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Author Topic: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report  (Read 42020 times)

jmlphotography

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2015, 02:52:35 am »

Would you be able to test and comment on the long exposure hot pixel/noise issue?  I am very interested in this camera but like to do 5-7 minute LEs and have read that anything over 30 seconds results in an unusable file due to noise or hot pixels.
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Raoul Jasselette

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2015, 03:13:58 am »

Hi Michael

Thanks for this review and this site!
I am a long time reader and like your non-nonsense approach.

I own a Sony Nex 7 and A7R.
I have used them a lot with success with older manual focus lenses and Canon EF lenses (my main system is Canon).

While there is indeed a lot of things to like,  there are also several things I dislike with those Sony camera, and I am interested to know your experience:

- sensor dust and stains: with 18mm flange to sensor distance and an always open shutter, the sensor is much more exposed to dust and stains. This turns into a real problem when you use primes and often swap lenses.
I wonder if Sony could find a workaround (closing the shutter during lens swap? )

- LCD screen degradation with time. I used both camera for traveling and daily use and I soon had some non uniform LCD stains on both camera.
On A7R it was replaced under warranty after just 1 year.
This questions the durability of the camera for me.
Could be bad luck... What is your experience?

- As you said, limitations of what you can map to which button. And this even differs from play mode to shooing mode (zoom is an example)

- vertical grip ergonomics (especially with manual lenses) is weak (if you compare to the competition) in vertical mode. Commands are located very differently in both otientations and I often touch vertical shutter when I zoom in image to tune manual focus. ...which closes the zoom.
I then have to switch the vertical shutter off...

Do you experience those issues too?

Have a good day
Raoul






« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 04:54:04 am by Raoul Jasselette »
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barryfitzgerald

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2015, 07:24:50 am »

at least Sony has provided a viable migration path for those with large A-mount lens investments.

Really? A camera costing £2600 to get IBIS for A mount lenses
Point being that I can put my A mount lenses on any mirrorless body not just Sony

I would argue that investing in E mount lenses (or any other native ILC format) is money down the drain for most you can't use them anywhere else
The appeal of ILC's is it's flexibility that same advantage also makes buying native mount lenses a poor choice for longer term use

I've no idea what will happen with A mount but down the road I'd expect E mount to go away too. Makers that change mounts suffer longer term Olympus still evokes an angry response from many they dumped 2 mounts
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HSway

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2015, 08:03:20 am »

Thanks for the video. It’s my experience that people who dedicated their lives to searching and discovering flaws in what are beautiful tools for doing photography, going to extraordinary lengths, filling up the Internet closets, have never discovered the joy and assets of photography. The fact that they actually manifest in self-explaining way.
One thing is certain though, and that the photography won’t die from a lossy compression or from a softer corner wide open when focused at infinity. It can however die fairly easy without the videos, articles done by photographers and of course their presence and work.

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Atlasman

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2015, 08:04:20 am »

Great review and writing... except that what is the "42.3mm BSI sensor" ? ;)

Since the start of the digital era, I marry my lenses, but I only date my cameras“. This may in fact become a major factor in the photographic marketplace in the months and years ahead. If one buys quality glass, this is a long-term commitment; one not easily changed out. But of one can now change camera brands at will, this is a sea change which the industry has yet to assimilate into its thinking."

Will Canon and Nikon be comfortable knowing that selling lenses no longer requires selling a camera? Sure it is sales and money is money, but wouldn't those companies prefer to sell cameras to go with those lenses?

Yes, the A7RII is a truly disruptive camera. Will it force until Canon and Nikon to adopt mirrorless and abando mirror slappers so that they can return to building "defendable" lock-in systems? At present I think we're at a rare point in digital camera history where it is possible to change camera brands at will.

I too thought that glass was forever, but in reality it isn't—lenses, like camera bodies are not immune to technological progress.

As far as Canon and Nikon are concerned, their fear should come, not in selling bodies, but in possibly becoming irrelevent. The A7RII can be a highly effective trojan horse that initially augments a Canikon shooter's tool bag and then, over time, completely displaces the legacy system.

The A7RII, as Michael has sated, could be a truly universal camera!
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michael

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2015, 08:09:28 am »

"I've no idea what will happen with A mount but down the road I'd expect E mount to go away too."

Does "down the road" mean 2-5 years, or 10 years or more?

If the later, you may be right. Nothing is forever, especially in an industry changing as rapidly as digital imaging. But I would put real money on Sony hanging its hat on the FE mount for at least the next half decade, and likely longer.
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telyt

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2015, 09:33:30 am »

Makers that change mounts suffer longer term

Like FD -> EF ?
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Christopher Sanderson

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2015, 09:45:25 am »

...Interesting to me was Chris' choice of location for the presentation.  Normally, cameramen avoid hot backgrounds like the plague. Whatever combination of camera hardware and fill light he used, the result is extraordinary.  Chris, have you bought an Amira?  :)
I wish!... but no just the trusty Panny GH4 and serendipitous fill from a car in the car park opposite. If I take away one thing from the blown bg, it is is that if you are going to let something blowout, it is better to have it completely, all-channels, irretrievably blown  ;D

barryfitzgerald

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2015, 11:27:30 am »

"I've no idea what will happen with A mount but down the road I'd expect E mount to go away too."

Does "down the road" mean 2-5 years, or 10 years or more?

If the later, you may be right. Nothing is forever, especially in an industry changing as rapidly as digital imaging. But I would put real money on Sony hanging its hat on the FE mount for at least the next half decade, and likely longer.


Well credit for trying (asking the question) But it's a bit like politicians you'll never get a straight answer from them, I just wish Sony would "man up" and be honest with users; but it's possible they don't even know themselves.
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mikedeissler

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2015, 08:55:08 pm »

Thanks for the useful, concise and thorough review.  I'm a long time Canon user and have been shooting with the A7RII for about a week with Sony's low end 24-240 zoom and the Metabones Mark 4 adapter with my collection of L series lenses.  It's like shooting left handed at first getting used to the Sony layout and way of thinking.  But I'm happy and a little surprised to say that they system is very responsive and well laid out even for my pudgy hands.  I shoot a 1DX and a lot of martial arts competitions and I was hot for the silent shutter - it rocks BTW. Now it doesn't sound like a migration of locusts when I'm shooting. Anyway, I mention this because the rep insisted that the stills are true 14bit UNLESS you use the silent shutter and ONLY THEN are they 12 bit.  Is it true that they are all what you term "quasi 12 bit" ?   Was I spun a line ?  Not that the human eye can even tell, anyway...  :) Thanks Again, m
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dchew

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2015, 09:29:49 pm »

Very nice review Michael, I'm sure it was tough to cover all the bases in a reasonable length.

"My first gripe is with the locking Mode dial. It is not possible to change the shooting mode unless the center button of the dial is depressed and held in while turning the knob. Who at Sony thought that this was a good idea?"

Certainly no one who owned an old Canon A2. They had the same brilliant idea back in the '90s. Mine went in for repair twice because of that awful design.

I'm curious what additional custom functions you would like to see programable. For me I wish "Format card" was available. I'd program that to C4. Kinda matches the icon too.

Oh, BTW, can I buy you a second bookcase?
😎

Dave

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adias

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2015, 10:23:30 pm »

"I've no idea what will happen with A mount but down the road I'd expect E mount to go away too."

Does "down the road" mean 2-5 years, or 10 years or more?

If the later, you may be right. Nothing is forever, especially in an industry changing as rapidly as digital imaging. But I would put real money on Sony hanging its hat on the FE mount for at least the next half decade, and likely longer.


Nice review. Kudos!

Re the longevity of a lens system... I bet it has to last way more than 10 years to survive (as a system) in the marketplace. Lenses are not throwaway electronics. There are superb lenses made 40/50 years ago still superb performers. Coatings have changed but lens design was very good long ago - Zeiss for sure.
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Hans Kruse

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2015, 05:46:32 am »

Very nice review Michael, I'm sure it was tough to cover all the bases in a reasonable length.

"My first gripe is with the locking Mode dial. It is not possible to change the shooting mode unless the center button of the dial is depressed and held in while turning the knob. Who at Sony thought that this was a good idea?"

Certainly no one who owned an old Canon A2. They had the same brilliant idea back in the '90s. Mine went in for repair twice because of that awful design.

I'm curious what additional custom functions you would like to see programable. For me I wish "Format card" was available. I'd program that to C4. Kinda matches the icon too.

Oh, BTW, can I buy you a second bookcase?
😎

Dave



All later Canons like the 5D III, 5Ds, 7D, 7DII has the lock in the center og the program dial. You need to push to turn it. I think it works very well and don't see the problem with that. On the contrary the old design without it on the Canon the program dial could easily be turned when taking the camera out of the camera bag. This happened quite often with my old 5D.

Hans Kruse

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2015, 06:02:01 am »

Reading the review on this camera is like on dpreview.com. I have a distinct feeling that the reviewers talk like salesmen from Sony. I still remember the very positive reviews coming out on the A7R and the issues with the shutter shock was strongly dismissed as not a problem here on LuLa. Now later on with the A7R II Sony is praised by the same people to have solved the shutter shock problem, huh? Sony never acknowledged there was a shutter shock problem so why is it that the shutter was totally redesigned and EFCS was introduced? Sony never tried to at least diminish the problem for A7R owners. I'm sorry to say this sucks. I'm not impressed by a company acting this way. I'm not saying that all other companies are totally different. It took Canon some hard beating to acknowledge the AF problems with the Canon 1D III and for Nikon to admit the oil problems on the D600. After these blunders both Canon and Nikon are quite quick to solve any problems. Their service organisations are excellent. How about Sony?

These reviews leaves me with a distinct feeling that there are issues that a balanced and critical review will reveal that is not revealed. Regarding the RAW format, do you really believe that Sony will solve this issue with the A7R II? What if this is not only in firmware but a part of how the hardware works? Then a firmware update cannot solve the issue. Trying to ridicule people who don't like this is not worthy of a reviewer. Making comments relative to Canon and Nikon without a hands on review of these cameras is not very professional in my opinion.

Having said that I do understand that grown up men become like boys having new toys for their reviews  ;D

dchew

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2015, 06:18:52 am »

All later Canons like the 5D III, 5Ds, 7D, 7DII has the lock in the center og the program dial. You need to push to turn it. I think it works very well and don't see the problem with that. On the contrary the old design without it on the Canon the program dial could easily be turned when taking the camera out of the camera bag. This happened quite often with my old 5D.

Hans,
I get it on the Canon design where the mode dial sticks up on the left with nothing around it. Same was true with the old A2 so I admit my comment above is little more than a misguided rant. However, on this camera I agree with Michael. The mode dial is well-protected and I don't ever remember having a problem on the a7r.* It just makes the camera more fiddly. Next week I am headed to the Mount Blanc massif for some fun in the mountains. One of the things I've been practicing is changing that dial with one hand. It's actually possible if you press the button with your forefinger and rotate the dial with your thumb. But with gloves on it is hit or miss.

Dave

Edit: I do note the dial in these new 7's is a little bigger in both height and diameter. Perhaps people reported issues with this larger dial moving on its own. But I haven't heard that anywhere.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 06:42:00 am by dchew »
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Raoul Jasselette

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2015, 06:55:28 am »

About Hans Kruse's comment:
I appreciate Michael's reviews and I'm sure he does them honestly.
And I do especially appreciate that he actually uses (some) camera to take actual pictures.
That's not what most reviewers do.

The point for me is: Michael, you change camera once or twice a year!
As you said, you just "date" your camera.

On my side, I'd like to change only every 5 or so years.
It's not just a matter of money (well, it is too), it's also that learning a new tool takes time
and when you're not a pro it take months to get the maximum out of it.

That was my point with my previous comment (and the reason I asked Michael for a feedback):
You have the technology -which is brilliant and evolves through fixing some issues which each new model (why not all?)- and then you have the day to day usability and reliability.
Utlimately, I need BOTH technology, usability and reliability to rely on a camera, to be comfortable enough I can rely on it, and then to use for my day to day use.
The few issues I listed are the kind of issues that don't make me feel comfortable.
And this gives me a mixed feeling about the A7R, and Sony camera in general.

There will still be a long way, in my opinion, before Sony will be able to build that confidence.
It's not a matter of technology only, it's a matter of company mindset.
This mindset leads to techological choices, marketing choices (No battery loader in the box? Come on! And, as Hans said: why to Replace model every year without bother to fix issues on previous model at all?) and organisation (/support) choices.
I'm afraid Sony still has a long way to go. If I wanted to be rude, I'd say they look still too much "Tech snob oriented" for my taste.
(You may count me as one "tech snob" somehow. I like new techs. But this is not enough a reason by itself for compromises when I choose a tool for day to day usage.)

Yes I appreciate the technological advances in those camera.
And, yes, I'm also convinced that EVF is the way for the future.
But at the end, I prefer to buy a Canon (or a Nikon, that's not the point) where I know by experience that -except in case of an accident- it will not let me down in the next 3 years.
Even if it's bigger, heavier, has no electronic viewfinder with focus magnification in, can't mount my older (Canon FD) lenses and, for Canon, has less dynamic range (yes, that's a true limitation for me).
And yes, that's frustrating.

For sure, this is based on my own experience only. And I'm in no way a pro photographer.
Just somebody shooting pictures regularly since 35 years.

But is that only me?
What to do to convince Sony to change mindset and to propose products that actually inspire prise AND confidence?

(Or maybe that's me who should change mindset, and accept that I have to switch to a "smartphone-like" mindset, where we replace a camera each 2 years, because the battery is dead and there is no way to replace it. Is it where the hi-end camera market is going ?)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 07:19:13 am by Raoul Jasselette »
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michael

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2015, 08:41:51 am »

Just a passing thought....

Watch for a review from me this week of a new camera from one of the world's oldest and most respected makers.

"What to do to convince Sony to change mindset and to propose products that actually inspire prise AND confidence?" This may not ring quite so loudly once that report is read.

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Mitchell Baum

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2015, 10:19:02 am »

I haven't been in the loop. Does the A7RII or any other modern camera accept Leica R and M lenses?

Thanks,

Mitchell
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telyt

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2015, 11:53:50 am »

I haven't been in the loop. Does the A7RII or any other modern camera accept Leica R and M lenses?

Dumb adapters from many sources and with varying levels of quality are available for most SLR lenses and for M lenses.  SLR lenses usually work well assuming you're comfortable with completely manual operation; several M lenses suffer from the angle-of-incidence woes that made a digital M camera difficult to make.

Smart adapters are available for Canon EF-mount lenses that operate the diaphragm and AF with varying degrees of success.  A smart adapter for Nikon AF lenses is supposedly in the pipeline.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 01:55:57 pm by wildlightphoto »
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dchew

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2015, 12:04:29 pm »

I haven't been in the loop. Does the A7RII or any other modern camera accept Leica R and M lenses?

Thanks,

Mitchell

Yes. For the most part R lenses are very good on the A7 series. M lenses depend; in general 35mm and wider are questionable because the corners smear due to the A7's thick cover glass, with a few exceptions. For example the WATE is quite good. Longer M lenses are very good.

Dave
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