World’s Smallest, Lightest Full-Frame 36-megapixel Mirrorless Camera
Sony just announced Alpha 7 (a7) and 7R (a7R), the latter claiming to be the world’s smallest, and lightest full-frame interchangeable lens digital camera. The top-of-the-line a7R model features a 36.4 effective megapixel 35mm Exmor CMOS sensor – the highest resolution sensor in the history of Sony’s Alpha line – with no optical low pass filter for added resolving power and increased image detail. The a7 model boasts an impressive 24.3 effective megapixel 35mm Exmor CMOS sensor and an innovative fast Hybrid AF system.
Each camera is equipped with advanced imaging features including a powerful new BIONZ X processor; fast AF capabilities; a clear, bright XGA OLED Tru-finder, full HD 60p video recording, Wi-Fi and NFC connection, dust-and moisture- resistance and more.
Both cameras feature full customization and control to meet the needs of the most demanding photographers. There are 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. Users can preview all changes to photographic settings in real-time on the high-contrast, 2.4 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder or the high-resolution tiltable 3” LCD screen.
The new cameras share a powerful new BIONZ X processor that accurately reproduces details in textures in real-time via extra high-speed processing capabilities, and allows for exceptional low noise performance in all types of lighting conditions. Additionally, the powerful processor combined with the advanced, high resolution sensors allow both cameras to shoot pro-quality Full HD video (AVCHD progressive, 1920x1080p @ 60p) with richly detailed colors and ultra-low noise.
Clear Image Zoom has been enhanced for video recording as well, allowing for powerful close-up shots without sacrificing pixel count. Other pro-style movie features include an audio recording level control and display plus a “live” HDMI output for passing through video to an external monitor or recording device.
The new cameras both have on-board Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities for instant image sharing and transfer to compatible smartphones and tablets. The a7R and a7 models can access Sony’s platform of PlayMemories Camera Apps, allowing users to add new effects, filters, utilities and more. This platform includes new ‘Multiple Exposure’ app, which automatically combines sequential exposures into one creative shot, and ‘Smart Remote Control’4, which allows for direct control of exposure and shutter speed from a connected smartphone and is particularly useful for self-portraits or group shots.
The new α7 and α7R cameras each have a tough, magnesium alloy build and are dust and moisture resistant for standing up to some of the toughest weather conditions.
The a7R camera features a new Fast Intelligent AF technology that delivers blazingly quick, accurate autofocus. Additionally, there are a total of three selectable sizes for the Flexible Spot AF frame, minimizing the risk of accidentally focusing on the wrong target. Meanwhile, the a7 offers an innovative Fast Hybrid AF system that combines phase- and contrast-detect AF methods to ensure speedy, accurate autofocus. It can also shoot at up to 5 fps continuously with non-stop AF tracking, allowing it to keep pace with fast-moving athletes, wildlife or energetic children.
Pricing and Availability (December 2013)
- Sony a7R (model ILCE-7R, body only) $2300
- Sony a7 (model ILCE-7, body only) $1700
- Sony a7 with 28-70mm F3.5 – F5.6 full-frame lens (model SEL2870) for about $2000