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A7Rii first impressions thread (incl RAW downloads)


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Post your own first impressions here / feel free to ask me anything.
If I sound critical is this brief description it’s because $3k cameras are not allowed to make excuses  :-)
 
 
-It's massive, I really don’t like how big these cameras have become. I knew the weight had gone up hugely too and expected that to make it feel like a dense, top quality item. It doesn’t - it merely feels just like any other good DSLR.
-Packaging/presentation is standard fare, no more premium than any of their other cameras.
-Included: 2 batteries, USB cable, strap, nicely compact 11W USB charger.
-It accepted my non-Sony battery and happily charged from all my USB battery packs as well as an iPhone wall charger while in use.
-Viewfinder: nicer than I expected though flicker is very noticable, resolution adequate but pixels visible
-Speed of operation: Responsive, some extra (but still not all) functions can be used while it’s still writing to card
-Software: Many small improvements, eg more customisation, can add copyright, zooms into AF area chosen instead of the centre every time, AutoISO limits 
-Shutter: I’m going to love silent shutter and might leave it that way perminantly: I couldn’t make any rolling shutter-like artefacts appear when I tried
-Buffer: A sometimes-limiting 21 shots (RAW+JPG), and only 44 shots/min thereafter using a 280MB/sec card. RAWs are 43.5MB each.
 
Overall - When you say “Oh my God” loudly after viewing the very first shot, you know you have something special…makes me want to go reshoot everything I’ve had success with before and more :-D
 
 
Some out-of-camera quick snapshots (a rush job / variety of RAW situations for those pixel peepers, rather than shot for their artistic merit so don’t judge me!)
Click pic for jpg, or RAW then the ”Download This File" button.
 
FE70-200mm  RAW
post-545-0-01064400-1438281782_thumb.jpg
 
FE28mm  RAW
post-545-0-11292200-1438281681_thumb.jpg
 
FE28mm  RAW
post-545-0-72196100-1438281801_thumb.jpg
 
FE28mm  RAW
post-545-0-89224300-1438281805_thumb.jpg
 
FE70-200mm  RAW
post-545-0-46313200-1438281771_thumb.jpg
 
FE70-200mm  RAW
post-545-0-53687800-1438281742_thumb.jpg
 
FE28mm RAW
post-545-0-79938400-1438281776_thumb.jpg
 
FE70-200mm  RAW
post-545-0-77689000-1438281792_thumb.jpg
 
FE28mm
post-545-0-42663600-1438281797_thumb.jpg
 
FE28mm Obligatory cats shot
post-545-0-96374000-1438281786_thumb.jpg
 

 

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Coming from a lowly NEX 5N though am familiar with Canon 5D & 7D mkII.
 
-The added weight, although unwelcome, is nowhere near as big an issue as I expected.
-The size on the other hand will definitely restrict how often I take it out with me.
-I don't like the location of the MENU button - need to adjust grip (and use other hand) to hit it.
-I seriously miss the touch screen to select focus point (the UI often presents buttons that look touchable too). A major ommission which will force me to change how I like to shoot; customising so the D pad selects points is adequate but still nowhere near as good. Maybe I should use CAF and the tracking modes more instead.
 
 
Portraits and AF I hope to test tommorrow but so far it’s just like the 5D.
 
Low light ... FE70-200mm at >120mm; I wasn’t particularly careful while taking the shots so Steadyshot is certainly effective:
1/30th, 6400:  RAW, JPG
1/40th, 8000:  RAW, JPG
1/60th, 12800:  RAW, JPG
post-545-0-98573700-1438295326_thumb.jpg
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Coming from a lowly NEX 5N though am familiar with Canon 5D & 7D mkII.
 
-The added weight, although unwelcome, is nowhere near as big an issue as I expected.
-The size on the other hand will definitely restrict how often I take it out with me.
-I don't like the location of the MENU button - need to adjust grip (and use other hand) to hit it.
-I seriously miss the touch screen to select focus point, a major ommission which will force me to change how I like to shoot (customising so the D pad selects points is adequate but still nowhere near as good). Maybe I should use CAF and the tracking modes more instead.
 
 

 

Yes, that sounds really really terrible...but don't worry....I can do you a favor and just buy your brand new A7RII instead of waiting around for mine hehehe

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lol Rawfa, thanks for offering to take this inconvenient beast off my hands. I did say I'd be harsh on the new camera...but overall I am loving it - you can assume anything I don't mention is perfection!

 

Just noticed in the car shot - that banding on the building behind might well be a silent shutter artefact due to the street lighting type.

I'd guess this will only happen under artificial lighting and with shutter below 1/200th or so, something else to experiment with.

 

As for the 28mm bbphoto, it just seems so much sharper than when I used it on my 5N, I don't understand how. Maybe the A7Rii is simply focussing it more accurately. The 70-200 has missed focus in 2 or 3 shots out of 100? so far, the 28 hasn't yet in maybe 50.

If I chose the Batis 25mm instead, I'd have probably wanted the 35mm f2.8 too to provide a more portable option. Together those are 4x the 28mm's price.   14, 28, 55, and 70-200 is a nice spread for me.

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I applied the adobe profile correction to the 28mm lens and found distortion to remain wildly high for something only as wide as 28mm. And at such a landscape level. /:

 

Detail in center was great though! Highlights seemed flexible (granted it was exposed more for the sky than foreground). Solid dynamic range! 

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A couple of impressions in response to the samples I've seen so far (with huge thanks to all those who have taken their time, and their new camera, to share with us!) -

 

- I'm hugely impressed by dynamic range and how clean the sensor output is. At base ISO, playing with a RAW file, the files are incredibly malleable; e.g., huge shadow recovery without introducing any perceptible noise. This almost sells the camera to me by itself, for landscape work, and casual portraiture. High ISO looks very clean too, amazing given the resolution.

- I'm concerned at how soft the 28 f/2 and 16-35 f/4 lenses look even stopped down in the corners, from the samples I've seen. It doesn't even seem to be far corners, but quite a way into the frame. If this is really representative, I will probably end up using adapted lenses for at least some of my FLs.

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Hey...so this is really rough (haven't had much time with the camera) and I'll do a better one over the weekend, but here are some 100% crops for you next to the a7r and 5dmkiii

 

original size available to view on flickr

 

thanks for your work! Can you tell us a little about how you created them? Did you use RAw/JPG, which converter, are the shutter speeds and apertures used the same?

 

Thanks,

Phillip

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Thanks a lot for sharing the raws, just great to be able to see for myself how it works out in Lightroom. The first 28mm shot is misfocussed I think, it's not sharp when pixel-peeping. The rest shows some great sharpness although it looks to me that the FE 70-200mm is at the limit of its performance. I think I'll be less happy with the FE 24-70mm on this camera... And wow, these high-ISO samples seem to suggest roughly a 2-stops advantage over the A7R. Can't wait to see the DxO marks on this one.

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These were all just snapshots, I didn't even look at them properly before posting. They are showing how the camera performs typically rather than just sharing perfect shots only. Eg the misfocussed park shot, and Silent Shutter banding & not using a tripod (or even good technique) on the nighttime car shots.

 

Other than selecting focus point (which out of the box is crazily long-winded) the fact that I haven't even had to think about focussing is testament to how good it is. There isn't really much more to say since the only time I had was during easy-to-focus bright sunlight. Am most looking forward to trying out Continuous and Eye AF at the weekend.

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Hey...so this is really rough (haven't had much time with the camera) and I'll do a better one over the weekend, but here are some 100% crops for you next to the a7r and 5dmkiii

 

original size available to view on flickr

 

19532355303_f20de7694d.jpga7rii_noise_test by Jon Roberts Photography, on Flickr

Thanks for this! Is it just me or does the A7RmkII seem brighter than the rest? Not overexposed, more like it is opening up the shadows more?

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Posted some high ISO examples here - https://flic.kr/s/aHskhiCnTM

 

Including with NR applied in LR6 to show how much detail can be pulled back.

 

General impressions:

AF: much better AF than a7 but can still struggle in lower light (but rarely, had very little trouble focusing in a fairly dull room at 7pm, just one or two exceptions)

ISO performance - much better than A7, v pleased with that aspect

Weight - surprisingly heavy, feels very solid, nice finish.

EVF - much bigger than A7, and sharp. All fine.

Detail - huge. With the 90 macro lens there is an incredible amount of detail.

IBIS - better than i expected, i shot keepers with a 35mm as low as 1/3 second

DR - seems very good, lot of room to play

Tracking (eye tracking, lock on AF, etc) - good but not as good as i expected, it frequently lost the 'eye' in a reasonably well lit setting, but this was by no means an extensive test so could be unfair.

Custom buttons - additional ones over and above a7 very handy

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Post your own first impressions here / feel free to ask me anything.
If I sound critical is this brief description it’s because $3k cameras are not allowed to make excuses  :-)
 
 
-It's massive, I really don’t like how big these cameras have become. I knew the weight had gone up hugely too and expected that to make it feel like a dense, top quality item. It doesn’t - it merely feels just like any other good DSLR.
-Packaging/presentation is standard fare, no more premium than any of their other cameras.
-Included: 2 batteries, USB cable, strap, nicely compact 11W USB charger.
-It accepted my non-Sony battery and happily charged from all my USB battery packs as well as an iPhone wall charger while in use.
-Viewfinder: nicer than I expected though flicker is very noticable, resolution adequate but pixels visible
-Speed of operation: Responsive, some extra (but still not all) functions can be used while it’s still writing to card
-Software: Many small improvements, eg more customisation, can add copyright, zooms into AF area chosen instead of the centre every time, AutoISO limits 
-Shutter: I’m going to love silent shutter and might leave it that way perminantly: I couldn’t make any rolling shutter-like artefacts appear when I tried
-Buffer: A sometimes-limiting 21 shots (RAW+JPG), and only 44 shots/min thereafter using a 280MB/sec card. RAWs are 43.5MB each.
 
Overall - When you say “Oh my God” loudly after viewing the very first shot, you know you have something special…makes me want to go reshoot everything I’ve had success with before and more :-D
 
 
Some out-of-camera quick snapshots (a rush job / variety of RAW situations for those pixel peepers, rather than shot for their artistic merit so don’t judge me!)
Click pic for jpg, or RAW then the ”Download This File" button.
 
FE70-200mm  RAW
 
FE28mm  RAW
 
FE28mm  RAW
 
FE28mm  RAW
 
FE70-200mm  RAW
 
FE70-200mm  RAW
 
FE28mm RAW
 
FE70-200mm  RAW
 
FE28mm
 
FE28mm Obligatory cats shot
 

 

Where did you get your camera from? All retailers I've checked are still showing preorders...

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Hi Guys,

 

Just got my A7Rii today. Long time A7 owner (moved off Nikon D800 due to diabolical LiveView and lack of inovation by Nikon). I must say I'm impressed

 

As I'm pressed for time here are some off the cuff observations

 

Pros

 

  • Feels really, really solid
  • View finder is much better than A7
  • ISO Performance is very, very good. Did some shots at 1250 (as it's always cloudy in Scotland) and was really impressed with how clean they were. On the A7 noise was noticeable around this point. Not so in 
  • 2 Batteries in the box. At least it shows Sony is taking battery life seriously. If they can't make their batteries last longer it's nice to see that they've provided a work around to the problem.
  • External Charger - for 2700 quid I damn well expect to be able to take pictures and charge my battery. Good to see a mega corporation listening to their customers
  • Wheel no longer adjusts ISO, so can't accidentally shift it with your cheek. I can't count the number of times I've got home to find I've a ton of shots and ISO 6400+ cause something brushed
  • Dynamic Range is very good. Accidentally over-exposed a shot but quite a bit and it managed to recover quite a lot of detail.
  • Tons of Detail - I shoot mostly landscape so I think this is going to a match made in heaven
  • Focus is faster, not as fast as my Nikons were but not far away

Cons

  • Much heavier, especially with LA-EA4 (I shoot mostly with adapted Sigma Art Lenses)
  • Silent Shooting mode disables Hot shoe flash. Had my Bowens transmitter in the shoe, switched to manual + silent shutter. Flash doesn't pop. Switch off silent shutter, flash pops. Not a major issue but did have me scratching my head for a while.
  • Same 'ol menu system. I'm used to it now but it does take a while to find stuff. Would be nice to have a custom or frequently used page

I'll try and post some RAW files to my web site soon. Now I'm off to play!

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  • Silent Shooting mode disables Hot shoe flash. Had my Bowens transmitter in the shoe, switched to manual + silent shutter. Flash doesn't pop. Switch off silent shutter, flash pops. Not a major issue but did have me scratching my head for a while.

 

Odd, but on the other hand, if you've got a flash (or multiple flashes) firing off, there's really no reason to be shooting silently anyway.  heh

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My A7r11 arrived yesterday just not been able to get to the shop to collect yet. Bring on Monday. Oddly I was in London Camera Exchange in Exeter on Wednesay and they had a spare A7R11 unopened in box they were looking to sell me. I turned them down as I've pre ordered with my local shop (loyal fool).

 

Can't wait to see and hear more over the next few days.

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