Sony a7R Vs D800e – Detailed Comparison

In this Sony a7R vs D800e comparison article, we’re placing a pro mirrorless Sony a7R camera against a semi-pro DSLR Nikon D800e camera.

This comparison article promises to be a very interesting one. The reason being that these two cameras are of two very different body and camera types, yet, these two cameras share quite a lot of features in common.



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The purpose of this article is to put all the features that the two cameras possess on display in very specific details. However, if you need to make a quick decision and don’t have the luxury of time to go through all the details of this article, then there’s no problem.

There are two sections of this article that you should head straight to. They are our comparison overview and table. These two sections contain a brief rundown of all the features the two cameras possess.

With these two sections, you should have just about all the information you’d need to decide on a short time space. Well, let’s get to it

Now, we’ve compared the Sony a7R with other cameras as well. Here is a comparison of the Sony a7R vs GH4, two amazing cameras for video.

Table of Contents

Sony a7R Vs D800e – Comparison Overview

For this section, we’ll be doing a brief description of the features of the two cameras in this review.



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Sony a7R Vs D800e – Where Both Cameras Get It Right

First, the features that make these two cameras fantastic individual choices.

These two cameras offer you a comfortable system of framing the images before shooting with their viewfinders. The Sony a7R is built with an electronic viewfinder, while the D800e is built with an optical viewfinder.

Also, when it comes to light enhancement, these two cameras have a feature that lets you mount an external flash onto the body of the camera. This feature gives you extra lighting for your scene and is essential for flash photography.

Furthermore, these two cameras offer the best as regards to image quality. They have a very high max sensor resolution, and also support the RAW format of images.

In the section of shooting videos, these two cameras scream quality. For the audio, they have a microphone and headphone port, and for the video, they offer the full high definition resolution of 1080p.

For shooting some special light conditions, these two cameras have Auto Exposure (AE) bracketing. Finally, if you’ll be shooting outdoors under some harsh weather conditions, you have nothing to worry about as these cameras have environmental sealing.

Where The Sony a7R Does It Better

Firstly, the Sony a7R has wireless connectivity. This simply means that the camera can connect to the internet and share files with other devices that are also connected.

This camera also offers you a lot of flexibility with shooting positions with its articulating screen. This feature also makes shooting subjects that make it impossible to use the viewfinder much easier.

Also, the Sony a7R has a higher LCD screen resolution. This will provide you with a better display on the LCD screen.

Finally, the Sony a7R has two other features that make it a very interesting camera.  The first is the near field communication connection that allows you to share files without an internet connection. The second is the smartphone remote control that allows you to remotely control the camera with a smartphone.



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Where The D800e Does It Better

For the D800e, this camera has a fantastic battery life. For this Sony a7R vs D800e comparison, the D800e takes over 500 shots more per single charge.

As for light enhancement, the D800e has got you covered left, right, and center. Apart from being compatible with an external flash as we mentioned earlier, this camera has a built-in flash and a flash sync port.

Sony a7R Vs D800e – Our Opinion Of The Price/Value Ratio

These cameras both cost above a thousand bucks. However, Nikon’s D800e costs a few hundred dollars more than the Sony a7R. This might not be very surprising as it is common for DSLR cameras to cost more than mirrorless cameras.

Considering the features of the Sony a7R as a pro camera, and those of the D800e as a semi-pro camera, we can say that the price tag of both of these cameras is much justified.

However, whatever will give you value for your money is still your choice to make. Seeing that the two cameras function best in different situations, you will know what works best for you and your budget.



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Sony a7R Vs D800e – Comparative Brand Strengths

Looking at the brands responsible for these masterpiece cameras. The cameras are from Sony and Nikon.

These two brands are very big names in the camera industry. Nikon is the biggest DSLR name in the world (sharing that spot with Canon). While Sony, on the other hand, is the biggest name in the mirrorless camera industry.

Now, both of these brands are very well respected brands in their fields, it will be hard and unfair to judge any of these cameras based on the brand name and strength. Instead, it will be better to judge based on the features the two cameras offer.

Sony a7R Vs D800e – Comparison Table

 

Sony a7R

Nikon D800e

Articulating Screen Yes No
Built-in Flash No Yes
Battery Life 340 shots 900 shots
Wireless Connection Yes No
Weight 465 grams 900 gram
Number Of Focus Points 25 51
LCD Screen Resolution 1.230k dots 921k dots
ISO Range 100 to 25600 100 to 6400 can be expanded to 25600
LCD Screen Size 3 inches 3.2 inches
Flash Sync Port No Yes
Dynamic Range 14.1 14.3
Near Field Communication Yes No
Smartphone Remote Control Yes No
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Sony a7R Vs D800e – What Situation Is Each Camera Best For?

Sony a7R

Nikon D800e

Looking at the features the Sony a7R possesses, this camera is what one would call a multi-purpose camera.  

Shooting in some unsafe areas won’t be a problem with this camera as it allows for remote shooting with a smartphone.
As for the D800e, it will perform well above average for any use you put it to.  

However, this camera will perform most excellently in shooting sports photography. This is as a result of its fantastic max shutter speed and a very good number of focus points.
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Sony a7R Vs D800e – Common Features

Now that we have done an overview of all the features of these two cameras, we shall now get into the details to understand all these features and how they function.

In this section, we’ll first of all be taking a look at the features of the two cameras that make them similar.

Sony a7R Vs D800e Common Feature 1: Viewfinder

This feature is a very important feature that helps you to properly frame an image before shooting. The viewfinder is the part of a camera the photographer looks through to get a preview of the image before shooting.

The viewfinder also helps you have better control of the camera while shooting. This is because in other to use the viewfinder, the camera is held close to your eye, thereby and having your hands close to your body.

Viewfinders are built in two types. The first is called the Electronic Viewfinder, while the other is called the Optical Viewfinder.



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Electronic Viewfinder

The electronic viewfinder is a small screen that displays in the image on the sensor of the camera.

This Electronic viewfinder is mainly found in mirrorless cameras, as it doesn’t make use of the mirror mechanism. For the Electronic viewfinder, it functions by electronically projecting the image on the sensor of the camera to a smaller screen.

Once the camera is set in the shooting position, the camera sensor records the view of the scene being shot. After processing this view, the image sensor then projects it to the viewfinder.

It is important to note, however, that not all mirrorless cameras are built with viewfinders. Also, some DLSR cameras have electronic viewfinders.

For mirrorless cameras that do not have the electronic viewfinder, they make use of an LCD screen to perform the function of the viewfinder.

As for DSLRs that are built with electronic viewfinders, they function with translucent mirrors instead of the regular reflex mirror of DSLRs.

Optical Viewfinder

The optical viewfinder is mainly found in DSLR cameras. The optical viewfinder works with the mirror mechanism of the DSLR cameras that involves reflex mirrors and a pentaprism.

When you look through the optical viewfinder, it is the same as looking through the lens of the camera.

So, when light from the scene passes through the camera lens to hit a reflex mirror that is placed at a 45-degree angle. From this reflex mirror, the light is transferred to a prism.

This prism converts the vertical light to horizontal and then redirects it through two other mirrors. From these mirrors, the light gets to the viewfinder to give you a view of the scene being shot.

Now, for the cameras in this comparison, they both have viewfinders. However, the mirrorless Sony a7R is built with the electronic viewfinder, while the DSLR D800e is built with an optical viewfinder.

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Sony a7R Vs D800e Common Feature 2: High Max Sensor Resolution

This is a feature that has to do with the quality of the images shot with a camera. The sensor resolution of the camera is measured in megapixels.

The major thing that the sensor resolution of the camera determines is the print size of the image. If the sensor resolution of the camera is very high, it has better chances of producing larger prints. However, if the print size of an image exceeds the limit of the sensor resolution, the image will lose its quality.

Also, a high sensor resolution is very important for some photographers who cannot avoid heavy cropping. Cropping is known to reduce the quality of images, and a lot of photographers like to avoid it.

However, some forms of photography require that the photographers shoot from afar, and shooting from afar means that you’ll have unwanted subjects in the picture. So, the only option would be to crop out these unwanted objects.

Although cropping reduces the quality of the image, if the camera has a high sensor resolution, the image will still be of a reasonable quality after cropping.

There is another quality advantage a high sensor resolution offers you. This has to do with downsampling.

What is downsampling? Downsampling is the reduction of the resolution shot in a higher resolution. This can be necessary sometimes, because, images shot at super high resolutions tend to be quite large in size.

So, for situations where the size of the image is too large to perform a particular function, downsampling has to be done. As it applies to the other functions, if the sensor resolution is high, then the image will still carry a good quality after downsampling has been done.



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Sony a7R Vs D800e Common Feature 3: Video Resolution

The video resolution of the camera is the number of horizontal lines stacked one on the other from top to bottom of the screen. It determines the size of the screen that a video can be displayed on.

Like sensor resolution and the image print size the same with the video resolution and display size.

If the screen size a video is displayed on exceeds the limit of the video resolution, the video will lose its quality and appear blurry on the screen.

Video resolution is measured in pixels. Take a video of 360p resolution, it has 360 horizontal lines stacked on top each other from top to bottom that is 480 pixels wide.

These two cameras shoot in full HD which is 1920 x 1080 pixels. Video quality is quite great and impressive on the two cameras. Below, we have added two videos to give you an idea of what the video quality of each of these cameras look like.



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Sony a7R Vs D800e Common Feature 4: External Flash Shoe

This feature is for light enhancement in low light situations. The external flash shoe lets you mount an external flash on to the body of the camera.

External flashes can be attached to the camera using the hot shoe, or remotely triggered by pressing the shutter button of the camera. This external flash shoe is essential for doing flash photography.

The remote shooting feature is achieved by a flash sync port of the camera. This feature will be addressed later in this Sony a7R vs D800e comparison article.

Although many cameras are designed with a built-in flash (which we shall also talk about later in the article), the external flash offers greater power and flexibility when shooting.

For the two cameras in this Sony a7R vs D800e comparison article, they are both designed with external flash shoes, making them compatible with an external flash.

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Sony a7R Vs D800e Common Feature 5: RAW Support

Concerning the image quality of the camera, this is another feature that plays a very big role. The RAW format is a file saving format in cameras.

Generally, there are two formats the camera saves images in. They are RAW and JPEG format.

The RAW format as the name implies is the raw, uncompressed, and unedited format of the image shot by the camera. This format contains all the details the original image shot by the camera.

The RAW format is of the highest quality the camera can produce. Due to this quality, the image size is usually very large in storage size. This makes it not popularly used across some devices and websites.

The other file format is the JPEG format. This file format is the exact opposite of the RAW format. It is an edited and compressed format of the image shot by the camera, and this compression directly results in the reduction of image quality.

When the camera is set to save in JPEG, it automatically edits the detail in the image. However, in the RAW format, the camera saves the exact image shot. With this, you can now do the editing yourself in other to retain the best quality of the image.

So, the only thing you have to do to get the level of image quality that the RAW file format offers is a large storage space, as the file format is known for taking up a lot of space. Both the Sony a7R and D800e support the RAW format of images.



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Sony a7R Vs D800e Common Feature 6: Face Detection Focus

The name of this feature explains what it does, it detects human faces in the scene to be shot and places its focus on them.

The human face has a lot of easily recognizable features like the eyes, mouth, and nose. So, what the camera does is to find these features and lock down on them.

Once the camera has done this, it makes sure that the face stays as the main subject in the scene, assigning the appropriate exposure and focus.

For portrait photographers, keeping the main subject in focus is essential. So, if you intend to do portrait photography, then it is of great importance that whatever camera you pick possesses this feature.

Well, for the two cameras in this Sony a7R vs D800e comparison, they both have face detection focus.

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Sony a7R Vs D800e Common Feature 7: High LCD Screen Resolution

This determines the quality of the display that will be shown on the LCD screen of the camera.

This is often overlooked, however, it can be very useful in a lot of situations. Sometimes, shooting with the viewfinder might not be convenient, so, to get a preview of the image to be shot you must make use of the LCD screen.

The LCD screen also allows you to view the image shot by the camera right after taking the shot, to make sure that it is properly taken.

Almost all digital cameras have LCD screens. This screen not only helps you review images but to also access menu options on the camera.

Seeing all the functions the LCD screen has to offer, we can now see why a high screen resolution can be very necessary. A high screen resolution will provide a better view on the LCD screen.

Now, both the Sony a7R and D800e have high LCD screen resolutions. However, the screen resolution of the Sony a7R is higher than that of Nikon’s D800e.



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Sony a7R Vs D800e Common Feature 8: Microphone Port

The microphone port is a feature that allows you to connect an external microphone to the camera for shooting videos.

Now, most cameras are built with internal microphones. However, this internal microphone is only useful for shooting videos indoors. This is because the internal microphone records all the sound from the environment.

For this reason, if you shoot with the internal microphone in an environment where there is a lot of noise, the audio of the video will be very noisy.

So, to achieve the best audio recording for your videos, it is important that you use an external microphone.

The external microphone records just the audio from the direction it is pointed out, amplifying the sound and keeping any other sound from the environment out.

The two cameras in this Sony a7R vs D800e comparison article have external microphone ports.

Sony a7R Vs D800e Common Feature 9: Headphone Port

This is another feature that relates to the quality of the audio in the videos shot by the camera. The headphone port allows you to connect a headphone to the camera.

If the video you’re going to be shooting would require heavy emphasis on audio quality, then being able to use headphones with your camera is important. With headphones, you’ll be able to monitor your sound accordingly without the bother of carrying around an external monitor.

For this Sony a7R vs D800e comparison, both of the cameras in comparison are designed with headphone ports.

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Sony a7R Vs D800e Common Feature 10: Environmental Sealing

This feature is made of rubber and silicon materials. It is added to the design of the camera to protect it from the entrance of weather elements.

The major cause of damage to cameras is usually due to elements like moisture, dust, or snow gaining access into internal parts of the camera.

 So, for the camera to remain safe from these elements, environmental sealing is important. The sealing is usually placed at positions on the body of the camera that might have some an opening where these elements could enter through.

Sony a7R Vs D800e Common Feature 11: AE Bracketing

This is called the auto-exposure bracketing. This feature is important for shooting scenes that have tough lighting conditions. It mostly comes in handy in scenes with a lot of shadows or variation in lighting on the scene.

Situations like this usually make it quite hard for the photographer to know what exposure settings would be best for taking shots of the scene. Now, it is for situations like this that the auto exposure bracketing shows its usefulness.

When the camera captures shot with AE bracketing, the camera takes multiple shots at different exposure values. So, based on the lighting of the scene, the camera automatically selects several exposure values that could work for the lighting of the scene.

Therefore, within those shots of different exposure values, there will most likely be the one that is best exposed.

Both the Sony a7R and D800e have this feature.



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Sony a7R Vs D800e Common Feature 12: No Image Stabilization

This is a feature in the camera that helps the photographer avoid blurring as a result of the motion of the camera while shooting.

The image stabilization feature works with two gyro sensors. The function of these sensors is to measure the magnitude and angle of the motion that the camera has experienced and adjust to counter this motion.

By doing this, images shot by the camera will not turn out blurry due to the motion of the camera.

Some photographers make use of tripod stands to avoid the unfortunate experience of having blur images.

However, some forms of photography do not permit you to shoot with a tripod stand, therefore, it is essential that the camera has image stabilization.

Another area where the image stabilization feature is very useful is shooting with low shutter speed values. Most of the blur that appears on the photo arises because the movement happened while the shutter was still open.

So, for shooting with low shutter speeds, it simply means that the shutter will be left open much longer. This makes image stabilization necessary, if not the image will be a complete blur by the slightest shakes.

As for the cameras in this, they aren’t designed with any form of image stabilization.

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Sony a7R V s D800e – Unique Features

In this section, we’ll now be seeing features that distinguish one camera from the other.

Wireless Connectivity

When a camera has wireless connectivity, this means that the camera can connect to the internet. This connection allows you to share files with other devices that are also connected to the internet.

This system of file sharing is very easy because you don’t necessarily have to carry all your devices with you all the time to transfer images from the camera to the device or devices.

With this feature, you can be shooting at an entirely different location and share files with your computer at home. All you have to do is to ensure that the two devices are connected to the internet.

After connecting the devices to the internet, you would need to select the locations on your computer where the images will be sent to. With these few easy steps, you have your images shared safe and sound.

Only one of these cameras can connect to the internet, and that is the Sony a7R.



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Articulating Screen

This is another feature that has to do with the LCD screen of the camera. An LCD screen is said to be articulated when it can move and change position.

This articulating screen gives you a lot of flexibility when trying different shooting positions. Articulated screens are designed in three different types.

The first type is the tilting articulating screen. This screen is designed to move about just one axis, thereby, only being able to tilt slightly upward and downwards.

The second type of articulating screen is the fully articulated screen or swivel screen. This screen moves about to axis that is at the right angle to each other, giving them the ability to both tilt and swivel.

The last is cross-tilt or flex-tilt articulated screen. For this screen, it is designed to move about various angles. This gives the screen the ability to move horizontally, vertically, and even rotate certain angles.

As for the cameras in this Sony a7R vs D800e comparison article, only the Sony a7R has an articulating screen that is of the tilting type.

Near Field Communication

The Near field communication (NFC) connection is another wireless feature that cameras possess. The near field communication is also a wireless means of sharing files with other devices (mostly smartphones).

This wireless feature doesn’t require an internet connection to function. However, for it to work, the two devices must be close to each other. This is because the connection is not a very wide range.

This is another feature that only the Sony a7R possesses.

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Smartphone Remote Control

When it comes to remotely controlling these cameras, there are a lot of tools that technology have introduced that allow you to do so.

The one we want to discuss now is the smartphone remote control of the camera. This is one of the most interesting forms of remote shooting that has been introduced.

The reason the smartphone remote control is one of the best yet is that it is the only form of remote control that provides you with a preview of the scene before shooting.

Remote shooting is only useful when you are unable to be in the shooting environment.

So, for other remote shooting options, you have to shoot and shoot again if you don’t get the shot as you intended.

However, the smartphone remote control allows you to preview the scene, and even adjust a few settings on the camera so that you get exactly what you want in one shot.

Built-in Flash

This feature has to do with light enhancement. Unlike the light enhancement feature we talked about earlier in this article, this one is built as a part of the camera.

It is integrated into the camera as a part of the system. This means that it will provide just about the perfect exposure and light enhancement for the scene you are shooting.

This built-in flash is very useful in a lot of situations. However, the built-in flash might not completely solve all the low light problems you might face. This is where the external flash that was mentioned earlier comes in.

This built-in flash is a part of the design of just the D800e from our comparison of the Sony a7R vs D800e comparison.



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Flash Sync Port

This is another flash feature that is the icing on the cake when it comes to using the flash for light enhancement.

With this feature, you can sync the flash to the camera, after which you can take the flash off the camera and place in other positions. Now, all you need to do is to trigger it by pushing the shutter button.

The flash sync port allows you to exercise a lot of flexibility with lighting the shooting scene. Once the flash is connected to the camera, you can test lighting on the scene or subject, giving you great lighting effects.

For this Sony a7R vs D800e comparison, the flash sync port is unique to the D800e.

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ISO Range

The ISO range of a camera determines how sensitive the sensor of the camera is to light. This feature is pivotal to the exposure of the image in low light situations.

As the value of the ISO increases, the sensor becomes more sensitive to light and becomes exposed. The only thing to note about the ISO is that, as the ISO values increase there will also be an increase in noise on the image.

Now, for the cameras in this Sony a7R vs D800e, they have great values for their ISO range. The highest ISO value of the Sony a7R is 25600, while that of the D800e is 6400. Now, the max ISO value of Nikon’s D800e is unique because it can be expanded.

When this max ISO value is expanded, it equals the max ISO value of the Sony a7R.



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Sony a7R Vs D800e – Unique Pros

Sony a7R Vs D800e – Pros Of The Sony a7R

  • Firstly, the Sony a7R has wireless connectivity, giving it the ability to share files via the internet.
  • Also, the Sony a7R has an articulating screen that gives flexibility in shooting positions.
  • Furthermore, this camera has high LCD screen resolution and is also higher in this Sony a7R vs D800e comparison.
  • Also, of the two cameras on review, the Sony a7R is the lighter in weight of the two cameras.
  • Furthermore, this camera has a near field communication connection. This allows you to share files without the use of internet connection.
  • Finally, the Sony a7R is compatible with the use of a smartphone for remote shooting.

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Sonya7 r Vs D800e –  Pros Of The D800e

  • First off, the D800e has a built-in flash as part of its body design that can be very helpful for light enhancement purposes.
  • Also, this camera has a higher number of focus points, giving you more options for focusing while shooting.
  • The LCD screen of this camera is a few inches larger than that of the Sony a7R.
  • Also, when we check out the battery life of these two cameras, we see that the D800e takes the upper hand.
  • Furthermore, the dynamic range of this camera is also slightly higher. This means that the camera has a better chance at extremely dark or extremely bright environments.
  • Finally, this camera has a flash sync port that offers you a lot of options for testing the lighting of your scene while shooting.

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Sony a7R Vs D800e – Unique Cons

Sony a7R vs D800e – Cons Of The Sony a7R

  • To start with, the Sony a7R has only a few focus points compared to Nikon D800e and many other modern digital cameras.
  • Also, the battery life isn’t very impressive.

Sony a7R Vs D800e – Cons Of The D800e

  • The first major con of the D800e is its weight. This is a really heavyweight camera. So, carrying this camera around could be quite a burden.
  • Also, the D800e isn’t built with an articulating screen. So, some shots might have to be taken without a preview.

Sony a7R Vs D800e – Common Pros

 

Sony a7R

Nikon D800e

External Flash Shoe Allows you to mount an external flash onto the camera for extra lighting. Same as the Sony a7R.
Viewfinder Allows you to look through to get a view of the scene and properly frame it. It is of the electronic type. Performs the same function but is of the optical type.
RAW Support The file format that produces the best quality of the images shot. Same as the Sony a7R.
Face Detection Focus Detects faces in the scene to apply proper focus and exposure. Same as the Sony a7R.
High Max Sensor Resolution Providing you with larger potential print sizes for the image. Same as the Sony a7R.
High LCD Screen Resolution This gives you a better display on the LCD screen of the camera. Same as the Sony a7R.
Microphone Port This feature offers you quality audio while shooting videos. Same as the Sony a7R.
Headphone Port This helps you to also monitor the audio of the video while shooting. Same as the Sony a7R.
Environmental Sealing Protects the camera from damage by weather elements. Same as the Sony a7R.
AE Bracketing Very important for shooting in unusual lighting conditions. Same as the Sony a7R.
High Max Shutter Speed Helpful for shooting objects in motion. Same as the Sony a7R.
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Sony a7R Vs D800e – Common Cons

 

Sony a7R

Nikon D800e

No Image Stabilization Without this feature, images could turn out blur as a result of slight shakes. Same as the Sony a7R.

Sony a7R Vs D800e – What Users Think About Both Cameras

Sony a7R

Nikon D800e

For the Sony a7R, users are very impressed with its focus peaking, image quality, and size of this camera. The D800e, on the other hand, is very much appreciated for the image it offers. The focusing system and battery life are also very impressive according to users.
However, a lot of users have complaints about the autofocus feature having a bit of a lag. Also, users aren’t very impressed with the battery life of this camera. However, some users have complaints about using the camera in live mode, there are a lot of issues with shooting in live mode, especially with autofocusing.
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Sony a7R Vs D800e – Our Take

Sony a7R

Nikon D800e

The Sony a7R is a very good camera without a doubt. There are a lot of reasons we love this camera. Its articulating screen, high sensor resolution, and body size and weight, are all features that put this camera in the front row for us.  

Although it possesses all these great features, it still has some missing features that could have made it even better. However, that is just a tiny drop in a mighty ocean of great features that it has.
The D800e is also a fantastic camera. Fro a semi-pro camera, this camera offers some features that even some pro cameras don’t have. So, it could as well be used for professional shooting.  

However, we cannot call this camera perfect. There are a few features where the makers could have done better, still, the pros of this camera surpass its cons.
Do you agree? Then, Get the Sony a7R now! You think so too? Then, Get the D800e now!

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