Sony Alpha A7 (ILCE-7) and Sony Alpha A7r (ILCE-7r) vs rest of the world. Part 6. Sony Alfa A7 vs Sony NEX 7

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12 Responses

  1. got my A7 today, will share my findings later 🙂 one question though, is it possible to set the magnification button so it doesn’t need 2-3 clicks to make it zoom-in? like it was on nexes, without the pesky zooming spot selection on first click


    • Hi Daniel and congratulations, I am afraid that it isn’t possible to set direct level of focus magnification, but I set focus magnification for the “central button” and I find it comfortable to zoom in by clicking it for 2x or 3x if needed. 1st click (work only in MF mode) brings focus area square, (you can then move it to the area where you want to focus, before you click for the second time, or you just click rapidly twice or three times to bring magnification to respected ratios (1st click – 5.9x 2nd click – 11.7x) and then use left, right, up an down to move the image area. I get used to this method very fast.

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  3. Dear Viktor,
    many thanks for your great A7 / NEX-7 comparison. Since the A7/R have been introduced I kept reading the reviews and thinking (rather theoretically) about getting one of them as an improvement over my NEX-7. I am particulary interested in UWA lenses, as my main use of cameras is documentation of architecture. I have to say that I am quite happy with the combination of NEX-7 and SEL1018, which I have used on my travels in the past year. I am still wondering what the announced successor of the NEX-7 is going to offer (and to what price), but I can now stay with my gear without any inferiority complex :-).

  4. Martin says:

    Hi Viktor,
    Great comparison, though I must say, I was hoping for an A7R and NEX-7 comparison! 🙂
    The NEX-7 is capable of fantastic images, that’s for sure. Compared to the A7, I don’t think there’s too much in it. I will say that I find the RX1 to be better for me than the 24/1,8 (which I loved), as it has thinner DoF and is faster, allowing lower ISO. With the SEL35F28 – that’s not the case (as you say).
    I think I’ll get the A7R, and it will probably last me many years. If I ever need to get quick action shots of children, well, I will decide on a camera nearer the time.
    Thanks as always!

    • Hi Martin,
      comparing A7r and NEX 7 is rather tough because of a difference in resolution. Question is what one would like to find at the first place. A7r is a camera that with a good lens (and user skills) can produce richer images in terms of resolution, DR, colors. But at the end, it is just another digital camera that in a few years or even sooner will become obsolate.
      It has some serious problems with corner performance due to that short E-mount flange distance, and not only with symetrical lens designs. But if you need more resolution, there are not many choices anyway. I still like my NEX 7 most 🙂

  5. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you 🙂

  6. Don Williams says:

    Thank you for your excellent review. I really appreciate your hands on, real-world approach. In the end, photography is what the eye sees, not what the technician measures.

  7. Very nice review. I have just bought an A7 because I have found an offer I could not pass. Coming from the 5N (which I love), it is a huge plus in ease of operation and the VF is amazing. I found out the the high iso capabilities of the FF sensor surpass the APS-c 16 MPx by a good margin and that can make a difference if you shoot moving things in a less than ideal light. For static subjects however that is not relevant because I could raise the exposure time and use a tripod most of the time. The ability to use old MF lenses in their native FL is wonderful. I have some Rokkors that have been stellar with the new camera.

  8. Pierre says:

    Hi ! I was looking for some comparison of the A7 vs. the A6000 on the web, and came across your great article. Thanks for all your work, it is very useful !

    Comparing your images from both cameras, it makes me wonder whether going to a 24MP FF is still worth it if you always shoot at ISO100 and don’t want DOF lower than, say, 1.4 on APS-C. They look so close, even more when you consider that you’ve compared the 35 at its sweet spot (between f5.6 and f8) with the Zeiss 24 which is better at f4. I’m not sure there would many differences.

    I’m currently hesitating between buying the A7, or just upgrade my SEL50 to the Zeiss 55 to gain some IQ, but I guess I’ll go to the Zeiss55 🙂

    • Hi Pierre,
      It is always difficult to answer questions like yours from an objective stand point.
      You can look at this comparison also from a slightly different side – if you’ll have a choice of picking A6000 or Canon 5D mark I, regardless of size and weight, you’ll probably go with A6000, because of the newer sensor technology (dynamic range and resolution are better with A6000). Still, if you take a look at landscape images taken with that old Canon, you might find lot of amazing shots. The point here is that real field difference between A6000 and A7 at base ISO (and around) is probably last thing that will determine the quality of your shots. You can expect slightly better dynamic range with A7 but that’s about it… Leaving aside all other aspects of both cameras, it’s a shame that Sony didn’t update firmware for uncompressed RAW on either camera, because in some situation that will be notable IQ improvement. I’ve been using NEX 7 and later A6000 as a second camera and few times even as a main camera (with SEL 1018 f/4 OSS) on several landscape expeditions and I always found resulting images to be on par with my Nikon D800E (G 14-24/2.8) in most aspects.
      My answer thus is – you don’t need either upgrade (don’t mix what you need with what you want :-)), because FE 55/1.8, while being excellent full frame lens, won’t give you much over 50/1.8 SEL, in most situations(and you’ll loose stabilization).
      If I would have some extra money to spend, I will look at some traveling opportunities, arranged photo sessions, workshops etc. From the equipment, you might take look at some deconvolution based software, such as piccure+, which in some situation can make lot of difference on resulting image (sharpness, aberration reduction)
      If you are torn only between those two options you mentioned, I will probably go with Zeiss FE 55, as it is very probable that you will upgrade on FF sooner or later.
      All the best,

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