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by DChan on Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:25 pm
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Ed1946 wrote:
One side consideration is that 61MP file sizes will push one to have to look at newer and more expensive memory storage cards, external drives, and larger storage backup systems to manage all those photos taken.  But its part of the cost evaluation.



Well, if money is a concern, perhaps the first thing to consider is whether one needs 61 MP to begin with. I'm pretty sure many would want it.
 

by Scott Fairbairn on Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:42 pm
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Ed1946 wrote:
One side consideration is that 61MP file sizes will push one to have to look at newer and more expensive memory storage cards, external drives, and larger storage backup systems to manage all those photos taken.  But its part of the cost evaluation.


I've always looked at hard drives and cards and such as consumable products anyway. Each iteration of cards and drives get bigger and faster for the same price, so the extra space needed doesn't bother me since I'm always moving my library to new hard drives and backups every year or so. 
I don't trust any storage system, and they sure don't grow old as I'm migrating all the time. I've had drives that are only a few months old fail, and others that are a few years old that still seem fine. 
 

by DOglesby on Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:13 pm
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Scott Fairbairn wrote:
Ed1946 wrote:
One side consideration is that 61MP file sizes will push one to have to look at newer and more expensive memory storage cards, external drives, and larger storage backup systems to manage all those photos taken.  But its part of the cost evaluation.


I've always looked at hard drives and cards and such as consumable products anyway. Each iteration of cards and drives get bigger and faster for the same price, so the extra space needed doesn't bother me since I'm always moving my library to new hard drives and backups every year or so. 
I don't trust any storage system, and they sure don't grow old as I'm migrating all the time. I've had drives that are only a few months old fail, and others that are a few years old that still seem fine. 



My bigger concern than storage is the ability of my iMac to process those files quickly. Nik Collection already struggles a bit with the A7R III files. Really hoping there's a lossless compression option. It would be just stupid for them not to include it...but it's also incredibly stupid to have such a terrible menu system and they still haven't fixed that so...
Cheers,
Doug
 

by E.J. Peiker on Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:36 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
Unanswered questions so far:
- blackout free continuous shooting (like the a9)?
- focus stacking?
- lossless compressed RAW files?
- is this a 16 bit out sensor? (hard to believe the 15 stops claimed engineering dynamic range if it's 14 bit)


From what I've been able to get out of some of the folks that were present at the Sony launch and had hands on the camera, here are the answers, as far as they know, realizing that they may not have looked for or tested for this:
- It is not blackout free like the a9
- It does not have Focus bracketing/stacking (Say what??? this is 2019  - every single other FF and most APS-C mirrorless cameras introduced in the last two years have this feature). 
- Nope, still the same old stupid lossy compression scheme which means uncompressed RAW, the only loss free option will have file sizes around 120MB per image - that's larger than a Fuji GFX-100 lossless compressed RAW file!!!
- 14 bit making the 15 bit claim mostly hype.  Real world Dmax will likely be around 13-13.5 stops  (real world is based on a S/N threshold where engineering Dmax is based on when the signal just starts to exceed the noise)

While overall the camera seems like it's going to be great, the lack of the items above, especially the lack of focus stacking and no lossless compression are significant disappointments to me.
 

by DOglesby on Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:51 pm
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Yeah, lack of lossless compression is so stupid. Reminds me of the battle to get them to provide 14 bit files. Hopefully a firmware fix will address that later.
I ask this next question out of ignorance -> what is the deal with blackout? I've used my A7R III in continuous shooting and haven't noticed any EVF issue. Am I not understanding the nature of the issue?
Cheers,
Doug
 

by E.J. Peiker on Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:12 pm
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DOglesby wrote:
I ask this next question out of ignorance -> what is the deal with blackout? I've used my A7R III in continuous shooting and haven't noticed any EVF issue. Am I not understanding the nature of the issue?


The a9, when shooting in continuous mode does not black out the viewfinder between frames, it provides a continuous movie like live feed to the EVF as it shoots making it much easier to rack the subject which is more difficult with an EVF than an OVF due to the slight time lag with an EVF.  Once you have used it, it's hard to go back to anything else including an OVF which has a large amount of viewfinder blackout due to the mirror flipping up.
 

by Neilyb on Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:35 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
E.J. Peiker wrote:
Unanswered questions so far:
- blackout free continuous shooting (like the a9)?
- focus stacking?
- lossless compressed RAW files?
- is this a 16 bit out sensor? (hard to believe the 15 stops claimed engineering dynamic range if it's 14 bit)


From what I've been able to get out of some of the folks that were present at the Sony launch and had hands on the camera, here are the answers, as far as they know, realizing that they may not have looked for or tested for this:
- It is not blackout free like the a9
- It does not have Focus bracketing/stacking (Say what??? this is 2019  - every single other FF and most APS-C mirrorless cameras introduced in the last two years have this feature). 
- Nope, still the same old stupid lossy compression scheme which means uncompressed RAW, the only loss free option will have file sizes around 120MB per image - that's larger than a Fuji GFX-100 lossless compressed RAW file!!!
- 14 bit making the 15 bit claim mostly hype.  Real world Dmax will likely be around 13-13.5 stops  (real world is based on a S/N threshold where engineering Dmax is based on when the signal just starts to exceed the noise)

While overall the camera seems like it's going to be great, the lack of the items above, especially the lack of focus stacking and no lossless compression are significant disappointments to me.

No focus bracketing on a camera which will be diffraction limited to f6.3-f8 seems like a dropped ball, as it will appeal largely to landscape photographers (and Sony have failed to release a tilt shift lens). 
 

by Mike in O on Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:11 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
DOglesby wrote:
I ask this next question out of ignorance -> what is the deal with blackout? I've used my A7R III in continuous shooting and haven't noticed any EVF issue. Am I not understanding the nature of the issue?


The a9, when shooting in continuous mode does not black out the viewfinder between frames, it provides a continuous movie like live feed to the EVF as it shoots making it much easier to rack the subject which is more difficult with an EVF than an OVF due to the slight time lag with an EVF.  Once you have used it, it's hard to go back to anything else including an OVF which has a large amount of viewfinder blackout due to the mirror flipping up.



Sony's newer cameras are pretty much blackout free if you limit fps to 8
 

by Primus on Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:20 pm
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Neilyb wrote:
-............


No focus bracketing on a camera which will be diffraction limited to f6.3-f8 seems like a dropped ball, as it will appeal largely to landscape photographers (and Sony have failed to release a tilt shift lens). 


I don't know about just landscape photographers. I am thinking of using the crop mode with the 100-400 which will give me 600mm at f5.6 and plenty of pixels to play with. No diffraction there. Even without cropping, the 200-600mm will get me to 600 at only f6.3. Hopefully that will also be diffraction free.

My only issue would be AF, and I can certainly live with the blackouts in continuous shooting, have always had this issue with my Canon system in the past.

The a9 has spoilt us Sony users, for sure. Hoping they would also announce a MkII version of this soon. Then the a7r4 will be like the D810 or D850 has been for Nikon users.

Pradeep
 

by DChan on Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:15 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
DOglesby wrote:
I ask this next question out of ignorance -> what is the deal with blackout? I've used my A7R III in continuous shooting and haven't noticed any EVF issue. Am I not understanding the nature of the issue?


The a9, when shooting in continuous mode does not black out the viewfinder between frames, it provides a continuous movie like live feed to the EVF as it shoots making it much easier to rack the subject which is more difficult with an EVF than an OVF due to the slight time lag with an EVF.  Once you have used it, it's hard to go back to anything else including an OVF which has a large amount of viewfinder blackout due to the mirror flipping up.



If you push the system too hard, the Sony also exhibits time lag, too. So when you are taking a photo with the bird in the middle of the frame, it's actually somewhere away from it. Go take a look at Tony Northrup's video review of the Sony 600 and the 200-600 lenses. I don't think OVF will have this problem.
 

by DChan on Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:03 pm
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More samples (with raw files):


Sony Alpha ILCE-A7R IV Gallery
 

by DOglesby on Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:06 pm
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DChan wrote:
E.J. Peiker wrote:
DOglesby wrote:
I ask this next question out of ignorance -> what is the deal with blackout? I've used my A7R III in continuous shooting and haven't noticed any EVF issue. Am I not understanding the nature of the issue?


The a9, when shooting in continuous mode does not black out the viewfinder between frames, it provides a continuous movie like live feed to the EVF as it shoots making it much easier to rack the subject which is more difficult with an EVF than an OVF due to the slight time lag with an EVF.  Once you have used it, it's hard to go back to anything else including an OVF which has a large amount of viewfinder blackout due to the mirror flipping up.



If you push the system too hard, the Sony also exhibits time lag, too. So when you are taking a photo with the bird in the middle of the frame, it's actually somewhere away from it. Go take a look at Tony Northrup's video review of the Sony 600 and the 200-600 lenses. I don't think OVF will have this problem.


Interesting. Hadn't heard of this before.
Cheers,
Doug
 

by Primus on Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:31 am
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DOglesby wrote:
DChan wrote:

If you push the system too hard, the Sony also exhibits time lag, too. So when you are taking a photo with the bird in the middle of the frame, it's actually somewhere away from it. Go take a look at Tony Northrup's video review of the Sony 600 and the 200-600 lenses. I don't think OVF will have this problem.


Interesting. Hadn't heard of this before.


Hmmmm..... During a workshop last yr in Botswana (Chobe river), I used the a9 extensively photographing BIF with the 100-400 lens. Never had any problems, in fact my concern was that at 20fps I was taking way too many images and the card would fill up too quickly. The focus was spot on most of the time. My technique for BIF was to keep the AF setting on 'wide', enabling the entire sensor. Then as soon as the bird came into the EVF, the camera would latch on. I used the 'focus hold' button on the lens as the AF button, which actually works very well because I can also zoom with my left hand at the same time (Sony lenses have a short turning radius). I tried the usual 'center point AF' that I had to do with the Canon rig in the past, but when a Kingfisher or bee-eater is flying erratically around the boat, disappearing and re-appearing from above the canopy, it is very hard to get it in the center focus area. Which is why the 'wide zone' focus capability of the a9 works so very well.

I never noted any lag or blackouts. I am not an accomplished birder by a long shot and I always struggled with my Canon gear (even with the 1DX2 and the excellent 100-400 MkII) to get good BIF shots. The Sony IMHO is miles ahead. It is in fact so good at this that even with a busy background (and not just open sky), it catches the bird as it is flying over the water or in front of foliage or exploding out of the reeds.

I know there are many experts out there, but I usually just check for myself and if it works for me that is all that matters.


Pradeep
 

by E.J. Peiker on Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:28 am
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Primus wrote:
DOglesby wrote:
DChan wrote:

If you push the system too hard, the Sony also exhibits time lag, too. So when you are taking a photo with the bird in the middle of the frame, it's actually somewhere away from it. Go take a look at Tony Northrup's video review of the Sony 600 and the 200-600 lenses. I don't think OVF will have this problem.


Interesting. Hadn't heard of this before.


Hmmmm..... During a workshop last yr in Botswana (Chobe river), I used the a9 extensively photographing BIF with the 100-400 lens. Never had any problems, in fact my concern was that at 20fps I was taking way too many images and the card would fill up too quickly. The focus was spot on most of the time. My technique for BIF was to keep the AF setting on 'wide', enabling the entire sensor. Then as soon as the bird came into the EVF, the camera would latch on. I used the 'focus hold' button on the lens as the AF button, which actually works very well because I can also zoom with my left hand at the same time (Sony lenses have a short turning radius). I tried the usual 'center point AF' that I had to do with the Canon rig in the past, but when a Kingfisher or bee-eater is flying erratically around the boat, disappearing and re-appearing from above the canopy, it is very hard to get it in the center focus area. Which is why the 'wide zone' focus capability of the a9 works so very well.

I never noted any lag or blackouts. I am not an accomplished birder by a long shot and I always struggled with my Canon gear (even with the 1DX2 and the excellent 100-400 MkII) to get good BIF shots. The Sony IMHO is miles ahead. It is in fact so good at this that even with a busy background (and not just open sky), it catches the bird as it is flying over the water or in front of foliage or exploding out of the reeds.

I know there are many experts out there, but I usually just check for myself and if it works for me that is all that matters.


Pradeep

... and that was with the old a9 AF system.  The new one is much better so the experience would only improve.
 

by Scott Fairbairn on Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:04 pm
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DChan wrote:
E.J. Peiker wrote:
DOglesby wrote:
I ask this next question out of ignorance -> what is the deal with blackout? I've used my A7R III in continuous shooting and haven't noticed any EVF issue. Am I not understanding the nature of the issue?


The a9, when shooting in continuous mode does not black out the viewfinder between frames, it provides a continuous movie like live feed to the EVF as it shoots making it much easier to rack the subject which is more difficult with an EVF than an OVF due to the slight time lag with an EVF.  Once you have used it, it's hard to go back to anything else including an OVF which has a large amount of viewfinder blackout due to the mirror flipping up.



If you push the system too hard, the Sony also exhibits time lag, too. So when you are taking a photo with the bird in the middle of the frame, it's actually somewhere away from it. Go take a look at Tony Northrup's video review of the Sony 600 and the 200-600 lenses. I don't think OVF will have this problem.



I’ve not noticed this with the A9. Other Mirrorless cameras for sure, the Z7 especially. The A9 has spoiled me, I expect zero blackout on all cameras, but it doesn’t look like a7r4 has it. I can’t see myself updating to the mark4 version unless the AF is significantly better than the mark 3.  If it’s “small bird capable “ then I might, but I’d rather see a capable crop body. 
 

by Wildflower-nut on Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:09 pm
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just bought a 3. Oh well. By the end of the year we should have EJ's report and maybe what the next canon offering will be. I'm having trouble adjusting to the viewfinder blackout on RP and a7III but the hand righting is on the wall. Hopefully EJ will include his thought of the Fuji vs high mega pixel full frame cameras. Somewhere I think we have to go to a larger format to make the most of the huge mega pixels that are coming.
 

by DChan on Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:06 pm
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Scott Fairbairn wrote:
Quote:
I’ve not noticed this with the A9...



Have you watched Tony's video??

The lagging he came across seems to only happen under certain circumstances. So if either you or Primus are not photographing the way he did some time during the shooting of that video, I'd say neither of you have refuted his findings. I don't have Sony camera and I would like to see, if any of you believe Tony - expert or not :)  - was wrong, explain why so and what if anything he did was wrong.

Even if there is lagging, it doesn't mean the resulting photograph will have the subject out of focus. The AF is still working fine, still tracking the bird perfectly, only that the photograph does not look like what you have in mind, not where you wanted the bird to be because the "image" to see on the EVF is the one that happened a split of a second ago.
 

by Primus on Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:48 pm
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DChan wrote:
Scott Fairbairn wrote:
Quote:
I’ve not noticed this with the A9...



Have you watched Tony's video??

The lagging he came across seems to only happen under certain circumstances. So if either you or Primus are not photographing the way he did some time during the shooting of that video, I'd say neither of you have refuted his findings. I don't have Sony camera and I would like to see, if any of you believe Tony - expert or not :)  - was wrong, explain why so and what if anything he did was wrong.

Even if there is lagging, it doesn't mean the resulting photograph will have the subject out of focus. The AF is still working fine, still tracking the bird perfectly, only that the photograph does not look like what you have in mind, not where you wanted the bird to be because the "image" to see on the EVF is the one that happened a split of a second ago.


DChan,

I have not watched the video and I do not wish to either because it will not change anything for me. I have no intention to challenge or refute anybody's findings or results. I am no expert on anything and I may well be wrong, but it will still not influence my decision to buy any camera or lens. 

I bought my a9 bodies as soon as the camera was available and over the past two-odd years have taken over 150,000 pictures with them under all kinds of conditions with a variety of lenses, all kinds of subjects, all kinds of camera settings. Have not noted any problems or issues that have any bearing on what I want. But as I said I may not be doing things the way Northrup does or maybe I am not looking at my images so critically - perhaps I am very easy to please!

Not saying the 'screen lag' does not exist, the bird may be a fraction of a second 'ahead' of the EVF version in the final image, but for me that is irrelevant. I don't sell my work nor do I participate in any contest/competition. If I like what I get, I am happy. 

I've been shooting with DSLRs since my first one in 2002, the Canon D60 and have bought and used many cameras since then. My experience has been that professionals and experts look at things differently, for a variety of reasons. What matters to them and what annoys/pleases them may not be what is relevant for me. I usually buy a camera or lens based on my own needs/wants rather than reviews or reports. This may not be the best or the most sensible approach, but it works for me. I try out what I buy and if I don't like it, I end up selling it, yes, at a loss, but that is my own decision, so I 'grin and bear it'. I am impulsive and can't wait for the reviews and reports because many of them are so conflicting  :)

All I can say is for me, the best cameras so far, for the kind of photography I like to indulge in, have been the Sony a9 and the a7r3. By all accounts, the a7r4 will also be good for my needs. So I have already placed an order for it and will be selling my a7r3 soon. Yes, nothing is perfect and there may well be some problems with the a7r4 too, but it probably will not be such a huge issue for me. 

Regards,

Pradeep

Just to give you an idea of what I like to do, my humble work is here:  www.pradeepbansal.com (website still being updated)
 

by Scott Fairbairn on Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:16 pm
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DChan wrote:
Scott Fairbairn wrote:
Quote:
I’ve not noticed this with the A9...



Have you watched Tony's video??

The lagging he came across seems to only happen under certain circumstances. So if either you or Primus are not photographing the way he did some time during the shooting of that video, I'd say neither of you have refuted his findings. I don't have Sony camera and I would like to see, if any of you believe Tony - expert or not :)  - was wrong, explain why so and what if anything he did was wrong.

Even if there is lagging, it doesn't mean the resulting photograph will have the subject out of focus. The AF is still working fine, still tracking the bird perfectly, only that the photograph does not look like what you have in mind, not where you wanted the bird to be because the "image" to see on the EVF is the one that happened a split of a second ago.



Who is refuting their findings? I didn't say that, I only said that I haven't noticed it. It could be happening and I didn't notice, or I'm not using it in such a way as to cause it. Either way, I've not been bothered by it with the A9, but I have noticed it with other cameras.
 

by DChan on Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:27 pm
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Primus wrote:
I have not watched the video and I do not wish to either because it will not change anything for me. ..


Then I wonder why you responded to the issue, i.e., lag could happen, I brought up (after DOglesby had). Just to tell the world that your camera works well for you?? OK.
 

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