Sony a7R Review – A Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

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Starting just under $2,000. For other camera recommendations, see Trey’s Gear and Tools.

My Sony Goodies and Lenses

You can pop over to my camera equipment page to see all my goodies, but I’ll just highlight a few here that are related to this camera. You’ll read more about these in the review below.

All the Sony a7 cameras have the same lens system — so if you see me use a7 or a7R or a7S — no worries — all the same lenses and stuff!

Sony a7R Review

Summary: Incredible! (said in an even more impressive French accent).

I’m never the first with my reviews because I like to take the camera out on a hard-hitting run before I post my opinions. You’ll also find my reviews not to be overly technical. To me, a camera is there to create interesting art. I like to bend the technology to my will and it’s just a tool in my hands. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll have plenty of technical details, but I won’t obsess on tech for the sake of tech. I’m much more into it for the sake of art.

Sony A7r Sample Photos

Throughout the review, you’ll see many samples of photos, like the one I took below. I think sample photos are a great way to show what the camera can do. Note that I unapologetically post-process my photos! Regulars here on the site are very forgiving (welcoming, in fact!) of this notion, but purists don’t like it. That’s okay. But, if you are new and interested in more about this style of photography, check out my free HDR Tutorial!

This photo of the Berber man might be worth clicking on and zooming into… The detail the A7r gets is amazing! I took this photo in Morocco.


painting on the water with other water

This is my go-to camera now for everything, including landscapes, which is about 80% of what I shoot! This was taken here near my home in Queenstown, New Zealand. I used the Sony A7r and the Leica 35mm f/1.4 lens (but shot this at f/8)


Marrakech, Morocco at Sunset

This was taken in the market in Marrakech one evening. This was taken with the NEX 10-18mm lens, where you still get all the full-frame 36 megapixel goodness from 12-17mm, but more on that below.

Unbelievable Colors in Queenstown and Arrowtown in the Autumn

Here is a shot taken with the Sony FE 24-70mm lens. This was taken at 41mm, and it is a great example of why I use this lens so much. Don’t forget that you can zoom in on the image to see even more.

Video: Learning to use the Sony A7r

Below is a video I made where you can see what it was like when I was learning to shoot with the new Sony! I happened to be learning at the same time I was paragliding, so you get to see me learn two things at once! Also at the end is a tiny post-processing tutorial:

Sony A7r Review – Why I love it

It’s an unbelievable mix of four key things that make this a game changer: 1) full frame sensor, 2) interchangeable lenses, 3) small, 4) inexpensive. Add to that some of the best on-board smart electronics, and it’s a no-brainer for me. That’s why this is my main camera!

Huge Sensor

The full-frame sensor means you can get all the kinds of shots that you’re used to if you’ve been using something of this ilk before. If you’re not used to having a full-frame sensor, well, hang on for the ride. You can do things in low light and most any kind of shot that can be more challenging with a smaller sensor. It’s 36 megapixels too, which is absolutely insane.

I have a lot of friends that enjoy the Micro Four-Thirds system, which is also of course a good sensor size and system. But, honestly, that sensor size is four times smaller than this one. The basic physics of light and surface area simply dictates the superior performance of a sensor this size.

Interchangeable Lenses

Finally, a full-frame mirrorless system with interchangeable lenses! This of course means that you can use very very small lenses on this also-small body. At shipping time, there were only a few native lenses available, but your older NEX lenses will work pretty well too! See the shot just below that was taken with the Sony NEX 10-18mm lens. Amazing, I say!

You can get adapters to use most any other lens system out there, such as Nikon, Canon, or well, whatever. I put a very thin Leica adapter on my Sony A7r, and it’s very fun to use all of those lenses as well. There is a video on this below. You can certainly say that it is a problem that the Sony A7r does not have a lot of lenses available to it. I agree! But, there are plenty of other lenses out there you can just attach to this system. More on that later in the review.

My Fortress of Solitude

This is an example of using an “older” NEX lens on the Sony A7r. This is the Sony 10-18mm shot at 14mm. You can see the massive coverage it still gets, and you don’t give up any of the 36 megapixels! Yes, at certain zooms like 10mm you get a ring around the outside, but I get nothing from about 12mm to 17mm — it is as good as gold. There may be a tiny bit of vignetting (darkening) around the outside, but that is a one-click fix in Lightroom! There is more about this particular lens in the video below (coming soon).


This camera is 4x smaller than the Nikon D4 and over 2x smaller than the Nikon D800 or the Canon 5D Mark III. Amazing! And, it’s not just the body, but also the lenses. Naturally, you can use all those other lenses here too with an adapter. For example, I am using the Sony Alpha 16-35mm lens with an adapter so I can get many of the wide-angle shots you see below. Soon, I’ll be able to replace that with a much (much!) smaller FE lens that can get the same angles.


This camera is just under $2,000, which is a fraction of the price of most DSLR systems. You’re getting all the quality of the major DSLR bodies with none of the ridiculous cost. What a deal!

A Myriad of other advantages

There are many other awesome little things about this camera too! It’s over 2 times lighter than the Nikon D800 (almost 3x as the Nikon D4). It has a flip-out screen that is super handy for holding the camera down low or up high. The viewfinder is bright and gorgeous with all kinds of handy graphical overlays. It’s weather sealed.

Here’s one thing worth a whole paragraph: Focus Peaking. No, this is not a new thing. But maybe if you are new to mirrorless cameras (which many people are who are reading this), then this is a really handy way to nail your focus. Sure, autofocus is great, but sometimes when I am set up, I want to make extra-sure I have the bit that I want in focus. When you turn on focus peaking, you can see exactly what is in focus with a little red (or whatever color you choose) outline. It’s like a video game and very cool. See my video on using Leica Lenses with the Sony a7R video.

Because the A7r has an amazing viewfinder that I can attach my eye to and look inside, I can use the digital view to see that little red outline and be sure that I have the perfect bit in focus, even at 100%. Yes, some DSLRs have this, but it is often only on the back of the screen which is often difficult to see in Live View in the daytime. The A7r doesn’t have any of those troubles.

Sony A7r Versus the A7ii

This is a tough question! I do have both, and I still use the A7r for most of my landscape shots because of the 36 megapixel to 24 megapixel advantage. If you’re shooting on a tripod, like I often do, then you’re better off with the A7r, I think. The A7ii REALLY shines with handheld shots because of the stabilization, and that is when I often switch to the A7ii.

Having said that, if it is the stark middle of the day and quite bright, I don’t think image stabilization gets you anything because your shutter speed will be so fast anyway. I think the A7ii is best for medium and low-light situations when handheld camera-shake becomes an issue. But then, you see, we have yet another variable in the equation, the A7s, which is undoubtedly better than the A7ii in low-light situations. But that drops us down to 12 megapixels. Anyway, there’s almost too many variables to consider for any waking mind.

Sony a7R – First Three Lenses

Note these work for all the Sony A7 cameras! 🙂

  • Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 (Amazon | B&H Photo) – A great mid-range lens the covers wide to mid-range zooming. See more on the Sony 24-70mm review.
  • Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 (Amazon | B&H Photo) – I’m so impressed with this lens! I feel like I get just as good of results with this lens as I did with my Nikon 70-200 f/2.8. See more on the Sony 70-200mm review.
  • Sony FE 16-35 f/4 (Amazon | B&H Photo) – I’m so excited about this lens! This is the first full-frame wide angle lens that fits the eMount on the Sony a7 line of cameras.

Attaching Leica Lenses

I made this video here that shows how I used four different Leica lenses on the Sony A7r.

The Sony NEX 10-18mm on the Sony A7r

Even though I currently use the Sony FE 16-35 f/4 lens (Amazon | B&H Photo) for wide-angle shots, I wanted to add this little section about the Sony NEX 10-18mm cropped lens, because I used it for quite a while before the 16-35mm was released.

You can see more on the full Sony 10-18mm Lens Review, but the end result is that it worked great with no adapter on the Sony A7 series cameras.

But the advantages of the NEX 10-18mm are manifold! You basically get to move it between 12mm-17mm without seeing the ring around the outside. And yes, you get the full-frame goodness of the 36 megapixels of the Sony A7r! That’s much wider than the 16-35mm. The distortion is pretty much exactly the same on both cameras, as you can see in the video review. Even better, the NEX lens is over 2x lighter, 3x cheaper, and a fraction of the size.

Things I don’t like and hope Sony Fixes

First, I hope they do release more lenses very soon. I don’t mind uses lenses from other systems. It’s easy enough; it’s just that they are a bit big. I still prefer to use those other lenses on this system because the A7r body itself is so dang smart and high-quality. Once I can get smaller lenses though, then everything will be ultra perfect. First, I want a good wide-angle zoom. Second, I’d like a good general purpose zoom-lens. That should just about do it for me, personally. I’m very happy with the Leica lens mount I already have and the ability to use all of those incredible lenses that have been around forever.

Second, I’d prefer if the Autobracketing was smarter and more configurable. This has always been frustrating for HDR photographers who know it is just simple software. I would like to be able to click the shutter button, then after a 2 second pause it automatically takes a configurable number of shots at different exposures.

Third, I’d like to be able to configure the buttons myself more. The zoom-in button is really tough to press when I have my left eye (my only good eye) into the viewfinder. I almost have to scratch my cortex with my thumb to zoom in!

More Sample Photos

HDR Photo

These Full-Frame cameras are great for shooting stars and astrophotography. If you want to see more EXIF info, feel free to click into the photo to see more!


A Sunset Over Central Otago

I stepped out from behind a small Bed & Breakfast I was staying at in Central Otago called Coombs cottage and saw this painted sky scene unfolding before me. This was shot at ISO100, shutter 1/500, 24mm. Actually, I’m not going to list out all the EXIF info in the future because you can just click through to my SmugMug Site to see all the details. If you click the little “i” it will tell you everything. 🙂


Chris Madison Before Jump

Here’s my friend Chris getting ready to jump off the mountain with me! This was shot with another one of the new Sony lenses that is available now, the Sony 35mm. It was shot at f/3.5.


Daydreaming in Gradeschool

I know I just said I won’t tell you all the EXIF on every single image, so I’ll go ahead and break this rule here because it is cool. But this is taken with the 55mm lens at f/1.8 (also ISO 100 at 1/60). This is one of the lenses you can get now, and it is super-tiny and makes a lovely bokeh area. This is the kind of nice effect you can get with a full-frame camera.


HDR Photo

Here’s one from Tokyo. I love how the out-of-focus area feels so soft, and, well, full-framey!


On Camel, Across the Sahara Desert

The natural colors and lines and curves of the Sahara Desert.


Blasting Off

And here we are right before takeoff. This was a handheld shot using the Sony Alpha Lens for their older DSLR system — the 16-35mm. You can see more about this shot in the video above. This one was pulled all the way back to 16mm at ISO 50.


Walking on Water

Here’s a wonderfully bizarre photo I took at St. Bathans with the Leica 24mm lens. Nailing the focus is very easy with the focus-peaking trick.


荒井沙織 With Umbrella In Asakusa

Full frame sensors can give you nice bokeh even when the main subject is quite a ways from the camera. This was shot in Tokyo.


The Lupins at F/1.4

And here’s another example of the full-frame buttery goodness of the out of focus area. This was shot with the Leica 50mm f/1.4 lens.


Awesome Car In Tokyo

Using the EVF on the Sony A7r makes it very easy to line up for symmetrical photos like this one to make sure I am in the exact center. The live horizon-meter also comes in handy in these situations.


HDR Photo

On this road to my home in New Zealand, I took this with the 24mm f/1.4 lens.

HDR Photo

Great for low-light photography, here is a fisherman from Southern China. Also shot with the 24mm at f/1.4.

Saint Bathans Adventure (806 of 2146)

Tasty bokeh!


Here’s another handheld shot (on a shaky bridge!) near Wanaka. It was also taken with the older Sony Alpha Lens — the 16-35mm.


Learning to Paraglide in Queenstown

Here’s my paragliding master, Swanny. He’s the man. He’s a man’s man. This was taken with the same lens as above.


HDR Photo

This was taken with the Leica 50mm f/1.4. When you point it into the sun, you get the most amazing lens flares through the glass element. So fun! And it’s nice to see exactly what you are going to get. The actual scene was so bright, that I think an optical system would have blinded me! Since I was able to see a digital version, it made it much easier on the eye so I could actually compose the shot.


Saint Bathans Adventure (1045 of 2146)

Here is a rather unusual photo of my friend Stu with my new friend Bob.


Exploring a Strange Land with Curious Shadows in the Night

Here’s a wide-angle shot from Morocco at night. This is with the NEX 10-18mm lens.


Here’s one of my daughters sitting down outside in Arrowtown. This was taken with the Leica 70mm lens at f/2.


Here’s a photo of Stu below with the Leica 24mm f/1.4.

And here’s my mate Stu talking to Management to check on the progress of Peace in 10,000 Hands.


Relaxing in Saint Bathans

Here’s another from the Central Otago highlands. This one (like most in the review) are handheld. Of course, with a full-frame lens, it’s much easier to get clean hand-held shots in these semi-low-light conditions


Girl with Facemask in Shibuya Station

Shot in the Tokyo subway with the 50mm prime Leica lens at f/1.4


Speaking of Peace in 10,000 Hands, here I am back at Stu’s studio, taking a photo of some of his work in his gallery for the project. We also filmed a little video about how to use the Sony A7r with Leica lenses.


Here’s a lovely little schoolhouse in St. Bathans under stormy skies in the evening.


Saint Bathans Adventure (807 of 2146)

The relatively compact nature of this camera makes it a joy to grab quick shots like this. It’s over 2 times smaller than the Nikon D800 and the Canon 5D Mark III. It’s over 4x smaller than the Nikon D4.


The shallow depth of field at f/1.4 really is amazing.. and the background is so buttery!


Saint Bathans Adventure (516 of 2146)

Here’s a good example of the Leica 24mm lens at f/1.4. I’m very excited to play with all these new lenses with this amazing body (the camera, not mine haha).


Saint Bathans Adventure (798 of 2146)

The focus-peaking allowed me to use the 50mm lens to find the exact spot where I wanted to focus.


Shooting action and HDR together are quite a bit of fun. For more, see my HDR Tutorial here on the site where I have a full video about this shot!


HDR Photo

Shooting wide-open doesn’t get any better! This is from a field of lavender near Mount Cook.


Here is the Leica 50mm lens in its full f/1.4 glory.


Ethan on his first day of high school using Google Glass I

Here’s a shot of my son on his first day of high school. I love the depth of field that a full-frame sensor provides.


Say Hello to my Little Friend

I went for a walk along this fence in the late afternoon as a store was coming in. I had a little friend with me. Say hello to my little friend. 🙂


More about Sony and Me

Sony doesn’t sponsor me or anything. They got me an early camera to test, but I also bought one. I also bought a bunch of Sony NEX-7’s and NEX-6’s when I switched away from Nikon last year. Nikon didn’t sponsor me either… I wrote a full story about switching from the Nikon to the Sony. You may find additional information there if this is an area of interest for you! I also wrote about my first impressions of Sony’s a7 and a7R mirrorless cameras.

  • Bob Root

    Hey Trey, Took your recommendation and bought the A7R rationalizing it as a grab and go camera which my D800 will never be. Wow! what a neat rig. Feels to me like the camera developed for the next century vs. my Nikon’s that feel like evolution. Still there are things that my D800 will do that will not put it permanently on the shelf. Fun though to shop eBay for some old Nikon 35mm AF lenses. Just snagged a 70-210 f4 AF for $80. I wish someone had an adapter that would let me use my D800 lenses go auto.

    A particularly good pairing is my Nikon F8 500mm mirror lens on the A7R. I have always loved that lens for its compression and “donuts of confusion.” Interestingly though when I bracket with the A7R the under exposed image has a strong vignette across the top 1/3 of the frame. The normal and overexposed frame on a 3 bracket shot at continuos shoot seem fine. I initially thought it was some obstruction because of the mirror lens, but it seems to only be the underexposed frame that has the vignette. Any ideas? I will test more and report back.

    Also, I have been working on a book loosely titled “Car Sex.” As a car guy from youth, I have always seen the sleek lines of a woman in car design and have shot for years closeup of exotic and not so exotic cars for their erotic lines. The A7R with my Sigma 12mm-24mm for Nikon has already let me snag some very interesting “Hail Mary” shots that my old body will not let me stoop to.


  • treyratcliff

    Awesome Bob – glad you like it! 🙂

  • Fuzz

    Great post w/ great samples. I’ve just started looking at this since I love my full-frame 5D2 and fast lenses ( I’d be seriously interested in an a7r system with something like an UWA zoom (~15-35, f/2.8), a wide-ish fast prime (24 to 35, f/1.4), a normal fast prime (50 to 85, f/1.4), and a telephoto zoom (love my Canon 70-200/2.8). And then I’d have to figure out a way to sell my current Canon gear to fund the Sony system!

  • Fuzz

    Btw, great location you’re in (Queenstown). I just moved to NZ (Mid Canterbury) and am loving it ( Planning to head down to Queenstown around September/October.

  • Thinkinginpictures

    Well, I don’t know about that hair style (personal taste I guess) but I can’t argue with your pictures. Dang impressive is what that is.

  • Tony

    Hi Trey,
    Great little review and lovely images.
    I recently purchased the Sony A7r, but developed buyers remorse.
    I wasn’t happy with the slow, loud, clunky shutter sound and (for my needs) I found the 36 megapixel images way to big for my needs.
    So I returned it and bought an A7, I absolutely love it! The focus appears more snappier also.

  • treyratcliff

    Great feedback – thanks Tony. I actually LIKE the shutter sound… feels very old-school to me! hehe…

  • Brett

    Hi Trey love your work simply just wow all the time I’m on my way today to get the A7r and am having fun looking around at all the cool lenses I can now get which are so much cheaper and better than the new age lenses go figure hey.
    Thanks again for my little shot of inspiration

  • treyratcliff

    Awesome! You’ll have fun with that camera! 🙂

  • Paulo

    Nice work Trey, I have a question, how do you set up your camera for HDR or can you share any tips? I was planning to buy the 7r but end up getting the a7, maybe next time…


  • deltaskyking

    Hey Trey, I’ve been following your work for a long time. Read your review on the A7R and rented a copy with the 24-70mm Zeiss lens. My results….were less than fantastic. To be sure it’s a nice camera, and the menu and controls are an definite improvement over my NEX-7, but overall I was very letdown. The lens had a lot of distortion in the entire zoom range and chromatic aberration was very high (not the camera’s fault). I found the low light capabilities to be good, but not nearly as good as the Canon 6D i compared it too. Also, I found that with the 6D attached to any of my “L” series lenses I achieved, in my opinion, much crisper and clearer images. I know the point of the article is to have a full-framed camera in a tiny package to travel with – I get that and as an airline pilot I’d like nothing better than to not have to carry around 25 pounds on Canon bodies and L lenses. But I feel that if I’m going to pop for a full framed camera, I’d better be “over the moon” about the image quality. I owned a Nikon D600 and loved the image quality but returned it due to the much talked about sensor oil spotting issue. I’ve used a Canon 5D MkIII several times and absolutely loved it, but the thing is large and heavy. To me, the Canon 6D hits my sweet spot in terms of size, image quality, and the not to be overlooked ability to use the lenses and accessories I’ve already invested with in Canon. Just my opinion. Tell me what I’m missing here. BTW just bought your photomatix settings and HDR course – great stuff.

  • John Anthony O’Neill

    Thanks for the review Trey. Interesting read and very nice shots! Can you tell me if you have experienced issues with shutter shock as reported in some reviews or has this generally been a non issue in real world shooting?

  • mike

    Hey Trey, thanks for the great review. I’m looking at the a7r to take with me as I travel for the next year. I’m trying to keep gear to a minimal and likely will not have the money for multiple lenses so I was wondering what your recommendation would be for the most versatile lens for the a7r? I do plan on shooting for mostly landscape and architecture.

  • Jack Pearson

    Great review. Some reviewers report a problem with blurring caused by the opening shutter. This apparently occurs when the A7r is mounted on a tripod, using a remote shutter release, with a lens speed of ½ to 1/200. Have you encountered such a problem?

  • DR25
  • Guest

    I am considering buying this camera and so I’ve been reading reviews on “recommended” photo review sites but your review simply blows them all away. You would think they were deliberately “under-reviewing” if there was such a term. Thanks for such a great review and the beautiful photos which really show what the a7R can do.

  • buck

    Can Trey answer deltaskyking? I also am a Canon equip “investor,” to say the least, and while its appealing to consider a cheaper version of the Leica full-frame, in a sense via the A7R, I keep coming back to the clarity and variety of Canon equipment to keep me there. I’d like a straight out shot for shot comparison of the A7 units with the Canon 5d Mark III’s and the 6D’s.

  • Photo Enthusiast

    I am looking to buy the sony a7s. I have heard such mixed reviews on its auto-focus. I don’t shoot sports… but do shoot fast moving kids. How do you think the camera’s auto-focus would hold up?

  • Sandip Gupta

    I am an enthusiast who still uses a 20 year old Minolta 5000 camera (still works great!). I am now considering buying a7r and a6000 (for its fast focus when I need to take a moving object or kids). I do mostly landscapes, nature and candid pictures for personal use. I have a few questions I need your advice on:

    1) should I start with a6000 and then a7R or the other way around or it doesn’t matter?

    2) do the lens for these two cameras work together? Or should I plan to buy separate lens which would mean carrying bulk. I am hoping I can have the two camera bodies and common lens.

    3) to build up my lens collection for these without breaking the bank on the start, where do I start?

    4) and finally, what happens to my old Sigma lenses from the Minolta camera – can they be still used with an adapter? I understand I would lose auto focus but on a7R I think I would mostly use manual anyways.

    I appreciate your advice.

  • 1) If cost is not an issue, get the A7r first ! 🙂
    2) Yes they do… but try to buy FE lenses when possible because they work better on the A7r
    3) Get those lenses I recommend above!
    4) You can get an adapter for them to use with the sony

  • @disqus_FYZkOlsKpT:disqus 🙂

  • I just posted a review of the A7s here – the Autofocus is better, I think @Photo Enthusiast

  • Sandip Gupta

    For the 24-70 lens, there are two models. You reviewed the more expensive Vario-Tessar model (SEL2470Z). Have you used the 28-70 version (SEL2870). If so, it will be nice to know the differences especially in quality of pictures. The price difference is huge between the two lens with the Vario-Tessar model being more than double the price of the other.

  • Sandip Gupta

    Hi Trey – so yesterday I went to the Sony Store and invested in a7r and the 24-70 lens and 16-35 FE lens. Since your shots with a7r are the best I have come across, do you mind sharing your settings for the camera?

  • I think I use all the std settings, but I do shoot in RAW! 🙂

  • Patrick Patty

    Sir – have you been able to take a look at or read anything about the Samsung NX1 yet? All I have ever had is Nikon and have followed and read about you when you switched to Sony. Sometimes taking that leap is difficult but you seemed to switch with ease. The only reason I asked about the NX1 is because of the newer Sony 7ii. Thanks in advance.

  • KV

    Hi Trey, first of all…your work is beautiful. Wondering what your thoughts are on the a7r vs a7ii?

  • Tawna Brown

    Hi Trey! You are amazing. And I hope to one day meet and learn in person from you! You mentioned that Sony would be releasing a 16-35 FE lens. Have you had a chance to test this out yet? I am considering getting a whole new set-up/system for my year of travels around the world (coming up very soon!), vs. lugging around 20lbs of gear (Canon 5DM3 and 5 lenses) on my back. I am looking for all the advice/tips I can get to help me make my decision about which lenses to get and which mirrorless body (I’m leaning towards the a7R body OR possibly the a7ii). I will be focusing primarily on landscape, travel, abstract (vs. people, weddings, babies, events), and low light settings… I realize I won’t find something that will fit all of my needs, but I’m looking for what the next best set up would be for me instead of taking my Canon body and lenses. Too bulky and heavy for traveling for a year. (It was your website and your reviews that introduced me to the mirrorless option..But I learned about this 1.5 years after upgrading to my Canon gear:( Please help… (

  • Hi @tawnabrown:disqus – nice to meet you — and yes, I’ve been using the 16-35 FE for a while now and I really like it! 🙂 I haven’t written a review yet because I usually like to take a few thousand photos with it first, but it is coming! And you’ll LOVE the switch to Sony!! 🙂

  • Thank you @treyratcliff! I was wondering if I’d be better off just using my canon 16-35 f/2.8 (with adapter I presume?) and look at purchasing 2 new lenses for the Sony system specifically, perhaps a Sony 24-70 f/4 ZA OSS and the 24-240 f/3.5-6.3 OSS (if it is released before I leave the country!) if I am buying new lenses, it has to make sense to do so (or else I can use one of my Canon L series lenses and purchase new ones for Sony camera). With those 3 lenses mentioned above, I wonder if I’m saving weight and space and if that combination makes sense (or if there is another brand I should be looking at)?? (Ps. I sent your website an email inquiring about workshops. I really look forward to hearing back, as this is one of my bucketlist items as a photographer, especially during my year off!). Thanks!! Pss. How do I tag you in my msg? I put @treyratcliff but I see that it didn’t link…(I’m new at this!)

  • Thank you @treyratcliff! I was wondering if I’d be better off just using my canon 16-35 f/2.8 (with adapter I presume?) and look at purchasing 2 new lenses for the Sony system specifically, perhaps a Sony 24-70 f/4 ZA OSS and the 24-240 f/3.5-6.3 OSS (if it is released before I leave the country!) if I am buying new lenses, it has to make sense to do so (or else I can use one of my Canon L series lenses and purchase new ones for Sony camera). With those 3 lenses mentioned above, I wonder if I’m saving weight and space and if that combination makes sense (or if there is another brand I should be looking at)?? (Ps. I sent your website an email inquiring about workshops. I really look forward to hearing back. This is one of my bucket list items as a photographer, particularly during my year of travels).

    . Pss. I don’t know how to tag you properly so i hope you get this reply. I also couldn’t figure out if I just reply on your website thread or also in the disqus site (new to me).

    Thanks again!!

  • Goodmorning Trey! @treyratcliff (not sure if that tags you…?) I tried replying to this thread and I don’t see it here, so I’ll rewrite it again. I’m wondering if I’ll be able to use my canon 16-35 f/2.8 lens with this camera as my wife angle (so then I won’t have to go buy one just for the Sony body), and then I’d purchase the 24-70 f/4 and the telephoto one that has yet to be released (24-240 f/3.5-6.3 OSS). Will this be a good combination? (I’m only getting the new system to bring with me for my year of travels instead of my canon setup and so the combination I end up with must be smaller and lighter than what I already have, otherwise it’s pointless to invest in the Sony).

    Ps….I’m hoping to hear back from your website re. Workshops. I’m on the newsletter list but I really, really am hoping to attend one of your events….and I really really hope you have another one after New Zealand…is there still any room left?) I don’t know if I get notifications on this string…it’s the 3rd place I’ve had to re-enter my reply…. Fingers crossed. Please help. You hold all the answers to my questions;)

  • kulardenu

    Interested in this as well. Have a bunch of Canon and Leica R lenses from the 35mm that I would like to use. Was wondering if the sensor was similar to the A7r with the benefits of legacy lens stabilization? Not enough hands on reviews or sample images, that is delaying my purchase…

  • Merry Christmas Trey! I know you use the a7r, and when you made that decision, I think that was before the a7ii was released. I’m wondering if you would have gone for the a7ii instead of the a7r IF it was available at that time, and if you have any overall thoughts/experience with the a7ii? (the 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization looks like a pretty sweet feature; also better in low light and better video?) Thank you!

  • I’m currently confused about where the A7ii (Which I also have) fits into my line-up. I’m basically using it as my 2nd camera with a fixed 35mm prime on there, but at night, I switch to the A7s.

  • So you use the a7r most often, with a7s at night and the a7ii as your “spare”? Are you still shooting with your “big camera” (ie Nikon) when you’re not traveling as much?

  • Tony, how long of a chance did you give the A7r before you returned it and got the a7? Was the shutter sound the only reason you returned it? I’m contemplating one or the other, haven’t come to any conclusion yet. Haven’t really found any thorough reviews of the 2 from a landscape photographer’s perspective…

  • So you use the a7r most often, with a7s at night and the a7ii as your “spare”? Are you still shooting with your “big camera” (ie Nikon) when you’re not traveling as much?

  • pmw

    Ure going to make me make the switch too I just love your review And pictures so much more

  • Josephine Robertson

    I went back and forth between the a7 and a7r. But the image stabilization in the new a7ii tipped the boat, since 99% of my available lenses are Minolta or Sony that assume in body stabilization.

    I adore it. Since digital first appeared I’ve been saying that what I really wanted was a digital back for my old reliable manual Minolta cameras, that’s all, just a digital back. As strange as it may sound, since the a7 is mirror-less, the minute I put my hands on this camera it was like i had my old beloved Minolta kit back. Currently only have the MD/MC converter, and no e-mount lenses so I’m full manual and loving every second. (Even the cheap old Minolta MD glass produces amazing results with this camera. They made good lenses in the 70s.)

    Makes me really interested in the Leica lenses of the same era/feel. I’ve been doing research (overwhelming), but a 6k lens is just not possible for me. Say I want to keep it to under 1k in cost, and I prefer primes (I do). What *one* Leica lens would you suggest I try to pick up? I’m wondering about a 24mm R lens for landscapes (I’m assuming your above examples are 24mm M version), or a 50mm R, or should I try a 35mm walk around lens?

  • Steve

    Hey Trey,
    I have the Sony a6000. I have had it for 10 days and done about 100 shots in different lighting and also tried the filming. I came across an interesting article about the future being in the area of capturing movies and then grabbing frames from those movies for pictures. To this end. the Lumix was named a top low cost camera to accomplish such endeavors. The GH4 captures video in 4k ultra HD. From there you can import and grab still frames in ultra 4k HD, which I would imagine surpass and budget or mid-priced camera. for instance the Sony a7II. What say you? I plan to return the a6000 for a full frame model. Im not sure now if I should go with the Sony or give the filming a trying with the Lumix GH4?
    Thanks for your work and helping this paraplegic gain knowledge in photography.

    PS. Im going to purchase the DJI Inspire, or Phantom to pair with my GoPro4, to enable me to get shots I never could from my wheelchair. I doubt I will be able to do any HDR with this setup however. ;-(

  • Steve

    Before anyone says, “why not just use your 4k GoPro to accomplish this? In response, I like the feel of a larger camera in my hand not the tiny GoPro. The Panasonic Lumix also offers many more options for shooting stills from the camera than the GoPro. I hope I can get a response soon before my ability to return my Sony a6000 runs out on Jan 7th, 2015 (Wow, that was the first time using the new year in language!!) 🙂




  • Anton Berlin

    Trey, maybe you can help put pressure on Sony to fix the shutter shock issue with the A7r and the lossy compression with all Sony cameras? I’ve given up on the Sony A7r and am using the D810 now. The uncompressed and loss less 14 bit files are massive improvements over the compressed and lossy Sony files I am accustomed to. There is a lot more room to push and pull on the Nikon files. As an experienced Nikon user you must have noticed the difference?

  • Cedric Smythe

    Try a grey card and expose to the right a little. Just watch your highlights don’t clip. Pushing and pulling RAW files in post is not a good idea, simply a last resort for when one absolutely must. Getting it correct in camera, as we did in the film days, is always the optimum choice. Try taking one of Trey’s courses, he covers the fundamentals very thoroughly as can be seen by his excellent work with his Sony cameras.

  • “Getting it correct in camera, as we did in the film days, is always the optimum choice. ”

    I thought you said there’s no such thing as doing it the right way in “art” yet here you are saying there’s even an optimum. Im all for getting it right in camera… which is also why i don’t crop or rotate in post… but the process for “optimum” doesn’t stop after you release the shutter. I’m sure you’re familiar with pushing and pulling just for the effect (not exposure)?

  • Steve

    Cedric never mentioned art. You are simply trolling, grow up or go away!

  • He did. Not here. Learn to use the internet or get off of it.

  • Steve

    You should be banned for trolling!

  • because you’re saying irrelevant stuff in someone else’s discussion?

  • Steve

    You are making no sense at all, what on earth are you talking about. Re-read what you have posted here!

  • Try not to use words like “troll” and “spam” because you are clearly new to the internet.

  • Seve

    I pray you find some peace in your life and discover our lord Jesus.

  • Jesus Loves You

    I am.

  • ROFL I got people praying

  • ROFL

    Maybe you are as special as you think you are.

  • Salah

    I want to buy Sony A7R since its weight is less thsn these bulky DSLRs. So my question is how fast AF system in A7R comparing to Canon 5D Mark III? Can you advice?

    I use to capture photos by using specific AF point and Single Shot AF in my Canon. Nothing fancy at all!

  • Not sure the exact difference, but it seems just as fast as my Nikon DSLR

  • Menuka Shrestha

    hi anyway give me best tips for lenses for sony a7r, I’m not a pro just a casual photography. want to get lenses for sony a7r and my need is 1 lenses cover all portrait and landscape.

  • Fai Cheng

    Your photos is very very good.
    One of my best series of photos is taken in New Zealand, I really love this country.

  • Fai Cheng

    Some shoot with a 35mm lens, some use 16-35 Zoom, some use 24-70.

    I guess 24-70 is most of the people choice

  • Herman

    What about a Zeiss Loxia 2/35mm?

  • Anton Berlin

    ETTR makes Sony’s 11+7 bit compression worse. This is a documented fact.

  • Aggro

    The shake exists on a tripod. It’s a flaw with the camera.
    The raw files simply have less data.

    Try taking a course in electronics to help understand

  • Pradeep Chauhan

    Hi Trey, If I bought only one lens for my A 7 which would you recommend for general photography while traveling and just personal snaps. Do you recommend buying the more expensive Carl Zeiss lens. Thanks.

  • Adam Coupe

    Great review and images Thanks

  • Well I should probably throw my cameras away now. But I won’t.

  • Gloria Feinstein

    how do you think it compares, if at all, to a digital hassie?

  • Fish Sun

    The best review I have read on Sony A7R. Now the new A7R II has been released, when do we expect the review on the new model? Great works!

  • TheFinn

    Hey Trey, I’m in a discussion over at Pentax forums ( and there is a debate about Sony’s lossy raw compression. Some “teckies” are saying it’s a deal breaker with Sony cameras. Because of you, I own the a6000 and I love it. So I thought I would ask an expert and see if this was ever an issue in your decision to go with Sony.

  • Lee

    Trey, I saw your review on a7r and i wonder how do you focus at night on an A7R with a manual lens at iso 100 in low light condition. I have difficulty focusing thru the sensor vs DSLR i still can see.

  • like Cindy implied I am stunned that any body can make $5241 in one month on the computer. try this website on `my` `prof1le`


  • James Segwell

    A camera is just a tool. The person behind the lens creates the picture. Plug-ins make the magic. No camera on this planet will make pics like the ones above (the post-produced ones). Sony is an electronic wizard with the soul of a mathematician. Art and poetry is the reason I don’t use Sony cameras.

    My personal opinion of course.

  • I find my a7rii to have plenty of “soul” so much that I just picked up an a6000 and love the little pocket rocket. Amazing little tools with plent of character.

    My personal opinion of course.

  • But, if a camera is just a tool, how can any model have ‘art and poetry’ over any other? I don’t agree with the notion that poetry comes from a brand name, a certain sensor, or a mirror inside the camera.

  • Robin Gatti Newbern

    I ADORE this camera- the A7II and have been using it for Real Estate photography and have really fallen for choosing to do the AUTO HDR which fires my lights and takes the bracketed shots. However, just this weekend I did an update to the firmware and now when I do the exact same thing- it only will fire the lights once. Have you run into this yet and do you know how to fix it? I really love that option.

  • Stu – SIC

    Hi Robin, Trey doesn’t use auto HDR or flash so I’m afraid he cant help with that. Drop Sony a quick email and maybe they can help. Good luck!

  • Jack

    Hi – Have you been able to try out the Sony FE 16-35 f/4 yet? If so, what are your thoughts?

  • Ive been debating getting this camera vs the a7s ii. Not sure which one i want to buy now although this article has me leaning more towards the a7r. Gonna bookmark this and re read it later before making a choice.

  • Thanks your information my friend.I bought this cam.Amazing machine.beze kulesi

  • GCtech

    Well mirrorless camera vs dslr has been a long debate. Both have great quality but that would depend on the photographers taste.

  • astrobuoy

    Please sign this petition to get Sony to fix the star-eater issue:

  • JAC60

    Don’t understand why Aurora for PC is not a big seller! I’ve been using since it became available. It’s much easier to use than Photomatix. Selection of presets is much better. It’s a winner!!!!!

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