Zealand with the Sony A7 – Pictures and Videos
by Peter Lok
I got into travel photography with the Olympus EP3 and 12mm 2.0. The urge for bigger sensor came last year and the Canon 6D was the logical choice but my main grouse was the size. I still remember staring at it in the counter for sometime thinking if I should get the RX1 instead. But I didn’t want to be restricted to one lens so bought the 6D and went to Iceland. It was a trusty little giant and though it was great to use, I needed something smaller. Then came the Sony A7. I got hooked after reading Steve’s review and duly sold my 6D system and bought the A7 with 35mm 2.8. A week later came the cheap Tokina 24mm 2.8 and decent Contax Zeiss 85mm 2.8. Another week later they were on a flight with us to New Zealand’s South Island for the Christmas holidays.
During our 2 weeks in Middle Earth, the A7 survived a mini torture test, from rainy and glacier conditions at Mount Cook, to waterfall splashes at Milford Sound, to the wind and dust of Wanaka. The battery life is known to be bad but surprisingly the 2 batteries worked well for me, even with the wife leaving it on for Wifi transfer to her phone while I drove. The legacy 24mm and 85mm worked like a charm and the zoom focus (I configured in C1) along with focus peaking makes focusing a really fun affair with the A7. More so when you shoot video. Of course you have the usual drawback like lens flare and CA but I can live with that. After playing the manual game, the 35mm makes shooting deceptively easy, and the best shots are from this little workhorse. Too bad the 55mm 1.8 didn’t make it in time for this trip, but it’s now firmly in place on the A7.
For videos, the A7 tilt-screen and LCD/viewfinder live-view work brilliantly and I’m glad I made the switch (focusing on the 6D live view can be annoying). Probably the only thing I miss about the 6D, is the 60 fps video mode. Yes one can switch to 60p on the PAL 50p version but I cannot live with the annoying pop-up. The video link below is filmed at 1080/50p, along with some GoPro shots, and edited in FCPX at 25p.
Watch the video of our Dec NZ trip here…
…and you can compare it to the Canon 6D performance during the Sep Iceland trip
filmed at 1080/60p edited at 24p (shot mainly with 24-105mm 4.0 lens).
For photos, the A7 is (in my opinion) much sharper than 6D but loses out on high ISO. Overall the A7 worked really well during the trip and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Please check out the videos above and photos below and I am happy to answer questions in the comments area.
Rippon Vineyard – Tokina 24mm 2.8 – OOC JPG, color adjustments
Wanaka Haven – 35mm 2.8 – OOC JPG, HDR adjustment (from JPG below)
Original OOC JPEG
Mount Cook – Carl Zeiss 35mm 2.8 – RAW, 3 brackets HDR
Tasman Glacier – 35mm 2.8 – OOC JPG, VSCO
Milford Sound – 35mm 2.8 – OOC JPG, auto-adjustments
Wanaka – 35mm 2.8 – RAW, HDR
Treble Cone – 35mm 2.8 – RAW, auto-adjustments
Lake Pukaki – JPG frame from video, VSCO
Akaroa Jetty – Contax Zeiss 85mm 2.8 – OOC JPG, B&W
Geraldine – Contax Zeiss 85mm 2.8 – OOC JPG, VSCO
Hawea Flats – 35mm 2.8 – OOC JPG, VSCO (Inspired by follow me series)