My 1st look Video for the Sony A7 and A7r is now up!

My 1st look Video for the Sony A7 and A7r is now up!


OK, the Sony A7 mania is dying down after a full week of coverage but the video below was meant to be uploaded during the week but the WiFi in the Hotel was too slow, so it had to wait until I was back home, so here you go!

Have a great weekend!


  1. Thanks! I’m very excited about this camera. I am still having some difficulty in deciding which one to get. This will be a huge upgrade for me because I am not a professional and have been using a D90 for years. I am tempted to get the A7r because of the 36mp. Why not get the best if you are spending the money? But I don’t want to regret that purchase, so I have a couple of questions:
    1) If I will mostly be using Nikon lenses and have to manual focus anyway, I shouldn’t be concerned with the slower AF in the A7r, correct? Just want to make sure I’m not missing anything here. Is it easier to focus on the A7 rather than the A7r with non-Sony lenses? Or is it a wash?
    2) Is the AF on the A7r be faster than that on my older D90?

    Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

  2. Great reviews and tests. I have read that Sony Australia is giving away a free Metabones adapter of choice to those who buy the A7 or A7R body. Have you heard anything about that for the U.S.?

  3. Thanks for the review! Just pre ordered the a7! Can wait to get my handS on one. By the way Steve, what do you think of the 55mmf14? Optically do you prefer this of the Zeiss Plannar 50mmf2? Thanks!

  4. Steve, I have a Minolta a mount 85 1.4 and ordered the SOLAEA2 adapter which as you know includes a phase detect system adding to the contracts detect of the A7R. By my understanding and calculations this should offer a superb solution to quick auto focus and tracking of subject for Minolta A mount glass and I would love to know if you will be able to test this type of setup in your review.

  5. What sort of excuse is that Steve?! I’m sorry, not having an A7 is not excuse for no review! Don’t you realise that non of us can continue with anything/real life etc unless you post something every day without fail. We are at the mercy of your words…. 😉

    • What am I doing? Did you not read in read the text? I WILL NOT HAVE an A7 or A7r in hand for another week. I could not take a camera home with me from Nashville, no one did. I write the entire week with info on the A7..5 days worth of info, photos, video, and text. When I get a review sample (next week) I will start my review, but do not expect it quickly..I will be using them for a while before the review is written. Right now I am working hard on the RX10 review. These things take time…but as you can also see, the site gets updated each and every single day. Thanks

  6. Dear American Contax G lens owners – please lend your lenses to Steve, so that we can hear, how they perform. Please 😉


  7. Steve: I want to thank you for your great columns regarding your initial hands-on impressions of the A7 and A7r. My main question regarding choice of A7r vs. A7 is whether it would be noticeably more difficult for a non-professional to get a crisp shot with a 36 MP sensor vs. a 24 MP sensor (i.e., do you need exceptionally good camera-handling skills to prevent camera-shake)?

  8. Steve, the reason for the difference in the shutter sound is because the A7 has the electronic front curtain option enabled. If you disable it, the sound should be similar to the A7r. The electronic front curtain is not available on the A7, and the lack of availability of that option might be the result of sensor design.

  9. Steve, welcome home! Though maybe you’ve answered this already in so many words. The newer word around the net as to many of the lucky photographers who were invited by Sony as you were. Many seem to now prefer the A7 not the A7R? Word is the a7r seems too slow, almost Fuji like where you need a lot of time to compose your shot, get the focus right all that. SEEMS many guys feel the a7r’s focus if even a little off, will or can result in really crummy shots perhaps because of the huge files. Did your opinion change on the overall, a7r VS a7? OR have many just exaggerated the fact that the a7r can hunt too much vs the faster a7? And really what we want to know, IQ, is there any real difference A7R vs A7 Obviously besides the file sizes? IS a7r perhaps UN-needed overkill and you end up with a slower camera? I love the way you review and use your cameras as in real life, I am much more interested in YOUR opinion vs many shooters who just pixel peep or shoot resolution charts etc. and then make comments. What say you?

    • Lots of misconceptions out there it seems. The A7r will make you THINK it is slower due to one fact. The shutter SOUND. The A7 seems faster but in reality, it really is not. The AF is fast with both in good light. In really low light they will both hunt. (so do most cameras, only one that hasn’t for me is the E-M1). But when you fire the shutter the A7r has that double clunk where the A7 has a single clunk, which SOUNDS faster. This gives you a feeling of a faster camera when in reality, they are not much different at all. I stuck with my A7r order after seeing the 21 1.8 on the camera. I like the resolution and after not really noticing a difference in use it made no sense to switch as I do not shoot ultra wide lenses.

      With that said, choose on resolution, not speed or high ISO as they are both similar in the real world. If you want to shoot Leica M ultra wides, go with the 7. If you want to use continuous AF, go with the 7. Other than that, go with what you feel you want.

      Using M glass the cameras are FAST and responsive with no issues as it is you who focuses, not the camera.

      • I love your video style, no BS and you come directly to the point 😉

        Personally I don’t give a damm how I fell when I press the shutter, but I am very interrested how the people around me react to the noise of my camera. I use some kind of black foam rubber to dampen down the sound on some of my DSLRs (and I will do the same with the A7) when I shoot in a quite environment. I will go for the A7, because 24MP ist plenty of resolution and the sensor will probably perform just a little better in low light and be better suitable for some wide angle lenses. Thank you SONY for a great little small tool at a decent price and for starting a small revolution in the full frame market.

      • Steve, thanks much. What you say makes sense so I’ll probably stay with the a7R then. A couple sites had said the 36 megs are so much that you almost need a tripod to use the camera as the slightest camera shake is magnified greatly, that scared me a bit… Guess it’s not so,..though 36 megs are a bit more than I will ever need most likely…I still want the best. I too have an EM1 so if I REALLY need speed or ultra wides maybe Ill just reach for the EM1 on those occasions. Thanks very much for your reply!

  10. Hey Steve,
    You mentioned that you couldn’t recommend the kit lense but didn’t say why. I like to use a walk around zoom lense. Not having a good one ready to go upon release of the new camera would be a problem for me.
    Awesome site by the way

    • I did say why a few times. I do not feel it will showcase the quality of the camera, at all. I have seen many who shot with the lens and their images look like P&S images. Softer, more DOF. etc. To showcase the quality of the camera one will need a great lens like the 35 or 55.

      Not sure why Sony makes an enthusiasts camera with a slow kit zoom that will not show off the potential.

    • “They” did the same for the NEX. “They” are marketing technokrats who believe in sales statistics which demonstrate that most (D)SLR buyers during the past 10-20 years just bought the kit zoom and nothing else. We are lucky that in the case of the A7 “they” not again let us wait more than two years for the most basic prime lenses.

      Many buyers who intend to primarily use legacy glas will buy the kit zoom, because it is “only” $300 more and has AF.

  11. thank you for your video Steve, you made me take a hard look at A7 again 🙂 I’m really torn between these new Sony cameras and rumoured Nikon’s Df. On one hand we have uber high specced camera from Sony which can take any lens really and comes with it’s own Zeiss branded lenses. On the other we have Nikon’s huge portfolio of lenses and body, at least the way I see it now after few days, is mixed bag to satisfy both shooting styles – with manual glass (aperture ring on lens plus shutter speed dial on top) and with crippled G lenses style – command dials. So from what was meant to be uncluttered no nonsense camera is becoming cluttered normal DSLR with some ‘retro’ bits thrown on top and (if rumours are true) some older tech inside.

    I really like cameras with classic controls (aperture on the lens, shutter speed dial and exposure compensation dial) – that’s why I left DSLR world in 2011 and switched to Fuji cameras. Now after some time I realised that I use in good light my film bodies and Sigma DP2M and in worse light X-Pro1. So I’m looking to replace X-Pro1 system. I have some M mount glass (well, L39) and also some F mount glass. Not sure if I’d see huge improvement in IQ with Nikon’s DF system being it also 16mp camera. I know I’d see bump in IQ with Sony’s offerings. Very tough decision to make but I was waiting and waiting for a smaller FF camera (couldn’t justify price of digital M) and now there are 2, one with mixed personality and one which offers all the tech one might ask for – tough tough tough. I guess I’ll need to wait for field reports from both and user experiences.

  12. hi Steve,thank you for the great video and a lot of information for these past few days
    have you tried the cv 35 classic and 50 1.1 with the a7r?how was the combo?

  13. no doubt the bodies are cheaper. however, the lens are much more expensive, making investing in the system more expensive than other full frames. Nevertheless, good effort from Sony.

    • At least there isn’t much to invest in. Reminds me to the early days of the NEX, with just a kit zoom and a (crappy) pancake lens. The enthusiasts with a cabinet full of old manual lenses create most of the traffic in forums like this. But how to convince those with a cabinet of DSLRs and AF lenses to buy into A7?

    • THAT VIDEO WAS WRONG FROM DAY ONE. There is NO NEX MENU in the camera. Period. There is an Alpha BOX menu with a few boxes that they called the “NEX” transition menu or something but it is one screen with boxes that take you to the A menu. No nex menu here at all.

      • Thanks for taking the time to answer!

        🙂 any chance you could review the new Voigtländer VM/E Close Focus Adapter with these cameras? I was going for the normal model but I saw this new one on their site and it look interesting! Any thoughts?
        Thanks in advance 🙂

  14. I wonder from which current systems you guys migrate to A7? Or you buy it as a 2nd system for usage in parallel?

  15. Great reviews. Gotta have the A7r. My 5DMk2 is feeling sad and lonely! but what about the RX10? Is that review coming?

  16. Interesting first assessment. Good build quality, excellent IQ, good home for Leica M lenses above 28 mm but what about AF. Speed and accuracy are the most important criteria. This subject is quite often overlooked and i see often a focus on IQ. Happened to me with the Pentax K5. A very positive review here but at the end a disappointment. Very poor AF accuracy in low light etc.
    Steve produced an interesting first assessment and looking forward to further fine tuning.

  17. all that great glass and so few corners, oh well. You made some wonderful images, and have told us more than the other guys. Next time check the close focus on the video 🙂 I bet the first one was perfect, darn it. Be well, sir.

  18. Love the “straight-forward-no-noncence-real-world” style of your reports, Steve, wether written or video. Can’t wait for your full review, although I immediately ordered the A7r after its announcement…

  19. Steve, thanks for the nice “intro” to these awesome new cameras! 2 questions if I may:
    Have you compared sharpness between these cameras, since the 7r lacks the AA filter, so I’d expect to see better sharpness/detail OOC from that one, irrespective of the difference in resolution.
    Secondly, what the heck is “AF Microfocus” Adjustment doing on a mirrorless camera??? I always thought that AF Micro Adjustment was not needed in the mirrorless realm, since AF is done off the sensor. What exactly is there to “Adjust”?
    Thanks, Steve. I look forward to your full review!

  20. Steve would you please make a pic or vid how different lenses look on a7? In the shake of size, balance and design. Maybe then when you meet your buddy with 30 lenses. I’m particularly interested how the current 35 and 50mm 2.0 ‘s by zeiss and Leica compare on the camera. Summilux 50mm sure looks gorgeous.

  21. You had a post yesterday with shots on the A7r with the Voigtlander 21 1.8. I didn’t notice any issues in the corners or color. Also Brian smith has a shot up with the Zeiss 18mm F4 M-Mount, and I didn’t see any issues there.

      • Ok, I understand now. It would be nice if someone would make a spread sheet or flickr sets etc, so we can all see which lenses have issues.

      • Hi Steve, thanks for all your hard work on the pictures and videos of these cameras – all very exciting!

        With respect to m-mount wide angles, isn’t it true that it’s a bit less random than hit and miss? Luminous Landscape and 3dkraft both said of the Nex7 and A7 and A7r respectively that wide angle range finder lenses with a retrofocal design will cause corner issues and those with a telecentric designs should be fine. So the 16-18-21 Leica (among others) should be – and is, apparently – fine.

  22. Steve
    Thanks for all the info here. Love your site. As you review the Sonys over the next weeks I would love to see a comparison with Olympus EM1. Tried the Olympus yesterday and loved it. Will wait to see how Sony feels and then purchase one…after quality and portability. Thanks again

  23. Thanks Steve, as always you deliver… I´m falling for the A7r however having the CV 15mm/4.5 and knowing the results it delivered on my Leica M9 (lovely in B&W and somewhat hard to handle in Color) I would love to se A photo from that lens in color from the A7r in both Normal and Crop mode… It might be a good compact 21mm instead.

  24. Steve thanks for the review, please can you confirm a couple of things? You say the EVF is not as good as the EM1, please could you say why. Does the EVF tear in any way, I have noticed that if you move your eye from dead center of some EVF’s you get a slight tearing? Also you say you wouldn’t recommend the kit lens is this because of speed or sharpness? finally would you choose the A7 or EM1 as your only camera for Landscape. Thanks again IAN (UK)

  25. great video, thank you! did you try to shoot a video with the A7r ? we have seen a lot of video samples from the A7 but none from the A7r (except official video). I’m worried, is there too much moire on the video because of the lack of AA filter ?

  26. Thank you Steve for the video. I hope you can talk more about the FE primes (and if they are worth their price) in your review. I don’t have a glass collection (only some emount lenses) and autofocus is really important for me, so the FE lenses are very much of interest.

    Thank you.

  27. Hi Steve,

    Love your videos!! Thanks for sharing them with us.
    I’m interrested in the A7 (don’t need massive MP)… But you told in de video that you cannot recommend the kitlens?
    Is this because you didn’t review the lens or because it’s crap?

    • The 28-70 is f4, I guess what Steve was trying to say is that get a fast lens for these two cameras, and for the focal range you would probably want something with wider aperture so you can have shallower DOF when you shoot portrait, like the Canon f2.8 zoom lenses. Also IMO you would want to use good quality lenses on your a7 and a7r as these two are resolution monsters, and I don’t think the kit lens is gonna do the trick. I used to own a 18-200 on my NEX7 and I didn’t have a clue how much I was missing out before getting my 35f2 ZM and 50f2 ZM.

      • Not quite right TY, the 28-70mm is f3.5-5.6 the Zeiss 24-70mm is f4 although we have to wait until February before that’s released. I’ve ordered the A7 kit anyway as I like to have a zoom in my bag and I’m still mulling over the 35/50 options…. the FE’s or the Zeiss f2’s? Decisions, decisions….

        • Oh sorry I mixed that up. Yeah you are right it’s f3.5-5.6 but still.. a little bit on the slower side for me, especially when I want to shoot portrait or in low light conditions. I believe at this moment it’s quite clear that the two FE lenses are both superb, but I’m only interested in the 55mm as f2.8 for the 35 is not as fast as my 35f2 ZM. If you use AF a lot then just get the two FE lenses and I’m sure they won’t disappoint, but for me I’m more than satisfied with my two ZM lenses. Hope that helps!

      • The Kitlens is a 28-70 f 3.5-5.6 lens. This lens is labeled as a G Lens so it should be really nice too even though the primes will be better. The internet says nothing but good things about the kit lens, so we will see. The Fuji Zoom for the X-Series for example is also a gem !
        The other zoom lens will be a 24-70 (80 ?) f4 Zeiss labeled lens but will be available later (nex year probably).
        The G Lens will only be sold as a kit with the A7 NOT the A7R.
        Best regards, Ingo

  28. Hi Steve,

    First of all, thanks for the video. The side by side shutter sound was something I was waiting anyone to so it and you delivered yet again before than anyone. You helped me with my OM-D purchase and now the Sony.

    I have a question: when changing mode to black and white (or vivid) does the evf reproduce the color scheme that as chosen? Meaning does the evf turn to black and white as well?

    Also what do you think about a voigtlander 50 f1.1 m mount on the. 7r?

    • Yes the evf turns to black and white, or whatever colour scheme that you choose, since it’s an evf and what you see is what you get. I always set it to B/W as it helps with focus peaking. Since you are mostly probably shooting RAW, it won’t make a difference when you transfer the files to your computer and they will still be in colour. I find it really useful as I’ve been shooting lots of street recently and 95% of my shots are in B/W, so the in-camera mode helps with composition, peaking and everything, without having to give up the ability to keep the colour as the RAW files will still be in colour.

      • Hi Ty
        If it’s ok, can you confirm if you can use focus peaking without reverting to a magnified view in the EVF? My understanding is that on the RX1 this was not possible.



        • If you are manual focusing using a native Sony E-mount lens, once you turn the focus ring it will automatically enter the magnified view mode. However with the M mount lenses I’m currently using magnified view is only engaged when you press the corresponding button, as the body will not be able to recognise M mount lenses. I believe the problem you are having with RX1 is because the lens is a native Sony Zeiss lens, but I’m not sure if you can disable the function. With a7 and a7r, if you are manual focusing using M mount lenses, I believe it will be the same as using the NEX series.

          • Thanks Ty
            No I don’t own the RX1…it was one feature which put me off! Subsequently wanted to see what happened here. I doubt I’ll be a buyer though just curious more so.

            It is an ergonomic feature I personally find very off putting in the whole photography experience where magnification automatically is engaged. Lose the moment so to speak!!

            Thank you for the answer and your time.


      • Did you not read what Ty said? Yes, the EVF will show you a live view of the image settings you have set. So you can shoot in black and white on the camera, and the EVF will show black and white not color. The RAW will obviously maintain color, you just reswitch it to black and white in Lightroom.

  29. Excellent video and great commentary. You really explain the good and the little that is slightly less good well.
    If I was able to see this before the written pre-reviews, I would not have asked any questions. You cover it all.

  30. Great reporting on the road trip Steve. Question: When using the new Sony lenses and auto focus, was there a noticeable difference in focus speed and/or accuracy between the 2 cameras? Was there difference in the keeper rate percentage? Thanks in advance.

    • I heard a few people report a noticeable difference (with the A7 being somewhat faster in low light, hunting less, and finding focus more)… but also looking forward to hearing Steve’s input on this.

      • Actually in low light the phase detect will not even be in use. They both will use the same contrast detect in low light. I used both bodies in low light with the 35 and 55, same AF with both.

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