Sony A7 vs A7R: Part 1, Resolution

Sony A7 vs A7R: Part 1, Resolution

So how do the two new Sony A7 and A7R cameras compare?
These two Sony cameras are very similar on the outside, with nearly identical appearances. The only subtle difference is the small red R after A7. Even the straps are the same. Unfortunately Sony didn’t decide to include a nicer strap for the A7R users (leather would have been nice).

This series will be a brief overview on the differences between the A7 and A7R, some subtle, some not so subtle. I will start with my thoughts on the differences after using the A7 for about 4000 pictures over 2 months and the A7R for just a few hours.

Functionality:

A7 Pros:
Electronic First Shutter Curtain
– Shorter EVF Blackout (very noticeable)
– Less Shutter Lag
1/250 Flash Sync Speed
PDAF Focus on Sensor

A7R Pros:
Higher Resolution (36 MP and no AA filter).
Better flare performance (filter stack flare, not lens flare)
Metal front panel (I find this very noticeable and much prefer A7R).
Better high ISO

Bottom Line:
These cameras feel very different and I will keep both. The A7R is definitely the better camera for landscapes and the sensor output at high ISO is nicer, but at the same time the A7 is clearly a better camera when you need less EVF blackout (moving subjects) and better flash performance. The shorter shutter lag means you don’t get blinks as often in flash photography, and the E-First Curtain Shutter noise is noticeably less offensive. The PDAF really helps focus in bright light.

Notes:
All shots at f/5.6. Here is a quick side by side comparison from both, using the Canon FDn 50mm f/1.4, 35mm f/2, 24mm f/2, 20mm f/2.8, and Cosina Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6.

A note about the shots, they are developed from RAW in Lightroom. Camera was set to A due to changing light conditions at ISO 100 and 2 second delay on a tripod. They were cropped to the same sensor area than resized to 600×400 pixels. The A7R were cropped to 601 pixels so are a 100% crop and the A7 shots to about 490 pixels wide, so they are enlarged to 600 pixels.

The settings were set to Daylight white balance, and “Sharpen Scenic” preset, along with “Remove Chromatic Aberrations” (removes lateral CA automatically). These are settings I regularly use, and it doesn’t make sense to not use the lateral CA removal because it doesn’t really cost you anything. It is easy to do in processing since it simply scales the different color layers to match. I mention this as straight out of camera you will see a lot of CA in the corners of the wide lenses.

The 20mm has a lot of field curvature that is still visible at f/5.6 (at f/11 it is fine), so for that reason I included a shot that is focused at the corner and at the center. If you focus mid field it will probably balance this out.

The corner shots are crops from near the corner, but not the most extreme corner.

I will insert a link to the Zenfolio gallery if you want to download full size original images. I will also upload some wide open and f/11 shots. F/8 to 11 is where I would primarily shoot with these lenses. Even though it is a tad less sharp than f/5.6, it flattens the field a bit and will act to serve as an AA filter as well to cut moire and the difference in resolution is very minor.

Full size shots: http://viking79.zenfolio.com/p970208003

DSC00119-2 DSC00602-2
FD 50 f/1.4 A7R Center FD 50 f/1.4 A7 Center
DSC00119 DSC00602
FD 50 f/1.4 A7R Corner FD 50 f/1.4 A7 Corner
DSC00125-2 DSC00608-2
FD 35 f/2 A7R Center FD 35 f/2 A7 Center
DSC00125 DSC00608
FD 35 f/2 A7R Corner FD 35 f/2 A7 Corner
DSC00132-2 DSC00614-2
FD 24 f/2 A7R Center FD 24 f/2 A7 Center
DSC00132 DSC00614
FD 24 f/2 A7R Corner FD 24 f/2 A7 Corner
DSC00135-2 DSC00618-2
FD 20 f/2 A7R Center (focus center) FD 20 f/2 A7 Center (focus center)
DSC00135 DSC00618
FD 20 f/2 A7R Corner (focus center) FD 20 f/2 A7 Corner (focus center)
DSC00138-2 DSC00621-2
FD 20 f/2 A7R Center (focus corner) FD 20 f/2 A7 Center (focus corner)
DSC00138 DSC00621
FD 20 f/2 A7R Corner (focus corner) FD 20 f/2 A7 Corner (focus corner)
DSC00142-2 DSC00625-2
CV 12 f/5.6 A7R Center CV 12 f/5.6 A7 Center
DSC00142 DSC00625
CV 12 f/5.6 A7R Corner CV 12 f/5.6 A7 Corner

4 Comments

  1. Blogophile says:

    It’s not really a sucessor, they’re continuing to sell the A7 and A7r along with the A7s, each has different features that will appeal to different users, for example the A7s has great low light potential but only half the Megapixels of the A7.

  2. admin says:

    Please note, I wrote that before I was aware of A7S (model) existence. I was meaning A Seven’s (A7/A7R). Sorry, Sony mixed up any plural or possessive use of A7 :)

  3. THKPIC says:

    Why are the pictures sideways?!?

  4. admin says:

    So you can see corner performance