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View Full Version : Seeking views on Sony A7ii variants


MargaretR
18th March 2016, 08:34 AM
Hope it's OK to discuss non-Oly kit in the Lounge, since I can't find another niche for it... :D

Firstly, I don't plan to abandon my Oly kit, I think it's fabulous; but for various reasons, I'm also seeking first-hand views on Sony's A7ii models from anyone who may be using one.

I came to Oly from the Sony SLT camp, partially because I wanted to downsize, but didn't have patience to wait for the A7 to appear, or more particularly the lenses for it. Now, a couple of years on, and about to come into a 'retirement lump sum' later this year, I'm wondering again about the A7ii. Don't have a burning 'need' for full frame, but if there's one area my EM-1/EM-10 struggles with, it's low light shots and fast AF-tracking shots, and I'm planning a trip later in the year which may involve a lot of both of these.

So - if you use the A7 in any variety, what do you think of it? What lenses do you use, and how are those attached if they're not Sony ones? Does it really do high-ISO well? Any good for BIF/wildlife? All Pro's & Con's welcome.

Harold Gough
18th March 2016, 09:12 AM
Hope it's OK to discuss non-Oly kit in the Lounge, since I can't find another niche for it... :D

Firstly, I don't plan to abandon my Oly kit, I think it's fabulous; but for various reasons, I'm also seeking first-hand views on Sony's A7ii models from anyone who may be using one.

I came to Oly from the Sony SLT camp, partially because I wanted to downsize, but didn't have patience to wait for the A7 to appear, or more particularly the lenses for it. Now, a couple of years on, and about to come into a 'retirement lump sum' later this year, I'm wondering again about the A7ii. Don't have a burning 'need' for full frame, but if there's one area my EM-1/EM-10 struggles with, it's low light shots and fast AF-tracking shots, and I'm planning a trip later in the year which may involve a lot of both of these.

So - if you use the A7 in any variety, what do you think of it? What lenses do you use, and how are those attached if they're not Sony ones? Does it really do high-ISO well? Any good for BIF/wildlife? All Pro's & Con's welcome.

Margaret,

I recently acquired an A7R, partly to use my legacy film ultra-wide angle lenses and partly to see what the 36.4MP sensor will do for the detail in my highest quality legacy macro lenses, and a few others.

So far, I am having shutter-shake problems with daylight exposure, even on a tripod and at 1/400 or 1/1000 sec.

I am getting superb results with flash. Unfortunately, the battery charger supplied with the camera is for other batteries altogether so I am literally powerless to test it further.

Here is a macro with my Printing Nikkor 150mm. There was some vignetting (some cropped out) and I really need a smaller aperture than the f11 used (for DOF) but ran out of batter power before I could investigate further options. That was with single Nissin flash I now have a second one.

Harold

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/ufiles/04/1268604.jpg

drmarkf
18th March 2016, 09:19 AM
Hi Margaret. I'll be bringing my A7S to the photo show and you're welcome to borrow it for a while. It's obviously the first generation, but the differences are relatively minor except for the IS and the price, and I can tell you about them.

It's the 12Mp high-ISO A7 version of course, and have it for specialist street use, usually in dim light or at night, and mainly with 35mm or wider lenses attached.

I wanted to have something at the show to use while my E-M1s were being cleaned (I want to do a set on 'Homo photographicus'!) but frankly it's the best tool for that job anyway. 6400ASA doesn't really need any special noise reduction for street style use, and up to 25600 is also OK (but you wouldn't want to use that for wildlife or portraiture...). This lets you keep the shutter speed above a 250th at sensible apertures for full-frame snap shooting usage with moving subjects: even Oympus IBIS won't cut that particular mustard.

Even for my particular use there are some irritations, and it does feel a bit like a work in progress (and users of the mkII versions still say that): they still haven't implemented a touch screen, which I use a lot in the street with the E-M1, but at least they do have a flip screen. The eye sensor isn't as well honed as the Oly one, for another example, so the rear screen is inclined to go blank just at the wrong moment if you move your hand too close to the VF. You learn to avoid that, but it still catches me out sometimes.

Anyway, a number of others here have got experience with more general usage and with mkII versions and I'm sure will chip in.

I think Sony FF is an extremely good fit with Olympus m4/3 if you have the need: the benefits are high-ISO (as above) and high-resolution for landscape.

Personally I doubt the system would currently bring much to the long-range wildlife party. Full frame tele lenses are still massive even if there isn't a mirror behind them, there aren't many available natively for the system yet (although some people use adapted Canon lenses, apparently), and mirrorless CAF is still relatively useless despite the larger sensor.

drmarkf
18th March 2016, 09:24 AM
Seeing Harold's comment, the A7S was the first model to introduce an electronic shutter, which is one way to avoid the shutter shock which some people have had real problems with. It is said to be much less of a problem in the A7R II.

Harold Gough
18th March 2016, 09:44 AM
I have been in contact with Sony support and they asked to to send some images. These were with probably the best film lens Tamron produced, the 35 Year Anniversary Edition SP 180mm, used at its optimum aperture of f8 and on a tripod.

First the full image , then the crop, an then the crop adjusted for motion blur.

Even the corrected image is some way short of the one from the EM-1, when substituted for the A7R body!

Harold

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/ufiles/46/1271746.jpg

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/ufiles/47/1271747.jpg

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/ufiles/48/1271748.jpg

Harold Gough
18th March 2016, 09:59 AM
Hope it's OK to discuss non-Oly kit in the Lounge, since I can't find another niche for it... :D


If you want a dedicated forum, try:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/1064

But you may struggle to find much on other than the II versions.

There is also:

http://photo.net/sony-minolta-slr-system-forum/

Harold

drmarkf
18th March 2016, 10:13 AM
There's also this: https://www.talkemount.com/forums/

I'd add, however, that the most helpful, informative and civilised discussions on the subject take place here ;)

pdk42
18th March 2016, 12:53 PM
I did a side-by-side comparison of the A7R against the E-M1 here. You might find it useful.

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=41104&highlight=A7R+comparison

drmarkf
18th March 2016, 01:18 PM
Re-reading your original post reminds me to mention that some people praise the A7R II's high-ISO performance, such that the real-life benefit of a 7S I or II sensor isn't very great, especially if you don't do video.

That is probably true, but since my absolutely mint A7S body with guarantee cost 1400 less than an A7R II and I didn't need the high resolution and massive files, it was a bit of a no-brainer.

We've discussed the shutter shock above: another issue with the A7 and A7R mkIs (that was fixed in the A7S I and subsequently) include a silly plastic/metal hybrid bayonet socket, which can apparently shed wear fragments on to the sensor. The mkIs also have a thick sensor stack which can cause odd reflections and coma around lights (I've not found this a problem), and vignetting and magenta casts with some adapted lenses, especially wide angles (plenty of advice on which lenses work on the various fora).

MargaretR
18th March 2016, 01:54 PM
Thanks all for the comments so far.

Paul - I'll read your comparison, and ask you further if it sparks any questions, thanks.

Harold - I hope your issue turns out to be a fixable one-off! These things can be very frustrating.

Mark - many thanks for your generous offer. I was planning to go to the Sony stand at the NEC, and at least get the feel of an A7 there, but will still happily pick your brains in person about your experiences with it. Probably more helpful than talking to a salesman!

drmarkf
18th March 2016, 02:12 PM
Mark - many thanks for your generous offer. I was planning to go to the Sony stand at the NEC, and at least get the feel of an A7 there, but will still happily pick your brains in person about your experiences with it. Probably more helpful than talking to a salesman!

Gladly: come to think of it, I'll have the manual 35mm f2 Zeiss Loxia on the body, which probably isn't a direction in which you might go! Wonderful lens, though.