First of all, here's the theme song for this post.
Secondly, readers can help: you can either post a comment that says, "Mike, the last thing you need is another camera," or else you could helpfully point out deficits, flaws, and shortcomings in the Sony A7s.
Thank you. That would be nice of you.
Yes, I know that gear lust is often just a substitute for actually working on photography and taking pictures, and I know that I can't afford a new camera now. (House poor for the foreseeable.) My go-to Sony NEX-6 is not even two years old yet.
And, I have enough cameras. Right? Everybody?
But man oh man, that is one sweet little device. The A7S with the 35mm lens on it just fits like a glove, and the AF is fast and positive and you could sell recordings of that shutter noise. I could take pictures with that thing all day and never get tired of just working the camera. Catnip. Catnip! Damn, damn and damn.
Please tell me I don't need this. I really don't need this. You know I worked all the way through art school with a Contax and yep, a Zeiss 35mm ƒ/2.8 lens. But I do not need....
I do need to stay away from Art's Cameras, that's what I need. I need to stay away. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful camera and lens.
(Thanks to Gavin)
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Dave: "Two reasons not to buy it: 1. Your writing is better when you are not stressing about finances. 2. Your blog is more interesting when you are suffering from unsatisfied gear lust."
R. Edelman: "I love my A7. The Zeiss 35mm ƒ/2.8 is a wonderful lens. Together they make a great package with respect to size, weight, balance and, most importantly, image quality. The NEX-6 is becoming of less value every month. Why not sell the NEX-6 and the lens, and save some bucks with the A7, instead of the A7s."
Patrick Murphy: "The A7S's standout features for stills are the amazing low-light (high ISO) capability and the totally silent shutter mode. Expect a roughly three-stop gain over most DLSRs. In PASM mode without a flash, the shutter can be set to be completely silent. Unfortunately, some Auto and Creative modes, and flash mode, require the mechanical front curtain shutter to actuate. Its sound is roughly comparable, or slightly more noticeable, than current DSLRs.
"These features are important for weddings, events, street, etc. If you need them, you know it already!
"If you do not need these features, and like the A7 in general, consider the lower cost A7 which also features faster phase detection AF in continuous AF mode. The A7R and A7S only have slower contrast detection. By the way, the A7S is a low-light focusing demon. I do not use an autofocus illuminator and it still picks up focus down to –4EV.)
"The A7R has higher resolution (36MP with no anti-aliasing filter, vs. 24MP on A7 and 12MP on A7S). But its shutter sound is more noticeable—no electronic front curtain like A7 and A7S—and there have been reports of shutter shake around 1/100 second on a tripod. Plus it takes an excellent lens to fully resolve the 36MP sensor.
"I have an A7S and love it, but low-light and silent mode are more important to me than resolution and fast continuous AF. Finally, since you probably have lots of legacy lenses, you can use most or all on any A7 (in manual focus mode) with an adapter."
Mike replies: Excellent thumbnail review. Thanks.
Ruby: I see darr's comment [Darlene had suggested renting one —Ed.], and I agree. I had this with the RX10, so I rented one. It was fun, but not enough fun to spend the money to buy it."
tex andrews (partial comment): "When I first saw the A7/A7R online, I rolled my eyes because of the pentaprism hump. But when I first held one in my hands at Photo Expo last year, I was shocked. It was really wonderful in hand."
Speed: "I satisfied my last 'new camera fix' by using the proceeds from selling my motorcycle. Love the new camera. I still have the motorcycle."
Mike replies: Made me laugh. Sounds very familiar.
Roger Overall: "The A7S is a wonderful video camera. Enthusiast and professional filmmakers are raving about it. It has the sLog codec too. That alone used to cost more than this camera does. A great bargain from that point of view. And it records 4k too, though you'll need an external recorder. Still, it does superb 1080 and you'll get many years of filmmaking joy from it. You could change TOP to The Online Filmmaker. ...Is this helping any?"
Edward Taylor: "Mike—the A7s is a video camera. I owned one and returned it. It really cannot be considered a modern stills camera because even though 12 MP may seem adequate, it is a handicap in terms of ability to crop and it may limit the size of a print. I was not convinced that the high ISO potential was all that helpful on stills anyway. I have an A7r which I love, and I think the A7 would be a good choice also."
dave2: "I have been fighting the urge to buy the A7S since it came out. In my mind its the perfect all around camera/camcorder. For video it uses every pixel (except what has to be trimmed to fit the 16:9 format) which makes for amazing video. For stills it can handle every lighting condition you will ever encounter. The only people who should not buy it are people who want a lot of pixels or who are hung up on lenses. If I didn't have one kid in college and another starting next year I would have one. I hope this helped."
Rodger Kingston: "The camera and lens are $3,300! In an evolutionary environment where everything becomes obsolete almost as you buy it, spending that kind of $$ on a camera (one that you're not going to use for paying work) is like buying $300 shoes for a kid who will outgrow them in a few months."
John Masters: "Get the camera. Life is short and you only have one of them (lives, that is). Plus, love the look on Gavin's face. It's like he has just said, 'So, buy the #$%%# camera already, or just leave and quit wasting my time!'"
Norm Nicholson: "MUST HAVE PRECIOUS! I succumbed and bought an A7, and now when I go out the door...I still take the X-E2."
Duncan: "Here's what I hear you saying: 'Please don't throw me in that briar patch!'"
Rob L (partial comment): "I'm no help to you; the acquisition and disposal of cameras is it's own, fun hobby. :-) "
GRJ: "Did I see something in one of your recent posts—the one about the near miss while you were driving—about a new girlfriend in your life? If so, why not ask her what she thinks?"
Mike replies: Yes, I either almost killed her or saved her life, depending on your perspective. The A7S isn't an actual possibility for me. I really can't afford it, and in fact I can't afford the 12–35mm Panasonic lens I want for the E-M1. But I might try to save up for the A7 Mark II or A7S Mark II for 2–3 years out.