A7S in Bagan, the ancient kingdom of Myanmar By Peter Amber

A7S in Bagan, the ancient kingdom of Myanmar

By Peter Amber

Hi Steve,

What a year for Sony.  Just 10 months ago I had a guest post here sharing my experience using the A7 with legacy lens on a trip to New Zealand.  Since then I have progressed along the entire A7 series, selling the A7 for the A7R and repeating that with the A7S.  The A7R is a great camera but a GAS mistake for my needs.  It choked up more disk space and if A7S did not come along I would probably have gone back to the A7.  My move to A7S is strongly driven by the silent shooting mode, which brings me back to the discrete shooting days with the X100s.  Now that you announced the A7ii, I’m pretty sure it makes another good reason to get a backup body…sigh..

In August I took the A7S on a photo/video journey to Bagan, exploring by e-bike this ancient kingdom of Myanmar.  The silent shutter is a welcome relief while shooting around the sacred temples without attention nor disturbance.  One flaw I noticed with the silent mode is the inability to use it which shooting time-lapse through the Sony app.  During time-lapse shots, I had canon/nikon users turn round in amusement at the clacking shutter.  The silent mode is also disabled for picture profile modes so for video users it can be quite a hassle.  Other than these minor quirks, the A7S is a great camera for all day/night photography.

Here is our travel video shot with A7S and some drone shots:

Below are some photos of Bagan – best seen from the sunrise hotair balloons.  All shot with Sony A7S with 24-70mm FE.

More photos/videos at our new site http://www.peteramber.com








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  1. If only the 7s was 24mp…there would be no question for me. The only thing missing for me on my 7 is a quiet shutter, which I chose over the 7R because it was quieter. One more iteration of the 7 series hopefully will do it.

    Nice photos.

  2. Superb images what more can I say -and proof if proof is needed that low pixel count is not an issue.
    Curiously I have heard other photographers say that high pixel count 30 + is driving them crazy as it gives storage issues and camera handling shake can be a big issue -so I have been told by users ?
    You now have your perfect camera and boy are you putting it to good use !


  3. Looks like the pursuit of higher and higher mega pixels may not be the right answer. I’ve read people saying negative things about the A7S’ lower pixels, but you have proven otherwise.

    All the pictures are really good, the last one is really amazing.

    Thanks for sharing and inspiring us.

  4. The colours are outstanding. As is the composition, 4 & 5 being my favourites.
    Sony seem to be on a roll with the 7S and the new A7 Mk2. I love the idea of being able to use all those legacy lenses with up-to-the-minute tech. That is my kind of photography.

  5. Beautiful images. I love the colors and composition…you have a great eye. Number 3 is my personal favorite but they are all gorgeous. Thanks for sharing…

  6. Peter ..you say “..The silent mode is also disabled for picture profile modes so for video users it can be quite a hassle”.

    Due to an odd quirk in Sony’s Menu software you DO have to – temporarily – turn off Silent mode in order to select the Picture Profile which you want (e.g; S-Log2) for video. But after selecting that you simply turn back ON the Silent mode, and you can continue to shoot silently, and the Movie Start / Stop button will NOT give any mechanical shutter clatter.

    Just turn Silent OFF, then select Picture Profile, then turn Silent ON again.

    Very enjoyable movie, by the way!

    • Hi David, once you select silent mode the PP mode is disabled. The shutter clatter I’m referring to is during time-lapse mode when silent mode gets auto-disabled…

      • “..once you select silent mode the PP mode is disabled..” ..Yes, it’s disabled for STILLS, but when you press the Movie button the chosen PP mode instantly comes back into action – for video only.

        Yes, time-lapse mode uses the mechanical (clattery) shutter. But I suppose a way round that, though, would be to shoot video – in whatever PP mode you want – and then just blend together a few extracted video frames.

  7. Hi Peter,

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures.

    I came a couple of times to Bagan and never managed to get a ticket for the ballon ride.
    How did you get the e-bike in? Did you enter by land on the e-bike or did you check in the e-bike on a plane?

    Your site is great for daydreaming 😉


    • Thanks Eric. We booked the balloon ride months in advance as I learnt they sell out fast. We flew into Bagan and the e-bikes are rental at usd5 a day.

      • Thank you for the info Peter and Amber.

        I’ve got a folding bike for future visits to Bagan. Good to know that e-bikes are available now, perfect for the region. When I was there it was not allowed for foreigners to rent motobikes in Bagan and it takes for ever to make some distance by horse cart in this vast area of Bagan.

  8. Wonderful shots !
    The fourth is my favorite – complex and intriguing.
    You have a gifted eye, and a fantastic camera to match it.

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