The Sony ILCE-7 camera (aka Sony Alpha 7, Sony α7) was unveiled on October 16, 2013, along with its older sister, the Sony a7R.
In the Exif data of the images, the camera is registered as ILCE-7, the letters 'ILCE' mean Interchangeable Lens Camera with E-mount - Camera with interchangeable lenses and E-mount.
So far, 'relatives' E-mount lenses not so much (and in truth, very little). So that the camera is not limited in lenses, you can use the LA-EA3 adapters and LA-EA4that allow you to shoot with A-mount lenses (for Sony and Minolta SLR cameras). In addition, with the help of adapters LA-EA1 and LA-EA2, you can also attach Sony DT cropped lenses, for which in the camera menu you can select a special mode of operation with cropped optics, in which only the central part of the sensor will be used (a common thing for Nikon cameras FX). And, of course, you can simply use cropped 'E' mount lenses.
Sony a7 is the cheapest modern full-frame camera, cheaper Nikon D610 и Canon 6D (problematic Nikon D600that they try to sell much cheaper D610, we will not take into account). Actually, it attracts many users with its price tag.
Sony a7 and a7r are made in the same case and outwardly indistinguishable. Also, the cameras have a 99% identical menu.
The main differences between the Sony a7 and a7r are as follows:
- Different image sensors. Sony a7 uses a 24MP sensor with AA filter, Sony a7r uses a 36MP sensor without AA filter, while showing different image quality - the camera with more megapixels showed better image quality. At the same time, the a7r has a lower noise level at high ISOs, and in general the picture from it is more interesting than from the a7. If the user does not know why he needs a 36 MP camera, then there is no point in overpaying for them.
- Different maximum burst speed. The Sony a7 can shoot at 5fps, the Sony a7r only 4fps. True, in normal mode, both cameras shoot at maximum speed. 3 frames per second, and to maximum speeds are accelerated only in the 'Pr-tSkorNotr' mode (High-Speed Continuous Shooting in the Drive Mode). The trouble is that at extreme speeds, photography is performed with a fixed exposure and focus. Therefore, I do not recommend taking the 1 fps difference to heart.
- Different excerpt flash sync. The Sony a7 has an adequate 1/250 second, while the Sony a7r only has a meager 1/160 second. Plus, the cameras have different shutter sounds. The Sony a7 has a loud shutter, the Sony a7r has a super loud shutter :).
- Sony a7 can use the shooting mode with the electronic first (front) shutter. This mode is also enabled on the camera initially. When shooting at shutter speeds of the order of 1/20 s, I even thought that the camera has a very large shutter lag, but then it turned out that the shutter starts to make noise only after exposurewhen the second curtain begins to move.
- Different focusing system. Sony a7 uses a hybrid focusing system based on phase sensors built into the matrix, Sony a7r focuses only taking into account contrast. When working with both cameras, nothing is so striking as the different speed and tenacity of focus. Sony a7 significantly outperforms the focus quality of the Sony a7r.
- It's funny, but the Sony a7 has a plastic front panel in its case, while the Sony a7r has this magnesium panel. Honestly, if I didn’t read somewhere about this small difference, I wouldn’t notice it in my life, especially since cameras weigh the same (Sony a7 is 9 (!) Grams heavier).
- The cameras are very different frame buffer. In the RAW format, the Sony a7r has about 13 shots, while the Sony a7 has about 22 shots. In JPEG, the difference is even greater.
- Different cost. Sony a7r is almost one and a half times more expensive than Sony a7.
It was the Sony a7r that came into my first review, the focusing system of which I was very disappointed with. After a couple of weeks in the review, I also got a Sony a7, which with focusing is much better. The camera uses 117 phase focus points along with 25 focus points in contrast.
I am sad to write this, but still the speed, accuracy and focus of focus on the Sony a7 do not reach simple SLR or SLT cameras, however, for many tasks, focusing the Sony a7 will be quite suitable.
I want to note that 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 or SLR cameras. But at the same time, there are still serious disadvantages:
- lack of native 'Sony A-mount' lenses with stabilizer. Such lenses are not produced due to the presence of a built-in stabilization system in Sony cameras. On the one hand, this is an excellent solution for owners of such cameras. On the other hand, users of the new full-frame Sony ILCEs are left without a stabilization system at all (when working with an adapter).
- loss of part of the light flux due to the translucent mirror of the adapter. Unlike SLT cameras, on Sony ILCE I would still like to avoid unnecessary waste of precious light :).
- strong focusing of focus points in the center of the frame. So far, there is no adapter that would give the best coverage by the focus points of the frame area.
- when using such an adapter, compactness suffers greatly. But one of the strengths of the Sony a7 is its small size. Moreover, with such an unusual adapter, the camera attracts unnecessary attention of others.
- It seemed to me (of course, I crossed myself, but still) that when using such an adapter, the shutter lag increases, which the Sony a7 and Sony a7r cameras are not the smallest, especially when focusing and shooting in AF-S mode.
- the adapter itself is not cheap, about 1 / 4-1 / 5 of the cost of the camera.
I guess I'm just really picking on the Sony a7, but it’s worth remembering that this is the first such camera, and it is logical that much remains to be fixed. As a practicing photographer, of course, I would like not to lose the dignity of the old ones when shooting with new cameras, first of all it concerns the focusing system.
Most likely, the cameras Sony SLT A99, Sony a7 and DSC-RX1 use the same matrix as the basis. Also, there are rumors that Nikon D600 и D610 use the same matrix as a basis - but it seems impossible to me to confirm or refute them precisely.
In any case, the matrix (the heart of the camera) at Sony a7 is not bad, it can work at ISO 50-25.600. It’s a pity that the auto ISO function allows you to use only the range 100-6400.
You can read about other little things in Sony a7r review (the cameras are very similar). When using the camera, I was pleased that almost all the buttons can be reprogrammed for themselves. The rotary display came to the rescue only in rare cases, sometimes it is very difficult to find some parameter in the menu, and to EVI need to get used to.
In the gallery below, part of the photo was shot using a Nikon flash. SB-900. Sony switched to using the classic hot shoe, which allowed me to use the Sony a7 and a third-party flash with manual power settings without any problems.
You can find more examples of photos on the Sony a7 in the reviews:
- Auto mamiya / sekor 1: 2 f = 50mm
- FUJINON 1: 1.8 f = 55mm FUJI PHOTO FILM CO. Lens-japan
- SMC PENTAX-M 1: 3.5 135mm ASAHI OPT. CO., JAPAN
- CANON LENS FD 135mm 1: 3.5
- Sony LA-EA4
- Sony SEL-16F28 16mm F / 2.8
- JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35
- Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/24 ZA T * SSM Sony SAL24F20Z
- Tamron SP 1: 2.5 90mm Tele Macro BBAR MC 52B N / AI
- SOLIGOR MC ZOOM-AUTO F2.5 / 3.5 f = 35-70mm
- FED 1: 2 F = 50m / m
- HELIOS-81 2/53 AUTOMATIC MACHINE
- HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53
- JUPITER-3 1,5/50
- JUPITER-8 1: 2 F = 5cm P
- Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 90mm F3.5 SL N / AI-S
- Helios-44-2 2/58
- Carenar Auto Zoom F / 4.5 85-210mm
- MS HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50
- MC HELIOS-77M-4 50mm 1: 1,8
- Minolta MC Rokkor-PF 1: 1.4 f = 58mm
- Nikon AF Nikkor 35-70mm 1: 3.3-4.5 (MKI)
The Sony a7 is an interesting full frame mirrorless camera. It has a number of useful functions and capabilities, with its help it will be easy to create high-quality images. Advanced amateur photographers can squeeze a lot of value out of this camera. The focusing system is rather weak for professional shooting. All in all, I recommend the Sony a7 to anyone who wants to shoot full frame but doesn't want to wear heavy DSLRs :).
All Sony FE Lenses and Cameras
- Sony FE 14 mm F / 1.8 GM [April 2021, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 20 mm F / 1.8 G [February 2020, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 24 mm F / 1.4 GM [September 2018, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 24 mm F / 2.8 G [March 2021, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 28 mm F / 2.0 [March 2015, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 35 mm F / 1.4 GM [January 2021, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 35 mm F / 1.4 ZA [August 2014]
- Sony FE 35 mm F / 1.8 [July 2019, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 35 mm F / 2.8 ZA [October 2013, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 40 mm F / 2.5 G [March 2021, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 50 mm F / 1.2 GM [March 2021, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 50 mm F / 1.4 ZA [July 2016]
- Sony FE 50 mm F / 1.8 [March 2016, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 50 mm F / 2.8 Macro [August 2016]
- Sony FE 50 mm F / 2.5 G [March 2021]
- Sony FE 55 mm F / 1.8 ZA [October 2013, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 85 mm F / 1.4 GM [February 2016, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 85 mm F / 1.8 [February 2017, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 90 mm F / 2.8 Macro G U.S.S [March 2015, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 100 mm F / 2.8 STF GM U.S.S [February 2017]
- Sony FE 135 mm F / 1.8 GM [February 2019, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 400 mm F / 2.8 GM U.S.S [June 2018]
- Sony FE 600 mm F / 4 GM U.S.S [June 2019]
- Sony FE 12-24 mm F / 2.8 GM [July 2020, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 12-24 mm F / 4 G [May 2017, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 16-35 mm F / 2.8 GM [May 2017, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 16-35 mm T / 3.1 PZ G C [November 2020]
- Sony FE 16-35 mm F / 4 ZA U.S.S [September 2014, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 16-35 mm F / 4 PZ G [March 2022, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 24-70 mm F / 2.8 GM [February 2016, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 24-70 mm F / 2.8 GM II [April 2022, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 24-70 mm F / 4 ZA U.S.S [October 2013, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 24-105 mm F / 4 G U.S.S [October 2017, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 24-240 mm F / 3.5-6.3 U.S.S [March 2015, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 28-60 mm F / 4-5.6 [September 2020, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 28-70 mm F / 3.5-5.6 U.S.S [October 2013, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 28-135 mm F / 4 G PZ U.S.S [September 2014]
- Sony FE 70-200 mm F / 2.8 GM U.S.S [October 2017]
- Sony FE 70-200 mm F / 2.8 GM U.S.S II [October 2021]
- Sony FE 70-200 mm F / 4 G U.S.S [October 2013, AliExpress price]
- Sony-FE 70-300 mm F / 4.5-5.6 G U.S.S [March 2016]
- Sony FE 100-400 mm F / 4.5-5.6 GM U.S.S [April 2017, AliExpress price]
- Sony FE 200-600 mm F / 5.6-6.3 G U.S.S [June 2019, AliExpress price]
Autofocus full-frame lenses for Sony E / FE mount are also available from other manufacturers:
- SigmaART, Sigma CONTEMPORARY, Sigma Sport
- Zeiss batis, Zeiss ZA, Zeiss loxia
All Full Frame Sony E-mount Cameras
- Sony a7 [October 2013, AliExpress price]
- Sony a7II [November 2014, AliExpress price]
- Sony a7III [February 2018, AliExpress price]
- Sony a7IV [October 2021, AliExpress price]
- Sony a7r [October 2013]
- Sony a7rII [June 2015, AliExpress price]
- Sony a7r III/IIIA [October 2017, AliExpress price]
- Sony a7r IV/IVA [July 2019, AliExpress price]
- Sony a7rV [October 2022]
- Sony a7s [April 2014]
- Sony a7s II [September 2015, AliExpress price]
- Sony a7s III [July 2020, AliExpress price]
- Sony a9 [April 2017, AliExpress price]
- Sony a9II [October 2019, AliExpress price]
- Sony a1 [January 2021]
- Sony a7c [September 2020, AliExpress price]
- Sony FX3 [February 2021, AliExpress price]
Materials on the topic
- Full frame mirrorless systems... Discussion, choice, recommendations.
- Cropped mirrorless systems... Discussion, choice, recommendations.
- Cropped mirrorless systems that have stopped or are no longer developing
- Digital SLR systems that have stopped or are no longer developing
- JVI or EVI (an important article that answers the question 'DSLR or mirrorless')
- About mirrorless batteries
- Simple and clear medium format
- High-speed solutions from Chinese brands
- All fastest autofocus zoom lenses
- All fastest AF prime lenses
- Mirrored full frame on mirrorless medium format
- Autofocus Speed Boosters
- One lens to rule the world
- The impact of smartphones on the photography market
- What's next (smartphone supremacy)?
- All announcements and novelties of lenses and cameras
Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram.