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A7s + A7rII - another review


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A7s and A7rII review by Gabruek

www.gabruek.com

https://500px.com/gabsriel

 

Hi !

 

I bought them on the 27th of july 2015 in France (lucky boy about the A7rII !).

 

Disclaimer : I do not shoot in continuous mode, I do not shoot in movie mode. I mainly shoot with primes. This review is only MY opinion.

 

Background : amateur (portraits, landscape, street, abstract), semi-pro (weddings, sports, portraiture, fashion)

 

Digital gear background

  • Olympus 4/3 : E-1, E-400

  • Olympus micro 4/3 : E-P1, E-PM2

  • Canon : 30D, 40D, 6D

  • Nikon : D80, D5000

  • Fuji : S3 Pro

  • Sony : A200

  • Sigma : Dp1s

Lenses I use with the A7s and A7rII

  • 16-35mm f/4

  • 28mm f/2

  • 55mm f/1.8

  • 90mm f/2.8

  • Canon 70-200mm f/4L

  • Commlite AF adapter Canon to Sony : no phase detection, no AF with Canon mount primes...

 

7 month of carefull thought : I wanted 2 bodies, one for personal use and one for pro use.

I built different purchase scenarios :

A7s or A7rII + Fuji X-T1

A7rII + Nikon DF

A7s + Nikon D810

A7s + A7rII

 

I ran for the last one. I still think it's the best choice of the list. But I also think a new purchase scenario would be even better : A7rII (for personnal and pro use) + Canon FF (for pro use).

 

I would buy a Metabones adapter + Sigma Art lenses on the Canon body. I would get the benefit of a light (but powerfull) mirrorless camera + a classic pro look and ergonomics of a DSLR. I prefer the "Canon look" to the "Nikon look". And if I want dynamic range, I go for the Sony.

 

But today I would not know what Canon DSLR to purchase. Maybe a (cheap) 6D. Canon has to release a game changing DSLR...especially on the low light portion.

 

A7s pros

  • lightweight body, I prefer it to the A7rII

  • light files

  • clean files (low noise)

  • very good AF in low light

  • the ev compensation dial

  • eye AF

  • buttons customization

  • tilt screen

 

A7s cons

  • not good color "look"

  • not possible to choose a minimal shutter speed in A mode (like the "std", "fast", "faster" modes in the A7rII)

  • Adobe, and Capture One color profiles for A7s are not A7s color profile, forced to create own profile or open the raws in Sony's Image Data converter, which is slow and not an Adobe product...

  • functions ergonomics and menus (the physical ergonomics is ok)

  • very slow start-up

  • viewfinder not good for people with glasses

  • buttons customization (require a long practice to find your own layout)

  • no tactile screen : it's very boring and time-loosing to move the focus zone manually…

  • battery life

  • EDIT : flash sync speed

 

A7rII pros

  • tough body

  • image quality

  • very good AF in daylight, OK AF in low light

  • the ev compensation dial

  • buttons customization

  • Eye AF

  • possible to choose a minimal shutter speed in A mode

  • resolution : tremendous cropping potential, less lenses needed

  • nice contrast and color look

  • THE viewfinder

  • tilt screen

  • AF accuracy : the best I've ever seen, better than any DSLR I ever tested (included Nikon D810)

 

A7rII cons

  • heavy

  • Adobe, and Capture One color profiles for A7rII are not A7rII color profile, forced to create own profile or open the raws in Sony's Image Data converter, which is slow and not an Adobe product...

  • functions ergonomics and menus (the physical ergonomics is ok)

  • very slow start-up

  • viewfinder not good for people with glasses

  • requires a good pc or mac (with ssd if possible)

  • buttons customization (require a long practice to find your own layout)

  • no tactile screen : it's very boring and time-loosing to move the focus zone manually...

  • requires very fast sdxc card : 150Mb/s minimum, the 95Mb/s is not fast enough

  • lenses seems softer in the corners than on the A7s, especially the 16-35mm, a sensor problem ?

  • battery life

  • EDIT : flash sync speed

 

Sony FF E-mount system Pros

  • small and light. The lenses are not all small and lightweight, but in overall this is smaller and lighter than DSLRs

  • more discreet, you do not look like a pro photographer, juste a hobbyist or even a tourist

  • evf IMO now better than ovf : live histogram, able to have a look at the exposure, in low light, focus peaking, zebras, focus magnification, you do not see the real world but you see your picture of the real world, etc.

  • image quality, the A7rII is ok now concerning the colors and the contrast

  • Eye AF

  • excellent prime lenses, Zeiss look, and the Sony 90mm 2.8...

  • legacy lenses support, sometimes even with the AF

  • "innovative", I mean that Sony is keeping up to make better and better MODERN cameras, even if it's not an easy path

 

Sony FF E-mount system Cons

  • you do not look like a pro, it's a true problem with some clients

  • zooms are not good IMO, not as good as other brands zooms

  • very pricey, especially the lenses. I'm not sure I would recommend the (cheap) A7 or A7r

  • functions ergonomics REALLY sucks, lacks of tactile screen

  • ok for the upcoming firmware upgrades of the A7rII, but it seems A7/A7s/A7r will be forgotten...

  • Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Fuji have a lot of faithful fanboys, it seems that this Sony system is under too much pressure and the trust is not there yet

  • Not a mature system yet, but now not far to be.

  • The learning curve for this system is very long compared to the other systems. IMO that's why a lot of people (haters) on the Internet say that the Sony mirrorless cameras are made for geeks and hobbyist, not photographers. I think that it's just that these camera are difficult to handle, because of the functional ergonomics. But if you take the time to learn how to use it perfectly, these cameras are GREAT.

  • battery life, same problem than smartphones in general, because evf is a screen afterall

 

Lenses overview

16-35mm : not a good lens, way too pricey for this almost poor IQ. Ok mounted on the A7s but not on the A7rII (corners are too soft, even at f/8, maybe a sensor architerture problem ?)

 

28mm : very light, almost cheap, and nice lens

 

55mm : very nice and lightweight, but I don't see this ultra sharpness a lot of people are talking about on the Internet

 

90mm : holy moly...the best lens I've ever used, except the focus ring, not enough "click" when changing AF to MF position. It switches in the bag... The Tokina implementation is way better.

 

Canon 70-200mm f/4 : bought it second-hand at 270€ . It is good enough, and cheaper than the 1330€ Sony version…

 

Lenses I will buy : Samyang 135mm f/2 or a Sony/Zeiss AF equivalent, a 35mm f1.8 AF, a 85mm 1.2 AF or not AF (Speedmaster), some legacy lenses of course

 

Lenses I'm struggle with : 35mm 1.4, too heavy, too big, too much expensive...waiting for a reasonable 35mm 1.8. For me It will be a street photography lens, so I want it as small and lightweigh as possible. Sony/Zeiss A-mount 135mm f/1.8, seems not working well on e-mount system

 

Lenses I will not buy : Batis 25mm, Batis 85mm, Loxia 50mm, Loxia 35mm (because it's too expensive for a f/2.0 lens), Melvis lenses, Sony zooms

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  • 1 month later...

Another boring issue with the A7rII especially : the dust on sensor. Is there any ultrawave dust removal, of even by sensors vibration ? I don't think so...and my 2006 Olympus did this...

The A7Rii does have sensor vibration, it's just not automatic at every on/off like Canon. You have to search in menu. 

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I bought a profile there, but I did not receive anything. Did you have a problem too there ?

No, mine arrived after a bit more than a day. I think I bought it on a Saturday or something, and it says somewhere when you order that if it's on a weekend there might be a delay. Have you checked your junk mail? Just to be sure, send Julian Walker an email - the address is colorfidelity[at]gmail.com.

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No, mine arrived after a bit more than a day. I think I bought it on a Saturday or something, and it says somewhere when you order that if it's on a weekend there might be a delay. Have you checked your junk mail? Just to be sure, send Julian Walker an email - the address is colorfidelity[at]gmail.com.

It's ok I reveived it.

Thanks for the advice.

I will test it today.

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