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A7RIV Early Impressions

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alpha_in_exile View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alpha_in_exile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A7RIV Early Impressions
    Posted: 09 August 2022 at 17:22
Well, this has been my Rip Van Winkle moment. Sorry if I ramble a bit. I haven't been paying attention to the development of mirrorless cameras. I came into a little money, and wanted a full-frame body with better high ISO performance, and better tracking AF-C. I decided to make the jump from A900 to E-mount. For what I shoot (weddings, sometimes - sports, rarely - I'm also a generalist, will shoot anything given the chance), I wanted an A9, but I have no full-frame E-mount lenses, just A-mount full-frame lenses, and I saw that the A9 won't drive screwmount lenses on the LA-EA5! I could afford a new body, but I could not afford to buy a bunch of new lenses. I dislike the SLTs in concept, though I'm sure the A99II is a fine camera... but what sold me was the idea that I could get PDAF points over most of the frame with E-mount -- assuming the LA-EA5 would work as promised.

I also had a wedding coming up (as a second shooter, not as the primary photographer). I would have two weeks to get to know the new camera, and would have the A900 as a backup. I bought an A7RIV (used), and an LA-EA5.*

I like the new camera. It's impressive, but, for me, it seems my main job as a photographer now is to tame the autofocus. Then again, coming from manual-focus bodies to the A100 I had the same feeling. What do I mean? I mean that, to get good, sharp photos, I don't have to worry about shutter speed, aperture, ISO - all those functions are familiar and their usage has not changed, with the exception of auto-ISO with shutter speed limit - but the AF can trip me up, if I'm using the 'wrong' settings. With the A900, of course, I used the center AF point, AF-S, and would recompose -- I knew from experience how much latitude I had for recomposing with any given lens and aperture. Now, with the A7RIV, I don't have to recompose, and I can generally use AF-C Tracking, if I can get it to lock on to the right target. This, for me, is a dramatic change - I love it when the AF locks on to what I want it to, but it's frustrating at times.

Observations:
1) Eye AF (with Tracking AF) seems to work very well on humans, even though I'm using A-mount lenses adapted via LA-EA5 -- BUT, I never got to shoot that wedding, which would have been the big test -- I tested positive for COVID last Friday (mild case, thankfully), which meant I could not shoot the wedding :(
2) Animal Eye AF, on the A7RIV, will not work in AF Tracking focus modes, only in the non-tracking modes - this is weird to me, though I kind of understand how to get by with a Wide or Zone AF Mode
3) With LA-EA5 and a screw-driven 70-200/2.8 (Tamron), the body & grip are almost too small -- I would guess that an equivalent FE lens, being lighter and not needing the LA-EA5, would be 'tolerable'
4) Listening to screw lenses constantly refocus in AF-C/tracking gets a little annoying, might even be disturbing to wedding guests...
5) Dynamic range is excellent - I love this 61 MP sensor
6) I'm greatly amused by shooting in 'silent' mode with old SR-mount Minolta lenses. The only other lens I have that can shoot 'silent' is my Tamron 90/2.8 AF Di USD (first gen., A-mount)
7) I hated composing on the back LCD on my Nex 5n, but I actually enjoy using the LCD on the A7RIV to compose some shots -- probably because I can trust the AF more
8) SOOC JPGs are very good

*Crazy thing is, I think I saw references to the A7IV when I was looking around for cameras, but in my mind it somehow registered as 'older' than A7RIV, so I never took a close look at A7IV specs. I didn't realize the A7IV is newer than the A7RIV. I might have chosen the A7IV if I had been paying better attention -- but in comparing shots found online, it doesn't seem like the A7IV performs that much better in low light/high ISO. It looks like Animal Eye AF may be implemented better (having bird eye AF, whereas that is NOT present on the A7RIV - I like to shoot birds...).
-- Matt
A7RM4, A900, Min 24/2.8, Min 50/1.4, Min 85/1.4, Tam 90/2.8 Macro, Tam 70-200/2.8
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QuietOC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 August 2022 at 17:53
I use a grip extender on my A7RIV when I use larger lenses. Mine is a Honglai HL-A74/A92. It is designed to accept an L bracket that I don't have. It is also designed to accept the removable battery door moving it to the bottom of the grip. I don't bother moving that door. I preferred the smaller Meike grip extension I had for the older cameras, but this works alright.

I am also interested in the A7IV. Apple hasn't added support for it yet which is disappointing since I've been using one of the Apple silicon laptops.

Edited by QuietOC - 09 August 2022 at 17:59
Sony A7RIV LA-EA5
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9
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alpha_in_exile View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alpha_in_exile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 August 2022 at 18:34
@QuietOC - ty for the grip info. A grip extender or hand strap is more appealing to me than a vertical grip.
-- Matt
A7RM4, A900, Min 24/2.8, Min 50/1.4, Min 85/1.4, Tam 90/2.8 Macro, Tam 70-200/2.8
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QuietOC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 August 2022 at 19:04
Originally posted by alpha_in_exile alpha_in_exile wrote:

@QuietOC - ty for the grip info. A grip extender or hand strap is more appealing to me than a vertical grip.

Yes. I have not had the battery run out on me on the A7RIV, but I am sure a vertical group would make portrait orientation shooting more comfortable.

I should try a wrist loop instead of the Minolta neck strap I've had on mine. I have one of those on the NEX 5T. It has been very nice on the smaller APS-C bodies.
Sony A7RIV LA-EA5
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9
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neilt3 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote neilt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 August 2022 at 00:35
All the cameras I have that a VC can be fitted to , have one .
Using larger or heavier lens I feel they handle so much better .
Apart from my Sony a100 which had a DiCain grip ( Sony didn't make one for it ) all were OEM Sony grips .
I bought an a7riv last summer and looked at the Sony grip , they seemed to be charging over the odds for it and I had a look at other options .
I came across one made by Ayex in Germany , and for less than £90 I got one of those .
Design wise it looks identical to the Sony , and quality is the same as any of my Sony grips .

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/264785603267

I got a spare OEM battery as well , but I'm surprised at how well they hold a charge and have never needed to change batteries while out . I don't think I've used the same battery for less than a couple of days before charging it up , even then I think there was almost 50% charge still in it .

I got the a7Riv before the a7iv came out because of the LA-EA5 .
I was about to but a new a7iii when it was announced , but as it wasn't compatible with screwdrive lenses ( no AF) I cancelled my order and bought a used a7Riv instead .
Had the a7iv been announced sooner , I'd have waited for one of them .
That said , I am happy with the a7Riv , even though I managed to pick up an a99ii earlier this year .
So I'm fixed up camera wise for a good long time !
see my photostream on flickr;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt3/
C & C welcome.
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 August 2022 at 09:31
I love the 61mp of the A7r4 But it is overkill.

I don't feel the need for a grip extender at all. People differ. When people say "the grip is to small" I always assume it is the depth of the grip and am always surprised people talk about grip extenders.... maybe I have narrow hands.

I use smallish lenses on my A7r4, I could use my 70-400G with the LA-EA3, but never do, I prefer my 70-350G on my A6400 (talking about small cameras and grips )

1) hope your feeling better and to bad you were unable to attend the wedding. Only did weddings with my A900, so, no experience.
2) Yes annoying. Probably it is more complicated in AF-C to program then in AF-S. Also, I would have preferred bird AF over Animal AF.
3) I believe you.
4) During tracking screw drive lenses also are noisy on the A900 Do you have Pre-AF turned off? (Seventh tab on the first camera tab, AF3).
5) Modern cameras are so much better then the A900 in this regard.
6) Neat, isn't it?
7) I find the integration between EVF and screen great. I use either depending on situation.
8) Agree, Sony JPG's came a long way.

Enjoy it
Why not follow me on Instagram? @Addy_101
 



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