Upclose with α7 Series Professionals

Tokina 11-20-New

Upclose with α7 Series Professionals

09th June 2015, Singapore Sony Singapore recently announced the Sony α7 series Professionals – hand-picked by Sony Singapore and we decided to request for an interview with these professional photographers. All 5 photographers are famous in their own right and area of expertise so it will be great to find out more about their thoughts on using the Sony α7 Series cameras for their works. There must be good reasons for them to adopt the Sony α7 series Full-frame cameras to complement the current system(s) and for some, to totally switch to Sony α7 Series (and them being early adopters) and we are curious and want to know why.

So we made a call to Sony Singapore and the next minute, we are on our way to meet the α7 series Professionals. Here’s the interview below with them!

Editor: Hi Guys, nice meeting all of you in person! I would like to ask a few questions about your personal experience with the Sony α7 Series Full-frame System, please feel free to share your thoughts with our readers, hopefully all of you can provide insights to what the rest of the world do not know about the α7 Series system. Here we go!

: First and foremost, may I know which photography genre(s) do you guys specializes in?



Bryan: I am into Editorial work, portraitures, news documentation & everything else in between.

Chester: My fortes are Landscape & Time lapse.

Darren: Well I do Architectures & Cityscapes.

Edward: I specialize in Cityscape, Travel Photography.

Kelvin: I do Wedding Photography, family portraitures and almost anything that involves people.

File Photo: Bryan van der Beek, α7 Series Professional

: That is very diversified! May I know, when using the α7 series cameras, how does it stack up or compare to the previous system(s) that you had been using for your photography works?

: For me, the size and the adaptability. In the past, I carry 2 full frame bodies around and the weight almost killed me. With the size & weight of the  α7 series cameras, I am able to move around with 3 to 4 bodies. Lenses wise, the  α7 series cameras allows me to use other brands’ lenses easily with an adaptor. As we know, every brand has their pros & cons, so with the α7 series cameras I can employ (exploit) the best lenses from any brand. Particularly, I like the focus peaking function that allows accurate focusing (even when using other brand’s lenses) α7 series cameras are really sexy and a joy to use.


File Photo: Chester Chen, α7 Series Professional

: The α7 series cameras offer (almost) everything that my previous system has except that Sony had upped the notch with a vast improvement on key areas like ISO handling, the dynamic range and portability. My favourite has to be the in-camera apps like the Time Lapse, Light Trails & the Remote Shooting.

Darren: The α7 series cameras are notably much lighter than most Full Frame cameras available in the market right now. It couples with any lenses (with adaptor) from any brand – including legacy lenses and that opens up tons of great shooting options for me. It is in fact the most versatile system that any photographer can use today. I like the high resolution, dynamic range and the capability to capture a lot of details easily.


File Photo: Darren Soh, α7 Series Professional


Kelvin: For me, the size nails it. The α7 series cameras are compact thus making it very convenient to be carried around. For actual wedding days, the α7 series cameras is less intrusive and also less intimidating at the same time – especially to guests – so I am able to get most natural looking (expressions) photos. For pre-wedding assignments, I can climb or trek any landscape easily with the α7 series cameras – so light and compact! In the past, I would have succumbed to fatigue before I can complete my shoot. (grins)
*(All laughing)

To add, the α7 series cameras had also gotten the selection of lenses (focal range) right. The 35mm F1.4, the 55mm F1.8 and the 70-200mm F4 allows most photographers to use it for most commercial projects/ jobs.

Bryan: Haha, like the rest, the size. It is so much lighter and the compact dimensions makes the α7 series cameras really easy to carry around when compared to my previous systems. The other point worth mentioning is definitely the excellent image quality. I like the fact that the EVF (Electronic View Finder) offers real time exposure and the DOF rendering allows me to check the accuracy too.


File Photo: Edward Tian, α7 Series Professional


Editor: That sounds very convincing, I am sure all of you are finding the α7 series cameras very enjoyable to use and has become a great help to achieving your intended results. Maybe all of you can share a bit on how the α7 Series cameras had helped you to create your work in a better way?

EdwardOK as mentioned earlier, I would say the overall package of the α7 series cameras has helped in many ways. But I would like to highlight again on the α7 series cameras’ compatibility with other brands’ lenses.  And because it also allows me to expand my creative options and explore many new possibilities at the same time.


ChesterWith the α7 series cameras’ excellent dynamic range, I am now able to (typically) shoot lesser frames to achieve my intended end result. Personally I am the type of photographer who will try to get most of the “right” shot through the camera with a little help from using optical filters as that shortens the time required to produce the frames and this is very, very important for time lapse. On the operational side, the compact size and weight allows me to carry a few more bodies with me and I can use it to shoot other stuff while waiting for the time lapse unit to run on another body. This is flexibility at its best.

File Photo: Kelvin Koh, α7 Series Professional

Kelvin: As mentioned earlier, the selection of lenses from Sony are already very relevant to what I am doing. I must highlight that after using the α7 series cameras, I find that the colours are easy to manage, further to that, it offers Wi-Fi transfer of photo files easily, making the process of editing and delivery faster with really good results. (My clients love it! ) On the editing process, it is almost the same with the work flow, so using the α7 series cameras does not change my work flow and I like it this way.

Darren: In my area of work, I use lots of specialized lenses. Personally my favourite combo has to be using the α7 series cameras with Canon’s tilt-shift lens – TSE 17mm F4L and with the insane 36 megapixel, I can do mammoth size prints too! To much extent, this combo helps me achieve many end results that I can only wish for in the past.


File Photo: Bryan van der Beek, α7 Series Professional


Bryan: I shoot people a lot. And shooting people in their natural expressions & environment is a challenge. The α7 series cameras are small and when I am out there shooting, it doesn’t get in the way of other people and is not intimidating. The silent shutter is perfect – when people are less conscious about you shooting them, they became “themselves”. And the α7 series cameras also helped me blend myself into the surroundings – and it also helped when there are times that I need to pretend to be a tourist to get away from certain situations or to simply get a shot that I want.



Editor: I am amazed. If I were to ask you to give me just ONE reason why the α7 series is probably the best camera that you ever own, what would that ONE reason be?

Edward: It’s hard to give you just one reason. However, it will be better to give you a One Package. It’s a package of 3rd party compatibility, compactness, in-camera functions and overall use-ability as a camera. (*blinks)

File Photo: Chester Chen,α7 Series Professional

Chester: Agreed with Edward, it’s the package that I will give as “One Reason”. Everything about the α7 series cameras is just right from hardware to software. But if there is just ONE reason, I will say the ISO. It’s insanely good.

Kelvin: Size. For convenience at that. Whenever I am packing my equipment for an assignment, I will usually stare at my inventory and think really hard what gear to use. These days, I will just grab the α7 series cameras and go.

Bryan: I call it the “Undercover” camera. Go figure. (*laughing)

File Photo: Darren Soh, α7 Series Professional

Darren: Well, there are just too many to mention. Far too many. If I am to sum it up into One reason, it’s going to be tough. I will say “just buy it”! 

Editor: You guys made me so tempted to get one more α7 (probably the α7M2) now! I am going to ask a pretty standard interview question now. Would you recommend the α7 Series to other photographers?

All together: YES!
(*All Laughs)

File Photo: Edward Tian, α7 Series Professional


Editor: That’s a pretty uniform and expected answer, hahaha. Ok, lastly, is there (any) wish list that you hope that Sony will incorporate/ improve into the future α7 Series cameras?

Edward: Ok, I shall not hold back them (*grins) – I hope Sony can make a 3-in-1 α7 series cameras. A good example will be to combine the body of the α7M2 not forgetting the 5 axis image stabilizer, the crazy & seamless ISO handling of the α7s plus the silent “stealth” shutter, and overall improvements like better dynamic range over the current α7 series cameras (preferably over 15 stops of adjustments – hahaha). remove the AA filter and still has a 36 megapixel. Oh, if it also has 4K video recording too! Hope I am not too greedy! 
(*laughs really loud)


ChesterI really wish Sony would open up the API (Application Programming Interface) for third party companies and developers to integrate their hardware devices and software applications for the α7 series cameras. One example will be instead of the simple wired Remote Trigger using the Multi port, provide for full control over the camera via commands – focus, iso, shutter, aperture, white balance, drive mode and more. I really miss having the PC Sync connectivity as a connector and this would help integrate with “other devices”. Perhaps allowing the development of third party PlayMemories Apps would negate the need for the extra hardware integration. Oh yes, like what Edward had mentioned, 4k Video will be a bonus!
File Photo: Kelvin Koh, α7 Series Professional

Kelvin: Yes, agreed with Edward too! (Hope Sony) can give us a model that has the best of the best’s features from the current α7 series cameras. Further to that, I hope Sony can give us a battery that has a better battery life since the α7 series cameras uses EVF, battery seems to drain faster. I am also hoping for a wider range of Sony proprietary lenses like maybe a 21mm F1.8, 200mm F2.8 & a good macro lens that focuses fast. 

Bryan: Better ergonomics and hopefully Sony can consider adding a button for switching between the EVF and LCD screen. At the moment, we have to go inside the menu to make the change and it is kind of troublesome. And I am also hoping to have a “less smart” focus lock function (just like old skool DSLRs), the α7 series cameras re-focus every time when I shifted my position and it starts hunting every time I put it down and held it up again despite remaining at my same location and shooting angle, hope Sony can consider this, once focused, the camera can “remembers” the focused range and area, then stays there till I want to shoot again when I take aim.  


Darren: I guess the guys had said it all. For me, I hope Sony can design and produce more specialized lenses for photographers like me. Seriously, a Sony Tilt-Shift lens will be really, really nice and appreciated. Sony – you listening?

Editor: Thank you Guys for your time! It had been a pleasure and my honour to be meeting up with all of you and having this exclusive interview for our readers. I am sure many of our readers will be inspired to get the Sony α7 Full-frame series cameras at this point. Thank you and I sincerely wish all of you all the bests and thanks again for your time!

All: Thanks!

Special Thanks to Sony South East Asia (Sony Singapore) for facilitating the interview and allowing this to happen!  You guys rocks!


About Sony Electronics (Singapore) & Sony South East Asia

Sony Electronics (Singapore) was established on 1st October 1999 with business activities comprising engineering and manufacturing, sales and marketing, and logistics and information systems. As part of Sony Electronics (Singapore), Sony South East Asia is responsible for the marketing and sales of consumer products in Singapore, as well as for business and professional products in Singapore and other countries in the South East Asia region. It also handles export business for consumer products from Singapore to various parts of Asia. Since establishing our presence in Singapore in 1973, we have grown steadily over the years to become a leader in the consumer electronics market. For more information on Sony’s products and services in Singapore, please visit http://www.sony.com.sg/

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