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Author Topic: A7r first impression  (Read 15545 times)
Ray
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« Reply #80 on: December 08, 2013, 06:53:27 PM »
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... and at all higher ISO speed settings, the difference goes away.

Indeed it does. However, I happen to find ISO 200 one of the more frequently used settings. If most of my shots were at ISOs of 400 and above, I wouldn't be so concerned.

I recall when I switched from using the Canon 5D to the Nikon D700, I found that the higher base ISO of the D700 a tremendous benefit. At its base ISO of 200, the D700 had a full stop better DR than the Canon 5D had at ISO 100, and furthermore the D700 at ISO 200 was not worse in any other parameter, such as color sensitivity, and still marginally better with regard to SNR at 18%, compared with the 5D at ISO 100.

Using a shutter speed that's sometimes unnecessarily fast is not usually a problem and will tend to result, overall, in fewer rejects due to camera shake and/or unwanted subject movement.

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A single measurement like that which falls outside the trend of all other measurements (and what we might expect based on the evidence that the two cameras use essentially the same sensor) and comes from measurements on a single sample of each camera, should be treated with skepticism. It might be real (weird Sony firmware?), but it is also quite likely to be due to measurement error or sample variation.

Quite so, which is why I asked the question, "Has anyone noticed that the DR of the A7r at ISO 200 is not as good as that of the D800E?". If one suspects that a DXO reading might be a glitch or an error, it's advisable to test the situation for oneself, if one is able to. That's what I do. For most of us, it's the practical significance of those DXOmark readings that count.

One should also bear in mind that there are previous examples of Nikon and Sony using the same sensor in their respective models, yet the test results have been significantly different in some respects. So we know that there can be other features in a camera, whether software, firmware or hardware, that can affect the final result from the bare-bones sensor.

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Also, if this 0.7 notch worries anyone, it can be avoided by setting the A7R to ISO 100 while still choosing exposure levels as if one were at ISO 200. (Ray, you are aware of this approach, are you not?)

Indeed you can. If the DXO test result is correct, then a 1 stop underexposure at ISO 100 should result in the same DR as the same exposure used at an ISO 200 setting, but that DR from the A7r will still be 0.71 EV worse than the DR that the D800E produces in exactly the same circumstances at an ISO 200 setting.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 07:28:33 AM by Ray » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #81 on: December 08, 2013, 07:13:13 PM »
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For any current CMOS sensor, 1.5 stops at the top may be victim to a shoulder, and therefore not give clean color, 2 stops at the bottom can be throwaway (banding etc), 1 stop is lost to channel mismatch due to unbalanced light. What remains?

Edmund

Edmund,
If we're comparing the A7r with the D800E at ISO 200, then what remains is at least 2/3rds of a stop of cleaner shadows in the D800E image. In circumstances where you need to throw away 2 stops at the bottom, using the A7r, you need to throw away only 1.29 stops with the D800E. I've noticed no banding from the D800E in the deep shadows.
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Telecaster
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« Reply #82 on: December 08, 2013, 10:31:42 PM »
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Seems to me that folks who're seriously concerned about maximizing DR and minimizing noise with the Sonys will figure out empirically how far they can push exposure TTR, at base ISO and when gained up, without compromising highlights. Then we'll see how they stack up against other similarly maximized cameras. This oughtta expose any firmware/data compression issues Sony may want/need to address.

As someone just standing back & watching this saga unfold, I've gotta say it's been fun so far.   Smiley

-Dave-
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bcooter
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« Reply #83 on: December 09, 2013, 04:04:41 AM »
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Seems to me that folks who're seriously concerned about maximizing DR and minimizing noise with the Sonys will figure out empirically how far they can push exposure TTR, at base ISO and when gained up, without compromising highlights. Then we'll see how they stack up against other similarly maximized cameras. This oughtta expose any firmware/data compression issues Sony may want/need to address.

As someone just standing back & watching this saga unfold, I've gotta say it's been fun so far.   Smiley

-Dave-

The digital world is just fixated on shadows (see the thread of 300 charts and comparisons).

Personally to me shadows are dark and honestly cleaning noise out of a shadow is not a big deal, though I don't shoot glass smooth objects.

If anything I look for in a digital file is the transitions from shadows to midtone to highlight and the big one, holding highlights or better put, having highlights that ramp naturally and don't just burn out.

Anyway, to me it all depends on who they build these cameras for.   I saw a you tube video that Sony produced in Japanese that was very pretty and they featured a film maker, a scenic art photographer and I think a commercial fashion photographer.

For the film maker, it seemed rather odd as the video samples I've seen look ok, but the video specs aren't overwhelming.  The art photographer makes sense because of the 35 mpx and the fashion guy, well it was hard to tell, though they did show him tethering.

Like you I've decided to probably wait and see and I have so many platforms now it's getting obscene.  I jumped into 43 for the video functions and the olympus em5 just because I had the lens set and I just like the cameras, but to go the Sony route, it would have to be a replacement for either Canon or Nikon, at least for me and I'm not sure it will replace those two makers.  Probably replace my Nikons more than the Canons, but I'm probably opposite in that thought.

I'd really like to know Sony's roadmap for this series.   With Panasonic it's widely known they will produce a robust 4k camera early next year.    That interests me a lot if the camera shoots a pretty file.

For Olympus I don't know where they're going and maybe the em-1 is the limit for them, but I wish they track focused better, at least my em-5.  If it did I'd probably buy a second em-5 body because the prices are rock bottom right now and I've grown accustom to thinking 1.8 is a normal setting.

For what it's worth I've found if you set up the olympus for no noise reduction and cut the contrast, cut the sharpness (which I believe is set to over sharp) cut the saturation and keep the iso at even numbers, high iso is much cleaner and the file is much more workable.

With Sony, it's kind of wait and see, though the camera does look very interesting.

IMO

BC
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 04:08:06 AM by bcooter » Logged

KLaban
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« Reply #84 on: December 09, 2013, 05:06:40 AM »
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After years of hiking around villages built into the sides of mountains and resembling a human mule train loaded with gargantuan stuff, I now find myself carrying two interchangeable bodies with interchangeable lenses, hoods and l-brackets attached, plus another lens, spare batteries and all the other paraphernalia that comes with the territory and all contained within a ridiculously small bag that would have struggled to contain one super-wide medium format lens.

Small and mirror free is beautiful, or at least it is for me.
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Isaac
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« Reply #85 on: December 09, 2013, 01:09:34 PM »
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After years of hiking around villages built into the sides of mountains and resembling a human mule train loaded with gargantuan stuff, ...

"In earlier days I could climb thousands of feet, on or off trails, carrying a backpack load of fifty or sixty pounds, with the ease and abandon of a mountain goat. I now realize how wonderful those days were and what reserves of strength and endurance we had when only twenty or thirty years old! I wish I had kept up my full physical activities when I was forty and older, but I became more sedate as the years passed, spending more time in the darkroom and at the typewriter." 

page 15, Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, Ansel Adams.
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Isaac
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« Reply #86 on: December 09, 2013, 01:10:28 PM »
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I'd really like to know Sony's roadmap for this series.   With Panasonic it's widely known they will produce a robust 4k camera early next year.

Yeah, fwiw --

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At the press screening told Yoshiyuki Nogama to a video-oriented SLR with A-mount is going on. It will compete with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III will have Ultra HD (4K). We guess that it is a further development of the Sony A99. Sony boss also told that Sony later comes with a really fast camera for action photography.
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Ray
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« Reply #87 on: December 09, 2013, 07:27:55 PM »
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"In earlier days I could climb thousands of feet, on or off trails, carrying a backpack load of fifty or sixty pounds, with the ease and abandon of a mountain goat. I now realize how wonderful those days were and what reserves of strength and endurance we had when only twenty or thirty years old! I wish I had kept up my full physical activities when I was forty and older, but I became more sedate as the years passed, spending more time in the darkroom and at the typewriter." 

page 15, Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, Ansel Adams.

There's no doubt that a weight saving of around 400 gm, comparing a D800E body with an A7r body with metabones adapter attached, is worth something when holding the camera in hand, or walking with camera strapped around one's neck.

However, a weight saving of 400 gm in relation to the total weight of all the photographic gear one might be carrying whilst trekking in the countryside, including lenses, spare batteries, charger, and tripod etc, might be trivial.

I would rather get that saving of 400 gm by losing a bit of fat from around my tummy. That would be far cheaper than buying a new camera, and better for my health too.  Grin
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Telecaster
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« Reply #88 on: December 09, 2013, 07:29:00 PM »
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For what it's worth I've found if you set up the olympus for no noise reduction and cut the contrast, cut the sharpness (which I believe is set to over sharp) cut the saturation and keep the iso at even numbers, high iso is much cleaner and the file is much more workable.

Yes! For the JPEGs I use the Muted profile too. The E-M5 already applies a healthy dose of USM to the RAW data...no need for any more IMO until you downsample for screen or prepare to print. The E-M1 is gentler in this regard.

When I look at all my new camera bags containing all my new gear (in my defense, first new gear since early 2008) I feel like I've eaten too many coney dogs at my favorite diner.   Undecided  Time to get off my arse and do some working out.

-Dave-
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bcooter
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« Reply #89 on: December 10, 2013, 01:44:45 AM »
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Yes! For the JPEGs I use the Muted profile too. The E-M5 already applies a healthy dose of USM to the RAW data...no need for any more IMO until you downsample for screen or prepare to print. The E-M1 is gentler in this regard.

When I look at all my new camera bags containing all my new gear (in my defense, first new gear since early 2008) I feel like I've eaten too many coney dogs at my favorite diner.   Undecided  Time to get off my arse and do some working out.

-Dave-


Today I got outside for a few hours and since I've been in editing for a long time, I kind of feel like someone in house arrest had their ankle bracelet fall off.

Anyway, took all my 43's to the one of the two remaining camera stores in the area and mostly messed with the em-1.  Your right, not as much oversharpening.  I actually set it exactly to my em-5 and to me it look almost out of focus compared to the em-5 and I have the em-5 sharpness and contrast turned down to -2, so when I go to post I'm almost there.

It's funny the em-1 felt lighter to me than the em-5 and I dunno I guess I'm use to the em-5 but I like the feel better than the new one.  The em-1 will track focus, not high speed quick on continuous but at least it will track, where the em-5 doesn't.  It also has less shading comp so less vignetting and i like that smooth fall off.

I expect the em-1 to be more robust but it didn't feel that way to me.  It feels more standard kind of a horizontal camera, where the em1 is almost square with the grip and feels like a vertical camera.  (if that makes sense).

I haven't looked at the raw files yet, as I'm back in solitary, but one thing about the em-1 is it has a HUGE viewfinder.    Jeeezzz.  If medium format had a finder like that the medium format haters would be silent and guys that owned canon and nikon would be dancing in the street, or in Simons case the sheep fields. (insert smiley thing).

Still, I can't get past the Sony, I think it's pretty amazing the more I see of it the more I like the way it feels, but only with the A lenses, adapter and the right angle grip which makes it 5d2 size.

But like you, it's time to not worry about equipment and if I get another release permit I'll go make some pretty photographs.  We have a project coming in and I want to do a really elaborate personal concept before the paying gig starts.

BC
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eronald
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« Reply #90 on: December 10, 2013, 02:59:55 AM »
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Edmund,
If we're comparing the A7r with the D800E at ISO 200, then what remains is at least 2/3rds of a stop of cleaner shadows in the D800E image. In circumstances where you need to throw away 2 stops at the bottom, using the A7r, you need to throw away only 1.29 stops with the D800E. I've noticed no banding from the D800E in the deep shadows.

If it works, hang on to it. You may have a really good sample.

Edmund
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aaykay
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« Reply #91 on: December 10, 2013, 07:37:04 AM »
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There's no doubt that a weight saving of around 400 gm, comparing a D800E body with an A7r body with metabones adapter attached, is worth something when holding the camera in hand, or walking with camera strapped around one's neck.

However, a weight saving of 400 gm in relation to the total weight of all the photographic gear one might be carrying whilst trekking in the countryside, including lenses, spare batteries, charger, and tripod etc, might be trivial.

I would rather get that saving of 400 gm by losing a bit of fat from around my tummy. That would be far cheaper than buying a new camera, and better for my health too.  Grin

Don't know but it is not the 400gms alone....it is the overall massive bulk that I want to get rid of, when I move away from a big, bulky DSLR.  You seem to prefer the bulk and that's perfectly fine.  Till the A7R came along, I personally had no option but to carry the bulk around, since a large FF sensor was not available in such a petite body.....now things are different. 

Yeah, we could nitpick all day long about  a half stop gain here or a fraction of an ISO there, but the bulk and the weight are just undeniable when it comes to carting along a traditional mirror-box equipped body.
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Ray
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« Reply #92 on: December 10, 2013, 09:07:47 AM »
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Don't know but it is not the 400gms alone....it is the overall massive bulk that I want to get rid of, when I move away from a big, bulky DSLR.  You seem to prefer the bulk and that's perfectly fine.  Till the A7R came along, I personally had no option but to carry the bulk around, since a large FF sensor was not available in such a petite body.....now things are different. 

Yeah, we could nitpick all day long about  a half stop gain here or a fraction of an ISO there, but the bulk and the weight are just undeniable when it comes to carting along a traditional mirror-box equipped body.


Of course I don't prefer unnecessary bulk and weight. I'm not silly. Wink  If I didn't already use a couple of Nikon bodies and a few Nikkor lenses, I'd probably consider the A7r, with Metabones adapter to suit my Canon lenses, a worthwhile upgrade.

Even if the camera wasn't lighter and less bulky, the higher resolution and better DR at low ISOs would make it a worthwhile upgrade to replace any current Canon DSLR, provided the adapter provides full functionality.

However, in my situation, the only advantage I can see is a 400 gm reduction in weight which is offset by the disadvantage of an electronic viewfinder (I don't like them), and a lower DR at the frequently used ISO of 200. I also doubt that there's an adapter that provides full functionality with Nikkor lenses, but I could be wrong.
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bcooter
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« Reply #93 on: December 10, 2013, 01:02:02 PM »
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Of course I don't prefer unnecessary bulk and weight. I'm not silly. Wink  If I didn't already use a couple of Nikon bodies and a few Nikkor lenses, I'd probably consider the A7r, with Metabones adapter to suit my Canon lenses, a worthwhile upgrade.

Even if the camera wasn't lighter and less bulky, .........

On this forum I think every third post is either a comment about noise in shadows or if a camera sells.

The most beautiful iconic photographs in the world had noise. (See Fabian Baron's art direction on a google lookup) and who the hell cares what cameras sells to who?

If nikon sells 40 trillion df's and Phase sells one back a year I don't give a s__t and since only the dealers make money from this stuff, why should any of us care, except Bernard who wants to make sure his yellow and black nikon tattoo is still relevant and Ronald who probably is dusting off a commodore computer to go with his first generation monochrome digital camera.

The Sony, let's face it . . . its cheap.  Not in film camera terms, but in digital terms, it's cheap.  If it had a red dot on it and sold for $7,400 people would hit the roof screaming about dentists and investment bankers, but since it costs less than than the viewfinder for a RED, people want it because . . . it's cheap. (see note)

I don't know if the size has that much to do with it.

IMO

BC

note:
It's only cheap if you use your canon glass.  Crazy thing is for me to buy into a new system and use it professionally will cost me more with lenses, adapters, L brackets and right angle grips than if I bought a Leica S2 and used my Contax lenses.

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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #94 on: December 10, 2013, 01:13:00 PM »
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Hi,

I would be interested in the A7r, but…

I need lenses. I could use it with my Sony Alpha lenses,but that would be big lenses with a small camera.

Will the E mount lenses be good?

I am not sure I would buy a camera without OLP filter.

I invested in MFD recently, so funds are not available.

Best regards
Erik
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 04:08:23 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

CptZar
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« Reply #95 on: December 10, 2013, 03:30:51 PM »
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Lloyd Chambers is presently reviewing the Zeiss 35/f2.8. The 55/1.8 review is coming later. There are things he doesn't like, but a lot of things he likes, too. I personally think, that the 24-70/f4 and the 70-200/f4 together with a fast prime will be a very nice and portable solution. Maybe a UW prime after that.

I have an order for the Zeiss Otus 55 which should arrive by mid december. I think though I will pass on it. The lens is huge, and walking around with a 1000g lens on a 20mm adapter seams somehow a little awkward. You really have to be careful not to hit anything and there is a lot of stress on the mount. Definitely OK for a Studio but, outside no. So I was thinking of the Zeiss Sonnar 50/f1.5 or the Sony Zeiss 50/f1.8.
There is a review of the 55/f1.8 at

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1656

But why not use, Sony Alpha lenses? AF is as fast as on the Alphas with the new adapter and beside that possibilities are endless, though the more I play with the cam, the more I see how much easier it is to walk around with light  equipment.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 03:47:52 PM by CptZar » Logged

hcubell
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« Reply #96 on: December 10, 2013, 08:30:13 PM »
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There's no doubt that a weight saving of around 400 gm, comparing a D800E body with an A7r body with metabones adapter attached, is worth something when holding the camera in hand, or walking with camera strapped around one's neck.

However, a weight saving of 400 gm in relation to the total weight of all the photographic gear one might be carrying whilst trekking in the countryside, including lenses, spare batteries, charger, and tripod etc, might be trivial.

I would rather get that saving of 400 gm by losing a bit of fat from around my tummy. That would be far cheaper than buying a new camera, and better for my health too.  Grin

Forget numbers and percentages. Have you actually held an A7R with the new 35mm sony/ Zeiss lens in your hands? I thought a mistake had been made when the packages were delivered to my home. I thought the boxes were empty. Seriously.
It is a wonder that a package of that size has been outfitted with a state of the art FF sensor. If the IQ holds up to the standard set by the 36mp sensor in the D800, the A7R will prove to be a game changer for many. It will go to places that a D800 and a bunch of lenses would never go.
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BJL
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« Reply #97 on: December 10, 2013, 08:51:34 PM »
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Have you actually held an A7R with the new 35mm sony/ Zeiss lens in your hands?
That usage, with a small wide to normal prime lens, is where the savings in body size and weight make most sense, which is why the recent "big-sensor compacts" tend to have such lenses. But
... [the A7R] will go to places that a D800 and a bunch of lenses would never go.
as soon as you go from that one lens kit to a bunch of lenses including ones offering significant telephoto reach, the body weight reduction becomes far less important. That is, I suspect, the gear scenario that Ray is thinking of.
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« Reply #98 on: December 10, 2013, 09:41:30 PM »
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It depends on what comes next from Sony, (Sony) Carl Zeiss and Carl Zeiss proper. For me the A7r with the 24 - 70, 70 - 200 and a 18 prime would be an ideal traveling kit. I have plenty of Minolta and Sony A mount lenses for more specialist photography that could be brought along if conditions require them and a vehicle is available.

Just like I have an A77 if I want to shoot sports etc now and again, plus the A850 in case of a backup is required. Of course all of this means I was half way convinced before handling the camera, I don't need to do the same deep introspection that a long time Canon or Nikon user may need.

 I kept many of my old manual focus lenses as I may be reasonably ruthless in discarding cameras that I no longer need, I am a mug for keeping my glass. And what have I got - a rather large collection of primes including a 200 / 4 and a 300 / 4 plus a 28 - 85 and a 50 - 135 zoom. No extremely heavy or long zooms that marketing departments would have you believe that you not only need but that you aren't complete as a person let alone a photographer without.
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Ray
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« Reply #99 on: December 10, 2013, 10:05:59 PM »
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On this forum I think every third post is either a comment about noise in shadows or if a camera sells.

The most beautiful iconic photographs in the world had noise. (See Fabian Baron's art direction on a google lookup) and who the hell cares what cameras sells to who?

Issue such as noise, DR and high-ISO performance have always been hot topics. One of the main advantages of Medium Format film was not just the additional resolution it provided, compared with 35mm film, but the smoother tones and less obvious grain.

If one wants to make an art feature out of exaggerated grain/noise, blurred motion, blocked, black shadows and so on, that's fine, but most photographers (apart from phone-camera users), probably prefer clean shadows and mid-tones combined with high resolution. I certainly do.

I'm very reluctant in general to buy new gear just because it's cheap and appears to have one or two small advantages compared with what I already have. The idea of one step forward and 3 steps backward does not appeal to me.

Not only does the A7r appear to have lower DR than the D800 at ISO 200 (which in itself is not necessarily a deal-breaker), but we also have the problem of reduced lens functionality when the camera is used with adapters. For example, I was very surprised that the A7r does not have sensor-based image stabilization. I happen to think that image stabilization is one of the great innovations in photography, as is auto-focus and auto-exposure. Why would anyone want to throw away any one of those great features for the sake of a 400 gm weight saving?

Maybe we should start a new thread titled, "How to make sensible purchasing decisions."  Grin

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