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Budget FE body for landscapes on tripod

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Tricky01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Budget FE body for landscapes on tripod
    Posted: 05 April 2021 at 09:22
I've had my A7iii for 18 months now and love it. It's the perfect camera for me, great AF, good battery performance, nice accompanying app (latest update it finally seems to work as intended!). But for the 8-9 years before I had two identical bodies (A700s, then A900, then A99), mainly for the occasional weddings I shot. But alongside that legitimate need of a second body, I miss the freedom of having a long lens for wildlife on one body and a wide angle (possibly with filters) on another.

Point being, I don't shoot any weddings anymore (pandemic or no pandemic) so I can't justify a second A7iii for this luxury of occasionally carrying a second body with lens. But looking at the second hand market an A7r or A7ii can be picked up for ~£500 which is tempting. This second body will almost exclusively be used for landscapes, carefully composed on tripod so while it would be nice to have good AF and IBIS in case of a surprise wedding, it's not essential. It's a pain that they both use different batteries to the A7iii but that frustration is well worth the £500 saving!

So, finally getting to the point, which body would you get as a second body for use on a tripod, A7r or A7ii?

Things I've picked up:
Pixels - I'd prefer 24mp, but 36mp is tolerable (I hate larger sensors forcing me to update my laptop!)
Batteries - either route I need to have different batteries from my A7iii as I understand it?
Shutter shock - apparently an issue with the A7r?

Anything else to be mindful of? (Do they both work with the imagingedge app? Differences in customisations or settings? Either better than A7iii in specific situations, such as high iso sensitivity?). Appreciate any advice :)
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A7iii, 12f2.8, 15f2, 16-35f4, 35f1.8, 50 1.8, 85f1.8, 135f1.8GM, 100-400GM, 1.4xTC // A mount: Sig90f2.8 and Sig180f3.5 Macros
 



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pegelli View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2021 at 09:36
The A7R has some shutter shock issues due to the fact it can't do EFCS, I don't know the exact details but you might want to google a bit and see if it would impact your shooting. Also the mount of the original A7 / A7R isn't as sturdy as the later models.

I shoot with an A7ii and A7Rii and since I mainly use Manual Focus lenses anyway the better AF of the later bodies is not important for me, and when I use AF (I have a few AF lenses as well) it's more than good enough for me, even in low light shooting dance performances I get enough keepers not to worry about needing better AF.

Good luck finding your 2nd body, I think reading your requirements the A7ii is almost a no brainer.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2021 at 10:05
The shutter shock for the a7R seemed to kick in at around 1/30 sec but then disappear at longer shutter speeds (1/5th and longer). Basically I just avoided shooting in this range. Which tbh, weren't good speeds for most landscapes.

I did like the a7R as a landscape camera, and basically used it as a digital back for my A-mount lenses for a few years. I almost always shot on a tripod and composed carefully.
Some of the apps that could be used with the a7R were also pretty good. These aren't available for later cameras, but I think are still present on the Sony store. I also used my phone as a remote.

I found the 36MP much better for landscapes than 24MP as it meant I could make larger prints (if necessary).
a77ii- Sony 135/2.8 STF, 16-50/2.8, 70-200/2.8 G
a7riii- Voigtländer 15/4.5, Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2, 85/2.4, Batis 85/1.8, Voigtländer 110/2.5, Sony 24-105/4 G, Sigma 100-400 f5-6.3.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2021 at 11:28
Why not the original A7?

On a tripod you'll stay at base ISO and the original and II have the same sensor (in fact, according to DXO Mark, the original has better dynamic range). The only thing you'll really miss is IBIS compared to the II. And it has better AF then the original A7r as it has OSPDAF with native lenses.
(just keep the shutter speed a little higher to compnesate for the lack of IS during weddings)

If you have a decent not to old laptop, 42mp is no problem. I do not understand the angst some people have for this. Why do you think 42mp is beyond your computer? The A7r2 is quite a complete camera imho.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2021 at 11:43
Why not go down the route of a bridge camera for a second body... they all provide something different to your standard ILC packages.

Eg:
RX1 series - FF, 35mm f2 lens, small form factor
RX100VI upwards - a nice 24-200mm lens in a small form factor
RX10IV - A very large range in a single body with decent AF.
X100V - a fixed lens fuji cheaper than RX1 series

I personally would skip the A7II unless you really want that IBIS, not sure its really worth the extra over the original A7 which can be had very cheap these days. So that's your cheapest FF ILC and IQ is about on the level of your old A99.

A7R has a very nice sensor but suffers from the shutter shock issue, its also loud (personally like that) and slow.

If you can stretch your budget a bit, I'd personally pick up the A7RII. If you can handle 36mp, you should be able to handle 42mp too. the difference isn't that big. The sensor is amazing and nearly as good as the latest and greatest. The AF is reasonably good too. I'd consider this the "base level" to aim for a second FF body personally. The original A7 series are bit rough around the edges (as you'd expect from the original 1st gen bodies) and A7ii is more of the same but with IBIS tacked on.

Edited by nandbytes - 05 April 2021 at 11:48
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A7RIV, A7C
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2021 at 11:55
I am making the A7RII my main camera and selling my A7III. I used the small image size today to take product photos. Downsampling four RGGB pixels into one full-color one works very well. The A7RII has a fully electronic shutter which I use most of the time. The A7RII does drain the little W batteries very quickly.

I did like the A7II, but that sensor wasn't great when originally released. It can certainly take nice images. The lower magnification viewfinder optics on the A7II work better for me than the higher magnification optics in the A7RII and A7III viewfinders. It doesn't drain the little batteries as quickly.

Edited by QuietOC - 05 April 2021 at 11:58
Sony A7RII NEX-5T HVL-F45RM LA-EA3 LA-EA4r MB-IV MC-11 EF-E II TLT ROKR MD-NEX KR-NEX DA-NEX
Minolta Maxxum 600si
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9 AF-P/Q
 



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bonneville View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2021 at 12:43
My minty a7ii + grip is still available, and I will include an arca-swiss mount L-bracket designed for the a7ii if you are interested.

Edit: Due to renewed publicity it is now sold.



Edited by bonneville - 05 April 2021 at 19:21
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Barrin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2021 at 13:08
Since you do not specify what so se angle lens you plan to use, I would assume mine preference, ie a 35 mm.

Given this, and all what you write, I suggest a rx1 camera, that can be carried out easily when strolling around
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Tricky01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2021 at 15:50
Thansk for all the comments everyone. It feels daft to go for a non FE mount (ie RX model) when I'm investing in so much glass. The purpose of this second body will always be to have on my hip with a wide angle (16-35 f4, laowa 12 f2.8 or laowa 15 f2) while using a longer lens on the A7iii for birds, deer and the like. Interesting to hear the original A7 had similar sensor and could be the way forward.

Originally posted by bonneville bonneville wrote:

minty A7ii

Thanks, will take a look. The l plate and grip may be wasted on me though as will likely use peakdesign clip, and while the grip adds extra battery power, the weight extra is probably to be avoided. Otherwise it would be a bargain. Saw a rather battered one on one of the 2nd hand stores for £519 with 6 month warranty which is my yard stick coming into this. Will give it some though.


Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:


If you have a decent not to old laptop, 42mp is no problem. I do not understand the angst some people have for this. Why do you think 42mp is beyond your computer? The A7r2 is quite a complete camera imho.
a lot of it comes down to load speed and storage. It takes considerably longer for Captureone to build the previews and then it's almost doubles the file size. I like to shoot raw and on my 1tb Macbook Pro I can pretty much store 18 months of images (ie I backup regularly but do one main archive each year - which takes me up to 6 months of the following year to clean through ready for archiving, while I'm also capturing new images in the current year). I'm happy with 24mp and know I could end up being tempted by more. If I have more, I'll use them and then need to change my storage and archive setup :) it becomes an expensive upgrade. I'm only just happy with performance of my top spec 2016 mbp with a7iii files, and anything that worsens that is not something I really want.
website
A7iii, 12f2.8, 15f2, 16-35f4, 35f1.8, 50 1.8, 85f1.8, 135f1.8GM, 100-400GM, 1.4xTC // A mount: Sig90f2.8 and Sig180f3.5 Macros
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Tricky01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2021 at 23:00
Originally posted by bonneville bonneville wrote:

Edit: Due to renewed publicity it is now sold.
Shucks! But congrats on the sale too :)
website
A7iii, 12f2.8, 15f2, 16-35f4, 35f1.8, 50 1.8, 85f1.8, 135f1.8GM, 100-400GM, 1.4xTC // A mount: Sig90f2.8 and Sig180f3.5 Macros
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2021 at 08:49
Originally posted by Tricky01 Tricky01 wrote:

I'm only just happy with performance of my top spec 2016 mbp with a7iii files, and anything that worsens that is not something I really want.


I find this surprising tbh.
My late 2015 iMac (i7@4Ghz, 16GB RAM, 4gb graphics, 500GB SSD) was perfectly fine even with A7RIV files.
My current base model M1 Mac air can handle A7RIV files with a small lag. It handles A7C files just fine with no issues. A7RII/III while there is a lag is not really noticeable in grand scheme of things.
my flickr
A7RIV, A7C
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2021 at 08:54
Originally posted by Tricky01 Tricky01 wrote:

I like to shoot raw and on my 1tb Macbook Pro I can pretty much store 18 months of images


Storage is cheap in this day and age and I don't think you should limit your camera choice based on storage.
2TB NVME SSD with a decent caddy and speed can be had around £200-300. There is not much speed difference to storing it locally on your Mac (not a noticeable one anyway).
Also makes it more portable should and when you change your Mac.
I wasn't keen of doing this myself at first but I got gifted a base M1 Mac air and I had to make it work somehow... and I was pretty surprised how well it worked.
With really fast USB/TB3 transfer rates its a no-brainer to keep your data portable. Also means your Mac's hard drive lasts longer which can't be replaced these days.

Edited by nandbytes - 06 April 2021 at 08:57
my flickr
A7RIV, A7C
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2021 at 16:04
I think there's something to be said for the slightly smaller size and significantly lower weight of the original A7.

Though after checking some views I took across the bay with the A7Rii and the little Samyang 35mm f2.8, I've been gobsmacked by the resolution. With extreme pixel-peeping I can see detail in objects which are too small to recognise in the full view! And that's taking fine jpegs in camera!

I've tried raw a couple of times but it seems a waste of time and space for my purposes and methods. I reckon with this combination you could take images of a large protest/event crowd and get passport-usable pictures from everyone looking your way (gulp!). Is this what the security services have been using?
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A7Rii, A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras ...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2021 at 16:10
It is pretty remarkable. If you don't mind a bulkier lens, the Tamron 35mm F2.8 has even more resolution. I am not sure if the uber GM and C/V APO can match this $199 lens.
Sony A7RII NEX-5T HVL-F45RM LA-EA3 LA-EA4r MB-IV MC-11 EF-E II TLT ROKR MD-NEX KR-NEX DA-NEX
Minolta Maxxum 600si
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