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Author Topic: A7RII initial thoughts and images  (Read 202748 times)

shadowblade

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #300 on: August 17, 2015, 03:30:01 am »

Face recognition is for snap shooters and egotistical selfies. I don't need it. What I want is a single, movable square in the viewfinder, and a button to press which autofocuses the lens on the subject covered by the single square.

Does the A7RII have such a feature for all lenses that fit, with or without an adapter? If not, then another 'thumbs down'.  >:(

Depends what you're willing to sacrifice. At present, Canon has the lenses and the AF, but not the sensor. Nikon has the sensor and the AF, but not the lenses. Sony has the sensor and the lenses (by way of adapters) but not the AF. Sigma is the wildcard, since it produces AF-capable lenses that are equally good on any body, negating Nikon's lens weakness in certain focal lengths.

For most of what I shoot (I consider my wildlife gear a completely separate kit, in terms of bodies, lenses and accessories, e.g. gimbal mounts), AF comes a distant last behind DR, resolution and lens sharpness/aberrations, all of which directly impact on image quality. If it can accurately lock onto a nonmoving subject for the times when I need to handhold and can't conveniently focus by zooming in and using live view, that's good enough for 95% of what I do with AF. A Canon camera with a Sony sensor, or a Nikon camera with an EF mount, would be a dream camera, but, since neither of those is likely, a Sony body capable of using Canon lenses (as well as almost any other lens) is the next best thing. And Sony third-party AF can only get better - it's already come leaps and bounds from the first iteration of A7 cameras, and, in two generations or so, I'd expect it to be functionally indistinguishable from native Canon AF (viewfinder lag being a completely separate issue that would require a faster, more power-hungry processor and a larger battery to fix).
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shadowblade

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #301 on: August 17, 2015, 03:52:14 am »

Essentially, the A7r/A7rII has created a race between Sony and Canon for a large group of customers, centred around former 5D2 and 1D3s users - those for whom IQ is paramount, but who would also like some functionality (e.g. AF) in the camera. Many migrated to the D800e/D810, but many more either have a large stable of Canon lenses, or certain Canon-specific lenses (usually tilt-shifts, or the MP-E 65, or supertelephotos) which they are unwilling to give up.

The race is between Canon developing a better sensor (in terms of low-ISO DR, which is the main reason many photographers in certain categories have migrated away from Canon) and Sony developing AF which can quickly and accurately focus using third-party glass. 'Third-party glass' being the key - without the ability to use Canon glass, the A7r would likely never have gotten off the ground in the first place, since Sony doesn't have the same sort of glass collection as Canon, and, even if it did, the photographers in play in this race are already largely wedded to Canon lenses already (the 5D2 having been a huge success attracting millions of photographers to Canon, or to digital for the first time). If Canon wins, they get the 5D2 users back. If Sony wins, they split open the crack that they've already produced in Canon's user base and take over this large segment of photographers (who will probably also buy more and more Sony glass as its collection develops and becomes competitive with Canon), leaving Canon with just the high-speed action crowd.

Nikon is the big loser in all of this - unless they can update their lens collection to be the equal to Canon's, including specialty lenses, they will lose market share whether Canon develops a new sensor and photographers migrate back (and stop moving to the D750/D810) or Sony wins and a Sony body with third-party glass (superior to Nikon's) becomes just as functional, in terms of AF and other areas, as the D810 and its successor bodies. Needless to say, Metabones is the big winner in the meantime. And Canon wins in terms of lenses regardless who wins the sensor/body battle, since Canon lenses are the generally-preferred lenses in each case.
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peterottaway

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #302 on: August 17, 2015, 04:41:42 am »

Well actually I prefer the FE lenses. Between them and my A mount there isn't much I don't have that I need. Throw in some RF, some Minolta MD, Contax CY and OM manual focus lenses when I'm so inclined and who needs Canon ?

Good enough is a lot cheaper than the self appointed Critics Choice.
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Ray

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #303 on: August 17, 2015, 04:55:50 am »

Depends what you're willing to sacrifice.

Why should I make sacrifices? I don't upgrade in order to make sacrifices. When I buy a new camera, I expect every useful feature in the old camera to be maintained in the new camera, in addition to any new features such as increased resolution and dynamic range, increased autofocus accuracy and increased frame rate, to quote just a few parameters.

If I happen to own a particular Canon lens which I consider good, and I use it on an A7RII with adapter, and find that it's not as good in certain respects as I'm used to, then I have to ask myself, if I'd initially read reports that the lens performed like this on the Canon bodies that I own, would I have bought the lens in the first instance.

The answer is a definite 'no'.
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shadowblade

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #304 on: August 17, 2015, 05:10:26 am »

Well actually I prefer the FE lenses. Between them and my A mount there isn't much I don't have that I need. Throw in some RF, some Minolta MD, Contax CY and OM manual focus lenses when I'm so inclined and who needs Canon ?

Good enough is a lot cheaper than the self appointed Critics Choice.

You'd be the minority - there's no way the A7 series would have been so successful if they could only be used with Sony lenses and weren't compatible with Canon (and other) lenses via adapters. Many users need lenses which are critically sharp (which some of the FE lenses are) and/or wide aperture (which they are not, at least in comparison to SLR lenses), or need focal lengths and other lens features not available with FE-mount lenses.

The lens selection would be much improved if and when Sigma decides to make their Art and Sport lenses in an E-mount, in addition to EF, Nikon, A-mount and Sigma mount (why they even bother with the last one is beyond me).
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shadowblade

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #305 on: August 17, 2015, 05:27:37 am »

Why should I make sacrifices? I don't upgrade in order to make sacrifices. When I buy a new camera, I expect every useful feature in the old camera to be maintained in the new camera, in addition to any new features such as increased resolution and dynamic range, increased autofocus accuracy and increased frame rate, to quote just a few parameters.

If I happen to own a particular Canon lens which I consider good, and I use it on an A7RII with adapter, and find that it's not as good in certain respects as I'm used to, then I have to ask myself, if I'd initially read reports that the lens performed like this on the Canon bodies that I own, would I have bought the lens in the first instance.

The answer is a definite 'no'.

You're always making a sacrifice, no matter which body you go with.

If you stick with Canon, you're sacrificing IQ but retaining AF. If you go with Sony, you're sacrificing AF but getting better IQ. If you go with Nikon, you get both, but can't use your lens.

Which one do you need more - IQ or AF?
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shadowblade

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #306 on: August 17, 2015, 06:58:15 am »

I have one (or two...) question around the A7RII that I've not seen addressed...

When shooting on a tripod with Canon cameras I use "Live View" and move the focus point around using the joystick to pick out what I want to focus on quite deliberately (I can approximate distance to the camera, depth of field, aperture, etc) rather than relying on the camera picking the correct element in the view finder (or even just the middle AF box) to focus on.

Is it possible to work in the same manner with the A7RII?[/quote[

Yes, you can use CDAF with Canon lenses on the A7rII, but why would you? Unlike Canon, you have PDAF available while on live view (or using the EVF). This is far faster than CDAF - and, since the AF sensor is on the same plane as the image sensor, there is no inaccuracy due to misalignment (i.e. no need for AF microadjustment with on-sensor PDAF).

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If so, does the A7RII autofocus well (using CDAF?) in this situation with metabones + Canon lenses?

CDAF is accurate but slow. If you need speed, you'd be using PDAF. If you have time to use CDAF, you also have time to focus manually.
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dreed

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #307 on: August 17, 2015, 07:07:15 am »

CDAF is accurate but slow. If you need speed, you'd be using PDAF. If you have time to use CDAF, you also have time to focus manually.

Indeed but the camera is a machine made to autofocus so why should I do it?

I just want to tell it what I want to focus on (using joystick) and let the machine do the rest.

Whether it is CDAF or PDAF, I don't care.

I just want to be able to select anything (or close to) on the live view screen on which to focus. I don't want my selection of object to focus on to be limited by where the camera maker decided to put autofocus sensors (sic).
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shadowblade

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #308 on: August 17, 2015, 07:14:18 am »

Indeed but the camera is a machine made to autofocus so why should I do it?

Cars are also made with automatic transmission, but sometimes you still do it manually.

Cameras also have green box mode, but most of the time you still shoot in either M or Av mode.

You use manual settings because they can give you better results or more control than a dumb computer.

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I just want to tell it what I want to focus on (using joystick) and let the machine do the rest.

You can. But, if you use CDAF, it will be slow.

Quote
Whether it is CDAF or PDAF, I don't care.

I just want to be able to select anything (or close to) on the live view screen on which to focus. I don't want my selection of object to focus on to be limited by where the camera maker decided to put autofocus sensors (sic).

Then you may as well get used to slow-as-molasses CDAF. Because no PDAF system, on any camera, can give you what you want.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #309 on: August 17, 2015, 07:16:03 am »

Hi,

CDAF needs lenses that can do small and rapid focusing movements. Canon's lenses are intended to be used with phase detection. The new Sony use both phase detection and contrast detection, but the phase detection is probably limited when comparing with external devices used DSLRs.

Sony purpose builds their lenses for their cameras. I don't think it is reasonable to expect that Canon Lenses will work excellently using third party adapters on a Sony camera.

Just to say, my major problem with the A7rII is getting one delivered.

Best regards
Erik

Indeed but the camera is a machine made to autofocus so why should I do it?

I just want to tell it what I want to focus on (using joystick) and let the machine do the rest.

Whether it is CDAF or PDAF, I don't care.

I just want to be able to select anything (or close to) on the live view screen on which to focus. I don't want my selection of object to focus on to be limited by where the camera maker decided to put autofocus sensors (sic).
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Erik Kaffehr
 

dreed

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #310 on: August 17, 2015, 07:39:39 am »

Sigh, I didn't ask about using live view for autofocus with a view to being told to use PDAF instead or for analogies involving cars. Seriously, I'm perfectly happy with my workflow when shooting from a tripod. It works well for me, what more could I ask for?

All that I want(ed) to know is if the same method that is available with Canon's DSLRs (live view, CDAF) will work on the A7RII using adapter + Canon lenses. I don't care how slow it is or if something else is faster.
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shadowblade

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #311 on: August 17, 2015, 07:48:41 am »

Sigh, I didn't ask about using live view for autofocus with a view to being told to use PDAF instead or for analogies involving cars. Seriously, I'm perfectly happy with my workflow when shooting from a tripod. It works well for me, what more could I ask for?

All that I want(ed) to know is if the same method that is available with Canon's DSLRs (live view, CDAF) will work on the A7RII using adapter + Canon lenses. I don't care how slow it is or if something else is faster.

You asked if it autofocuses 'well' using CDAF.

Nothing autofocuses 'well' using CDAF at the moment - camera processors just aren't fast or powerful enough. CDAF focuses accurately, but is so slow that you can focus just as accurately (and on the spot you want to focus on) and more quickly by zooming in and focusing manually.
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Ray

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #312 on: August 17, 2015, 07:50:27 am »

You're always making a sacrifice, no matter which body you go with.

Not me. Sacrifices are for religious fanatics.  ;)

As I've mentioned, I progressively moved to the Nikon system, continuing to use my Canon 50D to achieve any effect I could not achieve with the D700 and D7000, until I finally acquired a range of Nikkor focal lengths that equalled my Canon range of lenses, plus a Nikon body (the D800E) that exceeded the quality of any Canon body currently available.

If Canon were to produce a 36mp body that equalled in every respect the performance of the D800E, I would have insufficient reason to buy it. The A7RII at least has the advantage IBIS, 4k video and BSI. I have a number of Canon lenses which don't have IS, and at some point in the future I shall probably buy a 4k UHD TV set.  ;)

However, to be perfectly frank, I do have some Canon lenses that have certain features that none of my Nikkor lenses have, such as a rather sharp 60mm macro lens, and a few tilt & shift lenses (17, 24 and 90mm). The tilt and shift lenses were mistaken purchases. I imagined they would be useful, but the reality is I rarely used them.
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eronald

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #313 on: August 17, 2015, 10:10:02 am »

The real problem with Sony consumer is that usually the make a bunch of innovative hi-tech models of something, release new versions at carousel speed to new adopters, feed on the novelty/fashion  premium, and then dump the product line as soon as it is not bleeding edge. They did this with PCs. Fragile throwaway high-tech style is their thing. It's their corporate DNA.

When I was living in Japan, Sony had incredibly small sexy laptops. But the mantra among computer journalists -who really like laptops- was don't buy a Sony, it'll fail as soon as it is out of warranty. And then there was the super-cynical "You never see an old Sony product". (because it broke and got chucked).

The stuff sold abroad usually goes through a toughening process, and is a bit more solid; also Sony does have some pro stuff which is built to last.

Edmund

« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 10:14:28 am by eronald »
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Telecaster

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #314 on: August 17, 2015, 01:52:54 pm »

Nothing autofocuses 'well' using CDAF at the moment - camera processors just aren't fast or powerful enough. CDAF focuses accurately, but is so slow that you can focus just as accurately (and on the spot you want to focus on) and more quickly by zooming in and focusing manually.

Sorry but unless you're referring only to SLRs in live view mode this is so false it's not even wrong.  :o

-Dave-
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hjulenissen

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #315 on: August 17, 2015, 02:11:03 pm »

The real problem with Sony consumer is that usually the make a bunch of innovative hi-tech models of something, release new versions at carousel speed to new adopters, feed on the novelty/fashion  premium, and then dump the product line as soon as it is not bleeding edge. They did this with PCs. Fragile throwaway high-tech style is their thing. It's their corporate DNA.
...
Sony used to make CRT televisions and portable music players that would last forever.

I don't buy into the idea that Sony always makes fragile things.

I don't see how Sonys rapid product cycles is a problem for the photographer. Either the Sony A7rII is better suited for your needs than the 5DsR, or it isnt. If it is, then what difference does it make that Sony will be shipping the A7rIIIII by the time of the next gen 5D camera?

-h
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shadowblade

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #316 on: August 17, 2015, 02:55:13 pm »

Sorry but unless you're referring only to SLRs in live view mode this is so false it's not even wrong.  :o

-Dave-

Show me a portable camera currently in the market - mirrorless, SLR or whatever - that focuses fast using CDAF alone.

As far as I am aware, there are none out there.

That's because fast CDAF, just like lagfree EVFs, are very processor-intensive. It takes a lot of processor power to track a running animal or moving vehicle using CDAF. Fast processors need powerful batteries. And no mirrorless camera has a powerful-enough battery for such a processor (since they've all emphasised small size at the expense of functionality) while SLRs have all emphasised PDAF, with live view almost added in as an afterthought. Unless you want to tether the camera to a power socket and run off mains power like a live-broadcast video camera, you won't be tracking sports or wildlife using CDAF.
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NancyP

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #317 on: August 17, 2015, 03:21:54 pm »

re: sacrifices
Somewhere I see a Canon Rebel on a stick being toasted over the campfire....
I suppose the true sacrificial cameras are those that are "Z"* cameras mounted on stunt cars slated for destruction.
*by the time a camera is used on a stunt, it's not a B or C or M camera...
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eronald

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #318 on: August 17, 2015, 03:32:24 pm »

Sorry but unless you're referring only to SLRs in live view mode this is so false it's not even wrong.  :o

-Dave-

One cannot, should not, debate religious beliefs :)

Edmund
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shadowblade

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Re: A7RII initial thoughts and images
« Reply #319 on: August 17, 2015, 03:58:43 pm »

Yes, real photographers don't autofocus.  At least that's what I heard and thought for a long time and that thought echos through the cinema community today.

Then project briefs moved to fast moving subjects and yes you could manually focus, though for high pressured commercial work, we jumped through hoops to do it.  Focusing on T-marks on the ground, using small supplemental lighting for more luminance until we shot.

I had the lubrication taken down drastically on all my medium format cameras, so I could snap focus the ring, but film cameras had different focusing screens than the digital slrs.  Digital slrs give the impression that F 2.8 looks like F4, (though is still f2.8)  so manually focusing (with reliability an Canon, or Nikon) can fool you.

I could make a list of the best autofocus cameras and Nikon F5, D3, d4, d700, that until the 1dx outperformed canon 2 to 1.





http://www.russellrutherford.com/james_cowboy_brown_man_boy.m4v

Now with on sensor focusing, even face tracking it can be good, sometimes almost amazing, but usually for stills not as good as the best dslrs.

For lifestyle video the gh3 with face detection is good, sometimes amazing in a crowd if you set it up properly.  

The gh4 good for stills, lousy for video, the omd em-1 snaps focus as fast as any camera made for static or slow moving subjects, but for tracking it' kind of shuts down once you shoot quickly.

Same with the Canon 70d, amazing for motion imagery, especially lifestyle,where people are moving in a non predicable scene, but for stills it also shuts down and will get the first image but that's about it.

Now I've tested all A7 series except the RII and they're lacking if the subject moves.  

The RII may be better with fe lenses, though for our use FE lenses are too limited with the higher end zooms at F4.

The A mount zooms are 2.8 and more usef with the Sony adapter but not a reliable with FE lenses.

This is the best show and tell of sony RII focus I've seen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_5Cr-eDZEc

I believe the A7 style cameras will become Sony's mainstay.  I think right now they're trying to clear stock of A mounts, but for professional use (at least in the brief we work) we will need more.

Maybe like a super A7 with faster lenses, more lenses, much larger batteries and less compression on stills, much higher bit depth for video, full hdmi and usb contacts that are more robust and clean 10 bit 422 4k uncompressed through hdmi.

For fun, or for photographers that shoot static objects, especially the ones Chris and Ranier use for their work, the RII is professional, but for many other genres they are lacking.

BTW:   Sony 2.8 A mount professional zooms are $500 to $1,000 more than Canon, so maybe they're not clearing stock.

IMO

BC



The point being?

No-one ever argued that AF was useless or unnecessary.

Just that lack of AF doesn't automatically disqualify a camera from being useful for professional purposes (MFDBs come to mind) or that AF is anywhere close to the most important consideration for many kinds of photography - where the choice is between AF, lens selection and image quality, it makes sense to dump AF (not necessarily back to nothing, but back to 5D2-style sluggishness) if you need the utmost in image quality but aren't shooting moving subjects.
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