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Thread: A7RII first impressions and LOTS of RAW files

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    Senior Member Malina DZ's Avatar
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    Re: A7RII first impressions and LOTS of RAW files

    tashley, thanks for sharing d810 vs a7RII RAW files.
    There is noticeable difference in highlights roll-off near blown areas on the iso64 files (DSC0185 & DSC1638) when they have only "+1.0EV" & "-100 Highlights" adjustments in LR.

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    Re: A7RII first impressions and LOTS of RAW files

    I'm sure my opinion goes against the tide, but I have to say that I'm pretty underwhelmed by what I've seen so far from the A7r II. I've not seen or downloaded one image where I've really thought 'wow' on viewing it: the images just do not appear to have much 'bite' and, although there is obviously a very wide dynamic range, do not appear to have a smooth tonality, particularly when transitioning into extreme highlight areas. Looking at the samples that Tim went to the effort of posting, I have to say that I much prefer the tonality of the D810 files.

    I recently put my P45+ system up for sale but over the last few days had reason to take some test images and, having done that, I now can't bring myself to part with the system just yet as the files have such a lovely crispness, clarity and tonality (with a few tweaks to the greens and blues).

    I have to say that I'm more impressed with what I've seen from the 5Ds, than the A7r II, both in terms of colour and sharpness. I know that some can't get past the fact that files from Canon cameras do not have the huge dynamic range of Sony and Nikon but, for me, this is not an issue. Canon ergonomics are also fantastic in my opinion.

    I haven't actually had a chance to try an A7r II (or the 5Ds) so perhaps my comments are unfair and I'm sure that those who have purchased the A7r II will produce some beautiful imagery.

    Best

    Liam
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    Re: A7RII first impressions and LOTS of RAW files

    Quote Originally Posted by LDJ View Post
    I'm sure my opinion goes against the tide, but I have to say that I'm pretty underwhelmed by what I've seen so far from the A7r II. I've not seen or downloaded one image where I've really thought 'wow' on viewing it: the images just do not appear to have much 'bite' and, although there is obviously a very wide dynamic range, do not appear to have a smooth tonality, particularly when transitioning into extreme highlight areas. Looking at the samples that Tim went to the effort of posting, I have to say that I much prefer the tonality of the D810 files.

    I recently put my P45+ system up for sale but over the last few days had reason to take some test images and, having done that, I now can't bring myself to part with the system just yet as the files have such a lovely crispness, clarity and tonality (with a few tweaks to the greens and blues).

    I have to say that I'm more impressed with what I've seen from the 5Ds, than the A7r II, both in terms of colour and sharpness. I know that some can't get past the fact that files from Canon cameras do not have the huge dynamic range of Sony and Nikon but, for me, this is not an issue. Canon ergonomics are also fantastic in my opinion.

    I haven't actually had a chance to try an A7r II (or the 5Ds) so perhaps my comments are unfair and I'm sure that those who have purchased the A7r II will produce some beautiful imagery.

    Best

    Liam
    i suspect that you won't see many images that will wow you early on. There's going to be a learning curve to processing techniques with this camera much like was the case when the Leica MM was first released. Most of those images early on looked flat and lifeless.

    I'll agree that few images overall that I've seen have that wow factor though. I assume it has more to do with a large DR and the adjustment that it'll take to "learn" this camera than it is the actual capability of the tool. Give it a month or so.
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    Re: A7RII first impressions and LOTS of RAW files

    Wait till I get home from the weekend. I just shot a night shot 88 seconds. Don't have computer but looks very good on screen.


    I disagree on the bite. The shots I did the other day pretty much in the rain where so lifeless when shooting and so very very flat. I'm not sure I could tweak them like I did with even a MF back.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A7RII first impressions and LOTS of RAW files

    For the record the images are flat because of the high DR. It's seeing into the shadows much more than many other cams. It's great to get that detail but it's up to us to process correct and get some black and contrast back into the files. Most people right now are showing what's coming off the sensor. Good processing taking a back seat right now. I totally get that, it's new everyone wants to see the DR. Also these files have a very nice tonal range again bite usually is associated with contrast, saturation and a harder look. From what I'm seeing the files are smoother.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A7RII first impressions and LOTS of RAW files

    I agree with Guy. Personally a 'flat' file is exactly what I am after as it gives me something neutral to work on in PP. So far what I see is very good with lovely colours and very smooth gradation.

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    Re: A7RII first impressions and LOTS of RAW files

    Perhaps my use of the term 'bite' is incorrect: by 'bite' I am not referring to the overall contrast levels within the file, but rather the apparent micro-contrast and perception of sharpness that result from the sensor and lens combination, which cannot be replicated or compensated for by additional sharpening/contrast adjustments/clarity/structure in a raw convertor. My subjective opinion from the raw files I have looked at in C1 Pro is that this acuity and micro-contrast is lacking in the A7r II files I have viewed and use of additional sharpening/clarity/structure in C1 Pro do not help.

    I am not sure that 'bite', as I mean it, and tonal smoothness are mutually exclusive. Without wishing to start any kind of MF vs 35mm debate - I'm a happy user of both - perhaps this is something that the larger sensor system can give more easily: good pixel level acuity and micro-contrast coupled with smooth tonality (I think the 60mp and 80mp backs are even better than my ageing P45+ in this regard).

    Anyway, I don't wish to sound unduly negative about this latest engineering feat by Sony, it's just that there has been so much hype surrounding the release of the A7r II that I am left somewhat underwhelmed on viewing these early images.

    Best

    Liam
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    Re: A7RII first impressions and LOTS of RAW files

    Quote Originally Posted by LDJ View Post
    I am not sure that 'bite', as I mean it, and tonal smoothness are mutually exclusive. Without wishing to start any kind of MF vs 35mm debate - I'm a happy user of both - perhaps this is something that the larger sensor system can give more easily: good pixel level acuity and micro-contrast coupled with smooth tonality (I think the 60mp and 80mp backs are even better than my ageing P45+ in this regard).
    Liam, I understand what you're saying and it's not negative nor will it ignite any MFD vs. 35mm debates. It's a valid observation. I shoot with a Pentax 645Z, Nikon D810 and Sony a7RM2 (replacing my a7R). While the 35mm full-frame cameras produce outstanding files, the medium-format Pentax edges them out in micro-contrast and tonal smoothness. In your case, there's probably also a difference between the CCD rendering and what you're seeing from CMOS sensors. Preferences shouldn't start arguments or flame wars. In the end, it's what works for you that matters.

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    Member fmueller's Avatar
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    Re: A7RII first impressions and LOTS of RAW files

    I'll make the broadly sweeping statement that there is no substitute for sensor size.

    I owned the A7r for awhile and am back with the A7R2. Never did own a Nikon D8xx.

    There is nothing I have seen from the A7r2 that makes think it is in the same league as my MFDB in terms of raw image quality. They do fulfill vastly different roles though.

    Quote Originally Posted by LDJ View Post
    Perhaps my use of the term 'bite' is incorrect: by 'bite' I am not referring to the overall contrast levels within the file, but rather the apparent micro-contrast and perception of sharpness that result from the sensor and lens combination, which cannot be replicated or compensated for by additional sharpening/contrast adjustments/clarity/structure in a raw convertor. My subjective opinion from the raw files I have looked at in C1 Pro is that this acuity and micro-contrast is lacking in the A7r II files I have viewed and use of additional sharpening/clarity/structure in C1 Pro do not help.

    I am not sure that 'bite', as I mean it, and tonal smoothness are mutually exclusive. Without wishing to start any kind of MF vs 35mm debate - I'm a happy user of both - perhaps this is something that the larger sensor system can give more easily: good pixel level acuity and micro-contrast coupled with smooth tonality (I think the 60mp and 80mp backs are even better than my ageing P45+ in this regard).

    Anyway, I don't wish to sound unduly negative about this latest engineering feat by Sony, it's just that there has been so much hype surrounding the release of the A7r II that I am left somewhat underwhelmed on viewing these early images.

    Best

    Liam

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    Re: A7RII first impressions and LOTS of RAW files

    There certainly are roles that the Sony is better suited to than an MF system and I perhaps shouldn't have used medium format to illustrate my point in this thread.

    What I will say is that, having played with numerous raw files over the last few months in C1 Pro, I personally prefer the files produced by both the Canon 5Ds and the Nikon D810 systems to those that I have seen so far from the A7r II system at low ISOs - notice that I use the term 'system', as I don't believe that sensor performance can be viewed in isolation from the other elements that contribute to the final file output.

    Best

    Liam

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