Sony Alpha A7 (ILCE-7) and Sony Alpha A7r (ILCE-7r) vs rest of theworld. Part 1.
Meanwhile, here are few shots and thoughts, that you can take a look at.
If you like those unpacking videos, here is mine 🙂
Post your questions, I will try to answer them as they come.
MFT forum community is quite busy those days. They are permanently looking for the reasons, why their Oly EM-1 and Panasonic GX7 still makes sense, after Sony launched A7s.
Don’t get me wrong, I like my EM-5 but it is a different camera tool. It is versatile, well built, with solid image quality. I would expect it however to be much smaller and lighter, once it has so small sensor. The price, size and form put it against Sony E mount cameras, but the much smaller sensor is keeping it behind. In terms of image quality and low light usablity.
But they have with Sony A7/7r one thing in common. Both are ugliest camera bodies that I ever had in my life, including many Russian tough contenders (in that respect). Goodbye dear, stylish NEX (on the right). I will miss your curves… (I know, I know, it’s me and my deformed taste…)
So, back to the IQ – ISO 6400 is not what I shot every day, but you can get the idea about what the difference in sensor size means in low light.
Resolution in the center after equalizing image size with Olympus.
I can hear you MFT fans – “that’s not fair, you should enlarge them to A7r size…” Ok.
Is the difference really that big? That all depends on our own criteria. Usually what we have, is big enough right? Just don’t directly compare it with the bigger one.
Seriously – Oly is a great camera. To be fair, you might notice the difference in resolution if you print very large, or make huge crops. For web use and normal size prints (including A3), Oly EM-5 (and I guess EM-1) are good more than enough.
Sure, there are those DOF issues, but they goes both direction, and longer reach with larger DOF is quite useful sometime.
But there is something more about high resolution, that people usually don’t mention. Post processing. Higher input resolution gives you more information to work with. If you are extensively working in pp on your images, you will understand what I am talking about. This is for me much more important than any other difference.
In the sample image bellow, I equalized contrast in 100% crops, because edges are naturally so dark, that you wouldn’t be able to judge acutance and resolution. All camera corrections were switched off, but I wasn’t able to get rid of vignetting even at f/8, using Sony Image Data Converter.
Do you see the left side being a bit softer than the right one as I do? De-centering? So what, it’s only 800 USD lens (actually 1000 USD where I live). Hopefully, it is just my mistake.
I mentioned less color shift in the corners with SEL 1018, but don’t trust those who are telling you, that SEL 1018 works well in FF mode on A7r (from 12mm on). It doesn’t, because of a very complicated distortion in the corners. (That stairs are straight in reality)
I mean, you will cover full sensor from 14mm -18mm, but if you can live with that amount of distortion in the corners, I honestly think that you can save a lot of money, buying much cheaper camera.
On the other hand, SEL 1018 f/4 OSS works fairly well in the crop mode, and you can happily walk away with 4800 x 3200 px image. That is… 15,36mp! Two cameras in one 🙂
Putting aside my doubts about FE 35/2.8, I was curious to see, how will A7 with it compare with NEX 7 and Zeiss 24/1.8.
While on A7, vignetting and color shift is less pronounced, it is still quite visable. And that is at f/8!!!
Center is almost indistinguishable, left corner is sharper with SEL 2418 on NEX 7, while right corner is sharper with A7 and FE3528. Right corner is closer to the camera, so that could cause loss of sharpness, but left corner is certainly within DOF of the focus plane, and that makes me nervous.
Otherwise, in this particular case, I would rather choose NEX 7 and SEL 2418 than A7 and FE3528, because the price difference right now is significant, and IQ and FOV, almost same.
I need to make more comparisons however, but I also need more time and better weather, and none seems to be coming soon 🙁
Here are few shots with other lenses on A7r.
A7r + Canon TS-E 17 f/4 + Metabones SA III
One funny thing happened while i was testing TS-E. Somewhere deep in my mind, I wanted to believe that it will cover FF sensor of A7/7r with Metabone SB. TS-E lenses usually have much larger projection circle, because… well you can shift them quite o lot on both sides.
CV Nokton 50/1.1 wide open has heavy vignetting but insignificant color shift. Stopped down, it looks very good.
A7r + CV 21/1.8 Ultron
I have read somewhere that this lens works without issue on A7r. Well, it doesn’t as you can see. But this amount of vignetting and color shift can be corrected. There is no big difference in amount of color shift wide open and stopped down to f/5.6, which is rather strange. However wide open, there is much more pronounced light fall in the corners.
A7r + CV Nokton 35/1.2 Asph. II
Surprisingly, CV Nokton 35/1.2 Asph. II work very well stopped down to f/5.6. In the extreme corners are however signs of hard vignetting even at this aperture. Fortunately, they are very small. Wide open, this lens is very soft except in the center of the frame, where it is rather soft. But that is its character.
A7r + Konica 28/2.8 Hexanon M
No luck with Konica. Pronounced color shifting, but light fall off doesn’t look bad at f/5.6. This should be easy to correct with Adobe Flat field and similar plug-ins.
A7r + Leitz Wetzlar Summicron 40mm f/2
Cute little lens, that works quite well. I would like a bit stronger contrast, but otherwise, it is nice combination.
A7r + CV Nokton 50/1.5 Asph. (new)
This is beautiful lens and it works well with new Sony A7r. I expect this lens to be my standard fifty on A7r. Wide open there is significant vignetting but very small color shift. Vignetting is a part of this lens character, so it doesn’t matter to me.
Other parts of this rolling review:
Please help support this page and upcomming reviews and buy through affiliate links, with no extra cost for you:
Buy on BHPhoto: Alpha a7 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Buy on Amazon: Alpha a7 Mirrorless Digital Camera
To help this page survive, your donation will be highly appreciated.