Why I’m Going to Buy a Sony A7R4

Sony Alpha A7RIV Mirrorless Camera

I had and sold the A7R and A7R2, so why the A7R4?

About a minute after the announcement, I decided to buy the Sony A7R4. I sold my Sony A7R2 earlier this year and it didn’t take long for me to miss it. Why did I sell it? Because I didn’t think I needed it. I have a pretty decent pile of cameras and in the brand stack, Sony was my least invested system.

However…

As I said, it didn’t take long for me to miss it. I often carried my A7R2 with the superb Sony Zeiss 35mm F2.8 lens attached. The compact form factor of this body and lens combination made it easy to throw in a bag and take just about anywhere. And that’s what I did. I just threw it in a backpack or whatever bag I carried and went. Or, I slung it over a shoulder with a Peak Design strap. Since the A7R2 didn’t have the new, longer-life batteries, I often carried a spare battery or two as well.

I photographed my family, motorcycle racing, dogs, travel, my brother’s wedding, and just about anything that happened in front of that compact little kit. So, again, why sell it? Because I have two Nikon D850s and a full stable of Nikon lenses, 14-500mm, and I felt an urge to pare down my gear. Plus, I have a nice Leica setup that I really enjoy. So, a third system felt like overkill.

Sadly, none of those other cameras quite measure up to the overall portability and capability of the Sony A7R2 and Sony Zeiss 35mm combination. The gripped D850s and lenses are colossal by comparison. They’re magnificent and I love working with them, but not for roaming around and carrying “just in case” cameras. The Leica M10-P, 35mm film MP, and my Summilux and Summicron lenses are also stellar kit when I want to slow down a bit. However, the simplicity and versatility of the A7R2/35mm combo was just too great to have. I overcame my temptation to buy an A7R3 because I had a hunch that Sony, embroiled in the recent mirrorless arms race since Canon and Nikon released direct competitors to the A7 line, would release something new.

The A7R4 Was A Surprise

I did not expect the A7R4 so soon. The 61MP A7R4 surprised me, pleasantly. The improvements, from what I’ve read and seen in early reviewers are great. I’m pretty stoked about the locking exposure compensation dial. It was one of my quibbles with the previous bodies. I often bumped that dial and occasionally missed some shots–or at least had to rescue some in post processing. It’s a testament to the quality of the raw files that I was able to same some that had been underexposed three stops.

Sony Face and Eye Detection Auto Focus & Real Time Tracking Are Enough to Buy a Sony A7R4

Sony’s eye detection is a killer feature. Both Canon and Nikon introduced similar technology, but Sony is still the leader on this front. Shooting candids is a completely new experience when you have an extremely reliable eye focus capability that is fast and accurate. Photographing kids, friends, street photography, etc., all get much easier. The feature removes another delay in getting that shot. I’ve gotten some great family photos that were hail-mary-point-and-shoot-just-to-see-what-you-get efforts and they worked because of eye detection autofocus.

I’m curious to try out animal eye detection. Depending on its reliability, it should be great for photographing pets. Accurate eye detection combined with a very fast autofocus system is enough for me to buy an A7R4.

The enhanced grip, button feel, and other ergonomic features are also a great selling point.

I’ll post real world review of the system in use later in the year.

My Preferred Sony A7R4 Kit

When I buy the Sony A7R4, here’s what my Preferred Sony A7R4 kit will look like:

The lens that would be on the body 90% of the time would be the superb Sony Zeiss Sonnar 35mm F2.8.

Leica Announces M Monochrom “Your Mark” Limited Edition

Leica Monochrom M "Your Mark" set

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Leica Product Photo of Leica Monochrom M Typ 246 “Your Mark” Limited Edition Set

Leica announced the M Monochrom Typ 246 “Your Mark” Limited Edition set. Leica produced eighty of the sets exclusively for US distribution. If you want a “Your Mark” Monochrom M, you’ll need to buy it at a Leica store. The set includes a leather strap and a Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens.

Both the body and lens are finished in black paint. Additionally, the retro lens design lens features red and white script and round removable lens hood. The camera is covered in Horween leather, sourced through Horween Leather Company in Chicago.

Leica’s Monochrom M features a 24MP sensor that only captures luminance values and creates black and white images only.

Leica claims the black paint on the body and lens as well as the Horween leather body covering will “age beautifully over time.”

Leica Announces M Monochrom Kyoto Limited Edition

Leica M Monochrom Kyoto Edition

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Leica Product Photo of M Monochrom Kyoto Limited Edition
Leica Product Photo of M Monochrom Kyoto Limited Edition
Leica Product Photo of M Monochrom Kyoto Limited Edition
Leica Product Photo of M Monochrom Kyoto Limited Edition

Leica announced the Kyoto Edition of the Leica M Monochrom camera. Leica made ten of the camera sets to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Kyoto Leica store. The set includes a Leica APO Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens and a leather strap in matching green to the camera body’s grip.

The Leica M Monochrom features a 24MP black and white image sensor. The Summicron-M The 50mm f/2 Asph is Leica’s best (and most expensive) version of the Summicron 50mm lens.

Leica Announces the Q2

Leica Q2

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Leica announced the Q2 camera and it’s available from authorized retailers today. The camera is a significant leap forward from the Leica Q and features a 47.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor. The lens is a fixed 28mm F1.7 ASPH Summilux lens, but the camera features crop modes that correspond to 35mm, 50mm, and 75mm focal lengths. Notably, the body is weather sealed.

Additionally, the camera feature built-in Bluetooth LE and Wi-FI, 10fps, and a 3″ touchscreen. Watch Leica’s product video below or read Leica’s press release here.

CP+ Scoop

CP+ Logo

AS CP+ is underway in Japan, scoops, rumors, and product teases are everywhere. Here’s a brief summary of what’s getting attention:

Source: DC Watch. Canon Kids Camera at CP+

Canon Rumors reports on Canon’s concept cameras on display at the show. Everything from action cameras to brightly colored kids cameras is on display (sourced from Japanese site DCWatch).

Nikon Rumors reports on a new Nikon Z camera coming for the consumer market. Additionally, Nikon demonstrated improved eye autofocus coming in a future firmware upgrade for Nikon Z cameras. Check the video below.

Nikon eye autofocus demo

Also on display: New Nikon lenses and Techart showed off the new TZE Nikon Z-mount to Sony E-mount adapter.

Meanwhile, News Shooter published more info on the Nikon Z 58mm F/0.95 S Noct lens. See the video below for more info.

Finally, in the L-mount arena, check out this video about the Leica, Sigma, Panasonic partnership:

Leica Announces APO-Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH for L-Mount

leica-apo-summicron-sl-35mm-f2

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Leica announced the a new wide angle lens for the L-mount, a shared mount between Leica, Sigma, and Panasonic. The lens has 13 elements in 11 groups with multi-coating. Additionally, the lens’s Dual Syncro Drive autofocus motor can traverse its entire focal range in 240 milliseconds. It joins the 75mm APO-Summicron-SL and the 90mm APO-Summicron-SL in Leica’s lineup. Read Leica’s press release here.

Sigma Announces Eleven L-Mount Lenses and Mount Converter MC-21

Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art

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Sigma Product Photo of MC-21 L-Mount Converter

Sigma announced the launch of the Art series lenses in full-frame L-mount. The announcement specifies eleven prime lenses from 14mm to 135mm in focal length. All of the lenses are currently available for other systems. In addition to the lenses, Sigma announced the MC-21 mount converter. The converter allows Sigma SA mount and Sigma’s Canon EF mount compatible lenses to fit L-mount cameras and is similar in design to Sigma’s MC-11. The L-mount is a mount produced in partnership between Sigma, Panasonic, and Leica.

Sigma Offers a Lens Mount Conversion Service

Sigma’s announcement also includes discussion of Sigma’s Mount Conversion Service. The service modifies Sigma mount lenses to other camera mounts.

The lenses in the announcement are (links to currently available versions):

Read the press release for the lenses here and for the press release for the MC-21 here.

Photography and Chill: What to Read, Watch, and Listen to This Weekend

What to Read

World Press Photo Nominations – The World Press Photo of the Year awards are in their 62nd year. The 2019 awards include a new category: World Press Story of the Year. Photographers from around the world submitted entries and 43 of them, from 25 countries, received nominations. Check out World Press Photo’s site for more and Read BJPs article here.

Temps Zero Logo

Also on BJP’s site, check out this article on Temp Zero– a photography and music collaboration held in Europe. The event started in 2012 and will be part of Foto Wien 2019. Read about it on BJP and also check out Temps Zero’s website.

How to Survive Rejection. Photo District News published a quick piece by Maggie Steber on “How to Survive Rejection.” It’s a quick read and worthwhile.

Also on PDN: National Geographic reverses course on a photo contest that came under fire as a “massive rights grab.” National Geographic changed the licensing structure after complaints. Read about it here.

“When we speak of “shooting” with a camera, we are acknowledging the kinship of photography and violence.”

Teju Cole.

When the Camera Was a Weapon of Imperialism. (And When It Still Is.) –New York Times. This is a far reaching article by Teju Cole with an interesting slant. Teju cole is, according to his NYT bio, “the photography critic of The New York Times Magazine…[and the author of] “Blind Spot,” a book devoted to his photography.”

What to Watch

The Leica Camera blog published a fascinating piece about Daniel Zvereff and his work on Okay Kaya‘s music video for the song Emulate. Zvereff shot the video with a Leica M-P. Read the article on Leica’s blog and watch the video below.

Emulate by Okay Kaya. Animated by Daniel Zvereff.


Rumor Roundup February 20, 2019

Canon

According to Canon Rumors, a G5 X Mk 3 is in the works. The site reports that the new camera is “finally on the way” but does not provide specific information or an estimated release date. The current G5 X came out in 2015 . It features a 20.2 MP 1″ sensor.

In pro-camera-body news, Canon Rumors also reports that field testing of the 1Dx Mk III is underway.

Leica

Rumors about the Leica Q2 are heating up, with some predictions that it will be announced in March. According to Leica Rumors the Ginza store confirmed the camera.The current Leica Q and Leica Q-P feature a 24.2 MP sensor. Some rumors suggest the Q2 could have a 47MP sensor as well as improved weather sealing.

Olympus

Olympus is likely to announce the follow-up camera to the Olympus PEN-F. The PEN-F is already listed as discontinued on Olympus Japan’s web site.

Ricoh

The Ricoh GR III should be announced this week according to Photorumors.com. It replaces the Ricoh GRII.

Tokina

Tokina will announce new a new Opera 16-28mm f/2.8 FF DSLR lens for Nikon F and Canon EF mounts in March. The lens follows the 50mm f1/1.4 FF Opera lens and debuted at Photokina 2018.