on 12 January 2014
Coming from a Sony NEX 5N background (which I still use and rate highly) I'm loving the EVF, weather-proofing and Menus of the A7. Still to decide which flash to purchase for the camera. The only thing I miss is the touch screen on the 5N for selecting a focus point, though it takes hardly anytime on the A7.
Many years ago I used to lug around a huge C*n#n T90. The A7 is tiny in comparison. In fact it is so light-though by no means cheap feeling-that taking shots single handed is not a problem with the A7. Finding the Pitch and Roll level sensors in the camera really useful too.
Sony has delivered an outstanding bit of kit, and one can only hope that the A7 gains the recognition that it richly deserves for what it is; a truly remarkable camera at an unremarkable price.
I'd just like to add how wonderful the camera is for using legacy and manual focus lenses. The A7 is a joy to use with focus peaking and Pentax/Asahi Takumar lenses with an inexpensive M42 to E-mount adapter. Likewise with Leica summarit lenses, great bang for your buck/pound. Have even started using old Minlota MD lenses with an adapter. Watch those fast legacy lens prices continue to rise as people embrace full-frame and MF with this camera.
Update after 4 months of regular use. Another major bonus of this camera is that it can be easily customised with the designated C1 and C2 buttons, and the other buttons and dials as well. Ergonomically I have found everything to be comfortable to use-it's feather-like compared to a D700-and the recent firmware version 1.2 update has reduced the camera start-up time and increased the AF performance. It would appear that Sony are committed to the FE alpha system.
on 11 June 2014
It's probably worth saying that, the unloved Canon EOS M aside, there are no really bad mirrorless systems to buy into at the moment and that anyone in the market for the A7 or the A7R has probably also had a long hard look at the Fuji X series or an Olympus or Panasonic Micro 4/3 body.
It can be a tricky decision, since for most people it’s an investment in a system including lenses and other accoutrements that rapidly cost more than the body alone. An investment that might reasonably be expected to last for 5 years or more.
These other systems certainly have their attractions: The Fuji bodies have a striking retro SLR and rangefinder appeal with fast all metal prime glass purposely designed to set alight the hearts of photographers for whom a 35mm Summilux remains as dreamy as the Leica glow.
The Olympus OMD EM1 pitches in with its weather sealing, quick autofocus and that very wide range of M43 lenses, all of which are good and some of which are the equal of anything made for a competing system, full frame or not.
And yet, there is something about the final emergence of reasonably sized full frame in the digital world that feels to this old film SLR user like returning home to something sensible after a long and trying digital absence.
Getting down to brass tacks, a few pros and cons after first use.
+ Full frame at last ! No more having to multiply things by 1.3, 1.5, 1.6 or 2. DOF as she was in the 1980s when I were a lad. Stepping gently round internet flamewars about equivalence in DOF and light gathering.
+ Manual lenses a plenty of course, with adaptors at £20 a pop. Buy now before the entire stock of R, OM, FD and PK lenses is exhausted in five years time and a battered Pentax 50/1.7 is going for £200.
+ High ISO. Shoot with impunity. If you are printing at A4 or less it’ll look great at 6400.
+ Dynamic Range. Wow. It’s good. You really do have latitude to mess up exposures and still come home with something worth looking at.
+ It’s well made. The A7 has lots of metal and feels weighty but not heavy. Smaller than an M9.
+ AF speed is fine for me with the Zeiss 35/2.8. YMMV of course, but no complaints from me.
+ EVF is great. Refreshes quickly, dioptre adjustment works well. Sometimes it feels like an OVF.
+ Looks innocuous enough in public, like any old Sony Bridge camera. No red dots to attract anyone.
+ Buttons, Dials, switches, more buttons. If you would like to set the ISO with the Exposure compensation dial then Sony will not stand in your way.
+ If you plump for the OMD EM1 or XT1, when the Sony A7 is rattling around second hand for £350 in a few years time, you are going to want to pick one up anyway, so why not short circuit the whole gear acquisition thing ?
- Weather sealing. Yeh right. I wouldn’t shoot an A7 in the jungle any time soon. Beware.
- Having to pay for useless add on applications to the firmware ? What were you thinking Sony.
- firmware update process on 64 bit Mac. Plugin, run app in 32 bit mode and pray. How hard would it be to stick the firmware on an SD Card and get the camera to update itself that way ?
- Auto ISO insists 1/60 is the right speed for everything all the time. If only that was 1/125. No way of changing it with the current firmware. One workaround is to shoot in manual, set the shutter speed and aperture with forward and back dials and let the ISO float.
- It’s complicated. My brain hurts with so many options. No proper manual. Short instructions included in Albanian as well though, so that’s OK then.
- Appeal of old MF glass is somewhat limited by the short registration distance and therefore long adaptors, the variability of adaptor manufacture (mostly of concern to pixel peepers I would have thought) and the fact that Leica M fitting wide angles (<35mm) are hit and miss depending on optical design, leading to vignetting and potential colour shifts. And having to manually focus, obvs.
- I’m TAKING A PHOTO OF YOU ! LOOK AT ME BECAUSE OF MY LOUD SHUTTER ! I AM RUNNING AWAY AND I WISH I HAD BROUGHT MY LEICA M6 INSTEAD.
- The Zeiss 35/2.8 is really a super lens. It should be the kit lens because it’s an affirmation of the design principle of a small FF camera. Beware that a lot future FE lenses will probably be big, heavy and expensive. It’s not going to be like Fuji X and definitely not like M43.
- Sony will get bored with the FE mount in 3 years time and launch some other overlapping system with Leica S2 sized sensors and a new range of lenses, or stop making cameras altogether, or just make some other weird decision that makes you shake your head because it’s really a gadget maker not the bijou Wetzlar dream factory.
I took a photo of my daughter sitting with a friend at a kitchen table. I realised later it was the first digital image I’ve taken that happily looked to my eye in all respects like film. Bokeh, DOF, framing, dynamic range, it all looked just like the images I used to capture on my Olympus Mju-II (with its 35mm/2.8). Home at last. Well done Sony.
*** Update on 21 Aug 2015 after 12 months usage
I remain happy with the choice. It didn't turn me into a much better photographer, but we all know that's not how it works I suppose.
I did manage to knock the exposure compensation dial by accident and expose a week's worth of shots at -1 1/3EV, which was fairly stupid on my part, but the RAW images were all processable into printable photos without any trouble.
My suspicions about lens size look right, the newer lenses like the Zeiss FE 35 1.4 are optically well reviewed behemoths and some of the new zooms laughably huge.
Shutter sound's not actually that loud for most real life situations.
At the time of writing the A7 II is a better bet because of the image stabilisation, so if you can stretch to it I would buy the newer model.
on 30 December 2013
I bought into Sony's Nex system when they launched the Model 5 in 2010. At that time it was the smallest body to house a dslr sized APS-sensor. Unfortunately, the IQ of the sensor was only so-so, but was really improved with the introduction of the 5N in 2011. This model was a significant advance and was able to take the quite superb, although expensive, add-on EVF. For me this transformed how the camera handled.
Although it was often criticised, I never really had any problems with Sony's menu system, but the limitation was the 1.5x crop factor when using legacy 35mm camera lenses. This made trying to get a genuine wide angle view more problematic; even my 24mm Leica lens only behaved as a 35mm with respect to the FoV. So, like many, I dreamt of an affordable FF sensor camera, but I did not want the size and weight of a dslr and its attendant lenses, and Leica M was priced way over budget. Many thought that Sony would eventually come out with such a model, but the idea of it being similar to the Nex range, perhaps an updated Nex 7, was poo-pooed in the press in view of the E mount with its very short back lens flange to sensor distance. Well, Sony proved them all wrong when they released on to an unsuspecting market the A7 and A7R, and at the same time caught all the other camera manufacturers napping. Here, now, was an opportunity to use my prime film camera lenses, but at their native FoV.
Some good news is Sony has not forgotten its legion of Nex users. Whilst the A7 has a FF sensor, E mount lenses intended for the APS-C sensor used in all Nex models can be used with the A7, albeit with a reduced resolution of 10 megapixels. The A7 can be set to detect when an E lens is mounted and will automatically adjust the framing to APS-C size. In this setting, the A7 behaves just like a Nex model and provides exactly the same FoV. You do not see this crop in the v/f or on the screen as these are corrected whilst framing/viewing. Interestingly, the A7 can be set so it does not provide an APS-C crop but leaves the image uncropped to use the image circle of an E lens. When these images are viewed, you will see major vignetting, like looking down a tube, but I found that with my Sigma 30mm lens, the covering circle is marginally wider than the APS-S sensor crop, so cropping in post-editing software can actually get more in than when the A7 itself performs the crop.
This has an advantage I've not seen referred to elsewhere: My Olumpus f1.2/55mm standard lens, for example, with a normal FoV, can very quickly be turned into an f1.2/82mm portrait lens when I select APS-C sensor crop in the menu. If I wish to do this rapidly, I can even allocate the function to one of the programmble buttons. And this will work with all FF frame lenses, so I effectively can double my battery of lenses at the touch of a button.
To those who own a Nex model, Sony has continued the family styling and getting to grips with the A7 (or A7R)will not be too much of a leap. The good news is that the menu structure has had a major make-over and is more user friendly. Also, there are more directly accessed functions on the body itself and which saves having to remember where in the menu structure the function was in the older version.
The A7 doesn't have the plethora of buttons one may find on a professional dslr, but as it has three buttons which can each be customised and assigned a function from upwards of 40 choices, there probably isn't a personalised set-up that an owner can't achieve. On the right of the usual PASM control dial Sony has provided a dial for direct access to + or - 3 stops of exposure override. To the front of the shutter release and at the top of the rear back plate are two dials that make direct setting of aperture and shutter speed in manual mode very easy.
On the rear panel and above what is a fairly standard dial for setting WB, Display for camera settings, shooting mode or DA, and a fourth programmable (bottom position) lies the very useful Fn (Function) button. Pressing this brings up a display at the bottom of the screen, or EVF, of 10 camera settings, and even what you wish to have displayed is programmable. The beauty of the Fn button is that it gives direct access to the displayed settings and which can be set using the dial below the Fn button.
The body is comfortable to hold and has a degree of weatherproofing and dust protection. The EVF is a marvel. It gives a large and very clear view and has the same resolution as the OLED add-on v/f I use on my Nex5N, that is around 2.4m dots, but I was very pleasantly surprised to discover it is of even better imaging quality. The large rubber eyecup and large eye relief makes using the EVF with glasses easy. The 3" main screen can be tilted up or down, but at around 930k dots has far less resolution than the EVF. It is still a good screen but given the high image quality potential of the 24meg sensor something slightly higher would have been welcome for reviewing images. All is not lost, as playback can still be performed using the EVF.
Some users may bemoan the lack of a built-in flash, however small this would be, as flash can only be used on the hotshoe using a proprietary connector. Given the target audience for this camera, though, and its price, it is possibly no great loss. Of some concern is the smallish battery, which is the same as used in the Nex cameras. It would thus be advisable to get in a spare, or two. Inexplicable, Sony have not provided a conventional standalone charger so batteries can be charged independently of the camera. The charger provided is a USB charger and using this batteries can only be charged whilst in the camera, and they will take longer. It does mean you can't charge a spare battery and use the camera at the same time. Fortunately, for me, and other Nex users, the charger provided with those models is compatible.
A bit of a pre-amble so you may get a feel for the camera, but what of the image quality? Well, I have to confess that, initially, I was just a little underwhelmed. Or perhaps I should say not the leap I was expecting over my Nex 5N, which uses a sensor only half the size and just 16 megapixels. I bought the camera body as I intended using high quality prime lenses from my film camera days, mainly Leica and Zeiss, but a couple of super lenses, one from Olympus, their f1.2/55mm, and a lovely Minolta D f1.4/50mm. Not yet tested is an f2/28mm lens from Kiron which I know is a superb performer.
With such quality glass available, what was wrong? Obviously I can't discount that getting used to the foibles of using a new camera could mean it was down to me. But as an experienced camera buff for more decades than I care to recall, there was more to it than that. During my early testing I hadn't yet downloaded Sony's Image Data Converter software, and as I discovered this was a mistake not to.
My first shots were shot in jpeg and RAW. I normally shoot in RAW anyway and this is why I was very disappointed in the jpegs coming from the A7, even though I had set them to Fine, the highest quality. Jpegs just didn't look good at all. RAW was better, but still below what I was anticipating. At this stage I was beginning to think it may not have been a good idea to get the A7, or I was going to have to spend a lot on the latest Zeiss optics to get the best from it. This runs counter to my idea of using my quality 35mm camera lenses on the A7.
My preferred image processing programme, Zoner 16 Pro, surprised me by opening and processing the RAW data file, but not to the quality I have been used to, so I suspect it is not yet optimised for the A7 RAW data. I even converted the Sony RAW files into Adobe's DNG format, but even this didn't quite reach the standard I was hoping for.
It was at this stage I downloaded the Sony software. Clearly, the Sony software is designed to work properly with the A7's RAW files, and what a difference my RAW images now look. A slight downside is with it being new program to me, I am on a learning curve to find out just what it can do. Oddly, this software is not intended to allow much post-editing work on jpegs, even those shot with the A7. In reality it is extremely limited, so purchasers of the A7 will need third party software to work with and get the best from the A7's jpegs. The only settings available, three, are to allow for some degree of correction for vignetting, and oddly, in the image centre as well, and a tone curve. The third setting merely gives information about clipped highlights and shadows, and out of gamut colours.
It would seem the message here from Sony is use RAW!
I think the message to take home about A7 ownership is that it will not automatically give you the quality one may be expecting from a 24meg FF sensor; it is going to require more input from the photographer, invariably this is going to mean shooting RAW, and more post-editing work with jpeg than lesser cameras will demand and where jpeg in-camera optimisation is to a high standard and where jpegs are eminently usable straight out of the camera. With the right optics and, for the present time, using Sony's RAW Data Converter software, the A7 really is capable of stunning quality and the effort you put in will be rewarded.
I've stated that the A7 is the best Sony yet, possibly. This is with the knowledge that its sister model, the A7R, has higher resolution, but falls short of the A7 in some areas. I suspect that if the sharpest image quality is the goal, then the A7R with its 36 megapixels and which dispenses with the anti-aliasing filter will be the model for you, whereas the A7 may be the better "all rounder".
Addendum, 16/01/2014. Something I read about: because the front of the body is a polycarbonate and not the magnesium alloy used in the more expensive A7r it may be possible for the lens mount to be stressed if heavy tele and zoom lenses from the days of film are attached via third party adaptors. Like me, if your intention is to use your older legacy lenses, try and ensure you get an adapter that incorporates a tripod mount.
on 9 December 2014
I have "upgraded" from the Sony RX10 to the Sony A7.
A Full Frame sensor in a body thats the same size as the RX10 is a dream come true.
The camera is small, lightweight, good build quality, and image quality (with the Zeiss 24-70 FE lens) is very good.
But this camera has some niggles that I am really struggling to come to grips with.
These don't seem mentioned much, but are worth knowing so I will go through them.
- Battery life is woeful. In an hour's usage I went from 100% to 27%, and that was with Wifi switched off. I will need to buy another 3 batteries for day's shooting, and its not just the cost, the messing around changing them and charging them will be a nightmare with the stupid cable connector. So budget for more batteries and a charger.
- Focus magnification is extremely fiddly. It is not customisable, only accessible for button C" which is right next to the viewfinder and hard to find and depress.
- Review magnification is also a pain, all the intuitive dials dont magnify, they take you to the next or previous image, you have to press a button to magnify. Compared to the RX10 its poor where you simply use the zoom tab by the shutter release.
- No built in ND filter. The RX10 has one, so why hasnt the A7? Its something I used a lot on the RX10, and never even thought to check if the A7 had it, just assumed as a "better" camera it would.
- Lens release button on the wrong side. Its just awkward and fiddly to depress while turning the lens, and while on the subject there is no mark on the body to line up the lenses to.
- No flash.
- Few lenses available (6 at the moment) and apart from the weak 28-70 kit lens are very expensive.
- Worse of the lot is the EVF is NOT as good as my RX10. I read they are using the same EVF on the A7 as on the RX10, well its not! The A7 is pixelated and grainy, it shimmers (as did my NEX6). With the RX10 you feel as though you are looking through an optical viewfinder with the benefit of live view, but with the A7 you are constantly aware its a shimmering image.
Despite the downsides it is a good camera, but you know what, I am wondering if I prefer the RX10. While sharpness and image quality may not quite be up to the A7, its easier to use, has more facilities, is about a third of the price (with A7 lens), has a constant f2.8 lens, and the greater reach of 24-200mm focal length, a built in flash, a better EVF, and ergonomically just a much more pleasurable camera to operate. I moved to the A7 purely for that extra image quality, but my experience so far is that its a hefty price to pay and is simply not as enjoyable to use.
While the RX10 is aimed at the less serious photographer I almost feel that IT is the serious camera and the A7 the lesser camera. Maybe some of the niggles will get sorted with firmware updates, but given Sony's record I doubt it. For what I paid for body and lens I could have bought three RX10's and had some left for accessories.
Now I realise that most people will compare the A7 to Canon and Nikon's offerings, not to another Sony camera, especially one that has a much smaller sensor. But to me its a natural upgrade path to go from the RX10 to A7.
Now if Image Quality is everything to you, or you plan to make large prints the A7 is a good choice. But if you wish to carry a small camera that produces good quality images, does pretty much everything you want and is a pleasure to use, buy the RX10, a nice Billingham bag for it, a set of Lee filters and a spare battery for under £1000. Then spend the other £1000 on a nice holiday to use it to take photos of exotic places.
on 30 July 2014
This is an extraordinary camera. I am a relative novice when it comes to serious photography but have quickly got to the point where I can safely say I have taken the best pictures of my life with this camera and the Carl Zeiss 55/1.8 lens. Don't be put off by reviews that say it is too complicated or the lens choices are too limited, in this price range this camera is a game changer.
on 21 March 2016
Absolutely brilliant! Just moved from an APS-C Nikon (D90) to my first full frame. Despite some people saying the setting rings and buttons are not the best, I love them. I shoot on manual most of the time and it is much easier to handle than the Nikon. Images are stunning, with both the kit lens and the ones I bought later. I acquired 2 old m42 lenses (58mm and 135mm - 100 euros altogether) and they perform very well on the a7, especially the bokeh, which is amazing!
I only have it for 2 weeks, but my findings so far:
+Size, weight and looks
+Manual controls easy to use
+Manual focusing aids (focus peaking, focus zoom)
+EVF - lots of pros and cons can be found about it on the internet. I personally love it, especially that you see what the picture will look after the shot is taken, digital lever indicator, focus peek etc.
+High ISO with relatively low noise
+Ability to use old, cheap lenses - possible on DSLRs as well, however there often is an issue with infinity focus, no problem on the a7. For the price of one new lens, you can acquire 4-5 old prime lenses with comparable optical quality. Check the old Russian ones - they`ll survive the 3rd world war :) But bear in mind that with most of them you have to set the aperture and focus manually!
+Bokeh, bokeh, bokeh :)
- Battery life - buy extra ones. There is a pair with charger for approx 16 quid up here on Amazon (not original Sony!) and they perform as good as the original.
- Menu - rubbish. I never know where each settings are, so I end up scrolling through the whole lot.
- I wasn`t very successful with shots of the night sky. The science should work out in favor of the full frame sensor in terms of exposure length, however I see star trails at 10 seconds at 28mm, where with a crop sensor I could get away with 10secs with 18mm (28.8mm on full frame). I have a cheap tripod which might be an issue in terms of shake. Will have to play around.
- Auto white balance at night - I don`t like the results, but there is a possibility to set your own WB
I think the camera deserves the 5 stars despite some of its shortcomings, as for most of them there is a remedy.
on 4 June 2014
I absolutely love this camera!
Whenever I see DSLR users these days, I am reminded how compact the A7 really is. It's light though, with a really solid tactile feel with it's metal body and surprisingly comfortable to hold and operate . No problem carrying around in my hand all day long without even a strap around my neck (not the smartest thing to do perhaps though!) A full frame sensor SLR like the trusty 5D is just a monster in comparison.
In manual mode, you have a separate dial for shutter, aperture, ISO and light meter so really quick to use. There are 2 assignable buttons as well for favourite settings.
Image quality is fabulous - in all lighting conditions I have had taken some of the best shots of my life. ISO ramps up higher than you'll ever need it. Portraits in black and white deliver beautiful contrast levels and colours rich but natural.
I bought an old Minolta A mount beer can lens (with an E mount converter) which is beautiful piece of glass (only £50!). The only downside is there are very few native lenses for it at the moment, no doubt though they will come.
Haven't had a chance to play with video but fully intend to, will update my review once I have.
For the money and performance, I couldn't be happier with this camera. Highly recommend.
on 13 April 2014
For years I have been searching for that single piece of kit that will shoot perfect stills and perfect video. In the Sony a7 that quest is finally at an end.
It was with some anxiety that I decided to upgrade from my sony Nex7 to this full frame camera. The Nex7 is a superb camera in every way but the lure of a full frame camera was just too strong....and boy has the a7 delivered. The photographs are insanely gorgeous even using basic automatic mode and JPEG. The detail, the colour, the bokeh, Wow! Trust me, this takes photography to a whole new world.
However, when it comes to video PLEASE, PLEASE read this caveat first.....
If you take video footage then you simply have to change the settings from PAL to NTSC. Video taken at HD 1080 50p produces hideous shimmer and jello effect; whereas video taken at HD 1080 60p is rock solid. Seriously - to avoid disappointment you absolutely must switch from PAL to the NTSC format. Consider yourself warned!!
Two other vital five star awards for this camera:-
1) The menu structure and custom buttons are brilliant. I adore having a zebra pattern to avoid burn out in bright sunlight; and a manual focus zoom assist for pin point accuracy in tricky low light situations.
2) Excellent post sales customer service by Sony. They solved the video problem within 48 hours of me emailing them; sending me a comprehensive and easy to follow check list of what I could try to sort the problem. Thank you Sony. Your advice was first rate xx
I have no negative comments so far for the camera, but two minor requests. A built in ND filter would have been wonderful and a greater selection of optional lenses available now. The kit lens is great, but I would just like a larger zoom range, say 18-135mm rather than the 28-70mm offered. Ok! So I'm greedy lol.....but if you don't ask you don't get.
In summary: if you are thinking of migrating to a FF camera then the Sony a7 MUST be on your short list. It won't disappoint.
on 6 May 2014
I'm sure you've read all the reviews, or you wouldn't be considering spending over a thousand pounds on a camera body, so I'll just cover the actual experiences I've had of using this camera on professional shoots.
This camera is a game changer. It's also a way-of-working changer. Sony only make two or three lenses dedicated to this camera, so it seems fairly and squarely aimed at people like me who have a set of manual legacy lenses that are aching to be fitted onto a full frame digital camera. There are already adaptors to fit pretty much any manual lens you'd care to try, and affordable ones emerging to utilise your autofocus Canon and Nikon system lenses.
That's true of my Canon DSLR, but it's almost impossible to focus accurately, let alone quickly and reliably with legacy manual focus lenses. I tried using my Zeiss T* Planar on it for corporate portraits and gave up within two shoots - most of the shots I thought were in focus at the time proved not to be once I got them home onto the computer. The Sony A7, however is a whole different kettle of loveliness.
Focus peaking is the key. I've seen it in other cameras, but I've never seen it work as well as it does in the A7. There's not a lens in my arsenal that I've not been able to accurately and reliably focus easily, as fast as I need to, in professional situations. For portraits I actually find it quicker than using autofocus lenses on my Canon. And that's the deal-breaker for me. The focus zoom check thing is very quick to use, but I've only had to use it for one or two shots.
So I get to use all the Zeiss and Leica optics for real, when it counts, and a client is looking over my shoulder. Faffing is not an option! And let's face it, you might have the best glass in the world on the front of your camera, but it's all in vain if you miss the shot.
I like the menus. There, I said it. Never thought I'd say that about a camera. But I can find stuff, there's no scrolling down for something that's off the screen, and once you've set up the function buttons to your personal preference, you hardly ever need resort to a menu in everyday operation.
The viewfinder and display are great. Versatile and very easy to see. I'm hardly ever aware that this is an EVF rather than an optical, unless I'm in very, very low light.
Battery life is not good. I wouldn't take this camera on a shoot without spares. There are three solutions to this:
1) buy a charger and spares (not included with the body!) available on Amazon for £20.
2) buy a battery grip - near enough £300! - but almost essential for quick portrait shooting, and it intelligently drains the batteries one at a time, not both together (like my Canon one) so you can be charging one while using another and have a little relay going on.
3) buy an Anker portable charger to go in your kit bag. £10 on Amazon, and can charge the A7 direct to the USB port while you're not using it.
What else irks? Well for some reason the ISO setting keeps changing. Suddenly my exposures get unfeasibly long, and I check to find ISO has set itself to 50 for some reason. Again and again. I have no idea why, but I'm getting quicker at noticing it.
And it's easy to knock the exposure +/- wheel. It's meant to be readily accessible, which it is, and that's great, until you accidentally change it.
The shutter is loud, as many reviews will tell you. If you need stealth photography, this camera is not for you. The A7 is quieter than the A7r because you can switch off the front shutter curtain, which makes quite a difference, I can tell you, but whether it's enough to let me shoot on film sets I've yet to find out. I used to shoot with a Leica M6, and have been dying to use my old lenses with a full frame digital on film sets, but I have my doubts that the A7 will let me.
Above all, it fits in my hand, feels like a real camera (not some huge industrial digital image capture device) and enables me to shoot more thoughtfully, the way I used to. I can fit the camera, flash and three lenses in a satchel, not a rucksack or wheelie case, and my back is thanking me.
I guess what I'm trying to say, is that many cameras promise to scale down your professional rig, or change the way you shoot. This is the very first camera I've encountered that actually does. And has.
If I could give it 6 stars I would.
on 13 October 2014
Best digital camera I've ever owned, by far. Now my old Carl Zeiss T* lenses, 50/1.7 Planar and 100/3.5 Sonnar, are now back in use.
Not really for novices or photographers with poor camera handling technique given the lack of stabilization. One wonders how great photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson ever survived!
And I'd say it's a waste of money for anyone just wanting to use automatically produced jpeg images. What's the point of owning a full frame camera like this if you aren't going to exploit its RAW image potential?