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Serpentine Pavilion and Sony A7R Test Drive

14 July 2015

image from Serpentine Pavilion and Sony A7R Test Drive

After almost five years exclusively using a Canon DSLR, I’ve recently switched over to the Sony A7R. I love my 550D and it has served me well over the years but I had been wanting to purchase a full-frame DSLR for some time. The main thing that held me back, besides the cost, is that the Canon full-frame cameras are all bigger and heavier than my 550D. It has been hard enough travelling with my 550D when you’re limited to one carry-on bag with airlines like Easyjet, so obviously the prospect of getting an even bigger camera was not ideal.

A few months back I heard about the range of Sony A7 cameras - full-frame mirrorless cameras which only weigh about half as much as leading DSLRs. It sounded too good to be true so I did a lot of research and read loads of reviews. Two professional photographers who I admire, Trey Ratcliff and Serge Ramelli, had switched over to using Sony almost exclusively and that pretty much sealed the deal for me.

I picked up the 24-70mm lens along with the Sony A7R, and you can see how the size compares to my Canon 550D with the 24-105mm lens that I was using for most of my photography. In terms of weight, the Canon kit is about 360g heavier. (Sorry for the photo quality here but obviously I couldn’t use a DSLR for these shots!)

I’ve been looking for an excuse to get out and test the Sony A7R so last weekend I visited the Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park. Each year, the Serpentine Gallery commissions a temporary summer pavilion by a leading architect. This year it was designed by Spanish architects Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano.

I’m still getting to grips with the new camera, the controls are a bit different to my Canon, but I’m loving it so far. Having a full-frame camera makes such a difference as I can fit so much more into the field of view. I also love the WiFi capability of the Sony A7R as it means I can send photos straight to my phone to upload to Instagram.

The only downside so far is that the battery drains faster on the A7R than it does on the 550D but I’ve already picked up a couple of spare batteries to carry in my bag so I don’t think it will be too much of a problem. I’m looking forward to testing out this camera in lower light conditions to see how it holds up.

The Serpentine Pavilion is open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm until 18 October 2015.



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