Sony – Setting the Record Straight

Curbar Edge, The Peak District. Sony A7R with Canon 16-35mm. ISO100, f/18.0, 1/10″. 0.6 ND grad filter + polarising filter.

Regular readers of this blog will recognise that I haven’t always been complimentary about Sony and their customer service. Please don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like Sony, it’s that I’ve always had problems with their products and service. Despite this, my Sony RX 10 and Sony A7R excellent cameras.

The Sony RX10 is one of my favourite cameras. It’s become my go to camera for trekking and photography. If I’m going to be travelling light, I now tend to take this camera as I don’t need to take additional lenses and lots of batteries. Since I had the camera repaired, the new lens is far superior to the original and the results are excellent.

The A7R is also an excellent camera and I have this paired with Canon L series lenses. The resolution and ability of these lenses to resolve fine detail is a very powerful combination for landscape photography. Despite this I have tended to shy away from using the camera. My concern has been one of reliability.

I started to experience problems when I took the camera out last April, in cold weather. Typically, after shooting a few frames I would switch the camera off, then when I turned it back on again I tended to get a blank screen. To reset this, I would have to remove the battery from the camera to allow the power to drain. Then when I inserted the battery it would function again.

Then another problem started to develop. This time I found the batteries in the camera draining very quickly. This had always been a problem, however it was becoming much worse. Typically, the battery would drain in a day, and needed replacing, even though the camera wasn’t being used.

A couple of weeks back I took the camera out again after a long break. That’s when I noticed yet another problem. This time the camera wasn’t really recognising the lens and the aperture was showing as 00. As the aperture on Canon lenses can only be set electronically, this was a big problem.

For some reason, I decided to fiddle around with the lens adapter when the aperture became visible again and usable. It’s then I realised that it was probably my lens adapter and not the camera that was at fault. I returned home that day and started to look for alternative adapters. There are a lot of these available but all of them seem to have faults. The only one that seemed to be reliable was the Metabones.

If you have looked at the Metabones adapter you will know that these are very costly. For a while I toyed with the idea of buying a Metabones but couldn’t justify the expense. Then I noticed a second-hand one for sale on Wex and decided to take a risk.

I received the Metabones adapter little over a week ago and it was like new. I’ve now tried it out a few times and can report that the autofocus is now working much better with the Canon lenses. It’s still very slow compared to using these on a Canon camera, but at least it’s now working. The other thing I’ve noticed is that I don’t need to remove the camera battery. So far, I haven’t seen this problem at all. I also left a near exhausted battery in the camera to see how quickly it would drain. Tonight, almost 10 days later, there was still enough power to turn on the camera.

It looks like my use of a cheaper adapter has compromised my view of the camera. I will keep a very close eye on this in the future but I’m very pleased with the new adapter and looking forward to using the camera again.

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