My name is Albert Dros and I’m a professional landscape photographer and Sony Europe ambassador from the Netherlands. For many years, my goal has been to photograph our beautiful planet in a spectacular way, and to make my viewers appreciate the nature surrounding us. I am known for my unique style and passion to get the best shots of wherever I travel. For my test of the Alpha 7R V, I travelled to Madeira to show you a different look at this beautiful island and its richness.
You were one of the first professional photographer to test the Alpha 7R V. What were your first impressions and stand out features for you?
When Sony contacted me to try out the new Alpha 7R V I was super excited. I have been using my Alpha 7R IV for years and it has always treated me well in my pursuit to get those stunning images. But as technology evolves, I felt the need for an upgrade which is exactly what this camera offers. It felt to me that it is better in every way. The 4-axis screen, that no other Sony camera has is simply perfect. The whole new body borrowed from the Alpha 1, menu system and upgraded in-body stabilisation are all the little adjustments I needed to take my creativity to another level. Of course, the main attraction is the 61 megapixel full frame sensor and even that they managed to improve with better white balance and colour accuracy which is gold for landscape photography.
But it’s the smaller new functions that really convinced me this camera is truly perfect for my work. The ability to easily photograph longer for 30 seconds without the need for a remote is one. This was something that I had been waiting for a long time and it truly shows Sony is trying their best to implement features we need. There is also the new Focus Bracketing function, that allows me to do automatically shoot at different focal points and stack them in post-production to achieve a perfectly focused image from foreground to background. I use focus stacking a lot in my images and I believe this will be a game changer for Sony landscape shooters.
How will those features impact/help the type of photography/content creation you and others in the same field do?
With this kind of technological implementation, it simply allows photographers to focus on the creative experience even more. Especially for someone like me, who likes to try very technical shots in the field, the camera gives me more options to experiment which I love.
To give you a very specific example, I do not always carry a tripod with me but I sometimes see something interesting that would require a focus stacking technique. Normally, I would put my camera on a tripod and manually select focus points for each shot. But with the Alpha 7R V’s focus bracketing function and improved in-body stabilisation, I can get those shots hand held and let the camera do all the work. In post-processing, you need to manually align the shots (my hands will not keep the perfect framing for each shot of course), and stack them. This is a small addition compared to the other advancements in this camera but it unlocks so many opportunities in my adventures that it’s a joy to use.
The Alpha 7R V strives to provide professionals the image quality, operability and autofocus performances they need to carry out their projects no matter how demanding they are. Do you think it achieves this goal?
This camera is perfect as an all-round high-resolution camera that can do even more than you would usually expect. It is simply the best option out there if your number one priority is resolution. I mean, it can even shoot 8k video! But of course, it’s main purpose is to help landscape photographers like me to shoot any demanding project in any location – and that’s where it succeeds and innovates.
I’m sure the new autofocus with AI technology is a game changer for many and will prove itself invaluable to users with the addition of more subjects and the increased reliability, especially for wildlife photographers. The possibilities will be endless with the implementation of this technology, and I hope Sony will keep refining it.
Lenses and accessories are another core component of creating images. Which Sony lenses and accessories did you use for your initial test and why?
For my shoot on Madeira, I mainly used the G Master zoom lenses: 12-24mm f/2.8, the relatively new 24-70mm f/2.8 II and the 70-200mm f/2.8 II to get as many focal length options as possible. In a nutshell, everything performed as I expected, very sharp and reactive and perfect to resolve this amazing 61 megapixel sensor.
What was more interesting was the improved image stabilisation paired with stabilised Sony G Master lenses. I have quite steady hands so I can already take pictures at relatively slow shutter speeds with my Alpha 7R IV, but with the Alpha 7R V I could take it a step further. I have even shot running water at slower shutter speeds for around half a second longer than I would with its predecessor, and I achieved great sharpness after a few tries – it is simply amazing.
What advice would you give professionals who look up to you and your work?
The most important thing in photography is to enjoy what you’re doing. Embrace the journey of becoming better and exploring your own style, and don’t forget to enjoy nature as a landscape and outdoor photographer.
And while the Alpha 7R V is an incredible (if not the best) camera for landscape photography, I do want to emphasise that you don’t always need the best camera to take the best photos. Don’t forget, I have taken some of my best work with my older Sony cameras too. All of these Sony cameras can get the job done!
I want to thank Sony for the opportunity of being one of the first photographers to try out the new camera. Also, if you’re reading this and have any questions, you are very welcome to contact me via my website. I am always happy to give any recommendations or answer any questions.
"I am obsessed with getting the perfect shot"