Guide to Sony a7 a7R a7S a7II a7RII a7SII Camera Accessories

If you bought your Sony a7, a7R, a7S, a7II, a7RII, a7SII camera with a lens, then you already have everything you need to begin shooting. But depending on the type of photography you’re doing, there are some accessories that can really come in handy. Let’s start with some must-have accessories for your photography.

External Chargers and Batteries

My first suggestion is to buy an external charger and extra batteries. Sure, you can always plug the cord that came with your camera into an electrical outlet to charge your camera battery, but it’s pretty hard to shoot with your camera plugged into the wall.

It’s much better to purchase a Sony BC-TRW battery charger (Amazon | B&H) and a couple extra Sony NP-FW50 Lithium-Ion batteries (Amazon | B&H). If you have the older style W-battery chargers from NEX, they’ll work just fine, but the BC-TRW battery charger has nice features like charge indicator lights.

BC-TRW-charger-NP-FW50-batteries
BC-TRW battery charger (Amazon | B&H) and Sony NP-FW50 Lithium-Ion batteries (Amazon | B&H)


AC Adapter

Sony AC Adapter AC-PW20 (Amazon | B&H) powers your a7-series camera from an AC outlet. This comes in handy when the camera is being used near an AC power supply for extended periods such as for studio sessions, when uploading files to a PC, or when shooting long time lapse sequences.

Sony-AC-PW20
Sony AC Adapter AC-PW20 (Amazon | B&H)


External Battery Packs

Need to run your camera longer without A/C power? Check out these external battery pack options:

TetherTools-Case-Relay

Tether Tools Case Relay Camera Power System is the first infinite hot-swappable power source for time-lapse photography, power-hungry LiveView shooting or video production. It offers uninterruptible power to most DSLR and Mirrorless cameras via any common USB 5V power pack or wall power.

This is an a la carte system you need three things:

1. Tether Tools Case Relay Camera Power System ($99.99 – Order Here)
2. Tether Tools Relay Camera Coupler for Sony Cameras with NP-FW50 Battery ($34.99 – Order Here)
3. USB Power Bank (2.1 Amps or more) such as: Anker 20,000 mAh Portable Power Bank ($39.99 – Here)
Optional (but cool) accessory: Tether Tools StrapMoore ($18.95 – Order Here)


Lens Mount Adapters

One of the best features of mirrorless cameras is that, due to their thin body design, it’s possible to mount a huge array of lenses on them using lens mount adapters. As the first fullframe mirrorless cameras, Sony’s Fullframe E-mount cameras are the only cameras that allow you to use virtually every make of 35mm lenses with the full angle of view for which those lenses were designed.

Sony-la-ea3-ea4-adapters
Sony LA-EA3 (Amazon | B&H) and Sony LA-EA4 lens mount adapters (Amazon | B&H)

There are far too many option to mention here, so they’ve discussed in detail in this Guide to the best lens mount adapters for Sony E-Mount cameras:


Extension Tubes

Vello EXT-SFED Deluxe Auto Focus Extension Tube Set for Sony E-Mount Lenses are compatible with Sony full-frame and APS-C cameras and Sony FE and E mount lenses. Extension tubes extend the close focus range of any lens making them well suited for close-up portraiture and macro photography. This set contains two extension tubes, one 10mm, and one 16mm. They can be used individually or together to create the desired magnification effect. Extension tubes have no optical elements so they do not degrade the quality of your lenses and these fully automatic extension tubes communicate all electronic functions from lens to camera including autofocus and auto exposure. They are built with metal lens mounts for durability and longevity and enable you to convert your E-mount lens into a macro lens while maintaining the lens’ original optical quality.

Vello-EXT-SFED-AF-Extension-Tube-Sony-E
Vello EXT-SFED Deluxe Auto Focus Extension Tube Set for Sony E-Mount Lenses

Memory Cards

Shooting with a fast memory card allows you to shoot even longer burst without buffer slowdowns. Good memory cards are one of the best investments you can make in maximizing the performance of your camera. Sony SDXC UZ UHS-I memory cards with 90 MB/s Write Speed/95 MB/s read Speed are an excellent choice.

sony-sd-uhs-i-class-3-memory-cards
Sony SDHC UHS-I Class 10 U3 memory cards available in 32GB, 64GB & 128GB

Sony 32GB SDHC UZ UHS-I Class 10 U3 Memory Card(Order from B&H | Amazon)
Sony 64GB SDXC UZ UHS-I Class 10 U3 Memory Card (Order from B&H | Amazon)
Sony 128GB SDXC UZ UHS-I Class 10 U3 Memory Card (Order from B&H | Amazon)

If 70 MB/sec write speed meets your needs, these Sony SDHC UZ Class 10 UHS-1 memory cards offer very good performance at a great price:

sony-sd-uhs-1-memory-cards
Sony UX Class 10 UHS-1 memory cards are available in 32GB, 64GB & 128GB

Sony 32GB SDHC UX Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Cards (Order from B&H | Amazon)
Sony 64GB SDXC UX Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Cards (Order from B&H | Amazon)
Sony 128GB SDXC UX Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Cards (Order from B&H | Amazon)


SD Memory Card Cases

Nothing’s worse than searching around your camera bag trying to find a tiny SD card. Digital card cases can make quick order out of that chaos. Pelican 0915 SD Memory Card Case will snugly hold the cards in the removable, shock absorbing liner. The water resistant seal ensures that your cards will be safe from moisture, even if the case is submerged in water. To keep track of which cards I’ve shot, I turn the cards face down once I’ve used them.

Pelican 0915 Memory Card Case
Pelican 0915 SD Memory Card Case ($17.25 at B&H Photo) holds and protects up to 12 SD memory cards.

Camera Straps

Your camera came with a strap. It might be exactly your style, but if it’s not, you have lots of options. There’s no camera accessory we come in closer contact with than the strap. You can find virtually any strap your heart desires online, so if you’re in the mood for a hot-pink ostrich-leather camera strap, you’ll probably find it.

I have Think Tank V2.0-1″ Double-Sided Non-Slip Camera Straps on all my a7 series cameras. It’s light and flexible and the double-sided non-slip surfaces prevent the camera from sliding off your shoulder even when wearing your favorite slick leather jacket (which should give you a clue why I switched to these.)

Think-Tank-Camera-Strap
Think Tank V2.0-1″ Double-Sided Non-Slip Camera Strap | B&H | Amazon

But if your prefer a cross-body sling strap, then BlackRapid Metro Sling Camera Strap may be just the ticket.

Black-Rapid
BlackRapid Metro Sling Camera Strap (Amazon | B&H)

Camera Bags

I like to travel with my photo gear, and typically my travel involves flying. This means that all my camera equipment will be traveling in the cabin with me, not in the luggage compartment. I can’t emphasize this enough: Do not pack your camera in your checked luggage! Thousands of cameras, lenses, and accessories are lost or stolen from checked luggage every year. The best way to ensure that it doesn’t happen to you is to bring your equipment onboard and place it in the overhead storage. I like to bring my laptop as well, so I have found a couple of backpack camera storage systems that allow me to fit a camera body, several lenses, some accessories, my laptop, and even some snacks into one backpack-style bag that still fits in any overhead compartment.

One of great advantages of Sony a7-series cameras is that you can travel with your photo gear without it weighing you down. So you don’t want the bag you carry it in to weigh you down either. Fortunately, there are a few great options that won’t weigh down your shoulder – or your wallet.

ONA Brixton Camera and Laptop Messenger Bag – $279.00

ONA-Brixton-Messenger-Bag-Black
ONA Brixton Camera and Laptop Messenger Bag – Black Nylon (Order Here for $279.00) is handcrafted from premium 1050D ballistic nylon and features Italian leather accents and solid brass hardware in a gunmetal finish. Stylish yet understated, each of these bags is designed with materials that are lightweight, highly durable, and water-resistant. ONA makes beautiful bags and I think these are their nicest bags ever. Photographers wishing to seamlessly navigate the urban environment with a DSLR or mirrorless camera with 2-3 lenses, related accessories and a 13″ laptop at their sides will appreciate the luxurious yet stealthy, black The Nylon Brixton Camera and Laptop Messenger Bag from ONA. Made of 1050D ballistic nylon with tasteful leather accents, and dressed with solid brass, gunmetal finish hardware, the Brixton is both well-appointed and durable. The bag’s front flap helps protect the bag from inclement weather and utilizes a hidden tuck-lock closure that is discreet and provides quick and easy access to gear. Leather straps with buckles facilitate incremental adjustments to the bag’s depth. Fully-featured, the bag has a padded insert with four, touch-fastening dividers for protecting and organizing gear to one’s specifications. Located under the ample front flap, are two, adjacent accessory pockets. Carry your Brixton with the top handle or adjustable shoulder strap with a sliding pad.

ONA Camps Bay Camera and Laptop Backpack – $409

ONA-Camps-Bay-Backpack-Black
ONA Camps Bay Camera and Laptop Backpack – Black Nylon (Order Here for $409.00) Store, protect and transport your photography gear in the beautiful, handcrafted, black The Nylons Camps Bay Backpack from ONA. This pack has a main compartment with padded touch-fastening dividers for storing DSLR or mirrorless cameras with attached 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, up to 7 additional lenses and related accessories. The Nylon Camps Bay will also accommodate up to a 17″ laptop. The pack features a 4 – 7″ space for personal items, and an exterior, zippered accessory pocket. Carry The Nylons Camp Bay Backpack with the padded shoulder straps or top handle. For comfort and to wick away moisture, the pack has an air mesh back panel. Made of 1050D ballistic nylon with leather accents and solid brass, gunmetal finish hardware, this pack is both attractive and durable.

If you want to step up to a handcrafted leather bag, check out the dark truffle Italian-leather ONA Prince Street Messenger Bag $389 (Amazon | B&H) or it’s larger sibling the ONA Brixton Camera/Laptop Messenger Bag $429 (Amazon | B&H).

Ona-Brixton
ONA Brixton Camera/Laptop Messenger Bag in Dark Truffle Italian-Leather (Amazon | B&H)

My personal favorite walk-around bag is the Sony LCS-SB1 Sling Bag (Amazon | B&H). It’s a slim, body-hugging bag that doesn’t scream, “Steal me, I’m worth thousands!” Although it weighs virtually nothing, it holds a lot. It can fit everything I need for a day out shooting; even a 70-400mm lens with the LA-EA4 fits neatly inside.

Sony-LCS-SB1-Sling-Bag
Sony LCS-SB1 Sling Bag (Amazon | B&H)

Leather Half Cases

Gariz-Half-Case-Sony-A7II

The Gariz leather half-case adds the solidity of a metal base plate with tripod screw and still allows you to change batteries without removing the case.

Gariz leather half-case for Sony a7II (eBay) / Gariz leather half-case for Sony a7 / a7R / a7S (eBay)

Vertical Grips

Vertical Grip VG-C1EM for a7/a7R/a7S (Amazon | B&H) holds two batteries, which allows you to double the battery life of the camera. When the first battery runs out, the camera automatically switches to the second. The grip also adds a second shutter release button positioned for vertical shooting. The grip adds a bit of heft and gives you more to grip when shooting with longer, heavier lenses.

Vertical-Grip
Sony VG-C1EM vertical grip adds a vertical release button and allows you to double your battery capacity.

Vertical Grip VG-C2EM for a7II & a7RII (B&H) holds two Sony NP-FW50 Lithium-Ion batteries and is designed to fit seamlessly with the ergonomics of the new a7II body design and more comfortably in your hand.

Sony-A7II-VG-C2EM
Sony a7II + Vertical Grip VG-C2EM


Neewer Pro Battery Grip with 2.4GHz Wireless Remote Control for Sony A7II offers an alternative to the Sony VG-C2EM Grip for Sony A7 II mirrorless cameras. The Neewer Vertical Battery Grip holds up to two Sony NP-FW50 batteries and comes with a wireless remote and intervalometer.

Neewer-Vertical-Grip-Sony-a7II
Neewer Pro Battery Grip for Sony A7II with 2.4GHz Wireless Remote Control (Order on Amazon)

Remote Controls

Remote controls allow hands-off triggering of a tripod-mounted camera or long bulb exposure times. Sony RM-VPR1 remote control with Multi-Terminal Cable ($50 at B&H | Amazon) allows you to trigger long exposures without touching your camera.

If you prefer a wireless remote trigger, Sony RMT-DSLR2 Wireless Remote ($24 at B&H Photo | Amazon) triggers your shutter by sending an infrared signal to the camera’s remote port, ensuring that you don’t shake the camera as you fire it.

RMT-VPR1-DSLR2
Sony RM-VPR1 remote control (B&H | Amazon) and Sony RMT-DSLR2 Wireless Remote (B&H | Amazon)

Sony-RMT-VP1K
Sony RMT-VP1K Wireless Receiver and Remote Commander Kit ($69 at B&H Photo | Amazon) can operate your camera or a group of cameras remotely using the RMT-VP1K Wireless Receiver and Remote Commander Kit from Sony. The multi-function remote control is compatible with Sony cameras that are equipped with a multi terminal and has further compatibility with MI-show and DI products. For video or still use, the remote has four available modes: Half-push, Release, Bulb lock, and REC/Zoom. The IR receiver has 360° coverage. Full Compatibility with all Sony products with multi-terminal port.

Remote Cables

vello-3-5mm-remote-shutter-release-cable-sony-mi-terminal
Vello 3.5mm Remote Shutter Release Cable for Sony Multi-Terminal cameras ($11 at B&H Photo | Amazon) is the cord you need if you want to trigger your Sony a7-Series camera remotely using a Pocket Wizard or any other remote trigger with a 3.5mm mini-plug port.

Intervalometers

Here are wired & wireless intervalometers that will work with Sony a7 Series cameras:

jjc-tm-f2_wire-multi-function-lcd-timer
JJC TM-F2 Wire Multi-Function LCD Timer Remote for Sony Multi-Terminal ($26 at Amazon) This is the choice of time-lapse specialist Sony Artisan Drew Geraci for it simplicity, size and easy to read display.

hahnel-captur-timer-kit-sony
hahnel Captur Timer Kit for Sony ($89 at B&H Photo) This bundle enhances your Captur remote shutter release system by providing a AA battery-powered interval timer module, as well as a receiver for mounting on a camera. Additional receivers are available for firing even more DSLRs. Use this kit with the transmitter you already have, or purchase one separately. As an alternative to wireless operation, the system can function in wired mode, and this kit includes the cables for connecting both the receiver and timer module to the camera. The module features single, continuous, and bulb exposure modes, allowing you to choose from a huge range of exposure times with the continuous and bulb settings.

Rain Covers

Think Tank Introduces Hydrophobia V3.0 Advanced Camera Rain Covers including new sizes for Sony Full-Frame Mirrorless and Wide Angle Lenses. Hydrophobia V3.0 covers feature DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating and is made from three layers of material for durability. It is also seam-sealed for added protection against rain, sleet, snow, sand, and dust. Fold it down to fit into the included compact carrying pouch and slip it into your camera bag so you’re prepared in a downpour or sand storm.

Hydrophobia V3.0 Advanced Camera Rain Covers feature a non-slip, adjustable strap that cinches to the lens hood so it stays put once in place. It can be used while shooting atop a tripod or monopod and has an oversized window for viewing your LCD and controls. Additionally, two cinchable sleeves provide easy access to your camera functions.

Think Tank Hydrophobia M 24-70 V3.0
Fits Sony full-frame mirrorless camera bodies with a 24-70mm f/2.8, 24-105mm f/4, 16-35mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, or similarly-sized wide-angle and standard zoom lens. ($114.75 from B&H Photo | Amazon)

Think Tank Hydrophobia M 70-200 V3.0
Fits Sony full-frame mirrorless camera bodies with a 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8, 80-400mm f/5-6.3, 100-400mm f/5-6.3, or similarly-sized lens standard zoom lens. ($124.75 from B&H Photo | Amazon)>

Think Tank Hydrophobia DM 300-600 V3.0
Fits Sony full-frame mirrorless camera bodies with large telephoto zooms and prime lenses from 150-600mm f/5.6-6.3 up to 600 f/4 lens. ($149.75 from B&H Photo | Amazon)

Hot-Shoe Flashes

Sony a7 cameras use the new multi-interface hot shoe, which allows the camera to be paired with many new accessories for stills and video production. Sony currently makes four flashes that fit directly into the multi-interface shoe: HVL-F20M, HVL-F32M, HVL-F43M and HVL-F60M.

Sony-HVL-F20m-F32M-F43M-F60M-flashes
Sony HVL-F20M, HVL-F32M, HVL-F43M and HVL-F60M flashes add power and flexibility to your flash photography.

HVL-F20M (Amazon | B&H) is perfect when you want a soft fill of flash up-close or when you want to trigger another Sony flash wirelessly. HVL-F43M (Amazon | B&H) is the best overall choice as it’s nicely balanced in size and weight to the A7/A7R/A7S. HVL-F60M (Amazon | B&H) tops out with a guide number of 60 for times you need maximum power.

Sony-HVL-F32M-FlashIf those flashes too big, too small or too expensive, then here’s on that’s JUST RIGHT! Sony HVL-F32M TTL Flash $298 (Order from Amazon | B&H) offers premium both auto TTL and manual flash settings and premium features in a compact size for flexible lighting control on cameras compatible with Sony’s Multi Interface shoe.

It features a retractable 16mm wide-angle panel, as well as a built-in bounce sheet that can be used even when shooting vertically–without changing the angle of reflected light.

The HVL-F32M runs on two AA batteries and it’s sized to nicely balance on mirrorless bodies including Sony a7, a7R, a7S, a7II, a7RII, a7SII, a6300, a6000 and NEX-6.


Nissin-i60-Flash

Nissin i60A Flash for Sony Multi Interface Shoe (Pre-Order for $339.99) is compatible with the Nissin Air 2.4 GHz Radio TTL System is coming in May 2016. I had a chance to check out at WPPI in Las Vegas earlier this month. It’s nicely sized for Sony a7, a7R, a7S, a7II, a7RII & a7SII mirrorless cameras.

This powerful, compact flash is equipped with a 2.4GHz Air radio receiver for wireless slave TTL functionality. Compatible with Sony cameras equipped with the Multi Interface Shoe and featuring ADI / P-TTL, the i60A will have full support for all automatic flash functions. It is rated with a guide number of 197′ at ISO 100 and the 200mm setting and has a zoom head with a total range of coverage from 24-200mm. It can be expanded to 16mm with the built-in diffusion panel. Hybrid stills/video shooters can benefit from this flash as well thanks to a built-in LED video light for constant illumination.

Accessories Include:
Nissin Air 1 Commander for Sony Cameras with Multi Interface Shoe (Order Here for $79)
Nissin PS 8 Power Pack for Sony Flashes (Order Here for $249)


Flash Triggers

Flash triggers are the best way to fire THIRD-PARTY studio flashes with the A7 series cameras. They fit right into your camera’s multi-interface shoe to trigger the receivers placed on your strobe packs.

PLEASE NOTE: Flash triggers work in the Sony MI shoe to trigger THIRD-PARTY flashes – but NOT the Sony flashes listed above.

Impact PowerSync16-80 Transceiver ($100 at B&H) are my new fave flash triggers feature premium construction at a great price. These wireless transmitter/receivers have 80 channels for elimination of interference, as well as 4 groups that can each handle multiple devices that can be triggered individually or simultaneously. Besides remote flash triggering with the appropriate optional cable, the PowerSync 16-80 can be used as a wireless shutter release that can focus and trigger your camera in single, continuous, and bulb modes.

Impact-Transcievers
Impact PowerSync16-80 Transceiver (B&H)

Impact PowerSync 16-80 is used with at least 1 other unit. One transceiver slides onto the camera’s hot shoe. Third-party Speedlight hotshoe flash foot fits into the transceiver hot shoe or attaches with a mini-plug sync cord to trigger flashes at distances up to 720′.

[PLEASE NOTE: Sony flashes listed above are not compatible with flash triggers.]

Another flash trigger option is my old standby: PocketWizard III transceivers ($150 Amazon | B&H) offer 16 channels plus multiple zones. If you don’t need that many channels, you can save a few dollars with the scaled-down PocketWizard X ($100 Amazon | B&H).

Sony A7R
Sony A7R with Pocket Wizard III (Amazon | B&H)

Off-Camera TTL Flash Cords

Vello-Off-Camera-Flash-Cord-Sony-M-I-Shoe-1

Vello Off-Camera TTL Flash Cords for Sony Multi Interface Shoe allow you to remotely fire Sony flashes with ADI / P-TTL capabilities and the Multi Interface Shoe – removing the flash from the camera’s hot shoe reducing the harsh shadows commonly encountered with direct on-camera flashes and gives your photographs a more natural look.

Available in three lengths:
1.5′ Vello Off-Camera TTL Flash Cord for Sony Cameras with Multi Interface Shoe ($27.95 at B&H Photo)
6.5′ Vello Off-Camera TTL Flash Cord for Sony Cameras with Multi Interface Shoe ($39.95 at B&H Photo)
33′ Vello Off-Camera TTL Flash Cord for Sony Cameras with Multi Interface Shoe ($54.95 at B&H Photo)

The shorter 1.5′ & 6.5′ coiled options are ideal for hand-held off-camera lighting or with flash mounted on a compact flash bracket. The longer the 33′ straight length is ideal when mounting flash on a light stand.

Vello-Off-Camera-Flash-Cord-Sony-M-I-Shoe-2

One side of the TTL cable fits directly into the camera’s hot shoe to ensure that all of the camera’s exposure data is maintained. The other side can be attached to any stand, tripod, or device with a standard 1/4″-20 threaded stud or flash shoe mount and the shoe has a locking knob to ensure your equipment is secure.


Quick-Release Plates and L-Brackets

The biggest pain of using a tripod is tightening and loosening the tripod threads into the camera baseplate. That’s where quick-release plates come in handy. The Arca-Swiss dovetail has become the industry standard quick-release, so you’ll find a wide range of compatible quick-release plates and L-brackets. Neewer makes a great L-Bracket for Sony a7/a7R/a7S (Amazon) that still allows easy access to the slots on the side of the camera. I leave these on my cameras all the time as they also function like a roll bar surrounding the camera with a layer of added protection.

NOTE: For an L-Bracket compatible with Sony A7II see the next listing.

Neewer-L-Bracket-Sony-A7
Neewer Quick Release L-Bracket for Sony Alpha a7/a7R/a7S (Amazon)


Arca-Swiss style Quick Release Vertical L-Bracket for Sony a7II cameras available from Amazon & eBay. It features Arca-Swiss standard dovetails are compatible with RRS lever-release clamp with a detachable design, the base plate and detachable vertical plate. It won’t block camera battery compartment lid opening or data cables hatch openings or twist when mounted on Sony a7 II cameras and allows full access to the LCD screen. Made of lightweight aviation level 6061T6 Aluminum, machined by precision CNC with a smooth, scratch resistant hard anodized oxidation surface

neewer-quick-release-l-bracket-sony-a7ii
Arca-Swiss compatible Quick Release L-Plate Bracket for Sony a7II Series cameras (Amazon | eBay)


Oben QR Quick Release Plates (B&H) are a good choice for long lenses or lens mount adapters.

Oben QR Quick Release Plates
Oben QR-10, QR-20 and QR-30 Quick Release Plates


Tripods and Heads

If you buy only one accessory for your photography, do yourself a favor and make it a tripod. In general, any tripod is better than no tripod at all. A tripod helps you take sharper photos and lets you shoot in any lighting condition. So how do you go about choosing the right one for you? The main considerations are weight, height, head, and of course, cost.

Acratech-GP-Ballhead
Acratech GP Ball head (Amazon | B&H)

One of the determining factors when purchasing a tripod is the type of head that it employs to secure the camera to the legs. There are three basic types of tripod heads: ball heads and pan heads for stills and fluid heads for video.

Ball heads use a simple ball joint that allows you to freely position the camera in any upright position and then clamp it down securely. Ball heads are flexible and quick to use. Especially if, like the Acratech GP Ball head (Amazon | B&H) they include quick-release clamps compatible with Arca-style camera plates and L-brackets for ease of use and efficiency.


Mini Tripod

Manfrotto-Evo-Mini-Tripod
Manfrotto PIXI EVO Mini Tripod available in Black, Red & White (Order Here for $49.95) can hold up to 5.5 lb while weighing only 9.4 oz. It has two leg sections that are adjustable in five steps, allowing it to extend from 2.4″ up to 7.7″ high. The legs can be set at two different angles via the sliding selector. Easily enabling you to place your camera in portrait orientation, a 90° notch is built into the integrated ball head.

Travel Tripods

The weight of your tripod will probably determine whether or not you will actually carry it along with you farther than the parking lot. Many different types of materials are used in tripods today. The lightest is carbon fiber, which is probably the most expensive as well. More than likely, you should consider an aluminum tripod that is sturdy and that has a weight rating that is suitable for your camera and lenses.

Make sure that the tripod extends to a height that is tall enough to allow you to shoot from a comfortable standing position. Nothing ruins a good shoot like a sore back. Taller tripods need to be sturdier to maintain a rigid base for your camera. You will also want to consider how low the tripod can go. If you want to do macro work of low-level subjects such as flowers, you will need to lower the tripod fairly close to the ground. Many new tripods have leg supports and center column mechanisms that allow you to spread the legs very wide and get the camera low to the ground.

manfrotto-befree-advanced-tripod-sony

Manfrotto Befree Advanced Alpha Travel Tripod (Pre-Order for $189.99 from B&H Photo | Adorama) This special version of the Befree Advanced Lever is designed for Sony alpha camera users who want maximum performance and stability in all shooting positions.

The quick-release plate is designed to match Sony a7 and Sony a9 camera bodies, to ensure perfect grip, even in the most angled camera shots. The front jut of the plate physically blocks the camera, preventing any play both on tilt and rotational movements, always keeping the camera stuck to the head plate.

manfrotto-befree-advanced-sony-tripod-plate

The plate is also fully compatible with the world’s most widespread standard head attachments: Manfrotto RC2 and Arca-swiss style. With this aluminium plate fixed to the camera, all Manfrotto heads and almost all tripod heads on the market featuring Arca-style attachments can be set up rapidly and effortlessly, without disassembling components.

3-Legged-Thing-Brian
The 3 Legged Thing X1.1 Brian Evolution 2 carbon fiber tripod (Amazon | B&H) extends to 78.7 inches, yet folds to a mere 16.5 inches for easy packing when traveling.

Value priced alternatives include the Oben CT-3561 Carbon Fiber Tripod With BE-117T Ball Head (B&H) and the Benro A1692TB0 Travel Angel II Triple Transfunctional Aluminum Tripod (Amazon | B&H).

sony a7r camera review sample photo with 70-400 g lens la-ea4
Sony A7R | SAL 70-400mm F4-5.6 G with LA-EA4 Mount Adapter | 1/40 | F5.6 | ISO 1600
Shot on Benro A1692TB0 Travel Angel II Tripod (Amazon | B&H) to lock down a vibration-free shot.


Video Tripods

Smooth pans for video all begins with a good video head – which can be the difference between smooth video and shaky cam. Benro makes great video tripod and fluid video heads at a reasonable price. Benro A2573F AL Tripod with S6 Video Head ($300 at Amazon | B&H) is a good entry video head and legs combination for the Sony A7/A7R/A7S or for even smoother pans, move up to the larger S8 video head with the Benro A3573F Series 3 AL Tripod and S8 Pro Video Head ($450 at Amazon | B&H) – it’s larger, heavier video head makes for even smoother camera moves and it’s hard to beat for under $500. If you’re looking for a pro video tripod, Benro H10 Video Tripod with Carbon Fiber Legs ($1,050 at Amazon | B&H) will meet your needs.

Benro-S8-Video-Head
Benro S8 Pro Video Head and A3573F Series 3 AL Tripod ($450 at Amazon | B&H)

Video Tripod/Head/Slider Combo

If you’re looking for the ultimate versatility, Libec ALLEX S KIT (Amazon | B&H) combines a Tripod, Head and Slider into one handy kit that allows you to slide, pan and tilt your camera elevated on a tripod. You can position the slider slanted at various angles on the tripod and capture smooth, diagonally moving shots. Kit includes two padded carrying cases are included, one for the tripod and head – and another for the slider.

Allex-S-KitALLEX S KIT combines tripod, video head and slider (Amazon | B&H)


Stabilizing Rigs

Steadicam Merlin 2 Camera Stabilizing System (Amazon | B&H) lets you go where the scene takes you–up or down steps, indoors and out, through crowds–almost without limitation. The Merlin 2 weighs just 1.4 lb and can handle cameras up to 5 lb in weight. It gives you precise, elegant control for dramatic, professional you-are-there footage. The quick-release mount lets you instantly switch between your stabilizer and any tripod. This system utilizes a metal gimbal for smooth camera movement.

The Steadicam Solo Stabilizer & Monopod (B&H) quickly converts back-and-forth between a Steadicam and monopod, handily providing the functions of both in one portable unit. It features a 3-axis gimbal and supports up to 10 lb. It telescopically extends out to four sections to approximately average shoulder height, and it folds to a compact 24″ in length. It can be used handheld or with an optional Steadicam Solo Arm Vest Kit (B&H). A quick release camera mounting plate and a set of counterweights are included, allowing for out-of-the-box use.

Steadycam-Merlin-Solo
Steadicam Merlin 2 (Amazon | B&H) and Steadicam Solo Stabilizer & Monopod (B&H)

Comodo Orbit Handheld Stabilization Rig (Amazon | B&H) is a mechanically driven, twin grip gimbal stabilization system. The Orbit utilizes two gimbal handgrips to isolate the camera from bumps and shakes, helping the camera to seemingly float in space. With a twin grip design, the stabilizer has the unique ability to be passed from one operator to another, allowing it to travel through windows or other tight spaces. Having two handgrips also reduces operator fatigue, letting you shoot longer than with single-handed stabilizers.

Comodo-Orbit
Comodo Orbit Handheld Stabilization Rig (Amazon | B&H)

If you’re looking for a MoVi-syle rig for under three grand, the DJI Ronin 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal Stabilizer (Amazon | B&H) is a camera stabilization system designed to give the operator close to the freedom of unencumbered handheld shooting but without the hand-shake. Suitable for most camera types and configurations up to 16 pounds, Ronin uses brushless motors that work on three axes: one for side-to-side “roll” – keeping the horizon level – one for tilt, and one for pan. The system is computer-controlled and boasts a precision of control of ±0.02°. An IMU (inertial measurement movement) detects movement and engages the motors to react, using algorithms to differentiate between intentional movement such as pans and tracking shots from unwanted shake.

Ronin-3-Axis-Gimbal
DJI Ronin 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal Stabilizer (Amazon | B&H)


Video Accessories

Sound

If you want to eliminate the camera noise that comes with recording sound with your camera, you should consider using an external microphone. You can have much more control over the quality of the audio because you are using a device whose sole purpose is to record audio. There is a growing market of microphones for mirrorless and DSLR cameras, including mics with hot shoe adapters that allow you to mount the mic to the camera so you can record without having to worry about holding the external microphone. Sony’s ECM-XYST1M stereo microphone (Amazon | B&H) slips into the multi-interface shoe. Its features include the ability to fine-tune the angle at which sound is recorded, from a single point to a wide 120-degree spread to pick up ambient sound from an entire room.

Sony-ECM-XYST1M-mic
Sony’s ECM-XYST1M stereo microphone (Amazon | B&H) fits into the a7-series multi-interface shoe.

If you’re looking to add XLR terminal inputs and audio level controls for a pro external audio input, the Sony XLR-K2M XLR Adapter Kit with Microphone $598 (Order from Amazon | B&H) is just the thing. It includes 2-Channel XLR Adapter has audio level controls for each channel that fits into Sony Multi-Interface Shoe and a Sony ECM-XM1 Shotgun Microphone.

Sony-XLR-K2M-Adapter-Kit
Sony XLR-K2M XLR Adapter Kit with Microphone (Order from Amazon | B&H)

You can also do what the pros do: Record sound separately and sync it later using software. This does take a bit more time, but it also provides you the best sound. Several manufacturers sell separate audio recorders that produce high-quality sound at an affordable price, including the Zoom H1 $100 (Amazon | B&H). I prefer the H1’s bigger brother, the Zoom H2n $200 (Amazon | B&H), because it includes two XLR inputs, which allow the use of a variety of specialized high-quality microphones, such as a more sensitive dynamic or condenser mic, or a shotgun mic that can reach out and grab audio from far away.


Video Monitors

Your a7-series camera offers Live View video through your EVF and LCD, but there are times when shooting video that a larger monitor comes in handy because it gives you more surface area, making it easy to compose your shot. Step up to a full HD Monitor with the Sony CLM-FHD5 5″ HD LCD monitor – $700 (B&H) is an ideal companion to the a7RII for video shooting. A compact 5.0 type Full HD (1920x1080p) LCD monitor, the CLM-FHD5 features enlarging and peaking functionality for precise focusing, false color and video level marker for adjusting exposure and S-Log display assist to assist S-Log shooting.

Sony-CLM-FHD5-HD-monitor
Sony CLM-FHD5 5″ HD LCD monitor – $700 (B&H) offers you a bigger area to frame your masterpiece.

Sony-CLM-FHD5-Monitor-XLR-2KM
Sony CLM-FHD5 5″ HD LCD monitor + Sony XLR-K2M XLR Adapter Kit with Microphone


4K Recorders

If you wish to step up to 4K 4:2:2 recording, you’ll need a separate 4K recorder like the Atomos Shogun Flame 7″ 4K HDMI/SDI Recording Monitor ($995 at B&H). This 7″ 1920 x 1200 on-camera recording monitor that combines 4K recording with a 10-bit FRC panel that supports native display of HDR (log) footage as well as high brightness viewing of Rec. 709 footage. It utilizes 4K HDMI and 12G-SDI inputs to support clean output signals at resolutions up to UHD 4K (3840 x 2160), recording it to 2.5″ SSDs using 10-bit, 4:2:2 Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHR codecs. It even supports DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) raw video streams over SDI from select Sony and Canon cameras, encoding it as ProRes/DNxHR files.

The monitor features 10-bit FRC processing and AtomHDR display technology support a 10-stop brightness range, allowing you to more accurately monitor your log gamma footage without having to view flat, washed-out looking images or use a LUT to compress the dynamic range and color space.

atomos-shogun-flame-4k-hdmi-sdi-recording-monitor
Atomos-Shogun-A7S
Atomos Shogun Flame 7″ 4K HDMI/SDI Recording Monitor ($995 at B&H)

Video Rigs

Video rigs and rails help you attach all the accessories you use on a video shoot. They have threaded holes that allow you to attach monitors, focus rails, batteries, and anything else you might need. The best and priciest are video rigs from Zacuto and Redrock Micro, but many budget-priced alternatives exist including iKan, Kamerar and Shape Video Rigs in case you’re self-funding your indie opus.

iKan-Tilta-ES-T16
ikan Tilta ES-T16 Sony a7s Camera Rig ($399 at B&H)


Underwater Housings

If you’re looking for an inexpensive waterproof underwater housing for a7/a7R/a7S cameras, it’s hard to beat the Meikon Diving Waterproof Housing Case For Sony A7 A7R 28-70mm Lens for under $200.

Rated to depths up to 130ft/40m this housing is ideal for diving, surfing, snorkeling, skiing, yachting as well as any rainy, snowy or other wet environment. Constructed of Polycarbonate and ABS plastic with clear plate glass port, it’s ‘O’ ring sealed with a built-in Leak Detection System.

Buttons on the housing work just like they would on the camera itself and while it’s constructed for the Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, it can also be used with Sony FE 24-70mm lens but it will lack zoom capability.

Meikon-A7-Waterproof-Housing
Meikon Diving Waterproof Housing Case For Sony A7 A7R 28-70mm Lens (Amazon | eBay)


Reflectors and Diffusers

The easiest way to shape light is with reflectors and diffusers. Reflectors bounce light back onto your subject from a solid surface of white, silver, or gold. White is the softest, whereas silver and gold have a bit more snap and contrast. Diffusers are semitransparent material, usually white, that you place between your light source and your subject. The fabric does as the name implies: It diffuses the light, spreading it out into a soft, low-contrast light source that makes any subject look better. You could make your own or buy one of the many commercially available versions. Photoflex LiteDisc 41×74″ oval reflectors (B&H) come in white/silver, white/soft gold, high-contrast silver/gold, and diffusion. Or you can combine them all in a single kit with the Fotodiox 48×72″ 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Disc (Amazon) or Westcott’s 6-in-1 reflector kit (B&H) which includes two diffusion panels of varying transparencies, and it also has a reversible reflective cover that slips over either of the diffusion panels so that you can bounce some fill light into your scene. Best of all, the entire system is collapsible, so it fits into a small package for traveling.

Fotodiox-5-in-1-Reflector
Fotodiox 48×72″ 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Disc folds down to a third of its open size for travel.


The Small Stuff

There are a few small items I always pack in my camera bag when I travel.

Filters

There are several kinds of filters you’ll probably want to keep in your camera bag. In the film days, I used to carry a whole set of pale orange “warming” and pale blue “cooling” filters to adjust the color temperature of the scene. But now I simply adjust the color temperature in-camera or in post. Here are a few filters you’ll want to consider.

UV Filters

I’ve seen far too many examples of the image quality of great lenses ruined when someone put a cheap piece of glass in front of them, so just make certain it’s the highest-quality UV filter you can find and not a $10 add-on you got hooked into buying when you ordered your camera.

Polarizing Filters

This one ranks right up there at the top of the list of must-own photography accessories. You won’t find many landscape photographers who don’t have at least one polarizer in their camera bag. Sony circular polarizing filters (B&H) are a great choice because it’s made with the same glass and coatings used in your Zeiss lenses.

Light travels in straight lines, but the problem is that all those lines are moving in different directions. When they enter the camera lens, they are scattering about, creating color casts and other effects. The polarizer controls how light waves are allowed to enter the camera, letting only certain ones pass through. So what does that mean for you? With a polarizing filter, blue skies will appear darker, vegetation color will be more accurate, colors will look more saturated, haze will be reduced, and images can look sharper.

Most polarizers are circular and allow you to rotate the polarizing element to control the amount of polarization that you want. As the filter is rotated, different light waves will be allowed to pass through, such as those from a reflection on a lake. Turn the filter a little and the light waves from the reflection are blocked, making the reflection disappear. Another benefit of the filter is that it is fairly dark, so when used in bright lighting conditions, it can act as a neutral density filter, allowing you to use larger apertures or slower shutter speeds. The average polarizing filter requires an increase in exposure of about one and a half stops. This won’t be an issue for you since you will be using the camera meter, which is already looking through the filter to calculate exposure settings. You should consider it, though, if your intention is to shoot with a fast shutter speed or use a small aperture for increased depth of field.

Polarizing-filter
Sony circular polarizing filters (B&H) are made with the same Zeiss glass and coatings as your Zeiss lenses.

Neutral Density (ND) Filters

Sometimes there is just too much light falling on your scene to use the camera settings that you want. Most often this is the case when you want to use a slow shutter speed but your lens is already stopped down to its smallest aperture, leaving you with a shutter speed that’s faster than you want. Maybe you want to make moving water look “smooth” in bright sunlight, or you want shallow depth of field when shooting video and there’s simply too much light, even for ISO 100.

The way around this problem is to use a neutral density (ND) filter to make the outside world appear to be a little darker. Think of it as sunglasses for your camera. ND filters come in different strengths (Figure 13.4), labeled as .3, .6, .9, and so on. They represent a one-stop difference in exposure for each .3 increment. (Some ND filters can be labeled 2, 4, and 8 for the same exposure increments.) If you need to turn daylight into dark, the Tiffen 3.0 Neutral Density Filter (B&H) lowers exposure a whopping 10 stops.

I advise using the best-quality ND filter you can find, because once again, a cheap filter can ruin the quality of a great lens. As their name implies, good neutral density filters should truly be “neutral” in color. Avoid ones that have a color cast.

A great filter for this is Tiffen’s variable neutral density filter (B&H), which lets you vary the amount of density from two to eight stops. Since variable ND filters aren’t cheap, I’d advise buying one in the largest filter size you need and using inexpensive step-up adapter rings on your smaller lenses. Using a step-up ring to an over-sized filter also helps prevent vignetting when shooting with extremely wide-angle lenses.

ND-FiltersND filters come in varying densities, or darkness values, so you can select how much light gets through for the the effect you desire.

Microfiber Lens Cloth

A good microfiber lens-cleaning cloth comes in handy for getting rid of those little smudges and dust bunnies that seem to gravitate toward the front of my lens. I keep a few of these in my camera bag; they can even double as lens wraps in a pinch.
Microfiber-cleaning-cloth
Microfiber cleaning cloth


External Hard Drives

Hard drives are really, really cheap. Memories are priceless. Get a pair of external hard drives for redundant storage. Use the second as a backup for the first. When you fill them up, buy two more. One day you’ll thank me.

Transcend military drop-tested 2 TB USB 3.0 M3 external hard dri
Transcend military drop-tested 2 TB USB 3.0 M3 external hard drive (Amazon | B&H)


Sensor Cleaning Tools

Never, ever, ever use canned, compressed air to blow dust off your sensor. The cans will release fluid when they are tilted, and that’s the last thing you want to get on your sensor. For this reason, I always use my Giotto’s Rocket Blaster (Amazon | B&H). This funny-looking device is great for getting rid of dust on your sensor. It uses a clean air path so that the dust that you are blowing away doesn’t get sucked back into the ball and re-deposited on your equipment the next time you use it. Always point your camera down when blowing off the sensor. That way, any dust you dislodge falls out of the camera.

Giotto-Rocket-Blaster
Giotto’s Rocket Blaster dust-removal tool (Amazon | B&H)

If the Rocket Blower can’t dislodge the dust, I move on to a VisibleDust Arctic Butterfly 724 sensor brush (B&H). This negatively charged brush helps pull dust particles off the sensor instead of just moving them around. This version includes an LED light so you can see what you’re doing.

VisibleDust-SL-788-Arctic-Butterfly
VisibleDust Arctic Butterfly 724 with Super Bright LED light (B&H)

Those two sensor cleaners will do the trick 99% of the time. But for really persistent sensor gunk I can’t get off any other way Photographic Solutions Sensor Swabs (Type 3 for fullframe sensors) (Amazon | B&H) slightly moistened with Aeroclipse Digital Sensor Cleaning Fluid (Amazon | B&H) will do the trick. These swabs are clean room manufactured and sealed for the ultimate in purity. Follow the manufacturer’s directions. Brush across the sensor in one fluid motion using light even pressure. Then turn the swab over and brush across the sensor in the opposite direction.

Sensor-Swabs-Aeroclipse
Photographic Solutions Sensor Swabs (Amazon | B&H) + Aeroclipse Sensor Cleaning Fluid (Amazon | B&H)


Sony-a7-Snapshots-bookFor more tips and tricks about getting the most out of your Sony a7 series camera, check out my new book ‘Sony a7-Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots’.
It’s your guide to all of the Sony a7-Series I & II cameras. While the camera manual explains what the camera can do, it doesn’t show how to use the camera to create great images! Starting with the Top Ten things users need to know about the cameras, author Brian Smith, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and Sony Artisan of Imagery, carefully guides you through the operating features of Sony a7, a7R, a7S, a7II and a7RII and how to use them. Get practical advice from a pro on which settings to use when, great shooting tips, and assignments at end of chapter to practice what you’ve just learned.

‘Sony A7 Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots’ is available NOW from Amazon and Amazon UK

 

Read more Guide to Sony a7, a7R, a7S, a7II, a7RII Lens Mount Adapters
Read more Field Test: Sony a7R
Read more Field Test: Sony a7S


Save $150 Today on Sigma FE 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens

Sigma FE 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens | List Price $549 | Save $150 | Today Only $399 ORDER NOW Deal Ends 11:59pm September

Read More »

Sony Visual Story 2.0 App Adds Compatibility with Video Content

Updated Visual Story App Version 2.0 Now Supports Video in the Story Gallery and Offers Improved Connectivity and Usability for Professional Event Photographers and Videographers

Read More »

Venus Optics Announces Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF Full Frame E-mount Lens

Venus Optics announces the Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF Full Frame E-mount Lens – the world’s fastest 35mm lens and widest f/0.95 lens ever designed

Read More »

114 thoughts on “Guide to Sony a7 a7R a7S a7II a7RII a7SII Camera Accessories”

  1. Pingback: Ultimate Guide to Sony A7 / A7R Lens Mount Adapters - Part 2

  2. Pingback: Ultimate Guide to Sony A7 / A7R Lens Mount Adapters - Part 1

  3. Excellent summary, Brian. I’d definitely recommend the book. It’s a joy to read, and terribly valuable, I keep it always in my camera bag. I use 4 batteries for my A7 and two chargers, this is the absolute minimum. I’ve learned from a pro wedding photographer that he starts a day with 10 batteries for the two A7 bodies he uses. Instead of the grip I prefer changing the battery quickly. A7 consumes 1% of battery for each minute, before starting a lengthy video, I change the battery. I keep fresh battery in my pocket all the time, I can change battery in 6 seconds.

    1. Yes Miklos, you’re quite wise to select the number of batteries on the amount of use. I’ve yet to go through more than three per body per day but with multiple bodies that adds up. Multiple chargers is certainly a good idea when you have that many batteries to charge.

  4. Pingback: Sony TidBits… | sonyalpharumors

  5. Hi, I have a Phottix odin flash trigger that was originally made for Canon and it seems to be not firing. I was told by the camera guys that it could be because of the multi use hotshoe that sony has created for this camera. How does the Pocket wizard get around this?

  6. Hi Brian. I just got my Sony a7s. I also bought Battery Grip but Meike MK-AR7 with remote control, cheaper than Sony Battery Grip. And Also I bought commlite adapter for my Canon Lenses cheaper than the Metabones IV which have some issues with Sony a7s. With my Commlite it was 1/3 of the price for metabones. Now, my full setup is done. I’m a canon user, I have Canon 5D3, Canon 7D Mark II and 2 Canon 650D for Video. Changing lanes to Sony is what my concern is. My question is…. “IS IT WORTHY TO CHANGE LANES?”. I mean from Canon to Sony. After Investing a lot into canon then start again with Sony. Thanks for sharing your Guide to Sony.

  7. Dude…thank you so much. That was really helpful. Question…what do you use if you want to mount/power both flash/light and mic on the A7S?

  8. Thanks so much for your great info – just got the a7ii with 55 f1.8m – shoot mostly canon 5diii with primes 85 thru 200 – glad to add a standard with portability & no loss of IQ. does your raw converter handle the A7ii. Got a hunch I’ll like it. Thanks ageoin

  9. Hi Brian, thanks for the article. I am looking at purchasing a battery grip for my A7, but cannot seem to find an answer to this question: Can you charge the 2 batteries in the grip via the USB without removing the batteries and reinserting them separately into the camera? Do you know if you can do this with the Meike grip?
    Thanks=)

    1. No you cannot charge the batteries while they are inserted in the grip – but I never recommend charging that way. Buy extra batteries and an external charger (better yet a pair of them) – when the batteries run out of juice swap them out and put the dead batteries on the external charger while you continue shooting.

  10. Pingback: Ultimate Guide to FE Lenses for Sony A7 A7R A7S A7II

  11. The Sony raw files are ARW. I use Lightroom cc and it does not recognize them. I have to convert using Adobe DNG Converter. I’m on test run w the a7ii and in love but this may be a deal breaker. I shoot a ton of timelapse and hyperlapse so we are talking hundreds of files each round. Am I missing something?

      1. Perfect! I was under the impression that CC auto updated to the latest version of each app (especially since that’ show it is set!) but you were correct – I manually updated LR to 5.7.1 and now we’re golden! Thanks!!

  12. Hi Brian,
    Thanks for your great information and book.I got your signature on my book and I’m happy.I have a question and I hope you get a chance to answer me.My camera is A7r.
    -How can I make my photos color more warmer by setting my WB.I know I can use Vivid mode.
    Thank you in advance.
    Mike

    1. That’s a great question and easy answer.

      On Sony a7/a7R/a7S cameras simply press the right side of the control wheel to activate WB.

      Highlight the WB you want – then press the right side of the control wheel again to bring up the White Balance Adjustment panel

      You can then fine-tune WB to your taste. If you want to go warmer press the right side of the control wheel to move the A-B (cooler/warmer) adjustment to the right. Start around A2 and if that’s not warm enough for your taste keep going warmer til you find the WB you like.

      Each WB setting has it’s own adjustment panel which can be controlled separately to your taste.

      This is all non-destructive if you shoot RAW so you can refine to your taste in Post but if you shoot Jpeg this WB will be baked into your file.

  13. Thanks Man, this is really helpful for someone like me who is new to the Alpha series. Much appreciated, this page was what I was looking for.

  14. I wish i bought the underwater housing sooner. They’ve just upped the price to about $260 for no discernable reason.

    *sigh

    Great blog/post/etc. Extremely helpful.

  15. Hello Brian, first of all i would like to say that you have a very nice web site here, with a lot of interesting stuff, keep up the good work. And second, i would like to buy a A7ii, and i saw your presentation of the accessories for a7 systems, and i was wandering if you could help me find an answer to a question have: Does the AF assist light from an external flash (Sony or third party flash)work with the a7II , or have you tried to use the yn-622c as a stand alone AF assist light ?

    I’m asking this because i saw that some users have trouble focusing in low light like (night clubs or weddings) and this would improve the AF on the a7II, at least i thinks so if it works :).

    Thanks a lot.

    Viorel

  16. One question. If I wanted to use my Canon MPE65mm I have the Canon Adapter option for that. But how would I go about using the Canon MT24EX Twin Macro Flash that compliments the lens?

  17. @Stoneysnapper

    Brian, I have just made a preorder for my first Sony, the A7Rii, I have been a Canon user for some years and also more recently Fuji. However I like what Sony are doing and couldn’t hold off dipping my feet in the water. One accessory I find it hard to live without is the L Bracket, can you tell me if the A7ii bracket you list above, indeed if any A7ii bracket will fit the A7Rii? I am not certain if they have the same footprint or if I will need to wait on manufacturers making one specifically. Thanks in advance.

    1. Yes, I believe that one or more of the pins in front of the MI flash foot is involved in Sony flash triggering. That’s why the MI shoe can fire third-party flashes and flash triggers but flash trigger receivers won’t fire a Sony flash.

  18. Hey you said none of the triggers work with the flashes listed. I have the a7ii with the 43m.. how do you wireless trigger the flash off camera.

    Also i have the a7ii.. what will be the need to buy the a7rii? would the two cameras be a good arsenal or is that over kill. If you have both cameras a7ii and a7r. which do you use the most and which would u use as a back up persay..

    thanks for your response in advance.. love your site.

    1. Third party flash triggers don’t work with Sony flashes but they work great with any other flashes like Profoto, Elinchrom, Broncolor, Phottix, etc.

      Sony a7RII will truly be the flagship of the line and either your a7II or a7R will make a great back-up.

      1. so how do i trigger my sony 43m flash on my a7ii?

        so i guess you saying i should get the a7rii even thou i have the a7ii..

        do you think i will be crushed if soon as i get the a7rii to add to my a7ii and nex 6 bag. that the a7sii will be released.. do you see that being released anytime soon?

  19. Still love visiting your blog=so full of Sony knowledge. Me too on the pre-order of the A7Rii, curious if you know if it will run off external USB power source like the Patriot Fuel +. My Sony RX100iii will and that (along with simple USB charging) is a HUGE benefit to Sony owners, among many others.

  20. Hey Brian & dear folks,
    awesome review of the accessories, stunning!!
    My question – of topic, but you seem like experts 🙂 – is it possible to extend the range of the A7R (& A6000) WiFi? Maybe with a portable repeater or anything like that?
    Do you have any experience/suggestions?

    We´d like to trigger the cam(s) up to 30 meters (max. one wall) via wifi & qDSLRDashboard.

    Kindly, Sascha Hojzakowa | Jack the Flipper

    1. I’m not certain if it’s possible to use a WiFi repeater with Sony apps. Do you need Live View? If not, there are lots of other remote triggering options…

  21. Shane Mujllins

    Hi Brian, how do you prevent the a7II EVF & LCD screen from going dark when you want to make flash only exposures without using any ambient light? I am trying to use Pocket Wizard Plus III’s on my camera to trigger studio flashes and find focusing next to impossible when setting shutter speeds to 200th of a second or so to sync with the flash lights.

  22. Jason Anderson

    Brian, Thanks for another wonderful article. Will the above mentioned underwater housing work on the A7Ii?

  23. Your guide is great! I’ve used a number of your recommendations when it came time to buy accessories for my A7 I got earlier this year. I did find a battery grip on amazon that looks nearly identical to the Sony one but much cheaper and has wireless shutter control build in. Its worked very well for me since Mid January with no issues other than the remote eating the AAA batteries if you don’t lock it out when storing it:

    Neewer 2.4GHz Wireless Remote Battery Grip Replacement VG-C1EM

  24. Hello Brian, question have you tested the Neewer Pro Battery Grip with 2.4GHz Wireless Remote Control for Sony A7rII? I am seeing issues with the Meike on the A7rII that the buttons and error messages on the LCD screen?

    I just ordered the Neewer Pro Battery Grip Remote and really hope it works like on the A7II?

    Thanks
    Christopher

  25. Hi Brian: Thanks for your helpful site and suggestions. I got the Sony wireless remote for macro and landscape photography with my A7ii. For macro, I often use manual focus and a macro focusing rail. The focus magnification feature is great, but unfortunately if it is set to ‘no limit’ (because 5 seconds is not long enough), the wireless remote won’t trigger the shot until after the shutter (or back) button on the camera is touched. That is extremely disappointing because touching the camera can throw off the focus. I’m still waiting to conclude whether I can part with my Canon 5Dii but with unacceptable obstacles like that I’m not sure I can. Could you please use whatever influence you have to get Sony to fix that and the issue of autofocus operating at the set aperture rather than wide-open in a firmware update? I want to love this camera system but I am not there yet.

  26. Hi Brian, thank you for your very informative blog!
    I have sony A7R and A7RII bodies with a numbers of FE lenses..i’m doing mostly weddings and events. I’m switching from Nikon to sony and what i really miss right now in the sony mirrors world is a flash system working also in total darkness like the Nikon/Canon does with an external Flash Af-assist light. I know this works with Sony SLT cameras and i’m trying to find an alternative solution for the mirrorless cameras (the in-body AF-assist light it’s not a solution due to low power and slow AF). My question is: there is a way with Sony HVL-F43M (or any other flash) to fire the flash (even if only in manual mode) while the LED light is turned on? In that way i could acquire focus thx to the LED and expose the shot thx to the flash light.
    Thank you for your kind attention.
    Simone

    1. I’m not aware of a way to use both the HVL-F43M LED and flash at the same time…BUT…there might be a better solution.

      Back in my Jurassic years shooting medium-format film with Mamiya RZ, focusing with lens like the 180 F4.5 could be a real challenge. So a lot of times I’d set a tungsten light on a stand off the to side as a focus light. You could easily do the same with a LED light like a Ikan Piatto PL60 Accent Light. It has a variable setting so you can dial the power down to your taste if you need. My choice would be to place the focus light off to the side either on a stand or have an assistant hold it if you need to move – but you could also attach it to a camera flash bracket.

  27. Hahahah nice to hear that from you… not so jurassic.. i was also using Mamya RZ when i was young and at my beginnings as a photographer! I was in love with the 250 Apo lens…
    By the way now i’m mostly doing events in really dark conditions (theatres, clubs, restaurants) and i need to move and take pictures of moving people…i was already thinking about using a separate led light attached to a camera flash bracket with a sony flash (thx for the suggestion, the Ikan Piatto PL60 looks really appealing to me!).
    But it would be so much easier if sony would allow external flash AF-assist light to work with their A7/A7R line!!!! Do you think it will be possible to add that feature via firmware update?
    Thank you again for your kindness!
    Simone

  28. “Sony currently makes three flashes that fit directly into the multi-interface shoe: HVL-F20M, HVL-F32M, HVL-F43M and HVL-F60M.”

    I count four in that sentense 😉

  29. Cam you tell me apparatus is used to attach the Sony camera to the field monitor in the photo above this caption: Sony CLM-FHD5 5″³ HD LCD monitor + Sony XLR-K2M XLR Adapter Kit with Microphone? It appears to mount to the underside of the Sony. Thanks

  30. Hi !
    Very good guide ! I’m impressed . Have one question about sony a7 mark 2 . I have en old flash gun med nikon hot shoe ( it was nikon sysytem before sony ) . How can I attach this flash with my sony ? It’s ‘ milion ‘ alternative adapters . Please help !

    1. I’m not sure what “flash gun med” is, but if it’s a standard Nikon flash it should fit directly into the Sony multi-interface shoe. It will hang out a bit in back, but the center pin should align. You’ll only be able to use the flash in manual modes – no TTL – but it should fire.

  31. Hi Brian. I’m considering the sensor brush you show above. But I have a related question. In all the wet-method sensor cleaning videos or instructions I’ve seen, a point is made that one is not really touching the sensor, but the anti-aliasing filter. In the case of the A7Rii, of course, this would not be so. Is there a wet-method you recommend for the anti-anti-aliasing sensors, or do you NOT recommend it?

    Thanks in advance for your recommendation. Your availability here is amazingly generous and just as helpful.

    1. Sony a7R and a7RII still have clear protective glass over the sensor. I recommend the steps in the order I list them stopping when you get the dust off. You should be clean long before reaching wet cleaning..

  32. Pingback: Great Camera Accessories Sony | Camera Information

  33. Fantastic list, Brian. Thank you for providing it. I wonder if you might know of a good viewfinder extension (I can’t remember the right term for this piece of gear), but as someone who wears glasses, I get tired of scrunching my face up to the camera. Even with the help of live-view, it would be nice to have a look through the lens as well. Any suggestions?

    1. There are thinner eyecups but not thicker ones. I use the stock eyecup that comes with the camera and have been mashing my face up against a camera for the last 30+ years…

  34. Brian,

    Could you please explain how flash triggers work? I am looking to purchase a speed light. Would I need to buy a Impact PowerSync16-80?

    Thanks for your help!!

  35. Great set of articles Brian. Thank you for the continuing time and effort you invest. I have a Nissan Di700A and Air 1 commander that works brilliantly with my A7R11 both in manual and TTL off camera. My question is, do you know of a another more powerful off camera flash system that will do the same? I’ve looked at Godox but whilst they support Canon and Nikon even in wireless TTL with some of their units. Not so Sony. Why?

  36. Hi Brian – First off, thanks for putting together such a comprehensive list!

    One question: I have a couple Yongnuo 603Cii transceivers that I am trying to fire from a Sony A7ii hot shoe in order to trigger a remote flash (also with a transceiver attached).

    I have the unit on the hot shoe set to “TX” (transmit only mode) and the flash set to receive. The problem is when I press the shutter on the camera and the transmitter is on the hot shoe, the remote flash does not fire.

    Now, if I hit the “test” button on the transmitter connected to the hot shoe the flash fires, so I know the two wireless units are talking. I have also fired the flash (Yongnuo 560) directly from the hot shoe and it fires (so I know the hot shoe is functioning correctly).

    It seems like the camera is not talking to the transmitter unit when attached to the hot shoe. I have tried the following:
    – Reseated the unit on the hot shoe paying attention to connection (still did not fire).
    – Attaching the wireless trigger to a hot shoe converter to adapt to the sony multi-connection (still did not fire).

    Is there some setting I am missing within the Sony that activates a signal to the hot shoe when a trigger is present? Could this have anything to do with using manual lenses? Any help or direction provided is much appreciated, thanks!

    1. I’ve never tried Yongnuo but you trouble-shooting steps are exactly the steps I’d take in testing. provided the transmitter is firmly pushed all the way into the MI shoe and tightened as much a you can, this would lead me to believe the Yongnuo transmitter is not compatible.

      1. Thanks for the reply Brian. That’s where I am leaning as well…I have seen a youtube video claiming and demonstrating it works (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9Ob2CMTUOc although he is using Sony native lenses, hence my question around manual lenses…should have also stated 3rd party), but at this point I don’t know what else to try. Thanks again!

  37. Pingback: Guide to Sony A7RII Camera Accessories | K1 Photography

  38. Hello Brian .. what a great resource you have! I recently converted my SONY A7S to full spectrum (all filters have been removed). I’d like to obtain lenses to do UV photography as I understand normal optical glass blocks much of the UV. Can you direct me where to obtain them .. especially zoom telephoto? Thank so much.

  39. Good list. I especially like your recommendation of the Acratech GP ball head. I have owned one for several years and I would never want to use anything else. It is a joy. As yjey say, you get what you pay for…

  40. Hello Brian,

    Thanks for all this great information as I am feeling more confident about switching from Nikon to the Sony A7R II.

    There is one concern I have regarding off camera strobe sync speed. I have read from other sources that with popular triggers and strobes, they have only been able to get a maximum sync speed of 1/200s with some vignetting due to radio trigger delay. It was claimed that at 1/250s there was major banding issues with Pocket Wizards.

    I was wondering with the recommended triggers, Impact PowerSync16-80 Transceiver, if they would be able to use the maximum advertised sync speed of 1/250s with Paul C. Buff Alienbee strobes?

    Thanks in advance.

  41. Hello brian,

    I am a sony a6000 user i am planning to upgrade to a7r2 . Please suggest some tripod.

    Also can i purchase a cheaper tripod and put a good head on it ? Any suggestuons?

    – Cherish

  42. Great article, really helpful.

    I have a question about the RMT-VP1K.
    You stated: “Operate your camera or a group of cameras remotely using the RMT-VP1K Wireless Receiver and Remote Commander Kit from Sony.”

    Does it mean that if I buy multiple receivers, I can control multiple cameras at once with just one transmitter? Presuming they are set to the same channel?

    Also, would the RMT-VP1K work with a7sII’s remote sensor? The TC reset function would be really useful for multiple cameras.

    Thank you so much. Keep it up!

    1. Yes. You can control multiple cameras attached to receivers either together if they are set to the same channel or separately if set to different channels.

      No, radio triggers will not trigger built-in Infrared camera remotes.

  43. Hi Brian,

    Great article, I have visited your website several times for A7Rii advice.

    I often do technical still life photography, and like to tether my camera to a monitor while also using a wireless shutter release and studio strobes.

    So here’s my dilemma; my A7Rii only has one multi/hdmi port. If I tether it, I can’t plug in a shutter release. Plus a hotshoe mounted shutter release receiver makes it impossible to mount a wireless flash trigger in the hot shoe.

    – I know there is an shutter release app but I don’t like this as it is way less responsive than a radio wireless shutter release (which plugs into hdmi) instigates a massive time lag between shots, and I just prefer the haptic response of a real button.

    – Ultimately I need to plug more things into the camera, and have only one port. Do you think it is possible to use a multi-usb hub adapter, to increase the number of ports?

    Thanks in advance,

    Sam Barnes

    1. I’m not certain if it’s possible but I can pass that request for a multi-terminal hub along to Sony. Another option is when using Capture One Pro for Sony to tether you can release the shutter from the laptop or PC.

  44. Hi Brian, many thanks in advance for your answers 🙂
    I got a Sony A7 and i would like to buy a ring flash with a tripod.
    I’m not professional, I’m a makeup artist and i just want to take some nice portraits of my work. I’m a bit lost to find one who can be ok for the A7 and for a good price (maximum 100€ is possible?)
    Could you advice me?

  45. Hello, Brian.
    My wife and i Have been shooting the A7S I for years and are ready to buy 2 of the A7S III. we use to visit and buy supplies from K&S, who are sadly gone. Who do you recommend for the best, most friendly Sony dealer in the Bay area; we live in Los Altos Hills. I appreciate your help.

    1. Hello Tom,
      I’m a firm believer in contactless delivery. I buy all my gear from B&H Photo & Amazon. If you order from either today, your camera should ship the day it’s available in the US.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *