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eddystone
2nd January 2020, 11:14
My days with FF as an everyday system are long gone - I sold 5D2 and Zeiss lenses many years ago. Iím very content with M43 and specifically EM1 II for nearly everything. But I think I might get one very high resolution camera and 50mm lens mainly for still life and some landscape (possibly add UWA zoom in future) to do what Sigma Merrills do currently.
The S1R looks far better ergonomically than the Sony A7R4 and the weight is less of an issue in this context. And the high res mode looks far more useable. But lenses also count budget wise have to be Sigma Art 50 with S1R and Sony Zeiss 55/1.8 for AR7.
Anybody with experience of both?

iiiNelson
3rd January 2020, 15:24
My days with FF as an everyday system are long gone - I sold 5D2 and Zeiss lenses many years ago. I’m very content with M43 and specifically EM1 II for nearly everything. But I think I might get one very high resolution camera and 50mm lens mainly for still life and some landscape (possibly add UWA zoom in future) to do what Sigma Merrills do currently.
The S1R looks far better ergonomically than the Sony A7R4 and the weight is less of an issue in this context. And the high res mode looks far more useable. But lenses also count budget wise have to be Sigma Art 50 with S1R and Sony Zeiss 55/1.8 for AR7.
Anybody with experience of both?

I own a S1R kit and I own the A7RII and 55/1.8.

IQ wise it’s a push... both cameras are going to fall into the excellent category as it applies to potential IQ. If one can’t get great photos with either - it’s not the camera. That being said the most differences seen are going to be highly subjective. In general I still find the Sony AF to be the best in the industry and coincidentally it gets out of the way in how I work. That being said I don’t think the AF for the S1R is nearly as bad as some suggest but I don’t have as much trust in it because of the lack of comparable experience with the camera and not knowing the camera second nature yet like I do on Sony cameras.

Optically, between the Sony 55/1.8 and the Sigma Art 50, I’d say they are both excellent optically and both lean toward the neutral (or sterile as some call it) look. There’s excellent sharpness for both but neither are a look for everyone. I owned the Sigma Art 35/1.4 in the past and thought it was an excellent lens that wasn’t for me. Other people thought it was the greatest 35 released... and at the time I can see why on DSLR systems with limited premium options that were affordable. You pretty much had Zeiss lenses (in Contax, Canon, or Nikon Mount) or Leica R lenses that you could modify the mount for. Optically the Sony Zeiss 50/1.4 is better than the 55/1.8 but also about twice the price.

So in short my advice for you is to try them both in store or for rental. I’ve had the S1R for a little over a month now and I’m still learning it and the tendencies of the camera. I bought it to be my personal system though where the Sony is where I lean onto for professional work.

eddystone
5th January 2020, 23:49
I own a S1R kit and I own the A7RII and 55/1.8.

IQ wise itís a push... both cameras are going to fall into the excellent category as it applies to potential IQ. If one canít get great photos with either - itís not the camera. That being said the most differences seen are going to be highly subjective. In general I still find the Sony AF to be the best in the industry and coincidentally it gets out of the way in how I work. That being said I donít think the AF for the S1R is nearly as bad as some suggest but I donít have as much trust in it because of the lack of comparable experience with the camera and not knowing the camera second nature yet like I do on Sony cameras.

Optically, between the Sony 55/1.8 and the Sigma Art 50, Iíd say they are both excellent optically and both lean toward the neutral (or sterile as some call it) look. Thereís excellent sharpness for both but neither are a look for everyone. I owned the Sigma Art 35/1.4 in the past and thought it was an excellent lens that wasnít for me. Other people thought it was the greatest 35 released... and at the time I can see why on DSLR systems with limited premium options that were affordable. You pretty much had Zeiss lenses (in Contax, Canon, or Nikon Mount) or Leica R lenses that you could modify the mount for. Optically the Sony Zeiss 50/1.4 is better than the 55/1.8 but also about twice the price.

So in short my advice for you is to try them both in store or for rental. Iíve had the S1R for a little over a month now and Iím still learning it and the tendencies of the camera. I bought it to be my personal system though where the Sony is where I lean onto for professional work.

Good advice but increasingly difficult to find a shop that has high end cameras to play with as it seems all sales are online.

pegelli
6th January 2020, 00:51
How about https://www.lensrentals.com/?

If you're located in or close to the US that's a good option that will allow you to go out and test both systems in real life under the circumstances you envisage using the camera, much better than just a short time in/around a shop. They have both the A7Riv as well as the S1R for rent. It will cost you some money, but much less than buying something you'll regret later.

ptomsu
6th January 2020, 04:31
I own a S1R kit and I own the A7RII and 55/1.8.

IQ wise itís a push... both cameras are going to fall into the excellent category as it applies to potential IQ. If one canít get great photos with either - itís not the camera. That being said the most differences seen are going to be highly subjective. In general I still find the Sony AF to be the best in the industry and coincidentally it gets out of the way in how I work. That being said I donít think the AF for the S1R is nearly as bad as some suggest but I donít have as much trust in it because of the lack of comparable experience with the camera and not knowing the camera second nature yet like I do on Sony cameras.

Optically, between the Sony 55/1.8 and the Sigma Art 50, Iíd say they are both excellent optically and both lean toward the neutral (or sterile as some call it) look. Thereís excellent sharpness for both but neither are a look for everyone. I owned the Sigma Art 35/1.4 in the past and thought it was an excellent lens that wasnít for me. Other people thought it was the greatest 35 released... and at the time I can see why on DSLR systems with limited premium options that were affordable. You pretty much had Zeiss lenses (in Contax, Canon, or Nikon Mount) or Leica R lenses that you could modify the mount for. Optically the Sony Zeiss 50/1.4 is better than the 55/1.8 but also about twice the price.

So in short my advice for you is to try them both in store or for rental. Iíve had the S1R for a little over a month now and Iím still learning it and the tendencies of the camera. I bought it to be my personal system though where the Sony is where I lean onto for professional work.

Interesting so, I tried both cameras and according lenses already last year and the Panasonic simply became totally uninteresting when holding it in hand. Totally turned me off, while the Sony (A7R4) was beautiful to hold and handle, even with bigger FE mount lenses.

Add to that the definitely superior AF and for me the decision is clear as crystal - never buy a Panasonic combo and better go with Sony if really FF is what I want.

Having said that - I had another very telling encounter some days ago when I was able to test the X-Pro3 with some different lenses. Man, I can tell you all that I went out of the store and knew I maybe would never ever go FF again, as I loved holding and shooting this camera so much - much smaller and unobtrusive, fast, stealthy and that new beautiful screen in the back that is obviously really what I always wanted but did not know. And whatever Fuji lens you mount on that camera it simply is beautiful to hold and handle - WOW!

iiiNelson
6th January 2020, 07:28
Interesting so, I tried both cameras and according lenses already last year and the Panasonic simply became totally uninteresting when holding it in hand. Totally turned me off, while the Sony (A7R4) was beautiful to hold and handle, even with bigger FE mount lenses.

Add to that the definitely superior AF and for me the decision is clear as crystal - never buy a Panasonic combo and better go with Sony if really FF is what I want.

Having said that - I had another very telling encounter some days ago when I was able to test the X-Pro3 with some different lenses. Man, I can tell you all that I went out of the store and knew I maybe would never ever go FF again, as I loved holding and shooting this camera so much - much smaller and unobtrusive, fast, stealthy and that new beautiful screen in the back that is obviously really what I always wanted but did not know. And whatever Fuji lens you mount on that camera it simply is beautiful to hold and handle - WOW!

Yes... everyone has subjective differences and in no way am I prepared to make a definitive choice for others. I still have and use my Sony kit and there are some clear performance related benefits that are head and shoulders above the competition. Autofocus is the biggest one of them. I don’t have a problem with the newest Sony body but is still don’t feel like it’s wide enough or y’all enough without a grip for my own hands with the largest lenses. For me the S1R is far more comfortable without a grip (which I don’t own) and the deal that I received (less than 50% of the new price) made it a no brainer for a camera over been eyeing for over a year despite trying nearly every other camera on the market in that timeframe. I will still run a Sony kit for pro work and when the base level body switches to the newest body style I’ll probably switch all of my existing bodies for the A7IV. 24 megapixels is more than enough for my pro work and the Tamron f/2.8 zooms that I’ll use on the Sony bodies are very good lenses. I’ll primarily be using premium prime optics on the Panasonic as I view it as my “personal camera” for my creative work.

I would actually love for Leica to allow Voigtlander into the official L-Mount family for those that love smaller manual focus primes that may not want to pay Leica prices or don’t fully trust DFD/CDAF based systems yet. I’ve said in the past, and still believe, that DFD will eventually get to a place to where the processing speed isn’t a detrimental issue with wide aperture lenses. Maybe we will see that in the next generation round of cameras but I have it on great authority (from someone in the know) that this will all come down to Panasonic’s commitment to the development as they may have as much of not more invested in L-mount as Leica in reality. For instance the Sigma fp has internals and batteries made by Panasonic, it was suggested to me that the Venus Engine, Leica Maestro, and the Sigma Image Processor are largely the same exact base part with company specific software baked in to give them all individualized looks... but underneath it all that’s the strength of the alliance. If offsets much of the development costs so that each company may not need to seek as much product of say a Sony, Canon, Fuji, or Nikon for their camera divisions to remain profitable.

Again, this is subjective desires and the Panasonic S1R solves a lot of my complaints with the Sony... but for a new photographer I’d suggest them start with the Sony. It’s easier to use and is more reliable to use in the automated modes. Ultimately people want to be able to get the shots they are attempting to take and for a new photographer, to lose confidence in hardware, would usually mean they’d stop using the camera or just use a cell phone camera. Would I love for DFD to be as rock solid as Sony Hybrid Real-time AF? Absolutely... if it were that good I wouldn’t own a Sony any longer but it’s not there yet today. It’s better than many say but there is something to OSPDAF affecting the maximum IQ. Again, that doesn’t mean that those cameras are incapable of great IQ but the S1R does have a higher level of acuity than say my A7RII... but this will mostly matter when pixel peeping. Nothing wrong with any of these cameras and once I came to terms with the reality that the decision isn’t about either or but rather this and that then there was less internal consternation. I realize everyone doesn’t have disposable income for camera systems that cost in the thousands much less two separate ones but there truly aren’t one size fits all solutions anymore. For someone starting fresh on a budget I almost always recommend Sony first. If someone is coming from Canon or Nikon I encourage people to look at their Mirrorless systems with the understanding that eventually they should sell their DSLR lenses if they plan to do video. If a person is looking at video primarily - I lean towards Panasonic first with the caveat that Sony or Canon are a great option if a person has a larger budget for the higher end cinema/ENG style cameras. Again Nikon is working themselves into this space and I prefer the Z6 to the Z7... I think it’s the sleeper camera in their lineup and can be had for around $1500 body only. For a person that doesn’t want to do editing Fujifilm is great and the GH line is still respected in professional circles. People will argue over 8-bit vs. 10-bit color but spec sheets often don’t provide nuance - intentionally.

That’s a discussion for another day

iiiNelson
6th January 2020, 07:44
Good advice but increasingly difficult to find a shop that has high end cameras to play with as it seems all sales are online.

Understand that and itís a reason it took me forever to decide on the Panasonic when the local dealer stopped carrying their products in 2017. They were talking about maybe starting back again since they carry Sigma and Leica... and Olympus. Their rationale was that Panasonic doesnít have a photographic history which I found to sound a bit elitist but I understood too. At the end of the day Panasonic makes great cameras which are logical and real competitors to what both Sony and Canon produce. If Canon figures out how to stop handicapping their cameras the RF line can be huge for them. The lenses there are already excellent and Iíd be more than happy with the 28-70/2 and the 85/1.2 DS with an improved next generation EOS R body. I would prefer Canon go towards a rear screen like Panasonic uses versus the fully articulating screen... but Youtube and the internet in general would ďkillĒ them... based on what the regional rep stated was a design decision based almost entirely on that.

eddystone
6th January 2020, 09:01
How about https://www.lensrentals.com/?

If you're located in or close to the US that's a good option that will allow you to go out and test both systems in real life under the circumstances you envisage using the camera, much better than just a short time in/around a shop. They have both the A7Riv as well as the S1R for rent. It will cost you some money, but much less than buying something you'll regret later.

I'm not and camera/lens rental not cheap in UK, but as you say could save an expensive mistake. It's very hard to justify the cost of a second system when one might use it for possibly 5-10% of total pictures taken. Although far from immune to gear acquisition syndrome, I sometimes think if one is completely obsessed by resolution then maybe the actual picture lacks impact. I'm probably going to offend some people here but remember hearing tedious descriptions by large format photographers about applying AA's zone system through from exposure, development to printing, looked at the result and wondered why they bothered. But then there are potential images where texture and gradation is (nearly) everything and what I need to test is, since for me these are non-moving subjects, how far these full frame options take me beyond what M43 20mp in high-resolution mode or my Merrills could achieve. Also the limitation of print size which is 17" by whatever width the Epson SCP800 can do.

But I will take advice and regard Sony A7R4 as starting point although S1R/24-105 kits are relatively attractive price on "respectable" grey market.

iiiNelson
6th January 2020, 09:43
I'm not and camera/lens rental not cheap in UK, but as you say could save an expensive mistake. It's very hard to justify the cost of a second system when one might use it for possibly 5-10% of total pictures taken. Although far from immune to gear acquisition syndrome, I sometimes think if one is completely obsessed by resolution then maybe the actual picture lacks impact. I'm probably going to offend some people here but remember hearing tedious descriptions by large format photographers about applying AA's zone system through from exposure, development to printing, looked at the result and wondered why they bothered. But then there are potential images where texture and gradation is (nearly) everything and what I need to test is, since for me these are non-moving subjects, how far these full frame options take me beyond what M43 20mp in high-resolution mode or my Merrills could achieve. Also the limitation of print size which is 17" by whatever width the Epson SCP800 can do.

But I will take advice and regard Sony A7R4 as starting point although S1R/24-105 kits are relatively attractive price on "respectable" grey market.

Im not sure of Gray market prices but I received my S1R kit for under $2500 with tax shipped to me from an authorized dealer. It was a demo/Open Box unit but literally everything in there looked to be new and untouched. The cables were still in their sealed packages, the camera was in its packing sleeve and I couldnít find so much as a fingerprint on it.

As for what you will gain over your Micro 4/3 at youíre printing sizes. I think youíll gain the full frame look, better lowlight ability, and resolution. These are inherently advantages for all but for many they are. You canít really use the high resolution modes in all normal photography but again how much it matters when youíre printing at that size is arguable.

I donít wanna sway you one way or another. I think both work and are great options. Subjective differences are literally for you to decide and no one else. I wish you luck in deciding though.

eddystone
7th January 2020, 13:01
Saying this without having handled either but I wonder about the small size of the Sony. I haven't got particularly big hands but stubby fingers and ultimately found the the controls on my Oly EM5 mk2 (about same size as A7R3) too cramped and had to change to EM1 mk2 , which is as close to perfect as I've ever had in a camera. Video is irrelevant to me and as regards AF I just focus and recompose the centre point. If I have to faff around moving the focus point might as well manually focus. So the superior AF of the Sony doesn't count for much. Also, lack of focus stacking/bracketing and interval timer are serious negative points against the Sony. Can it be remotely operated by smartphone via wifi or Bluetooth?

iiiNelson
7th January 2020, 16:44
Saying this without having handled either but I wonder about the small size of the Sony. I haven't got particularly big hands but stubby fingers and ultimately found the the controls on my Oly EM5 mk2 (about same size as A7R3) too cramped and had to change to EM1 mk2 , which is as close to perfect as I've ever had in a camera. Video is irrelevant to me and as regards AF I just focus and recompose the centre point. If I have to faff around moving the focus point might as well manually focus. So the superior AF of the Sony doesn't count for much. Also, lack of focus stacking/bracketing and interval timer are serious negative points against the Sony. Can it be remotely operated by smartphone via wifi or Bluetooth?

Well comparing the AF of the Sony v. Panasonic, wide area AF just works and seems to almost always choose the correct spots. Yes both cameras can be operated remotely. The A7RIV is larger than the A7RIII. I have very large hands but it seems that people shorter than me donít have an issue with the newer grip. Itís a better fit but in my opinion they can stand to be an inch taller and wider when using the largest lenses if one doesnít want to use a grip IMO.

Again, you will probably have to try them both for yourself to see what works best for you definitively. I find the LUMIX phone/tablet app to be quite a bit more finicky to connect to but it has better functionality when it works.