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What's one of the best parts about being a video professional? All the cool gear! In this weekly series, Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman team up to discuss the latest and greatest equipment for video production and post. They talk about the newest cameras, like the Blackmagic 4K, pocket cinema cameras, and GoPros; accessories and adapters that will make your shoots run smoother; and the great tech being invented every day. And because they keep both cost and quality in mind, you'll never have to worry about blowing your budget or compromising production value. Come back every Friday for a new tip.
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>> So, we have the A7, and the A7R. Before we get into how, the things that they share, because they're, they're almost identical, why don't we just get out of the way what makes these different. >> All right. So the A7 and the A7R, a good way to think about the differences between them are really kind of on two, maybe three different levels. First, they're both full frame cameras, but the megapixel count on the cameras differs. >> The A7R is higher. >> That is correct. You're at about 24.3 or 24.4 on the A7. And you're at 36 mega pixel and some change on the a7R.
>> Magically I ended up with the a7R. So I'm happy. >> Well actually the other difference between just the mega pixel count is sort of some underlying technology on the actual sensor. The a7R doesn't employ an optical low pass filter. And what that essentially means is that when you're shooting stills and you're using this camera, you're not going to have any sort of filtering going on. So you're going to get sharper images, however, at the risk of, possibly, some more moire on the images because you're not filtering that out.
>> And this was a popular feature for people doing macro work in the stills world or product shots, not necessarily for action photography as much. There's sort of pros and cons, Nikon has this available on some of their high end bodies as well. >> Yep. >> You'll find people in both camps saying oh, I love having the filter, no I don't want it. >> You know, the people that are megapixel peepers, you know, that need the most detail and the most resolution out of a camera. This, the Nikon D800E, pretty much, that you know, the cream of the crop right now in terms of that sensor technology and how good it can get.
Now, the other difference is, is that the a7R has contrast detection only for auto focus. For that, for that, you know, consistent or constant auto focusing. Whereas the a7, not only has contrast detection, it also has face detection. So, in terms of continuous auto focus for shooting movies and things like that nature. >> You're going to have a little bit faster focusing on the a7 than you are on the a7R. >> Is that why you went with the a7? >> Oh, it was also a little cheaper too, to be honest with you. And because I was moving to a new system, a7 and a7R.
Is actually a new lens mount for Sony. This is called E-mount, but it's the F E-mount. F meaning for full frame. So, what they did, is they came out with a new mount in a new, you know, new series of lenses. And when I was going out to buy it at the time,. There was very few lenses available, and compared to Canon and Nikon there still is a lot, you know, less lenses. >> There's about what, four on the market now? >> Four or five on the market, and the a7 was the only one available with a kit lens. I didn't want to right off the bat have to buy, you know, adapters and use some of my existing lenses. I mean, I eventually want that range, but the a7R is available in body only.
You have to go after an additional lens an that. >> Okay. Other things that stand out to me. I like the fact that it has an articulating panel back here so you can hold it low and cradle, or tilt this for shooting overhead. >> Absolutely. >> So theres some nice benefits there. The body feels really solid. >> Yeah. >> It's a nice compact but good feeling metal body. >> Yeah it's and that's actually an important distinction. It's a very thin body, you can see that the grip side is a little thicker. But on the other side here, it's very thin, very light weight. You actually made a very important point.
The back body, the back part of the casing here is identical between the cameras. The front plate is actually a little different. For some reason on the a7R, they employed a true metal plate on the front, so this no pushing, you know, no, no cracking here. >> Right. >> On the a7 it is actually a plastic plate. >> Alright. >> So it saves just a little bit of weight. I guess the idea there is if you're paying a premium of, you know, a few hundred dollars why not put the metal on it. I don't think technically it has anything to do; maybe it dissipates heat better with you know, the more megapixel sensor but that's another difference.
>> Now you mention that this is a relatively new system. But Sony has partnered with Zeiss on some of their lenses and. These lenses are getting pretty good reviews. >> Yeah, this one that you have right here, this is the Zeiss 1.8 55 mil and this has gotten some really top notch reviews for how sharp it is. It's actually rated as one of the, the more sharper, the sharpest lenses out there. The kit lens like any other kit lens is not, >> It doesn't suck. >> It doesn't suck but it's not great. The thing if you're shooting video with the kit lens that you have to be aware of, is that it's a variable aperture lens.
So going from F3.5 to 5.6. So as you do zoom through the range, your aperture is going to change. So lots of interesting things about the body and the lens choices. One of the reasons I actually got this camera is for years, I've been messing around with, you know, cards and things of that nature. To be able to support, not only sort of transferring of image but I also wanted to sort of control the camera. And Sony has a very unique system. Ob, obviously, there's wi-fi built in, but what's really cool about it is that. It actually is sort of a computer built on the camera, so you can actually download apps to the camera itself to do different things; maybe you want to have a Toy camera effect, buy that app.
But built in it has wi-fi, so I can not only control the camera, and trigger the camera like you can on Cannon and Nikon bodies and that kind of stuff, also works in video mode of course. But when you take still images you can transfer those images off to your computer or to your phone or even directly to, you know say a social social media networks through your phone which is nice. >> Well, from the point of view of a video professional using one of these cameras, I think there are some standout features, good lens choices, >> Yeah. >> Ability to work with standard cards, solid bodies, really good articulating view finally that's nice and high res, and because it's mirrorless, you don't get some of the issues that you have with the DSLR.
You're really basically seeing what the sensor is seeing. Because your directly monitoring it, your really not worried about that. Now as far as battery life, are you finding that it's okay? >> Yeah, battery life is so so. I got to be honest with you, the batteries on these cameras are very small, I find that I get in still shooting, probably only about 300 shots or so which is not a lot. And when it comes to video shooting, yeah, I need, I have about six of these batteries now because I do go through when shooting video, I do go through probably one every half hour to 40 minutes. It's actually one more important distinction, Rich, just to note on the camera is that the camera comes with video that can actually shoot in two different modes.
We can shoot AVCHD or we can shoot into an mp4 mode. When you shoot mp4, you're limited to 1440x1080 so you're working with a slightly smaller frame size versus the APCHD mode, you can shoot of course up to 1080 at various frame rates: 60i, 24p, things of that nature. >> Wow, it's very nice. And we're going to take a look at a few of the drawbacks of the camera, next.
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