Sony A7 vs A7R

December 5, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | Compact System Camera | Comment | |

Build Quality

Despite being fractionally lighter, the A7R actually has more magnesium alloy in its build, making it feel slightly better built than the cheaper A7.

Auto-Focusing

On paper at least, the A7 clearly has the technological edge here, as it has a hybrid AF system with 117 phase-detection points and 25 contrast-detection points. In contrast (pardon the pun), the A7R only has contrast-detection AF with 25 points.

In the real world, though, while it's clear using the cameras side-by-side that the A7 is definitely faster to auto-focus than the A7R, the difference isn't as big as you would expect. The A7 still takes a little longer than we'd like to lock onto the subject compared to a comparable DSLR or a class-leading compact system camera like the Olympus OM-D E-M1. The A7 and A7R are close enough together in this regard that we wouldn't recommend choosing one over the other based purely on focusing speed.

Shutter Release Noise

The A7 has a loud shutter action, but it's still quieter than the even louder A7R, which doesn't have an electronic front curtain shutter like the A7. Neither camera is particularly well-suited to more candid moments though.

Continuous Shooting

Thanks to the smaller number of megapixels, the A7 offers slightly faster burst shooting speeds - 2.5 FPS in the normal mode or 5 FPS in Speed Priority Mode (which locks the focus point at the first frame), against the A7R's 1.5 FPS in the normal mode and 4 FPS in Speed Priority Mode.

Flash Sync Speed

Thanks to its electronic front curtain shutter, the A7 has a faster sync speed of 1/250th sec, compared to the A7R's 1/160th sec, making it better suited to flash-based portrait photography.

Image Quality - Noise

With 50% more megapixels, you'd expect the A7R to struggle against the A7 in terms of noise, but there's actually almost nothing to choose between them when shooting either JPGs or RAW files. As with focusing speed, we wouldn't recommend choosing one camera over the other based purely on noise performance, as they're virtually identical despite the 12 megapixel difference.

JPEG

A7

A7R

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

iso50.jpg iso50.jpg
   

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400.jpg
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800.jpg
   

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso25600.jpg iso25600.jpg

 

RAW

A7 A7R

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

iso50raw.jpg iso50raw.jpg
   

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100raw.jpg iso100raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200raw.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400raw.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800raw.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600raw.jpg iso1600raw.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200raw.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400raw.jpg iso6400raw.jpg
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800raw.jpg iso12800raw.jpg
   

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso25600raw.jpg iso25600raw.jpg

Image Quality - Detail

The A7 has an optical anti-aliasing filter, while the A7R doesn't, which should result in greater detail in the A7R's images, albeit at the risk of moire effects (we didn't encounter any during our testing though). While the results from the A7 are in themselves extremely impressive, viewing them at 100% magnification alongside the A7R clearly reveals just how much more detail the extra megapixels and the lack of an AA filter provides.

Sony A7

Sony A7 (100% Crop)

detail1.jpg detail1a.jpg

Sony A7 (100% Crop)

Sony A7 (100% Crop)

detail1b.jpg detail1c.jpg
   

Sony A7R

Sony A7R (100% Crop)

detail1.jpg detail1a.jpg

Sony A7R (100% Crop)

Sony A7R (100% Crop)

detail1b.jpg detail1c.jpg
   

Sony A7

Sony A7 (100% Crop)

detail2.jpg detail2a.jpg

Sony A7 (100% Crop)

Sony A7 (100% Crop)

detail2b.jpg detail2c.jpg
   

Sony A7R

Sony A7R (100% Crop)

detail2.jpg detail2a.jpg

Sony A7R (100% Crop)

Sony A7R (100% Crop)

detail2b.jpg detail2c.jpg

Cost

There's quite a big price difference between the A7 and A7R.

The Sony A7 is priced at around £1299 / $1699 body only or £1549 / $1999 with the Sony FE 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 OSS kit lens.

The Sony A7R is available now priced at around £1699 / $2299 body only. Note that the A7R doesn't ship with a kit lens.



Your Comments