On October 15 2013, Sony announced the Alpha A7 and A7R
, the world's smallest interchangeable lens camera. The A7R features a 35mm full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor, 36.4 Megapixels sensor resolution and no optical low-pass filter for optimum sharpness. The new gapless on-chip lenses eliminate gaps between sensor nodes on the sensor's surface for an increased light collection efficiency, high resolution, sensitivity and noise reduction. Together with the new Bionz X processor - that's three times faster than its predecessor - the A7R offers Full HD video (60p/25p), an audio recording level control while shooting and is said to be low-noise. The A7R features Fast Intelligent AF that delivers quick, accurate autofocus that's fully customisable with nine buttons for you to assign 46 different functions. It also features Wi-Fi and NFC for easy pairing with a mobile. The magnesium alloy body weighs in at 407g, which Sony claims is the world's smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera with a full-frame sensor.
The A7 is pretty much the same camera but with a lower-resolution full-frame 24.3 Megapixels Exmor CMOS sensor. It features Fast Hybrid AF, rather than Fast Intelligent AF, which combines quick phase detection with accurate contract detection autofocus. Both cameras will work with Sony's full-frame interchangeable E-mount lenses, including two new mid-range zooms, two bright Sonnar T* primes, and a premium-quality G lens with telephoto zoom. There's also a new mount adaptor for using full-frame A-mount optics. Both cameras feature 9 different customizable buttons and 46 assignable functions that can be adjusted based on shooting preferences, including fully customizable front and back dials, a rear control wheel and an exposure compensation dial. Both cameras will be available for purchase this December. The A7R camera as a body-only is priced for $2300, while the Sony A7 compact system camera with a 28-70mm F3.5 - F5.6 full-frame lens (model SEL2870) is priced $2000 (or $1700 body only). The new LA-EA3 and LA-EA4 mount adapters is listed for about $200 and $350, respectively. The new VG-C1EM vertical grip and LCS-ELCA premium case is listed for about $300 and $ 140, respectively. Here's the summary of review by Phoblographer:
"It almost seems like an obvious choice, but the A7 is wholly deserving of an Editor's Choice Award for its beautiful design and image quality. Alongside the A7R, the A7 is creating a new market that Nikon has also tried to stake its place in, but this is clearly Sony's game. Now, this is a full-frame E-mount which means the current field of lenses specifically designed for this mount is currently limited. The field should hopefully expand soon. The FE lenses we've reviewed are the 55mm f1.8 and the 35mm f2.8. We'd really love to see faster lenses to truly unlock the A7's potential. Even so, the A7 and the 55mm f1.8 did very well together. The A7R has more megapixels, but the A7 has far better autofocusing which gives it a sizable advantage. This makes it great for street photographers and just about any type of photographer, really. Moreover, the A7 is cheaper. Whether or not $1,700 (sans lens) is affordable for most is a question that has yet to be answered conclusively, but in putting DSLR power into a compact body, Sony is succeeding in bringing the price down.
With the A7, Sony injected some vitality into the marketplace that was otherwise seeing more of the same from most companies. Granted, Sony is not abandoning its DSLR line of alpha cameras. Rather, it's providing an option for everyone, and what an option the A7 is."
Alpha A7 Sample Photos on Flickr
Alpha A7 Camera Reviews Roundup
|Imaging Resource - Mar 20 2014|
"Images from the A7 are wonderful, though slightly less detailed than those from the A7R. That's understandable -- with 24 megapixels instead of 36, there's a lot less data in the A7's images, although it's still providing as much (or more) resolution than you'll get from the majority of cameras on the market. And that's borne out by my experiences. Mount th..." More »
|dpreview - Jan 26 2014|
"For those who will be shooting Raw, they'll get very good results out of the a7. Noise is comparable to full-frame SLRs such as the Canon EOS 6D and Nikon D610, with plenty of detail retained until the very highest sensitivities. In terms of Raw, Sony has made the decision to compress its files in a lossy and non-optional manner, which raises some concerns..." More »
|Digital Camera Review - Jan 14 2014|
"Neither the a7 nor the a7R are well-suited to fast action shooting, although the a7 can shoot continuously at about 5 fps, with the 36-megapixel a7R dropping to about 4fps. That said, I was able to easily capture a horse galloping at moderate speed so you can stop action but I wouldn't trust it when shooting sports or a Formula One race. The cameras are bot..." More »
|SonyAlphaClub - Jan 11 2014|
"The Sony A7 has excellent image quality and is noticeably better than my smaller sensor Nex-6. In the real world when using quality optics, the images are very similar and in the end the photographer makes most of the difference. Using the camera and lenses to their potential is often easier said than done ;) Only when you push the ISO beyond 6400 does the..." More »
Alpha A7 Reviews Roundup [Total 16 Reviews] »
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