If you haven’t seen part one, click here to find out about camera set up and the video shoot.
how does the Sony A7 perform when shooting a fast paced editorial?
find out after the break
I admit, I was a bit nervous, although I have shot a few assignments with the Sony A7 already, shooting in a crowded, public place with natural light is a different story. Speed is important, there really isn’t much time to fiddle with settings and equipment. One has to stay on the move, get the shot, head back to the base, change outfits and do it all over again.
Let’s get right to it:
AF/SPEED/ACCURACY: after shooting 10 outfits, around 60 to 80 shots per outfit, I am pleased to report, compared to shooting wide open with a DSLR at that focal length, the keeper rate was noticeably higher, the benefits of phase and contrast detection. AF speed was on par and sometimes slightly faster then on the D800E with the 58mm G attached. Most shots were taken wide open or at f2. AF was set to medium flexible center point in AF-C mode. Shooting into the light did cause af to hunt occasionally, but certainly not worse then what I would expect when shooting with a DSLR’s.
Everything was shot in raw mode and there were no problems with buffer clearing.
Full manual mode, zebras enabled, framed through the amazing EVF, the ability to see blown out highlights and the out of focus effect as I was shooting, sped up things considerably, I didn’t feel the need to review the shots as often as when shooting with a DSLR.
Although I didn’t shoot stills with the A7r, I love the fact that both cameras are identical except for the sensor.
This cuts down on unnecessary mistakes and delays during fast paced shoots because of slightly different button and navigation layouts.
The fairly loud shutter slap served as an acoustic cue for the model to change the pose, a blessing when shooting without strobes.
LCD brightness boost.
Image quality. Love the files I am getting from the A7, especially when shooting with the Zeiss 55mm.
THE NOT SO GOOD:
By now I am so used to navigating the menu, pressing buttons twice and being forced to dive into the menu for commands I could access on the Nikon D800E and Canon 5Dmk3 directly that it hardly bothers me any more, but it needs to be mentioned.
The Battery grip: A must have, love it, however it does miss the main control dial and could have been designed a little better.
Battery life isn’t great and one has to keep an eye on that, esp when shooting on location.
I wish the LCD had the same tilt and rotation axis as on the A99 and A77.
Face detection couldn’t keep up at the pace I was shooting. (I works pretty well in the studio on neutral background)
I tried hard to find a few more things to dislike but there weren’t any.
These two Sony’s are now my favorite fusion cams At about half the size of the D800E and the 5dmk3, traveling and location work was never so easy. The same can be said for going back and forth between shooting stills and video, I much prefer the EVF and articulated screen over rigging up a DSLR with a loup or external EVF, which totally changes the feel and handling of the camera. When shooting with the A7/r, the feel and handling of the cameras doesn’t change, regardless if you shoot stills or video.
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