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Reader Comments: Sony A7R III, Nikon D850, EVF, Focusing, Landscape

Get Sony A7R III and Nikon D850 at B&H Photo.

It is important to first read the Dec 16 post on Sony A7R II, including my notes.

Yair T writes:

I guess this topic is relevant to many of your readers. If you think it is relevant I will be happy if you share my concerns and questions on you blog.

I feel deeply disappointed from your findings on the Sony A7R3 in the real world.

After reading the specifications I had hope we might have a chance to have a platform that will enable accurate view finder focusing with precision manual lens , i.e., Zeiss.

The high resolution EVF looks very promising. Not to mention the IBIS which give it theoretical edge over the D850.

Which gets me to my query , as you are the most experience with the D850 and Zeiss MF lenses , do you find it to be a better suited camera for MF ? Is the LCD better in real lighting conditions? Does the rangefinder enables accurate viewfinder focusing like Nikon states.

Since Nikon didn’t supply us EVF on the D850 it raises the question for landscape photography using Zeiss lenses is it a worthy upgrade?

DIGLLOYD: first of all, the Sony A7R III is a worthy, highly capable camera, albeit with some poorly executed features. And it appears that what I thought were sensor column defects might in fact be Sony software bugs as per recent firmware and software updates. Both of which speak to premature release and lack of testing. But of course, the software update might be to mask (hide) sensor column defects.

Most sensors have many dead pixels (thousands perhaps), and these are mapped out by software. A cosmic ray on an airplane trip can kill a pixel. So no big deal there; it is routine. But bad columns are another matter and camera specific. The acid test is shooting a certain type of subject in order to determine if there is actually a bad pixel column (or six of them), is something like clay tile roof at Stanford, where a bad pixel column is all but unfixable, causing a vertical glitch.

My comments so far have been taken out of context and some readers sometimes don’t realize that sleeping in my van at 8000' within inside temps hitting as low as 16°F* and that hiking all day places constraints upon the volume of writing I can publish: I have barely started reviewing the A7R III, but when I report issues as I find them. That is perhaps why some readers have incorrectly assumed that I do not like the camera, particularly when I state that for landscape quality images, it is not my first or even second choice. But at the same time, it is my first choice for other uses (portraits, fast shooting, hiking fast and light, travel where minimizing size/weight is important, etc).

Finally, the last questions on rangefinder focusing: it remains as worthless as ever for critically sharp images, but my be OK for focus stacking at f/11, just as seeing a 'cut' of sharpness with an f/1.4 lens can be. But I prefer exactness when I can get it, not “pretty close”.

* I am adding a 2nd 5 kW lithium battery in part so that I can leave a 500 watt space heater running all night and still have about 5 kW left over (out of 10 kW) for other uses, like computing. This battery will be installed within a month. As well as finished walls and insulation by late spring, which will make cold weather a non-event down to 0°F or so. That diesel engine with the stock heater puts out about 20,000 BTU all on its own (estimate) and a 1500W space heater is good for about 5200 BTU. With proper insulation, things will become both warmer in the cold, and cooler in the heat.

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