The other day at work we were notified that a photographer (who is a friend of one the business managers) would be coming in to take head shots of staff members.
Well this morning this guy comes into office I share with a colleague and he starts snapping away first at my roommate then at me (he wanted to get some 'action' shots). I looked up and immediately saw the familiar orange (okay, cinnamon) ring at the throat of the lens barrel and realized the guy was using a Sony. Ah...but not just ANY Sony, a new A7. (With a nice Canon MF lens no less!)
Then I heard the shutter. Wow! Was that thing ever loud. He fired off a number of shots and I simply could not get over how loud it was. In fact it seemed even louder than the camera I checked out at Sony store two months earlier.
I asked how he liked his A7 and the guy replied it was the best camera he'd ever owned. It certainly was small almost OM-1 size (the legendary film camera that is). And the layout seemed well thought out...but that shutter noise. Again, WOW!
Later, that day, it turned out he was also giving a talk on marketing which I had previously expressed an interest in attending (I didn't realize the speaker and the photographer we're going to be one and the same.)
Here's where it got interesting. While the photographer spoke, another staff member used his A7 to take a few shots during the lecture in a largish classroom. I could see the guy was using focus peaking and enjoying the experience. But that shutter noise again. This time it was REALLY distracting. The staffer using the camera would fire off shot after shot and every time you heard what now has to be the trademark A7/A7r SCHLUCKKKKKK of the shutter someone turned to look at the camera. It was very unfortunate.
I'm sorry gents and ladies, but the A7 & A7r cameras may be an engineering tour de force in terms of stellar IQ in a heretofore never realized compact size, but as an intimate reportage camera in situations where unobtrusiveness would be greatly desired to insure that fly-on-the-wall stealth, it leaves a lot to be desired.
Don't get me wrong. I think these two marvels are great for landscapes (but maybe not avalanche zones), still life's, product shots, non-moving buildings, moored yachts, rusted freight train wheel housings, street work with significant ambient noise, cars, some portraiture (although I did see some folks during his portrait sessions start to wince after a while) and shots of fairly untwitchy creatures.
But probably not so much for soft passages in concert halls, poetry readings, funeral parlors, theater soliloquies, coffee house folk singers, religious services, libraries, museums or corporate espionage.