Sony A7 cameras: Get answers from acclaimed photographer Brian Smith

by Kathleen 10/21/2013

Hot off the heels of our A7 and A7R full frame camera announcements, we’ll be heading to Photo Plus this week to show off our new gear and will be joined by celebrity photographer Brian Smith. As a Sony Artisan, Brian reps Sony equipment and shares his expertise with photographers all over the world. Here’s a peek at his camera bag (equipment listed below):

Miami Photographer Brian Smith Camera Bag

In case you haven’t heard of the guy, check out an excerpt from his bio:

For the past 30 years, Brian’s iconic portraits of famous celebrities, athletes and executives have been used in advertising by corporations and have graced the covers and pages of hundreds of magazines including Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, Time, Forbes, New York Times Magazine, Elle and British GQ.

His first magazine photograph appeared in LIFE Magazine when Smith was a 20-year-old student at the University of Missouri. Five years later, Smith won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography for his photographs of the Los Angeles Olympic Games. He was again a finalist for the Pulitzer for his photographs of Haiti in Turmoil. His photograph of Greg Louganis hitting his head on the diving board at the Seoul Olympics won first place in both World Press Photo and the Pictures of the Year competition.

In short, Brian knows his stuff. He actually traveled to Haiti with the A7R and has had an opportunity to test it out for himself . Since you’ve all got a ton of questions about the camera, we’re giving you an opportunity to ask him anything you want about the A7 Series. Submit your question below and he might answer it in video created exclusively for you guys. Ready, set, go!

Description of the gear above, as described by Brian Smith.

Here’s the gear that gets stuffed in my Lowepo Pro x200 roller bag. It comes onto the plane with me while my lighting and grip cases get checked.

Sony a99: My workhorse cameras. The sensor is amazing for portraits. Plus it’s built like a brick. I travel with two a99s. One has a RRS Quick Release L-bracket.

Sony NEX-7: This is the ultimate camera for street photography. I love the option of built-in EVF or Live View LCD. I’ve grown to love looking down on an LCD tilted up—it’s like using a waist level on a Hasselblad.

Sony CZ 24-70/2.8: My all-time favorite lens for portraits, this lens has the perfect focal length range from 24mm for portraits that capture the environment around the subject to 70mm for tight, intimate portraits. Zeiss glass makes this the sharpest zoom I’ve ever used. Unlike Zeiss lenses made for other cameras – Sony Zeiss lenses are AF.

Sony CZ 85/1.4: Portraits look amazing when you shoot wide open for minimal depth of field with a fast 85mm lens. This Zeiss glass makes is the sharpest 85 I’ve ever used.

Sony CZ 135/1.8: Although I tend to shoot portraits a bit closer, this is a great lens for tight portraits if you want to flatten out the perspective a bit.

Zeiss Touit 12mm/2.8: Spectacular ultrawide angle e-mount lens. Perfect for landscapes or shooting in tight spaces

Zeiss Touit 32mm/1.8: Razor sharp e-mount normal lens. I love to shoot portraits with this lens wide open.

Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 Lens: My vintage rangefinder glass has gotten new life thanks to the adapters available for Sony NEX.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX1: The perfect camera for reportage or travel with fast fixed 35mm/f2 Zeiss lens, full-frame sensor, and the ability to shoot RAW.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100: Finally, I have a compact camera with everything I want—fast Zeiss lens, large one-inch sensor, and the ability to shoot RAW.

PocketWizard Plus III Transceiver Radio Slaves: I shoot nearly everything with strobes, so I use these to sync it all up.

Sony SDHC Cards in card cases: I keep SD cards loaded in these cases on every shoot. After I shoot a card, I turn it face down so I know it’s been used.

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  1. Pb wrote: October 21, 2013 12:08pm

    will we ever see a full frame sensor in a NEX styled (flat and sleek) designed body? and would we ever see in-body image stabilization from a mirrorless E-mount?

  2. Pb wrote: October 21, 2013 12:10pm

    will the full frame e-mount cameras ever get touch screen? its really useful for some playmemories apps and tap to focus too! :)

  3. daniel wrote: October 21, 2013 3:24pm

    I still dont get why people are saying that the a7r should work better for M lenses!!!! help!!!!

    1. Pb wrote: October 24, 2013 1:20pm

      the a7r will work better for the leica M lenses because the edge of the sensor has off set sensing pixels, this means that it can work better with sharp angles of light hitting it

  4. Stephen Lee wrote: October 21, 2013 5:02pm

    Hi! Can I use the vertical grip together with the LA E4 adapter on the Sony A7

  5. Jeff wrote: October 22, 2013 7:25am

    Some have said the shutter is really loud. When you used it in Haiti was it so loud that it distracted people around you? Or was it silent enough that people hardly noticed you. I’ve read the A7 has an electronic first curtain shutter, which helps, but do you think there is any chance that they could implement a completely electronic shutter (toggled on and off in the menus)? Would that be even possible? Well, I have my preorder in (A7-kit)!! My only question is when can I get my hands on it?! Do I REALLY have to wait until December?! Haha. Thanks!

  6. Jon wrote: October 22, 2013 7:39am

    Could you tell us a little more about the wifi? What can it do? Can I transfer files to my computer this way, like a built-in Eye-fi card? Can I use an Ipad as a screen for the camera? Also, Apps. any idea if there will be more? Or will Sony open them up to developers? Thanks!

  7. Levi Sim wrote: October 22, 2013 10:51am

    Brian, How do you see this camera affecting the way you shoot? What will be different for you? What are you most excited about?

  8. Jeff wrote: October 22, 2013 2:27pm

    Does the A7/A7r have the option to shoot video in a cropped 1.5x mode like the Nikon full frame cameras?

    When shooting at 1080p, it’s great having two focal length options without switching lenses.

  9. Alexandros wrote: October 24, 2013 6:30am

    Have u tried the A7 also and if so do u see any substantial differences in:
    1. AF speed between the two models?
    2. Less noisy shutter of a7 due to its electronic first curtain?
    3. less motion blur due to electronic first curtain and smaller size of sensor?
    4. differences in noise at higher ISOs?

  10. Moses wrote: October 26, 2013 9:48am

    Question: Does qx10 wifi Lense work with lumia devices? I really want to order for it but am not sure it will work with phone

    1. Kathleen wrote: October 30, 2013 3:35pm

      Hi Moses, it is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones.

  11. Ben Kupfer wrote: November 11, 2013 11:35am

    1. When the camera outputs through the HDMI does it follow the format you’ve setup in the menus? Will it output 24p? Will it output 60p? Or is it always 60i?

    2. Does the mini audio input connector allow manual level control? Can you defeat any AGC?

  12. henri kartmann wrote: December 13, 2013 1:39am

    Did you test the touit 32mm on the A7r camera ?
    can it cover more than the APS-C ?



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