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Ming Thein dislikes the A7rII: “something designed for anoraks by anoraks, not a camera.”


Bildschirmfoto 2015-08-26 um 09.32.08

As we all know reviewers are all different and it’s quite normal to see how everyone sees a camera differently. For some the A7rII focus is excellent (read Dpreview) and for some it is not. For some the image quality is astonishing (and do not care about 12 or 14 bit RAW) and for some not because they know that in 0,1% of the pictures the lossless RAW compression shows posterization artifacts :)
We read a lot of good things about the A7rII but it’s now time to share a review from Ming Thein who dislikes many things on the camera…but at the end bought it anyway :) Here are just some of the negative A7rII points he mentioned in his review:

1) I have used all of the A7 series cameras except the A7S, and previously reviewed the A7R and A7II in detail. Each of these cameras suffered from significant shortcomings, and the A7RII is no different – though perhaps it has the fewest so far.

2) The menu system is typical Sony. It is passable to those familiar, and completely unintuitive to those who aren’t.

3) Operationally, this does not feel like a fast camera. Every action seems slightly delayed, as though damped in oil. Power on is slow. Reviewing images and zooming in is laggy

4) AF with normal E-mount lenses is not exactly speedy – just the right side of acceptable most of the time, but in even slightly backlit situations, be prepared to wait – and get a lot of false positives.

5) No matter how many times I profile the camera or what I do with the primary curves or HSL defaults in ACR, there’s some muddiness and color indistinction going on in the shadows if you want to extract the most dynamic range from it; on the other hand, if you want clean shadows, you’re going to be faced with fairly early clipping.

6) IBIS unfortunately also complicates the matter of sensor cleaning greatly – though there’s a function which basically shakes the thing using brute force, I’ve already got stubborn dust spots on mine that cannot be dislodged with blower or shaker.


Sadly, the A7RII is not a camera that gives me any pleasure to shoot at the moment, and it bothers me that I cannot put my finger on exactly why. Logically, it ticks all the boxes. Yet it does not inspire goad you on, like the Leica Q, nor does it feel solidly dependable and razor sharp like the D810. It may well be unfamiliarity or a bad choice of custom key configuration on my part, but I suspect that isn’t entirely it. It just feels like a consumer electronic device in operation, something designed for anoraks by anoraks, not a camera.

As usual please don’t be a Sony fanboy. If you feel Ming Thein is NOT right on some points simply argument with reasonable logic. To be 100% fair Ming also listed some positives about the camera on his full review and at the end bought the camera for his personal use.

Personal view:  I do understand some of Ming Thein complains. And I am happy when reviewers highlight the limits of the camera and do hope Sony will take note of it. That said I always see the cameras as a whole package and for me the positives by far outweight the negatives. I have the camera since one week and in my real life use I found it excellent! If you want to see an A7rII review that really reflects my view of the A7rII watch the video review from Luminous Landscape.

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