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Complaints about a7rII

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#1 buyingcamera



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Posted 11 June 2015 - 09:25 AM

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I want to first state that I am going to be ordering this camera! Sony gets my money so that talks more than anything.


I have some complaints, and complaints about complaints : ).



I'm going to be using this camera off the grid for months (read http://staywildandtr...03/30/cdt-gear/ for information on weight). Every gram counts, and it's a shame they keep making these cameras heavier and heavier! They're getting as heavy as a DSLR, but you cannot use them like a work-horse DSLR because no dual card slot. Cards don't fail often, but when they do, and you charge $10k for a wedding, it sucks to lose it all.  Even if your terms state you can't be sued more than the money you charge (roughly $10k in this case), it's still annoying.


Cons --


Weight on the breaking point of being too heavy

Battery (old fashioned lithium-ion, they could at least design a new 2,000mah battery in the same size case)

No true 14bit uncompressed raw (I'm sure they'd have advertised it if it existed). If bandwidth is an issue, they could give you the option of a 1FPS instead of 5FPS mode. This would be great for landscapes.

No dual card slots or the option for redundancy (even if it used the USB port to write to a separate card reader, that'd be something) 

Bigger. Both cameras are uncomfortable to me (I have large hands) and I found the previous model slightly more comfortable.

Price. Sony does what it always does and it's upsetting to know that it'll be nearly half the price in a years time. I know digital cameras are destined to be this way but sony pricing scheme has always been more annoying than other companies. 

Lenses. FE lenses are sealed, no gasket. Some zeiss lenses either have a gasket and no sealing, or sealing and no gasket. I'd rather they just had sealing and a gasket, like canon lenses.

Sealing. Sony sealing usually always sucks and I doubt this is going to be different.


Pros --


Shutter shock problem hopefully resolved. Though I have a small complaint... I emailed sony a while back, they claimed the a7r has had NO reported problems and there's "no vibration". Either they were lying then and they improved the shutter, or they are lying now and it uses the same shutter as before. I just don't like when companies lie that's all. 

No onboard GPS. I used to think onboard GPS was essential but there's so many better ways to do it and lightroom makes it easy. If I have to turn the camera off every time I take a photograph to conserve battery life, I don't want to wait for a GPS signal. GPS could be turned off if it existed but it's more complications and there's better trackers available.

No onboard flash. They get water in, begin to rust, are useless at providing high quality light (light source is too small and not powerful enough) and are an archaic method of triggering a flash (radio flash options are much superior). It is sad when a review gives a camera less points for not having such a feature.


Those that complain about a lack of onboard flash and GPS, really need to research more. There are far better options available.


To keep things fair, I've made an extensive list of another camera to compare it to. The generic DSLR. This part is a bit of a joke.


Cons --


Heavy. Doesn't get taken anywhere because it's too heavy.

Large. Doesn't usually get taken anywhere because it's too big and poses are ruined because people are intimidated by how big it is. 

Mirror that becomes slightly misaligned when dropped or jolted.


Pros --


Can make dust mountains because it stays at home and doesn't get used.

Doesn't get used so it holds its price more.




Can I crop the video mode beyond crop mode? It'd be nice to "digitally zoom" beyond "crop mode" to gain effective reach. 


None of these things are a deal breaker for me. The camera looks great and I'll work around the issues it'll likely have. Sony always do the odd little dumb thing with their cameras but I like the size in general

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#2 Max the Dog

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 02:10 PM

The biggest problem is still 11+7 lossy compression. 


Here's why -


A compendium of analysis into Sony’s Lossy 11+7 bit RAW Files

The earliest (Dec 2014) analysis I am aware of comes from a Google translation of a Russian site.




Diglloyd on the above


LLoyd on Sony files


Some photographers comments on how Sony’s lossy compression algorithm negatively impacts files.

Ming Thein (Sep 2014)http://blog.mingthei...ystem-thinking/

“the serious amateur or working studio pro has to really look at full frame – and that means a DSLR of some description, because frankly, the compression and shutter vibration issues of the A7R make it pretty much unusable” 

Ming (Jan 2015)http://blog.mingthei...ony-a7-mark-ii/

“No matter how much technology is packed into the rest of the camera, if the sensor does not deliver – then we might as well go home. I am still not happy with the crippling 11+7 bit raw compression: you can still run into posterization fairly easily in highlights and shadows, especially if adjusting color balance under mixed lighting. Watch carefully for clipping, too – it doesn’t roll off nicely in the highlights like the D810. ISO for ISO, lens for lens, the D750 delivers a better quality file – with about 1-1.5 additional stops of usable (i.e. clean, manipulable in post processing without artifacts) dynamic range – in addition to slightly more transparent color, and surprisingly, about a stop less noise.”

byThom – http://www.dslrbodie...nikon-d750.html

“Sony really needs to put more effort into respecting raw data. The Nikon DSLRs can output 14-bit raw data that is not compromised. The Sony A7 cameras output 11-bit raw data that has lossy compression in it. The A7 cameras are also not speed demons at saving that altered raw data to the card, either, though they’re not bad in basic write speed. When I wrote about this in my Sony A7 reviews, I got hammered by a lot of Sony users who wrote “we don’t see any difference.” Well, you very well might not see differences between a Sony raw file and a Nikon one. However, I’m a bit uncomfortable with “massaged data” as opposed to a more true raw data. I’m also disappointed by the 11-bit aspect of the Sony cameras: too much post processing manipulation and you risk posterization.”

More byThom – http://www.sansmirro...a7r-review.html

Strongly suggested you read the entire review – and buy RawDigger (I am not associated in any way nor receive any kickbacks, payola, credits, discounts or $hill ( https://sonyvnikon.w...filiate-shills/ ) – I paid full price for my copy mid 2014) $20 is a rounding error and it will help you shoot better and ETTR better.  http://www.rawdigger.com/purchase

Image Quality: Okay, we are now in one area where I know I’m going to get a lot of blowback: image quality. The number one thing I heard the fanboys all rejoicing about when the A7r was announced was this: “Yes! D800E quality in a smaller, lighter, less expensive body.” No, the A7r produces less than D800E quality in a less expensive body. If you want a free lunch, I suggest you try the local rescue mission.

The difference isn’t actually easy to describe because it involves what’s going on behind the covers. But let me lay out the basics: the D800E will shoot 14-bit raw files with no underlying artifacts and fully recoverable data. The A7r will shoot 11-bit raw files with potential posterization issues in the data. The same is true of the A7 versus a D610, too. 

Let’s start with the 11-bit thing. Sony always uses compression in storing raw files. The way they do that is quite clever. They slice each pixel row into 32 pixel blocks. In a Bayer sensor, that means two colors, each with 16 data points). For each 16 pixels of a color, Sony looks at the minimum and maximum pixel values for each and stores that. For the other 14 pixels they store a 7-bit value that is offset from the minimum value. In essence, they get 32 pixel values stored in 32 bytes, when normally 11-bit storage for that data should take 44 bytes. 

This is not lossless compression. It is highly lossy. Nor is it visually lossless. That’s because when you have an extreme set of values in the 32-pixel block (e.g. sun peaking out from behind tree edge), you get posterization of data.

#3 UnionCityBlues



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Posted 12 June 2015 - 12:28 PM

Are any of these addressed with the Mk2?


One limiting factor with the original a7r, from my perspective is the slow, 1/160th second max flash shutter speed.


I'm used to 1/250th with my other gear, so when you use a lot of off-camera flash it is limiting in the sunshine (not an issue in the UK, granted), which is ideally when you need it most for close-up, people-based-shots.


Yes, I am Martin Parr;)


The other is the fragile nature of the shutter curtain. Mine failed after 53 weeks of ownership.


It's not unobtrusive in that the shutter is really quite loud.


Video button was eventually disabled as I kept catching it and recording video - I understand it's been ergonomically re-configured.


Lastly, it's vague focussing at night / in the dark as it's system is based on contrast, so a dark figure against a dark background makes me wish I'd brought along the M240!


Aside from that - it's a magical camera and means the M240 is gathering dust, 9 months of dust thus far, I am embarrassed to admit.


(I don't use auto focus, but I imagine the small batteries could pose some people issues?)

#4 photographer-at-large



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Posted 14 June 2015 - 03:11 PM

Touchscreen for menu navigation, and tap-to-focus would have been great.

#5 Faymus Media

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 01:51 AM

I used one today at the Adorama Fair. The S35 crop mode eliminates motion scew/rolling shutter. Tack sharp video, looks amazing. The native ISO for Slog-2 is 800 ISO. I punched the ISO to 12,800 and the lens to f/16. Looks clean. Has backlit sensor. Images are 14-bit RAW. I never had any issues pushing the images.

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#6 3dit0r


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Posted 15 June 2015 - 10:41 AM

I'm finally up for one of these. I'd prefer an uncompressed RAW option (even with a lower frame rate) for landscapes, or even just a better lossless compression scheme, but in practice I've not experienced a problem pushing my NEX-6 RAW files.

I agree Sony should be careful about weight - these are now as heavy as my old Nikon F3 - not a lightweight camera. However, 5-axis IS might mean not having to carry a tripod in a lot of situations, which is a big weight saving, so...

Still think Sony could have some kind of split-image MF mode, like Fuji X-T1 as an option. And I do think we could have more buttons/dials than menus.

And there are still a lot of lenses to fill out, I think.

However, that said, I think this does sound amazing. In fact, I can't really believe Sony gave us all this in one body - high res/low noise, 5-axis IS with any lens, better EVF, and what sounds like very good internal 4K video. Very nice.
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#7 jocau



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Posted 15 June 2015 - 09:23 PM

Ok, now some interesting news on the lossy compression RAW files. Dave Etchells (a mod over at Imaging Resource) said this in the comments of the live blog article regarding the Sony announcements:

Dave Etchells Mod • 6 hours ago
Hey gang - Any questions? We're going up to the hands-on portion now, ask questions here and we'll see what we can find out in semi-real time :-)
(We'll also be talking to a high-level technical person later this afternoon, so this would be a great chance to ask deeper questions about the new products)

I noticed these 2 questions in the comments...

Question 1:

eric • 5 hours ago
what about lossless compression or un-compressed RAW files for the a7r2?


Dave Etchells Mod eric • 5 hours ago
I checked with the product planner for the A7R II - the compression scheme is the same as in the past, no option for uncompressed

Question 2:

S Muk • 3 hours ago
How could a new sensor hi-res be designed without consideration of its full potential? Sure, a lot of big improvements have been made in the newer version today and I can't stop smiling ear to ear but this has me thinking. I am positive that I am not the only one here trying to figure this reason out.

The lossy compression takes away from a true native file. Could something different be given through a firmware upgrade?

Please see if you could ask this in your interview? Thanks.


Dave Etchells Mod S Muk • 3 hours ago
I asked this question of the main guy, said that a *lot* of people are asking for it, and that even if there were some tradeoff in operational speed, people would like to at least have the option. He said that they've heard this request, and my bringing it up helped underscore its importance. He said that they could provide this via a firmware update (I wasn't sure to what extent their image processor was optimized somehow for the compressed format), but he couldn't promise any ETA.

I think it's fair to say that they're looking into it very seriously, I think they realize that it's a sticking point for people, and a negative mark for some who are considering Sony vs other brands.


#8 photographer-at-large



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Posted 16 June 2015 - 01:32 AM

does not support higher speed UHS-II SDXC cards

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#9 Mars1954



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Posted 16 June 2015 - 02:06 PM

The no dual card slots takes me out of the running as a wedding photographer. I am disappointed because I was ready to switch to Sony mirrorless completely I am surprised all the high end cameras in the Canon and Nikon line have dual slots what was Sony thinking?

#10 jocau



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Posted 16 June 2015 - 05:43 PM

The A7RII body is listed at 3.499 EUR at a Belgian store. It's about time the camera manufacturers start using the correct exchange rates because 3.199 USD is about 2.850 EUR...

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#11 ThreeD23



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Posted 16 June 2015 - 08:34 PM

Uncompressed Raw could be solved, sooner or later:


#12 iiiNelson


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Posted 17 June 2015 - 06:21 PM

Well if Sony is listening I'd like them to add an in-camera RAW 1:1, 4:5, and 4:3 ratio option to go along with the 3:2 and 16:9 ones through firmware. I'm sure plenty of portrait shooters would agree that would be a great feature.

#13 alastc


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Posted 17 June 2015 - 10:00 PM

It's about time the camera manufacturers start using the correct exchange rates because 3.199 USD is about 2.850 EUR...


You probably missed tax, the US $ amount doesn't include sales tax.


For the UK $3,200 = £ 2,020, but then add VAT = 2,400. Add a bit more travel/delivery fee and a smaller market, and I'd expect £2,700 in the UK.

#14 Philber


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Posted 19 June 2015 - 06:12 AM

The same people who now are asking for uncompressed RAW would scream at the problems (speed, storage) created by huge files, probably around 120Mb. It does seem sensible to settle not for uncompressed RAW but for lossless compression.

That said, I find that issue somewhat overblown, when measured against the countless fine photographers whom I see taking great pictures with their Sony cameras. I am pretty sure that many who feel strongly about this issue would, when given the option, realise how few pictures are impacted (basically very dark background and strong contrast, pushed strongly in post), and meekly set their cams on the present solution, but content in their heart of hearts that they had the ability for their shots to be "pure".

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#15 buyingcameraa



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Posted 21 June 2015 - 06:38 PM

I don't care about touch screen too much. If you have time to take the camera away from your face to select a focus point, but you don't have time to gain any form of muscle memory and select a focus point with a conventional method, then I'm not sure what's going on.


Thanks for all the spam guys but none of you really answered my question.


Max the dog - nice spam. I already know about lossy compression, I've had to have prints reprinted because of an artefact I didn't notice straight away. There's no alternative camera, so I either accept that and move on, or I bring no camera. Re-read what I said about hiking instead of spamming, please, thanks.


"The no dual card slots takes me out of the running as a wedding photographer"


It doesn't; change your legalese, moreover, re-read. 


"You probably missed tax, the US $ amount doesn't include sales tax.


For the UK $3,200 = £ 2,020, but then add VAT = 2,400. Add a bit more travel/delivery fee and a smaller market, and I'd expect £2,700 in the UK."


VAT is for hobbyists.


I've only flown around the world a few times, but last time I checked, america was 10,144 km miles from japan, and europe was 8,550 km, but hey, if you think more money should be spent delivering the camera to a shorter distance, that makes about as much sense as the retarded replies in this thread.


"The same people who now are asking for uncompressed RAW would scream at the problems (speed, storage) created by huge files, probably around 120Mb"


You're wrong, though I'm satisfied with losslessly compressed, I would not scream about the problems associated with uncompressed so long as we had options.


"That said, I find that issue somewhat overblown, when measured against the countless fine photographers whom I see taking great pictures with their Sony cameras"

99% of photographers are junk, the good ones are smart enough to edit out the artefacts before showing in a gallery. The occasional mishap happens but this is usually solved from a re-print. Last I checked, re-prints cost money.
"I am pretty sure that many who feel strongly about this issue would, when given the option, realise how few pictures are impacted"
It's difficult not to be able to sell a print for $1,000. Even if only ONE print is impacted, that's still $1,000. 


"content in their heart of hearts that they had the ability"


Thanks for the verbal diarrhoea. I repeat, I'm going on a long hike across the CDT, it's not something you or anyone else has done with this camera and I'd appreciate it if the posts here weren't verbal diarrhoea. Thanks all the same but I'll rent the camera when it's out or just buy it straight away and find out the answers for myself. I'm curious about how all the sony and zeiss lenses handle moisture and dust, renting should solve that. The thread can be locked, junk replies 

#16 Guest_all8_*

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 08:32 PM

Based on your efforts to save weight, and the nature of your journey, I can't help but wonder if the A7 is the right choice for someone with your stringent requirements? RX1, RX100, Leica Q, Ricoh GR ... mix and match, take 2 and have backup other than the IPhone, easy to protect, fixed lens. Its not easy, going to so much trouble to reduce weight, and then taking a system camera ... kinda odd really.


I don't think that answers your question (there was only one), which was "Can I crop the video mode beyond crop mode?" to  ... 5 minutes of Google gives this:




Digital Zoom
The A7 offers three types of digital zoom. Sony's "Clear Image" digital zoom is available at 2x magnification, standard digital zoom up to 4x, and "Smart Zoom" is available where the camera just crops away the unused portion of the image when a lower resolution is selected. You can combine the various digital zooms as well, but maximum total digital zoom is 4x at full resolution.


I'm sure its different on the A7rii, or perhaps not, but you can figure that one out here: http://lmgtfy.com/?q...gital clearzoom

#17 buyingcameraaa



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Posted 22 June 2015 - 08:58 AM

I sell large prints for a lot of money, the cameras you mentioned either don't offer the mega pixels, the focal length or the quality I am looking for. The a7rII is slightly heavy for what I want, I agree, but the a7r is littered with flaws. Shutter lag, a non functioning auto focus (if I choose to get an auto focus lens), and poor sealing (no sony cameras are sealed that well but I'd rather have the lesser of two evils). Those that say the gear doesn't matter are just talking nonsense and have watched too many crappy videos on youtube, instead of travelling the world, creating large prints for themselves and making comparisons for themselves. The right tool for the job is the a7rII, it's not a perfect tool, but it's considerably better than others available.


"going to so much trouble to reduce weight, and then taking a system camera ... kinda odd really"


Makes perfect sense to me, you reduce weight to take things you want to take.


Thanks for the help about the zoom. There's an app which smoothly zooms in, so I guess it's possible a scroll wheel might be able to zoom in while videoing.


To clarify, the link at the start is just the first link in google, it's not my gear list. I was hoping people would give it a quick look to avoid terrible comments, but still I got flammed in the disqus board (which is why the aggressive response here) saying weight doesn't matter. I guess that's what happens when admin quotes something out of context

#18 genesimmons



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Posted 28 June 2015 - 04:02 PM

Will the newa7ii or a7r2 be able to shoot raw plusjpg and assign a effect for the jpeg? My a7 won't do that and I hate it.i want to shoot a bracket of 3 raw files for an hdr but I would also like to have the jpeg use the builtin hdr effect to have the image right away. I shouldn't have to change settings from raw jpeg to jpeg then select effect and then back again. Also why no time delay when using the built in effect.i want to shoot hdr jpeg but no timer feature. What's up with that

Sony a7.28-70 oss. Minolta 135 f2.8-50 f1.7-200 f4 70-210 f3.5-5.6-28 f2.8-2x teleconverter.Olympus vivitar 135 f2.8-50 1.8  Many canon lenses tilt shift fish eye etc.

#19 danwatson



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Posted 29 June 2015 - 06:32 PM

If Sony gives me the A7rII in a A99 body, I'd drive around in a buggy if it meant getting one. This would fix the ergonomics, lens, battery, and so many other issues related to the small A7 body. Make it focus with Canon lenses like the A7rII and every Canon shooter will have one on preorder and slowly begin fazing out their Canon lenses with Zeiss. The only reason I'm holding off on the A7rII is for this reason. As a pro shooter, I need dual card slots and an ergonomic body with great battery life...but you can't argue with the specs of the A7rII. 

#20 NightPhotographer



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Posted 02 July 2015 - 08:26 AM

Sony needs to realize that pixel peepers who want to squeeze every bit of data would pay such premium price for a camera. I think lossless RAW is a must for the A7R II. To me, compressed or uncompressed doesn't matter.

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