Sony A7r – Review and Sample Photos

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.

Buying The Sony A7r

I always buy expensive stuff through Adorama, but you can pick it up just about everywhere. Here are a few links from my affiliates. If you what I’m doing with this site and want to support it, buying the camera through the following links earns me a very small percentage and it costs you nothing. Thank you!

Sony A7r (Body Only): (Amazon) (Adorama)

Image Quality

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.

Hawaiin sunset at Waimea Bay.

Shot with the Metabones Adapter and the Canon 16-35mm f2.8L II lens.

Current Native Lenses Available For The Sony A7r

After only a year there are already a lot of really really amazing native lenses for this camera. You can see the complete list of all the native full frame E-mount lenses here.


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.

Sample Images with the Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm

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 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

If you’re looking to pick up some extra gear to go alone with your Sony A7, A7s or A7r then check out some recommend gear that I currently use with my camera.

Sony A7r Landscape Photography Review

To me this camera is the best Full Frame camera you can get for Landscape Photography. Sure, the D810 is better in terms of just image performance and weather sealing, but to me, the weight of this camera alone makes up for it.

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

Looking up at the Kyoto Bamboo Forest from Spring 2014 Japan.

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.

The alternative is to order a really inexpensive count down timer remote which you can find on my guide listed below.

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!

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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.

One of those breath taking sites in Kyoto Japan. I love this place.

Big Island Hawaii Sunset.

Click to see more Sony A7r sample images.


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