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Thread: Question about A7/r/s

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    Question about A7/r/s

    Hi,

    I am currently shooting Canon 5D II with various L lenses. I'm considering switching to a mirrorless system and these cameras appeal to me because of their FF chip. I have a few questions that I hope to get some answers to.

    I photograph mainly weddings and other events. I'm in NE. That means we get dark venues and it's getting dark faster now .

    I'm sure that the IQ is very good with these cameras and the Zeiss lenses (at least I hope). My concern is the performance. Mainly how fast and accurate is acquiring focus, especially in low light.

    So, here are my questions:

    1. Does it hunt in low light (focusing)?
    2. Can you assign and do back button focusing (remove the focus from the shutter button)?
    3. Which lenses are their "pro" line (similar to L glass with Canon)
    4. Which adapter is best in order to use Canon glass with them? And, do they perform well with these cameras (AF, IQ...)?
    5. I don't see any fast FE lenses (their native mount). Does that mean I need to use an adapter with their A mount lenses to get some fast glass? If yes, does it cover the entire sensor or it will act like a crop lens?
    6. Is there a pro support system (similar to CPS or NPS for Nikon)?
    7. Is there an option for "my menu"? With Canon I can assign any of the available menus to be under my menu (I think it's about 7 of them).
    8. Which flash would be best (I need power): F60M?
    9. Not so important but would be nice: can you convert in camera the RAW files (Fuji has that functionality)?

    I am planing on getting one A7 and one A7s (to keep the costs down) and try to use my Canon glass (again, to keep costs of transition down and also because of lack of fast glass on FE mount). Any recommendations/suggestions for good quality glass? Any pitfalls to avoid?

    Thank you for your time,
    Valentin

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Hi,

    I am currently shooting Canon 5D II with various L lenses. I'm considering switching to a mirrorless system and these cameras appeal to me because of their FF chip. I have a few questions that I hope to get some answers to.

    I photograph mainly weddings and other events. I'm in NE. That means we get dark venues and it's getting dark faster now .

    I'm sure that the IQ is very good with these cameras and the Zeiss lenses (at least I hope). My concern is the performance. Mainly how fast and accurate is acquiring focus, especially in low light.

    So, here are my questions:

    1. Does it hunt in low light (focusing)?
    2. Can you assign and do back button focusing (remove the focus from the shutter button)?
    3. Which lenses are their "pro" line (similar to L glass with Canon)
    4. Which adapter is best in order to use Canon glass with them? And, do they perform well with these cameras (AF, IQ...)?
    5. I don't see any fast FE lenses (their native mount). Does that mean I need to use an adapter with their A mount lenses to get some fast glass? If yes, does it cover the entire sensor or it will act like a crop lens?
    6. Is there a pro support system (similar to CPS or NPS for Nikon)?
    7. Is there an option for "my menu"? With Canon I can assign any of the available menus to be under my menu (I think it's about 7 of them).
    8. Which flash would be best (I need power): F60M?
    9. Not so important but would be nice: can you convert in camera the RAW files (Fuji has that functionality)?

    I am planing on getting one A7 and one A7s (to keep the costs down) and try to use my Canon glass (again, to keep costs of transition down and also because of lack of fast glass on FE mount). Any recommendations/suggestions for good quality glass? Any pitfalls to avoid?

    Thank you for your time,
    Valentin
    Well I will ale stab at a few of the questions mind you many of your questions are covered in previous threads if you search a bit.

    1) Compared to your Canon the AF will be slower in lower light and probably less accurate in general than a Canon Pro body when it comes to AF. I manually focus any time I'm not using the 35 or 55 FE as those are my only two native lenses (I use adapted 35's more than the native one but my 55 is a keeper.) The A7s focuses quickly in lower light. I tried one out in store about a month ago and it impressed me. Definitely one to add to the bag. If it were 16-18 MP with the same lowlight capability It would have already be bought it. 12 megapixels are fine for 95% of what most people shoot anyway though. It really only gets to be a potential issue if you print large and/or crop heavily.

    2) I can't answer for certain at this time but I'd assume so

    3) Anything labeled Zeiss, Sony Zeiss, or Sony G is considered the "pro line" for Sony

    4) Metabones is the consensus (and maybe only) AF->FE/E mount adapter. AF is slow for moving objects from what I have read. Novoflex and Voigtlander (for M-mount lenses) are the consensus picks for the highest quality adapters.

    5) The 55 FE is a fastish lens. There's a 28/2 and 35/1.4 coming.The systems still new so you're better covered with Canon if you're adamant about native glass. It's you're willing to adapt the the world is yours but results may vary. As for the LA-E4 adapter it adds quick AF and FF coverage of FF A-mount lenses. Crop lenses will put the camera in crop mode (15 MP for A7r/ 10 MP A7/ 6 MP A7s.) I think the Phase Detect AF points only cover 78% of the sensor (don't quote me on that and maybe someone else can confirm/verify) but you will get a FF image with FF lenses using the LA-E4. I sold my A-mount lenses with my A77 so I never bought the adapter but I am considering picking up the Sony Zeiss ZA 135/1.8 still.

    6) There's no pro support system in USA... yet. Pro support was announced in Germany at Photokina '14.

    7) Not sure what you mean but you can assign custom functions to buttons and quickly switch options through the function menu. If you mean multiple user profiles I'm not sure about that one. You can always download the instruction manual to check on if they have that feature,

    8) If you don't mind size you can use any Sony flash produced with a multi interface shoe. You can use older designs with an adapter. I personally will probably get a Nissin i40 for the size of theA7 series body (there's a thread comparing the size of the A7r with an i40 attached.) If power is your main concern though off camera strobes are still your best bet.

    9) I'm not sure but even if I could I imagine my computer would do a much better job.

    I don't know how you prefer to shoot but if IQ is your concern I think a A7r and a A7s are the best combo if you're going for a dual camera setup but I'd stick to the A7 if I were only going to buy one camera. The A7 has the least number of overall compromises, the A7s is the most forgiving with adapted lenses, and the A7r is just a resolution beast.
    Last edited by iiiNelson; 14th October 2014 at 12:18.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    1. The AF will not be quite as fast in low light as a Canon DSLR; A7S is the best of bunch with its -4 EV focusing. This is with native Sony lenses. With adapted Canon glass all AF will be very slow; quite unusable for anything but fully static scenes; I'd say well "posed" human shots only.
    2. Back button AF and AF decouple from shutter is possible
    3. Zeiss and G labeled are supposedly the "pro" lenses.
    4. Metabones is the best and offers certain level of configurability. The AF is still very slow; about 1,5-2 secs to acquire focus even with fastest lenses (I've tested about 10 different L lenses and every one of them is quite slow). It is not so much the fault of of adapter, but the fact that Canon lenses are built to focus fast with a dedicated PDAF sensor (that tells the lens to "go to focus place X") The sensor focusing these cameras use a more iterative contrast detect focusing; this means lenses have a different kind of focus motor.
    5. The 55/1.8 is the fastest and there is a fast 35/1.4 coming early 2015. You can use faster adapted A Mount glass with LA-EA4 adapter, but there are certain limitations with that too: focus points are grouped in the center, the low light AF is not that superb and you cannot get AF assist light activated.
    6. Not yet, pro supprt is currently rolling out in Europe and supposed to arrive to US next year, I believe.
    7. No "My Menu", but you have something called Function (Fn) menu that gives you quick access to 12 functions in addition to a pile of configurable buttons.
    8. F60 is pretty huge on these bodies. Personally I use a F43 and just bump the ISO when I run out of power with the 43.
    9. No in camera RAW conversion.

    As my personal take I consider the adapted Canon glass to be manual focus. The AF is very slow for anything other that perfectly static subjects; the Exif info from smart adaptation is nice for post, automatic wide open manual focus regardless of chosen aperture is nice (easier to place focal plane and avoids color noise in EVF) for handheld MF and it opens the door to using Canon special lenses in Sony body. But using the glass is way different than in Canon body due to very sluggish AF.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Hi,


    7. Is there an option for "my menu"? With Canon I can assign any of the

    Thank you for your time,
    Valentin
    Valentin:

    In addition to all the excellent information the other posters have supplied I'd like to add one other fact.

    The Fn button has a list of twelve functions showing. These are defaults that can be replaced from a larger list of functions.
    So that may be what you wanted.

    Regards,
    John
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Some excellent info here already.

    My view, were it me, would be not to make such a move. Not yet anyway. I own a 5D III and II, with A7 and A7R. I'd not want to use my A7 system as the main for weddings and feel even the 5D II is much better. Quicker and more refined for quicker action. The 5D III is a race car compared to the A7.

    I've written quite a bit about these cameras on my blog, so perhaps take a look. Shooting portraits with adapted manual lenses is a bit slow and metabones adapted EF lenses may be quicker, but its still very slow by AF standards.

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Thanks everybody for chiming in, I appreciate it. I've searched and been reading what I can find. The problem is that most (if not all) talk about landscapes and street photography. Photographing weddings in a dark venue is a different beast. Also, I HAVE to deliver since I have a paying customer waiting for the results (and with weddings, while it's not like shooting sports, things change quickly and a beautiful moment can be gone in a second).

    Just to clarify a couple of things:

    - processing in camera - that would be if I like an image and want to post it to FB/Instagram on location (no time for downloading to a computer and process it)
    - my menu - Canon's function allows you to assign a submenu to which you can add up to about 7 from all the menu functions available. When I click on "Menu" button, this my menu has: format, change WB, change RAW/JPEG, change some custom functions and the flash control. If I can pick and choose what I want and assign it to a function button, that's fine. Fuji X-T1 for example, while allows you to customize the function buttons, you can only pick from a handful predetermined functions. I can't pick and choose which ones I want.

    Followup question: if you have issues with your camera/lenses, where do you send them for repair?

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Thanks everybody for chiming in, I appreciate it. I've searched and been reading what I can find. The problem is that most (if not all) talk about landscapes and street photography. Photographing weddings in a dark venue is a different beast. Also, I HAVE to deliver since I have a paying customer waiting for the results (and with weddings, while it's not like shooting sports, things change quickly and a beautiful moment can be gone in a second).

    Just to clarify a couple of things:

    - processing in camera - that would be if I like an image and want to post it to FB/Instagram on location (no time for downloading to a computer and process it)
    - my menu - Canon's function allows you to assign a submenu to which you can add up to about 7 from all the menu functions available. When I click on "Menu" button, this my menu has: format, change WB, change RAW/JPEG, change some custom functions and the flash control. If I can pick and choose what I want and assign it to a function button, that's fine. Fuji X-T1 for example, while allows you to customize the function buttons, you can only pick from a handful predetermined functions. I can't pick and choose which ones I want.

    Followup question: if you have issues with your camera/lenses, where do you send them for repair?
    Regarding repair the main Sony repair facility is located in S. Texas.

    I think staying with Canon is probably a wiser decision for your paying work until you feel you are comfortable with another system. If resolution is your issue maybe switching to Nikon would be a better choice - or you can flirt with the Sony for personal projects while keeping your Canon for work. There's probably no great case for you to switch systems completely although an A7r could be great for your portrait and tripod work. For weddings and action it sounds like you have a great system already.

    Save your money - maybe Canon will come out with a high resolution solution of their own.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    what would you gain?

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Just to clarify a couple of things:

    - processing in camera - that would be if I like an image and want to post it to FB/Instagram on location (no time for downloading to a computer and process it)
    Perhaps this will be of interest:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wM_5nROeaw


    Bob
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    what would you gain?
    That a great question and I agree with asking the question.

    I guess I can state my own experience in digital camera systems and the way I went. I have never been a pro photographer so I was free to pick and choose systems as it's my hobby. If I were a pro I'd stick with Canon or Nikon because of commonality in getting service/ parts/ accessories anywhere.

    I started out with a Canon Digital Rebel because of name recognition and my cousin who does shoot professionally recommended it as a good starter camera for those with the funds to obtain it. Thankfully I worked at Best Buy in college and got a pretty substantial discount to be able to afford it and one telephoto lens.

    After the newness wore off and I got better with it I began to not use it as it wasn't the best tool for me - but the best tool for me didn't exist yet. The other reality was I never took a photography class so I wasn't very aware of film and the extent I knew of Leica was the crazy expensive luxury Panasonic camera (heresy I know now.)

    It wasn't until I was reading one of my car magazines that I heard of a Leica M8 when the writer was testing a preproduction BMW E90 M3 in Germany but mentioned buying one. I googled it, read up on it, subsequently found this forum due to the off-putting nature of that other Leica-centric forum, and all the user reports including Guy's "M8 Bible" lead me to the conclusion that I needed one - except I couldn't really afford one back then.

    Fast forward in time and I bought the next best thing at the time - the poor man's M; a Panasonic G1 (and GF1 eventually.) I loved that thing and still have the G1 and kit lens. It was great but then I actually started printing around that time and while they were great prints if I did my part I was limited in size at normal viewing distances in a place of living. I learned there was no substitute for what you knew what you wanted - again it was all about getting the perfect tool for me.

    So eventually I saved up the money to get a M8 which was right about the time the M9 was announced. I preordered it a few weeks after it was announced. Mine came in to my dealer in March and I had to pass on it because unfortunately I had to buy a new car after the old one caught fire 279,819 miles into original ownership. So I buy my new/ current car with some of my M9 money and save a bit more. So come late summer they were readily available if you had the funds and I got mine then.

    I used it almost exclusively for 4 years. I will say the M helped me greatly to be a better photographer not because it's expensive but because it's limited and required me to slow down/ refine my techniques. Living with manual lenses exclusively and learning to zone focus are skills you normally only hear about by reading or being taught. Most people (many with expensive cameras) look at me crazy when I use the term because they haven't heard of it.

    I switched to the A7 series for a few reasons but they were logical and well thought out. First - I love(d) my M9/M9-P when I owned them and if I had unlimited funds I would have never sold them. Second I loathe the M240's color signature. I've heard you could get it to look close to the M9... I've yet to see anyone actually do it though. Third the M is extremely limited when it comes to telephoto. I don't do telephoto work often but I do it/ need it at times. Fourth I don't wanna carry a dSLR. I tried to do it with the A77 and left it at home most of the time. It wasn't the camera... It was me. Fifth I like full frame. Sixth I love the Sony color and camera signature. Its the closest thing to a CCD look in CMOS sensors. Seventh I can live with manual focus lenses - I lived with it almost exclusively for four years.

    So that's a long way to advise people. If it were my job and reputation on the line I'd own pro body dSLR's. They're the most versatile thing out there and people associate them with being a "pro." I got odd looks from people who probably thought I was a hipster making a statement with a film camera when I shot my Leica. That's not to say you can't do "pro" level work with a Leica/ mirrorless bodies - you can. It's just a little more specialized to do so for most. If it's just a curiosity then go big and get the A7r.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    what would you gain?
    Weight. I'm not looking to switch because I want higher resolution (heck, the 7s is half the resolution compared with my current one; I personally don't care that much; 12 is plenty for my work). I'm trying to decrease my weight. I don't dislike my current system.

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    ....They're the most versatile thing out there and people associate them with being a "pro."...
    That used to be the case. Today, photography is so prevalent, that many people have better/more expansive cameras than professionals do.

    I never shot with a rangefinder so that would too much change for me. In addition to that, I need a system with AF since my vision is not what it used to be. In addition to that, since this is a business, I have to take in consideration the expense. I can't justify spending the money on Leica. Great quality, no doubt, but I need two of everything (backup is the name of the game with weddings) and that gets really expensive, really fast. Especially since the gain is not proportional.

    So yes, I would like to find a system that's lighter and reliable (and I kind of like some change too ... after so many years, it can become monotonous) but at a reasonable price point. These cameras are in the same boat with other dslr price wise. Leica is well above

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Perhaps this will be of interest:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wM_5nROeaw


    Bob

    Bob,

    He shows that you can transmit from camera to phone. I knew it can do that (it has Wifi) but it doesn't say if you can convert RAW to JPEG. tn1krr answered that and said that it's not possible. I hope they will change that with a software update since I only shoot RAW (if I end up getting the camera that is ).

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Bob,

    He shows that you can transmit from camera to phone. I knew it can do that (it has Wifi) but it doesn't say if you can convert RAW to JPEG. tn1krr answered that and said that it's not possible. I hope they will change that with a software update since I only shoot RAW (if I end up getting the camera that is ).
    I must be missing something here, because the Sony cameras can all shoot RAW + JPG Valentin, saving both to card. And you can always do some post processing on your smartphone or smart pad after the WiFi transfer, don't forget.

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    As a wedding tool, the Fuji XT-1 seems that it might be a more viable mirrorless alternative to a DSLR than the A7, if you are looking for small and light, but want good responsiveness (in part due to a good range of native lenses), but it has questionable AF in low light...

    The 5D II may be much ciriticised for its AF, but that centre AF spot always delivered the goods for me, including weddings in very low light!

    The next generation of the A7 series may be a serious contender though, as AF will be better still and the system better fleshed out with good lenses. We just have to hope that they maintain a model with superb low light performance and don't keep pushing the MP count up. I'm highly doubtful of the merit of the anticipated (Jan/Feb) 50MP variant that is rumored to be coming with the A600 AF set up. They only have a couple of native lenses that can do 36mp justice!

    At this stage, I would regard adapted lenses as a complete non-starter for weddings. They're too slow, finicky and the stakes are too high. Landscapes is a different matter and I am bowled over how well my Canon L lenses and Tokina 16-28 perform on the A7 and A7R. Adaptor or not, they are sharp across the frame, always. AF is like waiting for a train to arrive, however!

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    I haven't done any professional wedding work for a while (last was shot using the Leica M system) but I am doing some documentary work where I am using the leica M and Sony A7 and A7s. I also was at a friends wedding recently where I used the A7s with the FE24-70 almost exclusively with a couple of shots with the FE55. My feelings on this are that if 12mp are enough for you the A7s is hard to beat. The camera is amazing for low light situations and even F4 max aperture on the 24-70 was not limiting as I was able to keep the shutter sped up due to high iso. Focussing on the A7s is very good and accurate even in low light and IMO definitely up to documentary and wedding work. Silent electronic shutter can be a real plus in certain situations. I also have the FE35 and 55 lens which are both fantastic optics even wide open. The A7s produces very good, malleable RAW files especially for B&W conversion. The only real problem I have with the A7s and A7 is colour banding issues under fluorescent light at higher shutter speeds (even worse on A7s if you use the electronic shutter). What I miss with the cameras is the lack of analogue type controls (have to use screen to see shutter speed etc) but then that is the same with most DSLR's.
    You can see some of the A7s wedding shots here
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Warning: When using the wireless send to smartphone function, I recently lost my raw files. I was only saving Raw in camera and the process resulted in in-camera conversion and loss of the Raw file. This may not be an issue if you shoot Raw+Jpeg.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Bob,

    He shows that you can transmit from camera to phone. I knew it can do that (it has Wifi) but it doesn't say if you can convert RAW to JPEG. tn1krr answered that and said that it's not possible. I hope they will change that with a software update since I only shoot RAW (if I end up getting the camera that is ).
    Quote Originally Posted by engel001 View Post
    Warning: When using the wireless send to smartphone function, I recently lost my raw files. I was only saving Raw in camera and the process resulted in in-camera conversion and loss of the Raw file. This may not be an issue if you shoot Raw+Jpeg.
    I just tested it. Camera in Raw mode. Transferred images to phone. The images are .jpg in the phone. Raws were not lost.

    Maybe update your app engel.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Yeah I've never had that issue either. That's not to say that it couldn't happen but I've never had it.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by engel001 View Post
    Warning: When using the wireless send to smartphone function, I recently lost my raw files. I was only saving Raw in camera and the process resulted in in-camera conversion and loss of the Raw file. This may not be an issue if you shoot Raw+Jpeg.
    I was caught once too. Then I discovered that you have to change to raw plus jpegs inside of the app. If you don't change in the app, the Play Memory app default, jpeg only, will override what you have set in the camera menu.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    I must be missing something here, because the Sony cameras can all shoot RAW + JPG Valentin, saving both to card. And you can always do some post processing on your smartphone or smart pad after the WiFi transfer, don't forget.
    Chuck,

    I only shoot RAW and I would like to keep it that way. It seems that there is some kind of conversion going on even when shooting RAW (as seen further down the thread).

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by turtle View Post
    As a wedding tool, the Fuji XT-1 seems that it might be a more viable mirrorless alternative to a DSLR than the A7, if you are looking for small and light, but want good responsiveness (in part due to a good range of native lenses), but it has questionable AF in low light......
    Turtle??,

    I tried the X-T1 and returned it. I wasn't happy with the IQ and the AF is not good in low light. It had no problems and was responsive outdoors, but in low light was hunting and having trouble locking focus. I wish my eyes were better so I could manual focus (reliably).

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by ken_vs_ryu View Post
    I just tested it. Camera in Raw mode. Transferred images to phone. The images are .jpg in the phone. Raws were not lost.

    Maybe update your app engel.


    Ken,

    Did you have RAW + JPEG or just RAW in your camera?

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Ken,

    Did you have RAW + JPEG or just RAW in your camera?
    was set to raw,

    RAW only.

    Rear button focus. Set AF/MF Button to AF ON.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Hi Valentin, I am a wedding photographer in "low light" Michigan.

    I professionally shot with Canon for years, then Nikon for a while, then 5 years ago settled in using Sony when they brought out the 24 meg FF A900 which had the same sensor as the Nikon D3X I was using at the time. One main reason was to get at the Zeiss ZA AF optics I preferred. The other was a then considerable shedding of Pro body size and weight.

    I now use a 24 meg FF Sony SLT A99 which is roughly the equivalent of your 5D-III except it is a SLT "Translucent Mirror" camera that acts like a mirror-less with a EVF rather than an optical one. It was this camera that helped me convert to electronic viewfinder use. I now also use a A7R which is truly mirror-less and really small.

    A few observations and cautions.

    1) Initially, EVF at a wedding is a bit difficult to get accustomed to. The bonus is that with the camera menu set to "Setting Effect On" you get exactly what you see in the viewfinder in every respect. The distracting part is you see overexposures or underexposures which can be startling at first.

    If you shoot auto WB in low tungsten lit venues, the VF image will be grossly yellow/red unless you custom WB.

    If you shoot a higher ISO in low light, the viewfinder shows gain and noise compared to an OVF. The view smears if you move the camera quickly in lower light ilke we often shoot in during reception events.

    When you use strobes and are using a lower ISO in low light @ f/5.6 or f/8+, the viewfinder will go black.

    2) With the camera menu set to "Setting Effect Off", mirror-less is similar to an OFV. This is the setting required for that type of strobe work.

    3) Unlike my A99 and my second shooter's 5D-III, the A cameras are more complex to set up and to use. For one example, there isn't a dedicated button for ISO you have to assign it to one of the buttons scattered around the camera then remember which one because it isn't marked as such. It just takes time to commit it to muscle memory.

    4) The instant review of the last shot appears in the viewfinder as well as the LCD, and this is my biggest negative coming from an OVF. It was incredibly confusing when this first happened to me shoot an decisive moment, and it "sticks" in the VF. The only way to avoid this is to completely turn instant review off so you have to press a button to see the last shot on the LCD.

    These are only meant as cautions regarding making a wholesale swap over to all Sony A kit for AF work at a wedding. It WILL slow you down at first, so I'd advise making a slower transition. This is NOT like changing OVF systems it is a different learning curve.

    Lenses:

    I have the advantage that my A99 ZA optics work on the A7R camera using a LEA4 adapter that has an AF motor and Translucent Mirror in it effectively making it a 36 meg version of the A99 that is a smaller. So, I only have the native FE 35/2.8 and 55/1.8. I had the FE 24-70/4, but it was to slow max aperture and it distorted to much IMO.

    I only use the 55/1.8 at weddings. MY ZAs are generally larger on the A cameras just like your Canon Ls would be but lenses like the AF ZA-24/2 are smaller, optically stellar, and focus very fast even in lower light thanks to the Sony AF assisted LEA4 adapter. That said, I find no difficulty with the FE-55/1.8 in lower light.

    I have no intention to move to all A cameras for weddings/event work until the FE AF lens line up is more complete and better/faster than the 24-70/4 was. I tend to use the A7R for available light with the FE-55/1.8 (ISO 3200 is better than the 5D-III) and also use it for off-camera strobe work at weddings.

    Speed-Lights:

    The native Sony pro speed-lights are simply too big and awkward on the little A cameras I recently got the mentioned Nissin i40 and it is just the right size IMO and a nifty little flash. I used it at a wedding this past week-end but in a limited manner until I come to trust it.

    - Marc
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Hi Valentin, I am a wedding photographer in "low light" Michigan....

    - Marc
    Somebody that's in my boat

    Thanks Marc. I will rent one for my next wedding before making any changes: I'm not that crazy to just jump in in a totally new system . I just wanted to hear some feedback from real working photographers using the cameras in similar manner as mine. What works great for landscapes doesn't mean with will be OK for event work. Even that, (wedding) photographers in CA have different situations compared with photographers up North. Also, the manual doesn't have much information in it and the 400 pages user guide was designed by someone on mushrooms: very hard to find information. Hence this thread.

    Tips like Anna T posted is something that it's not known (or it's buried somewhere in the manual) and you usually find by asking questions.

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    People mentioned that you can customize the Fn buttons. You could do that with the X-T1 as well but you were limited, so let me ask you more specific.

    Can I put on one of the Fn buttons the following settings:

    -ISO
    -Format Card
    -WB
    -Settings Effect On/Off

    So basically, when I press the Fn button, I have the option of selecting (and change) one of them. Or is it one setting per function button?

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    People mentioned that you can customize the Fn buttons. You could do that with the X-T1 as well but you were limited, so let me ask you more specific.

    Can I put on one of the Fn buttons the following settings:

    -ISO
    -Format Card
    -WB
    -Settings Effect On/Off

    So basically, when I press the Fn button, I have the option of selecting (and change) one of them. Or is it one setting per function button?
    There is a thing called "Fn Menu", that bring two rows (12 items total) of quick access items into LCD/EVF; you navigate/change these items with front/back dial and back panel control wheel. Navigating the Fn menu items is quite easy/efficient once you get used to it. This is in addition to about 8 (depending on if you count back dial up/down/left/right as such) configurable "soft buttons" that access a specific setting directly.

    Out of the items you asked only ISO and WB are assignable to button or Fn menu, personally I miss the quick access to Setting Effect a lot. There is a lot of quite useful stuff that can be assigned like: OSS on/off, face detect settings, focus peaking colour and strength,flash mode, focus mode, metering mode, drive mode. But unfortunately there are sort of small but glaring holes too like the Setting Effect.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Somebody that's in my boat

    Thanks Marc. I will rent one for my next wedding before making any changes: I'm not that crazy to just jump in in a totally new system . I just wanted to hear some feedback from real working photographers using the cameras in similar manner as mine. What works great for landscapes doesn't mean with will be OK for event work. Even that, (wedding) photographers in CA have different situations compared with photographers up North. Also, the manual doesn't have much information in it and the 400 pages user guide was designed by someone on mushrooms: very hard to find information. Hence this thread.

    Tips like Anna T posted is something that it's not known (or it's buried somewhere in the manual) and you usually find by asking questions.
    I see what you mean : first time in my life I felt the need to get a book about a camera ! But there is one which can be useful to experienced photograohers :

    Sony A7 A7r Book by Gary L. Friedman

    I'm coming from Canon too and had a real pain understanding the different focusing modes, as well as finding the best settings for peaking and zebra : they are all well explained in that book.

    As a side note, while my main subject isn't people, I had the occasion to participate in a wedding lately and used the A7r. I'm happy with the results (and the bride even more), but I'm accustomed to slow cameras needing prefocusing. The A7r was slow to operate and its AF was useless on moving subjects in low light (lack of reactivity). This is also true for the EVF/LCD : there is a lag between what happens and what you see in the EVF; you have to anticipate a little. My E-M5 had less lag in the VF than the A7r (May be the problem would lessen with an A7 or A7s where there are less pixels to handle ?)

    However the DR is fantastic, the noise remains rather low (I shot up to 6400 ISO) and given the many pixels I could easily down sample and crop for closer views.

    Concerning AF performance : read the DPreview review attentively. : the A7 performs better than the A7r, but only in good lights. in dark environments the A7 doesn't outperform the A7r, if I remember correctly.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Have tested both my A7 (electronic first shutter) and A7s and there is no shutter, LCD/EVF lag that I can seed

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Annna T View Post
    ...

    Concerning AF performance : read the DPreview review attentively. : the A7 performs better than the A7r, but only in good lights. in dark environments the A7 doesn't outperform the A7r, if I remember correctly.
    Every review I've read said that A7 is more responsive than A7r in terms of focus (regardless of light).

    Obviously, I have to try it for myself since everybody is different as well as how they shoot and what they expect. I think I'll rent both the A7 and A7s to see how they compare in terms of high ISO performance as well as AF (how fast it locks focus and how accurate it is). From what I'm hearing though, it's not 100% there (for event work like weddings). I'm curious what my experience will be.

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by tn1krr View Post
    ....
    Out of the items you asked only ISO and WB are assignable to button or Fn menu...
    Hopefully they will change that since it's a software thing.

    With Canon's "My menu", you can put ANY available function in that camera in the "My men" place (see the bottom of the page Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review: Digital Photography Review). It's very useful.

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Hopefully they will change that since it's a software thing.

    With Canon's "My menu", you can put ANY available function in that camera in the "My men" place (see the bottom of the page Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review: Digital Photography Review). It's very useful.
    I don't know for the 5D3, but on the 6D, I wanted to add the possibility to change the flash manual power (1/1, 1/2, .. 1/32, etc..) to My menu, but I could only add the top Flash Menu and still had to click way too many times to control the manual flash power.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Valentin, I have Jump Mag set to the C1 button, ISO assigned to the C2 button next to the viewfinder so I can change it without taking my eye from the viewfinder. WB is already available with a right side push of the command wheel with-in thumb reach and also visible in the viewfinder.

    I leave Setting Effect as the top menu item so I can toggle between available light, and use of off-camera strobes. When you use a properly enabled speed-light on camera, the camera automatically switches over.

    - Marc
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Annna T View Post
    I don't know for the 5D3, but on the 6D, I wanted to add the possibility to change the flash manual power (1/1, 1/2, .. 1/32, etc..) to My menu, but I could only add the top Flash Menu and still had to click way too many times to control the manual flash power.
    I know you can add any function that's available via the menu. Flash power is not one of them. There are a few things that you can control on the flash that way, but I'm not familiar with it. For me, it's faster to do it via flash (habit).

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    I know you can add any function that's available via the menu. Flash power is not one of them. There are a few things that you can control on the flash that way, but I'm not familiar with it. For me, it's faster to do it via flash (habit).
    I have a 430 EX II and the buttons are so uneasy to press successfully that it is a pain to use them directly on the flash. They are at the same time small, recessed and mushy. I can't understand how Canon could design such an un-ergonomic device..

    BTW, I can use that flash with the A7r, but only as a dumb manual flash (only the center connector is used). You can't push the foot completely inside of the grip, so keeping the flash on the body may not be wise. I have a Yongnuo flash cord and that was working quite well for copying slides on a self-made lightbox.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Stick with Canon maybe, Valentin, the small Sonys are more Leica M than DSLR, if you get my drift. A high end enthusiast camera, takes excellent small lenses, not much for flash or hardened pro usage, menus have a learning curve, but fabulous focus and exposure aids, fine EVF and industrial strength file quality even in quite low light.

    I am sure you could struggle through and do pretty well but it's quite a different schtick, is what I am seeing, and from the questions people ask. Very high end the Sonys are for what they do though, very nice for a lot of people whose needs correspond to the a7 series' strengths. I do travel and wilderness, it is tailor-made for this, better than anything else, and it takes all the great lenses, apart from ironically enough, Leica M class lenses! ;-)
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    I have a 5dIII, Leica M and mirrorless.
    I agree that the influence of the different viewfinders make maybe a bigger influence on my images than the difference in IQ.
    The 5dIII is hard to beat in regards of speed and easy to control.

    With all EVF I find it harder to judge the real light and to frame the image. I also find it harder to know if I caught the image.I do not agree that one sees what one gets, because the EVF can not display the same IQ the sensor can catch.

    Size is an obvious advantage of the mirrorless cameras.
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Question: What is the best focusing aid / method to use for manual focus lenses? Is focus peaking the most effective way? Or a combination with other focusing aids (like magnification)? (Leica M lenses mounted to A7).
    Kindest,
    Dave

    http://www.xdayv.com

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by xdayv View Post
    Question: What is the best focusing aid / method to use for manual focus lenses? Is focus peaking the most effective way? Or a combination with other focusing aids (like magnification)? (Leica M lenses mounted to A7).
    Peaking is Ok with longer lenses and wide open but gets problematic on anything wider than 35 (at least for me) and on slower lenses. I also find it annoying that on a half press of the shutter the peaking doesn't go away (like it used to in my fuji) as it can become distracting. I also find that the peaking can be somewhat inaccurate on the wider lenses as it tends to show to much as being in focus even on the lowest setting. So on the whole I don't use it that much as I find that magnification is more accurate and in fact because the EVF is so good I can usually hit the focus not using any of the aids at all. On the A7 (not for some reason on the S and maybe because of the loser resolution sensor) you seem to get a sort of shimmering on brightly light highlights when that are in focus even with peaking turned off again can be useful or annoying

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Focus peaking initially seemed to be a great solution and is nifty when stopped down a little to mask body sway/subject movement when working hand-held. IMO, shooting fast aperture lenses wide open is more difficult, including longer focal lengths closer up. Very hard to nail it/shoot it.

    It also depends on the amount of contrast edges that can be detected in a scene especially in flat lower ambient. You can get preoccupied looking for it rather than concentrating on the image to be made.

    The ultimate test for me has been a M50/0.95 on the A7R if I can get the focusing technique down for this lens most others will be a cake walk.

    I've been practicing with using focus magnification which revealed how much practice I need to do yet. When you magnify while working hand-held, the image is bouncing around in the EVF like it was from a really long lens.

    IMHO, the Sony A cameras would have benefited greatly from IBIS.

    If someone came forth with a FF EVF camera to take M lenses that was equipped with IBIS, I'd swap systems in a NY heartbeat.

    - Marc
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Annna T View Post
    I have a 430 EX II and the buttons are so uneasy to press successfully that it is a pain to use them directly on the flash....
    I don't have a problem with the 580 EXII. The only thing I use (most of the time) is to adjust power in manual (or exp compensation), second curtain and HSS. All easily done via the button. I'm not familiar with the 430s ... or maybe you have long nails and that makes it more difficult?

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    I also prefer magnification. If we are talking about focus aid...is there a way to activate magnification with pressing the button only once?
    I have a A7s but it looks like I have to press it twice to activate magnification.

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    I don't have a problem with the 580 EXII. The only thing I use (most of the time) is to adjust power in manual (or exp compensation), second curtain and HSS. All easily done via the button. I'm not familiar with the 430s ... or maybe you have long nails and that makes it more difficult?
    The buttons are slightly recessed in a cavity, but worse they are spongy mushy : they don't respond well when you press. I have very short nails. It may be better with longer ones. I never get what I want with the first pressure. I think that the flash may be weather sealed; there is like a gum cover over the button.

    Here is how it looks :

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Annna T View Post
    The buttons are slightly recessed in a cavity, but worse they are spongy mushy
    Based on the image, they are fairly similar. The only difference is the on/off switch and the power adjustment one (it's a wheel on the 580 II). I don't have that problem when changing HSS/second curtain/mode.

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    OK. I stopped by their booth at PPE to see how they feel. There was one "problem" that even their people couldn't answer (figure out) so I'm hoping that someone here can answer it.

    AF was continuously on (without pressing any buttons) and the guy behind the counter couldn't tell (or figure out) if you can turn it off (drains the not so long lasting battery even more; and his answer: they are small so you can have many of them ????). Is there a way to turn that off? I don't shoot video so I really don't care for that "feature".

    Another thing I noticed is that their flashes have proprietary ports so you can't use them with regular triggers (PW or the like). Maybe someone will make a cable for them but that's an added expense.

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    OK. I stopped by their booth at PPE to see how they feel. There was one "problem" that even their people couldn't answer (figure out) so I'm hoping that someone here can answer it.

    AF was continuously on (without pressing any buttons) and the guy behind the counter couldn't tell (or figure out) if you can turn it off (drains the not so long lasting battery even more; and his answer: they are small so you can have many of them ????). Is there a way to turn that off? I don't shoot video so I really don't care for that "feature".
    This is feature called "Pre AF" and I hate it too. Luckily it can be now turned off. With old Nex cameras one could not turn it off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Another thing I noticed is that their flashes have proprietary ports so you can't use them with regular triggers (PW or the like). Maybe someone will make a cable for them but that's an added expense.
    The flash hotshoe has proprietary pins, but it is would I say 98.5% compatible (there are a few rare models that do not work. An older version of Yongnuo 560 is one I believe) with standard ISO mount flashes/triggers. I use Elicnhrom Skyport triggers just fine on my A7R and many people use PW, CAnon flashes in manual mode...

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    I have tried a number of triggers and all worked fine.

    Jim
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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by tn1krr View Post
    ...
    The flash hotshoe has proprietary pins, but it is would I say 98.5% compatible (there are a few rare models that do not work...
    OK, maybe I didn't make myself clear. I wasn't talking about the hotshoe on the camera.

    I use off camera flashes all the time. My 580EXII has a sync port which can be used by any trigger. The Sony flashes has a multi-pin port(s) which would take a special cord (don't even know what the ports are; I'm assuming one is for an external battery pack).

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    Re: Question about A7/r/s

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    I have tried a number of triggers and all worked fine.

    Jim
    Jim,

    How did you connect the trigger to the flash (off camera)?

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