Sunday, June 15, 2014

A7r For Professional Use - Not Quite

I've had a chance to use the A7r more extensively and in a  variety of situations. There are many things I like about it - the EVF, and tilting LCD (though why camera manufacturers continue to think that we don't shoot vertically is really mind boggling.

Some things I don't like about it and here's a partial list.

1) taking 3 seconds to turn on - just not professional
2) often, one is unable to magnify shot images  - the same happens with the A6000 - clearly a software bug - fortunately not affecting the final image.
3) the shutter button isn't definite enough - not like ones on Canon cameras for example, where there is a definite tactile difference between half press and full - here it's a guessing game.
4) even breathing on the shutter button will cancel magnify view, making manual focus a pain, and sometimes I'd swear I didn't do anything to cause it to drop out.
5) formatting cards is buried in menus and can't be put in "mymenu" like on a Canon camera, or done by double button pushing as per Nikon D800e (I actually prefer the Canon My Menu system - less scary, more definite than the Nikon way and oddly, faster too.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are far more things to like than not - for example, using tilt lenses is a breeze with focus peaking.

I didn't find camera shutter shake to be a huge flaw - but I was using the battery grip. Likewise battery life was not a problem since the battery grip holds to batteries, but otherwise, you'd likely find yourself changing batteries at critical moments just a few times too often for comfort.  I did find the shutter noise to be an issue during my recent trip to Newfoundland.

In hindsight I should have used my Nikon equipment for the trip, selling it after if I still wanted a change. I'd thought the light weight and small size of the A7r would be ideal - but too often it wasn't the right camera - for people, in the helicopter, for quick grab shots, and for small size (after all with the Canon 70-200 plus adapter plus L bracket on the adapter, this is not small kit).

Now that I'm back home and not photographing whales and birds and musicians, it may well prove itself close to ideal, or close enough.

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