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Olympus to Make FE Lenses? A7R II Overhyped/Overpriced? | Daily Roundup

By Anthony Thurston on August 13th 2015

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors and announcements.

Olympus To Make FE Mount Lenses?

Here is one of the more wacky rumors that I have seen in recent months, but it’s so wacky that it’s worth sharing for the discussion value – even if it is way out there.

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According to an interesting rumor report over on 4/3 Rumors, from an anonymous and unnamed source, Olympus will soon begin producing Zuiko-branded lenses for the Sony FE mount. The rumor goes on the say that the first lens produced in this way would be a 35mm F/2.8 lens design similar to that of their old – and somewhat legendary – 35mm F/2.8 OM lens.

Now, on its own this seems like something so far out of left field (pardon the baseball reference) it has to be bogus. But there have also been rumblings about Olympus possibly making their own jump into full frame, in which case partnering with Sony on the FE mount (similarly to how they work with Panasonic on the M4/3 mount), could be an interesting proposition.

Do I see this happening? Not in the slightest, or I should say, not anytime soon at least. But that said, the idea of this is an interesting one, and is something that would likely get both Olympus and Sony shooters interested. Olympus shooters because it would mean access to full frame from the brand they love, and for Sony shooters because it would mean even more native FE mount lenses, something they can’t get enough of at this point.

What are your thoughts on this one? Regardless of if this rumor is legit, what would you think of a partnership like this? Make sure to comment below and let us know!

a7R II Overhyped and Overpriced?

I have not had my chance to play with one yet, so my opinion is neutral at this point, but I came across an interesting opinion piece over on Canon Rumors this morning saying that the a7R II was “overhyped and overpriced.” Now, obviously, this is a Canon fanboy site, so plenty of salt is needed here, but some interesting points are made.

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You should go check out the post for sure to get the full read, but some of the points made that stood out to me were regarding the ‘issues’ being discussed on the web right now about the a7R II:

  • The Sony a7RII does not have true 14bit uncompressed raw, an 11 + 7-bit lossy compression scheme is used
  • There are severe overheating problems when 4k is used. The a7RII shuts down automatically during recording.
  • Users report about color noise issues with long exposures

But this line is what probably stood out to me the most in this post: The Sony a7RII is not a pro camera. It’s a consumer camera with pro features (and a pro price).

What do you all think about this? It’s easy to write a bunch of opinions and negativity about issues with a camera you have never used in person (as is the case here, where at least, to my knowledge the CR admin has not used the a7R II personally), but it’s another to actually use the device and have a true and informed opinion.

Was the a7R II overhyped? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

Should Sony Update the RX1 and RX1R Firmware?

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It has been three years since Sony announced the RX1 and more recently, the RX1R. Despite several issues with the usability of the camera, it has sort of a cult following, and those users are fed up. They want a firmware update to address some of the silly, easy to fix via firmware, issues that they have been telling Sony about.

They felt so strongly about it, they even started a Change.org petition in the hopes of getting Sony’s attention and getting an update for their beloved camera. Currently, the group has a solid 773 (as of this writing) and needs an additional 227 to get the required 1,000 signatures.

You can find the petition here if you are interested in signing or supporting this group.

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Paul Blacklock

    Was going to buy a a7r ii but adding a few prime lens, the cost gets expensive, so i bought a fuji x-t1 with 4 prime lens for about half the price and I still have lots of money to go travel and visit cool places around the east coast to actually use the camera :) happy with the colors of the pics, sure for shooting far away zipping hummingbirds is not the ideal camera but for everything else, it looks great!

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  2. Peter McWade

    A7 line rocks. Physical size rocks and the physical size of the Canon line sucks. Personal opinion but it is a hands on opinion. I grew up with the Pentax and the A7 feels great in my large hands. Natural. The bulky hulks of the Canon and Nikon lines just bite. Too big and bulky. Good cameras, no doubt but no thanks. I had no issue moving along to the Sony and continue to use my A7R with my old manual Minolta and Canon lenses. I like fast primes. Both are good. I don’t shoot sports. Some day maybe. I’d like to see full true 4k in 444 and full 10bit or higher. I’d like to see someday where there is no need for rolling shutters for exposing the sensor and be able to do it at a rate that will allow full blown frames per second for sports. I see it happening some day and without getting hot.

    Im still not quite ready to pull the trigger on the new A7RII but still considering. Until then Im quite happy with the A7R.

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  3. Paddy McDougall

    surely the ‘pro’ bit of any camera is the human holding it; everything else is hot air and fluff.

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  4. Holger Foysi

    Agree to most of what you say. If sports is not your priority, the A7rii should be able to deliver for most use cases. Adapted Canon lenses show inferior AF compared to native bodies (lots of Dpreview and other forum posts about this) especially in dim light. Especially longer FL cause problems, here. Tracking has its problems in these situations with native lenses, too, but I found that continuous low with AFC, flexible spot and staying inside the phase detect area is fine even for weddings in low light (A7ii + Batis 85), so the A7rii should be even better here. My greatest disappointment is the one SD-card slot. I would love to have seen two, especially for this price point. In my opinion the camera is slightly overhyped and overpriced. 3500 Euros is quite a lot.

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  5. J D

    The only reason I would ever use or switch to Sony would be the size. However, Sony’s feel horrible in my hands, just very uncomfortable. To get a Sony to feel good in my hands, it needed a battery grip. Then to use my Canon lenses, I needed an adapter. All of a sudden the camera that was supposed to be smaller, is now almost the same size as my 5d3 making the nearly $4000 “smaller” camera pointless for me to buy.

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  6. James Padin

    I think the hype is very much deserved what Sony did is nothing short of amazing and as far as pricing it is competing with the 5dsr. If you take all of the specs from the A7rII and put them in a canon 5d mark 3 Body and labeled it the 5d mark 4 you would see canon users going absolutely crazy just to get there hands on it. Then no one would question that it is a pro body camera and the price would be a non issue. As far as the issues go i don’t think its that major Sony will most likely fix this with a firmware update. I just wonder what will happen when Sony’s FE lens line up catch’s up to its A-mount line up and when the battery life improves, Low light auto focusing is just as good as a dslr. Will people still label Sony cameras as a consumer camera with pro features? I guess we will have to wait and see.

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  7. Ben Perrin

    Yeah I think the a7rii is overhyped. The focussing system is not as good as a dslr and the battery life is woeful. Having said that I still think it is a brilliant camera capable of amazing images. Perfect for landscape and studio photographers but also great as a backup for wedding photographers. Having the evf is perfect for not screwing up exposure during weddings where the conditions change constantly. It is made out to be the best camera ever by Sony fanboys and the truth is that it is still a great camera, just not as good as they’ll have you believe.

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  8. Kenny Van

    I read a post at Canonwatch site and I don’t agree that A7rII is not a pro camera. Check Jason Lanier and don’t tell me he’s not a pro. Again, the gears don’t make a good picture. and if you think A7rII is overpriced then wait for few months so you can get a better price. What you pay here is for the technology that packed into a package, just like any high end cell phone. Because of the technology in A7rII, that makes most pro and non pro wanted this piece of technology and innovation and this caused all the hype. If Canon and Nikon would do the same thing, I bet their cameras would cost thousands more and come with all the hype as well. Yet, I used Canon way back the A1 and I love manual shooting; however, I don’t mind all the innovation and technology that a new comer offered. Keep a mind open and you’ll see the light. :)

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    • Ben Perrin

      Sorry but am I the only one who thinks Jason Lanier is a bad photographer? I know this is just opinion but his stuff is nowhere near as good as other professionals I look at. His post processing really needs some work and he is so biased when it comes to Sony that he almost put me off buying one. Not saying that I’m any better, I just wouldn’t reference him when talking about professional photographers to look up to.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I’ve never seen Jason’s work, or I don’t particularly recall it, however I gotta agree that die-hard fanboy-ism is a huge turn-off for me. That’s why my respect for Scott Kelby has waned a bit since he switched to Canon, and a few other photographers have me with a bit of a bad taste as well. Even some Nikon die-hards annoy me.

      Maybe it’s because my job is to review and become familiar with ALL systems, and I’ve never thought I’d be good enough to actually be approached by a major company for a sponsorship, …but I relish the ability to speak critically of ALL brands, including my “own”. (Whichever one I’m rooting for most, that is.)

      People get upset with me when I ramble on about Canon, but trust me I can ramble about Nikon and any other almost an equal amount lol…

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  9. Matthew Saville

    RE – the Canonwatch article: I have never seen a bigger case of sour grapes in my life, I think.

    “Canon Cameras are mature products”
    …About 10 years too mature, in the sensor department. :-\ I’d rather have the bugs and drawbacks of the Sony any day.

    1.) The raw compression is fine for 99.9% of shooting conditions, and that includes hard working full-time pros. I’ve been shooting on both Canon, Nikon, and Sony for years, for the record, and whenever I shoot Nikon in a high-volume situation (timelapse, etc.) I absolutely value their 12-bit lossy compressed NEF mode. In fact I really only shoot 14-bit lossless a few times a year. Meanwhile, Canon’s mRAW mode harms CR2 files in a catastrophic manner on some cameras, especially the pro 5D mk3.

    2.) The overheating issue is obviously a serious problem, however to say “I’d rather not have 4K at all yet” is quite hypocritical considering how Canon and Nikon have played this exact game each other over the years, and it is Canon who often attempts to be the first at something despite numerous drawbacks as a 1st-gen feature.

    3.) Dot noise is something that plagues many sensors, and neither Canon nor Nikon are immune to it from time to time. In fact both Nikon and Canon have had at least one artifact issues in their immediate past, in pro grade cameras. (Both were blown wildly out of proportion just like this, and don’t really affect real-world shooting, of course.) It is still far too early to point fingers here; it could just be an idiot trying a long exposure in warm temps, and besides this is what long exposure NR is great at cleaning right up. Either way I’d take dot noise any day over plaid striped shadows.

    Sounds like one big poo-fling, if you ask me. Bug reporting is one thing, in fact as someone who reviews cameras for a living I greatly appreciate the hard work that others do in pointing out issues for me to investigate. But to call it the most over-priced and over-hyped camera of the year, and un-acceptable for professional use, …well they’re just fishing for traffic / clicks at that point.

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  10. Stephen Jennings

    Just seeing noise comparisons between the Sony A7RII and a d750 left me disappointed. I really think Sony and Zeiss’s partnership could potentially bring about an amazing system, but honestly Sony is really lagging behind with the camera bodies for “pro” level performance. Pro quality lenses are a rarity.This camera’s battery life alone really prevents it from being considered professional. But it’s a start, I’m sure Sony will create 10 variations of this camera with nearly identical names like the last version and one of them will be awesome.

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    • Max C

      @ Stephen, so the battery life determines whether a camera is pro level?

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    • Kenny Van

      Not a pro body with 500,000 shutter cycles and dust and moisture resistance?

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    • Dave Haynie

      It’s everything all at once that says “pro”, “prosumer”, or “consumer”. There are certainly some applications that require the 1000+ shots you get from a Canon DSLR versus the 270-or-so with a Sony A7. It’s also the rugged body, weather sealing, etc. The A7 series are basically entry-level full frames based on the mechanical build, comparable to a Nikon D750 or Canon 6D, but not a 5D mk III, much less an EOS 1D X or Nikon D4. Perhaps that’s the market intended for the long-rumored A9 series.

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    • Dave Haynie

      As for the Olympus rumor — I have heard crazier things. If Olympus were to test the waters making full frame lenses again, no one needs lenses at the moment more than the FE mount. If they’re at all interested in making a full frame, I think it would be suicide to start over with yet-another-incompatible lens mount. Though the two aren’t necessarily locked at the hip… perhaps Olympus just wants to sell lenses to Sony users.

      The two companies are already in cooperation. Many recent Olympus models have used Sony sensors, and Sony collaborated with Olympus on the IBIS system that went into the A7 upgrade models. Sure, rumors are often just someone’s wishful or fanciful thinking, but this has a stronger basis than many that have come true recently.

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  11. Mac MacDonald

    Tony Northrup covers all this. He compared a Sony a7Rii, Canon 5Dsr, and Nikon 810. My opinion, dollar for dollar, the Nikon 810 is still king. http://goo.gl/aGzRkZ

    Canon & Sony are trying, and it’s cute, but they’re just not on the same level as Nikon.

    Disclaimer: I shoot Nikon. I’m not married to Nikon and would love to jump onto the mirroless/Sony bandwagon, but it looks like i’ll wait till the Sony a7Riii comes out… or, stick with the winning horse, Nikon, and buy the next Nikon 8xx with the a7Rii sensor (if Sony gives it up to Nikon).

    Let the flaming begin!

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    • Max C

      Nikon make good cameras but only for photography. I have never seen a videographer shooting with a Nikon camera. Canon & Sony make good cameras for photography & videography. Either brand might have one or more features that is better than the other. Sony is the only brand that is pushing the limits and giving a lot of features at a price point most pros can afford. Sony is doing for the cameras market, what T-mobile is doing in the cell-phone carrier market. If you have a Nikon, Canon or Sony and that camera is working for you then stick with it. There is no need to jump onto Sony if you are totally satisfied with Nikon or Canon.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      Ah Tony Northrup, the final word of reviews (Who also praises the A7RII at the end of the review).
      I agree that dollar for dollar the D810 is better but that’s because it’s so much cheaper. When money is not an issue the A7RII is fantastic and cameras are more than sensor performance. That are so many cool and useful features with the A7RII that I think it overpowers the sensor benefits of the D810. For example Tony points out that the Sony with a fast prime owns handheld low light where the Canikons don’t even produce usable images. Sensor performance is only useful if you can get a non-blurry shot.

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    • Julien Miscischia

      Just two precisions, :

      – first, Nikon don’t produce camera to shoot film with is something wrong. I’ve shot with Canon 5D (mk II and mk III) for a long time and since I’ve my D810, I just cannot go back on the Canon, there’s a really big gap between these cameras. And they still remain, for me, more all round than a sony A7S (only FF that shoot really good video).

      – second, blurry shots, another things that is really strange. I’ve shot tones of reportage with my D810, and I only shoot primes (so no VR). When I have a blurry shot, I know that’s it’s not the camera, it’s me. And there is so great features that can prevent you to shoot with a good shutter speed ! If you want to shoot at 1/5 with no blurry shot, just use a VR lense or something (like A7x II) with IBIS.

      By the way, this Sony A7r II seems to show us what the future will be. Hope that Sony will produce more and more FE glass and camera or grip with a real battery life.

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  12. adam sanford

    And Anthony, please please check your references: CanonWatch is NOT CanonRumors.

    One of those two sites is fairly responsible site with a team of photographers who know their stuff, is a respected site to share the latest info, and who also happens to run a terrific discussion forum with loyal 10,000+ post participants. Forget rumor-mongering — it’s a solid resource for Canon people.

    The other site is a child running with scissors, a megaphone, and a flamethrower.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that yeah, I like the actual content that CR posts, but their forums are annoyingly full of fanboys and flame-warring. I’ve seen some pretty contagious kool-aid drinking going on there.

      Then again, there are plenty of inteligent folks there who enjoy a good discussion, and I’m all in favor of that.

      I guess it’s just hard to create content focused on the biggest brand in the industry, without attracting some crazies.

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    • adam sanford

      There’s a simple fix, Matthew. Don’t engage in any discussion at CR about DXO, sensors, or dynamic range. That’s like a bug-zapper for crazies.

      Other than that, if you want shots critiqued, technical problems solved, buying advice, post-processing knowledge or for solving “Has anyone figured out how to get X and Y to make Z happen?”, CR Forums is the best place around.

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  13. adam sanford

    As for whether you call a sensor-reviewers’ darling and spec-laden powerhouse (a) a ‘pro’ rig or (b) worth its asking price, the beauty’s in the eye of the beholder there.

    Even if it runs circles around a 1DX (on everything but framerate), some folks won’t call it ‘pro’ unless it can take a bullet while getting dropped into a lake and keep snapping at 14 fps. :-P

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  14. adam sanford

    As the resident stick-up-for-Canon [strikeout]fanboy[/strikeout] guy, the a7R II takes the enthusiast hotness of the a7R and adds to it — if I have this right:

    1) 6 more MP, so it now brings in 42 MP
    2) IBIS
    3) 4K video
    4) A backside illuminated sensor
    5) Oh… and that small thing about autofocusing with Canon glass as quickly/consistently/accurately as on a native EF mount.

    **If substantiated** through thorough testing/reviews, that last one above completely obliterates the others, which are (nontrivial) but incremental improvements in comparison. That’s effectively Sony playing the set theory game with all Canon glass and saying “ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US”.

    So no, no, and no CanonWatch. The a7R II is not *remotely* overhyped. If it delivers on its promises, it’s a big flippin’ deal.

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  15. Stan Rogers

    Obviously, it’s very difficult to keep absolutely up to date on absolutely everything, but I don’t recall Sony ever announcing that henceforth the number “7” (which has reflected the enthusiast-level model since the Minolta X-700 and throughout the entire Maxxum/Dynax/Alpha period) would replace the “9” that has traditionally indicated the pro model (when they’ve offered one). Much the same, however, may be said about the “5” number in another maker’s line-up, which has stood nearly as long.

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    • Trey Mortensen

      On that numbering note, I talked with a Sony rep about 6 months ago who hinted that even though these 7 series cameras are targeting pro’s, they are working on 9 series cameras to come, which would have even higher level stuff. So there just might be an a9 in the next few years, which would maintain the Minolta numbering system

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    • Matthew Saville

      Trey that is very interesting news, exciting for photographers, but hopefully “fear-of-god” instilling for Canon and Nikon.

      Canon (aside from needing to swallow its pride about sensor dynamic range, and fix the glaring inferiority in that respect) and Nikon both have killer cameras in the 5D mk3 and D810. They are highly venerable, in fact if you don’t need 4K and use stabilized lenses, there is very little an A7R mkII has to offer that could sway you.

      However, the gap is closing, and Sony is making major leaps each time. If they’re holding a 9-series up their sleeve, “it’s about to get real” as they say…

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  16. Tyler Friesen

    I actually agree that the A7R II overhyped and overpriced. I wanted this camera to replace my DSLR so badly but form the samples I have seen side by side and other user reports its not quite there yet. I am a Canon shooter as well but I know the D810 still looks like the best all around option for those that need the best image quality and autofocus. It is an incredible camera no doubt but I don’t think its a DSLR killer yet, especially for that crazy price tag. The 5DS is also in the mix for some specialty applications (crazy megapixel work).

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    • Max C

      I don’t think it is over-hyped because it does have 5-axis in body stabilization and 42 megapixels, in addition to all the other features of the A7 ll. What disappoints me is the overheating when shooting 4k under certain circumstances. Because of the overheating, I think it is over-priced. As a photography camera it is almost perfect the only fault is that it cannot focus in low light without focus assist light. Some people don’t like using the focus assist light but I have no problems using it. So for me, it is a perfect camera for photography. On the Video side is more of a letdown; 4k overheating limitation, better video quality in crop mode instead of full frame mode and cannot match A7s iso in low light. Would I still buy it? Yes, because they is no other camera that can match it overall.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      I must use manual focus too much because the “Doesn’t autofocus well in low light” argument is such a non-issue to me. DSLR autofocus sucks in low light too, that’s why in low light you usually just go manual.

      In fact mirrorless was the best thing in manual with low light because the EVF adjusts the ISO and brightens for you; plus with the viewfinder auto zoom and focus peaking when you manual focus you can frame up dark pictures easier.

      Although it may be the type of photography being done. I’m usually doing night landscapes or astrophotography so it’s super dark. Night street photography may be different (although I never had issues with autofocus when I did that on mirror-less).

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