With today’s announcements of Sony’s A7 and A7r cameras, folks might surely be confused about a lot of things. For example, one has a lot of megapixels but not as advanced autofocusing as the other. One camera also costs much less than the other and is currently the most affordable full frame camera on the market. The A7 will go for $1698 while the A7r will sell for $2298.
So which one is right for you?
At the very core of the matter, one of the biggest differences between the cameras are the megapixels. The A7r boasts a 36.3MP full frame sensor at its heart while the A7 houses a 24.3MP full frame sensor. In our meeting with Sony, the company stated that one sensor is clearly aimed at the crowd that wants lots of resolution while the other wants more of an emphasis on speed and capturing the moment.
So what does this mean? Well, the A7 has a hybrid autofocusing system much like the Sony A99. That means that there is both phase detection and contrast detection due to the sensor technology present.
When you combine this with the company’s new BIONZ X processor, it’s bound to also process details and noise levels quite well. For what it’s worth though, you’ll surely get more detail from the A7r not only due to its higher megapixel count but also because the sensor doesn’t have a low pass filter. However, that doesn’t mean that the A7 won’t give you loads of resolution. We believe that it houses the same sensor as the A99, and in our review of that camera we had more than enough megapixels to work with.
Both cameras enjoy loads of similarities otherwise.
So what’s contrast detection vs contrast and phase detection like? If you’re shooting video it can mean quite a lot. Though many professionals don’t use autofocus when it comes to video, hobbyists sure might. That will translate into faster focusing when you’ve got phase detection.
To be more specific, the A7 has 25 contrast focusing points and 117 phase detection points in the center. For what it’s worth, it can be much easier to work with the A7 for professional work unless you have no issue dealing with the A7r’s focusing system.
Ergonomics and Build Quality
Ergonomically speaking, these cameras are the exact same. Both have almost the same EVF as the A99, both have magnesium alloy bodies, and both have weather resistance.
You won’t be picking one over the other when it comes to ergonomics.
For what it’s worth, it seems like the image quality department here is the same question as asking: D800E vs A99?
When it comes to higher ISO levels, the A99 is pretty much untouched. But if you need the details, then you’ll be springing for the D800E. But in this case, it translates to the Sony A7 or A7r.
You’ll need to ask yourself a serious question: do I need better high ISO performance or do I want more details in my subjects? Plus do I need better autofocusing or can I live with an older system?
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