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11-22-2017, 07:57 AM   #1
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Wow, Sony A7 $798

B&H has the original A7 on sale. The tech is several models old but still pretty good, a very inexpensive way for new people to get a full frame sensor.

Sony a7 Digital Camera ILCE7/B - B&H Photo Video

11-22-2017, 12:32 PM   #2
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Wow, that may just be the lowest selling price ever for a new FF camera.

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11-22-2017, 02:01 PM   #3
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It's still selling at £799 here in the UK, so that really is a bargain!

I have the A7 Mark II, but also a Sony A99-based Hasselblad HV. The former is virtually identical in use to the A7 but has some extra features such as sensor-based image stabilisation for any lens and optional uncompressed RAW, while the latter has exactly the same compressed RAW files as the A7.

Compressed RAW is the only thing I'd warn people about. It can result in mild posterising in graduated dark and shadow areas, and "noise" around hard high-contrast changes (as well as having read it in many places, I have photos of my own that demonstrate this). Most of the time, it's really not an issue, but pixel-peepers who shoot night-time cityscapes, or other photos with lots of darker graduated areas, should bear it in mind.

That aside, $798 for a full-frame camera capable of using virtually any lens via adapters... That's not to be sniffed at! _
11-22-2017, 02:09 PM   #4
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The EVF in that camera is horribad though.. slowish refresh [dizzying] and kind of grainy in moderate to low light imo. It improved in the 2nd gen though.


I'd give it a try before buying just to see if it is your cup of tea. And that's pretty much the only camera I'd really stress that over.

11-22-2017, 06:40 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
B&H has the original A7 on sale. The tech is several models old but still pretty good, a very inexpensive way for new people to get a full frame sensor.

Sony a7 Digital Camera ILCE7/B - B&H Photo Video
Holy Moly. Iím actually considering selling KP and buying that.
11-22-2017, 11:24 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Holy Moly. Iím actually considering selling KP and buying that.
I'm resisting. It's very tempting as a street photography camera. My Ricoh GR is dying(*). The A7 plus a pancake lens could work well, but I'm actually more tempted by the A6000. The A6000 has an even smaller body and much better AF than the first gen A7. Yeah, it's "only" APS-C but that's good enough.

(*) Why not get a GR2? Sensor dust is a recurring issue for expanding-lens compacts. I want a removable lens so I can clean the sensor as needed.
11-23-2017, 01:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
I'm resisting. It's very tempting as a street photography camera. My Ricoh GR is dying(*). The A7 plus a pancake lens could work well, but I'm actually more tempted by the A6000. The A6000 has an even smaller body and much better AF than the first gen A7. Yeah, it's "only" APS-C but that's good enough.

(*) Why not get a GR2? Sensor dust is a recurring issue for expanding-lens compacts. I want a removable lens so I can clean the sensor as needed.
I have a GR on the For Sale table.
11-23-2017, 01:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
The EVF in that camera is horribad though.. slowish refresh [dizzying] and kind of grainy in moderate to low light imo. It improved in the 2nd gen though.
So far as I'm aware, the A7 EVF is identical to the Sony A99 (Mk I). The A7 was certainly released after the A99 (about a year later, I think?), so I have no reason to suspect it's any worse, and it may be a little better.

I really like the EVF on my HV / A99, and don't feel it's particularly slow to refresh or dizzying to use. Perhaps not ideal for fast moving continuous shooting (BIF can be tricky, but it's possible)... otherwise it's great. As with the A7 and A7II, there is a "LiveView" setting which allows you to choose between viewing the scene at the correct exposure based on your camera settings, or automatically boosted to make the scene visible regardless of light level. With the latter, the view can indeed be quite grainy in lower light, but that's an acceptable and expected compromise for being able to view the scene at a decent brightness.

EVFs tend to be a quite polarising feature - people either love 'em or hate 'em. I love 'em. For me, the positives generally outweigh the negatives.

I agree that it's worth trying the camera out before buying it if possible. That said, the A7 is very saleable in the used market and doesn't lose a great deal of its value because of high demand - so it's a pretty low risk purchase.

11-23-2017, 09:07 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
So far as I'm aware, the A7 EVF is identical to the Sony A99 (Mk I). The A7 was certainly released after the A99 (about a year later, I think?), so I have no reason to suspect it's any worse, and it may be a little better.

I really like the EVF on my HV / A99, and don't feel it's particularly slow to refresh or dizzying to use. Perhaps not ideal for fast moving continuous shooting (BIF can be tricky, but it's possible)... otherwise it's great. As with the A7 and A7II, there is a "LiveView" setting which allows you to choose between viewing the scene at the correct exposure based on your camera settings, or automatically boosted to make the scene visible regardless of light level. With the latter, the view can indeed be quite grainy in lower light, but that's an acceptable and expected compromise for being able to view the scene at a decent brightness.

EVFs tend to be a quite polarising feature - people either love 'em or hate 'em. I love 'em. For me, the positives generally outweigh the negatives.

I agree that it's worth trying the camera out before buying it if possible. That said, the A7 is very saleable in the used market and doesn't lose a great deal of its value because of high demand - so it's a pretty low risk purchase.
I've handled close to a dozen Mirrorless cams with EVF and the only one I really thought had a truly sucky EVF was the A7. Yes. I'm a DSLR 'fan'. However, even though the A7II wasn't my cup of tea, the refresh seemed much faster and the display sharper/cleaner than the A7. With the A7, I could pan left and right and wait for the EVF to catch up (milliseconds difference but noticeable to my eye). But the A7II was better.. the whole camera just seemed more agile or spontaneous. The Olympus and Fuji's I've handled weren't so bad either.. in some cases even nicer (than A7II). So I'm not entirely cold on the EVF, just the A7's EVF in particular. It's awful imo.. IQ is nice though from that camera. It is just that dreadful EVF.

Obviously not everyone feels the same, or at least they are putting up with the poor EVF, simply by looking at sales. But please do test it before buying if at all possible.
11-23-2017, 09:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
Obviously not everyone feels the same, or at least they are putting up with the poor EVF, simply by looking at sales. But please do test it before buying if at all possible.
I think most just don't feel the same. I recently picked up a Samsung NX11 which came out the year before the A99. It got great reviews at the time, and was even praised for its EVF - so some people back then thought it was good. By my standards, it's dreadful - a far cry from my HV / A99, with 2012 technology, which I find to be excellent.

From Imaging Resource's review of the original A7:

"The Sony A7's eye-level electronic viewfinder is housed in angular bulge very reminiscent of the pentaprism on an SLR. EVFs have been steadily evolving in recent years, and the one in the Sony A7 is a good example of the state of the art. It uses OLED technology, and sports no fewer than 2.4 million dots, a level of resolution that means we can only just barely see hints of pixels along the edges of letters, and not at all in images displayed.

Its very high resolution is only part of the story of the Sony A7's EVF, though. Perhaps more important are the optics that Sony's put behind it. Viewfinder optics are often an afterthought in camera design, with optical artifacts like coma, blur, and chromatic aberration all too common. Since they're not being used to take a picture through, they often receive short shrift in the camera-design process.

Not so the EVF on the Sony A7. It uses a three-lens optical system similar to that found in the flagship Sony A99 SLT camera, although with a slightly improved configuration. The dioptric adjustment range for eyeglass-wearers is an unusually broad -4 to +3 diopters, very welcome for far- or nearsighted people. The net result is a very highly-corrected view of the OLED screen, that's sharp from corner to corner, with nary a sign of chromatic aberration anywhere, and a nice, wide field of view (0.71x with a 50mm lens focused at infinity). The OLED screen itself has also been enhanced a good bit, with three times the contrast of the one used in the A99. The result is a remarkably clear view with better than average dynamic range, although still not quite up to what my eye can see when looking through an optical viewfinder. There are some areas in which optical viewfinders still outperform EVFs, but there are at least as many in which EVFs surpass, and the one in the Sony A7 is truly state of the art for current technology.

The EVF has much higher resolution, with 2.4 million dots (1,024 x 768 RGB pixels), versus the 921,600 dots (640 x 480 RGB pixels) of the LCD monitor. If critical focus is key, you'll want to use the viewfinder. We'd imagine most Sony A7 shooters will be doing so -- we certainly did. Proximity sensors above the viewfinder are used to switch between this and the main display automatically, when you bring the camera to your eye, and away again."


No mention of the EVF refresh rate and lag, and I'll admit there is a little, but on my HV I've not found it bothersome at all
11-23-2017, 01:26 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I think most just don't feel the same. I recently picked up a Samsung NX11 which came out the year before the A99. It got great reviews at the time, and was even praised for its EVF - so some people back then thought it was good. By my standards, it's dreadful - a far cry from my HV / A99, with 2012 technology, which I find to be excellent.
I'm not sure how the NX10 compared to the NX11(i had the 10) but i found that EVF to be OK....i love EVFs and the latest ones are outstanding.

From what ive heard,read and seen of the Sony A7/A7ii....the more recent model is the one to get,but the third version is imminent too.
U$795 for FF is the bargain of course,however...K-1 is the best value FF.
What has to be factored in is the co$t of the glass....how much to set up to the standard that the individual wants.The $$$ony kit lenses dont have a great reputation.The A7 doesnt work with the AF adapters(maybe one for EF mount???).

Clackers may want to weigh into the discussion,he used the first A7 until the K-1 came along?
11-23-2017, 02:21 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
I'm not sure how the NX10 compared to the NX11(i had the 10) but i found that EVF to be OK....
My biggest issue with the NX11 EVF is contrast, which is much lower than I'm used to on my HV and A7 Mark II, and black level which seems too high due to excessive illumination. Regardless, I think you've made an important point - and that is, everyone's view of EVFs - and specific implementations of them - is different. Personally, I'm not keen on the NX11's EVF (and some other aspects of the camera too, as it happens) - but it's still a great little camera. The EVF works - it allows me to frame pictures and see to a sufficient degree of detail what I'm focusing on, and for me that's what matters most. It does its job. I suspect @mee (and many other people) want a close-to-optical-viewfinder-like experience, whereas my expectations are to have an equivalent of LiveView through a viewfinder (since that's all an EVF is). As a result, I'm less likely to be disappointed by what's on offer.

QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
U$795 for FF is the bargain of course,however...K-1 is the best value FF.
What has to be factored in is the co$t of the glass....how much to set up to the standard that the individual wants.The $$$ony kit lenses dont have a great reputation.The A7 doesnt work with the AF adapters(maybe one for EF mount???)
I agree completely - the K-1 offers best value in FF if it meets your needs. The reason I bought my A7 MkII instead of the K-1 was to have a full-frame body that I could use with a wide range of adapted lenses - primarily my Soviet SLR and rangefinder glass, but also K-mount, as well as Minolta AF / Sony A-mount which works in full AF with the LA-EA4 adapter (I have numerous lenses in A-mount for my Hasselblad HV). Now that I have the HV and A7II, I simply can't justify a K-1 as well, however much I'd love to own one (and I really would ).

The original A7 is compatible with the LA-EA4, which gives you access to some nice older Minolta AF glass as well as newer Sony A-mount.

Interestingly, I don't own a single native E-mount lens. The only AF lenses I use are my A-mount models. Otherwise, I shoot manual focus with M42, M39 (SLR and rangefinder), K-mount, a couple of Nikon F-mount lenses and one Leica M-mount

Last edited by BigMackCam; 11-23-2017 at 02:36 PM.
11-23-2017, 02:28 PM   #13
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I also have a NX10 that I do not use anymore. EVF is very laggy by today's standards.

For sure, the one on the A7 is very different. I tried it several years ago and it was night/day compared to the NX10.
It was not at the OVF level but still pretty good.
11-23-2017, 06:23 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I think most just don't feel the same. I recently picked up a Samsung NX11 which came out the year before the A99. It got great reviews at the time, and was even praised for its EVF - so some people back then thought it was good. By my standards, it's dreadful - a far cry from my HV / A99, with 2012 technology, which I find to be excellent.

From Imaging Resource's review of the original A7:

"The Sony A7's eye-level electronic viewfinder is housed in angular bulge very reminiscent of the pentaprism on an SLR. EVFs have been steadily evolving in recent years, and the one in the Sony A7 is a good example of the state of the art. It uses OLED technology, and sports no fewer than 2.4 million dots, a level of resolution that means we can only just barely see hints of pixels along the edges of letters, and not at all in images displayed.

Its very high resolution is only part of the story of the Sony A7's EVF, though. Perhaps more important are the optics that Sony's put behind it. Viewfinder optics are often an afterthought in camera design, with optical artifacts like coma, blur, and chromatic aberration all too common. Since they're not being used to take a picture through, they often receive short shrift in the camera-design process.

Not so the EVF on the Sony A7. It uses a three-lens optical system similar to that found in the flagship Sony A99 SLT camera, although with a slightly improved configuration. The dioptric adjustment range for eyeglass-wearers is an unusually broad -4 to +3 diopters, very welcome for far- or nearsighted people. The net result is a very highly-corrected view of the OLED screen, that's sharp from corner to corner, with nary a sign of chromatic aberration anywhere, and a nice, wide field of view (0.71x with a 50mm lens focused at infinity). The OLED screen itself has also been enhanced a good bit, with three times the contrast of the one used in the A99. The result is a remarkably clear view with better than average dynamic range, although still not quite up to what my eye can see when looking through an optical viewfinder. There are some areas in which optical viewfinders still outperform EVFs, but there are at least as many in which EVFs surpass, and the one in the Sony A7 is truly state of the art for current technology.

The EVF has much higher resolution, with 2.4 million dots (1,024 x 768 RGB pixels), versus the 921,600 dots (640 x 480 RGB pixels) of the LCD monitor. If critical focus is key, you'll want to use the viewfinder. We'd imagine most Sony A7 shooters will be doing so -- we certainly did. Proximity sensors above the viewfinder are used to switch between this and the main display automatically, when you bring the camera to your eye, and away again."


No mention of the EVF refresh rate and lag, and I'll admit there is a little, but on my HV I've not found it bothersome at all
I'm glad you're happy with it.
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