The GetDPI Photography Forum

Great to see you here. Join our insightful photographic forum today and start tapping into a huge wealth of photographic knowledge. Completing our simple registration process will allow you to gain access to exclusive content, add your own topics and posts, share your work and connect with other members through your own private inbox! And don’t forget to say hi!

  • Recently, there has been an increased activity from spammers, which may result in you receiving unwanted private messages. We are working hard to limit this activity.

Most "Conflicted" Camera Ever?

fotografz

Well-known member
Maybe the title should have read ... "Most Conflicted Camera Buyer Ever", so, dear friends, bear with me please :ROTFL:

Like many of us on Get Dpi ... I'm willing to take a leap with new tech if it can add something ... or in the case of a really small camera like the A7/A7R, subtract something. I already have a proven high res camera with retina slicing acuity in the Leica S2 and CS optics. So, size is the only real benefit of the A7/A7R ... that, plus compatibility with my A mount lenses ... and some Leica M optics to provide an occasional color companion to my Leica M Mono.

My A7R arrived a couple of days ago, and I have a few days to decide if it stays or goes back. Well, reading all the threads and posts on this camera including "Why I'm keeping it" or "Why I'm not" ... some great shots, and some not so great (smeared corners, color shading, etc.), shutter vibrations with certain lenses at certain shutter speeds., unacceptable lag, native lenses or not, etc. etc. etc. :banghead:

Recently I tested out a Leica M240 ... and for me there was no conflict at all ... I was NOT willing to put up with the IR contamination and other color issues ...not for $7K I wasn't. It was easier to send that back.

This one has me in a tizzy. My "Mighty Mouse" A7R moniker and its' implied "Here I Come To Save The Day!" theme may have been premature ... or was it? Arrrrrggg, (BTW, I'll never test 2 cameras back-to-back ever again!)

So far I've concentrated on use of a few ZA lenses mounted on the A7R via the new Sony LAEA4 with built in TTL Phase Detection AF, aperture drive mechanism, and Translucent mirror ...



Here is what I've discovered to date:

This combination is an even BIGGER battery eater. Since the batteries are new, it should improve a bit after a few depletion/recharging cycles, but it'll remain a power management issue none-the-less. I have 4 batteries, and I'll need them ... good thing they are small!

The LAEA4 adapter doesn't really add all that much weight ... but it doesn't perform on par with the A99 AF either. While it is fast to spring into action, it is slower to lock-on than the A99. This was with the Sony-Minolta 50/1.4 and ZA135/1.8 neither of which has Super Sonic Wave (SSW) AF motors. However, it was much faster than my friend's Canon lenses and Metabones AF adapter. I will try the new ZA50/1.4 which does have SSW AF to see if that improves the AF lock-on speed.

Best out-of-camera color rendition since the A900 ... apparently an attribute it is able to retain even up to ISO 5000 ... which the A900 is incapable of doing, and the A99 starts losing color fidelity past 2000. Not sure if this because it is 36 meg with the new processor, or if the color is the same with the A7. This is a HUGE plus for me.:thumbup:

Shutter vibration is NOT a Long Lens factor with this adapter.:thumbup: I used the ZA 135/1.8, connected the LAEA4 adapter with a standard ARCA QR plate and mounted the rig on my ARCA ball head with ARCA Screw Knob QR attached to a Gitzo G 1348 Carbon Fiber Tri-Pod ... locked it all down. This is my usual kit for location work; (I have a beefy RSS rotator equipped studio stand for in-studio work). Shot a booze bottle with fine print on the rear label using the 10 sec. timer.

My methodology was to keep the ISO the same at 400, and the aperture the same at f/3.2 and use auto WB ... and vary the amount of light on the label from a gridded soft box using the proportional modeling light on a Profoto D4-2400 generator. This was to eliminate all variables other than shutter shock.

Shot at 1/30, 1/8 and 1/5 second shutter ... then got them all into PS as 20", 360PPI, 16 bit Tiffs in Profoto RGB ... and layered one over the other so I could turn on-and-off each layer zoomed to 100% on the critical focus point. Zero difference. Nada. None at all. Whew, that was a critical test for me. :thumbs: This means the A7R with ZAs could back up the S2 in a tri-pod use emergency.

Lag time while shooting critical action? ... Ben has raised this issue, and it is one I am concerned with also. However, until it was raised, I didn't notice it while shooting my best test subject for constant motion ... out little Chihuahua "Dinky" who changes expression every 1/2 nano second, and exhibits more "vibration" than any shutter ... (it is what they do ... shake). I am going to concentrate on this more now that Ben raised the issue.

A lot of my hand held candids with the 50/1.4 or 135/1.8 were not Pixel Peeping sharp at 100%. Guy has already commented on this is depth and is 100% correct. The Leica S2 is the same. My speculative take on this is that the A7R could be considered two cameras in one. Right lenses, right adapter, right technique and it is a little MF digital back ... hand held, cheater shutter speeds, and it will spectacularly show up less than stellar technique.

However the files are so huge that when printed at most normal use sizes it'll look as good as my 24 meg A99 that is more forgiving even if more critically sharp at its' respective 100%. Down size the A7R to A99 size and the difference may not be all that visually different. I'll have to put that theory to a real world test ... :rolleyes:

Will do more today with other lenses and some with the Leica M lenses I intend using this camera with ... then draw my final conclusions ...

To Keep or Not to Keep ... That is The Question! I have until Friday AM ...


- Marc

Some snaps ...
 

Joe Colson

Well-known member
Good luck Marc. I've been using the A7R for a couple of weeks now, and love it. Especially with Leica M lenses (I don't use super-wides). I also use an M240 and and S, and have a Sony RX1 on the shelf, and the A7R combines the best of both the M240 and S in one small package. I find the Sony's EVF/Live View focusing system far superior to that of the M240, and as you and Guy have pointed out so clearly, with impeccable technique the Sony can produce outstanding 36MP files. I print big - 20x30" and larger - so the extra pixels do come in handy.

I'll stay tuned for your results and conclusion, and will enjoy my own A7R in the meantime.

Joe
 
V

Vivek

Guest
Marc, Try a few studio shots with flash as well. At ISO50 and 64.
 

Guy Mancuso

Administrator, Instructor
Im in the same boat as Marc and will get to this later but my Sony was just delivered i need to open the bloody box. LOL
 

hcubell

Active member
I wouldn't think that the way to test for the effects of shutter vibration is to shoot three frames at 1/30, 1/8 and 1/5 and compare them. Those shutter speeds are all likely to be compromised by any shutter vibration, so they may look quite good in absolute terms, but not necessarily in relative terms compared to what the camera/lens is potentially capable of without the effects of any shutter vibration. OTOH, a frame at say 1/350 is unlikely to be compromised, and that frame would serve as a baseline to compare the frames shot at slower speeds.
 

GrahamB

New member
I'm enjoying my a7r more than any camera I've had in years. Small, mounts any lens made (most with excellent results) and with the ability to achieve pinpoint manual focus. The IQ is as good as one can find short of medium format.

I don't really understand the knocks the a7(r) takes. I don't know that I'd want my a7r as my sole body, but I'm delighted to have it in my inventory. I have full and cropped frame DSLR bodies, with good glass to match, for autofocus and sports situations.

The a7r is the Leica I would have never purchased.

Graham
 

Guy Mancuso

Administrator, Instructor
Holy Mother Of Smallness. Damn this thing is just amazingly small package. I maybe in big trouble with switching whole systems out. Testing first and lots of it first but if I had real money sitting around i would be hitting some buy buttons.
 

GrahamB

New member
Holy Mother Of Smallness. Damn this thing is just amazingly small package.
As many a7R pictures as I'd seen, even compared with other camera's, I had the same initial impression. One just isn't prepared for how small this camera is until holding it in hand.

Graham
 

Joe Colson

Well-known member
Holy Mother Of Smallness. Damn this thing is just amazingly small package. I maybe in big trouble with switching whole systems out. Testing first and lots of it first but if I had real money sitting around i would be hitting some buy buttons.
Told you so! :)

Joe
 

hcubell

Active member
I'm enjoying my a7r more than any camera I've had in years. Small, mounts any lens made (most with excellent results) and with the ability to achieve pinpoint manual focus. The IQ is as good as one can find short of medium format.

I don't really understand the knocks the a7(r) takes. I don't know that I'd want my a7r as my sole body, but I'm delighted to have it in my inventory. I have full and cropped frame DSLR bodies, with good glass to match, for autofocus and sports situations.

The a7r is the Leica I would have never purchased.

Graham
I don't think anyone is "knocking" the A7R. I am trying to figure out what performance or functionality issues there are with the camera, look for potential workarounds, and then be in a position to make an intelligent choice as to whether this camera, with its own unique set of plusses and minusses, works well for ME. Many others are going through the same process. Everbody comes at this differently. One guy shoots sports and needs great autofocus and high ISO. Another guy shoots landscapes in low light and cares most about ultimate IQ. Another guy has a bunch of Leica M lenses or other lenses and wants to use them with the A7R. Another guy shoots fashion. Another guy always uses a tripod. Another guy always shoots handheld. Another guy loves wide angle lenses and never shoots telephot. Another guy hates wide angle regularly shoots 100-200mm lenses.
I want this camera to work well for me. I would not have bought it otherwise. I have better things to do with my time and money.
 

Guy Mancuso

Administrator, Instructor
Okay in my case and i started to write this but got distracted. For ME i have the D800E and lets be real here its a truck and like Marc his S2 is his biggest MPX sensor so we both sit in the same boat big heavy units that are awesome for many things but also for different types of work we have 1 or 2 ways in systems to go about work. Here is my issue I have this D800e for everything right now which in some areas its just a big gun I don't need . For instance i do NOT need a 36mpx horse to shoot PR, Runway, Fashion all overkill with a D800e. I shoot runway I use the DF settings on it for reach and smaller files. No event i shot EVER IN MY LIFE needed 36 mpx and Fashion stuff unless doing ad work I don't need it, I need it for landscape and advertising which is all on tripod and all manual everything with strobes or not. Hence my issue here why not use a small A7R in the later situations Im doing everything manual and its a small package to hike 3 miles and carry this stuff around, i use the same lenses as the Nikon uses as well. Drop the D800E out of my package add even a D7100 a 24-70 and 70-200 and that covers Af fast focusing runway work perfectly and PR work as well, You could add wedding guys in on this one as well and several other areas. Than take all my LOOK glass Leica 19, sigma 35mm, Nikon or Zeiss 50 or 55, Zeiss 135 and whatever floats my creative boat like replacing my zeiss 25mm F2 to use with it also. Now that sounds like a radical movement. But for some damn reason it actually makes sense to me. Other reason i think end of day the color and tone on this Sony will be better than my Nikon in C1, something I need to see first.

I know exactly whats in Marcs head as he posted this as its the same in mine. What movement can i make if this turns into a gem that he can make that truly makes sense to us and how we work . I totally get this as i have the same rambling thoughts going.
 

mark1958

Member
Marc .. Nice analysis… A couple of minor points. Buried in the menu you can set the LCD monitor to turn off after 10sec.. This seems to help with battery life. However, the time it takes for the camera to wake from sleep is really long-- longer than it takes from the time the camera is switched on from the off position. This is something which is quite annoying (although not a show stopper). Seems like this could be improved via a firmware update.

I find the vibration issue to be lens dependent. My Nikkor 200mm AIS is heavy so when i used on an arca cube with the lens attached to the lens tripod foot --- really substantial issues at shutter speeds less than 1/100. However if i used the metabones foot to attach to the arca cube-- much less of an issue. Not an issue with the Nikkor 100mm macro. Will try the nikon 70-200/4 next.

Maybe someone has commented on this but how does the Leica M 28-35-50mm perform on the A7r.
 

fotografz

Well-known member
I wouldn't think that the way to test for the effects of shutter vibration is to shoot three frames at 1/30, 1/8 and 1/5 and compare them. Those shutter speeds are all likely to be compromised by any shutter vibration, so they may look quite good in absolute terms, but not necessarily in relative terms compared to what the camera/lens is potentially capable of without the effects of any shutter vibration. OTOH, a frame at say 1/350 is unlikely to be compromised, and that frame would serve as a baseline to compare the frames shot at slower speeds.
From what I understood, slow shutter speeds and faster shutter speeds were not the issue with longer lenses ... around 1/20 to 1/50 were. That's what I tested for.

The problem of using 1/350 shutter is that it would require more light than the strobe modeling lights can deliver ... so you can't leave ISO and aperture the same, and vary the light levels for same exposure level at different shutter speeds.

Can't use strobes either because shutter speed is mostly meaningless ... flash duration is faster than the max 1/180 sync speed of this camera ... or most any other focal plane shutter for that matter.

- Marc
 

GrahamB

New member
Marc .. Nice analysis… A couple of minor points. Buried in the menu you can set the LCD monitor to turn off after 10sec.. This seems to help with battery life. However, the time it takes for the camera to wake from sleep is really long-- longer than it takes from the time the camera is switched on from the off position. This is something which is quite annoying (although not a show stopper). Seems like this could be improved via a firmware update.
I don't know if it's my settings (airplane mode, no auto-review, no eye-start, using manual focus lenses), or the SD card I use (SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s). From a sleep state, holding the a7r to my eye, half pressing the shutter button, it's less than 2 seconds for the EVF to show the view. While instant would be nice, and I hope it's improved, under 2 seconds is something I can live with. The current time could also be mitigated if one half-presses the shutter button as the camera is being raised to the eye.

For comparison, my 2 yr. old Sony a77's EVF awakens from sleep almost instantaneously. That was not the case when it was first released, but (as I recall) the 1st firmware update addressed the slower wake up time.

Graham
 

Ben Rubinstein

New member
OK I've mentioned some minuses on other threads, I'm going to take some time to gush a bit.

Those of use who remember shooting with the SLR's they made till about mid '80's, this camera really is as close to those as anything made in the past two decades. The metal body and shape is just such a familiar feel in the hand, the shutter may be noisy but it's a mechanical noise not a high pitched whine or clack and it really is a joy to hold and work with. Couple of bits of gaffer over the writing on the front, an old lens and it really is an old SLR, people can't believe me when I tell them it's the latest digital camera from Sony! Friend had a new Fuji X-Pro1 he had just bought. Side by side the Fuji felt like a hollow plastic toy (going to get some stick for that :D ). My friends all agreed, this is what the Nikon DF should have been, what we expected from their ad's.

Others have mentioned small, I've only got a few older older Takumars which are pretty small on it, once I've sold my DSLR lenses I will be looking for either a pre-asph 50mm 'lux or a 50mm sonnar (not decided yet) and then it really will be a tiny package. Compare it to even a small DSLR and the difference is ludicrous. It's really a joy to have in your bag or over your shoulder.

For me I use auto iso in manual mode for most everything, aperture on the lens, shutter on the front dial and exposure compensation on top. It's just such a lovely way to shoot. All there where you want it and ignore all the funky stuff. Peaking is there though not as accurate as I would like no doubt due to low contrast lenses, magnification can be mapped to a zillion buttons, etc. I can access bracketing with a single button, it was a menu item on my canons.

Guy's point which Marc mentions. I think it's important to note that when you want it to be and when you shoot it as you would a medium format camera, it can come close or perhaps even equal certain MF backs. However when you just want a small carry around camera, you're still getting as good as you would with almost every other camera on the market. Yes it will show hand held technique but so what? It will still be as good or even better than any lesser megapixelled camera shot using those same hands! It's a two faced camera. When you want to shoot casually it will equal or better every camera up to double it's size on the market. When you want to go serious it will equal or better cameras until now belonging to another league. So what's not to like at this price point and given just how small it is?

My only big problem at present is the shutter lag. That's really bothering me. My focusing needs work but that's just a matter of practice with the peaking. I have a feeling shutter lag and wake up time will improve with firmware updates.

Another thing, it's not just the resolution. This is a Pentax Super Takumar 35mm f2 wide open. Resolution almost non existent. Character and tonality - you judge...

 

Guy Mancuso

Administrator, Instructor
Im almost thinking of having both the 7 and the 7R. 7 for PR heavy AF cam and the 7r for real imaging ( big that is). Its the damn native lenses thats holding up the show.

I wonder how fast the AF is on A 70-200
 

Guy Mancuso

Administrator, Instructor
Takes one to know one dude. So tell me how fast is the AF on the 70-200 A with adapter. Be really careful how you answer this as it may just cause a lot of head injuries to my freaking head. LOL
 
Top