Three quick pics! Sony A7r, A7 and Leica M 240 – From RAW, full size.

Three quick pics! Sony A7r, A7 and Leica M 240 – From RAW, full size.

Just for fun!

Hey guys, yes, I am working on the Sony A7 and A7r  review so hang in there. These things take time 🙂 Below is a quick snap I shot in my kitchen, handheld with an A7r, A7 and Leica M. The Sony cameras had the Zeiss 35 2.8 and I shot it at f/3.5. The Leica had an old 1950’s 35 3.5 Summaron attached.

You can click them for full size.




Also, here are a couple of shots from Nashville, but these were converted from RAW this time 🙂 EXIF is embedded in each file if interested. The 1st shot of the woman on the horse was shot with the 55 1.4 Otus, The 2nd shot of the man was shot with the Sony 35 2.8 and the third with the Zeiss Otus once again.


zeiss 212.8full


See my Leica M review HERE. Pre-Order the A7 cameras HERE.


  1. In response to some of the Leica lens questions, I have an A7r and have used it with my 50 Summilux asph and my 28 Summicron asph. The 50mm was incredibly sharp and in my honest opinion had more crispness to the file than my m240 does (although both are incredibly crisp), more like my m9. The 28mm blew me away, and is a lens that really benefits from the extra resolution of the A7r. At 1:1 the detail was incredible, like The photo was taken at this distance. The colours from this sensor are very realistic, but rich at the same time. In terms of edge performance, I’ve noticed some vignetting wide open, but no obvious magenta or smearing. I’m very impressed!

  2. Was reading your pre- review as I am thinking of buying a7r for myself. And all the anal comments above reminded me of the fact that when one gets too close to something, one looses proper perspective- like coin or stamp collectors who will obsess about a trivial petty issue. The point of the three photos is simple : Sony either equals or betters the four times more expensive leica- by the way- a7r was announced as pop photo camera of the year, and the full test is also posted on mag’s web- which to me says all there is to say, and makes reading your upcoming yet somewhat belated test a bit redundant… Still thank you Steve for the photos- it is a pity some idiots discuss skin pores instead of looking at a picture as a whole…

  3. Steve, how about testeing the 3 cameras with the 60 year old lens. One lens is as good as another to see the difference in camera’s shooting ability and IQ.

  4. Let me reproduce my comment up there…

    I just tested today the A7 on both day and night shots with my Lux 24. Full aperture only, so as I do on my M9. Kind of Architecture shorts, far enough to be at hyper focal. In this situation, the center is razor sharp, impressively sharp even for a sensor with filter. But the edges are damn smeared.

    I’ll perform some more tests at closer aperture.
    And then Noct f/0,95…

  5. That A7r is amazing. Look at the detail in her right iris (left on the picture) on all 3 shots. You can actually see Steve’s reflection in her right eye! Actually you can see it clearly in her left eye (right on the photos) on all three cameras, but the A7r is the only camera that also gives that level detail on the other eye as well. Stunning. Although, realistically, all three cameras are phenomenal as it’s a pretty rare occurance that you’re going to see that level of detail without deliberatly zooming in and looking for it.

  6. Interesting comments regarding portraits. YES! Gimme all that sharpness and wonderful detail with that A7r. I’d much rather do post-processing to soften than to work with an image that doesn’t have enough sharpness to begin with.

  7. I hesitate between the A7 or A7R. I look the tests
    I want to be sure the A7R has no Moiré pattern …
    Other camera models without an anti-aliasing / low-pass filter = Moiré pattern

    At the moment, I prefer A7R, it offers much more detail.
    I find it interesting That The Sony / Zeiss 35mm f/2.8

    I wait the test / review Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 for the …

    Opus = Wow but really too overpriced + adapter (bigger)

  8. Hi Steve,
    Seeing your pics leaves little doubt that the image quality is great. Thanks for continuing to post these.

    I had a chance to shoot a few frames with the A7 at a Sony demo at my local camera shop yesterday, and would like to find out if your impressions of a few aspects of handling are similar after more time getting used to it.

    I found the overall size and weight with the kit zoom lens noticeably preferable to other FF bodies (didn’t have the primes to demo), the grip was OK, but the sizes and positions of the buttons and dials seemed a little less ideal than other top notch bodies out there right now. It didn’t seem like i could use the front dial without shifting out of the natural shooting position that put my index finger and thumb in the right places for the shutter and rear controls. The sales rep even seemed a little annoyed with me for using the rear dial in A mode when I guess I should have been using the front dial,

    The autofocus was pretty good, but i didn’t have any moving targets to test, and the mf was easy with magnification since the evf is quite decent. I couldn’t get used to focus peaking the way i have on the fuji x cams – my first impression is that the sony version seems to be either too busy or too hard to see depending on the setting, but i did not have a lot of time to adjust.

    It sure would be fun to have the a7r and an outstanding normal prime lens if i had the money to spend, but I think I would stick with my new GR for wide angle, and keep an OMD around for telephoto lenses.

    Any thoughts on these things?

  9. If they’re all so close (which they are) where’s that illustrious Leica “glow”, “magic” and “wow factor”? Did it disappear with the advent of a CMOS sensor in the M 240?

    The Alpha 7 only has lowly Sony sensors, as utilized by Nikon…

  10. can´t wait for that…..but I understand all the test you want to involve… take all the time you need. At the end it will be
    the best for all of us readers that are waitng your review…

  11. If I could use my “old” Sony Alpha and Minolta (20 to 50mm range) without a big adapter on one of these camera’s I would order one today. I most often use my Sony Alpha 77 and that is a big camera with a apc-c sized sensor. I also use a Fuji x100 as a “easy to take along camera” but the Sony sensor gives much better raw files. When processed in lightroom the dynamic range really is very much greater than with the Fuji files.

    I think I will wait and see if perhaps next year Sony offers a camera that uses a full frame sensor in a smaller mirrorless body with a standard Alpha mount so i can use my old glass.

  12. Hi,
    it seem to me than the woman pic with A7R (and Zeiss 2.8/35) is far away at the level definition.
    I’m sad because i just buyed an M240…
    The level of details with the A7R is near a middle format like the S or S2.

    We are waiting now your review !
    Best regards from Paris, France

  13. Hi Steve,

    You’ve become my go-to source for A7/r updates. Can’t wait for the full reviews.

    I’m on the fence between the two models and going in circles. Can you offer any suggestion yet between the A7 and A7r for a shooter whose primary concern is capturing impromptu family moments and handheld portraits of my daughters age 1 and 3?

    I have been using a NEX 5n with several e-mount lenses but have had great success with the la-ea2 and the SAL 50 1.8. And I recently purchased an X-100 which I likely will use as a complement to the A7/R.

  14. I’d be happy with any of the 3 photos. Like others, I’ve been struggling with the decision on which Sony to buy. I think for people photography, which is 95% of what I do, the A7 is better suited. The low pass filter takes the edge off just enough to render a better portrait. Pixel peeping on eye lashes really doesn’t come into play as the portrait is viewed as a whole. The A7r is sharper but for a person’s face, that sharpness may hurt more than it helps.

  15. They’re all great. I still prefer film over all of them, but it’s more the feel to me. If one really cares about ultimate sharp images the A7r is tough to beat. If you want the true RF experience, then the M240 is the way to go. Tired of this flat file talk nonsense. I don’t know many working pros that deliver flat RAW files. I know I don’t.

  16. Steve,

    I’m very interested in seeing 3200 ISO and higher comparisons between the A7 and A7r, hope it’s in your review. Thank you for this crazy compare.

  17. The M240 shot has a slight Infrared magenta hue in the black top. I wonder how it would look with an IR filter on the lens.

  18. I’m a neurosurgeon. I look through a microscope every day. I may have even been in a few of your brains. For the life of me, I cannot see major differences in these shots, and nobody who looks at any of your shots will be asking these questions either. Our pictures are based on our brains, not our pieces of silicone and glass (at least not in the league that these cameras are in). Let’s talk about images, meaning and life, not pixels for a change. BTW, happy birthday, Steve.

    • LoL! Great. I fully agree. Nevertheless, pixelpeeping and the advice of others gives a lot of comfort to those indecisive by nature.

      • Thanks, Mike. And to those “decisive by nature” too…Having recently purchased an M 240, and constantly reading Steve’s site, of course there have been several times when I said “OMG I should have waited until the Sony came out and saved the bucks and possibly had better IQ”. Alas, my wife said she’d leave me if I swapped out one more camera in this lifetime, so I have convinced myself that pixel peeping is irrelevant. Part of my “rehabilitation” is to convince others. I think I’ll stick to surgery…

        • I to am done pixel peeping. If my only knew what the M costs, I’d be pixel peeping elsewhere. I’ve taken some great stuff with the first Fuji X100 and had it enlarged to 24X36 and everyone loves it and I must say it hangs in my office. And that was only a 12MP camera. No more buying for me but I love Steve’s reviews and will always be a reader.

      • And a sharp knife too 🙂

        But seriously, it all comes back to our visual system, and while an optics lab can measure things with precision, to some, even the lab’s verdict on sharpness may run counter to what their eyes “tell” them. I suppose that’s what makes this stuff so much fun to debate.

  19. Any chance you could post ISO6400 images from the A7, A7r, and M that are converted from raw to jpg in a similar fashion to this post? The OOC jpgs from the A7 and r seem to have some really funky artifacting in your prior post and I suspect it is because they were not original captured in raw.

  20. What a lucky guy you are to have such a wonderful muse. Really nice shots and await your review of the ff camera’s. Keep up the good work there as many guys are hanging on your findings. 🙂

  21. Looking forward to the full review – I had a hands-on at a sony launch event here in Vancouver a few weeks ago and feel that his might just be the camera to tip me over to a first full-frame digital. Have fun shooting them!

  22. I know there is a perspective difference…but I can make out the crossbeams on the porch…reflected in her eyes on the A7R.

  23. Ok, so I realize that this is not a scientific comparison, but really? Nobody cares that the A7r picture is taken so close that it almost looks distorted, then the A7 a little farther away, and the M picture the farthest? I’m not criticizing Steve here, but before people get all excited let’s just acknowledge this.

  24. Holy Shmoly – that A7r really kicks a**. I find it interesting that the Sony/Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 competes very well with the Leica glass. The sensor on the A7r blows the Leica out of the water. Food for thought.

  25. At last we see a RAW image from the A7r and A7, they have kept us waiting in suspense for some time.
    I think the A7r to my eye is sharper but as others say maybe too sharp for portrait .
    Maybe the A7 could be the sweet spot.
    When is the next iteration of the Leica M240 due maybe the M240P will be more competitive with these Sony’s.

  26. Okay here’s the $12mil question. I’ve got the M on order and have been waiting several months..ugh. I’ve got Leica glass. So I’m wondering should I order the A7r which I prefer and cancel the Leica? I understand the dollar diff, but Leica is beginning to piss me off. The M rollout is a marketing joke. Maybe the Sony is a better choice, and surely faster delivery,,thoughts

  27. I like the rendering of that Summaron. What would really have been fun would be to use the same lens on all three.

    • I think you are on to something with this thought. I find that if portraits ( or any picture for that matter) becomes to clinical in it presentation than it loses the artistic feel. If all the person is doing is looking for incredible resolution than that person is not much of a photographer any way.

    • That comment comes up again and again with lenses and high resolution sensors but I think it’s really not useful. If there was “too sharp” then why would medium format be used for high-price professional work in the fashion and advertising industry? If you shoot digital you can easily remove blemishes and reduce sharpness if necessary.

  28. Hey Steve, thanks for all this reviews really help a lot. Im not sure if you’ve done it yet or not. But for me the only purpose in getting this A7 or A7r is to use it with Leica lenses. Have you tried shooting the a7r with a 35 or 50 lux? more specifically with the 35? there are some really lukewarms reviews about magenta tints, heavy vignetting etc?

  29. Honestly.
    I like sharpness and always want to have the best performance and what not.
    But really, these pictures are so damn close, it’s hard to justify buying the A7r over the A7.
    As always it’s hard to justify buying the Leica, but that’s something else.

    I must say though, there seems to be quite a bit more noise in all of these compared to a 6D.
    At least at 100%. Although the 6D’s lack of noise sometimes irritates me…

    • Actually the Summaron is the most ‘pleasing’ portrait – I think “very bad” is missing the picture for the pixels.
      The slight vignette, the lower contrast provides a more pleasing appearance. In the a7r photo, it looks like her face is extended from her neck, and that much detail is not needed, unless you are a dermatologist. The a7 photo has more contrast, and the skin wrinkles are accentuated compared the the M240 shot. Look at the area between the eyes, for example.

      In terms of ‘right tool for the job’ M240 + Summaron wins. Of course the skin blemishes/imperfections can be toned down with some ps work.

      Interesting comparison. Let the other sites do the scientific pixel tests, Steve, I like your ability to ‘mix it up’ and think outside the box.

  30. Well, you have to scale the A7r picture down to 24 Mpx to compare. And then the head shot is still 15 % larger than the shots with the A7 and the Leica. So you have to downscale to 85% to get equal size. I think that is one reason the A7r shot looks the best.
    I would really like an a-b-c test at equal distance of a real-life object 🙂
    By the way, beautiful girl-fried 🙂

  31. I wonder what people would think if you didn’t tell them which is which.

    Picking the A7r up this afternoon, time to play.

  32. Thanks for the RAWs, Steve. My conclusion: concerning IQ those cameras play in the same leage, with the A7r offering a lot more detail. How much more really surprises me. Pretty impressive! Further there are nuances, but since the pics were taken handheld, we mustn’t jumpt into conclusions. Anyway, until recently, an IQ like this was unthinkable. Can we be anything else but very happy? Bottom line: Sony does an incredible job, producing those bodies for 3 to 4 times less money than the Leica. I’m so glad to have ordered an A7r the first minute it became available. I will receive it very soon now, so I’m told. Can’t wait!
    A pitty that the Otus images aren’t full size. But as far as I can see: I like it a lot.

  33. Very interesting. A7 softer than other two….all other things aside. You have a very forgiving fiancee.

    Now show me the Nikon 1 V1 with the 32…..

  34. PLEASE post analysis from something OTHER THAN the
    “otus” or a “Zeiss 35mm 2.8” or “Zeiss 55 1.4”

    many of us want to know how will A7R
    does with leica and voigtlander and manual focus
    zeiss lenses. nyc pictures did not show much

    other sites seem to be saying even lenses in the
    35mm to 50mm range MAY not be ideal on a7r?

    purple fringing with voigtlander 35 1.2 ? – yes or no?
    not sharp with summilux 35mm 1.4 ? – or – good like on leica?
    any good with zeiss planar 35mm f2 ? – or – loses iq?

    lot of work for you but it would help to know this, yes?

  35. Hi Steve,
    Am glad you are doing a Sony A7/A7r review. i’m patricularly interested in the results you get using “legacy” lenses wider than 35mm, say the popular 28’s, 24’s and 20’s. I’ve read reports that images from wides and super-wides are causing corner/edge resolution issues -while I noted that a Swedish reviewer using the current Nikkor 24 to 70mm via Metabones adapter experienced ZERO resolution issues on the A7r. It would be great to clear that up though I’ve already ordered an A7r body but I would later order the new Zeiss 35mm f2.8 depending on what you discover with the wider legacy glass.

  36. Many people would like to see pictures with rangefinder lenses under 50mm.
    I made my own test today with my new Sony A7 and I am very diasappointed with lenses under 50mm.
    I tried CLE M-Rokkor 40/2 no sharp corners and edges until 5.6, then CLE M-Rokkor 28/2,8
    very bad in Corners and edges until 8, OM Lenses 24,28 also not useful until 5,6, only Summicron 50/
    is useful from 2,8.
    So if somebody can recommend me two rangefinder lenses in 35 and 28 mm working with open aperture
    I hold the cam, otherwise I give it back. Maybe Voigtländer or Zeiss ZM Stuff is better.
    But I don´t think so. These lenses are not constructed for that sony sensor.
    Leica M9 and M240 has an special sensor for Leica Lenses.
    I think a dream long waiting for is dieing!!!!!!Perhaps I have to go back to my Nex 6.

    • I made the trial with a 24 Lux at full aperture and I can confirm this behavior on A7, with Novoflex converter. The center is razor sharp, even surprising for a sensor with filter, but edges are smeared (off at hyperfocal distances). I’ll make some tests down…

  37. Oh man, thanks for your great work, funny how 50 year old Summaron can still stand against this Zeiss monster! I almost regret selling it some time ago. Keep up with this incredible website.

  38. Everyone – of course this is not so much a ‘test’ as the same lens was not used. So, we cannot really make any comparisons or true judgments one way or the other. Color, sharpness etc… they are as they are nice snaps from 3 ‘good’ cameras. In Question 6 – which I posted above, should settle any comparisons and give us all an idea once and for all of how the a7/a7r will perform compared to the camera it was designed for (the M 240) at least with a 50mm rangefinder lens.

  39. Hmm. I find the M is sharper then both the A7 and A7r. There seems to be some camera shake in the Sony’s. Is it just me or does their seem to be more noise in the Sony’s as well. Colour wise I’d have to go with the M.

  40. When comparing the sony’s with their modern lenses to the M240, you should have taken a modern Leica lens as well. This is not a fair comparison with a lens from the fifties Steve!

  41. Hey Steve – might be fun to see something like a 50mm cron shot from all 3. Like this we can get and idea of the differences in sensors as well as rendering on each. Since all 3 would be using the same lens as a baseline. Would love to see this… in fact it’s a dream of mine. 🙂 Whaddya say?

  42. From RAW look much better than yesterday’s Sony SOOC jpegs. Why did you choose to use a different lens for the Leica in this comparison? As always, thanks Steve.

    • Both Sony images were shot at 1/60th. The Leica image was shot at 1/45th. It appears the A7R image was shot a little closer to the subject too, which could account for more detail in the lashes (besides the additional resolution of the camera).

  43. Sony A7 R is really fantastic. Wonder how much they cost.
    Nikon will have a hard time to compete but it need to !
    They should be due with a real flat mirror less Full Frame Camera with the guts of the D600 for around $1800 That will kick butt all the Camera Industry.

    • I just had a play with an A7 and A7R at a Sony store in Bangkok, costs were 75,000 (about £1500) for the A7R with no lens and around 65,000 (£1300) for the A7 with lens. There’s actually a site here offering preorders on the A7R for the equivalent of £1300 but I think the cameras are grey imports from Japan playing on the weaker Yen.

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