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Keith_W

Sony A7R III

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I got out of the Sony system to buy into Leica. I haven't forgotten all the reasons why I left, and this new camera doesn't address any of them. But I was looking at the reaction in some photography forums to the specs of the new Sony here: https://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sony-a7rii-versus-new-sony-a7riii-specs-comparison/ ... and it was giving me some food for thought. 

 

The most common reaction was that this was a genuine leap forward for Sony's A7R series. That new sensor offers improved light sensitivity and better dynamic range. It has pixel shift technology (really only applicable if you photograph static objects on a tripod). The IBIS previously offered 4 stops of shutter speed, and it now offers 5. Then there are all the other improvements which would be great for other photographers, but I personally have no need for - improved AF, faster burst speeds, video, etc. 

 

The most common complaint is that it "costs so much" (USD$3200, same price as the A7R II when it was new). For that, I have to LOL. My M10 costs nearly twice as much, and the only improvements it offers over the Sony is better build quality and handling. Other than that, it loses to the Sony in every measure, including the most important one - the Sony has a better sensor. It has built in image stabilization. 

 

I do grant that having a camera that is nice to use is not to be sniffed at, I could not tolerate the ergonomics of the Sony which is why I quit the system and moved to Leica in the first place. 

 

But I am starting to wonder whether an A7R III would make more sense as a backup body for my M lenses than something like an SL. 

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The latest and greatest Sony (and Canon/Nikon for that matter) will always look better on paper than any Leica.

 

The reality?  Something else.  No matter how well advertised and feature rich, my experience of Sony cameras (and most other things they make, to be honest) is that in use they fall short of the spec sheet, whereas my Leicas always seem to give more pleasure and a better result than the spec sheets would suggest.

 

I'm sure the A7IIIR and the A7IVR (whenever released - probably before the SL2 breaks cover, or the M11) will make a lot of photographers happy, and that's great.  I will still be blissfully happy using the cluster of lovely M, SL & TL lenses I have on my version 1 Monochrom, SL and TL2, with their old tech 18MP and 24MP sensors, and the images will continue to give me pleasure.

 

Good luck with the A7RIII!

Edited by IkarusJohn

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Not sure if the A7r3 has the same thick sensor stack as the A7r2 but i suspect it will need a Kolari mod or same to fit M lenses. 

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I moved to Leica because I have always believed in Leica glass. I never felt that digital Leica M bodies were particularly convincing, until the M10 came along. It was then a toss up between keeping the Sony and mounting Leica glass, which would involve getting the above mentioned Kolari mod ... or getting an M10 at substantially more expense. In the end I decided to plump for the full Leica experience and ordered an M10. 

 

The new A7RIII shows that Sony mostly listens to its customers - the biggest complaint of the A7*II series is the poor battery life. The new A7RIII fixes that with more than twice the battery capacity. My hope is that they listen to the biggest complaint of them all - the awful ergonomics. 

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I am starting to wonder whether an A7R III would make more sense as a backup body for my M lenses than something like an SL.

If you want a backup for M lenses then you should get another Leica.

 

Unlike others here, I think Sony makes very good cameras, but they only make sense with native lenses.

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Awful ergonomics for some, very good for others... Horses for courses but i will never have to use a Thumbs up or to press a button on the front of the camera with my Sonys hopefully. Digital Ms remain unique for their rangefinder but otherwise their only superiority in LV mode is auto image magnification with M lenses IMHO.  

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Another Sony / M shooter here.

I own an A7rII and I find the ergonomics very good. I can use most of my Leica lenses with an acceptable level of degradation (personal opinion) and even autofocus them with the Techart Pro if I want.

Native Sony glass is also great, the Zeiss 55 1.8 Sonnar is a fantastic lens, super sharp (maybe even too much...), lightweight and quick.  

 

What I don't like it's the awful menu system. It has one of the worst UIs I've ever seen in a camera.

 

That said, I find the M and Sony system to be complementary and a good combination.

 

I'm not interested in the SL, it's too big.

 

Re: Sony A7rIII: it's a good upgrade from A7rIII but I won't bite and wait for the A7rIV instead.

Edited by Simone_DF

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What I don't like it's the awful menu system. It has one of the worst UIs I've ever seen in a camera.

 

I'm constantly fighting my A7II to get it to do what I want it to. For the application I use it for this is frustrating despite the fact that it can delver excellent images once its beaten into submission. But that's what it feels as though I'm doing. The menu is truly atrocious and quite simply doesn't operate in a way that makes the camera effective in many uses. Technical specs are all very well but getting them to deliver is a chore. Give me a Leica any day for simplicity, speed and and ease of use. Why can't Sony sort this out and produce a truly fabulous camera?

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[...] Why can't Sony sort this out and produce a truly fabulous camera?

 

Because its users prefer doing what they want than doing what Leica allows them to do perhaps?

AFAIK i've just used the menus of my A7s mod at the beginnig of its life. I don't need them with manual lenses in day-to-day use thanks to the controls of the camera that i find more handy than those of my M240. YMMV. 

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I can't use M lenses underwater. On my Canon housing AF a breeze but the Sony is menu driven and even using custom buttons its messy.

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