I still don't understand who these full frame mirorrless cameras are aimed at, aside from a hobbyist with a lot of money to burn.
-Average consumer, it is too expensive
-Camera-oriented gadget freak, would probably rather have a cameraphone like the Lumia 1020
-Compact camera fan, the zoom lenses are too big to truck around - all these pics don't look much smaller than a 6D w/ lens.
-Professional, would rather have a real DSLR with viewfinder through lens, more physical buttons, big lens selection, bigger body to grip
So what is left for this camera? Hobbyists with a lot of cash? I guess that is the market they are going for.
I bought one. i'm a 32 year old who has been in to photography since learning in a darkroom in the early 90's with my mom's old Minolta.
For years, i was dissatisfied with digital cameras because of their poor image quality and generally stayed away. In 2008 I bought a top of the line Sony Cyber Shot for a 3 month backpacking trip to South America. In 2010 I was in Hong Kong traveling and finally bought a Canon DSLR. I was excited to have better image quality. i was never happy with APS-C, the crop factor, and always wanted the best low light abilities. I traveled for about 10 months using the 550D and taking tons of photos.
After I finished traveling I wanted something to better suit my 24-105 lens, so I traded up to a used 5DC but it always seemed a little antiquated(terrible AF and back screen.)
So, I bought a used D700 and 24-70 2.8 for the AF and image quality. It was simply amazing, but after traveling in Japan for a month last year, my shoulders and back were sore every day from hanging 5 pounds around my neck and shoulders for 8 to 10 hours a day of walking around and sightseeing. Additionally, I like to carry a camera in my bag and when I walk to my work, or come home I like to take some pictures. This is at night and poor image quality annoys me, but my D700 took up my WHOLE backpack and made it a chore to carry, the opposite of fun.
So, I have been eagerly awaiting something that offers top of the line image quality, but in a size that doesn't hurt my shoulders and back. Something that is manageable.
Sure, my D700 is fantastic, and If I had to have the best chance of getting the picture, i'd use that(mostly because of the AF and great ergonomics), but, I simply never carried it in my bag, so I was never able to use it.
If I go to local game, or I just want to go out for a few hour and shoot some pictures, I can use my D700 no problem. but for carrying daily in my backpack, backpacking, hiking, or for my wife, the a7 is 1000x times better.
I don't make money on my photos... but I do enjoy doing it. And I could never say I enjoyed carrying my D700 around.
i bought my a7 last week. I got a small very high quality case for it and it now sits in my backpack every day.
When I go to work, or go out, I ALWAYS have it now. I don't even notice it's in my bag.
So now, photography can be a fun hobby for me again, instead of a (literally) pain in the neck, back and shoulders.
And, this is saying nothing about how AWESOME the a7 is at manual focusing. This is something I loved about my early days but had totally lost using DSLRs. I Love slowing down a little bit, composing my shots, using focus peaking and magnification and focusing myself! Despite it's small size, the a7 does have all the manual controls, knobs and buttons of a normal DSLR. The layout and programmable buttons are far easier and more useful to me than the D700 or 5DC. The Sony a7 is the closest thing to the old school shooting experience I have seen outside of the Leica.
In all, I'd say the a7 is for anyone who appreciates having absolute top image quality but doesn't want to carry a huge DSLR. This could be anyone.