Sony A7R V and the curious case of a disappearing dial – Also, is Twitter all over?

On this official image from Sony’s website, the A7R V appears to sport the lovely top-left dial from the A1… Until it doesn’t!

What happened to Jonny dial? Kidnapped, or run away to the circus?

Meanwhile, speaking of disappearing things – is Twitter in trouble? These and more thoughts on EOSHD coming your way…

The 8K world is hotting up, and there’s options at all price ranges now. In the affordable corner we have the excellent Fuji X-H2 (currently at EOSHD for review), which can be had for under $2000. At the top end we have the Nikon Z9 with the 8K/60p 12bit N-RAW internal recording (also at EOSHD for review) and the Sony A1 which perhaps has the most practical 8K all the way down to 200Mbit/s in H265 (equivalent quality to 400Mbit long GOP H.264) with some very nice image quality going on for the file size. This is joined by the more limited but still very nice A7R V, and in the middle price range you can now pick up a used EOS R5 for 8K around the $3000 mark. (Yes $3000 is a middle-range price for a mirrorless camera now!!)

But I know what you’re thinking… To hell with 8K, what happened to the top dial on the A7 V?

Sony have a curious thing going on where they seem very reluctant to offer an extra dial on anything but their most prized professional mirrorless cameras. It appears in the case of the A7R V they couldn’t decide whether it was on par with the A9 and A1 in nob twiddling parlance. In one official photo it is in the same class of nob and in the other the nob has seemingly fallen off altogether.

Alas the final camera doesn’t include the top-left dial and drive mode selector, but then the A9 II doesn’t even have S-LOG so it could be worse.

These decisions at Sony are a bit odd, but there’s one feature the A7R V does in fact have over the A1 and that is a movie/stills mode switch. Why Sony left this off the A1 is almost as mysterious as the missing nob case!

In summary, the A1 does remain the superior camera overall for video. The 8K on the A7R V for example comes with a 1.24x crop, and no 30p. Sampling is 4:2:0 whereas with the latest A1 firmware, we get the full 4:2:2. Sony does claim better IBIS performance on the newer model (A7R V) and there’s the new screen design which is both a tilt-out type and fully articulated. I just think £4000 is a lot of money in 2022 for a camera without a super fast stacked sensor, with heavy rolling shutter in 8K and a crop. What I do like about both the A7R V and A1 though is that they’re half the size and weight of the Nikon Z9, even if on paper the Z9 has the more interesting internal codec options.

In the coming days I’ll be bringing you a closer look at the Nikon Z9, Sony A1 and Canon EOS R3, as well as seeing how they compare to the much more affordable end of the 8K-world with the Fuji X-H2.

Twitter panic

Here’s a few thoughts meanwhile on the controversy engulfing EOSHD’s favourite social media platform, although the term favourite should really be in “inverted commas” as it’s a bit like choosing your favourite torture instrument. It’s in a lot of trouble isn’t it?

Elon clearly wants to bring a more engineering led focus to the platform, a much reduced head-count to the company and less of a corporate mentality. As a result he is fighting the perception in the media that he is destroying the company. The commitment to lighter content moderation and reinstating controversial voices has spooked advertisers, who along with users and staff members are apparently leaving the platform in droves. And almost every decision Elon has made so far seems to have been spontaneously made on-the-hoof such as the $8 blue tick ploy, which after you really think it through for more than 5 minutes obviously needs heavy revisions, like maintaining a separate authenticity mark for public institutions and high profile figures. $8 isn’t a very high barrier to stop impersonation is it?

So is it doomed?

Short answer is no, and people should keep the faith. There isn’t a good alternative anywhere. It would be useless for the world if Twitter’s user base all fragmented onto a million different platforms.

My only doubt is that Must, although a web entrepreneur has never run a social media platform. PayPal was a very different kind of service. I don’t approve with the way some of the decisions are being made – must be tough on senior engineers and less experienced workers alike. Borderline disrespectful. But it is clear a more interesting tool is going to come out of the chaos, and that once all the fuss dies down we could be looking at something genuinely exciting.

If the fuss doesn’t destroy it first.