What is to be sure is that next to the Nikon D800, it is a LOT less sturdy. The side latches are as cheap and flimsy as a Nikon D5000's; the card door is a pull out plastic affair. I see no weather gaskets around any hinge or door. This is NOT a weatherproof camera. It is NOT a weather resistant camera - at least as is dictated by current market standards set by Nikon, Pentax, and Olympus.
But this bad boy will replace my D800. I need a more agile camera, a camera that can stretch on long bellows without weighing the skeleton down too much. I need a camera that doesn't have a big arse flash sticking out that interferes with bellows or T/S lenses. Naturally, I need a camera with good image quality. So far, the single frame I shot indicates that that won't be a problem.
What I'm not keen on so far is the complicated control scheme. But then again, I'm a simpler man than most. My needs are like 1/10th of yours. And in the following week or two, I will report on how they are fed by the a7r. I will be shooting several small review projects for ohm. That should get me boned up enough for two largish shoots for Mac Audio and Headphone Book (I'm a geek photographer) come December.
In the mean time, I will mount the a7r to Nikkor Ai/S lenses via Novoflex’ excellent NEX-F mount adapter and ASTAT tripod ring mount. I don’t expect I’ll use the camera much whilst out and about. Why? Because I don’t shoot Sony style. Whilst out and about, I'm pretty set in my ways. Either a rangefinder or a real SLR. Nothing else- at least not yet.
Currently I shoot with a Fuji X-Pro 1, which typically is screwed around the tiny Canon 35/2 LTM (M39) lens. I came to 35mm photography from a Nikon FE, and then a Canon P. The Fujifilm X-Pro 1 is a camera so half-arsed that it is tiring to find new derogatory puns that fit it. But without dishing out for a Leica M, it is as close to the simplicity of a physically controlled camera as is available. Shame, really.
The good news is that Sony are not trying to be anything- at least not that I can tell. The a7r is the first interchangeable lens 35mm equivalent 'full frame' camera that is the same size as medium-sized SLRs of yesteryear. I hope that smaller cameras with full frame sensors and traditional layouts come out so that I can replace my half-arsed Fuji. If it be Sony, so be it.
I am planning to purchase Voigtlander's VM-E helicoid mount in order that I can use my LTM (M39) and M lenses on the a7r, just for fun. Since early this year, I have used a Hawk's Factory helicoid adapter on my X-Pro 1. Amazing. Mostly. Its most serious problem is that it is machined quite cheaply from soft aluminium. Actually that would be its second worst offence. Its first is that the tube through which the lens projects an image is reflective. That surface both exacerbates existing lens flare and creates its own. Voigtlander should be made better.
Note: Ω's full review of the Sony ILCE-7r (a7r) is now up