would have got 2x A7, not A7 and A7r - A7r doesn't add any value over A7; the linear resolution increase of 22% is close to nothing, and color tints/corner blur/lack-of-EFCS "compensate" the added resolution so that it just doesn't make any sense.
2. Would not buy FE35, as it's issues in my typical use scenarios make it worse than Zeiss ZE 1.4/35 & 2/35, which I already had earlier.
3. Would get Otus 55 instead FE55, and wait for firmware update/next model to fix the impossible focus by wire behaviour - if Sony fixes then sell Otus 55 and get FE55. This one is really hard as Otus is 3x price of FE55, and Planar 1.4/50 is hard to use due to focus shift and I don't like rendering of Makro-Planar 2/50 and Contax G 45 boke is often really ugly - so normal lens for A7(r) would need to be one of the new lenses anyways.

Samuli



Feb 23, 2014 at 01:42 PM
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