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jl_auch

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #40 on: August 23, 2015, 02:03:59 pm »

Thanks for the review Michael.

I find Sony a really an interesting company that seems to be innovating more than anyone else.

I picked up an RX100m4 the other day and have been very impressed. What really surprised me though was the quality of the construction of the body (with the exception of the small fiddly controls on the back). Also the ability to pick up the camera and just shoot with it.

I owned a NEX-7 when it first came out, loved the tri-navi system, hated the menu, hated the lack of customizability.

The one thing that always drove me crazy about the Sony cameras though is the fact that you can't set a button to cycle through the LCD and EVF.

You also cannot set the EVF to permanently on.

Proximity sensors on any camera have always been much too slow to switch the EVF on for the type of work that I do which is all candid quick documentary and street photography.

If Sony just allowed you to set a custom function button to cycle through; EVF on, EVF/LCD autoswitch (with proximity sensor), LCD on, I'd seriously consider ditching my micro 4/3 and Fuji gear.
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Telecaster

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2015, 04:15:51 pm »

UWA and WA performance has been the issue since the introduction of the series. Still a problem.

This is true of lenses, such as those designed for Leica M cameras, with exit pupils relatively close to the sensor. Not an issue with SLR lenses. Nor is it a fault per se, rather just a design choice that happens to degrade image quality if you insist on using (most) wide rangefinder camera lenses on A7x cameras. Don't do that.  ;)

-Dave-
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2015, 04:53:30 pm »

Hi,

It is possible to replace the "cover glass" with thinner glass. Not exactly cheap, but doable.

Best regards
Erik

This is true of lenses, such as those designed for Leica M cameras, with exit pupils relatively close to the sensor. Not an issue with SLR lenses. Nor is it a fault per se, rather just a design choice that happens to degrade image quality if you insist on using (most) wide rangefinder camera lenses on A7x cameras. Don't do that.  ;)

-Dave-
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telyt

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #43 on: August 23, 2015, 05:09:08 pm »

The one thing that always drove me crazy about the Sony cameras though is the fact that you can't set a button to cycle through the LCD and EVF.

You also cannot set the EVF to permanently on.

I can set the a7II to EVF only, LCD only, or automatic switching.
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Isaac

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #44 on: August 23, 2015, 08:15:42 pm »

The one thing that always drove me crazy about the Sony cameras though is the fact that you can't set a button to cycle through the LCD and EVF.

You also cannot set the EVF to permanently on.

Proximity sensors on any camera have always been much too slow to switch the EVF on for the type of work that I do which is all candid quick documentary and street photography.

For 2 or 3 years I've had my Sony α35 display camera settings on the LCD and then automatically switch to display the scene in the EVF.

You've made me realize that I know how I use the camera very well now: I don't need to see those camera settings on the LCD; I can just "set the EVF to permanently on" and have the LCD switched-off.

So thanks for complaining! ;-)


Incidentally, the NEX-7 manual does talk about a "FINDER/LCD Setting" in the "Shooting Settings" menu, page 35 --
Quote
Sets how to switch between the viewfinder and the LCD monitor. (Auto/Viewfinder/LCD Monitor)

« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 08:22:47 pm by Isaac »
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HansKoot

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2015, 04:05:25 am »

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

Hi Hans, If I remember well the same happened 10 years/ 6 years ago, when Canon was dominating the market , and they did for many years. Nothing new...   As working tool, the Canon has my attention too, looks a great camera to work with, and the results I saw on the web look fantastic. As for me its an investment for 5--6 years again, so I will follow the reviews on both cameras and probably try them at a shop later to get the feel they give me. Also wonder what Nikon will come up now. Interesting times again... As an intermediate I bought a Fuji, its a really nice thing, but it feels small in my hands to work with a for long period. Maybe a keeper for shooting more anonymously.
Personally I like these a ' just bit less scientific" ;D reviews, from enthusiastic but real photographers (real people) with lot of experience, and yes, as all enthusiastic people they have there own preferences. Nice.
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jl_auch

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2015, 11:30:14 am »

@Isaac

You are right about the NEX-7 being able to set Finder/LCD setting. The problem here is twofold; that you can't set a button to cycle through (similar to Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, and Fuji offerings), and that even when the LCD is set to 'on' it remains off until the proximity sensor is activated. This creates a delay for the EVF to activate when you bring the camera to your eye.

@wildlightphoto

As I mentioned to Isaac above, the complaint is twofold. One; you can't set a button cycle through options, so you have to dive into the menu every time you want to switch. Two; that even when the LCD is set to 'on' it remains off until the proximity sensor is activated. This creates a delay for the EVF to activate when you bring the camera to your eye. For the type of work I sometimes do, this 1/2 second difference (when the proximity sensor is activating EVF) can make you miss the shot.



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Let Biogons be Biogons

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #47 on: August 24, 2015, 12:15:11 pm »

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


The review says regarding the 12-bit / 14-bit issue: "Is this issue real? Yes it is, and a senior Sony executive from Japan has stated that it is being looked into. But in the meantime, the sky isn’t falling, and I for one am not giving this a moment’s further thought as I shoot with my Sony A7II and new A7RII."

It seems to me that Sony's intransigence or hesitation on this issue is misplaced.  They can say that the difference is de minimus  -- and it may be -- but from a marketing perspective and what customers might want, it may not be de minimus.  It's hard to image that Sony can't, technically, do 14-bit, or that the cost of doing it is prohibitive.  So why not just do it and eliminate it as an issue, and eliminate it as a barrier to sales to a significant segment of the market?  What's the problem with just doing it?

 
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Isaac

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #48 on: August 24, 2015, 12:45:58 pm »

The problem here is twofold; that you can't set a button to cycle through (similar to Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, and Fuji offerings), and that even when the LCD is set to 'on' it remains off until the proximity sensor is activated. This creates a delay for the EVF to activate when you bring the camera to your eye.

1) Camera makers just can't please everyone -- my Sony α35 does have a dedicated button to switch between EVF / rear LCD and I have covered over the button with black tape (I've pretty much forgotten that the EVF/LCD, MOVIE, and D-RANGE buttons exist, now that they are hidden by tape.)

2) Now that I have "set the EVF to permanently on" the EVF stays-on for as-long-as the "Power Save" setting allows (as-long-as 30 minutes).

After "Power Save" starts, for "candid quick documentary" (mine are usually at dinner parties and parties in people's homes) a half-press of the shutter button will waken the camera to "shooting mode" and turn the EVF on -- before I raise the camera to my eye.

Again, thanks for complaining, this new set-up is going to work well for me!
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David Watson

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2015, 02:46:54 pm »

Thank you Michael and thank you Kevin for the "good stuff" on this camera and the Batis lenses.  It's very curious that Sony prevented any significant pre-launch testing by you guys (and others) but hey-ho maybe this is the new post Canikon order?

I got my suite of lenses and my A7RM2 before these reviews were published - a first for me as I have come to rely on LuLa's good analysis of new products.  I have read the extensive "nit-picking" and "I told you so's" and also the euphoric " a new age has dawned"  and it is in my opinion all bunkum.

Is this camera and are these lenses perfect?  No they are not.  Are the better than my D810 and my Hasselblad - not significantly IMO.  Have I sold my Nikon - you bet.  Have I sold my Hasselblad - no way.  It's horses for courses.  In 35mm I want a light as possible portable system that can produce great images (and certainly much better than my skills can produce).  I want to use autofocus that gets me a higher percentage of potential keepers.  I want high quality Zeiss glass without having to use manual focus.  I don't want to use a tripod unless I really have to.  This camera and the Zeiss lenses tick all this boxes and it all sits in a bag that I can actually carry.  In MFD I want really good skin tones and that certain something that I cannot quantify about MFD images.

Sony may not be perfect but they have really moved the game on - I have no regrets about moving and nearby pro friends have or are making the same decision.

Here is a handheld shot (Zeiss Batis 85mm 1/80 at f8 ISO 400).
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 03:28:40 pm by David Watson »
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Jonathan Cross

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #50 on: August 24, 2015, 06:02:18 pm »

The video review is really interesting; thanks. There is one point I may have missed and am unsure how to interpret the user manual on the Sony website. Is it possible to turn off the IBIS when taking images of fast moving wildlife when using very short exposures, e.g. 1/1000 sec or less?
Jonathan
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Jonathan in UK

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #51 on: August 24, 2015, 10:35:17 pm »

Is it possible to turn off the IBIS when taking images of fast moving wildlife when using very short exposures, e.g. 1/1000 sec or less?

You can turn IBIS off…but there's no shutter speed threshold you can set above which it'll auto shut off. Not a bad idea, though…

-Dave-
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #52 on: August 25, 2015, 12:39:44 am »

Hi Hans,

DPreview does a good job reviewing cameras, IMHO. They walk trough features and, most importantly, post raw images. DPreview is a very useful resource.

The shutter shock is a real issue with the A7r, but more measurable than visible. It was a significant degradation of image quality to something like 24 MP level under some conditions. Those conditions were exactly the ones I shoot. Lack of EFCS was one of the main reasons I didn't buy the A7r. My immediate reaction was: "That's and old sensor with old technology I don't buy into it".

Folks shooting fast shutter speed, handheld, etc would not see double contours. Actually, I have never seen a sample from the A7r with double contours. Took some pixel peeping to observe it. But why buy a 36MP camera that produces 24MP images under my shooting conditions?

Regarding the raw compression it is twofold. First part is a tonal compression, a bit like a gamma curve. Several knowledgeable persons analysed it and the principle is basically sound. It is quite probable that this compression is applied in the ADCs before the signal processing ASICs, so I guess that he ASICs are optimised for 12 bits. In that case I don't think Sony will change this with a firmware update.

The second part is the delta compression. That should normally be lossless except in the presence of large gradients, like the star tracks image, in which case it will cause artefacts. I guess that can be removed with a simple firmware upgrade.

The folks here are not testers, like DPReview or ImagingResource, who follow a strict protocol. They are photographers sharing their experience and opinion. They may certainly be biased, but we mostly are just that. Following a stringent protocol can suppress bias. That said, neither DPReview nor Imaging Resource reported on the shutter related vibration and they don't have that problem on their studio shots. Lloyd Chambers reported it first.

Michael and Kevin like shooting with the A7II and now they got the A7rII, they are happy as kids with new playthings under the christmas tree.

Best regards
Erik

Ps. A "real engineer" has measured A7r vibration during the shutter release process and has found that the vibration was mostly produced by the release and breaking of the first shutter curtain. The second curtain caused similar vibration, but that happens in a part after the exposure. What this has shown was that Sony needed to redesign the shutter and no solution with a firmware update was possible.



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
« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 01:08:53 am by ErikKaffehr »
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Hans Kruse

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #53 on: August 25, 2015, 06:17:25 am »

Hi Hans,

DPreview does a good job reviewing cameras, IMHO. They walk trough features and, most importantly, post raw images. DPreview is a very useful resource.

The shutter shock is a real issue with the A7r, but more measurable than visible. It was a significant degradation of image quality to something like 24 MP level under some conditions. Those conditions were exactly the ones I shoot. Lack of EFCS was one of the main reasons I didn't buy the A7r. My immediate reaction was: "That's and old sensor with old technology I don't buy into it".

Folks shooting fast shutter speed, handheld, etc would not see double contours. Actually, I have never seen a sample from the A7r with double contours. Took some pixel peeping to observe it. But why buy a 36MP camera that produces 24MP images under my shooting conditions?

Regarding the raw compression it is twofold. First part is a tonal compression, a bit like a gamma curve. Several knowledgeable persons analysed it and the principle is basically sound. It is quite probable that this compression is applied in the ADCs before the signal processing ASICs, so I guess that he ASICs are optimised for 12 bits. In that case I don't think Sony will change this with a firmware update.

The second part is the delta compression. That should normally be lossless except in the presence of large gradients, like the star tracks image, in which case it will cause artefacts. I guess that can be removed with a simple firmware upgrade.

The folks here are not testers, like DPReview or ImagingResource, who follow a strict protocol. They are photographers sharing their experience and opinion. They may certainly be biased, but we mostly are just that. Following a stringent protocol can suppress bias. That said, neither DPReview nor Imaging Resource reported on the shutter related vibration and they don't have that problem on their studio shots. Lloyd Chambers reported it first.

Michael and Kevin like shooting with the A7II and now they got the A7rII, they are happy as kids with new playthings under the christmas tree.

Best regards
Erik

Ps. A "real engineer" has measured A7r vibration during the shutter release process and has found that the vibration was mostly produced by the release and breaking of the first shutter curtain. The second curtain caused similar vibration, but that happens in a part after the exposure. What this has shown was that Sony needed to redesign the shutter and no solution with a firmware update was possible.




Thanks Erik, for the explanations and opinions :) Regarding the shutter shock of the A7R I do understand that it was easily overlooked and especially without a rigorous enough approach to testing. I assume the reviewers that did not spot has learned something from that experience. I assume the Sony engineers had also overlooked it... I question the comment on that Sony could not have done anything with a firmware update like giving the option of a delay in the closing of the first shutter before it opens again to start the exposure. I'm pretty sure that would have helped to cure the problem and maybe not entirely. Thom Hogan did discover the shutter shock issue and did not recommend the A7R http://www.sansmirror.com/cameras/a-note-about-camera-reviews/sony-nex-camera-reviews/sony-a7-and-a7r-review.html

On paper the new A7R II looks very good and that a lot of weaknesses and problems of previous models have been solved or at least appear to have been solved. First impressions which are still what we have at this point like Lloyd Chambers (although I don't subscribe i see his blog posts), dpreview and Imaging Resource. If all are excited I can understand that, but what I'm looking for is also the downsides and to what impact these might have. There is nothing wrong with being excited, of course :) In any case I'm waiting to see what the final verdicts are and what comes out later on.

I'm looking forward to see your A7R II in action in the Dolomites in late September. I'm currently shooting Canon 5DsR and D810. I have the Canon 16-35 f/4L IS, 24-70 f/2.8L II and 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II and they all live up to the resolution of the 5DsR even fully open with only a tiny bit of softness in the corners. Stopped down to f/8 for landscapes they all are amazingly sharp. The D810 performs now very well with the EFCS and redesigned shutter compared to the D800E where I got slightly blurred shots sometimes. This does not happen with the D810. So for landscape photography I now have excellent tools. I might be tempted to get the Sony A7R II later on and especially if many of my workshop participants show up with the camera as I would like to know the details of the camera. So far I only had one Sony camera, the RX100 III which I sold again. Despite all the technology that is put into this camera, it is not (in my opinion) a great camera. It is way too slow and the zoom level drove me nuts. Design faults like shutting down the camera when you pop down the EVF is also beyond me. At least an option in the menus could have solved this I would think unless this also was hard wired into hardware. An enthusiast camera? No, so I sold it again. For snapshots my iPhone 6+ works great and for serious work my Canon and Nikons are dependable and great to work with.

Of course, as Michael and Kevin also points out, photography and getting great pictures does involve compromises and small technical faults may not impact the final image. The handling and robustness og a camera system is important to be able to act fast enough when the situation is there for great shots.

Hans Kruse

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #54 on: August 25, 2015, 06:40:32 am »

Hi Hans, If I remember well the same happened 10 years/ 6 years ago, when Canon was dominating the market , and they did for many years. Nothing new...   As working tool, the Canon has my attention too, looks a great camera to work with, and the results I saw on the web look fantastic. As for me its an investment for 5--6 years again, so I will follow the reviews on both cameras and probably try them at a shop later to get the feel they give me. Also wonder what Nikon will come up now. Interesting times again... As an intermediate I bought a Fuji, its a really nice thing, but it feels small in my hands to work with a for long period. Maybe a keeper for shooting more anonymously.
Personally I like these a ' just bit less scientific" ;D reviews, from enthusiastic but real photographers (real people) with lot of experience, and yes, as all enthusiastic people they have there own preferences. Nice.

Hi Hans, I don't think Canon has exactly gone out of the market :) They waited too long to respond to the high resolution of the D800 and some Canon shooters switched. If my workshops are any guide then what I saw a few Canon shooters changed to Nikon, a few also added a Sony A7(R). The absolute majority stayed with Canon or Nikon and I see only few cameras other than Canon and Nikon (like Hassy and Phase One, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic and Sony). That's for landscape photography and that's where mirrorless should have been making inroads. So far not the case from what I see. I see as many MF cameras as Sony cameras. I now have the Canon 5DsR also and sold the 5D III. There were hundreds of preorders of 5Ds(R) in the shop in Copenhagen where I bought it. They had never seen anything like it before. Canon has made some amazing zoom lenses in the later years to go with the high resolution 5Ds(R). Nikon also has and are releasing new designs of lenses like the new 24-70 f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/4 VR is also quite new and very good (I use the D810 as well). So Canon and Nikon seems just to refine what they have been doing for years. For a reviewer that is not so sexy as e.g. the new mirrorless cameras. I don't think that either Canon or Nikon is going to give up the market to Sony. When they feel and have a mirrorless camera will will beat the DSLR's they will come out with that and I have no doubt about that. I'm sure they have such cameras in their labs. The bigger question is the destiny of still cameras.

I was not saying that I did not like the article, but I think I was saying that I did not feel this was a review. In my view a review does not have to be only a dry scientific one, but if I don't feel that they reviewers have really gone into the details then it is just an impressions report and nothing else. The fact that Michael had been invited for a 3 day event with Sony before did not swing me further into believing that the details had been scrutinized. The LuLa folks can do whatever they choose to do and they may even get more press by doing it this way  ;D.  I don't know about Kevin, but Michael always had a talent for reporting things in a way that ignited a lot of discussions, which is not a bad one to have!

sty

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #55 on: August 27, 2015, 09:33:16 pm »

Now if Sony could just come out with a 70-200/2.8... (I don't like adapters), my Canon gear would go :)
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #56 on: August 28, 2015, 12:56:17 pm »

Hi Hans,

This image shows the camera vibrations recorded on an oscilloscope:
The full size image is here: http://www.kasson.com/ll/a7R_shutter_annotated.png
http://www.kasson.com/ll/a7R_shutter_annotated.png

What is quite obvious that the release of the first shutter curtain causes much more shake than the cocking process, at the end of exposure shake is almost zero. So, I don't think that adding a delay between cocking and release would have helped. God speculation but an erroneous one.

The guy who measured it used simple tools. A loudspeaker was used as a pickup with a roll of post it as actuator and plotting on an oscilloscope.

Full article is here: http://blog.kasson.com/?p=4459

Best regards
Erik

Thanks Erik, for the explanations and opinions :) Regarding the shutter shock of the A7R I do understand that it was easily overlooked and especially without a rigorous enough approach to testing. I assume the reviewers that did not spot has learned something from that experience. I assume the Sony engineers had also overlooked it... I question the comment on that Sony could not have done anything with a firmware update like giving the option of a delay in the closing of the first shutter before it opens again to start the exposure. I'm pretty sure that would have helped to cure the problem and maybe not entirely. Thom Hogan did discover the shutter shock issue and did not recommend the A7R http://www.sansmirror.com/cameras/a-note-about-camera-reviews/sony-nex-camera-reviews/sony-a7-and-a7r-review.html


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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #57 on: August 28, 2015, 02:10:03 pm »

So, I don't think that adding a delay between cocking and release would have helped.
E-M1 does with delay = http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3651827  , was it something like 25ms ?
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Hezu

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #58 on: September 02, 2015, 10:34:40 am »

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.)
FYI, although the original a7 series indeed did come without a battery charger and just the USB power supply that allowed to charge within the camera, the new a7R II does also include the battery charger in the package. So it seems Sony learned a lesson with this.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 10:45:20 am by Hezu »
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Hans Kruse

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Re: Sony A7RII Review and Hands On Report
« Reply #59 on: September 04, 2015, 12:12:30 pm »

Hi Hans,

This image shows the camera vibrations recorded on an oscilloscope:
The full size image is here: http://www.kasson.com/ll/a7R_shutter_annotated.png
http://www.kasson.com/ll/a7R_shutter_annotated.png

What is quite obvious that the release of the first shutter curtain causes much more shake than the cocking process, at the end of exposure shake is almost zero. So, I don't think that adding a delay between cocking and release would have helped. God speculation but an erroneous one.

The guy who measured it used simple t ;) ;)ools. A loudspeaker was used as a pickup with a roll of post it as actuator and plotting on an oscilloscope.

Full article is here: http://blog.kasson.com/?p=4459

Best regards
Erik


I noticed that the word think was used about if putting a delay in would not help. I can say this much: On my old Canon 1Ds III live view shooting behaved exactly like the Sony A7R and this generated vibrations for longer focal length that could easily be seen as blur. Using MLU did not generate this blur. So therefore I think that a delay actually would help an the A7R. How long the delay should be is another question. I'm not a major in physics or a mechanical engineer so I may be wrong, but to me it is logical that two movements like closing the shutter and immediately open it again will create much more vibrations that just opening the shutter, but I may be wrong and it would not be the first time  ;)
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