First, well done Sony! I have been hoping for Sony to produce high-end FF E-mount cameras since the release of the NEX-5 back in 2010, now they’ve finally done it, and I am glad they waited. The technology is just right now for cameras like these to succeed, as on-sensor AF tech has gotten successively better over the last few generations.
I kind of like the unusual look of the cameras, they combine the look of some of the classic high-end Cybershot’s, like the V3 – which was a great camera for its day. They also incorporate some of the styling from the NEX-7 and RX1, and as DPreview put it, resemble some European film cameras from the past. In any case, the looks are not a reason to buy a camera, whether for or against.
I think Sony has hit a home run with these designs, though I am a little unsure of the choice to provide the 36MP version without hybrid AF (I know they claim it has something to do with the AA filter). For me personally, I would not be an early adopter of EF lenses so it won’t affect me either way. This is mostly because I have a nice A-mount line up that I am mostly happy with. So I would probably need an LA-EA4 if I were to get either of these. I can see how lack of hybrid AF on the A7r would be a turn off for anyone wanting to use the shiny new EF lenses to their full potential as they slowly trickle out. It will be interesting to see how the cameras fare in performance testing, particularly I want to know how those sensors do on low light.
One of the big interests I have in these cameras will be the ability to use them with classic lenses, which I have put together a small collection of Minolta Rokkor lenses over the last 6 years. These lenses have been great on my NEX-5, it will be great to see what they can do on full frame.
For more info and detailed specs highly recommend reading DP Reviews first impressions of the a7 and a7r.