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Sony A7 advice


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Hello all.... Looking for practical advice from people using this camera system.

 

I am an original Sony A7 and A7R user in a Nauticam Housing.

 

Given the premise that I would ONLY use this camera underwater for STILLS ONLY,are there any COMPELLING arguments to upgrade the camera to A7ii, A7ii or A7iv, and if so, where is the sweet spot. Strobes are Retra Pro.

 

Please weigh in and thanks for the advice.

 

Ian

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It depends....

The people I've spoken to say that the A7 IV and A7 RV are a big leap forward and the biggest gain is in autofocus, but the sensors have also improved significantly once again.
Others will probably not be able to tell which camera the pictures were taken with, but it will be easier to focus and get the most out of the RAWs.

 

PS: If you are going for new take the A7 RV. Unlimited crop potential, one of the best sensors on the market, outstanding AF

Edited by fruehaufsteher2
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37 minutes ago, HCIdiver said:

good angel says master what you have first... bad angel well u know what it says

 

Always listen to that voice from the Dark Side. You sleep better at night. 😋 

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8 hours ago, ianmarsh said:

Hello all.... Looking for practical advice from people using this camera system.

 

I am an original Sony A7 and A7R user in a Nauticam Housing.

 

Given the premise that I would ONLY use this camera underwater for STILLS ONLY,are there any COMPELLING arguments to upgrade the camera to A7ii, A7ii or A7iv, and if so, where is the sweet spot. Strobes are Retra Pro.

 

Please weigh in and thanks for the advice.

 

Ian

 

I use A7R5, but cannot compare to older Sony models. I think this tread in the old forum answers the question, at least partially:

 

https://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?/topic/70196-sony-a7r-v/page/3/

 

On page 3 of this tread Alex Mustard says that AF using the Sony 90mm macro with A7R5 is much better than A7R4 and even better compared to Nikon D850...

I am not sure whether macro AF of A74 is closer to A7R5 or A7R4, but the newer models A7cII and A7cR are likely on par with A7R5 (and A1)...

 

 

Wolfgang

 

 

 

Edited by Architeuthis
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I can’t say about the latest Sony A7 RV model.
 

But I used Sony 7R3 for 3 years in the Nauticam. And I wouldn't call it a good experience.

I didn't understand policy of Nauticam with N100 mount. You are forced to use adapters for the N120 in many cases.  

I didn't like the speed of the 90mm macro. I compared it with a 100mm macro from Canon (via a Sigma adapter) and Canon on Sony worked faster in many cases.

And the main problem for me is the lack of a fisheye lens on Sony (in most cases I prefer it to a wide-angle lens). The adapter allows you to use Canon fisheye. But it's not always perfect. And there are focusing issues in the video mode I used. I often shoot in difficult conditions and the problems become very noticeable.

As a result, last year I sold Sony and bought a Canon R5.

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Hey guys, thanks for the input. Fantastic replies!

 

I once asked a similar question of Alex Mustard, "Should I move from the D2X to the D800". I am pretty sure I already knew the answer.

 

Same thing here. Time and technology marches on....

 

Since I retired, equipment changes cast a much bigger shadow. This game is not for the faint of wallet.

 

Ian

Edited by ianmarsh
typo
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37 minutes ago, fruehaufsteher2 said:

RV could be the last camera to buy..


🤣🤣🤣🤣 then I woke up. I think I said that after the Nikon D300, D800…… [continue filling in letters and numbers] 

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4 hours ago, Andrey Narchuk said:

I can’t say about the latest Sony A7 RV model.
 

But I used Sony 7R3 for 3 years in the Nauticam. And I wouldn't call it a good experience.

I didn't understand policy of Nauticam with N100 mount. You are forced to use adapters for the N120 in many cases.  

I didn't like the speed of the 90mm macro. I compared it with a 100mm macro from Canon (via a Sigma adapter) and Canon on Sony worked faster in many cases.

And the main problem for me is the lack of a fisheye lens on Sony (in most cases I prefer it to a wide-angle lens). The adapter allows you to use Canon fisheye. But it's not always perfect. And there are focusing issues in the video mode I used. I often shoot in difficult conditions and the problems become very noticeable.

As a result, last year I sold Sony and bought a Canon R5.

Jim Decker from Backscatter wrote that also with A7R4 the Canon 100mm IS macro with adapter performs better than the Sony 90mm: https://www.backscatter.com/reviews/post/Sony-a7R-IV-Underwater-Camera-Review

Not everybody agreed: I remember Phil Rudin posted that in his hands the opposite is the case, it may vary how one uses the camera...

 

I have used both Canon 100mm IS (for sale in classified and eBay) with Metabones V adapter and the Sony 90mm macro with A7R5 and can say that AF performance of the native Sony lens is much better compared to the adapted Canon lens on this body. Also sharpness of the Sony lens is excellent...

=> I am very glad that, after Alex's post above, I changed my plan from acquiring a used A7R4 housing to getting A7R5 camera&housing new (of course only available new at this time). I highly appreciate such forums, as they are a very good place to get information before investing thousands of $$$.....

 

 

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis
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1 hour ago, Architeuthis said:

 

Jim Decker from Backscatter wrote that also with A7R4 the Canon 100mm IS macro with adapter performs better than the Sony 90mm: https://www.backscatter.com/reviews/post/Sony-a7R-IV-Underwater-Camera-Review

Not everybody agreed: I remember Phil Rudin posted that in his hands the opposite is the case, it may vary how one uses the camera...

 

I have used both Canon 100mm IS (for sale in classified and eBay) with Metabones V adapter and the Sony 90mm macro with A7R5 and can say that AF performance of the native Sony lens is much better compared to the adapted Canon lens on this body. Also sharpness of the Sony lens is excellent...

=> I am very glad that, after Alex's post above, I changed my plan from acquiring a used A7R4 housing to getting A7R5 camera&housing new (of course only available new at this time). I highly appreciate such forums, as they are a very good place to get information before investing thousands of $$$.....

 

 

I agree that native lenses should work significantly better than "foreign" through an adapter. But this was not noticeable on older cameras.
And it's clear that Sony has done a lot of work in terms of autofocus in the latest model.

My situation was not a standard one. I won a Sony as a prize in a competition. And I planned to gradually switch to it. But in the end he returned back to Canon.

Edited by Andrey Narchuk
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4 minutes ago, Andrey Narchuk said:

My situation was not a standard one. I won a Sony as a prize in a competition. And I planned to gradually switch to it. But in the end he returned back to Canon.

 

what were the considerations that led you to this choice?

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In addition to autofocus improvements, there's also battery life. Early A7 cameras used NP-FW50 batteries; starting from A7 III they switched to NP-FZ100, which took their battery life from anemic to excellent.

 

If the budget is limited, are you dead-set on full-frame? A6700 is reported to have excellent performance.

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1 hour ago, Davide DB said:

 

what were the considerations that led you to this choice?

 I've always had a very limited budget. And I either won cameras in competitions, or the manufacturer provided them to me (either for free or with significant discounts). When it came time to change my old Canon, I tried to negotiate with Canon. But it didn’t work out. At the same time, Sony was committed to cooperation. And in addition, I won a Sony camera with one lens. I wanted to smoothly switch to Sony optics. Temporarily using your old lenses through an adapter.
The plan was quite workable, the costs were only for the box itself.
But as I used it, I began to doubt it. For 3 years, Sony has not released a fisheye. The macro wasn't as good as I wanted.  I started making a lot of videos. And I also didn’t really like the video on Sony (7R3).
Therefore, when I had the opportunity to sell Sony, I did it. And with the money I received I bought a Canon R5 and box for it.

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2 hours ago, Barmaglot said:

In addition to autofocus improvements, there's also battery life. Early A7 cameras used NP-FW50 batteries; starting from A7 III they switched to NP-FZ100, which took their battery life from anemic to excellent.

 

If the budget is limited, are you dead-set on full-frame? A6700 is reported to have excellent performance.

Thanks for the reply... I have to admit, it's a first world problem. I have the A7 and housing, as well as a D850/Nauticam, with a Nikonos 13mm. The recent talk about converting the 13mm to mirrorless got me thinking. 

 

At the end of the day, I think a major upgrade to modern Sony, and new housing, along with lens conversion really starts to add up. I guess if I was making a living at it, it would be a no brainer. 

 

...And then there is the Auditor General standing behind me when I'm cruising the Classified Forum.

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I completely relate to your question and concern.  I bought a Canon T2i and Nauticam housing in 2010.  I used it for stills for 11 years because 1) it worked well, 2) was super small, and 3) didn’t want to spend the big money for a new housing.  When the Nauticam WACP and WWL optics came out, it was time to upgrade.

 

I’ve personally used the Sony a7Riii, a7Riv, a7Rv, and now have an a1.  If you’re going to upgrade in the Sony world, I would highly recommend going to the a7Rv over an older model.  The focus system and new menu system introduced in the a7Rv / a1 is a true game changer over the Riv!  It will easily last you for years to come and is definitely worth the jump.  
 

Put your browser in private mode and clear your cache after you peruse the ads to cover the incriminating shopping evidence. The Auditor General will never know 😂 

 

Edited by ChipBPhoto
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I asked a mountain biking buddy if he thought it was an expensive hobby. He said yes, with state of the art mountain bikes reaching upwards of 10K cdn. A new chain can cost $100.

 

I just laughed....

 

He has no idea. 

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12 minutes ago, ianmarsh said:

I asked a mountain biking buddy if he thought it was an expensive hobby. He said yes, with state of the art mountain bikes reaching upwards of 10K cdn. A new chain can cost $100.

 

I just laughed....

 

He has no idea. 


No clue at all!  😂😂😂

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Does it have to be this super expensive though? I mean, yeah, you could drop $$$$$ on WACPs, EMWLs, etc, but I'm looking at upgrading from my Sony a6300, which I got back in 2017, and a slightly used a6700 body is going to cost me somewhere around $1000-1100, while a new SeaFrogs housing, once it comes out, if it's priced identical to their a6600 housing, will be slightly under $700 with a basic flat port for use with my 16-50mm and UWL-09F wet lens. Add $150 for a long port and zoom gear for my 90mm macro (also fits Canon 60mm which I use for blackwater), and I'm still under $2k. I can keep the UWT trigger and Leak Sentinel from my current setup, and possibly get a second-hand Tokina 10-17mm, 3D print a port adapter and zoom gear for my 4" mini-dome, and get extra wide-angle capability. Yeah, it wouldn't be the absolute best in terms of either IQ or ergonomics, but it gets most of the way there for a fraction of the cost.

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9 hours ago, ianmarsh said:

...And then there is the Auditor General standing behind me when I'm cruising the Classified Forum.

 

Mercy, there's an army of them!

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9 hours ago, Barmaglot said:

Does it have to be this super expensive though? I mean, yeah, you could drop $$$$$ on WACPs, EMWLs, etc, but I'm looking at upgrading from my Sony a6300, which I got back in 2017, and a slightly used a6700 body is going to cost me somewhere around $1000-1100, while a new SeaFrogs housing, once it comes out, if it's priced identical to their a6600 housing, will be slightly under $700 with a basic flat port for use with my 16-50mm and UWL-09F wet lens. Add $150 for a long port and zoom gear for my 90mm macro (also fits Canon 60mm which I use for blackwater), and I'm still under $2k. I can keep the UWT trigger and Leak Sentinel from my current setup, and possibly get a second-hand Tokina 10-17mm, 3D print a port adapter and zoom gear for my 4" mini-dome, and get extra wide-angle capability. Yeah, it wouldn't be the absolute best in terms of either IQ or ergonomics, but it gets most of the way there for a fraction of the cost.

Barmaglot, you are absolutely correct... 

 

I am currently sitting on a camera system that is completely serviceable, and until recently would be considered state of the art. The drive towards new technology, in this case mirrorless, always makes the grass look greener. But really, in my hands, will probably make no difference, at least none that I can perceive underwater. It is a different argument for Alex, and other shooters at his level.

 

With the amount of time I spend underwater, that will never be me.

 

To stay with my current gear will cost me nothing...

 

As Sheryl Crow once said, "It's not having what you want, It's wanting what you've got"

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True. In my case, the primary drive for upgrade is autofocus performance on blackwater dives. It's effortless in wide-angle, somewhat challenging in macro, but supremely frustrating in blackwater. The Sony 90mm lens I found absolutely unusable for this (I know it works well on newer bodies, but not on mine), and Canon EF-S 60mm on Metabones IV is generally fast enough to work, but has trouble locking focus - I can see it hunt back and forth, with the subject fading in and out of clear view on the screen. That said, recently I found that my adapter is still getting updates from the manufacturer, and updating it from v65 to v71 firmware produced a major improvement in land testing - I'm going to find out next week if it will help out under blackwater conditions.

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