Got a shiny Sony A7R II, A7 R, A7S II, A7 S or A7 II camera? Lucky you. But what should you buy next beyond a good lens or three? Here is our best accessory list for inspiration.
The Sony A7 range has proven immensely popular among professionals and keen amateurs who want a combination of full-frame image quality goodness and depth of field in a small, versatile package.
Unless you have £4,499 to spend on the Sony A9 or exclusively shoot video, in which case you may be better off with the A6500 or A7S II, the A7R II is the most logical choice. If you can afford it. But what else should you consider buying?
Ignoring the vast array of first and third-party lenses now available, as well as the thousands of vintage offerings that only require the use of a simple adapter, there are many, many accessories to further enhance your photography – and make you poorer.
We have rounded up the very best Sony A7 accessories and what they do so you know exactly what you need, where to buy it from, if cheaper alternatives are available and the price.
Sony A7 accessories: Lens mount adapters
There are so many lens adapters we would grow old listing each one. Generally speaking, there are official Sony adapters for converting A to E lenses. The Metabones EF to Sony E allows you to use Canon lenses and autofocus on the Sony A7 cameras, which is handy.
Then there are less fancy alternatives that are essentially tubes of metal with the right metal fitting. Metabones are good quality, as is the stuff from Fotodiox and Novoflex. We have used all of them and had no complaints.
Just about anything can be adapted (Leicas, Rokinon, Jupiter lenses etc) so have a Google to find out what your non-Sony lens purchase requires and go from there.
£119.65 | Novoflex NEX to Leica R LER
Sony A7 accessories: Extension tubes
Extension tubes let you get close to your subject with your existing lenses by moving the front element of your lens forward (extending it, in other words). In doing so, you end up with better macro photo capability because you can focus closer and that means great magnification.
The Vello EXT-SFED extension tubes come in two lengths for E-mount lenses, 10mm and 16mm. 16mm gives greater magnification and both provide an electrical connection between your lens and camera, meaning Autofocus and other camera functions work as normal.
Sony A7 accessories: AC Adapter
While the Sony A9 was given larger capacity batteries for improved battery life, the Sony A7 range is rather power thirsty. So you should consider buying an AC adapter, which lets you keep your camera going so long as it is plugged into the wall.
Useful for studio sessions or when transferring lots of images. Or even if you ever shoot a lengthy time-lapse photo. Appears hard to track down so it may be worth considering a third-party alternative such as this.
Sony A7 accessories: External chargers and batteries
The other alternative to keeping your Sony A7R II or similar running is by bringing more W batteries along. The official Sony BC-TRW travel charger comes with an a charging dock that can manage one battery at a time. Expensive, but if anything goes wrong Sony has less of a foot to stand on.
Alternatively, there are various third-party offerings that do the job well (sometimes better if the capacity of the battery is slightly higher) such as this, which come with a charger that lets you charge two batteries at once. Useful for situations where plugs are limited.
You could also opt for an external battery with a USB connection (such as the Anker PowerCore 10000) as these allow you to be away from a plug for a prolonged period of time. Any will work, but bigger capacities will be heavier.
£39.81 | Sony BC-TRW UK travel charger
£26.99 | NP-FW50 RAVPower
£20 | Anker PowerCore 10000
Sony A7 accessories: SD Memory cards
Until the 3.2 software update of some Sony A7 cameras, picking a memory card was especially annoying. Basically, anyone wanting 4K recording at the maximum of 100m needed an SXDC card, but now SDhC U3 cards can work (though not all of them).
We would recommend the Sandisk Extreme SDXC cards (32GB and 64GB usually suffices) or the Lexar 633 SDXC U3 UHS-1, but an official Sony SDXC U3 UHS-1 also works. The PNY cards appear to limit 4K video shooting so you are better off avoiding them.
£29.99 | Lexar Professional 64GB
Sony A7 accessories: SD card cases
Storing your SD and microSD cards makes sense because any damage to them could mean losing all your photos or footage. There are plenty of options available that use soft foam to protect at least 12 different cards, while some go as far as being waterproof.
Sony A7 accessories: Tripods, travel tripods and mini tripods
A good tripod can be expensive, but it is worth getting one that can easily hold the weight of your Sony A7 camera and the biggest lens you own, or it may end up struggling to hold everything in place.
As for why you use a tripod, keeping the camera steady lets you use longer exposure times without blurring your image. That means sharper images and the potential to capture your subject in much darker conditions.
Manfrotto tripods have always served us well and are relatively affordable, even the monopod, but there are plenty of trusted companies out there. Travel tripods are much shorter when folded up, making them easier to get into your luggage, but typically less sturdy.
Sony A7 accessories: Video tripods
Video tripods differ slightly to photography tripods because they are designed to provide smooth panning movements. You can attach a video head to a typical tripod or get the whole lot in one go. Benro makes a number of excellent examples, but expect to pay quite a bit for them.
Sony A7 accessories: Video rigs
A video rig lets you use a camera and attach just about everything you need to it such as an external 4K recorder, external battery and fancy microphone setups. Prepare to spend big for the best options (Zacuto being one of them), but there are cheaper alternatives such as Ikan Kamerar.
£59.60 | 15mm Rod Rig camera video cage kit
Sony A7 accessories: Software
You really should be shooting images in RAW (unless you need a very quick turnaround) because doing so lets you edit them the most easily. By tweaking contrast, colours and other elements of a photo, you can enhance the finished product far beyond any other accessory.
Adobe Lightroom is probably the best bit of software and is well worth buying, but PhotoShop is excellent, too. For video, FinalCut or Premiere Pro will do you proud, especially if you shoot a flat image (neutral or a picture profile works well for this) as this makes grading easier.
Pro tip: Aim to over-expose photographs as it is easier to recover them, but under-expose when shooting video.
£10.10 per month | Adobe Lightroom
Sony A7 accessories: Stabilising rigs, gimbals and monopods
Image stabilisation built into most Sony cameras helps remove jittery movements when capturing video and lets you decrease the shutter speed and avoid blurring, but for really smooth video shots a stabilising rig, gimbal or monopod is best.
These are expensive toys that really bulk up the camera and make it harder to transport your kit, but the smaller versions can be taken abroad without too much fuss.
For the same reason it is good to use a good tripod, try to avoid skimping on your stabilising rig as you want to avoid any expensive mishaps. The DJI Ronin 3-Axis brushless gimbal is popular. For a cheaper option, consider the Ikan Beholder DS1 3-Axis motorised gimbal stabiliser if your camera and lens combo is relatively light.
£1,054 | DJI Ronin 3-Axis camera gimbal
£670.78 | Ikan DS1 Beholder
Sony A7 accessories: Camera straps
You get a strap with the Sony A7R II, but for those who want a different aesthetic (and more in the way of neck padding) there are numerous options. Go for one that is durable and comfy and decide whether you prefer a neck or shoulder style offering. Typically the more you pay, the better the quality.
£7.59 | Yihya one shoulder camera strap
Sony A7 accessories: Camera bags
There are so many bags out there for carrying your Sony A7 series camera. Ona makes some of the more stealthy and stylish offerings, but they do cost quite a lot (leather is expensive). Manfrotto also makes camera bags.
Arguably a bag that looks unlike a camera bag makes the most sense as it will deter thieves looking for an easy grab. Do you really want to risk thousands of pounds worth of camera equipment?
US$149 | Ona Bowery camera bag
Sony A7 accessories: Remote controls
A remote control lets you take photos remotely without having to use the Sony PlayMemories app. Sony offers its own one, but even the cheapest alternatives do the job okay. The Neewer alternative, for example, appears to have good reviews.
£54.00 | Sony RM-VPR1 remote commander
£16.88 | Neewer timer remote shutter control
Sony A7 accessories: Camera grips
The Sony camera grips provide more grip (hence the name) and balance when shooting, particularly with a big lens up front. Because of the different design of the mark two cameras, be careful you buy the right one.
Sony’s official camera grip is the priciest, but then it is guaranteed, shares the same aesthetics as the actual camera, offers solid build quality and improves battery life by double.
Third-party alternatives can be had for much less money and will do a similar job (sometimes better in some circumstances), but that comes at the cost of build quality. The Neewer / Meike camera grip, for instance, is said to drain power even with the camera switched off.
£254.04 | Sony Vertical Camera Grip
Sony A7 accessories: Hot-shoe flashes
Your Sony A7 series camera will have a multi-interface hot-shoe fitting on top that lets you connect a flash, which can be used to help capture photos at night or when you need a higher shutter speed to name a couple of instances.
There are four available from Sony ─ the HVL-F20M, HVL-F32M, HVL-F43M and HVL-F60M ─ and each has a different role. You can also go for the HVL-F32M TTL for a smaller flash from Sony or a third-party from the likes of Nissin, Meike or Neewer.
Sony A7 accessories: Quick-release plates and L-brackets
Tired of having to undo the standard tripod thread? There is another way in the form of a quick-release plate or L-plate, which let you remove your Sony A7 camera more quickly. They also add a layer of protection in case you drop it.
Fotga makes a very cheap offering for the A7, A7R and A7S, while Neewer caters for the newer A7R II, A7S II and A7II but there are reports of this version rubbing off paint. Not that you may have to remove it very often to cause the issue.
£20.95 | Xiletu LB-A7 quick release L-plate
Sony A7 accessories: Microphones
The Sony A7 cameras can record audio, but the quality is never going to be good enough for professional recording. It makes sense to up the quality with an external microphone, with the Sony ECM-XYST1M an option.
There is also the Sony XLR-K2M XLR adapter kit, which makes it possible to really fine-tune your sound recording, while Rode offers mics that are small and capable such as the VideoMic Pro.
£99 | Sony ECM-XYST1M
£139 | Rode VideoMic Pro
Sony A7 accessories: Video monitors / 4K recorders
For a larger display when filming, you can add a video monitor to your kit collection. The Sony CLM-V55 has a five-inch (12.7cm) tiltable display with an 800×480 WVGA resolution. It works with any DSLR or camcorder with a mini HDMI output.
For recording 4K, which is possible with the more powerful Sony A7 cameras, you can go for the popular Atomos Shogun Inferno, the follow-up to the Shogun. This 4K recorder has a 7.1 IPS touchscreen display with a resolution of 1,920×1,200 pixels.
Its 4K HDMI, HD-SDI and 12G-SDI inputs allow videographers to record up to 3,840×2,160-pixel video (UHD) at anything between 23.98 and 120 frames per second (FPS). Or 120fps at up to full HD (1,920×1,080). One or more SSD storage drives can be connected to store your video.
£1,680 | Atomos Shogun Inferno recorder
Sony A7 accessories: Underwater housings
Taking your Sony A7 camera underwater need not be an expensive experience. The Meikon diving waterproof housing provides the water protection you need for whatever it is you want to film. Best of all, it has a leak detection system so you know when it is time to head for the dry.
Polaroid appears to make an equivalent that is easier to buy in the UK, but the reviews on Amazon are somewhat negative. As in, avoid like the plague negative.
US$256 | Meike waterproof housing case
Sony A7 accessories: Diffusers and reflectors
Photography is all about lighting, really. For when you need to redirect it or maybe even divert, you need a diffuser or reflector. There are different colours available, with white providing the softest look. Silver and gold are said to provide more contrast.
There are various kits out there, some of which have the flat diffusers you need to hold (or get someone else to hold). Others come in the form of an umbrella and light bulb setup for letting you add your own light.
The Neewer 32-inch and 40-inch kits are popular as they are collapsible so travel well and you get five different colours: Translucent, silver, gold, white and black. Works with any reflector holders you may or may not have.
Sony A7 accessories: UV filters
UV filters were useful in photography because they helped reduce the blue cast you get from very sunny conditions. Digital cameras are less respectable to the issue, but that unsightly purple fringing (known as longitudinal chromatic abberation) can be reduced as a result.
If you do want to fit a UV filter (to be honest, there are better types of filter) go for something from a reputable manufacturer as the cheap ones can really affect your photo image quality.
Bear in mind that the type of filter you buy will have a millimetre measurement. Take a look at your lens to find a number and this ‘ Φ’ sign to see exactly what size you need.
£12.89 | Hoya UV filter 67mm
Sony A7 accessories: Polarising filters
Polarising filters are really, really useful. Like, you should probably own one useful. Why? Because it basically controls the light that flows into your lens and by extension the sensor. In doing so, it can improve image quality.
Depending on the scene, you should see darker blue skies, more saturated colours, reduced haze, more accurate vegetation colour and even sharper photos. The level of polarisation can usually be controlled by rotating it.
The Sony polarising filters are hard to fault as they use the sort of Zeiss coating you get on a Sony lens, but a Hoya alternative can be as good for less money. Any filter also provides a little extra protection for your lens, which can be handy.
Sony A7 accessories: Neutral Density (ND) filters
Suppose you want to take a photo in very bright conditions at a very open aperture, but want to prolong the shutter speed, what can you do? You can use a neutral density filter, which basically acts as sunglasses for your lens.
Though useful for photography, it is video where the neutral density filters really shine as some video settings (such as SLOG) can have a higher minimum ISO and that means an even greater chance of overexposing your scene.
Like any other filter, go for the best you can afford to ensure it avoids degrading your photos, especially as some will let you adjust the density. K&F makes budget versions, but the best come from Tiffen.
Sony A7 accessories: Lens cleaning microfibre cloths
Microfibre towels are good for cleaning a car, microfibre cloths are good for cleaning. Besides letting you keep your lenses smear-free, they can be used to wrap lenses or even your camera to keep them from getting damaged.
Just avoid cleaning too often as older vintage lenses can have soft glass, which will degrade. Quite a lot of dirt is needed to affect your images anyway.
Sony A7 accessories: Sensor cleaning kits
If your sensor is dirty, you can use a blower device to remove the dust and debris. Compressed air cans are a bad idea unless you want liquid on your sensor. Useful tip: Point your camera downward to let gravity do part of the job for you.
There are kits for more seriously unclean sensors, but given the importance of the component we would probably get a professional to do it for us.
The Giottos GTAA1900 Rocket air blower is pricier than most, but its design stops dust from being sucked back in and the larger size makes it more powerful and therefore more effective.
£13.13 | Giottos GTAA1900 Rocket air blower