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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My A7/7R and A3000 First Hands-on Tests (with Full ISO Shootouts for the A7 and 7R)

Tested the three cameras at the Sony showroom today (the A7 and 7R are undoubtedly the most wanted-buy bodies of the year for many those old Pentaxians with film glass!), and found the following:

- A7 shutter action is smoother and faster than that of the A7R, which is terrible, i.e., loud sound, stronger vibration and longer shutter lag;

- The build quality of both cameras whilst is acceptable, but not outstanding;

- I am not convinced with the clumsy user interface and troublesome operation menu of the A7 cameras, which is really a nightmare to use! I comment this as an existing NEX user, of which the operation should be simpler, I believe! >:-(

- The slow speed 28-70 FE kit lens is cheaply built, the IQ of it is not that bad, though. Still, this lens just feels a bit large when it is mounted and thus unbalanced;

- The EVF and LCD displays have some yellow tint to my eyes. The refresh rate of those are not that good;

- AF speed is not fast, but could be acceptable to most people;

- Continuous shooting (speed) of both cameras is just a joke, I don't know what is/are the real problem(s) there. I used a Class 6 Transcend 8GB card to test;

- Exposure accuracy and metering intelligence of the cameras are good enough;

- AWB seems to do a better job than those NEX cameras;

- The IQ is the most important thing of these two bodies, two full ISO speed tests from ISO100 up to 25600 for each of the bodies are posted as follows:



All camera settings were reset to factory defaults. Lens used for both tests was a FE 35/2.8 ZA "Zeiss" prime. Full size original sample for the same (close) test scene can be downloaded per picture page (by clicking the magnifying glass symbol twice).

Nevertheless, I have not brought any of my Pentax lenses to test further for the adoption of those lovely Pentax glass of mine on the A7 and 7R. I have no doubt about the IQ of these cameras after my above first test anyway. However, I have big reservations on quite many of the issues that I have mentioned above!

As for the A3000, whilst it is cheap enough, I think it is also close to a piece of junk in many ways, including the build and the ridiculously tiny/low resolution EVF of it. It is even stupid enough to switch between the EVF and the back LCD manually, just like what was done four years ago with the first generation added-on EVF for Pana GF1 of mine! :-o The LCD looks bad, also..

As for the IQ of the A3000, it is just so so. Noise starts to appear and could be easily seen from ISO400 and up, just see the following few full samples: