Wow, Sony have done a great job of launching their new A7 Full Frame mirrorless camera. I have personally seen several people sell their current DSLR to fund the order of a new Sony A7. Is this the move to make or are you smarter to stick with the tried and tested DSLR. As an avid fan of the Nikon D800 (I have over 30,000 shots on mine after 18 months) I was reading a post on Facebook that stated the Sony A7 ‘outperforms’ the D800. I did see a launch preview of the A7 and whilst it was damn impressive, I didn’t walk away wanting to sell my D800 so I could get the Sony A7, or the A7R. So I thought it would be a good idea to look at some of the facts that should be a part of your decision making process.
Firstly, I have real world experience with a mirrorless camera, if you’re a regular around here you would know I own and also shoot with a Fuji X-E1 mirrorless camera. What has this got to do with the Sony A7? Well, one of my key frustration is lens availability. When I bought the Fuji there were only a couple of lenses available, and today, there is still only a handful (less than 10). Making new lenses is an expensive business and no company is going to be able to release too many too quick. As I write this blog post, Sony is releasing the A7 with 1 Lens, a 35mm 2.8 FE Mount, and by February it is said there is only going to be 4 to 5 FE Mount lenses available for the Sony A7 (You can use the E mount lenses but will have to either crop your images or put up with a strong vignette). Fuji had a similar goal, they released the X-Pro1 and had a timeline of lens release dates, and some of those dates have come and gone without the lens being released. Nikon on the other had, as I write this has 152 Lenses available for the D800. The Sony A7R can also take A mount lenses so you have a lot more choices with an adapter you can use Nikon, Canon and other third party lenses.
It has been known for some time that Nikon has sourced it’s sensors from Sony, so you can be guaranteed that the 24mp sensor in the A7 is the same one in the Nikon D600/D610, and the 36mp sensor found in the A7R would be the same sensor you would find in the D800. The A7R differs to the D800 as it does not have the anti aliasing filter so it would be closer to the D800E. But still the same sensor.
The next big difference is Optical Viewfinder v Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). The EVF in the Fuji X-E1 is good, but is not as good as the old WYSIWYG optical viewfinder. I am not sure how this technology has advanced, but I find it difficult to believe that an EVF will ever be as good as the optical viewfinder found on the DSLR.
You will also need more extra batteries than ever before. All of this electrowizardry means power consumption. According to the Sony site, the A7 will last for just over 300 shots, the D800 will last well over 900 before a charge is needed. Aslo, for some wacky reason I can’t even work out, the Sony A7 doesn’t come with a dedicated charger, you have to plug your A7 into a USB slot to charge it.
Where the sony apparently does beat the D800 is the video department. But if you want to shoot video maybe a dedicated HD machine is what you need.
Both bodies are weather-sealed magnesium alloy bodies, but the Sony is about half the weight of the D800. A reduction in size is nice sometimes, but the reduction in size usually means that buttons are smaller, more fiddly and a lot of functions are hidden behind menu’s. I love the D800 for the fact that all my main needs can be changed easily from a button on the body. From reports I have heard, the D800 still wins for build quality.
Both the D800 and the Sony A7 have similar connections/ports, but In addition to physical connectors, the Sony A7R boasts built-in Wi-Fi and NFC (Near Field Communication) for easy image sharing with compatible smartphones and tablets. ‘Smart Remote Control’ comes pre-installed on the Sony A7R, allowing you to control the camera’s exposure settings remotely with a smartphone, now that’s pretty cool!
Price wise the Sony is a little less than the D800. Back to the question in the beginning of this post… which one is better? I don’t think you could say one is better than the other. For me, I will keep the D800 in my kit for some time. It’s hard to go past the plusses. Just the fact that there are over 150 lenses I can use with my D800 makes it more versatile. It will be interesting to see the evolution of the mirrorless camera, I believe that the DSLR will slowly disappear and the mirrorless will take over the market… is the Sony A7 the iPod of the camera industry? Maybe
Topaz have announced an amazing sale, and it’s available until December 2nd. You can get the COMPLETE Topaz bundle, normally $379.99 for just $199!
I love topaz plugins and use them on just about every image I process, they’re the best value for money plug ins you’ll find and thanks to my good friends at Topaz Labs they’re allowing me to pass this incredible deal onto you!
All you have to do is CLICK HERE and enter the promo code: blackfriday2013 during checkout and a $180 discount will be applied! Thats around a saving of 48%! Remember, this is only valid until 2nd December so get in quick!
I was asked by a lot of people the help them learn HDR. There are a few tutorials on the web but most of them are a lot more comprehensive that what you need to learn the basics. They say they have hours and hours of lessons, but really they are just hours and hours of the same thing, and have made them really long to justify charging more. I am proud to say that I have had hundreds of people download my tutorial and not had one negative feedback and a lot of positive feedback.
I have made it long enough to cover the essentials so you can get on with taking pictures and learning how to process your photo’s using HDR, and it is just US$15.97! That’t not a special, that’s the regular price. CLICK HERE to read more about the videos.
Here’s a recent email I received from one of my many happy customers.
Hello Ben, just wanted to say thanks for the detailed work you did in putting together the HDR Plus Tutorial. I purchased the package over the weekend and have looked through them all. You have given me the confidence to break away for just using just the filters. Your guidance of the use of layers (in Elements 10 by the way) has shown me what I have been missing. Thanks a lot, Terry Jones
My buddy Rob Potter is the ‘other’ PhotoWALK Guy. He is quite clever when it comes to design and has made our new logo! Click Here to head over and hit LIKE on our Facebook page.
One of the questions I have been asked a fair bit, is how to make water appear ‘silky smooth’ in your photographs. It really is quite simple, and I have made a video when I was in Mount Field National Park in Tasmania at one of my favourite waterfall locations, Horseshoe Falls.
From my trip to the abandoned Dunlop factory, it seems like a lifetime ago! According to me EXIF info, it was only a year ago I was here! There was this old TV and a lounge just lying about, so with a quick bit of impromptu furniture re-arranging we had created this little scene!
Nikon have just announced their newest DSLR to the range, the Nikon Df – but it is a little different!
For those of you that have been following my photo journey for some time will know that I have a love affair with the Fuji X-E1, another retro design camera. This new Nikon Df gives me camera lust! The DF shares the same 16mp FULL FRAME sensor and processor as their pro D4 giving you the ability to shoot at up to ISO12,800 – unlike most that can only go to ISO6400. I have read reviews saying that they had to make some compromises and the 51 point AF system that is in the D4 is not in the Df, instead, you only get 39 AF points (I only ever use one!)
The only down side I see is the price! I have heard that it will retail for somewhere around US$300! At this price you would have to consider the D800. Although, the old style retro chunky look may just win me over!
We had an absolute blast last Sunday at the Sculptures by the Sea PhotoWALK. With over 120 people registered, I was hoping for a HUGE group photo, by the time we arrived (Myself and Rob aka The PhotoWALK Guys) a lot of the registered had already started to wander around and grab some shots (I can’t blame them… so many great sights!) Thanks to all of you that came along and we hope to see you at the next walk.