fiona meets the sony a7

A pre-production model of the new full frame mirrorless NEX-style camera, Sony A7, came into my hands a couple of days ago, courtesy of the wonderful people at Sony Greece. I also got the new Carl Zeiss 55mm/f1.8, as well as the kit 28-70/f3.5-5.6 Sony G kit lens. I will be keeping the set for a couple of weeks, testing it in various environments.

What I immediately liked in this camera is, well, its size and weight… I mean, compared to my Sony A99 (which is maybe the smallest & lightest full frame dSLR camera), the Sony A7 is a feather. It’s not so light that it feels cheap, but not heavy enough to become a nuisance. It is also ergonomic, fast and responsive. What remains to be seen is the quality of its autofocus system, which I will test on a later date, on a real AF-taxing situation (a rock concert, what else?).

I asked Fiona for some fast night portraits, and she happily agreed. We went out last night in Athens, and shot the following photos.

All of the photos were shot at ISO 12.800, with the CZ 55mm/f1.8 and the Minolta MD 50mm/f1.4 (manual focus, of course). I then opened the RAW files with Sony’s Image Data Converter, which really is a quite counter-intuitive and slow RAW editing software, but I finally got the images out of it. The White Balance tool sucks, and the Noise Reduction tool leaves a lot to be desired. I am sure I could get a lot more out of these photos if I could edit them with Adobe Camera RAW.

Disclaimers:

  • Both the camera and the lenses are pre-production models.
  • all images are ISO 12.800 – a couple of them have been pushed by 0.25-0.75 stops during RAW conversion.
  • Autofocus was used in the first three images. The rest of them were focused manually.
  • The white balance is not what is should be, because I grew frustrated with the Sony Image Data Converter software and just went for colour continuity.
  • I am not at all familiar with Sony Image Data Converter and I hope a ACR update comes out soon.

 

sony a7 | carl zeiss 55mm/f1.8
[carl zeiss 55mm/f1.8 | f2.2, 1/40, ISO 12.800]

sony a7 | carl zeiss 55mm/f1.8
[carl zeiss 55mm/f1.8 | f1.8, 1/30, ISO 12.800]

sony a7 | carl zeiss 55mm/f1.8
[carl zeiss 55mm/f1.8 | f2.2, 1/20, ISO 12.800]

sony a7 | minolta md 50mm/f1.4
[minolta md 50mm/f1.4 | f1.4, 1/80, ISO 12.800]

sony a7 | minolta md 50mm/f1.4
[minolta md 50mm/f1.4 | f1.4, 1/200, ISO 12.800]

sony a7 | minolta md 50mm/f1.4
[minolta md 50mm/f1.4 | f2.0, 1/125, ISO 12.800]

sony a7 | minolta md 50mm/f1.4
[minolta md 50mm/f1.4 | f2.8, 1/80, ISO 12.800]

sony a7 | minolta md 50mm/f1.4
[minolta md 50mm/f1.4 | f1.4, 1/400, ISO 12.800]

sony a7 | minolta md 50mm/f1.4
[minolta md 50mm/f1.4 | f1.4, 1/500, ISO 12.800]

sony a7 | minolta md 50mm/f1.4
[minolta md 50mm/f1.4 | f2, 1/60, ISO 12.800]

sony a7 | minolta md 50mm/f1.4
[minolta md 50mm/f1.4 | f1.4, 1/125, ISO 12.800]

sony a7 | minolta md 50mm/f1.4
[minolta md 50mm/f1.4 | f1.4, 1/60, ISO 12.800]

sony a7 | minolta md 50mm/f1.4
[minolta md 50mm/f1.4 | f4, 1/320, ISO 12.800]

 

…and yes, I did shoot some large format – I only had ISO 100 film with me (fuji instant film as well a couple of slide film sheets I will cross-process) and an available maximum aperture of f2.5 (thank god for the Aero Ektar 178mm/f2.5) – the light was so low I needed a 10 second exposure to get a proper exposure…

 

sony ay polaroids

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