In this review I share my experiences using the Sony A7r with at much detail as I can offer. It's now my primary camera and a great upgrade from my last camera the Canon 5Dmkii. If you find this review useful please Like and +1.
The Sony A7r mirrorless camera is basically a Nikon D800E but mirrorless. It looks like the exact same sensor as that camera with an improved lensing system to deal with the rear element of the lenses being so close.
It's exciting to finally have an awesome camera that doesn't weigh a ton like that D800. That's the whole reason I never bought that camera. I want smaller and lighter. I travel a lot and shoot landscapes. Nobody wants to hike 10 miles with a 5 pound camera. But it also feels solid in your hand even though it is small.
The 36 megapixels and lack of a highpass filter really make for incredibly sharp images. The detail in the shadow and shadow and highlight recovery are also more than I expected.
My previous camera was the Canon 5Dmkii and to me this feels like a major leap forward. What else is great about having 36 megapixels is you can get away with cropping your images to panoramic views and still having great quality for fine art landscape prints. A critical and key feature for me. I no longer feel I have to shoot pano and stitch like I did with my Canon 5Dmkii.
Current Native Lenses Available For The Sony A7r
Sony Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA - Sharpest 35mm lens on the market besides the Sigma. My Personal Favorite. See my Sony Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm review
Sony Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Alpha NEX Lens - Very High Image Quality 55mm Lens. One of the best you can buy.
Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS Lens - People are loving this lens. Great for everyday work.
Because of the full frame sensor size you get a lot more Bokah out of your lenses than you would with an APS-C camera.
Sony A7r Video Review
Video is only so so with this camera. Not because of the sensor but because of the user features. You have two file formats you can shoot in. AVCHD and MP4. AVCHD gives you higher quality but is tough to work with. You're also limited on your color profiles. You cannot import your own custom profiles which forces you to use neutral with all the settings turned down. The camera will also overheat on a hot day.
Be sure to check out my Sony Mirrorless Video Guide for more information on shooting video.
If your serious about video there are better options. I wouldn't recommend this camera for video only.
Negatives About The Sony A7r
There are a few negative to this camera I don't really like.
-The main one for me is the short battery life. 350 photos per battery is bad. My Canon could go days. You won't notice it so much if you just travel to one location, shoot and go home. But if you're shooting all day constantly you might go through a few batteries.
Batteries when shoot video are comparable to the 5Dmkii.
-You'll find the sensor also gets dirty very quickly. If you change lenses frequently you'll likely have to learn to clean your own sensor. It's not like a traditional DSLR. There is no mirror to offer that first layer of protection. It's kind of scary.
-The Autofocus is good, but not great. But I forgive them for this since the autofocus is built into the chip instead of a separate autofocus sensor like on most DSLRs. This technology is only so good right now.
-The build quality feels good but not great. I can't imagine this camera lasting me 10 years like a Canon camera would. There just seems to be so many external moving pieces. But we'll have to wait and see.
-As mentioned video features could use a massive overhaul. It's 2014. We don't need to shoot MP4 and AVCHD anymore. Give me some PRORES or something actually useful.
You can check out 5 Things I hate About the Sony A7r for more information about this.
Extra Gear I Have For The Sony A7r
Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Smart Adapter, Mark III (Amazon link) - This adapter allows me to use all my Canon Lenses on the Sony A7r. Very useful and good enough of a device until Sony comes out with more lenses. Only real draw back is the autofocus is very slow. You can see my complete review of this on my Metabones Review Page.
Gariz Genuine Leather XS-WB3 Camera Hand Strap (Amazon link) - This is a leather hand / wrist strap I recently ordered. I really like it. Since the camera is so small and light I feel like a traditional DSLR camera strap is overkill. This works great.
Sony A7r Landscape Photography Review
To me this camera is the best Full Frame camera you can get for Landscape Photography. The sharpness of the sensor and color information you get is mind blowing. The shadow recovery and detail makes you feel like you're cheating. And because of the dynamic range of the sensor, I'm finding I have to bracket less to get the same results as the Canon 5Dmkii bracketed.
Sony A7r Landscape Sample Photo
One Negative About Shooting HDR With The Sony A7r
My only complaint about using this camera for Landscape and HDR photography is you cannot set a count down timer at the same time as bracketing. To shoot several bracketing shots you have to hold the shutter button down. With long exposures this will create movement resulting in soft images. To shoot long exposure HDRs you have to set the camera to use a count down timer and bracket each shot individually. Kind of a pain, and I'm not sure what Sony was thinking.
Check out my Guide for Shooting HDR on the Sony A7r
Download Free RAW Sample Photos Taken With The Sony A7r
You can now download a variety of RAW or ARW sample photos taken with the Sony A7r. Photos are shot with a variety of ISO, aperture, shutter speed settings and lighting conditions. All photos shot with the Sony Zeiss Sonnat T* FE 35mm lens. You will be prompted to enter your email which will enroll you in the sites newsletter. I don't spam and don't post often. Enjoy!
SONY A7R SAMPLE PHOTOS
To see the original size, click the photo, then click O at the top. To see the EXIF data, click the image, then click the top right x, then you'll see an 'i' to the right.