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Report: Sony's A7/A7R have light leak problems

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Sony's much-touted A7/A7R cameras have a problem: leaks of light according to a report by the Imaging Resource spurred into existence by various Internet rumors The reports of the problem started trickling out as soon as the camera started finding its way into the hands of its first buyers, the people who were smart and preordered as soon as the option became available.

So, what is the problem and what does this mean?

In layman's terms, light somehow finds a way to make it through the gap between the camera and lens, and thus illuminate the sensor. The fear: the excessive light could result in unusual illumination in the pictures and/or cause problems with proper metering.

So, should this be cause for concern? Short answer: absolutely not.

The Imaging Resource tested this problem with the A7 and also did the same with a Nikon D800 and a Canon 5D Mark III. The interesting point to consider: people are only reporting problems when shooting straight into the Sun (what normal person does that?) or into a light bulb at only a few inches distance (what normal person does that?) for long exposures of, say, ISO 25,600 for 30 seconds. Result of the test: all cameras had lights leaks, which disappeared when the camera/mount connection point was wrapped with dark tape. Implication: it's simply humanly impossible to block every single photon from getting through the lens mount to the sensor with today's technology.

Bottom line: this uproar was caused by a bunch of techno geeks using their cameras in unnatural situations in an effort to find faults with them. Needless to say, in real life, the light leak will not be a problem.

For more info:
The Imaging Resource

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