Sony A7: More enthusiastic reviews

Posted on by Mike Evans

An impressive pre-production review of the Sony A7r has appeared in the respected photography site, Luminous Landscape. Author Michael Reichmann had the chance to spend a few days with the A7r earlier this month and has a lot to say about the handling, image quality and (of particular interest to many) the use of Leica lenses which I wrote about last week without having seen or handled the camera:

It's frankly astonishing how small the A7R is when you realize that it's a full-frame interchangeable lens camera. If you imagine it without the grip (which really is helpful for just about any sized hand) it's hardly larger than the diminutive RX1. It is smaller than just about any APS-C sized Compact System Camera, including the Fuji X-Pro 1 and is a close match in size to the new MFT format Olympus OM-D E-M1. Put another way, this is the smallest interchangeable lens full-frame camera ever made, and that includes the Leica M8, M9 and M 240. It's a hefty beast, though its mass speaks well of its robust construction. This is a full frame camera for people who always said that full frame cameras were too large.

It gets interesting when he tries a few Leica lenses on the A7r:

For some photographers (myself included) putting Leica M mount lenses on the Sony A7R may be reason enough to break out a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne and celebrate. Using an M to E adapter (I have a Metabones), virtually every Leica M lenses that I own works well on the A7R. Some of the ultra-wide and very wides do vignette, so be aware of this. There is no software correction for this, because we're mixing and matching. With other systems where the lens and camera are from the same company there's a lot of magic that can be done in firmware.

Overall, I can not recommend the A7R highly enough for anyone looking to find a new body for their Leica lenses, and who find the price of an M240 a bridge too far, as I did last year. And for those of you with M8, M9 or M240 bodies, the A7R makes a relatively inexpensive second body as well.

I am greatly looking forward to trying the Sony A7r for myself and experimenting with my Leica optics. It will be hard to avoid making direct comparisons with the Leica M.