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Sony A7

16 Oct 2013 9:40AM
Is this the full frame NEX camera there have been so many rumours about (although I appreciate it isn't really a NEX) or is there more to come from Sony? We will have to wait and see ......... unless, of course, someone out there knows the answer already.

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joshwa Plus
4 743 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2013 10:07AM
randomrubble 10 3.0k 12 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2013 12:11PM
The A7r - a D800E sensor you can use your Canon TS-E 17mm & 24mm MkII on (via Metabones etc. adapters). Slow AF is not a worry, with the above lenses being manual focus.

I also foresee C/Y fit Zeiss glass getting even more expensive...
ChrisV 8 1.0k 26 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2013 2:34PM
Whilst they look like very interesting cameras, I wonder if this isn't a little bit of a flawed concept. Given that the lenses that need to be attached are so large, why is it important to have a smaller body?

I like a lot of what Sony are doing at present in terms of development, but a lot of their cameras strike me more as proof of concept designs rather than something fully worked out as a finished article. They have some marvelous technology, but a little bit of a ham fisted approach to utilising it. To cite a few examples that occur to me, calling their image processor 'bionz' seems a bit clumsy, as does the aesthetic look of these cameras - neither flesh [retro] or fowl [modern, functional]. Those things are relatively trivial in themselves; charging a low capacity battery in-camera and uninspiring high ISO performance [that's based historically - who knows, they may have improved with these designs] is more serious. The surprising first raft of lenses and their high prices are also a bit of a concern.

I have to give Sony a lot of credit for being perhaps the most innovative camera maker in the market at present. I'm glad they're doing that, but it's a bit of a relief I'm not one of their customers..
Steppenwolf 3 1.2k
16 Oct 2013 3:38PM
It looks like an RX1 with interchangeable lenses. Maybe people have asked for this - although I would have thought it was a niche market. But Sony have never been afraid to innovate.

It's also a bit strange to call it Alpha when it's got a NEX mount. The rumour is that all future NEX will be called Alpha. This is going to confuse people for years to come. I'm confused already.
keithh Plus
11 23.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
16 Oct 2013 3:43PM
I'm one who has no real interest in saving weight but rather saving space. Being able to get an decent size camera into a smaller bag with 2\3 lenses, so for me there is a passing interest. ....but not in a Sony.
discreetphoton 10 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2013 5:26PM
Let's hope it works well. It looks like they let the design department clock off early for the weekend...
strawman 11 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
17 Oct 2013 1:56AM
I hope it works for them an interesting concept and initial pricing looks good but is it yet another lens series NEX full frame or does this indicate the path where the A lens series get phased out.
ChrisV 8 1.0k 26 United Kingdom
17 Oct 2013 11:10AM
I think they're the same mount as the next cameras, but obviously the lenses designed for an APSc sensor are mostly likely to vignette on a 36x24mm sensor. The prices for the bodies look quite good, but the lenses are incredibly expensive, so overall cost looks a bit prohibitive for anyone wishing to stick a toe in the water of a system based around a large sensor and faster glass.

It's a bit of an irony that the amount of innovation going on at Sony seems to be causing it several problems. From the outside it looks to be fairly unintegrated. Design departments don't seem to be working with technology departments which appear to have relatively little hook-up with lens development and the pricing and marketing strategies have a look of make it up as we go along.

For the customer there's also the question mark over whether to invest in mirror box cameras [probably not if you have a Sony], SLT or completely mirrorless. It does look like a bit of a mess, which is a shame, because it wouldn't be a good thing if the rest of the industry viewed taking bold moves in thinking about camera design was a recipe for disaster.
petebfrance 3 1.5k France
17 Oct 2013 11:22AM
I've mixed feelings about this one. It gives a glimmer of hope that FF and even APSC don't have to be overly-heavy, but it is still expensive and unless I'm mistaken there's no built-in flash and battery life is limited.

My old carry-round / holiday kit was:
- Pentax MZ5n at 410 grams
- 35-80mm zoom at 160 grams
- 80-200mm zoom at 270 grams
total 840 grams, but I did also carry a flash gun which was seldom used because the built-in flash was usually sufficient, plus of course film and batteries.

So I see this being good for that sort of use. With the MZ5n, heavier lenses needed two-handed operation (I fiddled around with my old Praktica lenses, but focussing was not very reliable), but two-handed operation was the norm anyway to keep the camera steady .

So I don't see a problem with weight (assuming that the target user is, well, not a pro?) but the lack of built-in flash is the sort of thing that would put us 'casual photographers' off. Fiddling around with a flash-gun instead of just pressing a button would not have been so practical with wife and / or kids waiting impatiently......

Incidentally, the design looks to me like a pared-down version of the OMD. I thought that there was some sort of tie-up between Olympus and Sony and its a shame that the 5 axis IBIS hasn't been incorporated. However, there are those who say that lens-based IS is better......
Steppenwolf 3 1.2k
17 Oct 2013 1:37PM

For the customer there's also the question mark over whether to invest in mirror box cameras [probably not if you have a Sony], SLT or completely mirrorless. It does look like a bit of a mess, which is a shame, because it wouldn't be a good thing if the rest of the industry viewed taking bold moves in thinking about camera design was a recipe for disaster.

I think Sony must have had some feedback that indicated there was a market for mirrorless FF. Otherwise I don't think they'd embark on a new range of FE lenses - making a new camera with modular components is cheap but setting up a new lens range isn't.

There is some logic to it provided that you don't regard the A7/A7R as CSCs (which no FF system will ever be) but as mirrorless FF. Sony have probably seen how popular mirrorless has become in the smaller sensor cameras and have transposed it to the FF sensor - after all they've failed to beat Canikon in the FF DSLR market so why not to see if a mirrorless FF can win converts. I can't see it myself but you never know.
ChrisV 8 1.0k 26 United Kingdom
17 Oct 2013 2:07PM

Quote:I think they're the same mount as the next cameras...

Should read NEX of course - damn autocorrect!

As for the logic of FF mirrorless, it just seems like a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. It'd be another matter entirely if they could find a way of shrinking the lenses significantly [the reduced flange-back might help marginally, but not massively]. It's a real shame because the conservative CaNikon hegemony could do with something of a shake-up.

At the moment I think any challenge in the Pro arena looks like it's coming from Pan/Oly and that's necessarily to a limited degree. Sony really should be able to leverage their technological lead in components across multiple formats to give the established brands a real run for their money, but they're going to need a lot more focus [no pun...] Maybe it's because the corporation is such a behemoth. Maybe one of us should be leading a unified imaging division? Wink
randomrubble 10 3.0k 12 United Kingdom
17 Oct 2013 3:47PM

Quote:It's also a bit strange to call it Alpha when it's got a NEX mount.

My current NEX is labeled as a Sony alpha NEX-6 and actually has the symbol on the body, so it's a rationalisation, of sorts. Wink

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