But we all knew that, right?
I guess my title would be obvious to most people, but the promise of a
relatively low-cost, compact, low-light-capable, hi-rez wonder that would
accept my M-mount glass was too much to resist and I picked up a Sony
A7r (and its native 35mm prime) to try out. I was honestly hoping to avoid the
"upgrade cost" from my Leica M9 to the new M 240.
misunderstand me, the A7r is an absolutely fantastic camera - with it's
native glass. But I'm finding with adapted lenses its far too fiddly,
and I'm not even talking about the problems with wide-angle lenses.
of the issue is that focus peaking is not very accurate on the A7r - it
will get you in the ballpark but then you have to click a button for a
magnified view to finish tweaking focus. Conversely, focus peaking has
been spot-on on my Sony NEX 6 and Ricoh GXR.
There are other
problems as well: Edges and corners, even with "normal" FOV glass can be
unacceptably soft and occasionally smeared. Weird reflective
artifacts, even on a vanilla lens like the 50mm Cron have ruined a few
shots as well. On some shots I'm seeing unusual rainbow refraction
around bright specular highlights. The lens compensation app, while promising at first for wide-angle use, is too
limited and has proved mostly a time waster. The battery life is a joke,
even with wifi and image review turned off.
If the A7r had been
anything like a full-frame version of the Ricoh GXR (with A12 mount) it
would have been perfect. That oddball machine is such a
sorely-underrated little camera!
As it stands, I'm selling my A7r
and getting back on a waiting list for the M 240, but I thought I'd post
this as a bit of a cautionary tale for any other Leicaphiles thinking
the A7r attractive as a "second body" for their Leica glass. It *can*
work with a lot of fiddling around, as I did get a lot of wonderful
shots, but in the end I found the camera itself kept getting in the way
of the picture-taking process.
Despite the fact that it's getting a bit long-in-the-tooth, my Leica M9 is still a fabulous camera...I just wish it was better in low light, had a bit more resolution and had live view for critical framing, which is why I'm still pining for the new M. ;)
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