Sony mirrorless cameras are used worldwide for a reason, but just like all brands, they have some quirks you may find annoying. Michael Andrew a.k.a. Michael The Maven shoots primarily with Sony, and he shares 14 of the biggest weaknesses of all Sony cameras. Some of them are just minor annoyances, but the others could be dealbreakers for some of you. So, before you switch systems, maybe you’ll want to watch this.
Michael currently has three full-frame Sony cameras, and he has used A9, A7 III, A7R II, A7R III and A6500. So, the issues he mentions are present in these models. There are a few more issues with the A7III, you can hear more about them here. And these are the 14 Sony Alpha weaknesses according to Michael Andrew.
1. Rack zoom during burst issues
First, if you’re zooming in during burst mode, you’re going to drop focus. This can be a great problem for sport photographers, but the good news is that it’s been fixed on the A7III.
2. Moire and rolling shutter
Moire and rolling shutter are really big problem when shooting video, and Michael says that he sees these issues on all Sony cameras. But hopefully, at least the rolling shutter will be fixed in near future.
Michael has had the overheating problem with every Sony camera he’s used. I’m pretty sure you remember when Sony’s overheating issue created quite a buzz. Sony released firmware to fix this issue in the A9, though, but I am not sure whether the other models still have the same problem.
4. Posterization in compressed RAW files
If you look closely between black and white pixels when you zoom in, you’re gonna see green compression blocks. It’s not that obvious, though, but Michael finds it a problem in dynamic range test images.
5. Star eating
Under certain circumstances the stars disappear because of Sony’s noise clean-up. It also caused a lot of reactions, and astrophotographers referred to this problem as “star-eater.” However, the problem was allegedly resolved in the A7RIII.
6. Electronic shutter banding
Under certain LED lights, there will be some electronic shutter banding, which Michael finds as another issue with Sony mirrorless cameras.
7. 12-bit RAW during high burst
Sony lowers the bit color of RAW files from 14 to 12 at a higher frame burst. Therefore, you’re not getting as much color when you’re shooting this way.
8. Buffer lag
It takes a lot of time for the camera to write the images onto the memory card when burst shooting at a high frame rate. Plus, there is no XQD card slot.
9. Confusing menus
Michael finds the menu of Sony cameras unintuitive and confusing. In addition, the touchscreen is not fully functional and not interactive enough, which makes it frustrating to navigate.
10. Front heavy
Sony mirrorless cameras are small, but when you add long lenses to them, there’s a kind of an imbalance and they become very front heavy.
11. Weather sealing
12. Camera body finish
Michael has a problem with the body finish of his A7RII: as the camera is rubbing on the fabric inside the camera bag, the finish gets rubbed off.
13. Limited native mount telephoto lenses
This is probably one of the biggest problems for sport photographers: there’s currently a lack of native telephoto zooms and primes for Sony mirrorless cameras.
14. Filter stack issues
Finally, filter stack issues make it harder to clean the sensor, according to Michael.
Regardless of the issues, Sony still makes great cameras. Still, there’s always room for improvement. Do you face some of these issues in your Sony camera as well? Are there perhaps any more issues you’d add?