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Thread: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Today I was able to attend the PhotoPlus show in New York . The highlight of the show was clearly the Sony A7R . Sony had probably a dozen stations where you could handle the camera and some of the lenses . I find it valuable and enjoy going each year to learn some of what the tests don t show .

    The most important aspects I hoped to evaluate related to viewing and AF ..its a little like standing in line for a ticket ..you get a few minutes at most . My style of shooting is "street" and responsiveness is very important . I have little need to be concerned about which lenses work . There is clearly the potential to have a small system with almost MF capability ...but this can t be evaluated at a photo show .

    The build quality is excellent ....not quite to the Rx1 ...but close enough . A premium product but not close to the build of a Leica (if you care ). The balance with a standard wide angle 35/2.8 is excellent and the camera feels great . With the grip it has the feel of a small DSLR (smaller and thinner ) but very nice ..the vertical hold is also well done .

    Viewing is much better than I expected (I am not that experienced with the newer EVF s ) I was pleased that I could see well enough to compose and to see the moment . Compared to the EVF used on a Leica M .....significantly better . I much prefer an OVF and this isn t close to the viewing thru a D800. But preferences aside ..this is a darn good EVF and it provides the basis to have a small form .

    AF was slow compared to a DSLR and with an EVF ... it wasn t always easily visible that I had locked focus . I know this is a familiarity issue and can get much better with practice . This might be the largest weakness for street ...worth evaluating for yourself . With good screen I can manual focus much faster .

    The lenses are really pretty small for a full frame camera and obviously designed to match the body size . The 35/2.8 maybe smaller than the Rx1 35/2 ....the Zeiss 50/1.8 was beautiful (needs a different hood ) .

    My impression is that this is a world class sensor wrapped in a nice camera ..how can you knock an updated version of the D800E sensor in a small high quality form .

    What was interesting is that Sony is clearly a product company ....the A7R bodies were either on a very small stand (with 8 stations ) or mixed in with the larger small format offerings . There was little to draw you in if you hadn t read the reviews . Contrast that to either Canon or Nikon ...both application or system oriented . Plenty of hands on opportunities ,visual displays ,demonstrations of capabilities . There were easily 10X the floor traffic to Nikon and Canon and neither had anything really new .

    Only real surprise was that the shutter didn t sound all that loud ...probably the crowd noise .

    Nothing more than a hands on impression from a street shooter but some aspects you have to handle the camera to understand .
    Roger Dunham
    http://rogerdunham.com/
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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    The build quality is excellent ....not quite to the Rx1 ...but close enough . A premium product but not close to the build of a Leica (if you care ).
    Thanks for providing a hands-on perspective. BTW, how do you assess build quality? I have owned both Sony (RX100, RX1, NEX7) and Leica products (M8, M9, M9P) and the Sony gear had zero electro/mechanical problems. My Leica bodies, on the other hand, had issues with a strap lug falling out, leather wrap constantly peeling off, faulty sensor, random crashes, SD issues, faulty LCD, the list goes on. One time, I pulled my M8 out of my camera bag and it was hotter than a gas cooker (well, not quite ... but it was HOT). The camera was powered off at the time. I recently borrowed an M240 for a week and it could not read the 6-bit code on my lens.

    Perhaps I am the odd one out, but in my experience I rate the build quality of Sony's premium products as being quite a bit higher than Leica's (all factors considered).
    Last edited by lambert; 24th October 2013 at 20:11.
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Nice report Roger. It does peak my interest for sure.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by lambert View Post
    How do you assess build quality? I have owned both Sony (RX100, RX1, NEX7) and Leica products (M8, M9, M9P) and the Sony gear had zero electro/mechanical problems. My Leica bodies, on the other hand, had issues with a strap lug falling out, leather wrap constantly peeling off, faulty sensor, random crashes, SD issues, faulty LCD, the list goes on. One time, I pulled my M8 out of my camera bag and it was hotter than a gas cooker (well, not quite ... but it was HOT). The camera was powered off at the time. I recently borrowed an M240 for a week and it could not read the 6-bit code on my lens.

    Perhaps I am the odd one out, but in my experience I rate the build quality of Sony's premium products as being quite a bit higher than Leica's (all factors considered).
    Excellent points ..especially when discuss electronics ... I have plenty of mileage on my digital M s since the M8 and essentially every M available (I use two M240 s today ) . So I appreciate the distinction .

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Consider this kit ..Sony A7R paired with WATE (16-18-21/4..Leica M ) ,24/3.8 and APO 50 ..thats a portable landscape kit . WATE should have no edge sharpness issues . When the next great sensor comes out ..trade out the body .

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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Roger:
    Based on other reports out there the A7 is supposed to have faster AF than the A7R. By any chance do you have any info on that?

    Regards,
    John

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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Consider this kit ..Sony A7R paired with WATE (16-18-21/4..Leica M ) ,24/3.8 and APO 50 ..thats a portable landscape kit . WATE should have no edge sharpness issues . When the next great sensor comes out ..trade out the body .
    Settle down! I have my eye on a WATE. I don't want any hype until after I have bought mine
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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by lambert View Post
    Settle down! I have my eye on a WATE. I don't want any hype until after I have bought mine
    Don't panic. The used market is flooded with them- ie. more than ever. They will all get cheaper soon.

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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Don't panic. The used market is flooded with them- ie. more than ever. They will all get cheaper soon.
    Wo, Ou, Waar, Where?

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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    In the bay, but still pretty expensive.
    Mine is definitely not for sale!
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Consider this kit ..Sony A7R paired with WATE (16-18-21/4..Leica M ) ,24/3.8 and APO 50 ..thats a portable landscape kit . WATE should have no edge sharpness issues . When the next great sensor comes out ..trade out the body .
    Roger
    Thanks for the up to date report. Much appreciated.
    Did you have a chance to try any M lens (preferably wide if yes) on the Sony? Or was it very much a rushed moment at the ticket counter? Thanks.
    Last edited by algrove; 25th October 2013 at 07:49.

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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    In the bay, but still pretty expensive.
    Mine is definitely not for sale!
    Nor is mine - absolutely NOT.

    Hi Roger - Thanks for the interesting report - I rather agree with you that the WATE should be okay on the A7r. Do you think the 24 f3.8 will be as well (I thought probably not). . . . . or am I missing the point and that's going on an M body?

    All the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Nor is mine - absolutely NOT.
    Is it really NOT ? Remember 16th of August 2008 ?


    All the best.
    Bart ...

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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Leave him alone, Bart! What next, bring up all his listings of Noct?
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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Leave him alone, Bart! What next, bring up all his listings of Noct?
    No of course not, Vivek. But fact is when I was looking for a WATE, a while back, I stumbled over Jono's listing.
    Mind you - 2000 smackers is a fair price by today's standards !

    Kind regards.
    Bart ...
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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Oh, not a chance!

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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Nor is mine - absolutely NOT.

    Hi Roger - Thanks for the interesting report - I rather agree with you that the WATE should be okay on the A7r. Do you think the 24 f3.8 will be as well (I thought probably not). . . . . or am I missing the point and that's going on an M body?

    All the best
    You could be right about the 24/3.8 not being a great fit ..you got me I was carried away in the moment .

    I always consider new cameras from a street photographers perspective ..I want cameras that I can see with ,focus quickly and are responsive . The M is my benchmark against which I compare new kit . While I am sure the new A7R can be set up to be much more responsive than I experienced ...I did not take to it like I did with the D800E and manual focus lenses . Surely a product of my prior experience .

    But you just can t ignore the new sensor at 36MPs and Sony s current best processor and firmware and ...wow what a nice form . Really an excellent fit and finish ( prior posts about quality ? who knows ) .

    So if your shooting style is slow and steady ...I would think you would like the Sony A7R .

    Really I had only about 10 minutes with camera ....enough to get an impression but nothing conclusive . They had no manual lenses so I couldn t test the focus peaking as I wanted to .

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by jfirneno View Post
    Roger:
    Based on other reports out there the A7 is supposed to have faster AF than the A7R. By any chance do you have any info on that?

    Regards,
    John
    No that lady with the long Canon lens was poking me in the side to get moving !

    I really was interesting in determining how that beautiful sensor could be applied (R model) .

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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    No that lady with the long Canon lens was poking me in the side to get moving !
    There's a joke (probably several!) in that line. But I'll just thank you for your witty reply and the good info I got from your A7R report.

    Regards,
    John

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    Senior Member hot's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    HOW silly someone must be to hold a camera in his hands for 5 minutes and talk what everyone can READ in 20 lines in 101 reports? Internet & tv make STUPID.

    The Phoblographer Sony A7 Hands on video Photo Plus 2013 - YouTube
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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by hot View Post
    HOW silly someone must be to hold a camera in his hands for 5 minutes and talk what everyone can READ in 20 lines in 101 reports? Internet & tv make STUPID.

    The Phoblographer Sony A7 Hands on video Photo Plus 2013 - YouTube

    hot:
    Just so I'm sure I'm not misunderstanding you, are you commenting on the original poster of this thread for posting his impressions of the camera?

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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by Knorp View Post
    Is it really NOT ? Remember 16th of August 2008 ?


    All the best.
    Gordon Bennet Bart
    That was a year before the M9 was announced . . . 5 years ago, and I've still got it! (and I'd completely forgotten putting it up for sale too!). Maybe it wasn't quite so interesting on an M8

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Seeing the Sony A7R at PhotoPlus

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Leave him alone, Bart! What next, bring up all his listings of Noct?
    Hi Vivek
    I'm fair game . . . but I still have the WATE, sadly I can't be bothered to trail through Bart's past looking for inconsistencies

    Just this guy you know

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