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There Are Some Issues When You Move to the New Full Frame Sony Mirrorless Bodies

April 25th, 2018

Larry in Virginia is looking for advice in moving from his Canon 5DMkIII to a Sony A7III. He says:

I’m a Canon 5DMkIII shooter considering the Sony A7III for my real estate work with an adapter and my Canon 17-40mm L to lighten the load a bit. My 17-40mm has been the workhorse for my work. I rented the Sony and discovered the image format is ARW. Lightroom Classic 7.2 does not recognize ARW files but 7.3 does. However, I’ve read about various bugs in 7.3 and I’m hesitant to upgrade yet. But the way I’ve found to use ARW files is to convert them to TIFF using Adobe DNG converter and that is a pain. Anyone have a workflow tip here they can share? If you’ve upgraded to 7.3, how’s it working for real estate?

There are two issues here. Lightroom Classic CC 7.3 and using Canon glass on Sony full frame bodies with adapters. Let’s address them one at a time.

Lightroom Classic CC 7.3 Problems
Yes, Lightroom Classic CC 7.3 initially had some problems. When I first got Larry’s question, Adobe had not released a fix for the problems but as I write this (4/24 morning) Adobe just released Lightroom Classic CC 7.3.1 which I’ve just installed on my backup machine. I recommend that everyone who depends on the operational reliability have a backup computer to verify the integrity of the software before you starting using it in your production workflow.

Canon Glass on Sony Full-Frame Bodies
I have plenty of Canon glass but I don’t have a Sony full-frame mirrorless body. The research I’ve done indicates there are some downsides to using adapters for Canon glass on Sony full-frame mirrorless bodies; particularly with wide-angle lenses like real estate photographers are likely to be using. This video by Tony Northrup is just one such example. My conclusion is that you get the best results by using Sony G Master lenses on Sony mirrorless bodies. Does anyone have direct results with this?

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10 Responses to “There Are Some Issues When You Move to the New Full Frame Sony Mirrorless Bodies”

  • I’ve used the Metabones adapter with my 16-35/4L glass on A7RII and admit that the extreme corners have a little issue (but typically not anything that will affect your RE photos noticeably.) If those Sony bodies were bulkier (and had OVF instead of EVF) I would drop my Canon bodies to the wayside.

    I haven’t used the Mk3 version of the A7 series so I can’t comment on the RAW file issue.

  • Which model did you rent? An a7III that just began shipping this week? I have never had problems with Lightroom reading ARW files but there is always a lag when a new model camera – any manufacturer – is released and Adobe updates Lightroom/Photoshop/ACR to recognize that new camera body. Usually within a couple weeks of the new body release, Adobe updates. It may simply be a database mismatch in the software with the same ARW file format used by all prior models, but the camera model shown in EFIX data doesn’t match anything in the database. Had similar issue with Premiere Pro and graphic cards where Adobe only listed (premium) models they tested to use the CUDA cores and activate the mercury engine for faster processing. That was actually consumer correctable if you knew how (thanks to Internet search) – open a .txt file and add your intermediate level Nvidia card in the same format Adobe used, and the program suddenly recognized the video card and it’s supported features.

    Lens…can’t really speak to that as came from Nikon which lagged significantly on adapters that transmitted electronic info. Canon users to this day are lucky with Metabones despite it’s limitations that keep it from performing equal to native FE mount. For real estate, you don’t need G Master (GM) glass such as the 16-35 f2.8, and while there is no pure Sony G specified model (like the three 85mm models – G, GM, Zeiss Batis), the much cheaper Sony/Zeiss 16-35 f4 is excellent, and a great walk around lens outside of real estate.. Adobe has a similar lag creating a lens profile when a new lens is released, but that is also a little trickier as it is also based on the sensor of the camera, and you will never find a Sony/Canon matchup. Technically, you can create custom profiles through Adobe Labs which I did once, and never again.

  • Hi.

    You could convert to DNG files and then import. However I find Capture 1 renders the Sony files better than LR and you get a free version if you shoot Sony

    Thanks

    Bruce

  • I’ve switched to Sony a few years ago with the a7ii and also acquired a a7rii last year. I started with the Zeiss 16-35 on the a7ii and recently purchased the 16-35 G Master lens. The G is great wide open, but I almost always shoot real estate at f8. Both lenses are great at f8, so I recommend sticking with the lower priced Zeiss.

    Another note on the bodies. The a7iii is probably your best bet for RE photos. Resolution is way higher than 99% of clients will ever need. I actually plan to hold off and get the a7siii when it comes out, and that will have lower resolution than the a7iii. The a7sii has resolution of 4240×2832. Assuming version iii has the same resolution, that’s perfect in my book. I deliver 2048 on the long side, so that camera will still give me plenty of cropping room.

  • I have recently purchased a Sony A7r III with a Sigma MC11 adapter with my Canon TS 17mm & 24mm. I have worked minimally with it but LOVE the results so far. This photographer helped me with my decision (Sony Artisan) to purchase and I am slowly moving over to Sony. Check out his blog http://pmrphoto.blogspot.com

  • I haven’t had any imaging issues, but I have had mechanical issues with shooting the 17-40 on an A7 using bracketing. Single shots work fine, but after using bracketing for a few minutes, I get misfiring issues. Better to stick to Sony glass IMO.

  • I still use Canon (now a 5DsR and a 5DmkIV) and was thinking I wanted to move to Sony because of all the praises sung in its name.

    I borrowed an A7rII and did side by side testing with my 5DmkIII at the time. Both had native 16-35 f4 zooms.
    My results discovered that the Canon lens was slightly sharper at the pixel peeping level but not an issue that would ever compromise a deliverable. I also used an adapter to mount my Canon lenses on the Sony with success.

    The real interest was in the DR that was allegedly legendary with the Sony. The truth was that in the darkest portions of images the Sony did perform better than the Canon but the test was really academic in that the areas that needed a 5 or 6 stop push were either meant to be black or were woefully under lit. IOW the DR drama does not solve the problem of a rotten technique or rotten scene.

    The size of the camera may be relevant if you shoot handheld but then you still have lights, stands and other gear to haul about.

    Possibly the most interesting thing to me was the Laowa 12mm lens that could be coupled to their Magic Shift adapter. Thus one got a 17mmTS AND a 12mm lens for less than the price of Canon’s 17TS with comparable if not better sharpness.

    At bottom the Sony is a great camera. However, for RE photography it has no meaningful advantages over almost any other camera on the market. I would caution against the expense unless you have other reasons that make it a compelling choice.

  • Will the new camera make you more money? Will you be able to charge your clients more? Will you be able to get new clients? Will you be able to work faster (and thus be able to shoot more homes per day)?

    If the answer to those questions is “no” then you should really NOT purchase anything new.

    That being said, whatever you heard about Lightroom not reading Sony RAW files is wrong. I’ve been using a Sony mirrorless with Lightroom since 2015 with no problems. As mentioned in replies above, when a new lens comes out it takes a few weeks before the lens profile is published by Adobe. But other than that, you don’t need a “workflow” for Lightroom and ARW files.

  • I switched to Sony full-frame a few years ago (using both Canon and Sony lenses) and can confidently say there are no problems – in fact it’s the best setup ever! As to the files being supported by Lightroom – you just got the A7III before Adobe caught up with their raw file support. Trust me when I tell you that Adobe does this with virtually every camera new to the market (especially Canon). They don’t release raw support for sometimes months after a new camera release. I remember when I got my new Canon 5DMIII when they were first released & I had to wait two and a half months for Adobe to update camera raw support for it – I had to use Canon’s raw converter in the meantime (pain in the rump). By now Adobe has caught up with the A7III so you should have no issues. Also – as far as lenses go (especially for real estate usage) there is zero issue with using adapted lenses. I personally use a Canon tilt-shift (TSE-24) on my Sony A7RII using a Metabones 4 adapter and have zero issues ever. On my other body – an A7RIII – I do typically use my Sony 16-35 F/4 shooting real estate, but can throw the Metabones on at any time to use some of my old Canon lenses (including the 17-40). I will say using Sony mirrorless is a huge advantage over my old Canon DSLR’s in that I get an accurate exposure view before taking the shot – instead of having to chimp after the shot to see if it was the proper exposure. The A7III is definitely going to be a DSLR killer. DSLR’s will soon be like film bodies. My only “con” using mirrorless instead of DSLR’s is dust. You no longer have a mirror to keep dust off the sensor when changing lenses – so you have to be mindful of your surroundings and face the camera body down so dust doesn’t get on the sensor as you’re changing lenses in the field. My lesson on this came in Africa on a photo safari – while changing lenses in the dusty land rover my sensor got a dust coating like a cinnamon donut…

  • “I recommend that everyone who depends on the operational reliability have a backup computer to verify the integrity of the software before you starting using it in your production workflow.” So ultimately, the discussion tells this is the other confusion against to select the tool directly.

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