Sony a7R3 Review and 5D Mark IV Comparisons | Dustin

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,058
329
Vancouver, BC
bwud said:
A7rii doesn’t have a touch screen, so yes that would be frustrating...
I must be misremembering with another Sony body I had borrowed. I just recall that the touchscreen experience was awful :X

It was many months ago, last year, so apologies for mixing it up. I suspect it must have been the a6500, as this is the only other Sony camera I've spent a significant amount of time with (outside of a camera shop).
 

bwud

EOS RP
Sep 3, 2014
305
10
Talys said:
bwud said:
A7rii doesn’t have a touch screen, so yes that would be frustrating...
I must be misremembering with another Sony body I had borrowed. I just recall that it was awful :X
;D

I’m not surprised, the Riii’s feels pretty laggy (versus smart phones, which are my primary baseline).
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,058
329
Vancouver, BC
bwud said:
Talys said:
bwud said:
A7rii doesn’t have a touch screen, so yes that would be frustrating...
I must be misremembering with another Sony body I had borrowed. I just recall that it was awful :X
;D

I’m not surprised, the Riii’s feels pretty laggy (versus smart phones, which are my primary baseline).

Yes, "the smartphone experience" should be where we're at for cameras, which, after all, have very powerful processors and expensive touchscreens. Like Sony's smartphones, would be ok, lol.

Wracking my brain, I am guessing it was an a6500 that I had a poor touchscreen impression of -- though I generally thought well of the camera.
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
891
422
AlanF said:
padam said:
Check out Tyler Stalman's videos A7RII versus 5D IV
and A9 review, most the problems fixed in the A9 applies to the A7RIII as well.
Thanks for the links to those interesting reviews. There is a big killer for me at the end of the A9 - dust on the sensor. The mirrorless sensors are not protected by the mirror so Tyler is scared of changing lenses during a shoot because of the amount of dust picked up which has spoilt many of his shoots, which he doesn't find with his 5DIV. And I have never had to have a sensor cleaned on mine or any of my other Canon bodies despite my frequent changing of TCs in the wild. Also, what surprised was that it was more difficult to lift shadows and easier to blow highlights with the A9 than with the 5DIV - the DR is worse in practice despite all the hype that Canon is bad.
The mirror isn't the primary barrier that keeps dust away from the sensor for a DSLR, the mechanical shutter is.

Do the Sony A7 series of cameras still have mechanical shutter curtains?
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,058
329
Vancouver, BC
Michael Clark said:
AlanF said:
padam said:
Check out Tyler Stalman's videos A7RII versus 5D IV
and A9 review, most the problems fixed in the A9 applies to the A7RIII as well.
Thanks for the links to those interesting reviews. There is a big killer for me at the end of the A9 - dust on the sensor. The mirrorless sensors are not protected by the mirror so Tyler is scared of changing lenses during a shoot because of the amount of dust picked up which has spoilt many of his shoots, which he doesn't find with his 5DIV. And I have never had to have a sensor cleaned on mine or any of my other Canon bodies despite my frequent changing of TCs in the wild. Also, what surprised was that it was more difficult to lift shadows and easier to blow highlights with the A9 than with the 5DIV - the DR is worse in practice despite all the hype that Canon is bad.
The mirror isn't the primary barrier that keeps dust away from the sensor for a DSLR, the mechanical shutter is.

Do the Sony A7 series of cameras still have mechanical shutter curtains?
Yes, however, they're unhelpful to prevent dust on the sensor, because when the lens is off the mount, the shutter is open, not closed.

The reason for this is because the shutter is extremely fragile and easy to damage, while the sensor is very tough, and you're unlikely to damage it -- for example, by putting in a teleconverter the wrong way. The Sony teleconverter protrudes outwards significantly, and putting the wrong end into the camera would destroy the mechanical shutter.

You can fool the camera into making the shutter close, for example, by setting it to a long exposure, pressing the shutter, and then taking the lens off.

Think of sensor dust like this: as often as you see spots on your OVF due to dust, this is how frequently you will see dust on your A7 sensor. The difference is that on the OVF, the actual image rarely gets dust on it (the SENSOR is rarely dirty; it's usually the mirror or the prism).

When I was birding with an A7R3, I actually had to take the lens off one time and blow on it to get rid of a fleck of dust right smack in the middle of the frame. If I owned one of these, there is no way I would do field lens changes anywhere close to particulates, not because I'm afraid of damage, but because if it's a moist particle, I'll never get it off cleanly in the field.

This is how close the sensor is to the mount (note the depth of the contact pins -- that's actually how far back the lens goes):

 

Ian_of_glos

EOS RP
Jun 12, 2012
246
28
England
bod said:
Thanks Dustin and bwud for the helpful feedback.

bwud said:
Regarding (5): good question. Never tried. My touch screen is disabled.
Interested that you disable the touch screen. I noted Dustin's comments on the screen in his review. Why do you disable your screen?
I have also disabled the touch screen on my 5D mk4. It is something I never used, and I find the battery lasts longer between charges if the touch screen is disabled.
The only time I enable it is when my wife or one of her friends wants to look at my pictures. They like to be able to flick between pictures by swiping their finger across the screen and zoom in using their fingers like they do on their phones.
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,058
329
Vancouver, BC
Ian_of_glos said:
I have also disabled the touch screen on my 5D mk4. It is something I never used, and I find the battery lasts longer between charges if the touch screen is disabled.
Wow, really? I didn't know that. I'll have to try it on my 6DII, although I'm not sure how I'd measure the difference in battery life. Maybe I'll notice... I'll give it a whirl :D

Ian_of_glos said:
The only time I enable it is when my wife or one of her friends wants to look at my pictures. They like to be able to flick between pictures by swiping their finger across the screen and zoom in using their fingers like they do on their phones.
I am actually shocked that you can't do this in the A7R3. There is very limited support to zoom (tap, not pinch) and pan, but it's so god-awful laggy that I use the buttons on A7R3.
 

Ian_of_glos

EOS RP
Jun 12, 2012
246
28
England
Talys said:
Ian_of_glos said:
I have also disabled the touch screen on my 5D mk4. It is something I never used, and I find the battery lasts longer between charges if the touch screen is disabled.
Wow, really? I didn't know that. I'll have to try it on my 6DII, although I'm not sure how I'd measure the difference in battery life. Maybe I'll notice... I'll give it a whirl :D

Ian_of_glos said:
The only time I enable it is when my wife or one of her friends wants to look at my pictures. They like to be able to flick between pictures by swiping their finger across the screen and zoom in using their fingers like they do on their phones.
I am actually shocked that you can't do this in the A7R3. There is very limited support to zoom (tap, not pinch) and pan, but it's so god-awful laggy that I use the buttons on A7R3.
When I first bought my 5D mk4, I noticed that the battery life was not as good as it is on my 5D mk3 and I think Dustin also commented on this in his excellent review.
I had already disabled GPS and Wifi as I have no need for them, so the only thing left that could be draining my battery was the touch screen and sure enough, when I disabled the touch screen the battery life improved. The difference is not dramatic - maybe an extra 200 shots between charges, but that can often mean the difference between having to change the battery mid afternoon and not having to change the battery at all.
Anyway, I hardly ever use the touch screen as I prefer to use the buttons and dials to change settings, scroll through images or zoom in on a particular image. However, the younger generation seem to expect the camera to behave like their phones so I enable it if anyone asks to see my pictures.
The touch screen is also very useful for video as it makes it much easier to control focussing. In fact this works beautifully and it is where the touch screen really excels.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,092
1,031
Alberta, Canada
Ian_of_glos, I think you are 100% in your comments. A newcomer will not want to fiddle with buttons, rather they'll do what they are familiar with. Some operations are definitely better with the buttons especially when they are programmed efficiently.

Who doesn't love the touch focus for video - in that case you have to be looking at the screen anyway so why not touch and we're not talking about a small spot focus area. I continue to believe that Canon isn't stupid. ;) The Zhiyun Crane 2 gimbal works great with Canon, while other users get to complain about AF - it really made me chuckle. :)

Not perfect but not stupid except maybe for not enabling the touch screen fully on my 1DX2. However I have a button under the shutter programmed to "magnify" while the shutter wheel enlarges and that's probably faster anyway except for needing to zero in with the joystick.

Jack
 

Ian_of_glos

EOS RP
Jun 12, 2012
246
28
England
Jack Douglas said:
Ian_of_glos, I think you are 100% in your comments. A newcomer will not want to fiddle with buttons, rather they'll do what they are familiar with. Some operations are definitely better with the buttons especially when they are programmed efficiently.

Who doesn't love the touch focus for video - in that case you have to be looking at the screen anyway so why not touch and we're not talking about a small spot focus area. I continue to believe that Canon isn't stupid. ;) The Zhiyun Crane 2 gimbal works great with Canon, while other users get to complain about AF - it really made me chuckle. :)

Not perfect but not stupid except maybe for not enabling the touch screen fully on my 1DX2. However I have a button under the shutter programmed to "magnify" while the shutter wheel enlarges and that's probably faster anyway except for needing to zero in with the joystick.

Jack
Pleased to see we are in agreement.

The buttons on my 5D mk4 are so similar to my 5D mk 3 that I now know instinctively what to do. To me turning the dial to zoom in on a picture or scroll to the next one is much easier than using my 10 thumbs to try and swipe or pinch. You can't teach an old dog new tricks I'm afraid. The bonus is that it seems to extend the battery life.
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,058
329
Vancouver, BC
Jack Douglas said:
Sure, I think I qualify as an "old dog". :)

Jack
But you're using the Zhiyun Crane and making videos now, so you can still learn new tricks :D

Glad AF on it works well. I chuckle when I see home videos made with Sony cameras using autofocus; you can always tell, because the occasional autofocus hunting jitter is very noticeable (and amateurish-looking) if it isn't edited out.

It always baffles me when people complain about things like crop factor on video -- how wide do you want to go?! -- when the alternatives are missing basics like autofocus.
 

yungfat

EOS T7i
Feb 16, 2013
92
21
Talys said:
Jack Douglas said:
Sure, I think I qualify as an "old dog". :)

Jack
But you're using the Zhiyun Crane and making videos now, so you can still learn new tricks :D

Glad AF on it works well. I chuckle when I see home videos made with Sony cameras using autofocus; you can always tell, because the occasional autofocus hunting jitter is very noticeable (and amateurish-looking) if it isn't edited out.

It always baffles me when people complain about things like crop factor on video -- how wide do you want to go?! -- when the alternatives are missing basics like autofocus.
Totally agreed with you.

I found a lots people like to complaint something that Sony offered while Canon didn’t offered and disregard those good features from Canon.

Thanks.
 

dak723

EOS 6D MK II
Oct 26, 2013
1,141
434
Talys said:
Jack Douglas said:
Sure, I think I qualify as an "old dog". :)

Jack
But you're using the Zhiyun Crane and making videos now, so you can still learn new tricks :D

Glad AF on it works well. I chuckle when I see home videos made with Sony cameras using autofocus; you can always tell, because the occasional autofocus hunting jitter is very noticeable (and amateurish-looking) if it isn't edited out.

It always baffles me when people complain about things like crop factor on video -- how wide do you want to go?! -- when the alternatives are missing basics like autofocus.
It is only baffling when you forget that most folks commenting on internet forums have little interest in the truth. They have their agendas and little else matters. If you are techno-cool, then apparently you love Sony and they can do no wrong. If you are techno-cool then Canon sucks. Most folks see no reason to go beyond that almost moronic narrow-mindedness. For anyone interested in buying a camera, a forum such as this one may be the absolute worse place to go for information.

Personally, I think you have done a great job on the recent threads giving us a real-life review of the Sony camera you have been trying out. While Sony undoubtedly does many things well, the specs are so often better sounding than how they work in real life.

One review I read totally bashed Canon on the crop factor of the new M50. They based all their calculations on Canon's 22mm prime. They must have intentionally forgotten that Canon makes an 11-22mm zoom, or that even the kit lens is 15mm on the wide end.
 
Apr 11, 2018
2
0
Czech republic
bwud said:
TWI by Dustin Abbott said:
bod said:
Dustin thanks for another one of your excellent reviews which are always informative and accessible to the reader. Like you I have owned the EOS M for some time for the same reason as you and like many on the forum I am awaiting a good FF mirrorless from Canon. As you have noted in several reviews a key feature is a really good EVF, in my case because a high percentage of my lenses are MF and I like the process of MF. I also like using tilt/shift lenses and again an EVF would seem to be a potentially very helpful tool. Your review of the a7R3 is interesting not only because of the EVF but the AF performance. I was interested to learn more of its eye AF feature performance and the improved frame rate and buffer capacity because if I buy a FF mirrorless I want it to be widely useable in different photographic scenarios. Whilst my first choice has been and remains to wait for a Canon FF mirrorless if one does not materialise soon, getting the a7R3 when there is a good $ deal on offer will be an option.

Can I ask for more explanation as to how the zoom feature works in the EVF? Such as:
1) How do you activate the zoom/what controls do you use?
2) What settings are there to control the zoom feature (e.g. zoom extent)?
3) After you take a shot, what happens next time? Does the EVF retain the zoom or must it be reactivated again using the same sequence?
4) What point/region does the EVF zoom about?
5) Can you move the zoom region by touch dragging on the viewfinder?
6) Is there any "auto zoom" type feature like the EOS M5 has with native EFM lenses. For example can you set the body up to zoom automatically when you half press the shutter button?

I appreciate any info that you can provide on this. Thanks again. Phil
The nice thing about Sony is that you map most features (including focus zoom) to a number of buttons. I personally have it mapped to the AEL button. You do have choices about magnification level and what area of the image is magnified, and even choices on whether you want a color overlay added (I mostly don't use Focus Peaking as I feel it makes the shooting process less organic). Native mount manual focus lenses (with electronics) will trigger an automatic zoom when you move the MF ring, but not third party lenses. It's about as good as it gets right now for MF, particularly when you consider you also get true image stabilization on those lenses to boot.
Adding to Dustin’s response to Bod’s questions:

Regarding (1) and (6): AF lenses won’t let you manually initiate EVF zoom unless they’ve been switched to manual focus (silly programmatic decision IMO). Therefore I have the C2 button set to toggle AF/MF, and the C1 button to focus magnify.

Regarding (2): I’ve only used it with manual triggering, during which progressively zooms in 3 times. I don’t believe you have any control over it. Once you have reached the largest magnification, the next tap returns to the full image.

Regarding (3): magnify disables after you take a photo

Regarding (4): in MF, it defaults to the center, but you can move around with the thumbstick. In DMF, I believe it magnifies in the area of the last AF acquisition, but I could be mistaken.

Regarding (5): good question. Never tried. My touch screen is disabled.
Regarding (1)
That`s not correct if you are in DMF mode where the lens still AF, but you can choose focus peaking or magnification during that as well as additional help.

Regarding (4)
in MF you can pre-select any AF point and then press magnification to zoom so it does not have to be center always.
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,058
329
Vancouver, BC
Devil007cz said:
bwud said:
TWI by Dustin Abbott said:
bod said:
Dustin thanks for another one of your excellent reviews which are always informative and accessible to the reader. Like you I have owned the EOS M for some time for the same reason as you and like many on the forum I am awaiting a good FF mirrorless from Canon. As you have noted in several reviews a key feature is a really good EVF, in my case because a high percentage of my lenses are MF and I like the process of MF. I also like using tilt/shift lenses and again an EVF would seem to be a potentially very helpful tool. Your review of the a7R3 is interesting not only because of the EVF but the AF performance. I was interested to learn more of its eye AF feature performance and the improved frame rate and buffer capacity because if I buy a FF mirrorless I want it to be widely useable in different photographic scenarios. Whilst my first choice has been and remains to wait for a Canon FF mirrorless if one does not materialise soon, getting the a7R3 when there is a good $ deal on offer will be an option.

Can I ask for more explanation as to how the zoom feature works in the EVF? Such as:
1) How do you activate the zoom/what controls do you use?
2) What settings are there to control the zoom feature (e.g. zoom extent)?
3) After you take a shot, what happens next time? Does the EVF retain the zoom or must it be reactivated again using the same sequence?
4) What point/region does the EVF zoom about?
5) Can you move the zoom region by touch dragging on the viewfinder?
6) Is there any "auto zoom" type feature like the EOS M5 has with native EFM lenses. For example can you set the body up to zoom automatically when you half press the shutter button?

I appreciate any info that you can provide on this. Thanks again. Phil
The nice thing about Sony is that you map most features (including focus zoom) to a number of buttons. I personally have it mapped to the AEL button. You do have choices about magnification level and what area of the image is magnified, and even choices on whether you want a color overlay added (I mostly don't use Focus Peaking as I feel it makes the shooting process less organic). Native mount manual focus lenses (with electronics) will trigger an automatic zoom when you move the MF ring, but not third party lenses. It's about as good as it gets right now for MF, particularly when you consider you also get true image stabilization on those lenses to boot.
Adding to Dustin’s response to Bod’s questions:

Regarding (1) and (6): AF lenses won’t let you manually initiate EVF zoom unless they’ve been switched to manual focus (silly programmatic decision IMO). Therefore I have the C2 button set to toggle AF/MF, and the C1 button to focus magnify.

Regarding (2): I’ve only used it with manual triggering, during which progressively zooms in 3 times. I don’t believe you have any control over it. Once you have reached the largest magnification, the next tap returns to the full image.

Regarding (3): magnify disables after you take a photo

Regarding (4): in MF, it defaults to the center, but you can move around with the thumbstick. In DMF, I believe it magnifies in the area of the last AF acquisition, but I could be mistaken.

Regarding (5): good question. Never tried. My touch screen is disabled.
Regarding (1)
That`s not correct if you are in DMF mode where the lens still AF, but you can choose focus peaking or magnification during that as well as additional help.

Regarding (4)
in MF you can pre-select any AF point and then press magnification to zoom so it does not have to be center always.


To clarify, since there are so many caveats, like everything else with the A7R3...


Zoom: you have a few configurations, none of which is perfect, though the feature itself is awesome.

a) There is a Zoom Magnify which you can program to a custom button. However, the button generates the most hideous error message that blacks out 95% of your viewfinder if you press it in Continuous Autofocus mode. This is a real pain, because Continuous Autofocus mode is the only mode that uses PDAF; which leaves you with AF-S and DMF (which are Contrast Detect) or MF.

The Zoom Magnify button is configured by default to NOT zooming (it can show an orange box around the area to zoom), but you can reprogram it to default zoom at 6.3x. From there, pressing it a the next two times takes it to more zoom, then back to 1x.

b) So realistically, people program another button to put them into MF mode. There are TWO ways to do this. One version is, it's in MF mode while you hold down a button; the second is a toggle (press once to be in MF; press again to be back in AF).

c) You can also set the camera to automatically go into zoom magnify if you adjust manual focus, or "MF Assist". Annoyingly, you can't set it to zoom automatically if it GOES into manual focus; you actually need to ADJUST manual focus to trigger it.

d) You can pick DMF, or "Direct Manual Focus", which sounds like the camera will let you just grab the ring and just focus. Sounds great, because in this mode, when it goes to manual focus, zoom magnify kicks in. But in fact, it isn't great at all, because DMF doesn't do what it sounds like. It only lets you grab the ring after successful autofocus (wtf?). The idea is that it is for tiny adjustments to the AF. Worse, it only works in single autofocus, and worse yet, both AF-S and DMF are only contrast detect autofocus.

e) There is zoom magnified autofocus too. Set the camera to AF-S or DMF, and hit zoom magnify. Crosshairs come up and you can autofocus on that. It's super useful. Tee only problem is... it doesn't work in continuous autofocus, meaning you'll be in contrast detect AF. Which is fine for the magnified autofocus, but when you're not magnified, it will still be in slow-as-a-pig CDAF.

- There is no way to regulate the magnification of he zoom other than initial zoom of 1x or 6.3x
- Once you take a shot EVF returns to normal (not zoomed)
- You cannot move the zoom region by touch dragging the VF, but you can use the joystick, which works great.
- You cannot make it auto zoom when you acquire autofocus.

This is a feature that Canon on its full frame mirrorless could make better than Sony, not by having better technology, but simply by a better implementation. Plus, DPAF will be dramatically better than CDAF, or the confusing PDAF/CDAF switching.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,092
1,031
Alberta, Canada
Talys, personally I absolutely hate it when there is a function and it has weird restrictions. Now, if you use a feature regularly, you tend to remember such things. Otherwise, especially for an older person, it stinks.

Is Sony prone to this because of a tendency to want to be first to have the bragging rights and thus willing to go with the caveats or are their engineers/designers afflicted with some strange ailment? ;)

Jack
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,058
329
Vancouver, BC
Jack Douglas said:
Talys, personally I absolutely hate it when there is a function and it has weird restrictions. Now, if you use a feature regularly, you tend to remember such things. Otherwise, especially for an older person, it stinks.

Is Sony prone to this because of a tendency to want to be first to have the bragging rights and thus willing to go with the caveats or are their engineers/designers afflicted with some strange ailment? ;)

Jack
I think it is the former -- Sony is in such a rush to get tech out that most of the tech is still quasi beta. But I mean, they come out with a new flagship, what, every TWO years or so? It sure feels like it. They gotta do SOMETHING to get your next $3,000 :D

I am 100% with you in terms of functions with weird restrictions. As I've mentioned before, the 2 most glaring are that in 10fps EVF is not refreshed in real time; and that silent shooting is super-distorted if things move.

The whole "You can do this except there as long as that" is just such a pain. Since I shot with the Sony A7R3 for nearly a full month and about 7,000 pictures (though admittedly at 8fps a lot of themwere the same...) , I "got used to it", but realistically, even so, there is a LOT of button fidgeting. Want this feature, switch to that mode. Want that one, switch press A then B the C, but remember to turn it back off afterwards. Using a flash? Do that.

Another thing that isn't Sony's fault is that because of the EVF WYSIWYG, I'm obsessive about micromanaging the +/- EV, and screw around with the exposure dial way more than I really have to. I mean, honestly, if I'm off by half EV, it really doesn't matter, but because I see it in the EVF, I want to fix it before I take the shot. I am also not really happy with Sony's exposure modes, in that you need to change them depending on what you're shooting quite a bit, if you want propery AE; Canon's evaluative metering seems much better.

On my Canon 6DII, 95% of the time I have the camera set on evaluative metering, AI Servo, Spot AF and switch between C1 and C2 (also: chanign C modes on the Sony causes a super annoying 1 second blackout) -- and those are just exposure settings for bird/action photography versus studio strobe photography.
I am pretty sure it is the former :D

At the end of the day, I simply find the Canon easier and faster to pick up and shoot photos with; there's less technical thinking required to just take a picture. But, the Sony sensor does take very lovely photos if you have everything lined up right.