Sony a7r review 36.4MP Digital SLR Camera

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Sony A7r review-view
Sony A7r review-view

Sony a7r review

When it come to Sony all there products have made a good impact. Sony has delivered products in the the digital and electronic world that has taken the company to a whole new level. Today in this article we will review the Sony a7r which is a mirrorless camera. Sony has come up with A7 series with A7S, A7 and A7r, all of them being mirrorless camera.

We will talk about the design, quality, performance, handling, lenses, features, battery, price, etc. in this article. So here we go with the in-depth review of the new Sony a7r.

Firstly, we will look into the specification Sony has offered in Sony a7r.

Sony a7r Specifications:

The Sony A7r comes packed with lot of cools features. Further we will look into each feature in detail.

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Processor: Bionz X image processor

Sensor: 36.4 MP Sony Exmor™ Full-Frame CMOS image sensor

Electronic Viewfinder: XGA OLED with 2.4 Million dots, 100% field coverage

LCD: Tiltable 3″ LCD with 921,600 dots

Continuous Shooting: 4 fps

Autofocus System: Contrast-detection AF with 25 points

Viewfinder Magnification: 0.71x

Movie: Up to Full HD movie shooting @ 60 fps

Panorama Mode: Yes

HDR Capability: Yes

Battery Life: Up to 340 images (LCD)

Shutter: Electronically controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter

Electronic Front Curtain Shutter: No

Wi-Fi Capability: Built-in

Weight: 407g (without any lens)

As you might have noticed the Sony A7r just weights 407g which makes it easy to carry while carry. One can say it’s a beast in a nutshell after using it.

Sony stepped into the world of mirrorless camera in the year 2010 when the company launched Alpha NEX-3 and Nex-5, with this the journey for Sony’s mirrorless camera has been incredible.

Sony a7r review

Bionz X image processor

The Bionz X image processor on Sony A7r are latest one’s offered by the company. The processor is much more powerful than the previous generation camera’s by Sony.

With the Bionz X image processor you get much more subtle details while to take a snap. Sony say’s with the new Bionz X image processor one can get much more detail and minimum noise. Also, the images look more clear, sharp with more textured detail.

The Bionz X image processor allows to capture much more detail if you are taking snaps of products such as jewelry, cloths, etc. It’s perfect for Architecture, Landscape, Studio, Fashion, Product and Macro photography.

screen rotation
screen rotation

Body and Design

When it comes to Body and Design the Sony A7r is neatly designed. It’s sleek, small and perfect.

The body is made completely of metal. While some at first touch might think it’s a plastic but no it’s not plastic. Sony has used superior light high quality metal on the entire body.

The Design so neatly designed that the camera fits so comfortably in your hands. The ergonomics of the camera are excellent.

 

The body and FE lenses are sealed against dust and moisture in Sony A7r.

Controls

As said earlier the Sony A7r is designed perfectly, the control buttons on it are also placed perfectly. The controls are easy to operate and can be reached comfortably.

The LCD display is also placed perfectly on the device. The LCD screen tilts up and down which allows you to capture shots any situations.

The dials are also placed perfectly which can be easily reached out using your thumbs.

There is lot of customization option and menus which can be selected using control buttons just next to the LCD screen.

Features

The Sony A7r is packed with incredible features:

HDR

The camera has HDR feature which allows you to make 3 shots in a row. But do keep in mind that HDR mode cannot be used in RAW or RAW+JPEG mode.

The Sweep panorama mode is also another great feature that is available. With sensor resolution of 36.4MP one can take images in sizes of 8192 x 1856 and 12,416 x 1856, respectively.

Non-native lens support

This is great news for photographers who have old lenses or the third part lenses. The Sony A7r allows you to use third party lenses on it.

Sony has released the E-mount specifications, a plethora of third-party lens adapters which are available, this allows you to use third party lenses.

Some might not be happy with the quality of images taken using the third party lens. But we found the images look incredible using third party lenses. In some cases the images do look slightly faded.

Multi-shot NR modes

The Multi-shot NR mode is a classic feature from Sony on almost all of it’s camera’s. The Multi-shot NR mode in Sony A7r allows you to combine multiple photo’s into a one perfect picture.

The Muti-shot NR mode has Handheld Twilight and Anti Motion Blur feature. Difference between these two features is that Anti Motion Blur takes subject motion into account while you shoot, which may result in a higher sensitivity being used, in order to ensure a sharper photo.

So, while moving also you get clear, crisp and smooth images.

PC control Mode

The Sony’s Remote Camera Control application for Mac OS and Windows allows you to save image directly on to your pc via USB.

Also, Remote Camera Control allows you to set the drive mode, white balance (with fine-tuning), and even HDR.

Some people have liked this feature while some are disappointed as the Wi-Fi should do this job like in Nikon or Canon.

Sony A7r review
A7r review

Wi-Fi Mode

The Wi-Fi mode in Sony A7r allows you to control camera using your smartphone. The camera gets connect to the Wi-Fi easily in just couple of seconds as the access point’s get displayed on the screen.

You can also use your smartphone as the ‘bridge’ to the Internet. Also thanks to NFC feature on the device, just tap your smartphone on to the camera and you are connected instantly.

Smart Remote Capture Mode

You just need to install the Sony Smart Remote Capture Mode App which allows to control your camera using your smartphone.

Also, there are third part apps which can be used.

Image Quality

After using Sony A7r one thing you will notice is that the photo’s come out much more sharper.

When you combine a high quality lens with the A7r’s 36-megapixel, AA filter-free CMOS sensor, the results are stunning.

The tack sharp Sony 55mm F1.8 Zeiss lens is a big part of the equation.

When it comes to Distortion correction the device does perform great. The Sony a7R has a distortion correction feature for use with E-mount lenses.

Whether correction is applied depends on the lens. For the 28-70mm and 55mm FE lenses it’s active, while it’s off for the 35mm and 24-70mm.

Also, the A7r’s distortion correction system takes subject distance into account.

The Sony a7 and a7R use a content-sensitive noise reduction system that attempts to protect areas of fine detail while applying higher levels of noise reduction to smooth, featureless areas.

The results with the a7R are an improvement a7 that we reviewed.

Image Stability

When it comes to Shutter Shake and Hands shake the device performs well.

The biggest single contributing factor in the A7r is its resolution: whatever the cause of shake, be it camera or photographer-induced, the A7r’s high resolution means it’ll be shown in incredible detail, if you look closely.

This fundamental point has an impact on all the potential contributing factors – and is equally true for cameras such as the Nikon D800(E). Beyond this, there are several potential causes or contributing factors, which we should consider.

Shutter Shake

First, the idea of shutter shake itself – the idea that the movement of the camera’s shutter is itself producing enough vibration to induce visible blur in the image. There seems to be some evidence to support this – you can feel the camera shake as the shutter fires, and when mounted on a tripod with a focus rail, shake remains visible in the final image.

Using the self timer doesn’t change the way the shutter operates – it just adds a delay to remove the influence of user motion – the shutter must still close then open to begin the exposure, which would be the main source of shutter shock. However, mounting the camera on a heavy-duty tripod and making sure it’s solidly secured does, in our experience, eliminate this problem.

Hands Shake

Hand shake is another potential source of image shake, and the camera’s lightweight body means there’s less inertia to overcome before your slight hand movements induce image shake (again, visible in great detail, because of the high resolution). Whether you’re mounting the camera on a tripod or hand-holding, you need to think hard about stability and the higher shutter speeds required to ensure it.

Shutter Speed and Selection

Shutter Speeds are important, but in A7 series the A7r has the lowest shutter speed.

In an era where most makers give more control over Auto ISO, often in quite sophisticated ways (such as Nikon and Pentax letting you choose whether the camera should operate above or below 1/FL), this is a disappointment.

But when the Sony a7R is mounted firmly on a sturdy tripod, you get a great deal of detail, even at higher ISO settings in very low light. It’s worth opening and browsing around in this JPEG image to see all the detail in the courtyard and even through the windows.

Overall Performance

While most mirrorless cameras start up in under a second, the Sony A7r isn’t ready to shoot for a little over two. We’ve also noticed that if the power is quickly cycled, the delay can be twice that.

The camera is ready to shoot in nearly half a second with no lens attached, so the delay may have something to do with initializing the lens.

As one would expect, there’s no noticeable shutter lag on the a7R. In terms of shot-to-shot speeds, you’ll wait around 0.8 seconds between Raw+JPEG shots, and slightly less if you’re sticking to JPEG.

A7r review-screen
Sony A7r review-screen

The Sony A7r has a ‘hybrid’ autofocus system, the A7r sticks with a more conventional contrast detect setup. The camera has a total of 25 focus points to work with, and from our experiences, its focusing performance is on-par with DSLRs in good light, and a bit slower than the best mirrorless models.

In low light, however, the camera can struggle to focus – unless you are mindful to set the AF point over a contrasty area. If you do so, we’ve been very pleased by the camera’s autofocus accuracy in shot after shot.

While shooting in continuous mode the A7r offers two different continuous shooting modes: standard (1.5 fps) and speed priority (4 fps). The speed priority mode shoots faster than regular continuous, but for a much shorter duration.

The a7R hits its advertised speeds in its standard continuous mode, and its large buffer size allows you to shoot at full speed for quite a while.

Clearing buffer can take a while, during which time you cannot enter the menus or playback mode. For JPEG shooting, this delay depends on the number of photos you’ve taken.

Battery Life

A7r uses the same NP-FW50 InfoLithium battery found on many other models of Sony cameras. The NP-FW50 has 7.7Wh of energy, which Sony claims will provide 340 shots per charge. That’s very low, considering the a7R has no built-in flash, which is normally included in the CIPA battery life numbers. Do note that using Wi-Fi frequently will eat more battery.

Despite the cost of the A7r, Sony does not provide an external charger. Rather, you use an AC-to-USB cable (or just your PC) to fill up the FW50 battery.

Charging via the USB adapter takes a whopping 310 minutes, so it makes a lot of sense to pick up one of the BC-TRW or BC-VW1 external chargers, which are both considerably faster (especially the latter).

 

Some stores are offering great deal price with bundled lens. We can’t say about the price much as in some places the price is still high.

So, if you are looking for cheap priced mirrorless camera then Sony A7r is a must buy. Also, if you fall into the category of Architecture, Landscape, Studio, Fashion, Product and Macro photography then surely go for it.

 

We hope you like this article related to Sony A7r. If you have any question regarding Sony A7r or A7 series then please do comment below or contact us.

 

 

 check Nikon D850

 

 

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