Previews

December 5, 2013

The Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm kit Lens Has Arrived! First Impressions and More!

Sony Alpha A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens

I just received a copy of the new full frame Sony A7 w/ 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens courtesy of BHPhotoVideo! The new Sony RX10 also showed up with and was a very nice welcomed surprise to say the least ;) I’m going to focus my attention on the Sony A7 for now, but will open up the RX10 in the next few days.

It feels like forever since I’ve reviewed something new, and I can’t wait to see what the new Sony A7 can do with all my pro grade Canon L lenses via the Metabones lens adapter I recently purchased. I’m also chomping at the bit to try my favorite old school Minolta 50mm f/1.4 PG Rokkor-X lens via the MD to Nex lens adapter.

I’m going to put the kit lens through its passes first though, because mainstream reviews seem to never like kit lenses and I would like to see for myself, and show you, how well it actually performs. Lots of A7 camera testing, high res sample photos, and sample HD video to come in the following days, so please stay tuned!

On another note:

I have Final Cut Pro X now, and working with video is much easier and the quality is far superior to iMovie which I was using. It has taken some time to learn the program though and since I had no equipment to review the past few months, I took advantage of the time to learn some programs. I’ve also been working with Motion 5, which is an amazing program that allows you to play with video like Photoshop does pretty much. Incredible powerful and fun to use, but with that power comes a learning curve. Surprisingly Apple Motion 5 is only $49 dollars? Seams like it should cost $1000 based on the power I’m seeing, but what do I know about video editing really? Not that much to be honest. Photography and photography editing software are my strong suits, but I am learning, so hopefully I will be able to put out some better quality videos in the near future.


SonyAlphaLab – Forum

I also posted a thread on the SonyAlphaLab – Forum with all the latest A7 and A7r reviews (Click Here). I will update that thread as new quality reviews come out. Feel free to send me links to quality reviews as well and I will post them asap.

Be sure to check that thread out when you get a minute if you want to see more quality A7 and A7r reviews.

 

What showed up from BHPhotoVideo:

Oh yeah! Both the A7 w/ kit lens and the super high quality bridge camera, the Sony RX10!

Sony A7 and Sony RX10 in the Box

Sony A7 and Sony RX10 in the Box

 

The Sony A7 and 28-70mm kit lens

Check out what the Sony A7 looks like with the FF E-Mount 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens mounted outside in the fresh air ;)

I used my Nex-6 with the Metabones III EF lens adapter and Canon EF 24-105 f/4 L IS lens for theses photos. Loving that lens on the Nex-6 still and you can see more photos using that lens with the Metabones lens adapter (Click Here) The IS (image Stabilization) on the Canon lens makes taking photos like this hand-held with the Nex-6 pretty easy I must admit. Clearly the output is a bit better than the standard kit lens or even the 55-210mm lens which I was tempted to use. Top quality optics is hard to beat and once you get a taste it’s hard to go back. In any event, check out the A7 up close.

Be sure to click the photos for the larger ~100opx versions…

Sony Alpha A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens

Sony Alpha A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens

Sony Alpha A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens

Sony Alpha A7 w/ 28-70mm kit lens

 

Sony A7 – My First Impressions

Ergos:

The Sony A7 feels great in the hands and the grip although awkward at first for me coming from the Nex-6, has now found it’s way to normal in my hand. What is different about the grip is the depth of the notch for your fore finger, this leads to less depth than the Nex-6, but an overall more secure feel I believe. Having my pointer finger so high for the shutter button is what made the grip feel a bit akward to me. Again, it really feels great now after using it for a few hours yesterday and today.

Light weight:

I forgot how crazy light the camera was when I picked it up at the PhotoExpo a few weeks ago. It really does feel much lighter than the RX1, even with the kit lens mounted. The kit lens weighs next to nothing though when compared to a fast prime like the 35mm f/2 lens the RX1 has permanently mounted.

Buttons:

So many buttons and options it’s honestly a bit overwhelming at first. Especially when compared to my pretty basic Sony Nex-6. It has so many buttons in such a relatively small surface area compared to a standard full frame DSLR style camera like the Sony A99 for example. That cameras has tons of buttons as well, but the body is so much larger, so it doesn’t feel as cluttered for lack of a better word. This is not a bad thing mind you, just a lot to take in and get used.

Kit Lens:

Extremely light weight, yet still feels pretty solid in the hands. Fully rubberized grip for zoom and focus make it very easy, but the rubber also collects dust like crazy. The zoom is smooth and  most of it happens inside the lens body itself. For example, when zoomed to 70mm the lens is actually shorter in length than when wide open @ 28mm. Not the standard type of zooming you might be used to seeing ;)  OSS also seems to work very well just like the 18-55mm kit lens and I got a pretty sharp shot @ 1/6th of second hand-held!

Image Quality/ High ISO

Pretty awesome so far, but most impressive to me is the high ISO performance! Auto goes up to ISO 6400 and it’s totally usable if you ask me. It’s noisy yeah, but the resolution is so high, it’s really not that bad when you scale it down. Even ISO 16000 retains a ton of detail.

 


Closing Remarks:

That is about it for now, but stay tuned for real world sample photos and a comparison video showing off the new Sony A7 vs my Nex-6. This way you can see exactly the size differences all around. I recorded it yesterday, and just need to put the footage together. I also have some high res sample photos show you shot in Jpeg fine mode, straight off the camera. I need to update my Lightroom for the A7 raw support, and will try to do that today. The jpegs look really good so far straight off the camera in my opinion!

Please feel free to ask questions or request I try something, show something specific or whatever. I have the gear for at least a month, so fire away! ;)

Exciting times I must tell you,

Jay


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Thanks,
Jay

 

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About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!




12 Comments


  1. Un Lo

    One word = jelly


  2. Angelus

    Hey Jay,

    Great you got the A7 and the RX10, i really was/am waiting for your review, specially the comparing between the Nex6 and A7.
    I must say this is my very first comment here, but i’m checking your site every day. It was your review on the nex6 that took my interest in mirrorless and i bought it almost 8 months ago and still very pleased with it.

    So i wanted to say thank you for the time and effort you put in your reviews, we are all waiting :)


    • Jay

      Hi Angelus and thank you very much for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts;) I did not get the time yesterday to produce the video comparing the Nex-6 vs A7 directly, but I do have a bunch of Jpeg Quality sample photos to share. The video production work in Final Cut Pro X is really time consuming, because I’m still new to the program and I’m pretty slow at it. I have to upload the huge video file afterwards and that takes a few hours with my Internet connection. Hopefully I can find some time today for that, so I can get the upload to youtube going.

      It’s great to hear that you like your Nex-6 and it really is one of the best cameras I’ve ever had. I love my Pro series Canon 5D Mark II, but it’s just a heavy burden now that I only use when I have to. Now that I have the metabones adapter, I don’t think I’m going to need the 5d Mark II much more at all. The killer lenses with AF were needed for my occasionally pro work, plus the 24mp was helpful with portraits and editing. Those days are over though with these new A7 and A7r cameras. I’m getting one for sure with the battery grip, and I will be able to do everything with the one camera. Pro work, fun, everything! Still not sure about the A7 or A7r though to be honest.

      Gatta head to my real job so take care and don’t be a stranger with the comments ;)

      Jay


  3. LBIer

    Congratulations on getting the new A7 Jay! Looking forward to your review, with lots of snaps and direct comparisons with the NEX 6. Thanks in advance for your efforts to keep the rest of us informed ( I know it’s a lot of work to produce these reviews) . Regards, LBier.


  4. Noovuss

    Hi Jay,
    I have a Nex6 and I’m looking forward to a direct comparison.
    I am considering an A7 with standard zoom and am really interested in this combination.
    One another note, take a look at this:http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/12/03/my-pick-for-camera-of-the-year-2013-the-olympus-om-d-e-m1/
    I can’t believe that the little Oly handles and focuses that much better than an A7 to give up all the IQ?? Don’t get me wrong, I came from an Oly to a Nex but I don’t get this choice over an A7.


    • Jay

      Hi Noovuss,

      I have a bunch of jpeg sample photos I’m working on getting up now in a new article. Look for that post in a about an hour or two if all goes well ;)

      I also plan on doing a head to head shoot off with the Nex-6 vs the A7 with the same L lenses and Metabones adapter. Full Frame vs APS-C, so you can see exactly what the depth of field advantage is. I also plan on doing a High ISO comparison of the two cameras with the same exact scene. Any other specific direct comparisons you would like to see between the two cameras?

      Take care and thanks again for the comments!
      Jay



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