I recently purchased a new Sony A7r, together with a Carl Zeis 24-70 F2.8 lens from Paul North at Camera Solutions.
As usual the service was excellent and Paul moved heaven and earth to make sure I had the new kit in time for the recent Kimberley trip on True North.
My overall impressions of the Sony A7r is very good and pretty much everything I was hoping for.
I was a little surprised as the weight of the Carl Zeis lens, but then I guess for quality glass it is just that…good glass to produce great images! The fact that you need a convertor for the Carl Zies lens to adapt to the Sony is also a bit of a bother.
The functionality of the camera I found very easy to navigate with a lot of the buttons on the top and back of the camera making it easy to adjustor exposure compensation, from AV to M etc. Not dissimilar to how Nikon works actually!
The auto focus on the camera is superb and the rapid fire function is like a machine gun! I also really liked the in the viewer level for both portrait and landscape views.
The 3 main negatives I found with the camera is that the camera does not come with an external battery charger and there is only the ability to charge with a lead that plugs into the camera itself. When on shoots like what I do on True North, I like to leave with one fully charged battery and have the other charging.
Still on the battery front, it does not seem to charge both batteries via the camera with the additional battery pack screwed in, so that was also a problem.
All battery problems will be overcome by buying a separate battery charger, which I will do.
The other issue I found is that even with Camera RAW updated to the latest version, I have to use a RAW convertor program to convert to a DNG file in order to process the RAW files.
This obviously is not a camera issue…but none the less an issue all the same! When on the True North I did not have the band width to upload the latest versions of Photoshop etc, so I was unable to process any images taken with the Sony till after my return.
Anyone from Adobe who might read this…I for one would really appreciate a software update for Camera RAW to simply read a Sony RAW file! I am sure Lightroom users will say the same!
A trap for new players, so take note if you are buying a Sony before you go on safari and make sure you have your RAW processing protocol sorted before you leave!
The files that have come out of the Sony A7r are everything I thought they would be, with great dynamic range, sharp throughout the zoom range of the lens and from edge to edge of the image.
Seeing as I am also a Nikon D800E shooter, I am still in 2 minds as to if I would not be better off with simply getting another D800E body rather than the Sony as the price is similar in any case, the overall size of the kit weight wise is not far off the Nikon by the time you add the Carl Zies lens, the convertor for the lens and of course the body of the Sony A7r.
In summary if you are in the market for a new camera, I rate the images that come out of the Sony up there with the Nikon D800 and far superior to anything I have seen from a Canon.
I may well just buy another D800e as well, then I am covered in every way! 🙂