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Sony vs Leica

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I notice that the Sony A7s is on the recommended camera list – but not the A7r or A7 (but I guess that they do qualify). 

 

If funds allowed, would you buy a Leica M (type 240), a Leica M-P (type 240) with the extra buffer, or one of the afore mentioned Sony’s?

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If you want to support the German economy - Leica, of course!  :rolleyes:

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I notice that the Sony A7s is on the recommended camera list – but not the A7r or A7

 

I don't think that you need to pay too much attention to the recommended camera list. Camera models come and go so fast that I'm guessing it's impossible for Alamy to keep up with all the developments.

 

I think that, so long as you have a camera that meets the technical specifications you'll be okay.

 

I carry a Canon Powershot G1x for 'on the hoof' shooting and news. It's not on the list but my photos taken with it are accepted.

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There is something to be said for just buying a camera and let the camera decide which things to photograph and how.

Usually however the things you (want to/have to) photograph dictate the choice.

 

Ultimately you need to be able to use your camera like a pencil. Using a pencil you never think about how to handle it. There's almost nothing between your thoughts and the product: writing or drawing. Your thoughts will very very seldom consider the tool.

No use showing of your tool either, nor concealing it because it attracts unwanted attention.

 

wim

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I agree with wim. 

 

To enlarge on wim's thought, it helps the budget to have a camera that is configurable to the task at hand.

 

Walking around one day, studio the next.

 

I will be trading in my sony X100 for a Canon 24-105 F4 lens so I can reconfigure my existing Canon 5D11 outfit for walking around. I am not happy with IQ of the Sony that I have been using for walking around. The extra weight of a 5D11 and 24-105 only, will not be enough to make me keep using the much lighter Sony.

 

I will keep my relatively cheap underwater Nikon for rainy days and surf photography. There is no way that I am going to the expense and risk of putting the expensive 5D11 and a Zeiss 18mm in an underwater case.

 

As to my tool, I doubt it would attract much attention.

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I'm probably not the best person to give impartial advice here as I have been using Leicas for my 35mm type work for over fifty years. Therefore it wasn't such an expensive move for me to acquire digi 'M' types as I already had several of the best lenses. Advantage for me is that I kept using a camera type that was perfect for carrying around (quiet and unobtrusive) and one that I was already very familiar and comfortable with.  It also suited the type of work I was doing and that must always be an important consideration of course.

 

Even my oldest Leica lenses (some nearly 60 years old now and the screw type) also still work perfectly. It was a very expensive outlay for me to acquire Leica kit fifty years ago but has worked out, in the long term, economically worthwhile due to the ongoing compatibility and quality of everything. Can't predict the next fifty years for anyone but in the long term, after the initial very high outlay I have probably spent less over the years on this type of kit than most and made the most from it. It just seems to keep on going for ever. 

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I agree with wim. 
 
To enlarge on wim's thought, it helps the budget to have a camera that is configurable to the task at hand.
 
Walking around one day, studio the next.
 
I will be trading in my sony X100 for a Canon 24-105 F4 lens so I can reconfigure my existing Canon 5D11 outfit for walking around. I am not happy with IQ of the Sony that I have been using for walking around. The extra weight of a 5D11 and 24-105 only, will not be enough to make me keep using the much lighter Sony.
 
I will keep my relatively cheap underwater Nikon for rainy days and surf photography. There is no way that I am going to the expense and risk of putting the expensive 5D11 and a Zeiss 18mm in an underwater case.
 
As to my tool, I doubt it would attract much attention.

 

 

The Sony X100 or the Canon 5D II? Gee, Bill . . . talk about apples and oranges! These systems don't seem to have a lot to do with one another.  Well, they both take pictures.  On the other hand, I've noticed that many Alamy shooters are now working with three or four different systems these days: DSLRs, smeller mirrorless cameras, pocket cameras and iPhones. Help!

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I notice that the Sony A7s is on the recommended camera list – but not the A7r or A7 (but I guess that they do qualify). 

 

If funds allowed, would you buy a Leica M (type 240), a Leica M-P (type 240) with the extra buffer, or one of the afore mentioned Sony’s?

 

I recently sold my Leica MP film camera and two Summicron lenses (a 35 and a 50).

 

Given the choice above, if funds allowed, I would pick up a Leica M-P and two lenses (a 35 and a 50 both 6-Bit coded).  I would also consider the M9P or the M-E for bodies.

 

My choice would not be driven by the price or the fact that it is a Leica.....my choice would be based on low light performance and portability.  My budget would probably allow for two Summicrons again but I would not have a problem owning something faster that I could stop down in low light.

 

The advantage of the Sony is lens selection and auto focus....but my personal crux revolves around low available light.

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I've never owned a Leica or a Leica lens, but am encouraged to think that Leica glassware will reliably provide wall to wall sharpness, something I've not seen with any zoom lens. Does it matter that the remote edges and corners are not sharp? Possibly not, but it would be great to remove that uncertainty. I currently use old FF lenses on a crop frame Sony, and they do provide sharp images, but of course I have to focus manually, which I guess you would also have to do with a Leica. This is no hardship for most of my stock work, but, if I needed to take close ups of people where time was very limited, I would be opting for autofocus. Today I encountered a sculptor hacking away at a piece of wood. He was happy to be photographed, and I had time to get some sharp shots, but I missed the autofocus of my Canon 5DII and 24-105 lens. 

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The problem with using manual focus lenses on digital cameras is that they are not designed for it. The screens on dslrs are different and electronic aids come a poor second to proper MF systems. I recently played with my old Canon T90 and realised how much easier mf used to be but then I was using decently fast lenses and had a bright screen. Diigital and evf can help with slow lenses on poor light.

 

I did use a mf 300mm f2.8 lens (and with teleconverters) on my X-T1 and was amused to be able to see the narrow depth of field move across the image as I focussed using red focus peaking. Still missed a lot shots though (powerboats) and had a LOT of purple fringing about around highlights; with all the spray in bright sun there were a LOT!

 

I have used rangefinders but never a Leica, always wanted one but it seemed too expensive, and unsuitable for much of the sport that I shot.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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ED

 

My original intention was to use the Sony X100 for walking around the city. The 5D11, complete with a bag full of lenses, to be used for both landscapes, and near the car type of shooting.

 

After 6 months, once I got over the euphoria of light weight and 24/7 on my belt, I realized the following.

 

The Sony IQ was good for such a small camera, but not sharp enough for me, so I started reducing Sony images to Alamy 24 meg minimum size.

 

The focusing was not precise enough, and I had to rely completely on the autofocus. The lens was only reasonable sharp at optimum aperture, and at optimum aperture often gave too much depth of field, resulting in confusing backgrounds. My close up vision is not the greatest, so the viewscreen was hard to see.

 

A moment of clarity came to me sitting in the cafeteria, with my Sony, at the Art Gallery of Ontario. At the next table was a guy with a full frame Canon and a 24-105 lens. He had been taking images all over the Gallery. Why did he still look like an amateur to the guards? Because he did not have a camera bag.

 

I could have used the 5D11 to shoot everything I was shooting on the Sony. With me a shooting expedition is a shooting expedition. I had already stopped carrying the Sony on my belt 24/7, only taking it with me when on expedition.

 

Therefore a compromise between control, IQ, light weight, and fly-on-the-wall, resulting in a 5D11 with a 24-105 lens only, and no camera bag for walking around shooting. Wear the camera around the neck bandolier style tucked under my arm, should be invisible enough.

 

I am not enthusiastic about quality of the 24-105 lens so that is the biggest compromise. The better quality 24-70 lenses do not have enough reach for walking around.

 

Not for everyone, but I think it will work better for me. It will certainly make the camera store happy.

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I notice that the Sony A7s is on the recommended camera list – but not the A7r or A7 (but I guess that they do qualify). 

 

 

The A7 and A7R appear on the recommended list as ILCE-7 and ILCE-7R

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ED
 
My original intention was to use the Sony X100 for walking around the city. The 5D11, complete with a bag full of lenses, to be used for both landscapes, and near the car type of shooting.
 
After 6 months, once I got over the euphoria of light weight and 24/7 on my belt, I realized the following.
 
The Sony IQ was good for such a small camera, but not sharp enough for me, so I started reducing Sony images to Alamy 24 meg minimum size.
 
The focusing was not precise enough, and I had to rely completely on the autofocus. The lens was only reasonable sharp at optimum aperture, and at optimum aperture often gave too much depth of field, resulting in confusing backgrounds. My close up vision is not the greatest, so the viewscreen was hard to see.
 
A moment of clarity came to me sitting in the cafeteria, with my Sony, at the Art Gallery of Ontario. At the next table was a guy with a full frame Canon and a 24-105 lens. He had been taking images all over the Gallery. Why did he still look like an amateur to the guards? Because he did not have a camera bag.
 
I could have used the 5D11 to shoot everything I was shooting on the Sony. With me a shooting expedition is a shooting expedition. I had already stopped carrying the Sony on my belt 24/7, only taking it with me when on expedition.
 
Therefore a compromise between control, IQ, light weight, and fly-on-the-wall, resulting in a 5D11 with a 24-105 lens only, and no camera bag for walking around shooting. Wear the camera around the neck bandolier style tucked under my arm, should be invisible enough.
 
I am not enthusiastic about quality of the 24-105 lens so that is the biggest compromise. The better quality 24-70 lenses do not have enough reach for walking around.
 
Not for everyone, but I think it will work better for me. It will certainly make the camera store happy.

 

 

I'm in tune with everything your saying, Bill, and it adds up to 'the pocket camera does not answer many of your needs.'  I have most of the same specific problems you mentioned while using my two Sony systems, the RX10 and the NEX-6 (also NEX-7 and 3). Auto focus has to be watched on all these Sonys -- sometimes they do what I want and sometimes they do as they please. I'm much more under control with my Nikon DSLRs. But I'm older and walking with more weight is surely a bigger factor than it is with you. They keep coming out with new systems and we have to decide which way to jump.  For stock, I see myself eyeing the exit lately.

 

I'm going to encourage people here to think of me as Edo, what most friends call me in the real world.  I'll let our ED in Denver use that name. 

 

Ciao, Edo  :)  

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ED
 
My original intention was to use the Sony X100 for walking around the city. The 5D11, complete with a bag full of lenses, to be used for both landscapes, and near the car type of shooting.
 
After 6 months, once I got over the euphoria of light weight and 24/7 on my belt, I realized the following.
 
The Sony IQ was good for such a small camera, but not sharp enough for me, so I started reducing Sony images to Alamy 24 meg minimum size.
 
The focusing was not precise enough, and I had to rely completely on the autofocus. The lens was only reasonable sharp at optimum aperture, and at optimum aperture often gave too much depth of field, resulting in confusing backgrounds. My close up vision is not the greatest, so the viewscreen was hard to see.
 
A moment of clarity came to me sitting in the cafeteria, with my Sony, at the Art Gallery of Ontario. At the next table was a guy with a full frame Canon and a 24-105 lens. He had been taking images all over the Gallery. Why did he still look like an amateur to the guards? Because he did not have a camera bag.
 
I could have used the 5D11 to shoot everything I was shooting on the Sony. With me a shooting expedition is a shooting expedition. I had already stopped carrying the Sony on my belt 24/7, only taking it with me when on expedition.
 
Therefore a compromise between control, IQ, light weight, and fly-on-the-wall, resulting in a 5D11 with a 24-105 lens only, and no camera bag for walking around shooting. Wear the camera around the neck bandolier style tucked under my arm, should be invisible enough.
 
I am not enthusiastic about quality of the 24-105 lens so that is the biggest compromise. The better quality 24-70 lenses do not have enough reach for walking around.
 
Not for everyone, but I think it will work better for me. It will certainly make the camera store happy.

 

 

Hmmm... Could be that the guy photographing in the art gallery with his big Canon had gotten permission to do so. You're right about camera bags, though. They are a usually a tip-off that you mean business. Most museums and galleries that I've photographed in require that you leave camera bags at the coat-check counter. When travelling, I sometimes put my extra lenses, etc. in a small backpack, or I swing my compact camera behind my back where it is less visible. Then there's always the "murse" option mentioned in another thread. Haven't gone down that road yet.

 

Regarding downsizing with the RX100, it seems a small price to pay for the convenience of using such a small camera. The 20 MP sensor must also give lots of leeway for resizing and cropping. I'm still selling plenty of images taken with a 10 MP camera and kit lens (definitely not a Leica).

 

Sorry to digress. Can't answer the OP's question since I've never owned an A7 or a Leica. They appear to be from different planets, though.

Edited by John Mitchell

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ED
 
My original intention was to use the Sony X100 for walking around the city. The 5D11, complete with a bag full of lenses, to be used for both landscapes, and near the car type of shooting.
 
After 6 months, once I got over the euphoria of light weight and 24/7 on my belt, I realized the following.
 
The Sony IQ was good for such a small camera, but not sharp enough for me, so I started reducing Sony images to Alamy 24 meg minimum size.
 
The focusing was not precise enough, and I had to rely completely on the autofocus. The lens was only reasonable sharp at optimum aperture, and at optimum aperture often gave too much depth of field, resulting in confusing backgrounds. My close up vision is not the greatest, so the viewscreen was hard to see.
 
A moment of clarity came to me sitting in the cafeteria, with my Sony, at the Art Gallery of Ontario. At the next table was a guy with a full frame Canon and a 24-105 lens. He had been taking images all over the Gallery. Why did he still look like an amateur to the guards? Because he did not have a camera bag.
 
I could have used the 5D11 to shoot everything I was shooting on the Sony. With me a shooting expedition is a shooting expedition. I had already stopped carrying the Sony on my belt 24/7, only taking it with me when on expedition.
 
Therefore a compromise between control, IQ, light weight, and fly-on-the-wall, resulting in a 5D11 with a 24-105 lens only, and no camera bag for walking around shooting. Wear the camera around the neck bandolier style tucked under my arm, should be invisible enough.
 
I am not enthusiastic about quality of the 24-105 lens so that is the biggest compromise. The better quality 24-70 lenses do not have enough reach for walking around.
 
Not for everyone, but I think it will work better for me. It will certainly make the camera store happy.

 

 

I'm in tune with everything your saying, Bill, and it adds up to 'the pocket camera does not answer many of your needs.'  I have most of the same specific problems you mentioned while using my two Sony systems, the RX10 and the NEX-6 (also NEX-7 and 3). Auto focus has to be watched on all these Sonys -- sometimes they do what I want and sometimes they do as they please. I'm much more under control with my Nikon DSLRs. But I'm older and walking with more weight is surely a bigger factor than it is with you. They keep coming out with new systems and we have to decide which way to jump.  For stock, I see myself eyeing the exit lately.

 

I'm going to encourage people here to think of me as Edo, what most friends call me in the real world.  I'll let our ED in Denver use that name. 

 

Ciao, Edo  :)  

 

 

I concur, Edo. The Sony AF system, while fast and accurate, does sometimes have a mind of its own. And, yes, one really must have a full camera wardrobe these days.

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