Sony a7R review

According provided by Sony a7R camera many thanks Sony Ukraine.

Sony a7R review

Sony a7R review

The Sony ILCE-7R (aka Sony Alpha 7R, or Sony α 7R for short) is a very interesting and unusual camera. It was presented on October 16, 2013 along with its younger 'sister' - Sony a7 and 5 full-frame Sony-E mount lenses.

Sony a7R

Sony a7R, slim body.

The Sony ILCE-7R and Sony ILCE-7 are the first full-frame mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses and autofocus, although, even before their appearance, Sony managed to present the first full-frame mirrorless compact camera Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX2012 in September 1 (of course , without interchangeable optics). I suspect that the Sony a7, Sony SLT A99 and DSC-RX1 cameras use the same sensor as the basis.

Sony is one of the leaders in full-frame mirrorless cameras. Although the first full-frame mirrorless camera was the Leica M9, ​​the M9, like its successors Leica ME and Leica M, is a 'pure' rangefinder. Also, I am very impressed by the fact that in April 2014 Sony released the product that I personally have been waiting for - the Sony a7S. Unlike other manufacturers who increase megapixelsSony turned back and released a marvelous 12-megapixel camera with a super-sensitive sensor that can 'overclock' ISO to 409.600.

Sony a7R

Sony a7R with rotary display

First of all, the Sony a7R is interesting with its 36 megapixel full-frame sensor. I would like to dwell on the matrix in more detail. Most likely, the same sensor is used in two Nikon cameras - D800 and D800E, there are many indirect confirmations of this:

  • researchers from Chipworks disassembled Nikon D800 and finally determined that a matrix from Sony was used there. It's no secret that many Nikon cameras are based on Sony sensors. Of course, this does not mean that the output picture will be the same for both cameras, because the signal processing algorithms from the matrices are different.
  • the a7R and D800 / D800E have the same number of megapixels and they create images with the same maximum size - 7360 X 4912 pixels, which is 36.152.320 (about 36 MP).
  • the same level of ISO 50-25.600. True, the ISO 50 of the D800 / D800E is denoted as Lo1and 25.600 is Hi2. But, at the same time, for auto-ISO in 7R, the range 100-6400 is used, which is the base for the D800 / D800E.
  • Tests showthat the D800 / D800E cameras have almost the same indicators of the main characteristics of image quality. And in fact, the images from these cameras are quite similar.
  • it is noteworthy that Nikon D800E and Sony a7R do not use a low-pass filter, although Nikon D800E everything is a little more complicated.

If this is true, it is very strange that Nikon released its D800 / D800E in February 2012, almost 2 years earlier than Sony its Sony a7R.

Sony a7R

Sony a7R top view

The sensor of the Sony a7R is really amazing, for some photo tasks it is one of the best among all full-frame cameras. It's just strange that Sony a7R RAW files with 14-bit color depth and 36MP weigh almost all as one - 35 MB each. Rumor has it that RAW files from this camera are heavily compressed and do not convey the full potential of the original image quality.

The camera has a mechanical shutter, and it is very noisy, with a not very pleasant 'clanking' sound. When you release the shutter, it sometimes feels like something is going to fall apart in the middle of the camera. When shooting with the Sony a7R, I noticed that sometimes slightly blurry shots are obtained at certain values. excerpts, although, at the same exposures in other cameras, I did not observe such a problem. Most likely, the 'shake' (blurring of the photo due to camera shake) is associated with the vibration created by the shutter, as well as the sensitivity of the camera's matrix with such a high pixel density.

Shutter fulfills excerpts from 30 to 1/8000 s, and excerpt synchronization is a very meager value - 1 / 160 with. Among Nikon CZK, no camera has such a long excerpts sync even ancient Nikon D100 and that has a shutter speed of 1/180 s (the longest among the rest of the CZK). Modern cameras with a mechanical shutter have a sync speed of the order of 1/200 s, cameras of a slightly higher class - 1/250 and 1/320 s.

Sony a7R

Sony a7R, a compartment for the battery and memory cards, as well as the battery itself

When changing the lens, the matrix of the camera remains fully open, and therefore the likelihood of its contamination is much higher than that of SLR cameras, in which it is closed by a mirror and shutter. The camera came to me with a huge dust particle in the very center of the frame, I had to remove it using a special vacuum pump for cleaning the matrixes of cameras. True, I was able to remove only dust (I, for obvious reasons, did not dare to clean myself), so you can easily see the other dirt remaining on the matrix in the examples of photos at the end of this review.

The Sony a7R has another serious drawback - unlike the Sony a7, the a7R does not have a hybrid focusing system with phase sensors built into the matrix, and therefore it can focus only by detecting contrast. In real shooting conditions Sony a7R focuses very slowly and no manipulations with the focus modes help, sometimes it’s easiest to focus manually. It is very strange that the Sony a7R matrix was not finalized.

True, there is one wonderful trick. The camera can be used with Sony LA-EA4 adapterwhich allows you to mount any 'A-mount' lenses on the Sony a7R. The adapter has a translucent mirror and optional phase focusing module with 15 focus points. With this adapter, the Sony a7R achieves excellent fast and consistent focusing with a wide range of A-mount lenses. Ray is happy!

Sony a7R

Sony a7R and film analogue ZK Nikon AF N8008s

You can get used to the controls quickly enough. Many buttons can be reprogrammed for the desired function. I liked the separate correction wheel exposure, although it is duplicated by the rear wheel in some shooting modes. The camera body is well made, Sony a7R sits well in the hand, there are rubber inserts for a comfortable grip.

Sony a7R

Sony a7R with Metabones Leica ME mount adapter for installing Leica lenses on Sony cameras with E-mount

The camera can shoot at maximum speed 4 frames per second, the Nikon D800 / D800E can shoot full-frame at the same speed. The camera has a large buffer for this speed. Moreover, the number of shots that fit into the buffer does not depend on the use of functions that improve the image, for example, such as suppressing the noise level at high ISO values ​​or correcting lens distortions.

On average, when shooting in continuous high speed mode, the buffer contains:

  • 16 JPEG images in X.Fine (super fine) quality, L: 36M
  • 13 RAW format shots
  • 13 RAW + JPEG shots

However, after taking a series of shots, the camera spends quite a lot of time (up to tens of seconds) on writing heavy files to a memory card.

For many users, the Sony a7R is simply interesting as a digital backdrop for manual optics. The camera has a short working distance and therefore theoretically any lens can be mounted on it. By the way, videographers can also use any cinema lenses on Sony a7R. For cameras with E-mount, third-party manufacturers even make adapters that allow you to use autofocus optics from other manufacturers.

The camera weighs about 465 grams, so with a serious body kit there may be inconvenience with the distribution of weight.

Sony a7R

Sony a7R with lens Canon EF-S 18-55 / 3.5-5.6 IS IIinstalled using an adapter Metabones Canon EF - Sony E

Of course, the Sony a7R uses an electronic viewfinder itself EVI quite pleasant at 2.359.000 points with an increase of 0.71x. On Sony a7R, I personally do not like a long time to initialize image output to EVI or camera display. You can also see through a 3-inch deflectable display at 1.230.000 points.

Sony a7R with Industar-50-2 3.5 / 50 lens

Sony a7R with lens Industar-50-2 3.5 / 50

And of course, the Sony a7R is stuffed with various functions:

  • Picking with setting the color of the selection of contours and their intensity.
  • Zebra and manual focus assist.
  • HDR and ADR with different intensity settings.
  • A variety of creative styles and drawing effects.
  • A micro-HDMI port with support for 4K photo output and uncompressed video output.
  • The camera uses one universal slot for two types of memory cards - SD (SDHC, SDXC) and Memory Stick Duo (Pro Duo, Pro-HG Duo)
  • Connector for microphone and headphone, as well as USB 2.0.
  • Face recognition.
  • Built Wi-Fi module for transferring pictures.
  • The auto-ISO function, however, is a pity that you can not set limits on the range and maximum value excerpts. In this case, only the range of ISO 100-6400 for photos and ISO 200-6400 for video is used.
  • Quick panorama mode.
  • Video 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p) AVCHD or 1440 x 1080 (30p) MP4 and more.
Sony a7R with Helios-44 2/58 lens

Sony a7R with lens Helios-44 2/58

The weak point of the camera is the battery, which, with the active use of the camera, lasts only 300-400 shots. Sony a7R is quite voracious in terms of power consumption and you can’t shoot a long period on a single charge. On a trip to the outskirts of Kiev, I was pretty much helped by an external USB-battery for my phone (Genius 2500 mAh). The camera charges via USB, so I was able to easily recharge the camera with an extra battery. Unfortunately, the Sony a7R cannot immediately work from the USB port, you must definitely wait for the main battery to charge.

Here link to the archive with the originals - 1.38 GB, 40 .ARW photos (RAW) Also, photos taken on the Sony Alpha 7R, can be found in the reviews: Sony FE 3.5-5.6 / 28-70 OSS SEL2870, Helios-44 2/58Industar-50-2 3.5 / 50, Metabones NF-E mount и Metabones EF-E mount adapter.

Personal experience shooting with the Sony a7R camera

I have been using the camera for a week. All the hymns of praise for this camera that are stuffed with the Internet are smashed to smithereens on the focusing system and EVI. I shot on May 9th, walks in Kiev, visited Sony a7R on a small trip to the bunkers near Belogorodka, tried to shoot animals and flowers, and everywhere I ran into very slow and almost useless auto focus... Even in the case of successful (according to the camera) focusing and the taken picture, you are still playing the 'sharp / unsharp' lottery. I believe that such focusing quality is unacceptable for a camera that Sony often refers to as a professional segment. Shooting even slightly moving objects is not for the faint of heart.

For myself, I concluded that Sony a7R - excellent device for working with almost any manual optics, or for manual focus operation. The picture from the Sony a7R is very saturated, there is a large dynamic range and color depth, and the camera noises more than modern full-frame cameras. I think that the camera is good use for shooting landscapes, architecture, certain types of subject and macro photography, wherever fast focus is required. Personally, I was interested in Sony a7R in the quality of the camera, on which you can test any (due to the short working distance) optics :). But use Sony a7R even as a second / spare camera, I would not.

Of course, when using a camera with 'A-mount' lenses using an adapter Sony LA-EA4 speed, accuracy and focusing tenacity are comparable to those of SLT cameras, but there are still certain drawbacks. The main ones are the absence of 'A-mount' lenses with a stabilizer, the loss of 1/3 of the luminous flux due to the translucent mirror of the adapter, strong focusing points in the center of the frame, the high cost of the adapter, etc.

In addition to very slow focusing, I was very bothered by the slow inclusion EVI or Live View when Sony a7R wakes up from standby. This is an unbearable hard labor - look in black for seconds EVImissing interesting shots. And this is the first camera in which an attempt to sort out the menu makes me just put the camera aside and go have some tea.

You can look at prices for Sony a7R in popular online stores at this link, or in the price block below:
All Sony A7r body prices


Sony ILCE-7R is an ambiguous, but in any case, a very interesting camera :)

All Sony FE Lenses and Cameras


  1. Sony FE 14 mm F / 1.8 GM [April 2021, AliExpress price]
  2. Sony FE 20 mm F / 1.8 G [February 2020, AliExpress price]
  3. Sony FE 24 mm F / 1.4 GM [September 2018, AliExpress price]
  4. Sony FE 24 mm F / 2.8 G [March 2021, AliExpress price]
  5. Sony FE 28 mm F / 2.0 [March 2015, AliExpress price]
  6. Sony FE 35 mm F / 1.4 GM [January 2021, AliExpress price]
  7. Sony FE 35 mm F / 1.4 ZA [August 2014]
  8. Sony FE 35 mm F / 1.8 [July 2019, AliExpress price]
  9. Sony FE 35 mm F / 2.8 ZA [October 2013, AliExpress price]
  10. Sony FE 40 mm F / 2.5 G [March 2021, AliExpress price]
  11. Sony FE 50 mm F / 1.2 GM [March 2021, AliExpress price]
  12. Sony FE 50 mm F / 1.4 ZA [July 2016]
  13. Sony FE 50 mm F / 1.4 GM [February 2023]
  14. Sony FE 50 mm F / 1.8 [March 2016, AliExpress price]
  15. Sony FE 50 mm F / 2.8 Macro [August 2016]
  16. Sony FE 50 mm F / 2.5 G [March 2021]
  17. Sony FE 55 mm F / 1.8 ZA [October 2013, AliExpress price]
  18. Sony FE 85 mm F / 1.4 GM [February 2016, AliExpress price]
  19. Sony FE 85 mm F / 1.8 [February 2017, AliExpress price]
  20. Sony FE 90 mm F / 2.8 Macro G OSS [March 2015, AliExpress price]
  21. Sony FE 100 mm F / 2.8 STF GM OSS [February 2017]
  22. Sony FE 135 mm F / 1.8 GM [February 2019, AliExpress price]
  23. Sony FE 300 mm F / 2.8 GM OSS [November 2023]
  24. Sony FE 400 mm F / 2.8 GM OSS [June 2018]
  25. Sony FE 600 mm F / 4 GM OSS [June 2019]


  1. Sony FE 12-24 mm F / 2.8 GM [July 2020, AliExpress price]
  2. Sony FE 12-24 mm F / 4 G [May 2017, AliExpress price]
  3. Sony FE 16-25 mm F / 2.8 G [April 2024]
  4. Sony FE 16-35 mm F / 2.8 GM [May 2017, AliExpress price]
  5. Sony FE 16-35 mm F / 2.8 GM II [August 2023]
  6. Sony FE 16-35 mm T / 3.1 PZ G C [November 2020]
  7. Sony FE 16-35 mm F / 4 ZA OSS [September 2014, AliExpress price]
  8. Sony FE 16-35 mm F / 4 PZ G [March 2022, AliExpress price]
  9. Sony FE 20-70 mm F / 4 G  [January 2023]
  10. Sony FE 24-50 mm F / 2.8 G [February 2024]
  11. Sony FE 24-70 mm F / 2.8 GM [February 2016, AliExpress price]
  12. Sony FE 24-70 mm F / 2.8 GM II [April 2022, AliExpress price]
  13. Sony FE 24-70 mm F / 4 ZA OSS [October 2013, AliExpress price]
  14. Sony FE 24-105 mm F / 4 G OSS [October 2017, AliExpress price]
  15. Sony FE 24-240 mm F / 3.5-6.3 OSS [March 2015, AliExpress price]
  16. Sony FE 28-60 mm F / 4-5.6 [September 2020, AliExpress price]
  17. Sony FE 28-70 mm F / 3.5-5.6 OSS [October 2013, AliExpress price]
  18. Sony FE 28-135 mm F / 4 G PZ OSS [September 2014]
  19. Sony FE 70-200 mm F / 2.8 GM OSS [October 2017]
  20. Sony FE 70-200 mm F / 2.8 GM OSS II [October 2021]
  21. Sony FE 70-200 mm F / 4 G OSS [October 2013, AliExpress price]
  22. Sony FE 70-200 mm F / 4 Macro OSS II [July 2023]
  23. Sony-FE 70-300 mm F / 4.5-5.6 G OSS [March 2016]
  24. Sony FE 100-400 mm F / 4.5-5.6 GM OSS [April 2017, AliExpress price]
  25. Sony FE 200-600 mm F / 5.6-6.3 G OSS [June 2019, AliExpress price]

Autofocus full-frame lenses for Sony E / FE mount are also available from other manufacturers:

All Full Frame Sony E-mount Cameras

Materials on the topic

  1. Full frame mirrorless systems... Discussion, choice, recommendations.
  2. Cropped mirrorless systems... Discussion, choice, recommendations.
  3. Cropped mirrorless systems that have stopped or are no longer developing
  4. Digital SLR systems that have stopped or are no longer developing
  5. JVI or EVI (an important article that answers the question 'DSLR or mirrorless')
  6. About mirrorless batteries
  7. Simple and clear medium format
  8. High-speed solutions from Chinese brands
  9. All fastest autofocus zoom lenses
  10. All fastest AF prime lenses
  11. Mirrored full frame on mirrorless medium format
  12. Autofocus Speed ​​Boosters
  13. One lens to rule the world
  14. The impact of smartphones on the photography market
  15. What's next (smartphone supremacy)?
  16. All announcements and novelties of lenses and cameras

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram


Add a comment:



Comments: 223, on the topic: Sony a7R review

  • פיטר ציפור

    I decided to test the Mamiya RB67 Sekor 90 3.8 naturally on a Sony a7r. Fur from an enlarger, decided to glue the lens with superglue.

  • פיטר ציפור

    Why didn't you add all the pics?

  • פיטר ציפור

    I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ve tested it. The drawing is beautiful. Since a small-format device uses 1/3 of the lens, the quality is 1/3 of what the lens can do. a fairy tale. I’ll post a photo later. I’m writing to celebrate)))

  • פיטר ציפור

    very shallow depth of field F5.6

  • פיטר ציפור


  • פיטר ציפור

    still on cover

  • פיטר ציפור

    mamiya 90 3.8
    This photo is also at F5.6

  • פיטר ציפור

    the ability to shoot macro

  • פיטר ציפור

    on F8

  • פיטר ציפור

    if used with a tripod and ISO 50, the quality will improve

  • פיטר ציפור

    with flash F5.6
    I like to use it on Sony A7p and I bought Mamiya Sekor 90 F3.8 for 40 dollars with a non-working shutter. Such old non-working lenses do not need to be thrown away. I would like to test Zenzanon 80 2.8, there is a helicoid there.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thank you

  • פיטר ציפור

    Thank you very much. You just need to set the parallelism of the matrix and the lens, I think the Crocus magnifier is crooked, now all the photos are like tilt shift))

  • פיטר ציפור

    F 3.8 at full aperture

  • פיטר ציפור

    putting frosted glass on the device with a lens, I was amazed at what a large image this lens forms, the small-format Sony captures 1/5 of the image of a circle.

  • Kremlin

    Yesterday I bought a Zenitar full set for half the price, a new one 50mm_0.95 A person's eyes were not drawn to such a manual with such a hole, they strained it by 1,2. I'll have to take some kind of sablerekalku Sonya never pulled this brand, but I can't tear from the canon of the mirror. I pulled all the units except for the last two IKSoids, they are purely marketing, but the first 1Dx and 1D CCD - 4.15 M.pix. grew capital. Sony a7R + Zenitar 50mm f / 0.95 For an open one, it’s very even, though there are more focus. looks like lightning.

  • פיטר ציפור

    the picture is pleasant and realistic, the person and the colors are natural. I read what kind of lens it is, thanks.

Add a comment

Copyright © Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

English-version of this article

Versión en español de este artículo