Sony A7 and A7r in the in progress!

Sony A7 and A7r in the in progress!


Hope all of you are having a great relaxing or fun weekend! Just wanted to let you all know that I now have the Soy A7 and A7r in hand along with the 35 2.8, 55 1.8 and 28-70 kit zoom. When I was in Nashville shooting these a few weeks ago I mainly shot them with Leica M  glass and LOVED It. I have now been shooting them with the Native glass and yesterday shot them indoors at a reptile show in Phx and did notice the AF missing a bit with the 55 1.8 lens (when shooting at its minimum focus distance). I found  that using selective spot focus helped but still was not what I had hoped. Not horrible but not 100% spot on either. Keep in mind this was INDOOR in lower light and the 55 1.8 was on the A7 not the A7r.


The 35 2.8 did great and I LOVE the rendering of this lens! At 2.8 it is sharp yet creamy and gives off a very nice look. I can see the Zeiss signature here. I have a long way to go to review these cameras, compare them and see what they can and can not do. I also had my Leica M out with me along with an old 35 Summaron (which is so so so good and classical, even for being an f/3.5 lens) and the M shooting experience, I have to say, is 2nd to none though the Sony’s can put out even better IQ and detail.

So I look forward to shooting with these Sony cameras but can already tell you that the IQ abilities are up there with the best in full frame 35mm, if not THE best. Using Leica glass on them is a JOY. For some, buying an A7 and a Leica M mount 35 or 50 will be all that is needed 🙂 The Sony Zeiss 35 2.8 is stellar as well, with AF.

Click snaps below for larger view – all JPEGS

1st shot below.. A7 and 55 1.8 at 1.8 – ISO 500



A7 and 55 1.8 at 1.8 – JPEG



A7r ad 35 2.8 at 2.8


So stay tuned for more over the next few weeks! 



  1. Hi! Thanks for the thorough testing of these cameras. I will buy pne of them, but haven’t been able to decide which.
    I shoot mostly low light hand held, indoors. I’ve seen a review claiming the a7 is better than the R for that. Any views on this?
    I’ll want to use the zoom lens that comes out next year, plus my Voigtlander M-mounts and such.

  2. I was hoping to use my autofocus Nikon glass on the Sony A7 with an adapter, but it does not appear such a thing exists. I’m in no rush, as I have some MF glass, but for events with my kids, I’d really like to use my Nikkor 2.8 80-200 AF, and I’m wondering whether this is just a matter of time before someone does it or whether there is some reason it simply is not possible, in which case I would be willing to sell my Nikkor to fund a lens that would be AF compatible on the A7 (either one of the Sony A-mount lenses, or perhaps the Canon equivalent of the 80-200. Anyone have any ideas here?

  3. Sorry sony. Your background bokah looks smeared and over processed, just like in the cheap consumer pocket versions.
    I was really hoping for way better.
    I can wait with my dinosaur slr.

  4. Steve, you got my A7r yesterday, looking forward for your review, will do some testing over the weekend…

    What annoys me a lot: when using leica or zeiss or any other manual lens, focus magnification has been a breeze on the sony nex 7. press a buttom and you have the magnified pixel peak. did this thousands of times. on the a7r the messed it up. you have first a frame in your screen and you need to press the buttom a second time. please include this in your review, so that sony may change it back to the nex standard.

  5. Steve,

    I am really interested in your comments on:
    – A7r + Sony Sonnar T FE 35mm F2.8 ZA
    – A7r + Voigtlander Nokton 35 mm F/1.2 II Aspherical

    You have made a huge statement about the IQ of the Voigtlander. It is in the same price range as the new Sony FE. Is the IQ (sharpness, contrast and bokeh) of the CV head-and-shoulders above the FE? Is it worth the trade-off of AF, etc?

    Definitely looking forward to all you have to say about these camera and lens combos!

    • Well, if you want Af go for the Sony. It’s the best lens for the A7r right now (native mount). If you want more shallow DOF and an all manual lens, go for the Voigtlander. Two different looks, styles and types of lenses. Both are superb on the camera so just all comes down to what you prefer.

  6. Hi Steve! One very interesting comparison would be to compare similar lenses on both the e-m1 and the A7(r). Ex: voigtlanger 25mm (m4/3) vs voigtlander 50mm (m) same thing with 17.5 vs 35 all wide open. That could shed some light on that old bokeh debate.

    Really looking forward to read you review!

  7. Hi ,Am I missing something in these negative comments about AF on the A7 .Didn’t Steve comment that AF on the A7 with the Zeiss 35 2.8 was ‘stellar’ ? He reported problems with the 55 lens

  8. In your video from Nashville you mentioned wide angle Leica lenses had fringing on the A7r. Can you post some examples? Why would the A7r have this problem but not the A7?

    Also which adapter are you using for the M mount?

    • I posted MANY examples at that time but never said they had fringing on the A7r, I said that on the A7 and A7r there were colored edges, mostly on the A7r with certain ultra wides. I then showed examples from all of the lenses from each camera. I do not have all of those lenses right now since that was already done at that time.

  9. Thanks for the review comments so far not hose 2 Somy cameras. These have been very useful and overall I believe better than any other web site.

    This AF observation about A7 sounds disturbing. Sounds like the A7 has significant AF flaws. DPR reported similar results.

    Could this be firmware bug? I like NEX for one thing – AF never misses, I may misuse it and miss but the AF is always on (some) target and so I can learn and work around. NEX had only large AF zones, so this meant a lot of times it will front or back focus on different subject. This is where my mastery had to come to place the AF at a spot big enough. I was glad to see A7 has small zones too, like Olympus

    If A7 cannot confirm focus with same confidence as NEX-7 then this will be a complete dealbreaker for me.

    Steve, can you explore this A7 flaw a bit more? May be letting Sony folks know about it early on can bring about F fix to disable hybrid AF and just use CDAF if thus will give NEX like super accurate focusing. I just do not want to go to DSLR land of hit and miss focusing

    • One idea for further exploring the A7 AF is to compare center vs periphery AF zones.

      Periphery AF zones have no PDAF sensors, so likely will perform similar to A7r i.e. spot on. Center AF zones have PDAF pixels and thus hybrid AF and those may be the ones producing poor focusing results. If this confirms than we have oversight by Sony FW engineers, which is good as they can fix it e.g. disable the hybrid AF or have couple of modes for it – speed priority vs. accuracy priority

  10. Steve, thank you for all of your dedicated reviewing, makes things easier for us! I am not sure if you have the Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH, but I hear because of it’s design, it is a good candidate for a wide angle lens on the A7r. As you know, many legacy lenses have their array of problems so far. A testing would be great! It seems that the Leica Tri Elmar WATE 16-18-21 works very well.

  11. Love to see you enthusiastic about the A7s and RF glass Steve. It seems clear that from 35 up they are great. The question really is about 28 and down, what lenses smear and which don’t—on which model. Many of us have the A7r ordered and are wondering what will work and what won’t–for example I have zm18 and 28cron. I expect some color shift, but hope to loose the smear at some aperture or other 🙂

  12. Image quality appears to be great but my concern is the AF system. I stopped using my Fuji cameras, among other reasons, mainly because the AF is flakey. I went back to shooting with my 5D Mark III and yes, it is bigger/heavier, but the focus system, lenses and IQ kill the Fuji’s. End of that chapter. Steve, how would compare the Sony’s focus system to the Fuji X-Pro and let’s says, the Canon 6D? Last thing I want to do is invest in another half baked AF camera system.

  13. I can’t find any images or details about this, but how does the lens hood look like on the 55mm f/1.8? Is it a lens cap style with a rectangular cutout like the 35mm?

    Going to the 35mm with lens hood on, how does the lens cap work with it? another one provided to fit over the lens hood specifically or does 1 lens cap fit on both hood and no hood on the lens?… maybe it doesn’t even work with a lens hood on at all?

    Just curious, hope you can shed some light on the accessory for both Zeiss FE lenses.


  14. With all the talk about A7 focusing issues mentioned here, at dp, and elsewhere I am starting to worry that I pre-ordered the wrong camera. 🙁 Yeah I know AF, but it is what I use most times.

  15. One more thing, what’s more interesting for M lenses, A7 or A7r. This is not about pixel peeping. I’m really wondering if there’s any visible differences? Thanks’ for your feedback. Cheers.

  16. Steve, how do you feel about Leica R lenses (50mm summicron R) on these new sonys? The price is certainly attractive and worth the extra size and weight, but how would they compare to, say a pre-asph 50mm summicron M?

      • I don’t think it does defeat the purpose, actually.
        In the case of the Canon TS-Es it allows a us Canon users to build a more portable system that utilizes these excellent lenses than we otherwise could. In addition, the new Sony sensors offer better performance that we can currently get within the Canon system.

  17. BTW, Steve, you write that all images are JPG. I downloaded the RAW converter already from sonyalpharumors. One kind find it when typing “Adobe” in Search. I hope you’ll be able to give us RAW images from the start.

    • Sony will Af faster, Sony is full frame, Sony will feel better, Sony will win in low light and Sony has a built in killer EVF (the Leica is a $500 option). Me, Id go Sony between those two no contest.

      • Steve, I feel that you have never given the X-Vario a fair shake. Here, despite the fact that you know full well that a $200.00 Olympus VF-2 viewfinder will serve just as well as the $500 Leica view-finder, you cite the latter in your comparison. And frankly, I doubt seriously that the overall image quality of the Sony or the auto-focus will beat that of the X-Vario which is truly a marvelous photographic tool. And it feels good in the hand! Enjoy your site, but not your views on the X-Vario.

  18. Hi Steve! I’m heading on a university trip to Venice on Friday (from Australia) and am thinking about investing in a manual lens for my A7 that should be arriving soon! I was curious as to how you would rate the Zeiss 50mm f2 against the Voigtlander 50mm f1.5. I know you’ve given both very favourable reviews recently, but haven’t compared them directly. Keep up the amazing work, your site rocks! Thanks!

    • Well, I prefer the Zeiss 50 f/2. It is amazingly sharp yet smooth and has tremendous 3D pop. The color is also amazing on this lens. Will most likely be my #1 lens for the A7r.

      • Thanks for that reply Steve! Quick question… I just bought a (used) 35mm f1.2 Voigtlander and am going to use an adaptor, but now I’ve become confused because apparently AE metering will not work? I’m not quite sure, does that mean I can only use full manual mode? Or will I still be able to use aperture priority and let the camera set shutter speed/iso? Thanks boss!

  19. Steve, many thanks!

    I want to pull the trigger ASAP! (i.e. tomorrow!!) but firstly would you:

    a. Sony A7R with FE 55mm f/1.8 – therefore wait; or
    b. Sony A7R with Zeiss Ikon Planar T* 50mm f/2.0 ZM

    I would be tempted by the Cron 50mm but that’s taking my hobby a bit too far (RX1, X-E1 and A7R w/ cron).

    So a. or b.?


  20. steve, I have a question for you.

    I only work with 35mm …

    is best “a7” with the new Zeiss 35mm or a RX1? and why?

  21. Hi Steve. This is the most anticipated review of the last 5 years or so – since I bought my first NEX-5 and since I thought: “If only Sony could make a camera like this with a FF sensor, a good viewfinder and some manual controls.” Step by step we saw them travelling on this path, with the NEX-7 and RX-1 being milestones on their way. And now they did it!
    BTW, the M shooting experience being second to none, I guess that’s a personal matter. I dreamed of a digital ranger finder for so many years (it remained a dream because of the crazy Leica prices), even hoped that Zeiss would make a digital version of their ZM Ikon (which I own and love to use from time to time), but for digital shooting, I prefer a good EVF above RF. I owned a M9 recently, but sold it pretty quickly, because I wasn’t thàt moved by the shooting experiece and I fear that the second hand prices of the M9 will drop pretty fast in the coming months – because of the A7, indeed. Knowing that the A7 was on its way, and owning and experiencing the NEX-7, I’m convinced that the A7r is going to deliver my personal “2nd to none shooting experience”. To me, the Leica is absolutely unique, but nowadays I prefer the mirrorless concept.
    So I can’t wait to reed your review!

  22. Jeeeez the M is nice looking compared to A7/r.
    Come on Samsung give us a copycat M body FF in 2014
    (we’ve een your rumour pics from 2011).

  23. A suggestion about “size of X vs. size of Y” arguments: try both camera IN YOUR HANDS. Too many complained that the optional grip on the E-M5 made it “DSRL-big” just looking at pictures. Then I tried one in a local shop and found it was still so little that I bought it, and now the landscape grip is permanently on the camera – and mind that I like OM-1 sized cameras!

  24. Hello Steve!
    I would læike to persuade you to investigate in which wide-lenses that wil be usuable at the A7’s while it seems that wide M-lenses are out of the question.
    Best wishis

  25. Please, please, please do a thorough test with the Voitlander 15mm Heliar on both cameras and let us know which model can use this lens without magenta shift and corner blur!

    I am mainly a wide angle shooter Steve and need to know what kind of wide angles will not work on these cameras.
    The top lenses I would like to use on one of these cameras is:
    1. Voigtlander 15mm Heliar
    2. Zeiss Ikon 21mm F4.5
    3. Contax/Yashica 28mm F2.8
    4. Zeiss Ikon 35mm F2 Biogon

    • Already tested and shown the 15 here a few weeks ago. The 21 1.8 from Voigtlander is great the 21 2.8 from Zeiss is good on the A7. The Zeiss Biogon f/2 I have shown MANY samples from and it is amazingly good. Just look at past write ups here…

  26. A7r + zeiss planar 50mm zm please! Steve, you reviewed this lens twice with Leicas. It deserves the A7r!

    I bought the zeiss and leica 35mm summarit 6 months ago in anticipation of a sony FF camera. Finally….

    • A7r and ZM Planar sounds nice, but A7R with ZM Sonnar will be a killer combo. I hope Steve can test it. Compact, fast, creamy until f2.8 and then transitioning to tack sharp at f5.6 and slower.

  27. Hey Steve, love your work. Any chance of getting Lea4 to test out how it fare with A mount glasses? I in the market to get A7 but I am not able to make mind if I should go with the sony kit 28-70mm or LEA4 adapter. I do own some good A mount glasses (beercan, 50mm macro, 50/1.7, 28-85 minolta).

  28. The IQ looks great from the RX1 and now the A7 and A7r. I mean really good. Definitely better than my NEX-6 (which is very good).

    To be dead honest, I have been most excited about the EM1. Tried the OMD EM5 and loved the color but the controls really killed it for me (position of the on/off and small buttons). Now with the the EM1 it has the great controls, fantastic IBIS, Weather sealing, Olympus colors and upcoming excellent pro lenses.

  29. Steve, I’m eager to hear about video shooting on the A7r. Specifically, I’m wondering if this will be worth upgrading from NEX-7. I’m sure it is regarding stills, but how about video quality? Thanks!

      • I’d definitely like an RX1/A7 AF comparison as well (particularly in capturing motion). I have a theory that Sony will refresh the RX1 early next year with the 24mp A7 hybrid AF sensor (and maybe wifi/nfc thrown in too). I’ve been thinking about picking up a used RX1/R, but if my theory proves true and an RX1 MKII comes out that has better AF accuracy and speed I might save up my pennies for that instead. Thanks for all the insight!

  30. Is that at 35mm Summaron 3,5 on you M, Steve? I have one, from 1954, on my M6 🙂

    I have ordered a M7r – I think FF is what I want: I went to Rome with an OM D E-M1 and my old Leica X1. The Leica IQ is in another league.. Sensor size does make a difference…
    And yes, the Leica X1 is TERRIBLY slow to focus, but I don’t shoot a lot of sport 🙂

    The OM D is wonderful to handle (I had two great prime lenses), but the IQ is no better than my ten year old EOS 20D (I had a big shoot out with all my cameras; the Sigma DP2 is the King of IQ, but only usable at ISO 100-400). The OM D is smaller than the EOS, but I really was expecting it to triumph over the old 20D. And AF is not really any faster compared to the EOS.

    I think FF is what I want, because there is no way I will stop looking at those damned pixels… I’m sure prints from the OM D will be very nice 🙂 Hope I do not sound like a troll – this is just my opinion, after using the EM-1 and X1 side by side.

    I think you should show more full size images – not just resized as that will only tell half the story. I know everyone is raving about the E-M1, but after shooting with it for one week I’m kind of puzzled; what are everyone seeing in those images that I don’t? A camera can not be all about handling… Well; I could be wrong; and smart people like Steve, Ming, LULA and others could be right 🙂

    Thank you for all the passion you put into your reviews; that’s why we come here!

    • Tor, You made a point that I was wondering about ever since I heard of the OM-D EM-5! I currently shoot a Nikon D5200 with some good Nikkor optics, but am always researching better image quality systems. I had been quite enamored of the Olympus system, primarily because of their stellar optics, but having shot with another m4/3 system (Panasonic G2 a few years back), I too, was less than impressed with enlargements above 8×12 inches, But having read the rave reviews of the OM-D EM-5 (and more so, the EM-1), had me back researching m4/3 again. However, being a sharpness fanatic (please see some of my images at, and realizing that, as far as I know, the Laws of Physics still apply, for a given print size, an image from a smaller sensor still needs greater magnification than that of a larger sensor. I’ve never seen a definitive answer to how large an m4/3 image can print to and still maintain good sharpness and detail. I find it hard to believe that the EM-1 can hold its own against a good APS-C sensor, let alone the FF sensor of the A7r, at large print sizes. (Though I do feel that at 8×10 or less, one would be hard pressed to see a major difference!). Your post seems to shed some light on the EM-1, which makes me think twice, even though I love the ergonomics and feature set of the EM-1! Thanks for the info!

    • “The OM D is wonderful to handle (I had two great prime lenses), but the IQ is no better than my ten year old EOS 20D (I had a big shoot out with all my cameras; the Sigma DP2 is the King of IQ, but only usable at ISO 100-400). The OM D is smaller than the EOS, but I really was expecting it to triumph over the old 20D. And AF is not really any faster compared to the EOS.”

      This is simply not true I own a Canon D60, a Canon 5D, a Canon 6D and an Olympus E-M5. The E-M5 produce images that are as good as those of the Canon 5D; the 6D has an edge, but isn’t showing a huge IQ jump. Which lenses were you using for that comparison ? Not the lemons standard kit zooms ? The Canon 20D was a successor to the D60, but the IQ was more or less the same as that of the D60 (other things were improved but not the IQ) and I can tell you : the E-M5 and E-M1 are worlds better. If you want a FF to show real better IQ than an OMD, then get a Nikon D800, D600 or the A7r, forget the actual Canon sensors.

  31. Steve,

    Have you tried your 50 Summitar lens yet on the A7R? The images
    & bokeh must be pretty amazing.

    Think the Summitar could be collapsed on a A7R without damaging the sensor – or –
    is the flange focal distance too close?

  32. Steve,

    I hope you do a head-to-head critical review of the A7(R) vs. the M. Not just rangefinder experience but your overall gestalt, particularly with M- mount glass. Appreciate your hard work!

      • I’m really interested also…because for now there isn’t any UWA lens in RF range that can be used on A7/A7R without any default (vignetting, colors smears etc.) …
        That’s a problem for landscape and architecture…as for achitecture I would like to know if lack of AA filter on A7R will cause moiré artefacts, could you test that on repetitive paterns please ..?

  33. Sony have done really well, excellent camera – not perfect, but very impressive in many ways – not for me (I’m happy with 35mm) but brilliant for most people – let down by the brand name – Sony, I mean Sony make Playstation’s and Laptop computers, Microwaves and Dab Radio’s and Breadmakers – If only Minolta, Konica or Konica Minolta had still been emblazoned across the front of this camera – it’d look proper.

    • Yes, I agree about the Konica Minolta lineage, but alas, what’s in a name? As long as the device performed as advertised, in terms of image quality, sharpness, auto-focus, etc., I’d be interested! Besides, as far as “names” are concerned, you can’t do much better than “Zeiss” on the lenses!

    • Meh, its the diversification that business does. Canon has all sorts of office products and Nikon is firmly entrenched in medical and other industrial equipment. Shoot, Mitsubishi does cars, TV’s, and rifles. G&E does dishwashers and jet engines. I am not worried that Sony is a top tier electronics company. Were it film days, yeah, I would be bothered by it. But we are reaching a point where we are reaching the end of mechanical cameras and going into all electronic cameras. I see Sony’s highly innovative approach the last three years as they move to incorporate new technologies (EVF, Mirrorless, and now Mirrorless full frame) to make superb bodies. Now if only their lenses would catch up. I like their soon to be released lenses for both FE and A Mount. The electrical engineering and software will get worked out.

      I am most excited to see what happens when the a7 becomes a mature system in 3 years or so. And if they incorporate the technology as well for the A-Mount Alphas.

      • Sony’s innovative approach is all due to the KM division it acquired. Konica Minolta were always innovative eg. AF and In body stabilization and great lenses. Sony themselves did nothing except develop the Cybershot .

    • To me Sony also stands for the company that made the first big moves in professional digital audio and other things on top professional level. It simply is a mega company with incredible know-how and resources. No wonder that one of the worlds top lens manufacturers is connecting with Sony. So I guess you’d better redirect your sentiments. I admit having had a similar feeling for a while. But thinking of all Sony’s achievements, inventions, and their bravery (which is pretty unique in the industry, hence the A7!) I turned this sentiment into a kind of pride, wearing a camera with the Sony name on it. Sony stands for knowledge, bravory and power – IMO… At this moment, there’s nothing like it. Everybody talked about it, but Sony DID it. That stands for something, no?

      • Yes and No……

        Sony is just like any other company a Business…they make products because it generates a profit. If it doesn’t the product goes away and a little later the company.
        That is also for Sony….History is full of Big and brave companies, which didn’t make it

        Is Sony today a leader in technology? Like Apple?…No not really
        After Walkman and Discman they spread their business in Electronics, Music, Cinema and Games..

        So is it a smart company… yes!

    • “Sony, I mean Sony make (…) Microwaves and (…) Breadmakers”

      Err… Maybe in your country dude. But watch the exact spelling. ZONY, SANY or SYNO arent SONY.

      • The sarcasm in my tone hasn’t quite been noticed I see -“sigh”.
        Anyway, Sony isn’t a traditional Photographic firm, they’re electronics and electricals – and they only took off after acquiring Konica Minolta – so thank you to the KM division for the advancements, innovation and progression – not to mention the rebranded Minolta lenses (along with Zeiss who also supply Nokia mobile phones so hardly something extraordinary).
        I do think Sony are coming along, but have along way to go to be taken seriously by those dedicated to traditional firms.

  34. Steve,
    Focus problems in reptile house – could the camera have been trying to focus on the glass rather than on the exhibit behind it?

    • Well, to be fair, that is possible. When I focused on a person at a medium distance it was no problem at all. I let my son shoot the A7 and 55 and I took the R and 35 2.8. He handed me the A7 after 20 minutes and said “this camera can not focus” – so he then took the A7r and 35 and I took the A7 and 55. I had a few misses with the 55 and none with the 35. He was much happier with the 35 overall, but this was all indoor with mostly close up shooting.

      • Hi Steve,
        how can anybody expect to nail the focus with a brand new camera combo after a couple of hours using them. I shot 24/7 for many years and I always needed a few days to get comfortable with a new camera or lens configuration. At the end it always came down to rethink and adjust my focus habits to the new body/lens or simply to go manual.

        • Sony will not get my money if that is thr case. I don’t see why anyone has to adjust to an AF system. I picked up an a99 with 24-70 and a 50mm. It AF with my 1st shot. I didn’t have to rethink or learn how to use it.

          I have a feeling I can pick up a Nikon DF and just start shooting without rethinking or have to go manual.

          Can you explain why some cameras and lens combos will not auto focus?

  35. On my side, I was disappointed with the autofocus, then I started to shoot most of the time with manual lenses. ; )

    Leica M9, Oly EM-5, Fuji X-Pro1 and I hope next week A7, all with M mount glasses…

  36. Hi Steve.
    I am not sure id you have both of these available now, but maybe some of your readers have: I am speaking about the F 0.95 Leica and the T0.95 SLRMagic?
    I havent heard anything about offset micro lenses on A7R(or A7) and don’t know what angle these light gathering monster lenses hit the sensor. But as of now FF digital 0.95 could be at its cheapest ever with SLRMagic pluss A7R (or even more so with A7of course, but A7R interests me the most)
    Do you think these 2 lenses will rate differently against each other on the new Sonys compared with on Leica?
    Do you or any readers know if ray angles is the same on these 2 lenses?

    thanks for a truly great site you have 🙂

  37. I was disappointed the the auto focus on the NEX-7 and sold the camera. From other reviews I have read this 7 Series may not be much better. If Sony maintains the same level of software suppert with this camera as they did the NEX-7 I will stay with M4/3 for now.

  38. Hi Steve,

    found your blog a few weeks while searching for a7/r reviews and am a regular reader of all your content ever since! Loved your E-M1 reviews and really enjoy the guest contributions!

    Reason I am posting here: I am following the a7 reviews very closely, because I find that camera very interesting. It is at a price point, where I could imagine making the jump into FF.

    However, my budget would only get me the body at this point. Therefore, the only lenses I could use with it would be three OM lenses I still have: 50mm 1.4, 85mm 2.0, 100mm 2.8. The thing that I am wondering about at this point if it makes any sense what so ever to put those lenses on the a7 or not.

    So what I am hoping to find more reviews with the a7 (less with the a7r, I guess, due to it’s higher res) and legacy glass. Maybe you will cover this in more depth in your upcoming in-depth review? In any case, I am looking forward reading/watching your in-depth impressions of these two quite remarkable cameras!

    Cheers and all the best, Levent

  39. OK… one more time so that people will stop with this Leica is small and lite nonsense:

    Except for the EVF bump the body is smaller, thinner and even with the EVF weighs 210g less then the Leica Type 240…. As for lenses, yes the 55 f1.8 is a bit bulkier…but its also pretty lite at 281g…. Meanwhile, Leica 50mm Summicron F2 weighs 242g….

    So lets see which combo weighs closes to the Nikon DF with 50mm F1.8:

    Sony A7r + 55mm F1.8 = 465g + 281g = 746g

    Leica M240 + 50mm f2 Summicron = 680g + 241g = 921g

    Nikon DF + 50mm F1.8 = 765g + 155g = 920g

    So please no more horse doo doo about the Leica’s supposed compactness… yes verses a D800… absolutely not verses the Sony twins…. and even verses the Nikon DF its going to depend on your lens choice…..

    • But you need to compare the nikon df with the 55/1.4 zeiss otus to have comparable performance to leica 50 summilux. after that, who is the porker now? So apples to apples please.. none the less, the new sony’s are nice and small!

        • Well, even the summicron trumps both f1.8 lenses mentioned here which ever way. And comparing slux and otus, well the otus weights about 1kg.

          Anyway, lenses swing this around which way you want them to. But the camera body of the leica is a lot less than that of the Df. And same goes when you start looking for a whole system. Nikon lenses have clearly less glass and more plastic in them and it shows in IQ.

          But as said, the Sony A7r is really interesting. Something I could definitely think using alongside my trusty M9. Speaking of whic, you could have thrown the Leica M-E in the comparison mix also.. it weights 585g.

          • The M-E is larger than the Sony and an RF, no live view, etc. Different camera. The Sony..IQ wise..can beat any Leica camera, period. BUT it can not match them for build, feel, use, wide angle M mount use, etc. Nothing can.

          • For sure they ate very different and A7r is smaller and lighter, no doubt. Was my intention to merely point out that there still is a difference between slr’s and Leica systems. A7 series is size considering closer to nex.

    • The A7(R) is huge. Far too big. As is the DF. And they’re too heavy. They will be too dominant to use in the streets. Forget (semi) incognito. People will stop and stare. And they’re not the tools for landscapes either. So what is the purpose then? Family pics? Too expensive for that. IMO, a pure waste of money these new cameras.

  40. I would like to see a comparison between the A7 with the 35mm f/2.8 and the Canon 5D Mark IIi with the 35mm “L”, but I don’t believe it will happen. Steve, maybe you can compare the Nikon Df and Nikon
    35mm f/1.4 with the A7 and 35mm (after all – you just ordered a Nikon Df). Just to see if the Sony can compete with the full frame pro systems. It would be a fun comparison. Cheers.

  41. ah can’t wait for the review~! Especially on the 35mm and the 55mm lens. I’m gonna get either one of them and then settle my self for much smaller M-mount lens. Just so that I have a lens that is weather proof and auto focus when i need one. Everyone is saying that the 35mm is very sharp. Not much news on the 55mm.

  42. Dpreview commented on a7 miss focusing now we hear the same experience from you.

    I’m glad I cancelled my pre-order for the A7. Bad autofocus for me is a deal-breaker.

  43. Hello Steve,
    I’m glad you are testing the Sony A7 and A7R. I would like to know
    1 – if the M lenses from Leica and Zeiss can give their full potential on the A7R?
    2 – if we can recognize the signature of Summilux 50mm vs. 50mm Summicron as well as for the 50mm Planar and Sonnar?
    3 – if it is worth the cost to buy a 50mm Summilux rather than Sonnar or Summicron rather than the Planar?

    I do not have the money to live the M shooting experience, but I would like to equip a A7R with a nice manual 50mm lens from Leica or Zeiss.

    Steve, it’s always a pleasure to read your blog every day. Thank you.

    • 1. YES they can. Already tested many of them with superb (better than M) results.
      2. Yes. Already tested those and shown many samples.
      3. That is all personal pref – depends on what “look” you are after.

      • Hi Steve
        Many of us, judging by the various forums, will be looking at the 7 and 7R as vehicles for alternate lenses. In most cases his means LM mounts. I think we would all be interested in your experiences with RF lenses on both of these cameras. It seems there is a growing feeling that the smaller sensor a7 will be better with these than the a7R, something you hinted at in your very first comments. I am referring here not only to side/corner sharpness but also to colour shift / edge darkening phenomena with which we are familiar from the NEX range. Your valued comments will be of great service here.

    • based on many samples shot with leica & zeiss lenses , the result is far from perfect. Smeared corners almost on ALL leica lenses including 50 1.4 summilux . There’re also color shift issue on wide angle lenses. Check forum for A7(r) threads. The members are sharing their experience shooting with leica / zess lenses. No good so far.

  44. Hi Steve,
    nice to read all your reviews on the A7 and A7R. In the UK here my A7r is being delivered tomorrow ( might have to take the afternoon off work and do some shooting) Looking forward to it a Lot……
    Keep up the good reviews .

  45. Cool. Looking forward to this.
    My only beef is the strange lens offering by Sony. 35mm 2.8 when they already offer a 35mm f 2.0 in the RX1. And 55 1.8 when pretty much everyone else if offering 1.4 and faster.

    Good thing there’s those adapters!

    • Not so strange if you assume they wanted to keep a reason for people to buy the RX1

      If you could get a 35mm f2.0 for $800, or even $1000, and the A7 body for $1700, why pay $2800 for an RX1 with a 35mm f2 and 24meg sensor ?

      As it stands though, its a choice. The RX1 lens is great, and faster, and the EVF can tilt (though its additional cost on top of a $2800 camera)

    • unless you are a MF person, adapters don’t work. I was going to use all my canon glass side I have plenty of them on the a7r and I sold my 5d3 for this. However testing the metabones mk3 with even the 50 f1.4 canon, the af was sooo slow. It took an average of 2sec to lock any focus.sometimes it even hunts forever.

      • Yes, the autofocus with the Metabones adapter is painfully slow – to the point of being nearly worthless. However my interest in this camera/adapter combination is in the use of manual focus Canon lenses only.

  46. > At 2.8 it is sharp yet creamy

    Sharp yet creamy???!!
    Where’s the glossary?!!!
    Blog-speak for 10-stars out of 10?

    A7+A7r will almost certainly get highest DxO + DPR ratings;
    RX1 fixed Zeiss Sonnar got highest DxO & DPR rating of any
    lens-sensor combo AFAIK; wishfully thinking RX10 Zeiss Sonnar
    fixed zoom will get one of highest zoom IQ ratings…?

    • Don’t be fooled into thinking the A7 series are DSLR sized – I know the faux pentaprism hump lends itself to that but just look around for images of an A7 next to a DSLR, it’s chalk & cheese. As for the Df, its dimensions of 143.5 x 110 x 66.5 mm versus the A7s 126.9mm x 94.4mm x 48.2mm do means it’s still significantly smaller.
      Even in Steves picture the A7 is shorter, apart from said hump, and a lot thinner. I don’t think my A7 with the Zeiss ZM Planar f2 would be described as DSLR sized… if it arrives this week as planned!

    • Except for the EVF bump the body is smaller, thinner and even with the EVF weighs 210g less then the Leica Type 240…. As for lenses, yes the 55 f1.8 is a bit bulkier…but its also pretty lite at 281g…. Meanwhile, Leica 50mm Summicron F2 weighs 242g….

      So lets see which combo weighs closes to the Nikon DF with 50mm F1.8:

      Sony A7r + 55mm F1.8 = 465g + 281g = 746g

      Leica M240 + 50mm f1.4 Summilux = 680g + 241g = 921g

      Nikon DF + 50mm F1.8 = 765g + 155g = 920g

      Hum…. looky…looky… at which turned out to be the porker….

      • Umm I wonder what will be the advantage with a 24-70 2.8 or a 70-200 2.8?
        Ups I forgot that they don’t have it!
        Probably that’s the reason the 55 it’s a 1.8 and not 1.4 – to keep it small….

        • Steve is just getting started and you’re jerking off already?! C’mon, guys! Measurebate all you want but keep it to yourselves. Keep the stains out of this site.

          • Bates, the good thing about comparing size and weight is you don’t need to know the performance of the camera at all. So, freedom of speech and oh, keep taking the medicine as prescribed, you seem to be derailing a little.

        • How much do Leica’s 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 weigh? Oh yea right… leica doesn’t have them either.. 😉

      • Thanks. The weight comparisons are interesting. Canon 5D3 body only = 860g. Canon 50mm f1.8 = 122.5g. Combined = 982.5g. A few extra grams but autofocus is excellent, wide angle lenses no problem, quiet mode is pretty quiet.

  47. Hi Steve,
    I really enjoy your views and can’t wait to read more about these “game changing” cameras. Any chance of your testing them with C/Y Zeiss glass?
    I have been holding on to my C/Y lenses hoping that someone would come up with digital bodies for them and this may just be it…

  48. I suspect I won’t be the only person to ask (and I know that I’m not the only one out here vey interested) but…

    if it’s at all possible for you to get your hands on either or both of Canon’s wide TS-Es (17 & 24) many of us are eager to know whether or not they play well with the a7r via the Metabones mk III adapter.

    No doubt they work fine – straight through – but is there any vignetting imposed by the mount or the adapter.

    Much obliged if you can shed any light on that at all for us.

      • Actually that is my shot! Even at full shift, the 17mm TSE is sharp in the corners on the A7r, though as a rule using that lens at full shift I always stop down to f8 or f11. This one was taken at iso 200 at f/11 at 25s. No tilt was applied.

        • Thanks Ryan, that’s what I wanted to see.

          Were you using the Metabones MkIII adapter?
          I’ve seen two reports on the ‘net about using the TS-Es and the Metabones adapter, both of which contradicted each other regarding vignetting.

          Your shot seems to clearly suggest that it’s not a problem. (lovely shot, by the way).

          • Phil,

            I was using the Metabones MK III adapter. I tested the adapter at home first when it was quite bright out with the 17tse. I didnt notice any real heavy vignetting problems then, in bright daylight.

            If I had any concerns about the combination of the two it would be is the weight of the lens and the adapter too heavy for the lens mount on the camera. If you are not using the grip, it is a non issue as you adapter has a tripod mount built-in to it, and it is strong enough to hold both. But with the grip mounted, the camera has to be mounted to the tripod, the tripod mount on the adapter is way to short.

            Just something to keep in mind.


          • Good point about the Arca-Swiss foot on the Metabones adapter perhaps not fitting with the camera and tripod head. I’ve had that happen with various other camera/lens combinations.

            I don’t generally use the additional vertical grips on cameras so hopefully it won’t be an issue with my particular tripod head in this case.

            In any event your results, along with a couple of other’s I’ve now seen, look very promising for the 17 and 24 T-SEs


          • Massimo

            I will try to get some full size jpegs in the next couple of days. If anybody is interested.


  49. Wow, we really need more details on an focusing issues with the A7 as opposed to the A7r. Especially since Dpreview mentioned the same. Would be good to know about regular light situations too, not just low light, and whether the kit zoom is any good, maybe stopped down to F8 or even F11 (for studio use).

    • I had about an hour with both cameras yesterday and both with the 35 f2.8 and was indoors shooting at iso 800 and I too found the a7 to be slower than the a7r to focus.It was slower enough to notice and they were both in center spot focus. somehow the phase detection on the a7 is supposed to be faster but it’s not

        • Hi I tested both A7 and A7r indoors and the A7r had very big problems to focus in some light, ex when a LCD screen was near or behind the subject (A7 nailed it every time and w/o hesitation A7r never got lock). It was inside a store so the light was not that bad to get 1/200 shutter I needed ISO 800+. Also on all the tests I did the A7 was much faster then A7r with both 35mm and the 55mm.

          • My continued use really does not show much of an AF difference at all. In low light they both use contrast detect..same system. The lenses will make a difference though.

  50. Hi Steve! I’m sure you meant “Sony”, not “Soy”, although I enjoy soy protein too! 🙂 I anxiously await your review of the Sony A7r with the Zeiss 35!!! As I’m a “sharpness nut”, I am wondering how much sharper those images would be over a Nikon D610 and Micro-Nikkor 105 for example. Thank you sir!

    • And please do a crazy comparison Panasonic 20/1.7 versus Sony 35/2.8!! I really want to see how big the difference with micro four thirds is, since this Sony camera is really affordable…

        • Yep, a comparison between Oly 17 vs Sony 35 would be great like a comparison of DoF at 1.8 vs 2.8 and also 100% crop ! thanks a lot

        • That would be really awesome as well, Steve. Your reviews and comparisons are the best on the internet. Thanks for the great work!

          I mentioned the 20/1.7 because it matches the absolute aperture of the 35/2.8. I use my 20/1.7 and 17/1.8 interchangeably, and I use them a lot. It would really help me to judge how much the Sony would improve. Not that interested in sharpness charts, much more in how the images are rendered.

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