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Archive 2023 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?

  
 
hiepphotog
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


Hi all, I am contemplating on getting a new camera. I have not followed much on the recent A7RV though I did pick up a few tidbits here and there. So I would love to hear some feedback on which one to get.

What I shoot: 50% family & friends and 50% studio product photography. So what I like about each camera, IMO, for my use.

A1:
+ Top notch at AF tracking that would help me with the 3 active kids I have. They certainly pushed my A9 to its limits: the main point for me to upgrade
+ Very high res EVF and LCD (not sure on the LCD part): nice to have.
+ Faster read-out with silent shutter: really nice to have given the flexibility for shooting in quiet places and artificial light
+ Faster sync speed: though the difference is not too big

A7RV:
+ More pleasing AWB: nice to have
+ Awesome 4-axis LCD: I made do with the tilty screen so far, but always felt restricted
+ Focusing stacking: again, made do without so far for my product work, but I imagine I will use it more now.
+ Faster AF acquisition (?) and ability to change eyes/faces (?): IIRC, these are nice to have. Sometimes my A9 wasn't quick enough to grab on a face.

I have been very happy with the A9 since I got it at launch mainly because of the AF ability for people. I did want to have a higher res camera at time so that's why I wanted to upgrade to either the A1 or the A7RV. So if I missed some important points regarding the AF ability of each camera above that would clearly favor one, I would love to hear. Strobe work is also important to me but I imagine neither will truly have an advantage over the other, except under artificial light. Thank you in advance!



Feb 10, 2023 at 02:49 AM
Jochenb
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


hiepphotog wrote:
What I shoot: 50% family & friends and 50% studio product photography.


Based on this: the A7RV.





Feb 10, 2023 at 02:53 AM
Alan Parker
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


The value of the A7RV is hard to beat at the moment. I would put my money there if I were upgrading from an A9.


Feb 10, 2023 at 03:39 AM
j4nu
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


Yes, if you don't shoot sports / wildlife and you don't need silent shooting all the time (+flash) and you're not a heavy video user, then A7RV will serve you better I think.


Feb 10, 2023 at 04:40 AM
rancherpix
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


Or hold off a few months to see if the near mythical A9 III is announced.


Feb 10, 2023 at 08:07 AM
KarmaKramer
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


Get the A7RV, why dump so much money on an A1 when half the time its for your family photos…? Feels like too much camera for part time product work.

hiepphotog wrote:
Hi all, I am contemplating on getting a new camera. I have not followed much on the recent A7RV though I did pick up a few tidbits here and there. So I would love to hear some feedback on which one to get.

What I shoot: 50% family & friends and 50% studio product photography. So what I like about each camera, IMO, for my use.

A1:
+ Top notch at AF tracking that would help me with the 3 active kids I have. They certainly pushed my A9 to its limits: the main point for me to upgrade
+ Very high res EVF
...Show more



Feb 10, 2023 at 08:40 AM
k-h.a.w
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


hiepphotog wrote:
Hi all, I am contemplating on getting a new camera. I have not followed much on the recent A7RV though I did pick up a few tidbits here and there. So I would love to hear some feedback on which one to get.

What I shoot: 50% family & friends and 50% studio product photography. So what I like about each camera, IMO, for my use.

A1:
+ Top notch at AF tracking that would help me with the 3 active kids I have. They certainly pushed my A9 to its limits: the main point for me to upgrade
+ Very high res EVF
...Show more

Thanks Hiep. Great summary.
Maybe you can wait until the end of the month to see whether there is a firmware update to the A1.
I have been very happy with my A1.
The only thing it’s missing from my point of view as compared to the A7RV is focus stacking.
If the A1 doesn’t get that through the firmware update then the A7RV seems a better fit for your needs.
I have used focus stacking on my Fuji and Olympus cameras.
That feature alone may speed up your product photography work.
I personally would not like to give up the higher sensor read out speed of the A1.
But you don’t shoot sports or birds.
You would be missing the blackout free feature with the A7RV though.
Good luck with your decision.

Cheers, K-H.



Feb 13, 2023 at 03:02 AM
chiron
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


hiepphotog wrote:
Hi all, I am contemplating on getting a new camera. I have not followed much on the recent A7RV though I did pick up a few tidbits here and there. So I would love to hear some feedback on which one to get.

What I shoot: 50% family & friends and 50% studio product photography. So what I like about each camera, IMO, for my use.

A1:
+ Top notch at AF tracking that would help me with the 3 active kids I have. They certainly pushed my A9 to its limits: the main point for me to upgrade
+ Very high res EVF
...Show more

I am sticking with my A1 and I never shoot birds or sports. The A1 focuses extraordinarily well--I really don't know how you could need much more for focusing than the A1 provides. It is also a very quick-handling camera overall. On the other hand, the A7RV's focus-stacking could be very helpful for you in product photography. You could wait a little bit and see what the rumored A1 firmware update brings.

But for me the real deciding factor in favor of the A1 is silent shooting and the stacked sensor. If you are used to the A9, this could be a crucial issue for you also. The A1's (and A9's) stacked sensor lets one shoot silently under all kinds of lighting without getting banding. Because so many places have converted to LED lights (including all the lights in my own home), the default mode on the A7RV for me would have to be mechanical shutter, which I don't want to do. I find silent shooting much brtter for photos of people, family, street shooting, and travel photography. There is nothing that says "stop what you are doing and look at me with my camera" like the sound of a mechanical shutter going off. I also have an A7C without a stacked sensor and if I leave it in silent shutter mode it is amazing how often I get shots that are ruined by banding. Whether you get the banding is also shutter-speed dependent--the higher the speed, the more likely the banding.

Because you are using the A9's stacked sensor now, it is possible you are not fully aware of the issues in using a non-stacked sensor. They don't matter at all for some people, but they matter a lot for others.




Feb 13, 2023 at 08:44 AM
dcisive
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


I opted NOT to lay out the extra cash for a A1 choosing the A7R5 as I had to analyze what I shoot mostly. that would be wedding/event, landscapes, portraits and mostly static wildlife and birds. Too many out there seem to like to slam the ES on the A7RV. What I found is if it's not moving where you will need to pan quickly or not doing video requiring fast panning (which I don't) it's just fine and exhibits NO issues as some seem to like to report. You virtually can't even tell the difference between the output of ES and MS. The focus improvements are indeed worth it. Man its snappy and sticky. The AWB is superior as is well known with the new setuup. Love that LCD. I just feel for those not requiring the particular advantages of a stacked BSI sensor the A7R5 makes so much more sense at this time.


Feb 13, 2023 at 08:58 AM
jrscls
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


I have an A1 and recently tried the A7RV. For the OP, I think the A7RV will be an excellent choice, but once you use a stacked sensor, it is hard to go back. I shoot a bit of everything including some local backyard birds and wildlife, and I thought I could live with 10 FPS and the mechanical shutter, but I just didn't like the blackout in the viewfinder compared to that of the A1.

As mentioned above, if you are accustomed to the speed of the A9, you may want to go with an A1, otherwise, nothing wrong with the A7RV.



Feb 13, 2023 at 07:27 PM
Donzo98
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


dcisive wrote:
I opted NOT to lay out the extra cash for a A1 choosing the A7R5 as I had to analyze what I shoot mostly. that would be wedding/event, landscapes, portraits and mostly static wildlife and birds. Too many out there seem to like to slam the ES on the A7RV. What I found is if it's not moving where you will need to pan quickly or not doing video requiring fast panning (which I don't) it's just fine and exhibits NO issues as some seem to like to report. You virtually can't even tell the difference between the output of
...Show more

Except for when you said it was inferior to Olympus... and opted to return it.

You never really addressed that... did you keep it, or return it?




Feb 13, 2023 at 08:35 PM
tzhang4284
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


I sold my Sony a1 and went to the a7r v since my wildlife photography interest dropped off significantly. No regrets about the move. The benefits of the r5 are real.

If I shot a lot of fast action, I would get the a1 though. I also wouldn’t expect Sony to provide some magical firmware update to get the a1 to feature parity. Seems like there are some fundamental hardware improvements.



Feb 13, 2023 at 09:09 PM
hiepphotog
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


Thank you all for your feedback. Something to think about for sure. The used price difference is not too much between the two models at the moment, which makes it a bit harder.


Feb 14, 2023 at 10:05 PM
dcisive
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


Donzo98 wrote:
Except for when you said it was inferior to Olympus... and opted to return it.

You never really addressed that... did you keep it, or return it?



You really need to get over this dude. I already said adnauseum that I re evaluated both and came to the conclusion that with most of my clients being either Real Estate, Portrait or my passion for landscapes, the resolution won out in the end. ALL the OM gear got sent off for sale and I've been slowly expanding the A7RV's lenses recently adding a Westcott flash (which I found superior to the Sony's by the way). So lets move on. I learned something is all I can say.



Feb 14, 2023 at 11:33 PM
Donzo98
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


dcisive wrote:
You really need to get over this dude. I already said adnauseum that I re evaluated both and came to the conclusion that with most of my clients being either Real Estate, Portrait or my passion for landscapes, the resolution won out in the end. ALL the OM gear got sent off for sale and I've been slowly expanding the A7RV's lenses recently adding a Westcott flash (which I found superior to the Sony's by the way). So lets move on. I learned something is all I can say.


This is the first time you addressed it to me...




Feb 15, 2023 at 01:19 PM
goo0h
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


chiron wrote:
But for me the real deciding factor in favor of the A1 is silent shooting and the stacked sensor…..


Damn, I really miss that….

Years ago when I was first trying the original a7r, it was such a revelation to be able to shoot in silent mode! It was even quieter than a rangefinder camera, or a camera with a leaf shutter. It really suited my approach of quietly observing and not being obtrusive.

And then all these damn LED lights came out, like they alone will solve global warming.

Now I end up using my iPhone more than my a7riii. Not very fond of that solution either. A phone, no matter how good, just isn’t a true camera as far as I’m concerned. For one, the ergonomics are terrible.

Anyway, I stumbled onto this thread because I’m struggling to decide what to do next. Sure the a1 would be terrific, but I can hardly realistically justify that expense. Besides, I’m beginning to think that the rush for high megapixels is at odds with portraiture, unless staring at pores does it for you. Though, I suppose there’s always the option of crop mode when that sort of detail isn’t necessary.

Well, the truth of the matter, since the a1 is beyond my budget, I’m wondering about getting a used a9ii. Those are coming down pretty reasonably these days.

I really appreciate all the input y’all share. Lots to consider….

Amos








May 17, 2023 at 09:30 PM
Jerky_san
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


I'll throw my 2cents that I did a used A1 for 4500 and it came with 6 months of factory warranty left(with the original receipt). Seemed like a really good deal for an A1. Came with 1.2 firmware. So if it's down to price you might be able to find a well-priced A1 if you are set on one. I've read that the RV is amazing though, especially with the AI stuff.


May 17, 2023 at 10:03 PM
chiron
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


goo0h wrote:
Damn, I really miss that….

Years ago when I was first trying the original a7r, it was such a revelation to be able to shoot in silent mode! It was even quieter than a rangefinder camera, or a camera with a leaf shutter. It really suited my approach of quietly observing and not being obtrusive.

And then all these damn LED lights came out, like they alone will solve global warming.

Now I end up using my iPhone more than my a7riii. Not very fond of that solution either. A phone, no matter how good, just isn’t a true camera as
...Show more

The A7RIII is a great camera with one of the best sensors that Sony has made. It is a wonderful camera for landscapes and for a lot of travel situations. Its limitations are its susceptibility to banding with LED lights (like a lot of other digital cameras) and that its tracking autofocus is not up to the current Sony standard.

If you can swing it, what I would do in your situation is to keep the A7RIII, which can make really beautiful pictures, and pick up a used A9 in good condition (you might have to be a little patient to find a good one--watch out for hi video usage). The A9II offers very little for most purposes over the A9, and the A9 can save you money, maybe allowing you to keep the A7RIII.

This would give you a hi-res camera for landscapes and other appropriate situations and a stacked sensor A9 for portraits and any other kind of shooting. Or get the A9II. But I might try to hang on to the A7RIII. I think both it and the A9 are two truly classic Sony cameras and are superb cameras for making great photographs.

I kept my A9 even though I have the A1 and since I don't do sports or BIF, the only meaningful difference between them is the resolution. The A9 and the A7RIII would give you hi res in one camera and a stacked sensor in the other--everything one could want.



May 17, 2023 at 10:37 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


Hiep, unless you are shooting fast action, where there is a chance of the rolling shutter effect can manifest itself, you can use the silent shutter of the A7r V, even in AF-C without any penalties in term of file bit size, if you save the files in the lossless compressed or uncompressed RAW. Actually, the same applies to the usage of mechanical shutter. Frankly though, the difference may not even be visible…

I have been using the silent shutter continuously on my A7r V. I was in Morocco for 9 days. That feature is so helpful for street photography there to remain “stealthy”. Except for my birding usage, I gravitate to the A7r V all the time, even at home.



May 17, 2023 at 11:45 PM
chiron
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · A9 upgrade path: A7RV or A1?


AGeoJO wrote:
Hiep, unless you are shooting fast action, where there is a chance of the rolling shutter effect can manifest itself, you can use the silent shutter of the A7r V, even in AF-C without any penalties in term of file bit size, if you save the files in the lossless compressed or uncompressed RAW. Actually, the same applies to the usage of mechanical shutter. Frankly though, the difference may not even be visible…

I have been using the silent shutter continuously on my A7r V. I was in Morocco for 9 days. That feature is so helpful for street photography there
...Show more

Hi Joshua.

Have you converted to LED lights at home? What is your experience of the A7RV with electronic shutter at higher shutter speeds under LED lights? There are many features that I like about the A7RV, especially the image stabilization improvements. But its slow sensor readout concerns me. With my grandchildren, I am often trying to keep my shutter speed indoors at 1/250th to 1/500th. The stacked sensor bodies eliminate the banding worry for me.



May 18, 2023 at 07:44 AM
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