Camera Test: Are The Sony Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras Good Enough For Serious Cruising Photography?

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We are starting to think about personal gear, art, tools, and spares for FPB 78-1. High on this list is camera gear. We thought you might enjoy seeing the results of a recent test.

With the exception of the animal photos, everything that follows was shot with a SonyA7ii, or A7r full frame mirrorless cameras using Sony/Zeiss lenses. The first picture is 1400 hours on Lake Powell, using a Sony 7R 36MP body with the Sony 16/34mm F4 lens. The images suffer here from compression and full size are, for the most part, pleasing to our somewhat critical eye.

The first shot was just after local noon (sun time) and far from optimum lighting.

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Above is Kolub Canyon, Northern Zion National Park at sunset. In this case we were shooting the A7ii body with a Sony Zeiss 70/200 F4 lens.

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The next photos – above and below – are at White Pocket in Northern Arizona (at the end of a rough two hour drive down a soft and bumpy dirt road).

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The dynamic range of both are a stop or more greater than what our pro Canon DSLRs can deliver.

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A late afternoon shot of Aspens at a lake in the Zion Park area.

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This night shot was taken using a Canon 24mm F1.4 lens and Metabones IV adapter on the Sony A7r body. ISO is 800, F1.8 for four seconds.

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The Virgin River Canyon in Zion Park is no place to hang out with rain clouds about, which moved in shortly after taking this photo.

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The two photos above are both shot with the 24MP Sony A7ii. Using the 16/35 F4 top, and 70/200 F4 next.

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This handsome fellow is a California condor with a ten foot/three meter wing span. He, and the pronghorn below, were taken with our trusty Canon 1DX and 200/400X1.4 zoom, the tracking and lens QC of which neither Sony nor anyone else can yet match.

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We were blessed with a fair amount of clouds, rain, and thunderstorm activity, all the better for testing. We are getting familiar with the Sony gear and for most situations feel this gear is superior to anything Canon or Nikon have at the moment. As we have been discussing cruising camera gear with several owners, we will do a suggested hardware post in the near future.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 14, 2015)

4 Responses to “Camera Test: Are The Sony Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras Good Enough For Serious Cruising Photography?”

  1. Gerhard Says:

    I own Alphas for years now, migrating from my old Minolta Hardware.
    The A7ii is on my wish list – the price is too high for an non-professional photographer.

    I use the RAW mode all the time, my dark room is the DxO software.
    The “anti dust” function can help a lot with landscape pictures.

    Check the Sony site for new lenses.

    Thanks for all your work here.

  2. Steve Says:

    As part of any future post, I would also love to hear about your current processing workflow. What software and plug-ins you find yourself using most; is NIK software still worth trying to get into one’s workflow or do you have other favorites.

  3. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Steve:
    We now have a subscription to Adobe CC for Lightroom and Photoshop. Basic processing is done in Lightroom, then a rough sort is done. Nik is still a favorite, which we use in Photoshop. We find that Photoshop is better (for us) when cleaning up extraneous items thatwe want to remove.

  4. Patrick Says:

    Hi Steve, Great photos. I was in this area last week – Zion NP, Bryce Canyon, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. We probably passed each other on the track. Fantastic places to vist and photograph. You have a great country. Cheers Patrick (Sydney Australia)