Buying The Sony A7r For HDR Photography – A Good Idea?

After shooting with the Sony A7r for over six months now, I’ve decided to post a roundup of my HDR photos shot with the Sony and share some of my thoughts. 

Bamboo Forest Kyoto Japan

Bamboo Forest – Kyoto Japan

Do I Think The Sony A7r Is Good At Shooting HDR?

Yes and No.

Yes because I’m finding the dynamic range to be so good, that I rarely even have to shoot bracketed to get what I need. And often on landscapes I only need to shoot two photos, one for the highlights and one for the shadows, and the exposure dial on the top makes this very easy to do.

Now I say no because out of the box the bracketing ability on the A7r sucks. There is no count down timer to shoot the three or five exposures and you have to do it manually or risk camera shake as you hold the shutter button. You can see the HDR techniques here.

Sun setting at the rice field terrace of Saga Japan.

Souther Japan Rice Terraces

I’m not really sure why Sony didn’t implement a better bracketing function. My guess is they want to sell it to you later as downloadable content so they can make more money like they do with their APS-C cameras.

But it’s been six months, and it still hasn’t come. This leads me to believe that Sony doesn’t really have a good consulting liaison of tech savvy professionals. I say this because after spending six months of my life in Japan, it seems 90% of the photographers I see out there are over the age of 60. It’s like the hobby of the senior citizen. No joke.

And with Sony being relatively new to the whole main stream still camera world, this only makes sense. They probably rely on internal or local old school testers and rush out these products. Just my guess since my Sony A7r is already falling apart.

Would I Buy The Sony A7r Or A7 Again For HDR Photography?

Now that I know and have experience with the camera, my answer is, probably not. I really really really like the Sony a7r for everything else. But for serious landscape photography I think people are better off getting the Nikon D800E. You’ll have better lens options, better camera functions, better weather sealing, better battery life, way better durability and the ability to shoot astophotography because of the optical viewfinder. The only downside is it’s huge and heavy.

I still love my Sony A7r and will continue to invest in it’s lens line up because in the future, Sony is only going to get better at making these cameras. They have to, their corporate profits are still falling like a rock. Not to mention, I have gotten some really awesome results out of the camera and I'm really grateful for getting to own such a machine.

More Sony A7r Sample HDR Photos

Sony A7r HDR Samples

Kiyomizu Dera – Kyoto Japan

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier – Santa Monica

Imazu Bay – Fukuoka Japan


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