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Wednesday, 13 April 2016


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Is there a list somewhere comparing the A7ii with the A7Rii?

I'd point out that B&H is listing the old version, the A7, for $1098. (Though there there is another store that will throw in a gift card.) Throw in a 28mm f/2 for around $425, a LAEA3 adapter for $150, and the A-mount 85mm f/2.8 for $275, and you've only just touched $1948. You can get a full set of very nice primes for $2198 with the new 50mm. Sure, the A7 has some distinct flaws that were addressed with later models*, but it's still a neat piece of technology.

Can you tell that I've been watching prices closely? If Sony had a compact 35mm or 40mm, right around f/1.8, in that similar $250-500 price bracket, I'd be really tempted to see what I could sell off to buy one. As you might have gathered, my camera buying strategy is definitely #3: Buy older models used or on closeout at the end of their lifecycle.

*noisy shutter, apparently?

Interesting to see that the Double Gauss design, which has a heritage going back to the 1880's, is still going strong. This is a classic design that anyone who has a 50mm lens on a film camera has used.

Today, there is a similar (but no aspheric element) Double Gauss Nikkor 50mm f1.8D lens that sells for about USD$130 which is about $110 less than the Sony lens. The Nikkor appears to be a better value proposition.

I wonder why the Sony-Zeiss 55mm sells for about $900. It has 7 elements instead of the Double Gauss 6 elements and better quality materials. But both 50mm and 55mm f1.8 lenses are comparable in complexity and cost to build.

I suspect that Sony enjoys huge profit margins on these high-end styled optics.

Sony ought to bring out a Minolta-badged boutique model for nostalgia appeal, the way Nikon did with the Df.

This was one of my least favorite cameras. Picture quality is good and small size is ideal, but it has frustrating low light autofocus, slow startup time, short battery life, and poor menu design. Looking through an EVF is distinctly less pleasing than a good OVF. Went back to the DSLR for everything. Much better ergonomics, faster overall, and real-time viewing.

OTOH there is this which I'm sure will be sublime and has kicked off a massive attack GAS in me.


A few weeks ago I got a used A7 (not II) in "like new" condition for a couple hundred bucks and then I bought some Canon FD lenses for almost no money - I love it! I have build a "full frame system" with 24-35-50mm lenses for a lot less than a grand. The new FD 50/1.4 is a great lens. Who needs autofocus??? ;-)

Good to see the prices coming down, and the lens lineup on FE and G Master lenses filling out, but just yesterday I did a comparison of Sony G Mount, Canon DSLR, and Fuji lenses: Interestingly the lenses for the Sony mirrorless are almost identical to the Canon DSLR lenses in size and weight.

Lens Dimensions Weight
Sony 24-70 3.45 x 5.35" (87.6 x 136 mm) 1.95 lb (886 g)
Canon 24-70 3.48 x 4.45" (88.5 x 113 mm) 28.40 oz (805 g)
Sony 70-200/2.8 3.46 x 7.87" (88 x 200 mm) 3.26 lb (1480 g)
Canon 70-200/2.8 3.5 x 7.8" (88.9 x 198.1 cm) 3.28 lb (1.49 kg)
Fuji 16-55/2.8 3.28 x 4.17" (83.3 x 106 mm) 23.10 oz (655 g)
Fujifilm 50-140/2.8 3.26 x 6.93" (82.9 x 175.9 mm) 2.19 lb (995 g)

Big. Heavy. Big and Heavy lenses are the reason I wanted to go mirrorless in the first place. So, no thanks, Sony.

I'm a happy 1st gen A7 user. I ordered mine before they hit the shops and I've never regretted it. It's by far the best camera I've ever owned and it's the size of my old 35mm cameras not the size of a modern big fat and bloated DSLR.

Complaints of poor battery life and lethargic focus are in my opinion over rated and whinges about menus are baffling to me as I only go into them to set the clock (twice a year in the UK) and format the card. Everything else I need to do is done with a dial or a button.

I find the EVF wonderful and I'll not willingly go back to guessing what my image will look like and chimping endlessly with an OVF equipped DSLR. My first time keeper rate has never been higher with the highly accurate focus (much more so than a DSLR) and the in view WYSIWYG aids and deleting shots is now a rarity.

Overall I couldn't be happier. Well I could but nothing is perfect and the A7 is nearer to it than anything else I've ever owned or used.

If you're in the market for a camera and not looking at the A7 series you maybe should especially now that the lens line up has improve drastically and there's a cheap 50mm too. As an early adopter I went for the 55mm and it's an outstanding lens but at the moment I'm mostly using the also excellent 35mm f2.8.

I can see the A7 series improving with each new body and lens but I don't see DSLR's bringing anything new or exciting to the table.

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