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Sony A7S for Weddings Real World Review

Review , October 7, 2014

Processed with VSCOcam with e3 preset

I have been a wedding photographer for almost 4 years. It’s a love-hate job for me. In one part I enjoy taking pictures all day long, but on the other hand, carrying a heavy duty DSLR all day is quite stressful for my back and shoulders. It’s one of those factors that can limit our creativity. I have been actually eyeing the A7 since its release but decided to get the Fujifilm XT1 instead. Then Sony announced the A7s I decided to try it out straight away. Since I did not bought any Sony lens just yet, I used a few manual lenses with an adapter on the Sony A7s to test it on weddings. I will not focus on the specifications and pixel counting test, I am going to focus on what’s happening during shoots and how it would affect my work. What I Like 1. The EVF  Weddings in Bali are usually outdoors, so the lighting conditions often changes so often. Therefore, with the EVF I have less time chimping on the LCD screen and that means more time shooting. Even on difficult lighting conditions. This also improves the accuracy and speed in focusing manually.

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2.  Shutter Lag I have been using Fuji X-E1, Fuji X-E2, Fuji X-T1 and the Leica M240. The same problem with all of these are that you cannot immediately press the shutter button repeatedly. There is a lag where the screen goes all black. The Sony has the same shutter lag, but it is much faster than all those previous cameras. Fast enough to be used in weddings. Sony_PROOFING_01

3. 5.0 FPS
 
The FPS is fast enough for me. I’ve shot with a Canon 5D2 with only 3.9 FPS in the past and I’ve lived with it. So this fps isn’t great but acceptable and I wouldn’t miss much moments in weddings.
 
4. Battery Life
 
Officially, it says that the Battery life only lasts 380 shots. But I have reached 1500 shots with only two batteries, and the second one still spared around 50%.
 
5. Dynamic Range
 
It’s no Nikon, but I enjoy editing the raw files of the A7s better than the Canon 5D3. Here’s a preview on how far it could go:
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6. High Iso and Usable
 
This was shot at Iso 8000. It can go to 412K, but I wouldn’t go that far.

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7. Silent Shooting Mode   This mode allows you to shoot silently. It’s as silent as taking photos with the iPhone in silent mode. What I love about this that it suits my shooting style, where I like to capture people candidly. They wouldn’t even notice that I am taking photos of them. It’s also useful on ceremonies where there is some deep emotions going on, and the couple wouldn’t be distracted.  

8.  It’s Full Frame and it’s Lightweight!   It’s a full frame camera and it weighs only 489g, much lighter than most Full Frame cameras around. Why do I need it to be full frame? It’s just how I shoot, sometimes I would need that shallow deep of field to create different effects on images. I have shot with Mirrorless ASPC cameras, and the thing that’s lacking is that Depth of Field.    Then again, it’s just personal preferences.  Sony_PROOFING_08

9. Flip Screen Shooting without crouching or lying down on the floor is a huge advantage. It would save me from dirtying my shirt and pants during work.  Sony_PROOFING_07Sony_PROOFING_06   What Can be Improved   1. Megapixels 12 Megapixels is ok but not great. I would rather have the option of having more, but it is big enough to print on a canvas. 2. Lens Availability The choices for native Sony E-Mount lens are very limited. That forces me to use lenses from other manufacturers, hence this made me unable to review the autofocus. 3. Focus Peaking Unreliable It’s very easy to misfocus with Focus Peaking. The guides are so misleading, I had to zoom to be sure that the image’s in focus, and this leads to  4. Hard to Shoot Moving Objects Only when you focus manually. Conclusion It has to be said that after using this camera in the last two weddings, and 90% most of those times. The era of mirror-less cameras replacing DSLR for weddings is near. My only concern is that I still trust my DSLR too much for important moments. Sony_PROOFING_4Sony_PROOFING_2Sony_PROOFING_1Sony_PROOFING_10Sony_PROOFING_07Sony_PROOFING_08Sony_PROOFING_04Sony_PROOFING_09

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