I’m an amateur photographer at best and I’ve been lusting over the Sony Alpha 7 for the longest time ever. The camera certainly performs as well as it looks. If anything, I can say with confidence that if you are looking to jump from a point-and-shoot to something that will up your photography game, the Sony Alpha 7 is perfect for you.
Allow me to preface by saying if you are looking for an in-depth review of the Alpha 7, this is not the article that you are looking for. The folks at DPReview have a much more detailed piece that goes into all the bells and whistles the camera offers. I, however, will review the camera in a much more accessible manner in the hopes of tempting you to splurge the cash on this beauty.
The biggest draw of it all has to be it’s stature. Sony has been able to pack so much power into a body that is not larger than the commonly seen oversized mobile phone on the street. Weighing in at about 500g for the body alone, it certainly makes its presence know when slung around the shoulder or in the hand but it’s definitely more convenient than lugging it around like most DSLRs.
Instead of a long drawn ‘review’ telling fellow geeks how much I liked the camera, I thought I would pick out a few selected photos to illustrate the prowess of the camera in the hands of a novice (myself). Armed with only a Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA lens, I had to quickly adapt to shooting with a prime lens that did not allow me to zoom.
All images have been saved for web and have not undergone any photoshopping.
This first shot that you would see below is a picture fresh out of the box. Something was really off as I did not expect the image to be underexposed and off colour.
The subsequent shot didn’t fare any better.
Originally, I hope hope to obtain the camera to help me out with my toy photography. The underexposure and off-colour saturation persisted. It must be the settings and I resolved to have it fixed by the time I headed out for lunch!
First awesome picture with the Alpha 7, under bright sunlight there’s little that can go wrong! I found out that within the camera itself, users would be able to make adjustments to the colour saturation on-the-fly. Pretty impressive.
Back in the office, I slapped on a lens from an existing NEX-5 and this was the result. Where’s that adapter when you need one?
The great thing about the Sony Alpha 7 would be the flexibility it offers. It accepts 3rd party lenses with the help of an appropriate adapter. Truth be told, I could not lay my hands on one in time to make an accurate assessment.
Back to the prime lens and snapped another quick picture. With each picture taken, it just felt as though this camera could possibly be the most amazing device that I’ve ever held in my hands.
I’m by far not the biggest photography enthusiast but it was getting pretty addictive grabbing awesome shots.
Shooting in colour is too mainstream? In built creative style let’s you take Instagram worthy pictures. This is my favourite out of all I’ve taken.
Budding photographers, this is your ‘Humans of New York’ camera of choice right here.
How does it fare under low light conditions? While this might not be the best case scenario, pumping the ISO to ungodly levels never hurt.
Back into the sunlight again, the images are stunning to say the least.
Sadly, I simply didn’t have the right lens for the job below. I had to wrestle with the camera not being able to focus on poor Grimlock here.
A few weeks in and I’m still discovering new things about the camera!
Setting a timer and running into position is so old school. The great thing about the Alpha 7 is that it talks to other devices as well. The camera is able to grab shots like this by syncing up with the Play Memories Mobile app available for both iOS and Android.
The only drawback is that apart from tinkering with the focus area, there’s little else you can do via the app in terms of camera settings. The below shot was taken under Auto.
It was actually harder to get the kids in position than taking the actual shot itself. There’s a real time feed on your mobile phone that gives you an idea how your shot would turn out eventually.
The Sony Alpha 7 is the camera that everyone should lay their hands on and give it a test drive at the store. But such pretty things do not come cheap. The main body itself costs about USD$1700 whereas the lens that I had used for this reviews comes in about USD$799. Such amazing photos do come with a price. Do take comfort that the Alpha 7 is actually the smallest and cheapest full frame digital camera out there in the market right now but like all professional camera set ups, getting the right equipment for the job will cost you a good sum.
There are still plenty of aspects about the camera that I have yet to touch on . If you are a fan of uploading pictures on the go, the Alpha 7 is NFC enabled, so uploading pictures onto Facebook is but just a tap away. This is just but one of the many features that the Alpha 7 has to offer.
If there’s one camera that you are lusting over this year, make the Sony Alpha 7 the forerunner of your purchase decision.