Anyone here buy a Sony A9 2 or an A7r 4?

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Apr 21, 2006
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Has anyone bought one of these. If so, I am interested in:

Your thoughts
in general
ergonomics
focus problems for birds or other wildlife (I say problems because the web is full of references on how good af is)
how bad are the adapters for f lenses that include af
small body size coming from a D5 or D850 (my z7 is a pain with gloves on as I press 2 buttons when I only mean to press one)

Any thoughts for someone considering buying one, regrets that you bought one, and warning of things you find out about after you buy.
 
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Nov 14, 2005
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Winter Haven, florida
I did the move from d850 and d4 based system to a7riv a couple of months ago. I moved because I have some vision issues and the sony system makes it easier for me to confirm focus-at least for me. The level in the viewfinder is easier to work with, otherwise my images are all tilted. Also moved to decrease weight, I can’t hike and climb with a big heavy pack anymore. I jumped in with both feet. 3 zooms. 24-105, 100-400 and 200-600mm. I also went with several 1.8 primes from 35 to 135mm.
The camera took a long while to get used to. The menu system is a disaster. Lots of settings are not well explained in the manual. Frustrating. But, once I have everything programmed it makes sense and works well. I actually have 3 different rear buttons programmed for focus. One regular back button focus, another programmed button allows me to pick the type of focus. One rear button activates wide and eye focus tracking. A third button activates auto focus with manual focus peaking-which I love on anything not moving. The endless customization is powerful, but does take time to set up. So far I think my images of still subjects or predictable motion are if anything sharper than the d850. Random motion, like fast birds in flight, the nikon wins. The last time out it was getting better, there is a new learning curve on my part.

The sony does not feel as good in the hand. I tell people it is a computer that takes pictures. The nikon is a camera that uses computer components to work.

I kept much of my nikon setup for night sports, the a7riv is not going to replace my d4. The a9ii was a disappointment. I kept the d850 for smaller birds and macro that requires focus stacking. Together the best of both worlds.
It was frustrating at first, but I am not looking back. My bag is lighter, my back is happier, my wallet is sad.
Mirrorless does have advantages, more than I expected. Sony system is maturing well, with a pretty solid selection of lenses. It could use some more prime telephoto. The nikon system has to catch up. I was disappointed at the lens lineup nikon displayed and did not want to wait.
I have not used any of the adapters. I decided to stay with lenses designed for each system.
Gary
 
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Feb 1, 2005
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I want to try one out, so I'm going to rent an A9 and the 200-600mm they have for my trip out to the Rose Parade. Just looking at the camera I don't think the ergonomics are going to feel as good as the Nikon DSLRs.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
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Winter Haven, florida
I want to try one out, so I'm going to rent an A9 and the 200-600mm they have for my trip out to the Rose Parade. Just looking at the camera I don't think the ergonomics are going to feel as good as the Nikon DSLRs.
Give yourself time to get to know the new system. I would say it took me at least 2 weeks of pretty solid evenings to get things set up and comfortable. Metering is a little different. Focus is different. I have not shot a lot with the a9, but the a7riv is slower to lock on, but then tracks really well. If it doesn’t lock on early it is hard to recapture.
Unless you really need to 600mm, I like the 100-400 more as a walk around. It is lighter and focuses closer.

Gary
 
Joined
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I kept much of my nikon setup for night sports, the a7riv is not going to replace my d4. The a9ii was a disappointment. I kept the d850 for smaller birds and macro that requires focus stacking. Together the best of both worlds.
Gary
Lots of good information here Gary. Why was the a9 ii a disappointment? Was it like you might light the D850 or the D5 because of more megapixels or was it more? I ask because a friend in Florida bought the a9 ii and is selling me on switching to Sony. Of course he was coming from Canon.
 
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Why was the a9 ii a disappointment?
I had the a9ii on preorder. I wanted more than 24mega pixels. I need to keep my 44” printer happy. If it had the rumored 35 or more megapixels I would have one. Overall I am happy with the a7riv, but I need to shoot a season with it to really confirm. Some little things in the mirrorless sony world still bother me, but it will be a learning curve.
Gary
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
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Again this is without shooting the Sony, but the three things standout to me (2 big, 1 small). The ergonomics, it just doesn't look like it will fit nice, but I'm not a fan of the Z6 fit in my hand either. The menu layout on the Sony looks horrible, but I'm sure with time spent in it you could learn to navigate it well. The small thing is the flash capabilities, I think Nikons creative lighting systems blows what Sony has out of the water. But must of my flash/strobes are set manual and not through the camera.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
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Winter Haven, florida
The sony menu system is an absolute mess. I think they randomly put things wherever. Even flash settings are in several different areas. AHHHHHH! There were times I was ready to throw the thing across my room. After I got to know the menus, they still make no sense at all- but I know where things are. There are 2 separate “my menu” type areas where I can put almost every menu item I need, so I am rarely going through the full menu system anymore. But it does take time to set up. Flipping through 15 menu screens every time you want to format a card is not going to work. But, these things are completely customizable. You just have to take the time to do it.
Gary
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
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15,180
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Los Angeles, USA
I shoot with the A7III and D750. For decent focus tracking using continuous AF, the A9/A9II is the camera to get. Though Nikon bodies still feel better in hand with better haptic controls. There are less buttons and dials on Sony bodies which require slight menu diving to make setting adjustments. For example changing focus modes on a Nikon DSLR just requires some button combination presses. There are several adapters for Sony that can mount Nikon lenses, but honestly they work best with fast primes and aren't suited for Nikon telephoto or zoom lenses. The Sony menu isn't that bad, since it does have a 'My Menu' setup where you can place all your most used settings. Plus you have the ability to program function buttons and to customize the info panel with quick settings. I can easily switch back and forth no problem. All cameras are the same to me, slap gaffer tape on the logo and it makes no difference!

It's really up to your budget. If you want to buy into cutting edge mirrorless tech with the A9II and get lenses like the Sony 200-600mm or 400mm GM, they should work great. For me, I split my Nikon kit for event and action work with solid continuous focus tracking and my Sony gear for travel and portrait shooting where things like eye-AF and reduced equipment size make a difference.
 
Just bought an A7R IV recently -- along with two macro lenses (90mm and 50mm) and also the amazing 135mm G Master. I had had Sony cameras earlier so the menu system has not been all that particularly daunting. I haven't shot BIF with this new camera yet, probably won't unless and until I get a lens or two that would be more appropriate for that. (Right now my wallet is not only sad, it is screaming at me!). My primary interest just at this time was in getting this camera and macro lenses, especially the wonderful 90mm G. I am also still getting used to not just the camera and lenses but also new editing software (DXO Photolab 3) -- lots to learn all at once!

That said, if my primary interest were in shooting BIF I would be looking at the A9 or the new A9II, as that is the camera which seems to be specially geared for that kind of shooting.
 

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