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08-22-2015, 04:01 AM   #241
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Why would Pentax need a response, other than releasing their own full frame camera?

People who shoot medium format do not do it just for resolution and dynamic range and color depth, although I bet when DXO Mark tests the A7RII sensor it will still be behind the 645Z in terms of SNR and dynamic range (that is assuming DXO Mark actually tests the 645Z). People shoot medium format for the glass and for the particular look they get when shooting it. I don't think the medium format market has changed much over the years. It is small, but certainly it isn't threatened by a new full frame camera, even if it has a very nice sensor.
Indeed. I'm a little jaded by the number of magazines describing the 5DS/R as a medium format killer. It's being used by good professionals like David Clapp too (mind you he is a Canon ambassador). I bought the A7RII as a back up and something to take when I want to do without the weight of the Pentax. I certainly don't see it as a replacement for my 645Z. Having said that, had I not found the medium format system in 2011 and had the money to buy the 645D, I would be extremely happy with the A7RII.

Once I got used to using the 645D, and got more lenses, it challenged my thinking of my Canon system. It had much more dynamic range and where there was noise, it was uniform and not full of banding. One magazine in the UK in particular has been going on and on about how the 5DS/R are 'medium format killers' keeps talking about resolution as IQ or image quality. This is a common misconception that has been in existence since the start of digital photography. People have been mixing up image size with image quality for so long, the rot has set in.

Is the quality of the A7RII 'good enough'? Notwithstanding the issues that often plague early editions of a camera, I'd say yes. Medium format is still better though. My 645Z images are cleaner and have more definition. They will also take more pulling from the shadows. Too many people seem to ask whether medium format will ever be 'relevant'. What they mean is mainstream. I don't think medium format will ever be mainstream. Pentax have got it closest to it, and hopefully will push it further. The prices of the modern lenses will ensure it doesn't get TOO mainstream.

Make no bones about it though, the A7RII has the makings of a great camera. There have been noises that Sony want to challenge for the positions of Canon and Nikon. I don't think they will manage it (though I hope they will keep challenging for it anyway as that's good for everyone) because people are too set in their ways, plus they are invested in their glass. Sure you can use metabones to adapt a Canon lens, and if the price wasn't so high I'd get the metabones IV and the 11-24 in a heartbeat. If Sony ever truly challenged Canon for market position, I am confident that they would find a way of making their lenses less easy to adapt to other formats.

---------- Post added 08-22-15 at 05:10 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
What are your concerns, Itshimitis?

PS Love the 645D shots you just posted.
Thanks.

I was hoping for similar latitude in dynamic range as my 645Z, but it's not quite there. Long exposure noise is a real concern. As it stands, I wouldn't be able to use this camera for a hour long star trail (not that we are getting any clear skies to shoot them in at the moment). The long exposure noise AND hot pixels are too much in evidence. Sure I could do 120 30 second exposures download starstax but I prefer to do in one exposure and not have 120 42mp images to deal with after. Full 14 bit lossless compressed raw would be great too, as there are occasions in deep blue skies and edges of highlihgts at twilight have caused some posterisation if not processed VERY carefully. Overall I'm happy. It just needs some fixes to deal with the long exposure noise and hot pixels - I get hot pixels with the 645Z too, but they are much smaller and disappear with brush treatment in dfine.

08-22-2015, 04:16 AM   #242
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QuoteOriginally posted by itshimitis Quote
the A7RII has the makings of a great camera
Since we are talking Sony, who have impressive manufacturing ability, if the A7RII doesn't hit the spot, just wait a year (or less) for the A7RIII, or an A8 or something.
08-22-2015, 04:36 AM   #243
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QuoteOriginally posted by itshimitis Quote

Thanks.

I was hoping for similar latitude in dynamic range as my 645Z...
Thanks for your insights, Itshimitis.
08-22-2015, 05:46 AM   #244
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QuoteOriginally posted by itshimitis Quote
They will also take more pulling from the shadows.
Are you sure about that?

And I only ask as I've looked at a A7R II RAW which where I'm able to pull 6+ stops without any loss of color detail and more importantly, where the noise is very minimal. And so this leaves me wondering where/if the 645z can compete. Though unfortunately, I was not able to get two images to compare between systems.

I'd also question the claim that the 645z is either cleaner(pixel quality) as I was not able to distinguish between the A7R II and 645z insofar as the quality of the image grain, noise baseline and capacity for post processing. Of which the A7R II seemed so close to the 645z that the differences seemed indistinguishable.

Though I was able to substantiate that the 645z gets the upper hand on the resolution end of things.

-


Last edited by JohnBee; 08-22-2015 at 06:18 AM.
08-22-2015, 06:34 AM   #245
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Are you sure about that?

And I only ask as I've looked at a A7R II RAW which where I'm able to pull 6+ stops without any loss of color detail and more importantly, where the noise is very minimal. And so this leaves me wondering where/if the 645z can compete. Though unfortunately, I was not able to get two images to compare between systems.

I'd also question the claim that the 645z is either cleaner(pixel quality) as I was not able to distinguish between the A7R II and 645z insofar as the quality of the image grain, noise baseline and capacity for post processing. Of which the A7R II seemed so close to the 645z that the differences seemed indistinguishable.

Though I was able to substantiate that the 645z gets the upper hand on the resolution end of things.

-
Well I'm talking real world real shooting not test charts, which vary all the time. Less purely scientific, but I'm not interested in science as I just want to shoot my landscapes where the lighting isn't carefully controlled in a studio environment, not charts and samples. YMMV of course, but charts and sample shots bore me rigid and I don't think many people would put one up behind their fireplace to admire...

I also don't pixel peep very often and certainly never look above 100%...
08-22-2015, 07:09 AM   #246
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QuoteOriginally posted by itshimitis Quote
Well I'm talking real world real shooting not test charts, which vary all the time. Less purely scientific, but I'm not interested in science as I just want to shoot my landscapes where the lighting isn't carefully controlled in a studio environment, not charts and samples. YMMV of course, but charts and sample shots bore me rigid and I don't think many people would put one up behind their fireplace to admire...

I also don't pixel peep very often and certainly never look above 100%...
I'd first begin by apologizing for lack of information. As the A7R II image from which I was able to pull 6+ stops was an actual image and not a test shot.

That said, I myself wouldn't consider comparison images shot in a studio scientific per say as we inevitably enter the realm of controlled shooting (measures) so as to compare two systems in any capacity. As opposed to shooting under different conditions and settings and attempting to draw conclusions afterward. To which I'd add, wouldn't likely prove helpful given the variation potentials between systems in such cases.
08-22-2015, 07:27 AM   #247
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QuoteOriginally posted by itshimitis Quote
Well I'm talking real world real shooting not test charts, which vary all the time. Less purely scientific, but I'm not interested in science as I just want to shoot my landscapes where the lighting isn't carefully controlled in a studio environment, not charts and samples. YMMV of course, but charts and sample shots bore me rigid and I don't think many people would put one up behind their fireplace to admire...

I also don't pixel peep very often and certainly never look above 100%...
I would say as a casual observer (I don't own either camera), your A7 photos look "pushed" at times (sunset shots I noticed in particular), whereas the 645 shots don't. Like you are squeezing every drop of dynamic range out of the image. Certainly the dynamic range is there and it doesn't look bad, just not as good as the medium format photos. But maybe some of the difference I am seeing has more to do with differences in post processing.

08-22-2015, 08:46 AM   #248
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Why would Pentax need a response, other than releasing their own full frame camera?
surely they have to be asking themselves, how will we regain or even maintain market share, will our ff camera have comparable pq, no alternative lens mount capability, no evf, weak ff k-mount support from 3rd party lens manufacturers, etc.

even if they come up with a 36mp d810 clone, will it be enough to move the k-mount platform forward? i think not.

canikon is in a similar situation, what is their long-term prognosis? keep selling heavy obsolete dslr systems that have inferior pq? they do still own the spray 'n pray market to some extent, and nikon has a good flash system.

michael r. owns a 645z: "Yet, Iím hanging on to my 645z because itís a camera system that I love to shoot with.", so it's not some noob opinion.
08-22-2015, 09:59 AM - 1 Like   #249
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
surely they have to be asking themselves, how will we regain or even maintain market share, will our ff camera have comparable pq, no alternative lens mount capability, no evf, weak ff k-mount support from 3rd party lens manufacturers, etc.

even if they come up with a 36mp d810 clone, will it be enough to move the k-mount platform forward? i think not.

canikon is in a similar situation, what is their long-term prognosis? keep selling heavy obsolete dslr systems that have inferior pq? they do still own the spray 'n pray market to some extent, and nikon has a good flash system.

michael r. owns a 645z: "Yet, Iím hanging on to my 645z because itís a camera system that I love to shoot with.", so it's not some noob opinion.
I'm sorry, but what I see is the typical "new camera syndrome," in which whatever is the newest gear on the market gets showered with accolades. "It's a stop better in dynamic range. Iso 6400 looks like iso 1600 on previous generation cameras!" I've seen it over and over again, with Pentax and with other brands.

This is a nice camera. It is an evolutionary step forward. But in the end, when it is tested, it will end up being pretty similar to already existant cameras on the market. That's neither good nor bad. That fact that it includes IBIS with a new generation sensor and has really nice video is probably all that most folks need. Leaving the 645Z out of it, there is a little too much hyperbole around this camera at the moment.
08-22-2015, 12:15 PM - 1 Like   #250
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yes, it's always difficult to separate hyperbole from factual information, and there is a ton of hype around the a7rii... but if you know where to look, reputable sources will explain how and why it's such a game changer, and where it might fall short, like the long exposure issues mentioned above.

for instance, do we all know who bclaff is? "The A7RII uses dual conversion gain, like the A7S, to boost dynamic range at high ISO settings.
The boost occurs earlier at ISO 640 rather than at ISO 2000 like the A7S.
Although dynamic range is a little bit lower than the A7R and A7S at the lowest ISO this is definite additional progress in improving low light dynamic range.
My Low Light ISO for the A7RII edges out the A7S by an insignificant 0.05 stops at ISO 5846 versus ISO 5660 for the A7S."
A7RII Photographic Dynamic Range (PDR): Sony Alpha Full Frame E-mount Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

"And there you have it: when paired with bright lenses, the a7R II can match, and in our tests here even exceed, the low light performance of DSLRs known be the best in terms of low-light focus ability. Even in continuous drive, the a7R II kept up with the D750 and 5DS at -2EV (0.6 lux as measured by our scientific meter), if not slightly outperformed them by shooting at a higher effective frame rate. But how?

Part of the reason the Sony can perform so well is that we're using a lens with an F1.4 maximum aperture. The DSLRs' focus modules essentially create 'virtual apertures' that only 'see' small regions from around the lens (read this excellent in-depth treatise by Douglas Kerr). They essentially can't see light rays entering peripheries of the lens beyond a certain aperture, which means that they can't take full advantage of the lenses' brightness in these dark conditions. Meanwhile, as far as we know, the masked pixels that comprise Sony's on-sensor AF elements see half the lens at all times, so can see the full F1.4 aperture. Therefore, the camera can take advantage of all that extra light these fast primes bring, not just in terms of exposure, but in terms of focus too.

...In fact, in all my shooting of late with the a7R II and F2 primes, I've yet to find a low-light situation where the camera resorted to hunting. I wish I could say the same about my time with my Nikon D810 (you did watch to the end of the video, didn't you?)."
Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance: Digital Photography Review
08-22-2015, 02:31 PM   #251
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I would say as a casual observer (I don't own either camera), your A7 photos look "pushed" at times (sunset shots I noticed in particular), whereas the 645 shots don't. Like you are squeezing every drop of dynamic range out of the image. Certainly the dynamic range is there and it doesn't look bad, just not as good as the medium format photos. But maybe some of the difference I am seeing has more to do with differences in post processing.
It may be partly down to processing. Still getting used to the camera to a point. It does feel like there is less headroom in shadows to me from early shoots...
08-22-2015, 02:44 PM   #252
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Since we are talking Sony, who have impressive manufacturing ability, if the A7RII doesn't hit the spot, just wait a year (or less) for the A7RIII, or an A8 or something.
It should be no surprise to anyone, but Sony keeps running into heating difficulties with putting sensors into small boxes called camera bodies. Sensor design progresses from year to year, but heat transfer techniques, industry-wide, seem stone-age by comparison.

Putting the high-performance A7RmarkII sensor into a small airtight box, surrounding it with internal air for IBIS, is a recipe for heat problems. Its sort of like buying an Indy 500 racing car to take to a grocery store and expecting it to stay cool at stoplights. Its not going to happen.

Sony has had heating problems with the Nex5N, the A7S(no recorder inbody because of heat), and probably others that i haven't heard of. Like many Pentax owners, i am fond of Sony designs because of their small lightweight designs. I think that Sony will come out with a larger body design for this sensor that will be better able to deal with the heat - call it the A8. And to revise the A7MII to update the design with AF technology from the A7RmII, but keep the 24mp like the D750.

I'm tempted to buy the A7RmII as is just for the low light high performance it offers. Yep, its no astrophotography camera, but when the A8 makes it appearance - it won't be cheaper than the A7rmII is today.

As an aside, i have a power cord for my laptop that i use when i travel. It was getting a bit warmish (OK, more like hot) the other night, so i took an aluminum clad pot from the kitchen and put it upside down so the aluminum cladding was in direct contact with the power transformer. Almost immediately the transformer started cooling down. It would be nice if Sony had room in their camera body to do something similar for the A7RmII. But they would probably consider the aluminum clad pot to be an accessory and charge extra for it.

Last edited by philbaum; 08-22-2015 at 03:10 PM.
08-22-2015, 03:44 PM   #253
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With the recent 24-70 F/2.8 G patent I think we see an A9 in 6 months. Sony released the A900 with the 24-70 F/2.8 CZ. The A7 body is to small for pro-grade f/2.8 glass.
08-22-2015, 04:40 PM - 1 Like   #254
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
And there you have it: when paired with bright lenses, the a7R II can match, and in our tests here even exceed, the low light performance of DSLRs known be the best in terms of low-light focus ability
I wish Dpreview had tested the K-3's low-light AF. If the A7rII can make low-light AF work as well as a K-3, that would be good to know.

---------- Post added 2015-08-23 at 09:48 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
It would be nice if Sony had room in their camera body to do something similar for the A7RmII.
Sony could learn a thing or two from the PC modding community about cooling
A plug on the side of the camera to allow a water-cooling kit to work might do the trick, and they could make some good money by selling Sony-branded accessories like this kit:

Thermaltake RL240 Watercooling Kit
08-22-2015, 05:54 PM   #255
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I wish Dpreview had tested the K-3's low-light AF. If the A7rII can make low-light AF work as well as a K-3, that would be good to know.

---------- Post added 2015-08-23 at 09:48 AM ----------


Sony could learn a thing or two from the PC modding community about cooling
A plug on the side of the camera to allow a water-cooling kit to work might do the trick, and they could make some good money by selling Sony-branded accessories like this kit:

Thermaltake RL240 Watercooling Kit
I agree - K3 has amazing low light AF!!!

You've got the right idea, cooling is a lot easier when its integrated into the original design; a lot more difficult when its an afterthought.

Like building an aluminum plate into the base with removeable fins. Or build a hollow tube into the camera body, so that a cooling unit could be inserted from the base. etc. Build it to be a professional tool, and they (the cusomters) will buy it.
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