The New Sony Cameras

This might shock you. The most interesting cameras as of late to me are actually the new Sony A7 and A7r. I've not been a big fan of Sony. For the most part it's because I thought their products were a bit too arcade game-y. Some of the tech was great but every time I've used one it just seemed sorely lacking as a camera for various reasons. Sony also seems to be all-in on the EVF thing as well. While the NEX seems to be a great value with good tech the body/lens combo's assuming you are going to use e-mount lenses left quite a bit to be desired from my perspective.

Enter the A7 and A7r - on the surface it seems a lot like the NEX cameras and they are but better in quite a few ways while still having a lot of the NEX's attractive qualities. I've not used either of the A7 cameras yet but the seem like something I might even consider. If not this go-around then possibly the next one which we all know will happen in reasonably short order.

The camera that interests me the most at the moment is the A7 - not the "r". The imaging performance is bound to be either identical or even slightly better than the D600/D610 which happens to be stellar with not a lot left on the table. I've shot the D600 and D800 side by side and there's really not a lot of difference. Given that I will take the ground-breaking price point of the regular version any day. Add the potential of great focus speed due to the phase detect pixels in the sensor and we have a winner but that's not the only reason these cameras are interesting to me.

  • They seem to be about the right size. We'll see. They look about the same size with about the same handling as say a Nikon FM/FE or the like or even an Olympus OM1/2.
  • The controls are same old same old but not bad for sony. I am pretty good with the PASM and custom banks on the top control with the shutter/aperture dials at the ready with thumb and index finger. That setup works well and those C1 through C3 things are great. They pretty much eliminate the menu surfing for me on the D600.
  • The full-frame and adaptability of just about any lens ever given the mirrorless nature of the camera finally makes a lot of great glass useful again. Yea, yea you can do that with a lot of APS-C cameras but we all know that's not great fun to turn everything into a tele.
  • Closely related to that is the possibility of actually using non-sony AF lenses like the Nikon G lenses as fully functional. It's a stretch but do-able and if anyone would make this happen it's a firmware/software oriented company like Sony. Maybe not but we'll see.
  • On anther related thing - the EVF and focus peaking. This also makes manual focus adapted lenses very very useful for real-world shooting. On the EVF side - sony actually may have the lead right this second. Even if someone else does by a hair (don't think so) Sony is likely the one to get the EVF perfect the soonest where it's hard to tell the difference.

So there you have it - the A7 may not be the camera I actually want but I can see the writing on the wall. Small, full-frame, reasonably priced, great EVF, great lens adaptability and I'm in. Maybe it will be the A8 or A9 but I can see it. Nikon doesn't seem to have some sort of hang-up that it must make it's own sensors like Canon does - quite possibly we well see a Nikon designed body with some Sony components that is the new FM/FE that I have been wanting but takes Nikon F-mount glass that is fully functional along with a new series of lenses with no adaptor. Knowing Nikon it will probably be a better handling camera than Sony's. We'll see. Maybe it will actually be about $1000, the right size, and make some sort of sense which that D little fancy "f" does not.


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