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Downgrade to a7rii?

  
 
Zayne12
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Downgrade to a7rii?


Hello there I'm thinking about downgrading to an a7rii from my current a7riii just so I can get the playmemories store and more specifically get that ND filter app that lets you set seperate exposures. Should I do it or should I just stick to the a7riii. I mainly ask this as I'm olanni5 on picking up a 12-14 gm and don't want to go through the Hassel of neither a rear ND filter nor a front filter as those are huge. This app would simplify a lot of that. Thanks!


May 24, 2022 at 10:26 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Downgrade to a7rii?


If you want a camera dedicated to landscapes, it may not be a bad idea. For everything else with AF, the A7R II is not bad but if you got used to the newer models, you may feel the difference is overall camera speed and AF performance.
You can still do image averaging in post with the newer models. I do that all the time and image quality is actually higher compared to the Smooth Reflections app.



May 24, 2022 at 11:04 PM
Zayne12
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Downgrade to a7rii?


Fred Miranda wrote:
If you want a camera dedicated to landscapes, it may not be a bad idea. For everything else with AF, the A7R II is not bad but if you got used to the newer models, you may feel the difference is overall camera speed and AF performance.
You can still do image averaging in post with the newer models. I do that all the time and image quality is actually higher compared to the Smooth Reflections app.


I only do landscapes which is why I was thinking going this route. Everything for me is stationary. The few things holding me back are it's slow operation like opening the app, the smaller batteries, no toggle to easily switch the focus area, no usb-c port and only a single sd card slot that's also very slow when being written to.



May 24, 2022 at 11:07 PM
NJPhotographer
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Downgrade to a7rii?


Why not just combine exposures in Photoshop (or similar)?


May 24, 2022 at 11:23 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Downgrade to a7rii?


NJPhotographer wrote:
Why not just combine exposures in Photoshop (or similar)?


It depends on the number of images. If I remember correctly, the SR app allows 256 images for a very strong ND effect and that would probably crash our computers when averaging in Photoshop.

Yes, it may be overkill but I have used 256 many times and the effect looks great using SR...and it's done effortless in-camera.



May 24, 2022 at 11:38 PM
nicephore
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Downgrade to a7rii?


I think it depends on 1) what's the percentage (high, ..., low) of your shoots that typically involve water scenes with super wide angles
and 2) if you're ready to accept a slow camera with less ergonomics (I find the EVF less good on Gen2 bodies and the rear wheel dial is less practical than on Gen3 bodies) and less battery capacity.

In my case, I did a similar move but from a A7III to a A7RII as I am a "landscape only"/"slow" shooter and A7RII had an amazing Q/P value and I wanted more MP.

Finally, one of my biggest concerns (getting back to the old batteries) turned out being a no-issue (I am now shooting very deliberately and it's rare on a day trip that I have to swap batteries).
As far as A7RII being a slower camera, that's not a big issue for me with what I am shooting.

With respect to Smooth Reflections app, following a great article (and pictures) from Fred, I was curious to try, so I've installed it (it's a little bit clunky) and I find the usage with the app a little bit convoluted and slow,
and I've quickly realized that I didn't want to bother using my smartphone to shoot and found the usage of Sony apps was not straightforward (for instance i've tried another app to do double exposures and wasn't convinced by results/usage), although I work in IT.

I am not shooting a lot of streams shots with WA myself but, if I were in your shoes, unless you are shooting a majority of water scenes, I wouldn't downgrade for A7R Gen2 (the improved ergonomics/battery combo is worth more than the apps in my case).

I would rather buy a ND to put in front of the sensor .
I am also looking for a Wide Angle zoom but I will likely go towards the Sony 16-35mm f4 or the future Sigma 16-28mm f2.8 to avoid messing with these giant filter holders.




May 25, 2022 at 01:53 AM
IslandMed
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Downgrade to a7rii?


In addition to all helpful information above:
1. Sensors of A7R2 and A7R3 are the same. And this sensor is still top notch.
2. SmoothReflections App is indispensable asset for landscape photographer. I partly disagree with the opinion above that it is mainly use for running water - it is equally important for windy clouds.
3. Prices for 2nd deneration bodies are very attractive.
4. I should not compare SmoothReflections with blending in PS. My experience is that getting instant result in SmoothReflections is game changer. You can see your mistakes and make changes accordingly. But, more important, we all are too lasy to take 50◊256 images for PS (not to mention to blend all this in PS). In SmoothReflections it is really pleasant process.
5. Light is changing fast, many people prefer to use 2 second-gen bodies with different lenses simultaneously. 1635GM and 70200GM/100400GM in my case. Or 1635GM with SmoothReflections and 2470GM with ND filter.
I try to illustrate all this words.





1635GM + SmoothReflections







70200GM + SmoothReflections







1635GM + 10-stops ND filter







SmoothReflections for clouds







70200GM + SmoothReflections







1635GM + SmoothReflections




May 25, 2022 at 04:30 AM
Zayne12
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Downgrade to a7rii?


Sorry I should've made things clearer I meant the one that lets you set a horizon line so it acts like a soft ND filter. To seperate between sky and foreground and choose 2 different exposures. As for smooth reflections I'm using Matlab and combining them and I've had fast and great results haven't tried 256 images but I can and will get back to you on that.


May 25, 2022 at 04:35 AM
IslandMed
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Downgrade to a7rii?




Zayne12 wrote:
Sorry I should've made things clearer I meant the one that lets you set a horizon line so it acts like a soft ND filter. To seperate between sky and foreground and choose 2 different exposures. As for smooth reflections I'm using Matlab and combining them and I've had fast and great results haven't tried 256 images but I can and will get back to you on that.


It works fine but I would not swap R3 for R2 for this one. Exposure blending is simple process to do in LR/PS: I have tried Digital Filter (it seems to be the name of the app) couple of times and have decided that bracketing with further blending images in post-processing is much easier.



May 25, 2022 at 04:43 AM
nicephore
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Downgrade to a7rii?


Thanks IslandMed for sharing your thoughts and sample pics : it's not something that I am used to but on your pictures #4 and #6, it's certainly an interesting effect.

@Zayne12 : I am just a passionate hobbyist and, like IslandMed, I don't use anymore soft graduated ND filters and just bracket in the field, then blend in PP.
From what I can see online, it looks like it's now fairly common for Pro landscape photographers to bracket and blend in post-processing rather than using soft graduated NDs (they stick to 2 filter types only : CPL and full ND).



May 25, 2022 at 06:40 AM
 


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3catsinky
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Downgrade to a7rii?


i had an R2, sold it for an RIV, hated it, and traded it for an R3. I LOVE the R3, same sensor, but much faster operation, faster AF, better battery life, etc. Can still hold it's own vs anything today.


May 25, 2022 at 06:52 AM
chez
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Downgrade to a7rii?


3catsinky wrote:
i had an R2, sold it for an RIV, hated it, and traded it for an R3. I LOVE the R3, same sensor, but much faster operation, faster AF, better battery life, etc. Can still hold it's own vs anything today.


Yes, the R3 does everything better...except run the app, which is what the OP is after.



May 25, 2022 at 07:48 AM
molson
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Downgrade to a7rii?


It would be painful going back to those old NP-FW50 batteries...


May 25, 2022 at 09:11 AM
chez
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Downgrade to a7rii?


molson wrote:
It would be painful going back to those old NP-FW50 batteries...


On my landscape trips I take 3 batteries and never ran out. Carrying a couple spare is really not a problem. Now if camping out in the wilderness, then you might have an issue, but nothing a power bank canít fix.



May 25, 2022 at 09:46 AM
GHarris
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Downgrade to a7rii?


I like my A7Rii a lot. It genuinely mostly works fairly well and in my view there's no denying that it produces more impressive images than my a9, where autofocus reliability and speed, or buffer depths and bursts, is not a consideration.

The thing I find most tiresome about it is image review time. If you press the playback button to call up your taken images, and then press the zoom / magnifying glass button to look closely at an image... the USB 2 internal card read speed of the camera becomes a definite nuisance. Because the camera has to read the whole image off the SD card in order to zoom in, and given the huge size of the A7R2's files that takes a solid four seconds.

It makes it a slow, tiresome business to check that you've nailed perfect focus in important parts of the frame, etc.

There's a workaround. Turn on Auto Review and set it to 5 or 10 seconds. If, in that five or ten seconds immediately after taking the shot, you press the zoom button, it will zoom in on the image for you pretty instantly as the image must still be in the camera's own internal temporary memory.

But that's not always practical. And any time you can't use the Auto Review workaround but need to check your image(s) is/are pin-sharp, you have to get bitten by the 4-second penalty over and over.

This is one of those little quality-of-life things that you might potentially find a bit maddening if you downgrade from your A7Riii. Just a warning.

I sometimes find the effortlessly, thoughtlessly quick image review zoom-in on the a9 (by direct comparison with what I own) a "game changer", as someone above put it regarding the availability of the Smooth Reflections app. So consider how often you need to review your images closely and on-site, vs whether you need to see visual feedback on the Smooth Reflections app onsite rather than later in post.

On the whole though the Rii is a very good camera and quite possible to live with!



May 25, 2022 at 09:48 AM
molson
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Downgrade to a7rii?


chez wrote:
On my landscape trips I take 3 batteries and never ran out. Carrying a couple spare is really not a problem. Now if camping out in the wilderness, then you might have an issue, but nothing a power bank canít fix.


I didn't realize you could charge an A7R II with a power bank. That might have been the solution when I lived in Alberta and went out shooting in cold winter weather, when I was lucky to get 40 or 50 shots on a charge with those weakling NP-FW50's.



May 25, 2022 at 09:51 AM
GHarris
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Downgrade to a7rii?


molson wrote:
I didn't realize you could charge an A7R II with a power bank. That might have been the solution when I lived in Alberta and went out shooting in cold winter weather, when I was lucky to get 40 or 50 shots on a charge with those weakling NP-FW50's.


Yes, you can. For various miscellaneous little roles (e.g. video) I often charge a mark-2 camera body with a power bank/external battery, or keep a power-bank plugged in on a wire for long battery duration between swaps. Works well, and the cameras that are prone to overheating (in the opposite universe to the one you're occupying!) take longer to overheat when their charge is being slightly supported by external power in addition to the internal battery.



May 25, 2022 at 09:54 AM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Downgrade to a7rii?


Just a heads upóthe sensor between the r2 and r3 is not quite the same as itís been fine tuned and optimized. You can checked the dpreview A7r3 review, photonstophotos.net or DXOMark sensor stuff to see.

The IQ is better on the r3 is better. More DR at base ISO, and a more attractive noise/grain at high ISO. In many situations you will not notice, but if you are really pushing files, like I often do for landscapes, the r3 files are a little bit more flexible, donít break down as quickly when pushed, and I really appreciated the handling of highlights and more DR. Thatís aside from the better battery, superior EVF and general responsiveness of the camera. Having said that, I still shoot an r2.

The r3 sensor is still my favorite Sony sensorólove the overall resolution balance and base DR combo. Hope it gets recycle in an a7c v2Ö

Also, why not pick up a cheap a7r2, try it for a month, and keep whichever body you prefer? You wonít lose money, or very minimal.



May 25, 2022 at 11:56 AM
sbay
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Downgrade to a7rii?


I've used smooth reflections quite a bit on my R2 (now shooting R4) and also various 3, 6, 10 stop ND filters, sometimes even in conjunction with smooth reflections.

SR is ok and nice to have but I would rather have the upgraded battery of the r3 or r4.

For water shooting, SR is not always helpful. In fact, for most of my shooting around the coast I do not use it. Why? Because with ocean waves I like to slow them down so they retain form but also have some motion blur. With SR you can't do that because the gap between shots will create artifacts -- much better to use a 6-stop or 3-stop filter to get the desired shutter speed (for me usually 0.5 - 2s).

Now if you want completely flat ocean water, then smooth reflection works great. Most of the time I don't want that. SR also works well for running water in a regular pattern (e.g. waterfall or river).



May 25, 2022 at 12:55 PM
Olaf G
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Downgrade to a7rii?


Love my A7RM2, but I prefer stacking RAWs in post compared to doing it in the app. More control, can choose the frames and the blending mode, e.g. median vs average.
Also I like to use a ND filter on top of it because otherwise I consider the app a shutter killer as it does not work with the silent shutter mode.
One question: the stareater effect can be avoided by using continuous mode with the A7RM2.
Is this true for the A7RM3 too?



May 25, 2022 at 03:56 PM
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