In my last post I mentioned that I bought a Sony a7. There certainly was a lot of hype regarding the camera prior to release, most of it justified. The biggest thing about it is the sensor, literally and figeratively. The Sony a7 has a 24.3 MP full frame CMOS sensor, yes, full frame. Yes that sensor makes the 21MP full frame sensor on my Canon 5D MKII look fairly ordinary. Don’t take my word for it though, I’ll let the photos in this post speak for themselves, then you can make up your own mind about this camera.
Of course it’s not all about the body, in fact I’m a strong supporter of camera gear being the least important part of creating a photograph. I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I plan to do with all my Canon lenses, luckily Metabones figured that out for me. I picked up my Metabones EF-FE smart adapter III on eBay for about $320 AUD. Certain companies were giving them away as part of a promotion when purchasing a Sony a7 or a7r body only, lucky for me a lot of the people who bought these bodies already own the adapter! When I went to featherdale wildlife park this was the perfect opportunity to test out a few aspects of this camera.
My kit on the day included:
– Sony a7 body
– Sony FE 28-70 f3.5-5.6
– Metabones smart adapter III
– Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro (EF mount)
Part of the small kit was because the Sony FE range is still really limited, plus I’ve been making a conscious decision to pack “light” and “worry less” about the photography. I guess I’ll reflect on this strategy in a few months and see if I’m better or worse for it.
One thing I did notice, was that I was able to capture more candid moments on the fly. I’m re-educating myself on the importance of making a limited amount of gear work for you and the situation that you’re in. Even though I took two lenses with me on the day, I found that the only lens I used was the Tamron 90mm. Sharp lens, autofocus worked slowly with the metabones adapter, but thanks to “focus-peaking” on the Sony a7 I was able to manual focus quickly and accurately. There wasn’t a point when I thought I was missing out or hindered by a fixed focal length or a manual focus lens (surprising but true).
Back to the camera, the body feels rugged and it held up pretty well during a light shower on the day. Focus peaking worked like a charm, if you haven’t seen it in action, I recomment youtubing it because it opens up a whole new world of manual focusing without having to mess with focusing screens and magnification.
The camera itself it highly customisable, there are 3 custom function features as well as 12 customisable on screen sections for quick access to most useful functions. The camera looks great, it’s a bit like an Olympus OM-D E-M5 with a facelift and rebranding. My only criticism, and it’s a slight one, is that the shutter button is in a slightly awkward place. If it was moved back a cm or so it would have been a lot more natural, but you can easily get used to it. Plus for all the great things Sony has done with this camera I’ll forgive them for this minor infraction.
The biggest and greatest advantage however, is it’s size. Aside from being the first full frame compact system camera (Leica’s fall under a different category for me), the fact that it packs the kind of features, quality, and processing power that it does in a body so small is impressive.
Like I said in the last post, having the OM-D and the Sony a7 means I no longer need to carry around 10-15kg of gear every time I want to go take photos. I’m not saying you have to do so with DSLR’s, but when you have a lot of lenses that you paid plenty of money for, you tend to feel guilty if you don’t bring them.
Which brings me to the last part …