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IkarusJohn

The A7 went this morning and I'm taking the plunge

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Okay, so I know I have been lamenting the lack of a full frame option (and that may still come), but I've had a rethink.

 

I've spent the last few days since I got back from the US reviewing and editing my pictures from the trip. I took my Monochrom and 4 lenses (21-28-50-75), and my A7r with 24-70mm Zeiss zoom. The way it worked out, I took the Monochrom with Noctilux with me when I wanted pictures for myself (and had the time to think about what I was doing) and I took the A7r when I was with family and didn't have the time to stop and really think about what I was doing (if that makes sense).

 

The A7 was stuck in a compartment on the motorbike, so it was in easy reach. I didn't use the M adapter with the A7 at all. What shocked me was just how fabulous the Monochrom images were, and how many of the A7 images were simply not focussed at all (it's an AF lens,after all). I reflected on the A7 since, and while it has optical stabilisation and the lens is very good, it's not a keeper. The menu system and buttons made it too fiddly and too difficult to do what I wanted, and that 36MP sensor is fabulous but works better in the D800E - I couldn't reliably get the sharp detailed images I wanted (nowhere near as good a resolution as the Monochrom). So, it's gone.

 

This morning I ordered the T, and the kit zoom.

 

So, it isn't full frame, and that may well bother me - but I've decided to give it a go. This camera is not a replacement for my M cameras (though the M9 will suffer for its presence, if I'm honest) - it is a walk about AF zoom camera that does all those things that the M cameras don't. It's also a camera which makes no apologies for being an electronic camera - it's not for life, it's not manual and it sits with my M cameras very well (at least, that's what I'm hoping).

 

I'm getting the M adapter, so I will also be trying my M primes. Why not just use them on my M9? Good question - video? Not so much. Smaller package? Not really. Ability to use my Distagon 15, which is not rangefinder coupled - absolutely.

 

We'll see. This is the technological advance which the M(240) didn't do for me. I'm intrigued at touch AF - what a great way to set your focal point!

 

The camera looks fabulous, and I have every reason to hope that the image quality is as good as it seems. There may be some interesting T lenses in the future, who knows.

 

Cheers

John

Edited by jaapv
offending language

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I kept my A7r for a little over a month, just past the return period...and happily sold it for a loss on FM along with both Sony Lenses and M adapter. I really wanted to like the camera, but I couldn't get past the loud shutter and vibrations it caused. The images were great, but in the end it didn't fit. Looking forward to getting the T

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I had an A7r for a while and was surprised how often it missed focus. That and it's mediocre compatibility with M lenses is what finally prompted me to finally pick up an M240.

 

...now I have an M9-P that's not really getting much use and I'm kind of thinking about swapping it for a Monocrom.

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I'm finding that I'm using the Monochrom more than anything else. It's a fantastic camera, and will be my first choice till it dies (and Leica won't fix it).

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there is absolutely no way that I would think of trading my A7 (not R) for the T but each to his own. The A7 is just so much more versatile and just the fact that you are stuck with having a 1 second review after every shot with the T would stop me from ever buying it. This is not leica bashing as I use the M all the time alongside the A7 and the results from the A7 and FE55/1.8 are jut so amazing that for me it is worth owning the camera just for that lens. Ihve now handled the T a few times and while the EVF is very good I would be very wary of getting sucked into buying it by it's sexy looks and iPhone type feel. Yes it is an object of beauty (which you can't say for the A7) but I would be interested to see how you feel about it after a few months? Ultimately for me a camera is a working tool.

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Well, I guess I can't answer that yet.

 

I did look at the FE55/1.8, but I already have two very fine 50mm M lenses (Summilux and Noctilux) and could see no point in adding to those. If I was going to do that, I would add an Otus to my Nikon ... and maybe that's the point. As a fine photographic tool, the A7r just didn't match either my M cameras or my Nikon. That left it in an odd place where I had to wonder if I needed a tripod to get a crisp shot.

 

But to be honest, the focussing is what drove me over the edge. The diopter got knocked (apparently) every time I put it away, so I had to adjust that every time I took the camera out, it often simply refused to focus, and I got no joy out of trying to use the manual focus.

 

I agree that cameras are a tool - a sensor and a mount for lenses, with framing, focus, aperture, shutter, ISO and white balance controls. Nothing much more is needed. The Sony user interface was better than the NEX, but was still a barrier between me and the camera. Photographically, the D800 delivers a better, more consistent result from this sensor than the A7.

 

The T camera doesn't try to fill this role. It is a walkabout camera. At least, that's what I'm hoping. If the image results are average, then it follows the A7 while there are still buyers.

 

Cheers

John

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I hear what you are saying. I think there are real some big differences in usability (at least for me) between the A7 and A7r. The A7 doesn't suffer from mirror slap as it has the electronic first shutter and it also has phase-detection focusing. I personally find that I can hit focus wide open 95% of the time with the A7 and FE55 something I could never do with the M and Lux 50. I also find the eyes focus function useful for up close portraits. In fact almost the opposite to you I now never use my lux 50 asph. I also like the fact that it has the same size files as the M which makes my work flow easier. The phigment adaptor sounds interesting but I see from their site that it vignettes on FF with a lot of lenses.

There of course no doubt that the T will take great images and I am sure hope that you enjoy it

Edited by viramati

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I'm intrigued at touch AF - what a great way to set your focal point!

 

Yes, that does seem interesting but, unless I'm missing something (which is possible), that is presumably only possible with the camera held out from your body in "zombie" fashion?

 

I have no opinion about the merits of the A7 but I'm not sure what role the T camera is meant to fulfil when you already have an M camera, John? When the novelty of the touch screen interface wears off, I can't help but think the T will seem like any other crop-frame consumer camera like the Nex, etc. I understand what you mean by "when I was with family and didn't have the time to stop and really think about what I was doing" but I find my M cameras perfect in that scenario. No faffing around, just focus and shoot.

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I'll resist the zombie fashion!

 

You may be right. The biggest difference (apart from the cropped sensor, which does worry me) is AF & zoom - a different kettle of fish altogether from the M camera. We'll see. Much like you, my first passion is the manual simplicity of my M9 and Monochrom.

 

This could just be GAS.

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Interesting thread. I sold my A7r last week to pay for the T with 23 mm lens I have on order. My primary consideration is a "walkout" camera that produces great image quality. I hope I'm not disappointed. Why can't someone make the modern-day version of a Rollei 35? I had one with the Zeiss Sonnar lens and it was exceptional.

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sorry about the A7 feedback for you.

I find the handling and the buttons of the A7 excellent, and the build is lovely

I did pick the A7 over the A7R as its operation and focus are a bit quicker and the shutter sound is less.

 

Judging by what I have seen of the T, and my own XV, the picture quality is great. But the A7's are a different league, at least for a pixel peeper and a DR fanatic, so be forewarned about expecting the same picture quality.

 

Saying that, I recently managed to get a T to test and have a number of first impressions which are not for this thread, however worth mentioning that body's build and shutter are lovely, if not as quiet as I expected.

 

best of luck and tell us your impressions!

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after using both, it makes me wonder how anyone could buy a T over and A7.

 

 

Clearly, our experience of the Sony differ. My decision to sell the Sony was made based on my use of the camera, and my frustrations with it. The decision to sell it was pretty much made before the T came along.

 

I can really pass no judgment on the T at all as I haven't used it. If it doesn't make the grade, it will follow the Sony reasonably quickly.

 

As mentioned above, my M9 is always there, and is much loved. If the T is a dud, much like the A7, it won't be missed.

 

Cheers

John

 

PS - Colonel, for image quality, the A7r in real life is absolutely no match for the D800 or the M9 or the Monochrom.

 

I have no expectation that the T will produce pixel peeping detail that the Sony could on the rare occasions everything was perfect. But, I'm hoping, for what I want (a smaller alternative platform for my M lenses) and a good walkabout AF zoom, the T will perform where the A7 didn't.

 

You guys may be right that the T will produce deeply average images (reminiscent of the NEX I had), in which case it will go. But I won't miss the Sony.

Edited by IkarusJohn

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Wow I am glad I am not the only one who gave up the A7. It was during the time I had the M9 and was thinking getting the A7 instead of the M240 , I changed my mind and never regret it or missed it. The T is not an Option for me as I have the Olympus EM1 as fast alternative to my M and it has a lot of great great lenses already available, maybe with more lenses in the future I will review it again

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PS - Colonel, for image quality, the A7r in real life is absolutely no match for the D800 or the M9 or the Monochrom.

.

 

Hi John, we can agree to disagree.

 

Again, can't comment on the A7R, but I had the D800E and, apart from the pixels, the DR, colour depth and acuity is fantastic on the A7, and as good as.

It also clearly beats the M9. But again, in combination with some RF lenses the M9 is quite special.

Lastly the 55mm f1.8 Z lens is quite special, but the 35mm is also tip top.

 

Where I do agree with you is in the usage of Leica lenses (the D800E obviously does not figure here). But Sony didn't make the A7 series to use RF lenses and I don't think any CSC manufacturer (except poor Ricoh) will ever do so, simply due to the limited market.

 

The Monochrom is an animal on a different branch of the evolutionary tree. I used it for 2 months and think its beautiful. Anyone who can afford one as an "extra" should certainly jump

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I too got rid of my A7R (and 3 Zeiss lenses) recently, and am glad I did. My experience was that the excellent sensor and good Zeiss glass were overwhelmed by the poor, super-fiddly and easy-to-inadvertently-trigger user interface. I still have my RX100, which because of its small size, good sensor and optics is worth the hassle of putting up with the Sony video arcade style user interface.

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I understand what you mean by "when I was with family and didn't have the time to stop and really think about what I was doing"

 

Isn't this what cell phone cameras are for? No joke, I'm serious.

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That's a fair question, Alan. I use my cellphone quite a lot for taking pictures. If you're saying that the image quality of the T will be no better than a cellphone, I'd have to ask what evidence you have for that.

 

This game could go round and round and round. Every Leica product costs more than a comparable Japanese, Chinese, Russian or any other product. Is that your point?

 

The Leica T is not an S camera, not an. M camera, and not an X camera or Panaleica. Yep, on paper, any Sony camera is better and cheaper. Since when has that been news?

 

What Leica has done is redefine the user interface. You don't like that, but I do and there are many others it seems. For me, it's a consistent approach to the M9 - making the most of the technology for image quality, and then refining (you say restricting) how that is made available by not offering things which they feel are not necessary. I like that because I still think of aperture, shutter and ISO. I'm not interested in the rest, and I find the additional options a massive turn-off.

 

I think Ming Thein is right - this is a redefinition of the digital camera interface. Sure, better sensors will come along. The 36MP sensor in the Sony and D800 is fantastic, but for me is was misplaced in the A7r (fantastic sensor, but the shutter, AF and user interface let it down). Now, I know you like the NEX. I hated mine. So, people have different approaches to these things. I'm also one of many millions who have helped to make Apple the World's most valuable company by buying its products. I would love to never buy another MicroSoft product if I could, but sadly that's not possible.

 

Cheers

John

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I too got rid of my A7R (and 3 Zeiss lenses) recently, and am glad I did. My experience was that the excellent sensor and good Zeiss glass were overwhelmed by the poor, super-fiddly and easy-to-inadvertently-trigger user interface. I still have my RX100, which because of its small size, good sensor and optics is worth the hassle of putting up with the Sony video arcade style user interface.

 

I have to say that while the A7 doesn't have the menus simplicity of the Leica M it is so customisable that I have been able to reduce all the functions I need to a few buttons and actually find it pretty quick and easy to use. Compared to menu system I remember when I had the D700 the Sony is a pure joy!!!

Now if the T had a built in EVF, faster lenses and was FF I may have considered it but the only really advantage it has for me over the A7 is a quieter shutter

Edited by viramati

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