A full-frame CSC with a 36.3-million-pixel sensor – the Sony Alpha 7R promises much but does it deliver? Read the Sony Alpha 7R review to find out...
Sony Alpha 7R review – Build and handling
The Alpha 7R could be described as functional rather than stylish. That doesn’t mean it’s an ugly camera, but it does lack the retro charm of, say, the Olympus OM-D EM-1. As some have commented on our forum (www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/forum), the magnesium-alloy body of the Alpha 7R looks a little like the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 with an additional pentaprism-style hump for the electronic viewfinder and a handgrip – and they aren’t far wrong.
The camera is comfortable to hold, and the 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6mm kit lens is a good size to accompany the camera. The combination is also very light, making it ideal to take travelling. I certainly didn’t feel the effects of carrying around the Alpha 7R, the kit lens and a few wide and standard optics in a small shoulder bag for an entire day.
While out shooting with the Alpha 7R I got caught in rain showers quite a few times, but the camera suffered no ill effects. The body is weather and dust-sealed, and although Sony makes no commitment in defining exactly how much water resistance the Alpha 7R has, the camera and kit lens can certainly be used in reasonably rainy conditions.
With a straightforward button layout and design, the Alpha 7R doesn’t throw up any surprises. On the top-plate are a mode dial, shutter button, exposure compensation dial and a custom button, with the power switch jutting out from in front of the shutter button. There are front and rear control dials, giving the camera the feel of a DSLR, while on the rear is a standard button arrangement. As with other recent Sony cameras, there are a number of different customisable buttons on the Alpha 7R, so you can really tailor its controls to your own needs.
The only thing that I feel would improve the handling would be a touchscreen. While I don’t like using them for changing menu settings, I do find they are extremely useful for quickly selecting the AF point. At present, it can be a little time-consuming to shift AF points, especially with so many available in manual-selection mode. A touchscreen would make the process far easier, as it does in other cameras.