Hands on 1st Impressions: The Sony A7, A7r and RX10


Hands on 1st Impressions: The Sony A7, A7r and RX10 

1st things 1st: YOU CAN PRE-ORDER THE A7 and A7R at B&H Photo or Amazon at the links below!

Pre-Order the 36MP A7r Body – Expected to ship Mid December – (I am ordering this) – $2,298

Pre-Order the 24 MP A7 Body – Expected to ship Mid December – $1,698

Pre-Order the A7 Body with 28-70 Kit Zoom  – Mid December – $1998 (I DO NOT recommend this kit. To have this camera shine, use a fast prime or fast zoom)

Pre-Order the new RX10 – Ships Mid November – $1298

Pre-Order the A7/A7r grip – Ships Nov/Dec – (I am ordering this) – $298

Pre-Order the Sony Zeiss 35 2.8 FE Full Frame lens for the A7/A7r – (I am ordering this) – $798

Pre-Order the Sony 55 1.8 FE Full Frame Zeiss Lens for the A7/A7r (I an ordering this) – $998

PRE-ORDER the Sony/Zeiss 24-70 f/4 High Quality Pro Zoom – $1,198


*Pre-Order the new Cameras and Accessories At AMAZON using THIS link!*

THIS WILL BE A HOT SELLER WITH A WAIT LIST, so get in line EARLY! The A7 and A7r will be shipping mid December 2013. 



OK, I want to let you know that this news has been very HARD to keep from all of you! Then again, the rumor sites had all of the info for the past few days for many of you to lust over.

Yes my friends, the new Sony A7, A7r and RX10 are now a reality and not only that.. (more images of the camera here)

I have had the chance to hold them, see them, feel them and SHOOT with them for just a few minutes (but only in my home). WOW is all I can say. Every year Sony comes out and surprises me in my home. This is the third year and for the first time in those  three years my heart skipped a beat when they pulled this one out of the bag. Why? Because I knew what it was and what it meant for camera enthusiasts worldwide.

NOTE: I will be shooting with the A7 and A7r and RX10 in the next two weeks and will have TONS of image samples with daily live updates, so bookmark me and check back. I will also have something new tomorrow for you to look at so come back then as well 🙂

The Sony A7 and A7r are the worlds smallest and 1st full frame mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses besides the $7000 Leica M (Reviewed Here).


But before I get to the details of my 1st hands on with the A7 cameras, I do want to mention that I also handled and shot a few frames off with the new RX10 which was totally opposite of what I thought it would be.


Yes, the RX10, which according to the rumors was basically a 1″ sensor RX1. Well, not really. The RX10 is a 1″ sensor megazoom that is of HIGH quality. The body is DSLR like which I found to be odd since the camera had the “RX” title. It looks nothing like an RX1. I was allowed to hold the camera and shoot with it in my home for a few minutes (but was not allowed to put an SD card inside).

The lens is what sets this apart and even though it has a 1″ sensor, the quality is fantastic, beating out the NIkon V2 for detail and noise. I was shown a series of prints from the Nikon V2 and RX10 and the RX10 literally blew away the V2 for detail and noise. Add to this that the lens is an image stabalized f/2.8 constant aperture 28-200 and you have a one camera solution that you can take anywhere. I will have MUCH more on the RX10 in a week or two when I shoot with one in Nashville TN all week around Halloween so will leave it at that for now on the RX10. I will say that those who have been looking for a high quality super zoom all in one with super IQ, this one may be up your alley. But I will review this camera in full over the next two weeks, so stay tuned.

Right now I want to discuss what 95% of you who come here want to read about:

The A7 and A7r – YES, they have finally arrived. 



This is what we have all been waiting for! By “WE” I mean the enthusiasts who have been waiting for someone..anyone..to release a high quality full frame and small sized mirrorless camera with a killer built in EVF. We thought Leica would do it. Some of us though Canon or Nikon would do it. Many though Fuji was planning it. But it was SONY who charged ahead and had the balls to create and make it. For this reason alone I give Sony a high double five because what they have created is simply jaw dropping. Just as they did last year with the incredible IQ of the RX1, they are doing it again in a more versatile lens changing way.

Why is this camera so important? Well, it is not for everyone of course but for me I have been wanting this for years for a few reasons. The A7r is a full frame 36MP sensor camera with an E- Mount. This means that not only can you shoot the new FE lenses (full frame E) made for this system, you can shoot Leica M lenses, Canon Lenses, Nikon Lenses and Sony A mount lenses (with adapters). You can mount E mount lenses and shoot in crop mode or FF mode with vignetting. The special thing though is the latest tech full frame sensor that will deliver the richness, depth, 3D bokeh and shallow DOF that many of us crave, but more importantly, there will now be MANY more of us able to enjoy Leica M lenses. From my 1st test using a Leica M 50 Summilux on the A7r, it should be quite special. Not sure how wide angle lenses will do, but a 50 and 35 1.4 did well so so far so good.

So the new A7 and A7r are here and while they may not be perfect (I only had minutes with them in my home) they are indeed a revolutionary product/camera.


Some key points from Sony on the new A7r (the one I am ordering for myself) along with my thoughts on them after using the camera.

World’s lightest interchangeable lens full-frame camera1 – This is true as the camera is about the same size as an Olympus E-M1 (check back tomorrow for something cool)

Full Frame 36.3 MP resolution with 14-bit RAW recording – Nikon D800E territory in a small weather sealed package.

Fast Intelligent AF optimized for full-frame sensor – Faster than the RX1, but not as fast as the E-M1. Faster than Fuji X  – better IQ than Fuji X if going by RX1 standards 😉

Fully compatible w/ Sony’s E-mount new full-frame lenses – Any E Mount NEX lens will work in crop mode or full frame mode. Full frame adds a circle vignette.

Direct access interface for fast, natural shooting control – Same interface as the RX1 and Alpha DSLR Series – buttons are easily customized.

• High contrast 2.4-million dot OLED EVF for eye-level framing – Same EVF as the RX1 External EVF. Fantastic. 

• Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi® or NFC – Nice to have of course but did not try in my limited time.

• PC control w/ remote video capture control

• New high-speed BIONZ® X image processor – Sony says this is what makes this camera possible. More responsive and faster AF.

• Full HD movie at 24p/60i/60p w/uncompressed HDMI output – Love Sony video. 


Now sone of my own Key Points from me after VERY little use with it:

  • This camera is dust and moisture resistant with seals. Also, sensor has electronic dust removal. 🙂
  • The camera design takes me back to the 70’s when Nikon made square metal bricks. But this one is thinner.
  • The external grip is AWESOME! Some will thing it is ugly but when on the camera, again, takes me back.
  • The camera is pretty responsive but I was indoors in low light. Even so, the 35 2.8 and 55 1.8 were FAST.
  • This camera will bring with it the ability to use MANY 3rd party lenses. Leica, Canon, Nikon, etc. NOCTILUX? Yes.
  • Manually focusing a Leica lens  through the EVF was a breeze just as it was with the Olympus E-M1. These large EVF’s are superb.
  • From what I saw through the EVF, this just might beat the Leica M in sharpness and detail. Crisp 3D and POP were there as well (ala M8 and M9). (A7r)
  • The grip feels VERY VERY good in the hand. Very comfy for my medium sized hands and grip.
  • Overall, much like an RX1 with IC lens capability. Just what MANY of you wanted the RX1 to be. But an even newer sensor.
  • Gapless on-chip lenses to help the sensor gather more light and help with lens issues due to short flange distance.
  • This camera is THIN but solid. Does not feel as solid as the Olympus E-M1 or Leica M but is very solid in the hand.
  • Smaller than a Leica M, same size as an E-M1. Perfect size.
  • Battery is said to last for around 400 shots.
  • In person, it is a beautiful camera though not all will like the design. I am just happy it does not look like a mini D800 🙂
  • This camera WILL change how we as photographers view what is capable from a small camera.
  • I have seen prints and crops in print from the D800E and  this camera. I preferred the prints from the A7r slightly but they were close.
  • Under $2300 for a full frame, 36MP without AA filter  – with built in EVF that is able to take Leica lenses, Canon lenses, Nikon lenses, E mount lenses, A mount lenses and new FE lenses. Amazing.
  • THE SHUTTER SOUND IS LOUD and CLUNKY. If you want silent, this is not the camera to go for. Will elaborate more on this soon as well as show a video of the camera and shutter sound.
  • New EYE Auto Focus spots the EYES and critically focuses on them instead of just a face. 

Oh, I also tested it with a Leica 50 Summilux in my home today…

Many of us have been waiting for a small full frame mirrorless camera for many reasons, one of them being that it is the worlds 1st camera other than Leica that is full frame and can shoot with Leica M lenses. Using my $15 adapter, a 50 Lux locked on tight and firm. Even the Sony guys did an “Oooh and Ahhh” 🙂

Yep, today I handled and shot with the A7r and fired off some test shots (not allowed to put an SD card in though) and what I saw through the EVF was amazing. Yes, I was able to get pin sharp Leica Lux results at 1.4 with eyes that popped and a melty Bokeh that had the Lux signature..and these results appeared much more 3D then what I get from the M 240 and the same lens. I begged  for the chance to take one quick side by side comparison as I had a feeling the Sony would really impress the hell out of you guys but sadly, I was not allowed. The firmware is not final on the A7r just yet… so no images. 🙂


I will also be shooting with the A7R in Nashville for one week at the end of the month and will be doing live reports all that week with all kinds of samples. Possibly even shooting a concert with the A7r and Noctilux.


So back to the A7/A7r:

My 1st impression on build? It feels just like an RX1 but with a much nicer grip and the EVF built in (pretty much the same EVF as the RX1 External from what I was told). AF is faster than the RX1 with the 35 2.8 and 55 1.8 (the 35 2.8 was fantastic…small, sharp and with 3D pop). The camera is also weather sealed 🙂 It does not feel tank like but it does feel RX1 like, but much nicer..more “finished”. Has the same menu system as the RX1 and Alpha line so this is a GOOD thing. The camera does NOT AF as fast as the Olympus E-M1 but I did not expect it to. The E-M1 was also faster than the D800 I tested as well as the Canon 6D I reviewed. So no surprise there.

Even so, the A7 is a little faster to AF over the A7r as it has Phase and Contrast Detect AF. The A7r 36 megapixel beast only has contrast detect AF though it is faster than the RX1 due to the new Bionz processor which makes both of these cameras more responsive than the RX1/RX1r.

I only snapped maybe 10 shots with the A7r and 3 with the A7 but I wanted to keep the camera soooo bad! I wanted to go out and shoot, test Leica lenses and the new Sony lenses. But no go..not yet..but as i said, VERY soon.


I can say that with 100% certainty I will be ordering the A7r, 35 2.8 and the grip. Yes, the battery grip as you can see above. When it is attached it took me back in time to the 70’s because the look of this rig with the grip is like a big black square thin box. I LOVED IT but I know many will hate it. It’s very very cool to my eyes but I am sure there will be lots of that coming up over the next few days and weeks.

I also have a sneaking suspicion that this camera will deliver better results than the Leica M with certain Leica lenses. The 50 Lux was magical on it as when I focused (which was a piece of cake due to the large EVF) it was just as quick as when I use the RF of the Leica, but when the image played back the result was massive 3D depth. Almost like a mix of the M8 and M9 together. Crispy yet smooth. I can not wait to test this out for real and actually use an SD card 🙂 (I will be doing just that in less than two weeks)


With that said, it does not take away one thing from the Olympus E-M1 which I will also be happy to own alongside the A7r. Those who read my recent E-M1 review saw where I called it the “Most Versatile Mirrorless Camera Ever” and I stand by that. The E-M1 is gorgeous as is this A7/A7r (from what I could tell so far). I will be proud to own both and both will be used in different scenarios but the A7r has the all out flat out 36 MP FF resolution. A D800E in the palm of your hand. Think of the possibilities.

Yes my friends..the day is here and  the price is RIGHT, much less than we thought at under $2300 for the top of the line 36MP A7r. For those with Leica  glass, we can now mount our Leica glass on a high quality full frame body with the best sensor tech of 2013 inside the camera without spending $7000 to do so. For those with a Leica M, this could be a great back up (but again, not sure how wide angle leica lenses perform yet) Those who could never afford a Leica, here you go. Those who have Leica lenses but shoot a film Leica and refuse to pay $7000 for an M, here you go. Those who love the idea of a full frame DSLR like the D800, D700, Canon 5D, 6D, etc but can not stand the size and weight? Here you go. Those who want a 2nd camera that will provide full frame qualities such as shallow DOF and nice low light capabilities? Here you go.

The Sony A7 and A7R (my choice) is the real deal..they are alive and a reality. Like I said, Sony was here for 2 hours this morning and I did not have much time with these new beauties but one thing is for sure, I am excited to get to know them better 🙂

Without further ado, here is a short breakdown of my 1st thoughts on the A7 and A7r:

Sony A7 and A7R 1st thoughts:

Build & Feel

These are weather sealed and  feel great in the hand. Not as solid as I hoped but still solid. RX1 like with a bigger grip. It does feel better than the RX1 and almost as  good as the E-M1. Not as hefty as the Leica M.

AF Speed

Again, I only tested it in my home during the day with the 35 2.8 and 55 1.8. The 55 1.8 was blazing fast indoors and the 35 2.8 was very fast. No complaints. Faster than the NEX-7 and RX1.


Sony Alpha menu system. Same as the RX1 and Alpha DSLR’s. So this is GOOD. I knew this camera would not be called a NEX and many argued with me 🙂 Usability seems great but I need more time with it to really judge it.


I love it and it looks much nicer in person than in the photos. Wait until you see it with a Leica 50 Lux (tomorrow maybe, right here).

The 55 1.8 Zeiss Lens


This lens looks much larger in photos but is not large at all. Yes, it is bigger than a Leica 50 but still a nice size and as I said, the AF was FAST with the A7 and A7r. From what I saw in the EVF, the images have some serious POP and sharpness on the A7r.

The 35 2.8 Zeiss Lens



This EVF is pretty much the same as the excellent EVF for the RX1. I like the EVF 4 from Olympus better but this one is still fantastic. The 2nd best EVF made today.

1st Thoughts Conclusion:

Keep in mind I was only able to check out the camera in my home for a short time without SD cards. Sony was being pretty strict on that sue to the camera not being 100% final. I am thrilled to see this camera released by Sony because companies like Canon, Nikon, and many others are lagging behind. I feel that today in 2013 Sony leads the way with Olympus right behind on their tails if not neck and neck. If this camera release signals anything it is that the days of large bulky DSLRS will one day whittle away.

Of these camera releases today by Sony I am going for the A7r. It has a little bit slower Auto Focus than the A7 but more resolution due to the 36MP and lack of an AA filter. I saw the images POP in the EVF upon playback when using the 35 2.8, 55 1.8 and Leica 50 1.4. Focus peaking rocked and is the best implementation to date.

One other tidbit is that Sony mentioned that as of these new cameras there will be no more NEX menu system (as we know it on the NEX system). They said the Alpha menu system is well liked by everyone, so this is the menu system for future cameras. So to all of you who hated that NEX menus system, it should be gone for good.

Not much else I can say until I get much more use from the camera. The good news is that I will be very soon as I travel to Nashville, TN for 5 days to shoot them in some very cool locations and situations. As I said earlier, I will have live updates during the week of October 28th – November 1st so be sure to check back here then for many samples, video, and all kinds of info. Also check back tomorrow for a few new surprises as well.

Check out the Sony A7 and A7r Facebook Page as well!

Also, a dedicated “mini blog” page within this blog all about the A7 and A7r, the A7 corner. 

Stay tuned! 


1st things 1st: YOU CAN PRE-ORDER THE A7 and A7R at B&H Photo or Amazon using the links below:


*Pre-Order the new Cameras and Accessories At AMAZON using THIS link!*

B&H Photo:

Pre-Order the 36MP A7r Body – Expected to ship Mid December – (I am ordering this) – $2,298

Pre-Order the 24 MP A7 Body – Expected to ship Mid December – $1,698

Pre-Order the A7 Body with 28-70 Kit Zoom  – Mid December – $1998 (I DO NOT recommend this kit. To have this camera shine, use a fast prime or fast zoom)

Pre-Order the new RX10 – Ships Mid November – $1298

Pre-Order the A7/A7r grip – Ships Nov/Dec – (I am ordering this) – $298

Pre-Order the Sony Zeiss 35 2.8 FE Full Frame lens for the A7/A7r – (I am ordering this) – $798

Pre-Order the Sony 55 1.8 FE Full Frame Zeiss Lens for the A7/A7r (I an ordering this) – $998

PRE-ORDER the Sony/Zeiss 24-70 f/4 High Quality Pro Zoom – $1,198


Official Stats on the A7 and A7r below:


Key Features

World’s smallest lightest1 interchangeable lens full-frame camera

Sony’s Exmor image sensor takes full advantage of the Full-frame format, but in a camera body less than half the size and weight of traditional full-frame DSLRs

Ultimate full frame 36.3 MP resolution with gapless sensor lens design

The unrivaled 36.3-effective-megapixel resolution and outstanding optical lens performance are optimized by removing the optical low-pass filter. In combination with the new BIONZ X image processing engine, this design enhances the reproduction of the finest of details. In addition, the sensor includes a new gapless lens design that fills the space between neighboring pixels to significantly increase light collecting efficiency and realize high corner-to-corner image quality.

Fast Intelligent AF for responsive, accurate, and greater operability with full frame sensor

The high-speed image processing engine and improved algorithms combine with optimized image sensor read-out speed to achieve ultra-high-speed AF despite the use of a full-frame sensor.

New Eye AF control

Even when capturing a subject partially turned away from the camera with a shallow depth of field, the face will be sharply focused thanks to extremely accurate eye detection that can prioritize a single pupil. A green frame appears over the prioritized eye when focus has been achieved for easy confirmation. Eye AF can be used when the function is assigned to a customizable button, allowing users to instantly activate it depending on the scene.

Fully compatible with Sony’s E-mount lens system and new full-frame lenses

To take advantage of the lightweight on-the-go body, the α7R is fully compatible with Sony’s E-mount lens system and expanded line of E-mount compact and lightweight full-frame lenses from Carl Zeiss and Sony’s premier G-series.

Direct access interface for fast, intuitive shooting control

Quick Navi Pro displays all major shooting options on the LCD screen so you can rapidly confirm settings and make adjustments as desired without searching through dedicated menus. When fleeting shooting opportunities arise, you’ll be able to respond swiftly with just the right settings.

High contrast 2.4M dot OLED EVF for eye-level framing

View every scene in rich detail with the XGA OLED Tru-Finder, which features OLED improvements and the same 3-lens optical system used in the flagship α99. The viewfinder faithfully displays what will appear in your recording, including the effects of your camera settings, so you can accurately monitor the results. You’ll enjoy rich tonal gradations and 3 times the contrast of the α99. High-end features like 100% frame coverage and a wide viewing angle are also provided.

3.0″ 1.23M dot LCD tilts for high and low angle framing

The tiltable 3.0” (1,229k dots) Xtra FineTM LCD Display makes it easy to photograph over crowds or low to capture pets eye to eye by swinging up approx. 84° and down approx. 45°. Easily scroll through menus and preview life thanks to WhiteMagicTM technology that dramatically increases visibility in bright daylight. The large display delivers brilliant-quality still images and movies while enabling easy focusing operation.

Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi® or NFC

Connectivity with smartphones for One-touch sharing/One-touch remote has been simplified with Wi-Fi®/NFC control. In addition to Wi-Fi support for connecting to smartphones, α7R also supports NFC (near field communication) providing “one touch connection” convenience when transferring images to AndroidTM smartphones and tablets. Users need only touch devices to connect; no complex set-up is required. Moreover, when using Smart Remote Control — a feature that allows shutter release to be controlled by a smartphone — connection to the smartphone can be established by simply touching compatible devices.

PC control w/ remote video capture control

Remote Camera Control allows you to control your α7R from your PC using a USB cable. Feature control has also been updated to include video capture control.

14-bit RAW output for rich tonal gradation

14-bit RAW image data of extremely high quality is outputted by the α7R. This data fully preserves the rich detail generated by the image sensor during the 14-bit A/D conversion process. When developed with Sony’s Image Data Converter RAW development software, these images deliver the superb photographic expression and rich gradation that only 14-bit data can offer.

New BIONZ® X image processing engine

Sony proudly introduces the new BIONZ® X image processing engine, which faithfully reproduces textures and details in real time, as seen by the naked eye, via extra high-speed processing capabilities. Together with front-end LSI (large scale integration) that accelerates processing in the earliest stages, it enables more natural details, more realistic images, richer tonal gradations and lower noise whether you shoot still images or movies.

Full HD movie2 at 24p/60i/60p w/uncompressed HDMI output

Capture Full 1920 x 1080 HD uncompressed clean-screen video files to external recording devices via an HDMI® connection in 60p and 60i frame-rates. Selectable in-camera AVCHDTM codec frames rates include super-smooth 60p, standard 60i or cinematic 24p. MP4 codec is also available for smaller files for easier upload to the web.

Gapless, optimally positioned on-chip lenses

Sony optimized the design and positioning of every on-chip lens (OCL) covering every pixel to significantly enhance light- gathering efficiency. A gapless on-chip lens design eliminates the gaps between the micro-lenses to collect more light. Moreover, each on-chip lens is optimally positioned depending on its location to accommodate the sharper angle of light entering the periphery, which is caused by larger sensor dimensions being teamed with the E-mount’s short flange-back distance.

Multi-interface Shoe for flash and microphone flexibility

Unlike conventional cameras, the α7R features the advanced Multi-Interface Shoe that dramatically expands compatibility with Sony digital imaging accessories, thus raising the potential for photo/movie shooting.

4K Still image output by HDMI®8 or WiFi for viewing on 4K TVs

Enjoy Ultra High Definition slide shows directly from the camera to a compatible 4K television. The α7R converts images for optimized 4K image size playback (8MP). Enjoy expressive rich colors and amazing detail like never before. Images can be viewed via an optional HDMI connection4 or via WiFi.

TRILUMINOUSTM color outputs wider color gamut to compatible devices

TRILUMINOSTM Color technology, allows you to experience photos and movies in rich, natural colors on any TV equipped with a TRILUMINOS DisplayTM. The expanded color gamut immerses you in those unforgettably colorful moments, from the complex shades in a shimmering blue sky to the delicate skin in a baby’s face.

PlayMemoriesTM Camera Apps allows feature upgrades

Personalize your camera by adding new features of your choice with PlayMemoriesTM Camera Apps. Find apps to fit your shooting style from portraits, detailed close-ups, sports, time lapse, motion shot and much more. Use apps that shoot, share and save photos using Wi-Fi that make it easy to control and view your camera from smartphone, and post photos directly to Facebook or backup images to the cloud without connecting to a computer.11

Image Data Converter

Advanced features enable manipulation, conversion and management of full-resolution RAW images. You can expertly adjust exposure, white balance, tonal curves, saturation, contrast, hue and sharpness — as well as apply DRO and vignetting compensation. Bundled Remote Camera Control software also lets you remotely activate and deactivate still/ movie recording and control various camera settings from a PC.

Vertical Grip Capable

Enjoy long hours of comfortable operation in the vertical orientation with this sure vertical grip, which can hold two batteries for longer shooting and features dust and moisture protection.

Mount Adaptors

Both of these 35mm full-frame compatible adaptors let you mount the α7R with any A-mount lens. The LA-EA4 additionally features a built-in AF motor, aperture-drive mechanism and Translucent Mirror Technology to enable continuous phase- detection AF. Both adaptors also feature a tripod hole that allows mounting of a tripod to support large A-mount lenses.

 The A7 basically adds Phase Detect AF and has a 24 MP sensor instead of a 36. Also the A7 does have an AA filter. 

I will review the new RX10 in full soon as well!


  1. For me these cameras are the future- still need to get controls sorted for professionals – but I am now shooting my weddings on all sony equipment – great review the efforts that Sony are putting into photography at the moment are huge.

  2. Hi Steve: great work, but once you said the sony a7r has too many megapixels and that is it. Then you say that the a7 is the way to go. Could you simplify this? I am not a pro but love the technology of sony. Thank you for your time in this matter.

  3. Hi Steve, I’m excited about this Sony A7r because I am thinking that I can once again use my collection of Canon FD lenses, I’d like to know when you get around to testing the Sony A7r with legacy glass before I commit myself, presently shoot a GH1 with the FD lenses but the RX100 has got it beat so maybe it’s time to part with the FD’s I don’t know.

  4. This camera would be perfect on a stabilized handheld gimbal like the ones made by StableGimbal.com.
    I will definitely need to pick this camera up to use on my StableGimbal unit.

  5. steve

    8 months ago, i was well poisoned by the RX1 and after viewing your blog. I brought the RX1 and believed that it is the camera for life……. until i heard about A7(r)……
    If i was SONY, i would be struggle to position RX1(r) in my product portfolio. With the ICL and EVF and improved focus speed. Who still want a RX1?
    I am starting to believe that the RX1 was an experiment, a bloody successful one. With this all around improved successor A7(r), RX1 is going to fade out the market very soon. For a $3000 camera like RX1, the product life is little low.

  6. Steve and others:
    Reading through the comments here and trying to determine whether to get the a7 or the a7r. Is the AF on the a7 significantly better that it outweighs the benefit of the extra megapixels on the a7r? Or is the a7rAF good enough to make the extra pixels worth it. I do alot of street shooting.

  7. Thanks for the thorough and helpful pre-release review, Steve. I noticed you are getting the 35 and the 55. Would getting the 24-70 (coming out in Jan.?), or the 16-70 (which would be 24-105 on the FF a7r) give the same quality as each of the primes? (They’re all Zeiss lenses.) Thanks for your further thoughts on this lens choice.

  8. Oh man, Just pre-ordered an A7, now its time to scrape together the money, good thing is, in Australia Sony are offering a free metabones adaptor of your choice with a a7 or a7r body preorder, and CameraPro.com.au are offering a good price on both bodies that doesn’t include a massive mark-up over the US (We have a %10 sales tax don’t forget).

  9. Steve, What about the viewfinder of the rx10 compared to the Nex 7 and how big the view is?

  10. I’m sure your getting rid off Leica M but keeping the glass of course show us some pictures please 🙂 Castle Leslie ain’t that far from here ! Was there any UFO s !

    • Do not be so sure of anything 🙂 I will show pictures when I get to use the camera. I do not have one, nor have access to one for another week.

  11. I’m using a Sony RX1r, and the most annoying thing is that it auto-focuses at shooting aperture rather than wide open. In order to focus with the lens wide open one has to manually set it on f/2.0, focus, and then adjust to the shooting aperture.

    Do you know if the A7/A7r will behave like an SLR and focus wide open, and close down for the exposure?


  12. Looks really nice and has quite impressive features – I think the real issue will be fast zoom lenses – they will be heavy and large – So now Sony is just releasing slow zooms and some primes.
    Sony will need to start pumping out more lenses as paying $1000 for a 35mm F2.8 is not a great way to start 🙂 as FF 35mm F1.8 lenses are much much cheaper – maybe a 35mm F1.4 for $1000

    I will get one when I seem more lenses come out especially if they can make fast zooms like 24-70 F2.8 and 70-200 F2.8 that are not as large and heavy as current DSLR lenses and of course hoping they will not be as much

  13. Hi Steve, I was wondering if you thought the new Zeiss FE 35/2.8 or Voigtlander Nokton 35 1.2 Aspherical II would be the better lens for the a7r? Thanks.

    • The 35 2.8 is MUCH smaller, lighter and has AF. It is also insanely sharp wide open and provides some shallow DOF even at 2.8. The Voigtlander…great lens but I have never used it on the Sony so can not say.

  14. I am interested to know if the way the sensor has been designed for the short flange lenses is going to be any sort of a problem with normal lenses used via an adaptor? I’m thinking of using it with a Canon 24 TS mark 2 lens but want to know if there will be any issues using shift on a perspective control lens? Lets hope not. I also agree with other posts here in that I have had and know of many other people who have had terrible experiences with Sony products breaking just out of warranty. As a professional I wouldn’t want it to break on a shoot and swap back to my Canon 5 d mark 3 which is frankly a bit of a disappointment in the dynamic range department! The build of the body sounds great but what is the quality of the inside components? Only time will tell.

  15. Steve – Will this work with the Canon 35L f1/4 or 85 mm lens ? Those are the two lens I own. Will they need an adaptor? ( thinking of the 7r)

  16. I also have the voigtlander 12mm ultra wide lens and wondering how it would do/fare on the a7r. I’ve used it on the NEX 5 and NEX 6 with very good results. I also use a ’71 vintage super pentax takumar (non smc which i de-yellowed with ultra violet sunlight) 50mm f1.4; voigtlander heliar 75mm f2.5 and and voigtlander ultron 35mm f1.7 and just love it over the kit lens 16-50mm or 18-55mm. I also use a helicoid adapter leica m to sony e mount adapter which allows me to get much closer to my subjects along with being able to infinity focus.

  17. Steve can you describe the battery compartment. I have the new 5 and 6 and both have plastic covers. My sony cyber shot is the same too. Was wondering if the a7r with the better build made the battery cover better too.

  18. Hi Steve – Can you confirm if focus peaking will work on the A7r when using non-Sony lenses with an adapter? Also, does focus peaking use the same method as in the RX1, where one can only focus peak when the EVF is “zoomed in” on the focal point, or does focus peaking work when the entire image is visible in the EVF? Finally, in the A7r when using a non-Sony lens, is there a way to manually set the focal length of the lens in menus so that the focal length will appear in EXIF data?

    • Focus peaking works with manual non Sony lenses with adapter (what it was made for really). You do not need to be zoomed in to have peaking and since Sony is the originator of focus peaking, it is the best implementation of it yet.

      • I use the focus peaking a lot on my old Rokkor Glass, this sensor and software goes further and shows you if the pupil of your subject is in focus for portrait and street photography , which is a brilliant enhancement, so Steve would you check that feature out when using your manual lenses with adapter please

  19. Dear Steve Huff,

    Please compare it with the RX1/RX1r and let us (the people who bought these cameras) know the significance in the overall experience and image quality. I already have the RX1r and I am very satisfied with it. I am just very curious and would really like to know. Thanks, and I apprecifate your reviews and efforts! Please keep up the good work! Good luck!

    Best regards,

    • – I meant to compare them (the RX1/RX1r) with the A7/A7r*
      – Explain the significant differences in the overall experience/IQ in comparison with the A7/A7r**

      Sorry, I was overly excited and did not proof read what I wrote. 😛

  20. The reason I would want a full-frame mirrorless camera is for the silent shutter. You said it was loud! What is making the noise? Is there a silent mode?
    I thought this would be my dream camera as a pro photog–no loud mirror slaps.

  21. Hey Steve,

    I did some digging and finally answered my own question. The A7r has magnesium front plate AND the mode dial and exposure compensation dial are solid aluminum. The A7 has a plastic front plate and the two dials have a aluminum top with rubber grip surrounding them. I looked at some more photos and this seems to be the case. I know it may not be important to everyone, but to me, I like to know ALL the differences – even minor cosmetic ones. Thanks for all your work.

  22. Ey Steve.. I have a couple of questions. When using the Leica-M to Nex adapter on the A73, did you have to set the camera to crop? I would like to try some manual lenses with this baby..!


  23. Is anyone else planning on getting the A7r and the LA-EA4 for the phase detection AF? I was thinking this would be a good compromise for shooting kids sports games, birds, etc.


  24. “Add to this that the lens is an image stabalized f/2.8 constant aperture 28-200…”

    If I’m not mistaken this is a 24mm to 200mm lens. 8.8mm * 2.7 crop factor = 23.76mm.
    This makes the lens even more awesome.

    Better correct that Steve! 😉

  25. Steve, after all the feedback here and your great reviews on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 I am kind of confused.

    Which camera is the right decision? Besides the fact of having an FF camera with the Sony it seems that the Olympus is the better choice in terms of Price and – much more important – choice of great lenses.

    My focus is on landscapes, architecture and now my new born son. Video is a nice to have option; using my GoPro for Videos most of the time anyway.

    What would be your recommendation?

    • I like a few cameras. The M, the E-M1, RX1, the A7 series, the Nikon V1…

      All depends on what you want in a camera. Do you want a fully polished and mature camera that will not be huge and heavy yet have a pro build and loads of amazingly good lenses? E-M1. Just as capable as APS-C but with much better usability and speed.

      Do you want a superb HQ full frame? If a fixed 35 is OK, the RX1 cant be beat. If you want to try all kinds of lenses, the A7 looks like the real deal (yet still needs review). The Leica M has its quirks but is a thing of beauty if your bank acct can handle it with a lens or two (Though the Sony may outperform it in IQ).

      All depends on your needs and wants and likes.

      For me, it will be the E-M1 and a few lenses for different scenarios and an A7r for those times I want flat out resolution or creamy dreamy portraits or special effects with fast primes. Two different kinds of system.

      If I were a pro I would have no issue with either as my main system.

  26. Can anyone comment on how the EVF in the A7r is different from the Nex-7 EVF? They both are 2.4M dots. Does the term ‘high contrast’ mean better DR than Nex-7? I’m not complaining, and really looking forward to the A7r, just hoping Sony have improved it, and if so, how. I know that the experience of using the EVF in the A7r will be different than Nex-7, but that can be accounted for by the improved sensor, and perhaps faster processor.

      • Steve – I can’t find any info anywhere that would explain why the RX1 EVF is better than Nex-7, other than the difference in the sensor of the RX1. I am tending toward the ‘no difference’ in the EVF, but a whole lot of difference in the signal supplied to it explanation.

        • Found my answer. There is a difference: primarily in the optics, and in the OLED contrast. (3x the A99, according to my source.) Much broader dioptic adjustment than the Nex-7, as well. From my perspective, the big difference in the EVF is greater DR.

  27. Would love to see the new beast testet with Leica M 3,4/21mm, 1,4/35 FLE (most important), 1,4/50 Lux (most important), 2,0/75 Cron, 2,0/90 Cron, 3,4/135 APO (most important). Means the complete bandwidth.
    Thanks for all the efforts!!!

  28. Having had a couple of days since this broke to think about this camera, I can say that to me, the styling is no great shakes. A bit like a RX100 pumped up to RX1 in size and then grafting on a viewfinder and grip. No attempt to put any curves on it because that will only increase the size. Very Sony.

    Having said all that, the styling isn’t really what matters. This camera, A7R, is ground-breaking and I applaud Sony for doing it, much like they did with the RX1. Will I buy one, I’m pretty certain I will. Not sure about the grip though. Sorry Steve, but it will be through a Europe based supplier due to customs, import duties etc. Where I am, buying anything from a non European supplier is quite simply a huge pain.

  29. Steve,
    Could you clarify something for me. Will using an f-mount to NEX adapter provide full frame coverage? Say I’d like to use a CV 20mm f/2.8 lens on the a7, will I get a crop mode image or a full frame 20mm image? Or is there an adapter for the F-mount in the works that will cover the full frame? I look forward to your reply.

  30. Huffy thanks for your excellent work as usual. I have an M9 and have had a M240 on back order for months now, but had just been wondering whether to wait for the next M 2xx to come along, now it looks like Sony has made it!

    Pleased to know the 35mm and 50mm Luxs work well. However I really do need to know if my beautiful CZM 18mm will work on the A7r first…. and come to think of it, I still have not sold the little gem Voigtlander 15mm that worked so beautifully on my M8.

    I started with Minolta (for the glass) and whilst I have been a bit unfaithful to Sony with the Leicas, I do still run an A900 with CZ and G glass and have a RX100 in my briefcase always. I always thought Sony’s acquisition of KM should come good, given their own production video business. Finally the A7r might do everything…with all my lenses… only better!

    Please test the wides asap…

    • What I dont get, and maybe I’m missing something here is that while everyone hails the new, and only viable, alternative to a $7000 Leica, is how are you ever going to be able to do quiet, discreet, unobtrusive, images when everyone you photograph is is going to whirl around at the loud clunk of the shutter?

      • The Leica M is not that much quieter. I just did a test with the M and in all reality, while a softer less metallic sound, it is not far off in volume. Kind of funny because I never realized how loud it was until critically listening for it. I think when out shooting, it is a non issue. Sounds like a camera and no, it is not stealth but not anything that would stop me from shooting it. Unless one is shooting secret spy shots it is not an issue.

  31. Steve, please clarify a point. I’m no camera technical expert but somehow I’ve got the impression that if more pixels are packed onto the same size chip, the quality of the pixels decreases. W/respect to the new Sony’s (which I’m very excited about, being an owner of the RX100 and RX1), wouldn’t the 24mp version actually provide higher quality images than the 36mp version? I love the RX100, but I’ve always thought the images would be even better quality if the chip was 14mp instead of 20mp. And for a full frame chip like RX1, my opinion has been that 24mp is great, and about the highest I’d want it to go, with 18mp probably better. I am absolutely going to purchase one of the new Sony’s. Please clarify, thanks!

    • PS: I understand the difference between having/not having the AA filter. My question applies to cameras set up equally w/respect to the AA, 24mp without AA filter, 36mp without AA filter, or both cameras with AA filter.

    • In theory this is correct. The A7 should offer slightly better high ISO performance while the A7r will offer better base ISO performance. The A7r is for those who want the ultimate detail capability. I do not ever shoot above ISO 3200 and 99% of my shooting is below ISO 640 so for me, the A7r wins. But either way, the A7 will be better in some scenarios.

  32. Let’s hope all the D800 buyers will switch to the A7r…….I have a healthy supply of quality Nikon glass :)…..a second hand D800 for 200 dollars would suit that…..for the rest….well at 19 x 11 inch print’s (the limits of both printer and bank account), I wonder wether I’ll be able to spot the difference between my OM-D and the A7r.

    The other day II went to a Candida Höfer show in Düsseldorf (and picked up some electronics for a reprap 3D printer I’m building at the Düsseldorf Conrad). Now miss Höfer is known for her large format indoor shots….well in Düsseldorf she also exhibited 11 x 19 inches and smaller. And since she is essentially a Nikon girl (that went kicking and screaming into the large format format), I must say, I like the small shots better, less formal, more lively. And guess what, she even uses a compact these days. So go figure….maybe after all it’s the photographer and not the camera….damned…..I could have kept my GF1 and saved some money…..(about 200 bucks since I sold some old analog Nikon/Fuji bodies collecting dust)

    Greets, Ed.

  33. If you guys could only order ONE lens for your A7r, between the 35 and 55, which would you get first?

    • Probably some limitation with the 36MP sensor or because it has no AA filter. The phase detect is probably “on sensor”, unlike in a DSLR that reflects light from the mirror for PD focusing.

      • I just hope Steve will do some thorough comparisons between these 2 cameras in low ambient light. If the A7r can’t focus in low light, this can be a deal breaker.

        • Oh I will. But remember than the A7r will AF 40% faster than the NEX-7. I tested it in my dim living room and the AF was pretty much instantaneous with the 55 1.8. But I will be testing and shooting it at night for street, during the day and at an indoor party as well. Will cover all bases with the cameras.

  34. I imagine a whole lot of used NEX7 and APS-C E mount lenses will start flooding the market. Maybe I’ll grab a cheap NEX7 as a color backup to my M Monochrom.

  35. Hey Steve, I didn’t notice if you mentioned this yet but what battery does it use? The RX1 battery is dreadful and I have several of the Nex7 batteries so is it one of these or an entirely new one?

  36. Ordered the A7 with the kit to start also go to try adapt some of my other lenses. I got a rokinen 85 f1.5 that is full frame also. I am thinking once I pay of my A7 I may look into the Zeiss 55 I wonder how it will compare to the Zeiss Otus.

  37. I am not sure how accurate this info is (not sure why they would make up this info if it didn’t come from someone at Sony), but according to this review, the A7 has a polycarbonate front plate and 1/160 flash sync. The A7r has a magnesium alloy front plate (which supports what Sony Australia said in the announcement video) as well as a 1/250 flash sync. Even MORE obscure is that they say the A7r HAS “Electronic front curtain shutter.”

    This would mean that the A7r can do silent shooting. I am taking this with a grain of salt however, because I have not seen this ANYwhere else. Here is the link:


    Would love if this could be confirmed with engineers (not product specialists as they proved their lack of knowledge already) from Sony. Anyone know someone that knows someone?

    • Interesting… Just went to Sony’s website and it says the A7 has an electronic front curtain shutter, but the A7r does NOT. ugh…

        • I believe so – at least on other Alphas. But don’t take my word for it, I am just sharing what I’ve read. I am sure there are more knowledgable readers on Steve’s website that could enlighten us.

        • It certainly does. AND it reduces shutter wear. AND makes camera react quicker.

          Reason: Using the EVF, the shutter is always open! In order to shoot, it closes first, opens again, closes, opens again to allow EVF again. In normal mode, the shutter opens and closes (or rather, closes and opens) TWICE.

          Electronic front curtain: Shutter stays open, sensor is erased, shutter closes at the end of exposure, opens again. Voilá. On my A57, I just can’t see any negative aspect of the electronic front curtain.

      • Where did you see that? I just checked a couple of Sony’s sites, including the Australian one that SAR claimed had confirmed EFCS for the A7, and could not find this. For both cameras they say “Electronically controlled” shutter, but neither claims an electronic first curtain.

        BTW, yes, ESFC would make things quite a bit quieter: with it, the shutter just needs to close and reopen at the end of the exposure. Without it the shutter needs to close, open, close, and open again for one exposure.

  38. I can imagine your excitement when you write this article.. there are tons of typos…. but I forgive you! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Steve!!

  39. Hi Steve,

    Did you happen to notice any in camera distortion correction in the A7R menu?
    I am wondering if some amount of distortion was visible with 3rd party lens such as the Leica 50.


    • Did not see it but does not mean it is not there. This camera is different than the RX1, which needed correction due to the way the lens was inside the camera. This one may apply correction to Sony lenses (not sure) but will not apply it to Leica or 3rd party lenses as it will have no idea what is on the camera. Highly unlikely there would be distortion on a 50mm lens like the Leica. What you see on the Leica M and 50 Lux is what you will see on the A7r with 50 Lux, just with more resolution, and probably more POP. Will find out soon. Will either be amazing or average or lackluster. I am hoping for Amazing like what played back for me through the EVF and LCD.

      • Sweet! Thanks for all the great info.
        Also glad to read in your article that manually focusing a Leica using the EVF is not much different to using the range finder.

        • Just wait for DxO to get there sweaty little hands on the camera and lenses…….damned these French guys and dolls make software that really makes lenses shine……..thouroughly hooked.

          Greets, Ed.

  40. “To have this camera shine, use a…fast zoom”

    On the A7r, what would that be, without vignetting?
    Within the 15-150mm f2.8 range?
    Or will RX10 beat it IQ-wise?

  41. I have been waiting for a FF camera to use my Leica M lenses, I don’t like M9 or M240 for couple reasons: namely the price, low ISO and no AF.

  42. Well it’s done, can’t wait to try my Rokkor 58 1,2 and 24 2 on this frame, not getting rid of my NEX 6, love that little guy and now it has a big brother lol

  43. short flange distance + full frame sensor = very difficult to build lens.
    fast lenses will be really big i think

  44. That’s the exact same feeling I’ve got. Huff is the new Rockwell, posting impressions without even touching the actual camera with lots of referral links on every single product he manages to squeeze in to the text. The last piece missing is “I support my growing family…” part.

    • Are you kidding? I NEVER EVER post anything about a camera unless I use it and have shot with it, and I used the A7r in my home yesterday for 2 hours. Pictures of the camera in my hand are in todays post. When something is ground breakingly good, it gets a post as long as I have used it. Of course I will post links, for TWO main reasons. #1 – So readers can easily find the items for pre order and hit them QUICKLY without hassle and #2, if they do, and buy it, it helps to keep this site going. I work 60-70 hours a week on this site and have for 5 years. It costs me a huge amount of money every month just to keep it going, and what I offer here is 100% FREE and valuable info. Hundreds of reviews, user reports and thousands of informative posts in general. All free.

      If you do not like this, or if it bothers you, or if you are jealous then DO NOT come here. Simple. 🙂

      But complainers and negative people like you do not bother me in the slightest, just give me more energy to keep in pushing along, even when I ask myself if it is all worth it. There are many who find this information useful. If you do not, easy solution..do not come here.

      Have a great day 🙂

    • You’ve got to be kidding me. Obviously you should save your money and buy a clue. Steve’s site is the first place I go to when a new cam comes out because unlike many of the others, he is honest and actually USES the cameras he reviews.

    • When I type in ‘A7r’ the google shows Steve’s web site among the the top of the list which shows the popularity of the site. There must be a reason for people looking at this site isn’t it? When a new leica or mirrorless came we all know which site to check first. In fact I really hope Steve will gets all the new cameras before it hits the street as we will have a good review of them.

  45. Steve:

    The contrast detect AF on the a7r is reportedly 40% faster than a NEX 7. Did you get any feel regarding how the a7r AF speed compares to that of the RX1r?

    I have already pre-ordered the a7r; first time I have ever ordered a new camera on the day of announcement! Sony, right now, is way, way ahead of the competition when it comes to innovation and actually bringing innovative products to market. I wish more FE mount lenses were available immediately but I’m sure that they will be there in the month’s ahead.

    • The A7r AF speed felt quite a bit faster than the RX1. With the 35 2.8 and 55 1.8, no hunting indoors in my living room. The 55 was blazing fast and the 35 very fast. Both faster than the RX1 and NEX-7. Congrats on the pre-order! I am in as well 🙂

  46. Nice review! I can tell that you’re very excited about the camera. Me too! Almost can’t sleep last night. I spend the whole day thinking about the camera imaging it in my hand. By the way, I would like to know how good is the 55mm1.8? I’m thinking about it and the Zeiss ZM 50 Planar. The SEL55F18 have auto focus and a slightly faster 1.8 aperture and also it’s weather sealed but the Plannar is cheaper and look way cooler! What do you think in terms of image quality of the 2 lenses? Thanks!!!

  47. My only question is: will the Metabones EOS adapter work with this camera? I use Zeiss ZE lenses on my FS100 and I could really use this as a still camera and second video camera if the adapters will work.

      • Awesome. Or I should say, curse you for making me have to spend more money!!!! heheheh AF is irrelevant to me for video. I assume the camera’s focus enhancement is as good as that on the NEX-7, which is really nice.

  48. I have a feeling å7 will do much better with wide angle Leica-M than å7R (kind of like NEX-5N/6 did better than NEX-7).

    Nice to see they added APS-C crop, but why not add µ4/3 corp, x3 crop etc… Would be useful for some people, me including.

    • Sony has modified the microlenses of the FF sensor for a7 and a7r to take care of increased ray angle with a short flange distance.

  49. What’s the flash sync speed on these? Supposedly they have hi speed flash sync but I’m assuming it won’t be as fast as on the RX1.

  50. Thanks Steve. This is probably the best interchangebale lens camera ever made.
    I have a RX1R on order but this camera won’t change that order, think they are complimentary.
    The RX1R is tiny and has a silent shutter so for now its RX1R and Nex-6 for me. Later on I can see a A7 arriving at my doorstep 🙂

  51. Steve, when you test the A7r, would you please test the auto-focus in low, evenly lit, ambient light? Because it only has contrast auto-focus, will the A7r hunt or focus on a contrast area other than the subject? I am a bit perplexed why Sony did not incorporate phase detection in the A7r but included it in the A7. Thanks.

  52. I think without the burden of heritage, Sony make a big leap in the photo industry. I have to give them a big hand.
    Leica will be in trouble for next 3 years at least. Unfortunately it’s not that Leica cannot make it, but because the heritage make them dull. Imagine what people will say if this camera was made by Leica? Probably “ugly”, “not a Leica anymore”, etc….
    This is what I have been waiting for, I will dive into it. I can see all the vintage lenses price will go up again, of course the adapter price too.

  53. So, does anyone know whether I’d be able to use my Canon EF glass on a 7r via an adapter? (presumably with aperture control …) I’d love to sell my 7D and get one of these, but I have quite an investment in EF lenses, including the 35/1.4 and 100/2.8 which I really enjoy.

  54. The camera’s spec look great… finally a full frame RX1 size cam..

    Unfortunately though, it is extremely unattractive in my opinion… it looks like something which was put together using hammer and nails… what’s with SONY’s design team? the RX1 was real nice but most Sony cams look like shaving razors…

    • The next time I look at an amazing picture that was shot with an ugly DSLR I will say to the photographer, dude you totally ruined that shot by creating it with such an ugly DSLR. Go out to adorama and buy a good looking camera so you can finally take some pretty pictures!

      • Dude, you can’t say that we all don’t appreciate a good looking, sexy, inspiring cameras Like the Leica MP or Hasselblad 50X etc that are not only practical like the A7 but also have some charm to them.

        Sony’s designs unfortunately don’t do it to me. They probably want to differentiate themselves from other brands and go for a new age type design but it hurts their appeal – IMHO – although I’m not sure that others don’t feel the same about that.

  55. Great achievements…hats off to Sony.
    Regarding the “D800E in the palm of your hand” comment…well, D800 does use 16 bit processing. 🙂
    Please shoot tons of video samples, Steve. Can’t wait to see all the tests, from that Zeiss f/2,8 zoom especially.

  56. This is what I’ve been waiting for. And now I’m happy I sold the M240.

    As for shutter sound… the 5N is fairly loud when compared to most SLRs. Really loud when compared to Leicas. But on the street, where I’ll be using the a7r – it won’t be heard over the noise. And I don’t do candids much, if I’m making a street portrait, I’ve already spoken with the subject and they know their photo is being taken.

  57. I don’t suppose you have any aps-c emount lenses laying around to test with do you Steve?

    Can anyone confirm what the file size of the crop images would be?

  58. Hi Steve,
    Great news and great move from Sony!I would like to know if I can mount an old Leica Lens Summar 50 mm on this body and if yes what adapter should I use.I am not a professional photographer and my experience with digital it is limited to compact camera usage, so your advice would help me a lot .
    Thank you very much for the information and keep the great work!

  59. And i just bought an rx1 a month ago :(. I went to b&h yesterday to buy an evf and its nearly $500…ouch.

    Any idea if sony will issue a firmware uodate to the rx1, faster auto focus?

    • If it’s any consolation I’d rather have the rx1 over either of these cameras. But ouch, that is a ridiculous price for the EVF! Is there a used market for them? If not now, maybe after people begin selling their rx1’s for these cameras you’ll come across one.

  60. Hey Steve, awesome post as always.
    I was wondering if you think the 24mp version will be able to handle the wide angle vintage lenses since it doesnt have the sensor like the R.

  61. Steve,

    If I place an order with my debit card will I receive an email before the order ships so that I can be sure I have the funds in the account? I called B&H and the guy on the phone could not answer my question and I wanted to order on line so you could get the credit.

  62. was about to buy a used RX1 for $2k but i have to add EVF and case for better grip so its almost same price as A7 with 35mm – not sure which way to go – A7 has focus speed and better video control while Rx1 has size, shutter sound, flash and is a stop faster … decision decisions

    • It would be nice to be able to get that RX1 leaf shutter with the A7/r! Both for the sound, and for the super fast flash sync speed. I wonder if they could build the leaf shutter into the lenses and through a FW update have the body disable the focal plane shutter. Ah well, I can dream…

  63. I’ll be sticking with Micro Four Thirds. This camera points into the right direction, but I need a silent enough shutter such as the E-M5 offers and obviously the native auto-focus lens selection needs to mature. Also, the resolution I get from Micro Four Thirds is sufficient for me. I don’t print wall sized fine art, I don’t do commercial fashion shoots and so on. And most of all, I don’t have a post-production workplace with huge screen size and processing power to work through RAW files that large. Buying this camera would force me to upgrade my workplace setup. I don’t want to invest in all of this at the moment.

    Mostly, with what it offers now, I see it as a camera that will drive up prices for good, old manual focus glass from Leica and Zeiss, a great alternative for the new M, especially for owners of R lenses.

    One note: it’s kind of funny that the 35mm lens choice they gave it does not have the same specification as the lens they put on the RX1. A pity. On the other hand, they need a reason to keep the RX1 alive I guess.

  64. I will stick with my Sony RX100 MK1 as it produces amazing IQ and I am very happy with it.

  65. I do not believe for a minute that Steve Huff has held this camera! He is just trying to make himself look like an important guy in the photoworld.

    So, Sony came over to his house with all these cameras and said, “Steve, you only have a few minutes to play around with this stuff! Now hurry up because we need to pack all this stuff up and drive it from Steve’s house in Arizona to Trey Ratcliffs place in Dallas so he can play around with it in his house for a few minutes, and then off Ming Thein!”

    Nice try Stevie…but quit all the blustering!

  66. That looks better than the leaked photo and kicks the pants of Leica for sure. It will be good to see what Leica means about other Full frame solutions they’ve been working on.

    I am a little skeptical on harvesting the image quality of 36 megapixel when hand held, probably requires very steady stance to truly benefit from it. It is still exciting and brings up the bar quite high.

    Good for Zeiss, kicking butt and increasing their market share.

    Wow imagine the cameras we will have in the next few years. At this progression, medium format is the new enthusiast frontier which means Leica with the “crop sensor” S is one step ahead at least although the price barrier leaves it in the pro category.

  67. How was the viewfinder in the RX10? It looks like it’s the NEX7 spec and not the newer one that is in these cameras or the A99/77 cameras.

  68. Oh boy, is it tomorrow yet? What a great looking camera. Can’t wait to see a size comparison to the OMD. Loud shutter is a real bug bear of mine, so look forward to hearing your thoughts on that.

  69. What a world. Gave up my D800, miss my NEX7, ready to trade my D7100–was going for an EM1 until this a.m. With Sony FF announcement with the tiny body. Wow. Which way to the holy grail of cameras?

  70. Exciting, exciting, exciting! I’ve got my A7 on pre-order. I’ve been waiting for this for a very long time (ever since the NEX system was initially announced). I had hoped they’d add a full-frame emount to the line-up. Many people thought it was impossible back then. Glad to see Sony prove them wrong. Very exciting times ahead!

    A brief overview and ‘5 Reasons To Love The New A7 / A7r’ at my blogsite if interested:

  71. Why do so many people believe that photographers like to give up the AF-speed, viewfinder quality and user interface of DSLR (where the buttons are placed based on your hand/fingers and not where your fingers have to go and find where the (too small) buttons are placed)?
    It is a nice addition to the markert for travel etc. but I don’t see this more user friendly than a good Canon or Nikon DSLR, or that it could replace such cameras.

    • You clearly don’t have WORKED with a last-gen mirrorless for any lenght of time. Typical pre-assumed opinion without basis in rl experience.

  72. I thought (apparently incorrectly) that Sony had made a deal with Olympus to get access to their 5 axis image stabilization, which I would expect to be part of a camera like the RX10. Oh well. So now people who like this type of camera have a choice between the Panasonic FZ200 & Sony RX10. The RX10 seems a bit pricey by comparison.

  73. Thanks Steve. Do you know if the camera will have adapters for Leica R lenses?

    Will the M lenses work with all of the features of the camera and without any vignetting?

    • No, just in some of the lenses. RX1 doesn’t have it, Fuji X doesn’t have it, Leica doesn’t have it at all, D800 doesn’t have it, Canon doesn’t have it. Really only Olympus and Panasonic have it.

      • The Olympus and Panasonic cameras with inbody stabilization is with cameras with the much smaller 1″ sensor size.

        I note that the recently introduced A3000 has a much larger body. I suspect there will be future cameras based on that platform with IBIS since there is room for it.

        Until then the solution is lenses with optical stabilization.

        I also suspect there may be future Alpha mount cameras with IBIS and similar sensors to the A7 and A7R. I look forward to a variant to the A99 but with on-sensor phase detection and elimination of the SLT mirror.

        The great achievement of the A7 and A7R is the full frame 135 size sensor in a very compact body.

        I am very pleased that these cameras support crop mode for use with APS-C format E-mount lenses. Will they work in RAW mode?

          • Well, Sony Alpha 850 and 900 had and A99 still has IBIS and all of them had a full frame sensor. Also, of note, not only Olympus and Panasonic have IBIS – Pentax has also.

            Best, Daniel

  74. Are the lenses real Zeiss, real Sonars? I know it says Zeiss and all, but it’s not like those Leica lenses on Panasonic compacts (not real Leica), is it? I don’t really care for Sony sensors, but I like Sonar in any shape and form so much. The price is right too.

  75. Hi Steve

    Thank you for staying up late to get us this information ASAP! I just placed an order for the A7r using your link, and now I’m eager to read your next review from Nashville! The 14bit color and easy focussing with 3rd party lenses are exciting.

    I wonder if the loud shutter noise you write about can be quieted in settings, or via future firmware.

    Really enjoy your crazy comparison articles – please keep these informative articles coming!

  76. So has Mr. Huff dumped his M 240 already – MM already gone I suspect? Bad WA, waiting lists for the M 240 etc. I wonder though if other Leica users will screw their valued glass on a Sony computer. I did it with a GH2. Blasphemy…

    • My MM was sold MONTHS ago, MANY months ago and written about. My M is still here, but what does it matter what I have? What matters to you is what YOU have.

      • Tend to disagree: it’s not about having but using. Besides the idea is tempting of using adapters but the RF experience will be lost. The shutter noise may be curable though if not another version will hit the market as soon as demand will ebb off.

  77. So Sony dropped the only compelling feature that made the Alpha FF system mildly appealing: the IBIS.
    And in spite of owning part of Olympus, they’d rather not make the body a couple of milimetres thicker to accommodate the 5-axis IBIS – and, who knows, maybe an integrated ND filter, i hear they’re dirt cheap nowadays…
    Instead, let’s make thicker, heavier, more difficult to produce, OSS lenses. Sounds, logical, in a Sony kind of way…
    Add to that a shutter that can be heard from across a busy street, and there’s your blue-balls champion of 2013.
    And that 28-70 3.5-5.6 aberration is just laughable.

  78. I’m excited, this will change the industry. FF small body. Great video. Great sound (according to Chris) sound in/out. Can’t wait to see it. Yipeeeeee

  79. I’m perplexed!

    why buy nex a7 and not the alpha 99??

    so you lose the spirit of the mirrorless … too large to be discreet and easy to carry around as an SLR, but less practical and functional …

    sony makes too many bodies and a few lenses in my opinion …

  80. Great news. Just placed an order through this site with B&H for the A7r and the 35 mm. Any information where the M adapter can be ordered, I can`t see it on the B&H page? Will sell my trusty M9 to fund the purchase.

  81. I just had the mental image of some camera fundamentalists retreating into a deep cave to seek shelter from the raising sun mumbling something about “unparalleled rangefinder experience”…

  82. Well Steve

    It was bound to happen. If Sony could make an RX 1, it was only a matter of time before the interchangeable lens version came along. I just want to make sure that when you test it, you take a note of the digital correction to the lenses that is done in body. That may detract from using Leica Lenses.

    This is a nikon d800 e that is palm size and cheaper. Message for Leica, wake up. Don’t release a camera, artificially hold the price up by limiting supply and expect that the competition will conveniently wait for you to get your house in order. That is just typical Teutonic arrogance.

    Thank you Sony. I expect Canon and Nikon will have to follow suit or face losing market share.
    About time. I would wager Hasselblad will release the ruby, carbon fibre, leather clad copy and charge 3 times as much as the Sony.


  83. Very interesting Steve, while I’m not about to buy one (having just forked out for a D800 a couple of months ago and it would mean a complete system change for me) I’m following all this with much interest! I do think you’re right about these cameras harking back to 70’s, despite it’s lack of on-body controls I still love the way my Nikon V1 feels in my hands and I’d rather use it than any small entry level DSLR. I don’t feel the need for a grip, the solid square shape and dinky little ridge are fine in my hands. At one point I fancied one of those old Nikon FM2’s which are kinda similar in shape.

    It comes down to ergonomics at the end of the day, one size/shape will not fit all and it’s good to have more choice at the “smaller” end and also have access to quality sensors as well. I think the V1’s dinky sensor gives better much image quality at high ISO than my old D200 which at one time was a camera used by pros, and I much prefer the way it renders the colours in the images…. so this shows how technology is never standing still in the sensor world and therefore how much would be possible with a sensor like the Sony’s!

    Back in film days any camera could have a decent “sensor” depending on the quality of the film you put in.. now it’s going back that way again. Hooray!

    I heard a (probably completely false) rumour about a Nikon camera with interchangeable sensors… now I think that’s an interesting idea too, …

  84. I’m not a lover of Sony or of anything they have produced having had some costly experiences with buying their stuff in the past, like the hi-end mini-disc walkman that blew its electronic PSU rendering unusable without an external PSU which turned it into a non-walkman. My Sony Vaio laptop that cost me £1000 that lost its hard drive AND the DVD/Bluray rewriter just out of warranty. My Sony JA20ES minidisc player that won’t open the loading tray without me pulling it, so I’m probably a bit biassed against any of their new cameras. I wish everybody who buys it good luck though, on paper it sounds pretty good but I would be a bit worried about the loud shutter noise reported, I think my Olympus E-P3 is a bit loud but its a great camera for travel as it is so compact and light along with the jewel like lenses that I can use it with, my favorites being the tiny 45mm F1.8 and the panasonic 20mm.

    For my main camera I use a Canon 5D and also an ageing but fantastic EOS 1N for film and I will probably stick with Canon who have been manufacturing cameras for years and putting up to date sensors and electronics inside them, whereas Sony are an electronics giant who are trying to make camera bodies around their (to me) dodgy electronics.

    Anybody want to sell me their Canon 5D mk111 that they will want to get rid of to buy this Sony?

    • I have to totally agree with you. Sony are wonderful innovators but much of their products are build like crap, especially when you compare them to Panasonic and Samsung. Of course, these are top of the line so perhaps the manufacturing tolerances are better for Sony’s higher-end stuff.

        • I was agreeing with Chris in regards to lack of longevity with their consumer electronics but I’ve yet to own one of Sony’s mirrorless cameras. I can sympathize with him because I’ve owned a lot of Sony products in the past and don’t any more because well, they all stopped functioning shortly after the warranty expired. It’s been this experience that has eroded some of my faith in the Sony brand and one of the main reasons I chose the K5 over the A580. So Steve, the build quality on these is vastly superior to even the GH3? It’s hard for me to imagine that these A7s are better built than Panasonic’s flagship.

  85. Hi Steve,

    According to TheCameraStoreTV video on YouTube – “Sony A7 & A7R Hands-On Field Test”, the A7R with Metabones adapter will give FULL FRAME, 36 megapixel images using Canon lenses. That is – NO CROPPING! Can you confirm this?


  86. Steve,

    Could you please shoot a side by side video scene with the RX100 vs RX10 side by side/split down the screen, any F stop even is fine.. as long as all setting match and f stops match please. being pretty much the same chip I’m hoping the WB and picture profiles have not changed that much from the org RX100 so i can match WB/colour/look for my multicam interviews that I shoot.

    I am currently shooting a self-funded documentary film on a new cancer treatment that’s only available over here in China. I’ve been here shooting it since March 2012 ( i’m from melb, aust ) I didn’t expect to stay for more than 3 months.. but I’m still here and very low on coins as you can imagine.. So I’m currently shooting with my old Canon 550d, the Sony RX100 and a borrowed gopro Black3 for my wide angle group shot.. matching the 550d, RX100 and the gopro footage together is very painful and takes more then a day in post just trying to grade it together, each time. 🙁 now I have to convince myself that this is worth twice as much as a RX100mk2 which I’ve almost saved up enough for and was planning on getting to replace the 550d.

    This is sample of the multicam footage I’m getting with three different cam’s http://youtu.be/FSIRo8StYiM

    The idea of taking full scans of the entire chip for video so that morie is reduced sounds great to me, as most of my interviews of talking heads has this problem using the rx100 and canon 550d footage. This along with the ability to zoom into a CU with constant F-stop is perfectly suited to me…

    Please, it would be awesome of you if you can by helping us with a few seconds of side by side footage – 🙂

    Thanks, Tony
    (stuck in China)

    • also, another test us video guys would love to see is a parfocal zoom test.. keeping a subject in close focus through the zoom range as you rake it in..

      for video we need parfocal zoom. You need to keep the subject as close to being sharply focus when you zoom as you possibly can.

      is this lens also parfocal so zooming during video will not force a refocusing process ?

  87. Hi Steve

    When you’re doing the review testing, I’d really appreciate a thorough look at the image quality/feel of the A7r + 35 f2.8 vs the RX1/r 35 – especially direct comparison shots of bokeh. Obviously the quiet shutter on the RX1 is a huge benefit, but is that and the 1 stop extra worth the limitations of a fixed lens? I was thinking of getting the RX1r as an addition to my Canon system, but it’s starting to look sensible to consider switching to an A7r system, and only retaining a couple of my favourite Canon lenses – the 100mm macro and 90mm T/S will work just fine on the A7r with an adapter anyway. If the new 50 is good, that will be pretty persuasive as it’s my favourite length but none of the Canon or Nikon 50s are more than barely acceptable – either because of horrible bokeh, or high cost and mediocre sharpness (the Canon 50mm f1.2)

    No matter the answer this is all good news – it’s where I was hoping cameras were going! I’m so over the attention my huge dslr gear attracts – it might provide the quality, but it’s a pain to carry and for candid work it’s hard to avoid the unwelcome attention and that “deer in the headlights” look that big bodies and huge glass causes.

    thanks so much

  88. Well designed and really great camera. If this camera delivers what it promises – and I suspect it does – it might be a m4/3-killer…except for the price… How big/small is it compared to the OM-D E-M5/E-M1?

    Regards, Toby;-)

    • Ah…when I am talking about price keep in mind that I already have the lenses I want to have for my OM-D, so buying into a new system is a BIG investment…perhaps if I win the lottery? 😉

      • The Sony body is about the same size as the M1:

        The AF lenses will be larger…but they are only releasing rather modest f/stop AF lenses so these are pretty small.
        My thought is perhaps in 2 years there will be a lot of lenses an the new A7r will have phase detection…then I can sell my FF kit…MFT Kit and buy into one small high Rez “system”.

  89. Looks very interesting, even though I have never been a Sony fan. I have a full stable off Zeiss ZE lenses and a couple of Canon FF cameras. While I doubt I will replace the Canons any time soon the a7r could be a good traveling body. Would anybody know what if any adapters exist that would allow Canon lenses to be mounted on this thing and still offer at least full aperture control? AF control is meaningless for me as all my lenses are manual focus. Thanks. Garrison

  90. We all have the impression that CaNikon are sitting on the laurels (the EOS-M sure wasn’t able to dent that impression).

    At the end of the day, for a corporation it is about making money selling cameras for more than they cost. If you look at Sonys recent offers (A series SLR’s, SRT, pellical “mirrorless”, NEX mirrorless, RX1 P&S on Steroids, RX100 1″ sensor compacts and now FF mirrorless, their R&D expenditure for the imaging division must be hug. When you look at Sonys financial data, you have to wonder whether thier stategy will pay off. If they can’t make money off all tis, maybe Canon and Nikon have the better long term strategy.

    For us as consumers, having Sony stir up things

    I’d love a “cheap” FF body for my M and LTM lenses, including the Jupter-12 🙂 and maybe the A7 will be it, but I will stick with the M8 until I can pick it one up second hand.

    • Understand, Sony doesn’t have the ecosystem (particularly with native lenses) that Nikon and Canon have. That will take a few years to flesh out.

      And for those that champion adapting other lenses to these Sonys, sure, you can do it, but you’ve now got four precision mating surfaces to contend with, all of which need to be machined perfectly (adaptors vary widely in quality, and if planarity is off, forgttahboutit); you have telecentricity tolerances to deal with; you don’t know how various legacy lenses will react to this new digital sensor design … and on and on it goes.

      In the meantime, I’m more excited about the potential changes this system will bring to Nikon & Canon. You can be sure they’re watching this very closely … and will learn a lot. If analysis tells them to bite, rest assured they’ll bite down hard and release products that are superior to this. With DSLRs still accounting for 80 percent of aggregate system camera sales globally, Nikon and Canon can afford to hold back and play the waiting game for a bit longer, see if these Sony cameras really do stir the industry up, and then introduce superior products. I’m sure prototype designs are already sitting on drawing boards at both companies … just waiting for the “go” signal.

      Remember, Sony is playing in Nikon and Canon’s pond … not the other way ’round. Anyone who labors under the mistaken belief that the world’s two largest camera manufacturing megaliths are just going to stand by and allow Sony to steal critical market share from them, well, then I’ve got some real estate in East Timor to sell you.

      Also, just a few of several items missing in action from the Sonys:

      – improved battery life
      – high flash sync
      – high frame rate
      – image stabilization
      – twin card slots
      – a useful lens selection at launch; here we go again Sony

  91. Steve,
    A seriousish question if there is such a thing..I currently use the Nikon D600 with zeiss zf and other lenses and get great results 🙂 other than the obvious size benefit would there be a significant improvement in overall IQ etc. I know you recently reviewed the cannon Full frame DSLR which might be an easier comparison for you? Whilst I would love to have an EVF on the D600 i would I see much real world difference? Its unlikely that in the short term I could afford any Leica lenses but have heard that via an adapter my Nikon/ zeiss lenses might work. Given the UK pricing of the camera it sits right at the tempting price to sell the D600 and trade…my question I suppose is would it be much of a trade up??

    • The D600 has a top quality 24MP Sony sensor; hard to imagine that the A7, which probably has a similar sensor, hough, due to its mirrorless design, better optimized for the lenses designed for it, will offer significantly better IQ.

        • Meant to add this is where the Olympus line is so strong easier to make superb lenses to cover a micro 4/3rds sensor. I have the sigma 35 mm f 1.4 Artline which whilst stellar is huge for a prime compared to M4/3rd due to the sensor coverage. When I use it with my D600 I put the grip on to make the ergonomics better….Its truelly wonderful just huge-ish..I suppose we cant beat physics?

          • Ain’t it the truth. We all want the full frame look, but physics makes fools of us all. I’ll stick to primes for the size advantage alone.

  92. Oh man…say it isn’t true. I blew my bonus on a Leica M-E and lux 35 pre asph earlier this year…and now this !!

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the hands on, think about it rangefinder state of mind its forced me into but this gem from Sony has got me thinking…ditch the body, keep the glass and go the Sony??

    And treat the wife with something from any leftover $change…that might swing the deal

  93. Is the 35mm f2.8 better than Sony 24mm f1.8 from what you saw? I’m thinking of selling my Sony 24m f1.8 in order to buy it.

  94. A7r; the shape of cameras to come. I like it and will try it out. I’m sure the list of compatible top quality primes will grow fast.

  95. I’m hoping that either camera’s sensor can be used with my Zeiss 2.8 15mm with out the nasty color shift on my NEX7. If it can do that, I know the rest of my lenses will be just fine 🙂

  96. I’m usually not the biggest fan of MT, but the points he makes are largely mine as well, above all the lack of IBIS and limited lens choice (plus the loud shutter you mentioned and weaker AF on the A7R): http://blog.mingthein.com/2013/10/16/sony-a7-a7r/

    I guess it will take another 1-2 years until we will have a really good FF mirrorless package, be it from Sony or from someone else…

  97. If I was starting a system right now — and wanted Full Frame — I’d be looking at this or something like this.

    But I have a hybrid system — the d800 for full frame, and the nikon 1 for fast shooting and for travel — and when they break (which could take decades: I have folder cameras older than I am) then I’m fairly sure all serious electronic cameras will be similar to this and not dslrs.

    If that is the case, this is going to be something like the alpa reflex in defining the paradigm.

  98. Has the look of a Nikon F3HP to me….especially with the additional drive attached…….which IMHO can be no bad thing!!!

    Good for Sony I say, they seem to have listened to and addressed the two major gripes re the RX1…….no viewfinder and no interchangeable lens ability.

    Looks good.

    • Less like the F3 and much more like the original Canon F1 that came out in 1971. Same sort of black enamel paint on the body, too.

      It’s nice to see a full frame DSLR going back to the SLR sizes of the ’70s, though. ‘Bout time. Definitely makes me curious to see what Nikon and Canon have up their sleeves.

  99. Might make a good hiking/backpacking camera (light weight, high image quality presumably).
    Does not replace the DSLR with 500/600f4 for wildlife or macro or 70-200/2.8 or 300/2.8 for sports.
    I sometimes use an Olympus EM5 when I want to travel light, but find the buttons and menus limiting; this might replace that camera for me. The battery life is disappointing; I’d have to carry 7 batteries to get the 3,000 shots I get with the D800/E.
    With the DSLR we get a system; the A7r is a long way from that at the moment.
    I like to see new developments, but I don’t quite feel the excitement for this camera that many of you seem to have. I also agree that a new camera does not automatically create more compelling photos.

  100. Hi Steve,

    Did you test some rangefinder lenses with the A7? I don’t have any m-mount lenses but I’m thinking of mounting some of the Contax G lenses that I have.


    • Thanks for putting that link up here.

      Impressive images! This has me more excited than the 7 or 7r, I can’t see myself ever buying a Sony with removable lens ever again. Waited and waited for lenses… and waited.


    • Yes, this is what I’m talking about! The RX10 excites me more than the A7 which is simply not for me. The RX10 is like a dream super zoom! EVF, tiltable LCD for street photography, and that lens. An environmentally sealed, fixed f/2.8, 8x Zeiss lens! Those do NOT grow on trees.

      The f/2.8 combined with the relatively large 1″ sensor should be interesting. If this RX10 will be comparable in image quality to the RX100, I think it’ll be a hit, even at a high price.

      • I agree with you. Look at this B&H video http://youtu.be/vAP9guj8JTI?t=9m56s
        I really want the RX10, I hope the lens is very good. All the features and the built quality is expencive. But 1300USD is a lot. Here in Norway the 7R COSTs about 3083USD, so the RX10 would probably be prized as high as 1750USD.

        If you compare it with a Canon APS-C sensored dSLR With a 18-135mm lens it is a small camera, but almost the same weight.

        Canon: 28,8-216mm f/5.6-9
        RX10: 24-200mm f/7.6

        Steve, you have the FL wrong; 8,8mm * 2,7crop = approx. 24mm FoV.

  101. When I bought my first NEX-5 (first generation) and began shooting Zeiss ZM lenses, I was dreaming of a Leica. But it’s simple, I found it costing twice of what it was worth to me. So I began dreaming of a Sony camera that could “do the job”.The NEX-7 was a huge step in the right direction and thrilled me ever since it’s launch. I had one of the very first (november 2011) and have been using it intensively with great satisfaction ever since and am planning to keep it. Sometimes the crop factor is usefull as a kind of “natural tele”. Still I longed so much for a FF, with all the controls and a great EVF, to be able to use all my primes as they are ment to be used with the right angle and DOF that comes along with it.
    So TODAY IS THE DAY! The A7r has it all! And more! More than the M240 anyway (IMO). Every control at hand with direct access knobs and a logical menu system. A fantastic EVF (don’t give me anything else anymore – that’s since my experience with the NEX-7), a great tiltable (in both directions!) LCD, a good grip, a super compact size and a light weight. PERFECT.
    It took me half a day to like its design. It was a matter of it being different from what I expected – having read in rumors that it would be a somewhat bigger NEX-7, which would be OK for me, since I’m so fond of my NEX-7. So this was a surprise. But in the meanwhile, I LOVE IT LOOKS! I think Sony did a great job. It looks very functional, yet very tight. It makes a lot of sence how everything is placed. And it is very nicely done, with no unnecessary “tralala”. And I expect it to look even better “in the flesh”, like Steve already said.
    Anyway, I ordered my 7r an hour ago! CAN’T WAIT. This is my ultimate camera, with everything in and on it, where I have been thinking of, since the earliest days of FF digital. Downside? I don’t know if I will ever buy another camera after this one. I think, certainly not for a very long time, because this one has it all. For me anyway. More than I ever wanted, more than I’ll ever need.
    Really, HURRAY FOR SONY! THEY ARE REALLY DOING IT! This is the greatest day in my photography life, for as far as I can remember. I know this one will do the job in every way. I know with this one, I’ll be able to shoot exactly as I wanna shoot. Sony has been really listening to it’s potential buyers, and have come up with the right answers for ALL their wishes (mine anyway). Also the new sensor of the A7r features new technology that (I’m sure) will solve “corner” problems – the one thing that many questionned about. SONY HAS A HABBIT OF KEEPING ITS PROMISES, AND SURPRISE US ON TOP OF IT. Isn’t that great? This is gonna be my fourth Sony camera (after Zeiss, Contax, Canon, Olympus…, and I had this experience with every one of them. Let’s reward them, folks, by ordering this one!
    Can’t stop showing my enthousiasm, but I’ll leave some room for other comments now… 🙂

  102. For some reason I think Olympus will join it’s shareholding company (Sony) and will release a FF mirrorless in the future that will share the same mount with Sony’s .. Maybe in 1-2 years time?

    I also think, there may be a chance Sony will move down to m4/3, and will dump APSC..

    There is also a good chance, Olympus will release prime lenses for this system ..

    When that will happen, I will buy my first FF camera and a 50mm F1.4 prime .. In fact, what I would love the most, would an Olympus PEN style camera with FF sensor and fixed 50mm F1.4 lens with EVF in the corner. That would be my ultimate wish!

    • I do not see this happening but I do sense trouble for APS-C DSLR’s soon. The E-M1 beats all APS-C offerings for me and the A7r beats all FF for me (for size, weight, performance, cost, etc). These will be my main two cameras for the foreseeable future.

      • Just recently, Olympus Executives did say that FF could be an option in the future. And I can only see it happening by joining another mount – and would make complete sense, because they would enter an already existing market. Considering the quality of their cameras (Oly) I can easily see them doing quite well in the Sony mount 🙂 Question is if Sony will allow it – but again, they do hold 11% shares in Oly .. or something like that. (With that % they are actually the largest shareholders). And there have been talks about Oly making lenses for Sony ..

        I enjoy m43 very much and won’t be rushing into FF … unless the above mentioned dream camera comes to fruition. Love the fantastic little prime lenses for the m43.

        Steve, thanks again for all the information provided. Looking forward for the reviews.
        Interesting times! 🙂

  103. Steve, could you say what actual sync speed does it has? I haven’t found info about that. Thank you !

  104. Hey Steve, so you got the Noctilux again? 😉

    I have a novoflex nex-m adaptor, I initially thought it might not work with the A7/r, but from what you’ve experienced it seems to be ok.

  105. So! Steve do you feel the future of APS-C in DSLR format is bleak, with the EM1 M4/3’s matching it’s capabilities on the one side and Sony’s FF A7/7R on the other ?

  106. This is the game changer … and as Steve said, high-five to Sony for being the first to deliver it. I believe it had to happen eventually, and it will usher in a new trend―small, mirrorless cameras that can produce images approaching medium format (like the D800).

    That said, I think Sony might want to hire Giorgetto Giugiaro. This thing is one of the most aesthetically bland looking camera designs ever. A brick with a hump. In no way does it remind me of the Nikons of the ’70s. More like an enlarged Coolpix A.

    Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so that’s just my opinion (but based on 30 years of studying, collecting and shooting with many cameras).

    But the most important thing to keep in mind now… Wait for it…

    Watch what Nikon (and Canon) do. Guarantee they’re not sitting on their hands (even though it might seem to some as though that’s the case). Expect new product that will easily challenge and/or beat these Sony cameras.

    Remember, getting to the start line first doesn’t mean finishing first. Anyone recall the Minolta Maxxum 7000…?

    • “Wath what Nikon (and Canon) do. Guaranteed they’re not sittingon their hands.”
      I remember exactly the same words said many months ago about m4/3.
      And all we know how it ended… I start to smell a little “Kodak stubborness” from the two japanese giants.

  107. It seems a bit odd that they included the better autofocus in the cheaper camera. I would think just the opposite, put all the best tech in the flagship. Either way, what amazing cameras. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s little surprise.

    • I can see the need for fast AF in the A7 (family camera – chasing kids, etc.). But I wonder why they wouldn’t have put it in the A7r? There must be a reason. Would love to know what it is.

      • Puzzling, isn’t it? I’m pretty sure it’s not a matter of “Can it be done?” because I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in this camera that should prevent this inclusion…though I could be wrong. This is really the only thing that bothers me about the A7r. The regular contrast-detect autofocus looks to be very fast but the inclusion of on-chip phase-detect autofocus would be so much better. It’s this reason alone that I may be more tempted by the A7. Plus, I don’t really need 36 megapixels (nor does my hard drive).

  108. I’ll wait for the RX10 report, I have some curiosity to know if that is a loveable camera as the R1 is (to me at least) I know that sensor tech has advanced so much in these years but I cannot avoid to think in the aps-c sensor and the screen that can be used as a medium format waist viewfinder, so lovely to shot landscapes on a tripod and take pictures of my nephew without put my cheek against the paviment lol.
    About the A7/R I think for the shutter sound I would go with a rx1 instead if I would have a need of full frame, But I love the form, it seems my Canon EF (FD mount) that has the right size and not is so huge as the film cameras with autofocus lenses.
    Oh mister Sony, can you update my R1 please @_@, hehe I’ll see the RX10 report,

    • The new lenses feel “light” much like the 24 1.8 for NEX. In fact, almost exactly like that lens so if you know what that one feels like, these feel the same, just smaller. The 35 2.8 is pretty tiny.

  109. Well, no need for an extra Leica M body.
    This is pretty exciting Steve, and thanks for the ‘heads up’.

  110. Nice. Not sure how it resembles a Nikon from the 1970s though. Especially since I have a newly acquired F2as next to me as I’m typing this!
    If you get the chance, could you compare the quality of the Sony with the Zeiss 55 to using the Lux and adapter? From what I’ve read from 3rd party tests, the adapters really put a hit on the quality which makes sense as they move the tolerances out of the original lens design brief. Looking at the results through an EVF is not going to be the same as an actual enlargement.
    So my guess is that the system Sony lenses will perform much better than any other mfgs’ glass using adapters.

    • Also, using adapters does not lower the quality. I use them often and often times get better results using them over the original camera they were meant for. For example, I can use a 50 lux on the OM-D E-M1 and get sharper results at 1.4 then I can on the Leica M with the same lens. On the A7r I saw the pop, depth, and amazing eye detail I remember from the Lux and M8 and M9 at 1.4. The 55 1.8 looks like a killer lens as well, but will be different from a Summilux. Cant say which I prefer until I use them both on the camera though and open the images on my computer.

      • From the lensrental test:

        Lens adapters can be useful things sometimes, letting you mount one brand of lens on another brand of camera.
        One thing that has always bothered me, though, is the idea of doubling the number of lens-mount interfaces. When you look at the thick metal pieces on the front of the camera and the back of the lens, and then consider that they have to be lined up exactly parallel to the image sensor, it’s kind of amazing it works.
        Although it doesn’t always work. Lloyd Chambers first reported years ago that with high-quality, wide-angle lenses you could detect very small misalignments in the camera-lens mount. Misalignment of 10 microns from side-to-side was enough to cause blur on the sides of the image. Since then a lot of other people have confirmed the same thing.
        So when I hear people cavalierly talking about putting an adapter on their camera I tend to cringe. When a single camera-lens interface has enough variability to sometimes be visible, adding another large piece of metal with another mount interface seems a recipe for problems.
        Don’t get me wrong. Generally, they’re acceptable or people wouldn’t use them. But I always am curious about what acceptable looks like in the lab.”

        I think you got better results with the Lux on your Olympus than on the Leica M as the focus was off on your Leica. Your test shots showed that in the comparison.
        Anyway, this will be really interesting. I really like the idea of the electronic sensor cleaner on the Sony and want to see how well that works, especially since my M-E is at Leica for a sensor check/cleaning.. (always took care of it etc etc)

          • thanks Steve, cant wait for your test! I have a bunch of Leica lenses and so this Sony is a huge deal. Is manual focussing easy with it? Compared to using a Leica optical rf?

  111. Hi all,

    It sounds like the micro lenses on the A7r (are more like Leica M) maybe different from the ones in the A7. I hope steve will try an ultra wide M mount lens on it for a test. It might be a determining factor for me on witch one to buy.

  112. Steve, it seems to me only the 7R has offset micro lenses. Is that true? If so, performance of Leica wide angles will be different, possibly much worse on the plain 7.

  113. This is awesome. I could not be more excited for a camera than I am for this one. This is basically EXACTLY what I want. I want a FF compact body that can use M glass, but also AF if I want it to. Not to mention should I desire to strap a big giant lens on the front of it I could always throw my Nikon Pro glass on the front it I can do that too. I’m sure I’ll mostly use Leica lenses on it and now I can finally get a 90mm Leica lens like I’ve wanted to, but never did because of how tough it was for me to focus a rangefinder.

    The M9 is getting sold and so is my Fuji which I’ve always had a love hate with.

    Heck if these end up being as good as they have the potential to be my Nikon FF could go, but probably not since I need fast AF for concerts and weddings and such which would necessitate me buying into their AF lenses too much when I already have some perfectly usable Leica lenses.

    Steve, quick question for you. I am using a Version IV 35mm Summicron which has been great and is a classic, but I am wondering if it is up to the task of resolving at 36MP. Any thoughts?

    Incredibly excited for this. As soon as the money from my M9 sale comes in my preorder goes in.

    • Remember, you can preorder at Amazon and nothing is charged until it ships. Not even an authorization. This means you can place the order, get in line, and if you change your mind before December you can cancel easily, online in your Amazon order page. Just a heads up 🙂

        • Yup went ahead and preordered the body and the 55mm lens. While I have an M mount 35 and 50 I figured I may as well hop in line for the 55 just in case and can always cancel that part of it.

          Being primarily a editorial and portrait photographer I’ve always been more of a 50 and 85 kind of guy so I figure if I’m going to have one AF lens for it the 55 makes a lot of sense. I may even get it and keep my 50mm M mount. I think the 55 and my Zeiss 50mm ZM Planar may have enough character differences to possibly make it worth having both….maybe

    • If you’re looking at M-mount 90mm lenses, I highly recommend finding a deal on a used 90mm APO summicron. It’s blisteringly sharp. I always had to focus using live view on the M though, even when shooting stopped down.

  114. I watched the launch vid from Sony Australia and they even called it part of nex. Lol it has the nex menu too. You can select either the alpha menu system or nex menu system. 🙂

        • DO they SHOW the NEX menu on the camera? If not, they are mistaken as Sony told me specifically today that the NEX menu is NOT on this camera and it will use the Alpha menu. It is also not a NEX or a Cybershot camera. It is an Alpha camera with an E mount for FE lenses.

          • Just saw it in the video and that was not a NEX menu, it was part of the integration of the A menu, but layed out differently, sort of a gateway to the real menu. They said NEX menu but it is not the NEX menu, they are wrong on that one. The standard NEX menu is not in the camera. I was told (as DPreview reports as well) today that the NEX menu is done for. NEX Menu is DEAD. 🙂 In fact, all future mirrorless from Sony will fall under the A moniker, not NEX.

          • And no need to get firm with m Steve. I was just pointing out what Sony officially stated in their own launch vid. And NEX’s are alphas they are badges as such and even display the alpha logo when you fire them up. NEX stands for New E mount Xperience. This is e mount and according to Sony Australia also has a nex menu system as well as alpha, so is a Sony Apha Nex. But why get pad antic about it anyway? It’s just a title. I know people count the vg900 as nex. Some websites are already counting this as nex. Shakespeare coined it ‘what is in a name? Would a rose not smell as sweet known by any other name?’ 🙂

          • Not getting firm at all, just stating facts 🙂 This is NOT a NEX and does not have the NEX menu, this camera will not be in any way referred to or sold as a NEX system camera. It has one screen of blocks that take you to the standard A menu. It is in no way the NEX menu system. It is the Alpha 7 and Alpha 7r, not the NEX7 and NEX7r 🙂 Thx

          • All good Steve. I believe you mate. All just lighthearted banter. You know us Aussies. Always having a laugh. 😀

  115. My my! just what I was looking for, although I own lots of M film bodies I could not bring myself to buy an M8 M9 or an M, now I can go for the A7R and use all my Leica glass, and also a good number of Nikon lenses amassed over the years, my dream has finally come true. Almost went for the MM, on the back burner for now, waiting to see what the A7R will deliver in BW.
    Thanks Steve you really are on top of it all!

  116. Hi Steve, I have a question for you: I often take photos in theaters and during jazz concerts, where the shutter noise is barely tolerated, if not at all. Until now the best compromise was E-m5.
    Can you tell me how’s the shutter of 7r (similar to X camera)?

    Can’t wait for your photos taken with M mount lenses.


    • The shutter sound is LOUD. That is the one area I found to be odd. But, I will need to use it more so when I do my full review I will go over that in detail.

        • I agree with you about the loud shutter. Why couldnt they make a quiet shutter ?Or at least provide a menu option. Everything seemed perfect /ideal and then I read about the loud shutter ugh ! How disappointing a loud shutter rules it out.

          • hi there, when shooting professional people, fashion or portrait you NEED a loud shutter sound. it is the models feedback that you took the shot. it also is a posetive feedback and tells that you liked what the person did infront of your camera. this makes the “model” more secure and helps to grow infront of the lens. …. so. only if the photographer is not brave enough to ask before he will take a photo he needs to have a silent camera. and for normal street shooting no shutter is really too loud. ….. 😉

          • In theatres and during quiet parts of wedding ceremonies a quiet shutter is highly desirable and is one of the main reasons why many pros are looking at alternatives to DSLRs.

    • Check out the camerastore guys video, it’s loud. He complained about it. I have similar requirement.
      It seems a common problem among the mirrorless, except for those w fixed lens.

    • Keep in mind this was in my living room with the new 35 and 55. The 55 was the quickest and was focusing almost instantaneous when moving around the room firing away. It should be even faster outside in some light 🙂

      • Yeah…the guys from Sony would not let Steve outside with the camera because he might disappear with the rig for a few days!!! LOL.

    • I am a huge fan of sensors with AA filters. Leica M9, Leica M, Sony RX1R, Ricoh GR, etc. I just like that extra little bit of crispness. But the A7 is also fantastic, will focus a little quicker and of course, is less expensive. All with the same body, build, etc. Congrats.

      • Looking at the video intro from Sony, they said the A7R had a magnesium front body plate instead of the plastic on that the A7 has. They also mentioned the top controls on the A7R were a little more “beefy”.

        • Well, I do not believe that this is true. I was told today, by Sony people that they are exactly the same except for the sensor and the phase detect being on the A7. I held them both, shot them both..both felt exactly the same.

          • The video from SONY showed much more sturdier frame fro A7r (they said better for heavy lenses without a worry abound bending issue)

          • According to the press video release of Sony Australia, the A7r has the complete front in magnesium, not the A7.

          • Hey Steve,

            I’m curious, were the top dials different between the A7 and A7r, seems to be confirmed that the front plate on the A7 is not magnesium but plastic, but I also read that the dials are “beefier” on the A7r? Did you notice any differences?

        • ‘TheCameraStore’ who did a hands-on video also reported that the A7r was magnesium-alloy but that that A7 was not. However… they said you can’t tell by handling them (they feel the same). I know the weight of the A7 is a nice 465g. Does anyone know the weight of the A7r?

      • fwiw, apparently the build is different between the A7 and A7R according to Sony. The front of the R is a magnesium plate and with more support at the lens mount for heavier lenses. If you look at their YouTube live intro (Sony Australia) they show schematics with the differences. And they mentioned the dials on the R are milled from metal (but plastic on the A7.)

        The Camera Store TV (Canada) just now released an ‘in the field’ video on YouTube. They also mentioned those differences.

        • Odd, Sony told me directly there were no differences. I held both, used both and noticed nothing different on the body or in the feel. Dials felt the same. Body felt the same. Is this the same video saying you can use a NEX menu or an Alpha menu? That is not true. But I will try to confirm if there is a build difference. I was told NO and I saw/felt no difference between the two. If I find out there is, I will of course state this in my review which will start at the end of the month. Thanks

        • ‘TheCameraStore’ who did a hands-on video also reported that the A7r was magnesium-alloy but that that A7 was not. However… they said you can’t tell by handling them (they feel the same). I know the weight of the A7 is a nice 465g. Does anyone know the weight of the A7r?

          • The A7 uses magnesium alloy in the front chassis surrounding the lens mount and flange, whereas the A7r uses it around the back as well. The A7r also uses billet aluminum control dials, whereas the ones on the A7 are plastic.

      • Hi Steve, great review. But I think both A7 and A7R lack the AA filter. The 3 difference being the megapixels, autofocus, and alloy in the front plate.

        • 100% INCORRECT.

          The A7r has NO AA filter, just like the RX1R
          The A7 has an AA filter. This is fact

          The build is the same between the two. Same body, same build, same shell. Only difference is the sensor, the AA filter, and Phase detect on the 7.

          That Australian video messed a few things up.

          What I say above is correct and confirmed with Sony USA.

          • Steve,
            Any idea why the announcement stream from Australia would make such a huge mistake when speaking about the magnesium front plate and button quality? They even showed what appeared to be two different “insides” photos. Seems like a huge error to make.

            Thanks in advance!

  117. I just pre-ordered my A7r and am looking forward to using all of my Leica glass on it. I shoot regularly with a large group of other photographers and I’m currently the only one shooting with a Sony (an NEX 5N). I have a feeling that is about to change!

    • I go through the same thing with my NEX-7. I walk around with a group taking pics and I get laughed at because they think my camera is cute. This group usually walks around with entry level DSLR’s. After they’ve seen the images I capture and upload to various sites, they do not laugh anymore and they get upset that I can get such amazing images from such a small camera. I guess when I roll out with my a7r that I pre-ordered, they will be even more upset. It is not always about the camera, but more about the individual behind it. The a7r will just help me achieve the results I am looking for in a lightweight camera that just so happens to have a FF sensor 🙂

    • Yes, the image shows all Sony Zeiss lenses made to date: (from top to bottom, left to right)
      A-mount: 1.8/135, 2.8/16-35, 2.8/24-70, 3.5-4.5/16-70 (APS-C), 2/24, 1.4/85, 1.4/50.
      E-mount: 1.8/55, 4/16-70 (APS-C), 2.8/35, 1.8/24 (APS-C), 4/24-70.

    • Ah that was it, been racking my brain for the camera that it looks like with that distinctive prism. As you say it does look like the old Topcon DM.

      • Will you be testing both A7 and A7R with M mount lenses?

        I noticed in the announcement that only A7R has the microlens array to fix short flangeback so I want to make sure that is the case (actually hoping A7 has the change too)

    • M-mount wide angle performance is important for me too. I’d be okay with color shift and mild vignetting since you can fix those with cornerfix/capture one, but I hope there’s no smearing of detail at the edges.

      Andy, this is far from a complete test, but this poster (link below) noted that there was color shift with a 21mm ZM biogon f/2.8. I wish he showed samples though – he ended up doing all his wide angle work with a sony zeiss 16-35 and LA-EA4 adapter. If the corners aren’t smeared and AF is workable, I’d consider trading my M for the Sony.


  118. Thanks for the rapid review. GAS strikes again, and yes Jim… it totally is the photographer. What this does is allow me to get rid of several other cameras which I have to strike the balance between camera/lens size and image quality. And I may be able to avoid the exercise of buying the M240, so it could actually be a very mobile, very high quality complete full frame system. That is exciting. Maybe I will now only need one camera!

    • That is the one thing that is exciting about this new camera. It is the potential to leave everything else at home and just go around using one camera. I recently went on a photography trip in Oregon with a group of guys who all have Canon gear. I too took my 5D gear with all the L lenses that cost thousands of dollars but I also took with me the small Olympus OM-D E-M5 which everyone laughed at. At the end of the day, when we compared our landscape and wildlife photography, the Olympus held the top spot in terms of overall photo quality. I am not a professional photographer and am very critical of my photos. For my next trip, I will be leaving all of my Canon gear at home and just carrying with me the new E-M1 that was just delivered this morning… 🙂

      • I own an extensive MFT kit. Includes all the good AF primes with E-P5 & E-M5 bodies.
        I also own an extensive FF kit. 5D III L primes & zooms Zeiss etc.
        Although I love my MFT kit…I find the exact opposite to be true regarding your statement above. The depth, clarity, resolution are far superior in the files coming from my FF kit. The MFT files while very good, do not touch my FF results..
        Just my experience.

  119. Yeah!!! That’s super cool!!! I’m pretty sure with these cams the dreams of son many photographers became true…

  120. This is exciting but it is a repeat of last year with the RX1 and RX100 and the year before with the NEX7. It is inevitable that every year will bring new advancements in sensor and camera technologies but at the end of the day, it is a question of who is holding the camera and not the camera itself. There are images on this site that were taken using the original Nikon 1 system that look better than images taken with the Canon 5DM3 on other sites. So while we get full sensor technologies and higher megapixels, I think it is important to remember that the talent is not coming from the camera but rather the person holding the camera… Just my 2 cents…

    • I;m really digging the look. It isn’t as overtly retro as the more modern mirrorless trend. There’s a lot of modern design cues thrown into it but has just that slight retro edge to it when taken as a whole.

Comments are closed.