As a Photo Educator I knew the benefits of mirrorless technology, however, was hesitant to give up the SLR cameras that I had grown accustomed to using. In addition didn’t want the expense of purchasing new lenses.
I bought a used NEX-5N at first to give it a go and was surprised that with using focus peaking with some vintage manual lenses I was getting sharper results than my auto-focus Canon & Nikon DSLR’s. The price reduction of this Sony Alpha A7 model made the move to a full frame camera even more appealing. Adapters are available for just about any lens made in the past. I find a renewed enjoyment in using manual focus lenses with the assurance of sharpness on the Sony Alpha line. It is also nice to go back to a smaller camera bag instead with less to lug around.
I want to take this camera everywhere since it is easy to carry and fun to use. If you shoot video there are some added benefits with the A7; no need to have a hooded finder on the back of your camera for precise focusing with live view!
The Sony A7 lets you view on either the LCD screen or the viewfinder when shooting stills or video. Viewfinder playback let you scrutinize your images on the set or on location. There are so many great things to say about this camera and I will admit you need to play with it for a week to fully realize the potential. Watch some of the videos on Youtube (Mark Galer a Sony Ambassador has some excellent A7 advice).
- Sony Alpha A7S II Mirrorless Digital Camera
- Sony Alpha A7000 overview
- Sony Alpha A6500 – Good camera, poorly organized video menus
Buy a couple of extra batteries as the battery life is a drawback. I have been shopping with B&H for over 30 years and knew that there customer service department would be able to assist in case I was disappointed. I continue to shoot Medium & Large-format film as it is my preference for B&W, however, love the benefits of digital for color. This camera is Amazing…. My DSLR days may be numbered!
A sturdy workhorse
I needed a full frame camera for astrophotography and slide copying. The Sony A7 does everything I hoping for. An added benefit is that I purchased adapters for 2 brands of legacy lenses that have been sitting around for decades. It gives them a new lease on life.
New Life for Old Lenses
I have taken less than 100 photographs with the Sony A7 and my first impression is that it produces beautiful images. The exposure was righton every time and the sensor technology appears to strike a pleasing balance between resolution, dynamic range and low light capability. I own 4 Leica-R objectives, bellows R and an attachment for photomicrography.
All of these returned to an active life when the micro four thirds interchangeable lens cameras became available but with a crop factor of two only a quarter of the original field is captured. With the appearance of the Sony A7 temptation struck and I gladly caved in. Here was a camera that followed the path of my loved micro four thirds cameras.
The EVF is beautiful and my Leica optics are restored to their former glory with the help of a Fotodiox Pro adapter. My lenses are: Elmarit-R 2.8/35 Summicron-R 2/50 Macro Elmarit-R 2.8/60 Macro Elmar-R 4/100 All of them work just fine. Most of my trial photos so far are landscapes. To my surprise I returned to the old method of setting the distance by the use of the Depth-of-Field scale and liked it.
Great Camera…….and no battery charger?
Okay, I waited awhile to get the Sony full frame camera as I shoot mostly with Nikon DSLRs. I’ve shot Canon DSLRs, Fuji X, Ricoh, etc. cameras and I’ve helped students with a variety of digital cameras. I pretty much knew what I was getting into.
In short, I love them all, but I’m aware that each system is different and some are better suited for certain types of photography than others. And visa-versa. I purchased the Sony 50mm 1.8 at the same time. One of the many reasons that I held off was to make sure Sony got their act together (which they did of course) and until they came out with an affordable 50mm which they did.
So far, I’m loving it. While many photogs are using mirrorless for weddings and other pro work, I’m not quite there yet. I’ve tried working the Fujis in but I’m far more confident with my Nikons. The Sony finally gives me full frame in a small camera. I plan to get the Sony 28mm 2.8 and that’s all I’ll need. I can always use my generic off camera manual flash set up if needed. (I’ll stick with Nikon (or Canon) for the TTL stuff.
The Sony A7 is great for street photography, travel, landscape, and all around take everywhere kind of camera. While I was really put off by their menu lay out at first (I knew that I would be though) I’m getting more accustomed to it. I’m happy that they have a quick menu (sort of) and I can customize a few buttons to help me navigate the menus and settings.
But there main menu is a joke. But I knew it would be,so no big deal. I have noticed that for landscape photography and using the LCD screen (tripod mounted camera) the Sony A7 is very intuitive and downright fluid to work with. I pretty much think that Sony is wrong in not providing a battery charger.
I knew I’d have to work around this but …….really? No charger? It’s not like the battery will last all weekend. More like a couple of hours or so. It’s quirky of course, but it’s definitely a keeper.