May 16, 2017 3319

Fashion photographer. Two and half years with SONY A7R.

Arina Lyubiteleva and Lera Miroshnichenko for DS Magazin

Lera Zaytseva for Monetre 2016 campaign


Over the past two and a half years, I've shot more than a hundred fashion projects using the Sony A7r with Sony Zeiss 24-70/4 FE lens. I shot covers and editorials for magazines, advertising campaigns for fashion brands etc .. And now I can share my experience. The budgets of fashion shootings are not high in Ukraine, so some features may not be in demand for a higher-budget setups. Some things that did not always work well in the A7r, such as slow autofocus and the lack of the first electronic curtain, are fixed in A7rII.

Katya Shokina for Unnamed Project

Size and weight

The Sony A7r is not the smallest full frame camera in the world. But it is small enough to let me forget about the pain in my neck after 8 hours of almost continuous shooting at the location with the camera in my hand, which was usual when shooting on DSLR.

Liza Kovalenko for Novel Intelligence promo

Dynamic range

Do you want to shoot a model against the sun? No problem. Blow out highlights? Forget it. The RAW files are very editable, you can draw almost anything out of them. The dynamic range of this camera is simply stunning!

Alexander Stan for DFFNO Campaign

ISO performance

Even if you shoot on ISO 3200, the quality of the photo will still be sufficient for print on the cover of a glossy magazine.

Valeria Ushakova for Glitter Project

RAW Color reproduction

The color reproduction of Sony A7p is very good, colos are rich and deep. Although it does not reach the level of Sony A900. Lightroom makes skin tones a bit greenish, the Huelight profiles can help. In some particularly critical cases I make corrections in Capture One.

Alexander Stan for DFFNO Campaign

Details and resolution

Even high megapixels are never enough for fashion photography. Your photo can be printed 2 meters high at the entrance of the clothing store and it is important that the texture of the fabric on this photo looks good from the distance of the outstretched hand. 36 megapixels without anti-aliasing filter in this case look very good. And the photos shot with Sony a7p look absolutely clean on a spreadsheet of a glossy magazine.

Katya Shokina for Unnamed Project
Ilona Vasko for DS Magazine

Electronic viewfinder

The main advantage of EVF for me is instant feedback. I make a shot and see the result right there without taking my eyes off the viewfinder. I can immediately fix the position of light or flash output power, correct the exposure or the position of the model, make sure that the model did not blink. EVF in Sony can be compared with the best optical viewfinders. It is also very convenient for shooting in the manual focus mode.

Masha Grebenyuk and Dasha Maystrenko for Next Ukraine's Top Model
Ilona Vasko for DS Magazine


WiFi is a very handy feature. For example, you can put the camera somewhere high and see on the iPad what happens in the top view scene. It was also very convenient to show a stylist or art director some images directly on the iPad while shooting at complex locations.

Katya Radeva for Leaf Lingerie 2016 Campaign


Many wheels and assignable buttons allow you to use the menu not so often. The menu is a bit confusing but it's not a big problem. Basically you set everything up once and only occasionally change something. Most parameters can be assigned to the buttons. The only serious lack of control is absence of a joystick for the autofocus selection point. Choosing it with buttons is inconvenient. The wheel on the back of the camera scrolls accidentally. This slightly reduces its functionality.

Lilia Petushenko for Minimalist Jewelry Ad
Lera Tovstoles for OOPS! Magazine


Sony Vario-Tessar 24-70/4 FE is not the best zoom lens of all times. It is somewhat dark and and has some issues at 24mm. But in the range that I need for filming, approximately 28-65 mm, it behaves perfectly. Sharp, contrast, with bright and accurate color rendition. It is also small, convenient and lightweight.

Ira Moysak for OOPS! Magazine
Lilia Sen for DS Magazine


Autofocus leaves mixed feelings. It is very useful that the focus points occupy the whole frame an face detection works very well. You can confidently compose complex images in which the model's face is in the corner of the frame without annoying "focus and recompose". But in difficult light conditions, autofocus can simply get lost and the illumination does not really help. Sometimes it also tends to focus on a bright contrast background even if it detects a face in the frame. The focus tracking practically does not work, it limits the ability to shoot jumping or walking models. These problems are absent in Sony A7rII.

Eva Storm for Imcrucified 2016 Campaign

Lack of Front Electronic Curtain mode.

I did not suffer the shutter shock effect due to the lack of the first electronic curtain, but this has another problem. The shutter must close and then open and than close and open again for a single frame capture. This takes some time and causes a small but noticeable shutter lag. This somewhat limits the ability to shoot models in motion. This problem is solved in Sony A7rII.

Konstantin Parvov, Olga Dovgan and Andriy Kubrak for Franttini 2016 Campaign

Battery life

The batteries die quickly and this is somewhat annoying. This is not critical, but it forces you to take a few spare batteries to every shooting.

Special Thanks to my stylists: Elena Sydorenko and Tasha Zhu
And models: Arina Lyubiteleva, Lera Miroshnichenko, Lera Zaytseva, Katya Shokina, Liza Kovalenko, Alexander Stan, Valeria Ushakova, Ilona Vasko, Masha Grebenyuk, Dasha Maystrenko, Katya Radeva, Lilya Petushenko, Lera Tovstoles, Ira Moysak, Lilia Sen, Eva Storm, Konstantin Parvov, Olga Dovgan and Andriy Kubrak, Alina Katlobay, Sonya Romanove

Alina Katlobay for Lova Jewelry Ad
Sonys Romanova for iCoat 2016 Campaign
Katya Radeva for Leaf Lingerie 2016 Campaign