Out with the a6500 and 100-400mm GM this morning, performance was about what I expected from a 2016 Sony release. Autofocus was painfully slow compared to the R5 and A7 IV; but unlike either it didn’t balk. IBIS/OIS was great with the bare lens (after a firmware update), but not as good with the 1.4X, which—same as with the a6400—looks lousy on crop sensor. In short, it’s a solid backup camera.
Encouraged by the morning’s results, I decided to add a 70-350mm G lens to the arsenal, giving me the option of using the little camera as a backup to either first-team setup. As if I needed an excuse after seeing a friend’s recent stunning shots with the lens, I also added a Sigma 18-50mm f2.8.
Target tests with both lenses gave very positive results. Interestingly, my first copy of the MIC 70-350mm begged to be stopped down to f/8 for a noticeable difference in contrast, while this copy looks at peak wide open. At least I got lucky this time. It’s comparable in weight to the RF 100-400mm, but probably more than a notch below that lens in IQ.
As a self-contained backup for Canon, the two APS-C zooms and camera weigh in at less than 1.5kg. For dedicated critter-chasing travel with Sony, I’d use the Sigma in crop mode on the A7 IV if necessary (approx 14mp) to avoid carting along FF options that may or may not be useful.
The shopkeeper shared that the initial shipment of R7 bodies was sufficient to fill his preorders; and he seemed optimistic that another shipment would arrive sooner rather than after a lengthy delay. So, something to look forward to, and at the same time with no reason for hurry . . .