Small cameras, big pictures The Sony A7 and A7R combine the amazing image quality of 35mm format sensors with a compact, lightweight and tough body. Professional landscape photographer Joe Cornish was quick to take advantage for his latest assignment
The outdoors can be a challenging place for landscape photographers, and camera kit that weighs a lot can be an extra burden. Professional Joe Cornish works with a variety of camera systems, including medium-format, but for his latest project he’s chosen the Sony A7R, an altogether more portable option that still delivers image quality to match the best. He tells us how it’s helped him capture his amazing shots. I’m a multi-format photographer, using the gear that suits the assignment of the moment. Currently, I’m using the Sony A7R with Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA and Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA prime lenses, as well as a number of Nikon lenses via a Metabones adaptor, to shoot a series of landscapes in Yorkshire, the Cairngorms and Iceland. I imagine every walking, climbing or mountaineering photographer dreams of a super high-quality camera that is also really small and light. The Sony A7R may well be the first camera that truly fits that description. How have you found the A7R so far? First of all it’s truly diminutive. In size, it compares to a compact SLR of the film era, but is lighter and feels good in the hand. I’ve hand-held a number of shots, but am mainly using it on a tripod where I’ve been able to assess the lens and general image quality more analytically, using it like a micro-view camera. Colour straight out of the box looks very good, but the most impressive characteristic of the sensor is the dynamic range. This approaches medium-format in its breadth, and gives abundant shadow and highlight recovery, and therefore Joe, what kit are you shooting with at the moment and why?
enormous scope for interpretation of the files. To have this level of image quality in such a small and light camera is unprecedented. I already know from scrutinising the files close up that the print quality will be breathtaking. The two new Sony Carl Zeiss prime lenses are amazing. They’re bitingly sharp at virtually every aperture. In fact, I can see myself taking off the post-production capture and output sharpening for print in some cases, because there’s such an abundance of fine detail in the focused zones. The 55mm also offers convincing ‘drop focus’ effects; it’s fully useable wide open. It’s also easy to use lenses from my Nikon and other third-party systems via an adaptor when tripod-mounted. Where are your favourite landscapes? I love mountains the world over and I’m equally attracted to the coast. The moors, hills, dales and heathland of our home country are pretty hard to beat too. But if you were to pin me down: Scotland. It has wonderful coast and mountains, and a certain mournful, mysterious quality. I love Scotland’s Highlands and its many islands, and feel there will always be unfinished business for me there photographically-speaking, if only because the weather makes it so difficult. I’m heading to the Cairngorms later this month for the next stage of my work with the Sony A7R.
LEFT AND BOTTOM Pro landscaper Joe Cornish has been shooting with the diminutive A7R and 35mm lens and
he describes the image quality as “unprecedented”.
BELOWAND RIGHT Truly portable, small and light, the award- winning A7 and A7R produce top notch results.
π To find out more, go to www.sony.co.uk.
Most impressive is the dynamic range. This approaches medium-format in its breadth
THE SONYA7 &A7R
Featuring a 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor in a small and lightweight body, both the 24.3 megapixel Sony Alpha 7 and 36.4 megapixel Alpha 7R are truly portable cameras, allowing photographers to get the best image quality possible in a palm-sized camera body – far smaller and lighter than a bulky DSLR. Together with the powerful new BIONZ X processor and an improved XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ with wide field of view, these interchangeable lens cameras from Sony are packed with practical features, from the dust/moisture- resistant magnesium alloy bodies to extensive custom controls to NFC and Wi-Fi – it is not difficult to see why these cameras are already multiple award winners.
Photography News | Issue 5
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