If you are a videographer, do not bother to read this review. I would gladly exchange most of top video features on this model for the phase detection AF. Silent mode was my main reason for choosing this model. I do a lot of pictures in quiet indoors environment.
Virtually no video. So I cannot comment on that feature. Comparing the prices of other A7 models, perhaps I overpaid for unneeded top video features just to get the silent FF camera. No regrets, as it come with the top low light performance. I like just about everything about the A7S except for the AF/MF switching. Using my Canon lenses, I am used to flip the AF switch on the lens as needed.
With open aperture and low DOF indoors, the AF frequently focuses on something other than what I want. With Sony lenses, you either have to press and keep pressed the inconveniently placed AF/MF button on the body of the camera until the picture is taken, or switch to MF from inside the menu. Using Canon lenses with Metabones adapter gives me faster, more convenient switching option between the AF/MF modes.
Another big advantage of Sony vs Canon for me is the true manual mode. Canon does not allow variable ISO mode if I need to work with specific combos of S and A. So the M mode on Canon cameras is in fact either the S or A mode. Did I mention the EVF? I am 16:9 ratio photographer. EVF accommodates me well. With Canon I have to compose the pictures using the entire 3:2 frame.
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Then in post I lose parts of frames while converting to 16:9. DSLRs allow to view 16:9 frames only in live mode, which is euphemism for the veery slow mirror-up mode possible from the tripod only. For that reason alone I’m done with DSLRs.
Does the trick
I don’t even know where to start. This is the best all-around camera I’ve ever owned. I shoot professional video and photography for a large corporation and freelance travel videos. The multi-interface shoe mount is a stellar invention.
The XLR-KM2 is a wonderful add for run-and-gun style shooting. The high ISO is remarkable, and shoots fantastic images with film-like grain patterns into the tens of thousands before I notice a huge degradation. This makes photographing live events a breeze. I know I don’t need to worry about shots coming out blurry anymore, because I can get high shutter/high ISO shots I need to be crisp and in-focus.
For the extra punch on a zoom, I use the APS-C crop on the sensor to get a lot more distance out of my shots. Pair this camera up with some Zeiss primes and a couple Sony/Zeiss Zooms and you’ll be golden. After buying this, I liquidated my Canon collection, save for a few key primes, and switched to Sony.
The Metabones EF to EMount adapter works well with this camera. There is a learning curve to this product, but once you get used to the controls it’s a breeze. The CONS: The Wifi connectivity and app stack functions, while useful, are pretty terrible and require quite a bit of time to understand.
Even worse, the Sony websites supporting the apps are impossible for Mac users. It is inexcusably lazy on their part and I hope they are able to fix that for future products.
Overall, I’d say Sony put some amazing things in this small, attractive camera body but really missed the mark on the details in very frustrating ways. I’m a professional videographer using this as my second camera for video shoots and occasionally for an A camera.
I also use it for still images on social media and production stills, a very important part of my business. I shot a show for National Geographic that needed lots of low light scenes which almost no other camera could have captured and was very impressed. I match it with the FS7 and it’s great to have the same S Log picture profile. Lowlight is great. We should all know that about this camera by now.
It’s awesome. The sensor itself is quite good at producing an attractive image. Skin tones, colors, dynamic range, all quite impressive. First off, lets talk about lenses. Sony’s lenses for this camera are expensive and mediocre at best. They don’t really make low fStop glass. Most are f4. They also aren’t very sharp. Not bad but a downgrade from Canon glass.
So, I use a Metabones adapter and my Canon glass which is great for video, but auto focus is useless, totally absolutely a joke. If you want to capture still images, which clients often request as production stills for promotion, you’ll need to manually focus or switch lenses. If you invest in Sony lenses, they’re auto focus is useable but many are not usable for manual focus since the focus ring is digital not an actual geared ring.
That means in order to use Sony’s lenses on the camera that Sony created for video you have to use auto focus, which in most professional applications is not an option. That means you need two sets of the exact same lenses to shoot stills and video with this camera. Very frustrating. Because of all this, I will continue to use my a7s until either Canon releases an update to the Mark 3 or Sony creates a lens solution that makes sense.
Incredible camera for VIDEO
My primary business is video. I sold all my 5D Mark iii’s for three of these cameras, and it was the best move that I’ve made. Obviously these cameras are known for low light, and that’s one of the best selling factors, but the image quality from this camera is unbelievable. it will take some time to get used to the tiny body, and button setup, but once you do, you’re in for a treat.
When you shoot S Log with this camera, and then get into color grading, you’ll be absolutely blown away by the quality and picture that you get. The dynamic range is seriously amazing, and it’s all that it’s cracked up to be. I say this camera is for VIDEO, because that’s what it’s designed for. Does it take great pictures? Yes, but at 12mp, you are limited in print size and cropping, which can obviously be an issue.
If you’re looking for a camera perfect for photography, this isn’t it, and that’s why the A7R ii is available. If you’re primary business is video, then this is your camera. I’m using Rokinon Cine Lenses for this camera, and my image quality is tremendous.