Sony a73 Review and Playlist | Dustin

TWI by Dustin Abbott

EOS 5D MK IV
Oct 4, 2012
2,669
17
www.dustinabbott.net
Hi everyone. On the Canon front it has been somewhat of a slow season, with more rumors and hopes than actual product releases. On the Sony side of things, however, it has been a very busy season. I've wrapped up my long term coverage of those interested in the a73.

I’ve wrapped up my coverage of the a73 – a great camera, by the way! Here’s my review linkage:

Text Review: http://bit.ly/a73review
Video Review: http://bit.ly/a73reviewYT
Video Playlist: http://bit.ly/a73playlist
Image Gallery: http://bit.ly/a73ig
 

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BeenThere

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 4, 2012
835
162
Mighty impressive camera, and a great value. I have been a life long Canon user but am tempted to try this new Sony. Only hesitation is all the Canon glass in my kit, but now I hear you saying that the Canon glass will work ok on the Sony in some situations. Hmmmm...
 

TWI by Dustin Abbott

EOS 5D MK IV
Oct 4, 2012
2,669
17
www.dustinabbott.net
BeenThere said:
Mighty impressive camera, and a great value. I have been a life long Canon user but am tempted to try this new Sony. Only hesitation is all the Canon glass in my kit, but now I hear you saying that the Canon glass will work ok on the Sony in some situations. Hmmmm...
Yes, this was taken with the a73 along with the 100-400L II:

Walking on Water (Sony a73) by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr
 

edoorn

EOS 80D
Apr 1, 2016
184
70
From everyone I hear it's an exceptionally capable camera!

I am not in a direct need to get a new body so will wait patiently to see what Canon produces, but it's good to know that this might be a great option if I don't like what C puts on the market. Biggest downside: I do believe native lenses would work best and am quite heavily invested in Canon so would need to replace loads of stuff to fully benefit from it. I'll definitely rent an A73 sometime to give it a try!

What's actually great, is that Sony is sort of forcing Nikon and Canon to really put something on the market that is worthwhile and offers a competitive package. At least I hope so.

Not sure if you mention it in the review but how do adapted lenses work in low light?
 

TWI by Dustin Abbott

EOS 5D MK IV
Oct 4, 2012
2,669
17
www.dustinabbott.net
edoorn said:
From everyone I hear it's an exceptionally capable camera!

I am not in a direct need to get a new body so will wait patiently to see what Canon produces, but it's good to know that this might be a great option if I don't like what C puts on the market. Biggest downside: I do believe native lenses would work best and am quite heavily invested in Canon so would need to replace loads of stuff to fully benefit from it. I'll definitely rent an A73 sometime to give it a try!
I'm in the same boat, though I'm now shooting a hybrid kit with the 5DIV/80D and a6500/a7RIII. Lenses adapt fairly well, but native glass obviously works best.
 

BeenThere

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 4, 2012
835
162
Are you finding the Sigma MC-11 lens adapter working best with your Canon glass on the A73?
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,055
322
Vancouver, BC
Thanks for another great review.

I've only used this camera in the store, but what I noticed right away was the EVF. It's such a step down from the A9/A7R3, that I don't think I would choose this model, between it and the "R". Then again, I'll freely admit that the VF is a critical part of my decision making, and, along with AF speed, remains one of the key reasons I haven't been convinced to switch to mirrorless.
 

Dylan777

EOS 1D MK II
Nov 17, 2011
5,515
6
As always, awesome review Dustin. Thank you

For $2k, I don't know if we going to see another GREAT FF body like a7 III on the market. As an owner of A9, i'm a bit jealous of A73.

A friend of mine got one. The high ISO seems to be better than my A9
 

Isaacheus

EOS RP
Jun 22, 2017
200
12
New Zealand
edoorn said:
From everyone I hear it's an exceptionally capable camera!

I am not in a direct need to get a new body so will wait patiently to see what Canon produces, but it's good to know that this might be a great option if I don't like what C puts on the market. Biggest downside: I do believe native lenses would work best and am quite heavily invested in Canon so would need to replace loads of stuff to fully benefit from it. I'll definitely rent an A73 sometime to give it a try!

What's actually great, is that Sony is sort of forcing Nikon and Canon to really put something on the market that is worthwhile and offers a competitive package. At least I hope so.

Not sure if you mention it in the review but how do adapted lenses work in low light?
Using the mc-11 with the a7r3, I find the performance does drop in low light, so native is best there. Some seem better than others too, for example the 40mm stm is hit or miss whereas the 16-35mm f4 is more reliable.

For video, both are essentially manual focus only on the adapters. Sigma arts are decent here though
 

TWI by Dustin Abbott

EOS 5D MK IV
Oct 4, 2012
2,669
17
www.dustinabbott.net
Talys said:
Thanks for another great review.

I've only used this camera in the store, but what I noticed right away was the EVF. It's such a step down from the A9/A7R3, that I don't think I would choose this model, between it and the "R". Then again, I'll freely admit that the VF is a critical part of my decision making, and, along with AF speed, remains one of the key reasons I haven't been convinced to switch to mirrorless.
I agree that the downgraded EVF is the primary disappointment on the camera. It is in large part the much better EVF on the a7R3 that makes it my preferred platform for MF glass. You can magnify the image and have great clarity for focusing.
 

TWI by Dustin Abbott

EOS 5D MK IV
Oct 4, 2012
2,669
17
www.dustinabbott.net
Talys said:
Thanks for another great review.

I've only used this camera in the store, but what I noticed right away was the EVF. It's such a step down from the A9/A7R3, that I don't think I would choose this model, between it and the "R". Then again, I'll freely admit that the VF is a critical part of my decision making, and, along with AF speed, remains one of the key reasons I haven't been convinced to switch to mirrorless.
AF performance is, in my opinion, no longer a reason to not go mirrorless. I got better tracking results with the a73 than I have with any DSLR.
 

TWI by Dustin Abbott

EOS 5D MK IV
Oct 4, 2012
2,669
17
www.dustinabbott.net
Isaacheus said:
edoorn said:
From everyone I hear it's an exceptionally capable camera!

I am not in a direct need to get a new body so will wait patiently to see what Canon produces, but it's good to know that this might be a great option if I don't like what C puts on the market. Biggest downside: I do believe native lenses would work best and am quite heavily invested in Canon so would need to replace loads of stuff to fully benefit from it. I'll definitely rent an A73 sometime to give it a try!

What's actually great, is that Sony is sort of forcing Nikon and Canon to really put something on the market that is worthwhile and offers a competitive package. At least I hope so.

Not sure if you mention it in the review but how do adapted lenses work in low light?
Using the mc-11 with the a7r3, I find the performance does drop in low light, so native is best there. Some seem better than others too, for example the 40mm stm is hit or miss whereas the 16-35mm f4 is more reliable.

For video, both are essentially manual focus only on the adapters. Sigma arts are decent here though
This is a pretty accurate assessment. Ironically the best focus speed I personally get with the 35L II is from a cheaper Vello adapter, though there are a few other negative quirks there.
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,055
322
Vancouver, BC
TWI by Dustin Abbott said:
Talys said:
Thanks for another great review.

I've only used this camera in the store, but what I noticed right away was the EVF. It's such a step down from the A9/A7R3, that I don't think I would choose this model, between it and the "R". Then again, I'll freely admit that the VF is a critical part of my decision making, and, along with AF speed, remains one of the key reasons I haven't been convinced to switch to mirrorless.
AF performance is, in my opinion, no longer a reason to not go mirrorless. I got better tracking results with the a73 than I have with any DSLR.
So, first of all, most of the time that I need fast autofocus is birding, and that's the lens through which I'm making these comments (sorry, pun intended :))

There's autofocus tracking, and autofocus speed, which aren't the same thing, though. I agree that the tracking capability is great, but you have to get autofocus in the first place.

I haven't tried an A73, but I did have an A9 for a couple of days (and an A7R3 for over a month). Using the 100-400 GMaster, the speed to go from near to infinity is horrible. If you defocus, then try to focus on a hovering hummingbird, for example, you'll never catch it in the second or two that you have. Now, if you throw on a 1.4x extender -- which his the only solution to go higher than 400mm -- the autofocus speed is just dismal.

Take a 1DXII, throw on a 100-400LII and a 1.4x extender (which, in my opinion, when using extenders, is the best AF speed camera currently on the market), and the autofocus speed just blows it away. Throw on the Sigma 150-600 (which will require an MC-11 adapter on the Sony), again, a huge difference.

I actually had the 100-400 GM + 1.4x extender beside a Nikon D850 with the 200-500 at the same time while at a birding spot. The performance difference was just night and day -- it's hard to overstate. The AF speed at 400 and 400+extender on full frame is pretty important, IMO, and it's still not there, yet, in my opinion. There is the additional problem of the VF being blacked out while you raise it to you, making pointing the camera at as small subject quickly at telephoto lengths sometimes challenging (by the time you see anything and the AF starts to engage, the subject has moved). As a result, you need to start at a lower focal length, track it, and then crank the zoom -- which is rather noobish and misses some great shots :)

The problem with autofocus tracking with birding is that it's almost useless. You want the bird to fill up as much of the frame as possible, for reproduction clarity. But then, most birds are moving so fast that the tracking has no chance, and anyways, you only have it for a brief time.
 

AlanF

Everyone sits in the prison of his own ideas. A E
Aug 16, 2012
5,228
2,235
Thanks Talys. Dustin does indeed write great reviews, but bird photography is not his specialty. I bought a Tamron 100-400mm on his recommendation that, unlike the Sigma 100-400mm, the tracking was nearly on a par with that of the Canon 100-400mm II. The Tamron 100-400mm was hopeless for birds in flight and I recently sold it at a significant loss (having sent it back to Tamron who returned it as it was the same as the rest in stock). It also lost focus on the faces of cyclists coming towards me under conditions where my Sigma 150-600 kept focus.
 

xps

EOS 6D MK II
Oct 19, 2011
888
21
Middle Europe
Talys said:
TWI by Dustin Abbott said:
Talys said:
Thanks for another great review.

I've only used this camera in the store, but what I noticed right away was the EVF. It's such a step down from the A9/A7R3, that I don't think I would choose this model, between it and the "R". Then again, I'll freely admit that the VF is a critical part of my decision making, and, along with AF speed, remains one of the key reasons I haven't been convinced to switch to mirrorless.

AF performance is, in my opinion, no longer a reason to not go mirrorless. I got better tracking results with the a73 than I have with any DSLR.
So, first of all, most of the time that I need fast autofocus is birding, and that's the lens through which I'm making these comments (sorry, pun intended :))

There's autofocus tracking, and autofocus speed, which aren't the same thing, though. I agree that the tracking capability is great, but you have to get autofocus in the first place.

I haven't tried an A73, but I did have an A9 for a couple of days (and an A7R3 for over a month). Using the 100-400 GMaster, the speed to go from near to infinity is horrible. If you defocus, then try to focus on a hovering hummingbird, for example, you'll never catch it in the second or two that you have. Now, if you throw on a 1.4x extender -- which his the only solution to go higher than 400mm -- the autofocus speed is just dismal.

Take a 1DXII, throw on a 100-400LII and a 1.4x extender (which, in my opinion, when using extenders, is the best AF speed camera currently on the market), and the autofocus speed just blows it away. Throw on the Sigma 150-600 (which will require an MC-11 adapter on the Sony), again, a huge difference.

I actually had the 100-400 GM + 1.4x extender beside a Nikon D850 with the 200-500 at the same time while at a birding spot. The performance difference was just night and day -- it's hard to overstate. The AF speed at 400 and 400+extender on full frame is pretty important, IMO, and it's still not there, yet, in my opinion. There is the additional problem of the VF being blacked out while you raise it to you, making pointing the camera at as small subject quickly at telephoto lengths sometimes challenging (by the time you see anything and the AF starts to engage, the subject has moved). As a result, you need to start at a lower focal length, track it, and then crank the zoom -- which is rather noobish and misses some great shots :)

The problem with autofocus tracking with birding is that it's almost useless. You want the bird to fill up as much of the frame as possible, for reproduction clarity. But then, most birds are moving so fast that the tracking has no chance, and anyways, you only have it for a brief time.
Thanks for your opinion. The A7III is an very good body, indeed.
For birding (used with 600 II, (w/Wo 1.4x III extender) & Metabones V Adapter) my combo is not the best to use. Also on my 400 DO II. On the 100-400 II ist works satisfying, but really not as good as I wanted.
Af "pumping" to get sharp, and the loose of the AF-sharpness, when there are even just small bird movements did not satisfy me. In shots and in video. Also, changing settings takes some time on the A7III...

Compared, the 5D IV is much better working on genuine Canon lenses.
On the other hand, using the A7III on the Sony 70-200 2.8 GM (rented from my Grandgrandson) AF performance of the A7III is incredibly fast and relyable on fast passing birds.

So, I hope there will be a chance for AF improvemts on Canon MLS bodies, as you can see on the A7III, when using it on genuine Sony lenses (maybe not on the 100-400, but on the 70-200 definitively).

But I will keep it, as the MLS system works super on my DP slider for timelapse. And I´ll have to work hard to get just 10% of the experience like Mr. Heck frome timestormfilms has. :)
 

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