Over a three day period I spent some time shooting with the Sony a7. I have to say I am pretty impressed so far. The build of the camera is second to none. It is solid and I am pretty sure it can take a beating. The camera is easy to use. I was able to pick it up and start shooting with it immediately. Although it is a mirrorless design, the camera functions much like a DSLR with a plethora of manual and auto shooting options. The menu is expansive, yet easier to navigate than most other Sony cameras due to a few small tweaks of the user interface.
The Sony a7 has quite a bit to offer with its 24-MP sensor, large LCD screen and extremely nice viewfinder. The Sony a7 can be purchased as a kit with the 24-70 f3.5-5.6 zoom lens. I can't stress enough how much I did not like this lens. It was soft and subpar. Thank goodness Sony gave me several other lenses to test with this camera or I would have had an overall distaste for the camera blaming poor image quality on the camera instead of the lens. I highly recommend skipping the kit lens and purchasing the 35mm f/2.8 or the 55mm f/1.8 instead. With these lenses, the a7 is able to offer users outstanding image quality. I also used the A-mount 70-400mm f/4-5.6 lens with an adaptor for some of the images. It was nice to be able to throw a tele lens on the camera, but I can't say it's the sharpest one I have ever used.
Below are some of the sample images I was able to capture with the Sony a7. Please note that these images have been retouched and edited--some more than others.
In this first set of images we took a trip to a local recording studio in Nashville to see Leah Turner and her band perform live. She is an up and coming country singer with a soulful sound that had me hooked from her first song. She is a sassy girl with an eye for fashion. I guarantee we will be seeing more of her in the future. I can't wait until I can see her perform live on stage. She's going to rock the house.
These images were taken using the 24-70mm f/3.5-5.6 and 70-400mm f/4-5.6 lenses.
In addition to photographing her and her band, we had the opportunity to take a few pictures with two models. Both of them were fun and made for great subjects.
The next day I used the a7 with the 55mm prime lens. The outcome was way better and I was much more pleased with the results. Image sharpness was great, colors rendered better and the ability to capture images at lower ISOs (due to greater maximum aperture) lead to a more fulfilling experience.
This set of images was taken at Golden Mountain Park. We hung out with the coolest off-roading guys I have ever met. The guys from Overland Unlimited were totally obsessed with giving us an awesome off-road driving experience. Not only are these guys fun, but their whole mission is to provide returning veterans the opportunity to work through the stress of post deployment through an off-road experience called the Warrior Tour. What an amazing company and a fantastic group of guys!
The last set of images was taken around the hotel as I was waiting for our bus.
My first impression of the Sony a7 camera will be posted soon.