There’s no doubt that Sony has raised the bar for all other camera manufacturers with the release of the a7/a7R. These cameras go far beyond the basic excitement of being full-frame mirrorless cameras. A broad feature set with extensive custom options will attract photographers who want to maintain control over their image taking while those who prefer a simpler workflow can go with the cameras’ Program mode and leave the rest of the settings at default.
Perhaps the bigger issue, for some, is choosing between the a7 and the a7R. Frankly, I’d happily pay the extra $300, put up with some more, slightly slower performance and huge files to get the extraordinary resolution of the a7R over the a7. On the other hand, not everyone wants or needs a 36 megapixel camera, which will quickly fill up hard drives.
While the performance of both cameras–including slow start up, slightly sluggish AF in low light and slow continuous shooting vis-a-vis DSLRs–leaves something to be desired, the image quality is outstanding. And, in the end, that’s what really counts.
- excellent image quality
- advanced feature set with extensive custom options
- high quality electronic viewfinder
- slightly sub-par kit lens vs. cameras’ capabilities
- movie record button awkwardly placed
- autofocus somewhat sluggish in low light
- relatively short battery life
- limited availability of native full-frame lenses at launch