Michael Reichmann Picks The Sony A7RII As The Camera Of The Year

August 21st, 2015

SonyA7RIILet me start off by apologizing in advance for this post. I normally don’t even do a post on Fridays. But, I can’t help myself. I just watched Michael Reichmann’s YouTube video over at luminous-landscape.com on his review of the the recently released Sony A7RII and want to point it out to everyone. If you have 20 minutes to spare I think Michael is right when points out that the Sony A7RII is the most significant development in camera technology that has happened this year. Perhaps even longer.

Let me be clear, I’m not saying you need one of these to shoot real estate photography. As I pointed out in last week’s post you don’t need top of the line full frame gear to shoot real estate photography. I bring this up just because the Sony AR series is such a significant development in camera technology.

Michael’s review takes me back to the review he wrote in late 2002 on the Canon 1Ds. I was dazzled by the significance of that body (the first full frame DSLR under $10,000) and within 6 months I had one even though it was obscenely expensive by today’s standards.

I think the most significant thing about this is how Sony is blowing by Canon and Nikon in technical achievement. Sony is now running with the big dogs!

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12 Responses to “Michael Reichmann Picks The Sony A7RII As The Camera Of The Year”

  • Thank you, thank you! I almost bought a Canon when I first started 3 years ago and someone asked if I had looked at Sony….I ended up buying an A57 and loved it, now I have an A77II and love it. I always felt funny telling other photographers that I shoot with a Sony, but not now–can’t wait to upgrade again!

  • Sony is continuing a very long tradition going back to the early 1960s. Minolta was the most innovative camera manufacture up to the middle 1990s. In 2005, Sony asked Minolta to make a digital camera for them and Minolta asked Sony to buy their camera division. The Sony A100 was brought out in 2006, basically a Konica Minolta D7. Sony said this was only the beginning, stating they would become the most innovative camera manufacturer.

    In my 51 years of being a photographer, I’ve had a few Canons and Nikons but the one I used the most was Minolta. I’ve continued with Sony and I’ve had many photographers tell me only real pros us Nikon and Canon. That is now changing!

  • New gear always interests me, however I’m not one to run out and purchase the latest and greatest. With that said I have been shooting with a Canon 6D since it first came out almost 3 years ago. I was shooting with a 5D MkII and opted to go with the 6D because reports indicated a better dynamic range. Shooting architecture and real estate for me is all about dynamic range when it comes down to camera bodies, not megapixels.
    I understand that the dynamic range of the A7RII has a 2+ stop advantage over Canon cameras. Has anyone on PFRE had experience with the Sony A7RII ? I plan on renting this body along with the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens which is supposed to be ultra sharp. I am interested in seeing how this new camera performs in the real world.

  • @Ron – That would be great to hear/see some real world experiences in the interiors environment.

  • According to dxomark.com, the dynamic ranges are as follows (ISO 50 to 400): Nikon D810 14.8Evs; Sony A7R 14.1Evs, Canon 5DS 12.4Evs… so I will be curious to see what the Sony A7R II is at. Dynamic Range is important to me as well since I shoot mostly HDR. I was told that Nikon uses the Sony Sensor… not sure if this if fact…. meaning that the Sony A7R II sensor will probably be in the next Nikon.

  • I have never used them, but from what I have read Sony’s previous series of full-frame dslrs were of a standard that was comparable to Canon or Nikon. The problem with them was a limited lens range and limited or no ability to use lenses made for other mounts. Now, the mirrorless Sony A7 has surpassed Canon and Nikon in terms of resolution and dynamic range and, although the Sony lens line is still rather limited, it can accept a huge range of lenses from other manufacturers by means of adapters, making it a highly versatile camera.

  • I just recently did a complete transition from Canon to Sony. I was using a Canon 5DM3 with all “L” lenses – primarily the 17-40mm F4.0 L and TS-E 17mm for real estate (my backup body was a 7DM2). I now shoot the Sony A7RII (with an a6000 as the backup) and am completely satisfied. Even though I have a metabones adapter to use all the Canon glass, I just sold it all (except for the 17mm tilt-shift – Sony had nothing that could come near that). My main lens for real estate now is the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens and it’s great. I have only one issue with that lens – in that the distortion from 16mm to about 20mm bugs me (not horrible, but I can see it) – from 20mm to 35mm it’s great. Most of my interiors are shot around 20-24mm anyway so no problem, but I often shoot exteriors at 17-18mm (so I switch to the TS-E 17mm Canon). If you want the one thing that makes this camera (the A7RII) a game changer (for me – anyhow) is that I have now stopped shooting HDR’s! My typical shots with Canon were 5-bracket hybrid (flash) HDR shots processed in Photomatix. However, the dynamic range on the A7RII is so much better than the 5DM3 that I just go with one bounce-flash image (I will shoot a second under-exposed image if I feel that the windows are too bright – but have only had to do that once). One other (tiny) complaint is that my 5DM3 had an awesome level built in & was extremely accurate – which saved me lots of wall straightening in post. The Sony A7RII does have a built in level, but it is way too “loose” and just gets the camera “sort of” level on-axis. Other than that I do highly recommend this camera!

  • @Jay – Thanks for the report! I notice that Adobe Camera RAW 8.3 has a profile for the Sony FE 16-35mm lens and so does DxO Optics Pro. Do you use either of these to correct the lens distortion? Or are you saying that even after correction you see distortion?

  • I purchased a Konica/Minolta DLSR in 2006. It was my first DSLR and I bought it because it was a great deal. (I started doing 360’s in 1999 with A Sony Mavica!) About a month later, I learned that Sony bought KM. (The reason for the great deal.)

    Since I had proprietary lenses/flashes, I stayed with Sony.. A100, A300, A500, A580 & A77. After reading great reviews about the A7 system, I was just about to purchase it when I decided to do research. I found great reviews about the A6000. I did a comparison on http://www.snapsort.com and compared the A7 to the A600 and was shocked at the result. The A6000 clearly beat the A7. http://snapsort.com/compare/Sony-A7-vs-Sony-Alpha-A6000

    I bought the A6000 for about a third less than I paid for the A77 about 1 1/2 years ago! I can’t believe the improvement! As Jay mentioned, the huge difference is in HDR. I have been able to get away with one shot for some window views. I’m in Fl and almost every home has a view, the Gulf, a lake, a golf course, etc. If I can’t show that view as your eye sees it, I can’t send it to my client. They demand clear window views. The A6000 gives me that.

    I purchased the Sony 10-16mm E-mount lens. I used both Sigma 10-20mm and Tamron 10-24mm to use with the A mount system. I have NOT had to correct barrel distortion with the E-mount 10-66mm lens.

    And, last but not least, did I mention it’s about 1/3 the weight?

    I’m certain the newest Sony Camera of the year is phenomenal. But, I’m thrilled with the little, simple A6000.

  • I’m in my 7th year now shooting RE and am a Nikon to Sony convert. My first Sony was the A7R which was great but honestly I felt as though the 36mp was overkill for RE. After losing that one at an airport, I replaced it with the A7ii and have been shooting with it using the Sony FE 16-35mm all this year (160+ houses).

    I must say I am thoroughly happy with this combination. I’ve always shot HDR/ambient light and right before I made the switch to Sony, I was debating about learning flash. But, honestly with Sony’s high dynamic range and with how freaking happy my clients are, I’ve punted on that one for probably a good while. 20-24mm I feel is the sweet spot for interiors. I’ve shot a few very large rooms at 16mm knowing i’ll have some distortion to fix later in post.

    I also made the switch to Light Room this year which I’m loving, especially the one click lens distortion correction! I’d say the Sony FE 16-35mm lens profile is dead on about 90% of time with the other 10% needing only a sleight adjustment.

    One last note: I love the viewfinder, no more getting on my knees to line up the shot!

  • @Paula

    Are you using flash, HDR or a continuous light source? I looked at your portfolio. The shot I liked the most was in the “Commercial” section. The photo of the covered tables looking out over the water. How did you get that shot?

  • HEV,
    I use flash and HDR, no continuous. Those shots in the portfolio are from quite a few years ago. I would say just flash for those. I don’t think HDR was a “thing” back then!

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