Best all-round camera currently available
August 28, 2015
Bart B. Van Bockstaele
Since there are *no* other cameras currently on the market with the light sensitivity and image quality combination of this camera, it wasn't much of a choice, much more like an ultimatum: I had to select the A7s camera or forget about this level of low light photography altogether until some unknown future date.
I use this camera with a Tamron 18-200 (B011) lens, so I am not using it as a full-frame camera. The combination is great. Including the strap, it weighs 1,050 grammes, just an ant's nut above the weight limit of 1 kg I had set. Weight is an issue when cycling with a camera around one’s neck.
The viewfinder is fantastic. It is large and comfortable, and its (adjustable) brightness is so good, it makes it possible to focus manually in extremely dark circumstances where autofocus doesn’t stand a chance.
I mostly take pictures of non-moving objects in the very early morning (usually around 05:00 - 08:00). I am also an opportunistic shooter, taking pictures of (mainly) animals at those times when they happen to come into my field of view.
Low light sensitivity is wonderful and it often manages to reveal details I cannot make out with the naked eye. My activities lead me to frequently take pictures at its detection limit at 409,600 ISO.
Just yesterday, I took pictures of some indistinct birds that were hanging out together. The camera revealed them as Canada geese, something I could have guessed, but didn't have to, thanks to the camera.
Of course, the camera doesn’t create light, it merely registers it. If there is no light to register, it won’t. A cloudy sky at 05:00 a.m. will make it all but impossible for a human to see the difference between the road and the grass, and the camera will not be of much help in those circumstances. However, thanks to its extreme light sensitivity, even a modest lamp will provide adequate lighting to take good pictures.
This camera makes it essentially possible to eliminate a flash, except for circumstances most people are unlikely to ever encounter. The combination with the Tamron zoom lens makes this into the best all-round system I know of. The easy access to its functions and the fantastic viewfinder make it into one of the most pleasant cameras to use. In short: a must-have.
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