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Thursday, 20 November 2014


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I hope they changed the squishy shutter button. The original A7 has the most uninspiring playdough feel.

I'm pleased that Sony have introduced IBIS in their mirrorless cameras which will work not only in conjunction with FE OS lenses but also legacy lenses.

Will I get the A7II no I'm waiting a few months for the A9 which will hopefully have a new generation Sony sensor which could be a real game changer


Sony, oh, Sony? Where is the shutter speed dial? And, while you're at it, please lose the exposure compensation dial... Does anyone really ever use these?

This is the closest camera to meet my desired FF from Pentax. Even the front dial/shutter and grip make it look more Pentax-like. The IBIS is what had me choose Pentax, years ago. I may have to find a good converter for my Pentax Limited lenses. I look forward to the reviews on this beast.

Seems to fix the ergonomics issues AND the lack of stabilisation with any but a couple of zoom lenses. But I wonder which sensor it will have?

Seems prices for the A7 will drop dramtically. Nice of Sony they gave A7R custumers one or two month time to sell their A7R whose follower is not announced yet (and protect their investment). IS for my Sigma 70-200 F2.8 is everything I missed with A7R ... apart from that intimidating shutter sound. Klackatack, Klackatack! Hey what you're doing here? Hope not loading a gun!

Mike, read about the new Sony this morning and I thought then that it may cause a divorce between myself and my d800. Want to rent it for a week first to see what I think, but this may well be the final straw. Thanks for the post.

As the A7 is heavily discounted in the US right now I'd say this replacement will be coming to the US once that inventory has been sold. Perhaps even bigger discounts in the next couple of weeks?

I love that they increase the size of the lensmount, and camera, and... oh wait, the JPGs aren't scaled :-)

I am just thinking that a good companion to the 4x5 may be good, this could do it. It will cost probably about $1600, but that still makes it one of the least expensive full frame cameras.

I am sure this phrase has been said many times, but Canikon should probably be worried.

I'm shooting with and A7S and the 35/2.8 and 55/1.8 lenses right now. So far, I love it...it's a nice size, the lenses are fairly small (the 35mm is very small) and the detail it captures is amazing.

It's a cracker of a video camera, too, and can use all the NEX E-mount lenses at about 5MP. That's not ideal for stills, but it's great for video because it brings all those lenses into play. I love the 18-200 NEX lens for video, as it adds image stabilization.

So yeah, the A7 line is great - 12MP, 24MP, and 36MP full-frame models, with this new one on the horizon.

Look at collection of Nikon glass. Look at 3 lens Leica lens set. Realizing i can pay Sigma to change the mount of my beloved 35 1.4 Art.

Anyone need some Nikon gear?


I wasn't prepared to believe the rumor. Sony has 5 OSS zooms and 2 non-OSS primes. I figured they wouldn't have spent time developing those stabilized lenses if they were going to add IBIS. But it's great ! Sony is the company I love to hate and hate to love. They're technologically brilliant, but are the polar opposite of Pentax/Ricoh/Fuji when it comes to understanding the soul of a photographer. The original NEX line was a hodge podge of cheap and expensive lenses, some good, some not so good, some redundant, some missing ... but then, along comes FE, and one lens after another, you'd swear they hired a strategist from Fuji to plan it for them. And after swapping my A mount system for Nikon, and putting my NEX in a cabinet to collect dust, I pretty much swore off Sony systems (love my RX100) ... but now I'm thinking an FE system could be in my future. (Distant future; I love looking at new gear, but usually change when my needs change).

and the location of the release button on the (original) A7 was my primary reason to choose the fuji xt1 instead. phew.

no no no.
i like film much better, anyway. :-D

Check out where the film plane is.

If Sony would just offer an alternative 4:3 or 5:4 aspect ratio, I'd probably be lusting after that thing.

The two thing that most bug me about my A7 is the slow start up and the short battery life. They appear to have worked on the first of these items.
Oh and whats with the video shutter button on a lot of modern cameras. I find it well nigh impossible to press it without joggling the camera. Why not make it bigger and put a rung lock on it.

Surely Olympus has the right to say "first five way IBIS"?

With a little help from Olympus?

Talking of Pentax ...

Will someone please tell Sony these small cameras are begging for pancakes?

Thank you.

One thing I like a lot is the integration between the in-body and in-lens stabilisation. I mentioned few years ago here that in my opinion this was the obvious way to go: if well integrated could reduce by 1/2 both movements for a given correction, making it a factor 2 faster. Glad Sony listened.

Yes, people use exposure compensation dials, even in manual exposure mode — if for no other reason than to bring the needed exposure in-scale when using TTL metering with a known-dark (or known-bright) area of the image as the control point. Counting clicks is a little less sure-fire.

My personal "wow" with this edition of the α7 is the electronic shutter. I wish there were some info available now other than "we added one"; the ability to sync strobes into leaf-shutter territory without resorting to high speed sync or "hypersync" would go a long way towards mitigating the penalties for uncomfortable tininess and the EVF (sorry, but they're still not quite there for me, though I realise that many, many other people don't feel the same way). I don't much care about extreme shutter speeds, but a couple of extra stops with flash would mean an awful lot.

You are suffering from GAS (get another Sony). I'm still happy with my NEX6.

In the midst of all the disagreement, even bickering, on the web, concerning this, that, or the other aspect of the perfect camera comprises, it seems to me that virtually all agree that Olympus' IBIS is a great thing. I believe it is an extraoridinarilly good thing that Sony will introduce the feature in the A7 line.

Imagine if Nikon were to do the same with at least one of their FX DSLRs.

"I hope they changed the squishy shutter button"
I hope they don't. Any tactile feel would add to camera shake.
The A7 feels a little odd for long exposures since there isn't any feedback that you the shutter has opened until it closes. You can set it to use a mechanical first curtain which is desirable in some situation ( I'm assuming, but can't think what that would be)
I'm eagerly awaiting the elimination of all mechanical shutters as in the A7S

I'm afraid the ergonomics for waist level users aren't improved at all. At least on the original A7 you could use the shutter with your thumb, but this looks really awkward. Maybe the add on grip will have a useable shutter button unlikeliest current one.

I think I'll skip this iteration so my only worry is that when Sony finally makes it so that you can switch from eye level to waist level screen using a single button without diving through 3 levels of menus.

( on the off chance Sony is reading this, a switch between automatic "eye detect" and monitor only assigned to that little rotary switch around the AEL/AF MF button would be perfect.

Looks good to me. Makes the body a better platform for my Leica R lenses if everything else stays the same.

Sorry Mike, I ment to say two weeks ago, don't buy any of the a7 line just yet as there is a newer much better A7 II coming out that you should buy instead.

When you look how far digicams have come in the last 5 years it blows me away. Especially in the consumer prosumer category. Years ago I would not have needed IBIS, even for video, but alas as I get older it's becoming necessary. I'm really not sure how much "better" than the new Sony a camera really needs to be. I think I will wait a few years and if I'm still shooting I will pick up an A7 II for $300 or $400. For now I will use a tripod or a higher shutter speed for still work.

Yes, Olympus had 5 axis stabilization first, and it works VERY well in the EM-1. Sony is claiming the first in a FULL FRAME camera.

Sony and Olympus are supposedly working together, so perhaps it's the same system. If it is, new owners of the Sony are going to be very pleased.

No Steve, this is a completely a Sony developed IBIS. It would be disingenuous to believe that Olympus may not have patent rights, but Sony holds 30% of Olympus stock.

Dang. I just sold my Contax/Zeiss lenses.

John McMillin: "So what's the advantage of stabilized lenses, again?"

In DSLRs in lens image stabilization benefited both the AF system and the user viewing using a TTL OVF. This was a major reason for Canon and Nikon taking this route to image stabilization. This is less of an issue as you say with EVF using sensor data and on-sensor AF systems.

For mirrorless (or compact) cameras lens image stabilization still has some advantages over IBIS:

1. The camera can use less power to move one small lens element to get 2 axis stabilization than moving the sensor. This can make a big difference to power consumption when IBIS is continually running.

2. You can optimize the IS in lens for the lens and for the lens motion. You can suppress much higher frequency shakes by moving a small lens rather than by moving the more massive sensor (and platform and interconnects).

3. The bulk of the actuators and the moving sensor platform makes the camera body larger. The A7II is thicker than the A7. The smaller you make the body the bigger the win for lens stabilization so it's universal in compact cameras.

4. IBIS requires the lens to have a larger image circle so it illuminates the sensor when it's at maximum excursion. This is an interesting issue for the Sony "full frame" sensor cameras as the throat diameter of the lens mount is rather small for full frame camera (it's smaller than both Nikon and Canon, the latter being the largest). In fact some speculated that it might not be able to use IBIS but clearly that's not the case.

5. You can firmly attach the sensor to the camera's metal frame to act as a heatsink. A floating sensor is more difficult to heatsink well as it needs to move freely.

This last point is an important one for high end cameras in the future as they're all going to need to support 4K video which requires moving a lot of data from the sensor for an extended period of time. One thing the A7II camera doesn't have is 4K video. I suspect this is one reason the Nikon 1 cameras never supported 4K video despite having a 4K capable sensor from Aptina.

The interesting question is will Sony add IBIS in the (hypothetical) A7sII as 4K video (and low light performance) were it's major selling points.

As usual IBIS versus in-lens IS is yet another design trade off not just a marketing decision. The move to mirrorless cameras with EVFs makes IBIS more favorable than on DSLRs but it's not a slam dunk. There are still plenty of trade offs to be made.

P.S. Another advantage for IBIS is if you don't make many lenses yourself but rely on third party lenses. Zeiss doesn't make lenses with image stablization. And all of those old lenses mounted on A7II via third party adapters can make use of IBIS. You could see Sony's decision to add IBIS as a marketing decision rather than technical decision.

IFF Sony kicks the bucket, I hope Olympus gets its camera and sensor business. Then, we won't have to complain anymore about too few lens choices or not having enough resolution.

Sony may be going somewhere, but I cannot imagine their sensor business is going away. Those chips are in everything.

My first response to the camera's announcement was that they really stuck it to the folks that just bought their OSS zooms. But apparently the camera combines the two systems, which I'm especially curious to hear about.

They're the best at making sensors. They're getting really good at making cameras. They're getting better at making lenses, and at leveraging their partnership with Zeiss. I just wish they'd get halfway decent at planning their own lens roadmap.

Gee, I wish I could afford that $2,500 camera with IBIS. I definitely need a stop more than my $30 monopod can deliver

So where are the lenses? The affordable and decent ones? Canon and Nikon have them in spades, Sony, not so much. You can pay a fortune for a 50 f/1.8 or get a not outstanding f/4 lens. At least Nikon have the 24-85 to balance out the crappy 24-120. Sony doesn't have that or the third party lens manufacturers, though I expect the latter to change soon enough.


"In DSLRs in lens image stabilization benefited both the AF system and the user viewing using a TTL OVF. This was a major reason for Canon and Nikon taking this route to image stabilization."

It think it's more likely that it was because both Canon and Nikon started that path during the film days. Canon's first lens came in 1995, Nikon in 2000, barely a year after the D1 launch. Can't stabilise film, you know.

"5. You can firmly attach the sensor to the camera's metal frame to act as a heatsink. A floating sensor is more difficult to heatsink well as it needs to move freely."

That was Panasonic's rationale to not having IBIS, and there might be some merit in that; my GH3 can shoot for hours without heating up. The Olympus EM1 doesn't fare as well.

I find it amazing how folks still think there is a need to justify IBIS.
Been using an IBIS EVF camera (EM-5) for nearly 2.5 years and there is nothing in any current dslr that will make me go back to OVF cameras.
The only OVF I still use is the one in my F6, the few times I still use film.
Everything else is done with the IBIS body: it works with ANY lens. It's a no-brainer, really!
Kudos to Sony for finally having the guts to BREAK the idiotic, out-of-date film left-over design of OVF dslra and going full bore on EVFs and IBIS!

If only Canon and Nikon woke up...
Too late for me now, but it might actually put a bit of REAL competition in the digital camera world.

I have been using an A7 for a year now, and while I did (plan to) sell my D800 as a result (although I am keeping my Zeiss ZF.2 lenses), I have a number of issues with it. The top two issues do not appear to be resolved in this new version, unfortunately, although maybe they might be, and just haven't been mentioned yet.

Issue #2 is a workflow issue. There is no setting for the minimum shutter speed when using Auto-ISO. This is pure frustration, since the mandatory 1/60s isn't enough for very many lenses.

Issue #1 is an image quality issue. It appears that in their rush to market and uncertainty about the outcome, Sony took some quality shortcuts, and the sensor cover glass in the A7 (and A7r, I do not know about the A7s) is cheap and nasty, being quite thick, and causing blue, halo-like internal sensor glass reflections. Night photography with this camera is frustrating, and urban exploration, with high contrast between light and shadow, is often infuriating. The image quality of the sensor itself is so good, but seeing blue blobs all over your images just makes you want to throw the camera out the window.

I will not be buying a (Sony) replacement for my A7 until these two issues are solved. There are other issues, but these two are show-stoppers IMO.

By the way, I use the exposure compensation dial every time I shoot, but would not touch a shutter speed dial, since I always shoot in A mode.

Thom Hogan had an interesting comment about IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) on the Olympus (http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/sony-updates-the-a7-camera.html): “One of the side effects of IS that I dislike the most is how it sometimes distorts out of focus areas in unusual ways.” And as a result of this, he leaves it off most of the time on his E-M1.

On paper, this makes sense, since the sensor could tilt relative to the lens's focal plane, and introduce miniature-toy, tilt-lens effects. On a larger sensor like the A7's, this effect might be more pronounced than on a micro 4/3 sensor, since depth of field might be shallow enough that such effects will be even more visible.

And another anecdotal data point: a photographer well-known to many for his highly technically accomplished photos has said that he's noticed strange stretching effects on the edges of the new Olympus 40-150/2.8 when used on his E-M1. At first he attributed this to aggressive in-camera correction.

But now, after reading Thom's comments, I wonder if he wasn't seeing instead optical effects due to the sensor stabilizer. the 150 side of that zoom would be long enough on m43 that DoF could be thin enough to start to see some of these effects.

I guess there's no such thing as a free lunch.

"Nikon's and Canon's business model."

That is repeating ad nauseam that the only serious and professional cameras are the one with FF sensor.


And with OVF.
But that is a story for another day...

I wan't talking about FF or OVF, A.Costa. I have plenty of thoughts about those issues, but not this time. I was referring to N&C's preference that we buy lots of stabilized lenses instead of a stabilized camera body. This may sound reasonable if you're trained to it, and have already bought several of these. But ever since the late days of Konica-Minolta, I've believed it's not the best way to go -- for the consumer, anyway.

My a850 has OVF and FF, so it's a serious pro camera, I guess. But I'm not making any claims. ; >

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