Sony A7/A7R
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Sony has announced the A7 and A7R - the world's first consumer-oriented full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. Externally, the two bodies are nearly identical and feature a pentaprism-like EVF housing, generous handgrip and plenty of manual controls. The differences are internal - sporting a 36 megapixel sensor, the A7R has no optical low-pass filter and is limited to contrast-detect autofocus, while the less expensive A7 has a 24 megapixel sensor with a low-pass filter and on-chip phase detection. Both bodies are designed around the Sony NEX E-mount, though new 'FE' lenses are needed to take advantage of the larger sensor. They also feature a new BIONZ X processor, XGA OLED 'Tru-finder', 3-inch LCD, Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC, and 60p video recording. 

Existing lenses for Sony's NEX range of APS-C mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras will mount and work as expected, though the scene will be cropped (though Sony gives you the option not to do so if you can live with some inevitable vignetting). Sony Alpha lenses can also be mounted via either the LA-EA3 or LA-EA4, the latter of which includes SLT autofocus technology. See our first impressions report for more.

The A7 will be sold in a body-only kit for $1699 or with a new 28-70 F3.5-5.6 OSS lens for $1999. The A7R is not bundled with a lens, and is priced at $2299. Both cameras are expected to ship in December.

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Press Release:

Sony Unveils World’s First Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras 1

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 15, 2013 – Sony’s new A7 and A7R digital cameras are the world’s smallest full-frame interchangeable lens models 2.  Highly anticipated by professional photographers and imaging enthusiasts alike, the two new cameras offer an unmatched combination of creativity, customizability and portability.

The A7R model features a 36.4 effective megapixel 35mm Exmor® CMOS sensor – the highest resolution sensor in the history of Sony’s A 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.

“With these new A7 camera systems, Sony has completely redefined the look and feel of a professional-grade digital camera,” said Mike Kahn, director of the interchangeable lens camera business at Sony Electronics.  “The A7 and A7R cameras are significantly smaller, lighter and more portable than any other full-frame interchange lens camera yet deliver image quality, power and performance that professionals and enthusiasts crave.”

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 3.  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 5.  Find out more at www.playmemoriescameraapps.com .

The new A7 and A7R cameras each have a tough, magnesium alloy build and are dust and moisture resistant for standing up to some of the toughest weather conditions.

A7R Camera

Designed for professional photographers and highly advanced enthusiasts, the new A7R model is the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame interchangeable lens camera2. 

It has an impressive 36.4 effective megapixel full frame sensor and no optical low pass filter, ensuring that the extraordinary resolving power is fully realized and resulting in an unprecedented level of detail and clarity in images. 

The 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. 

A7 Camera

Offering an exciting entry into the world of full-frame photography, the A7 camera features an advanced 24.3 effective megapixel full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor paired with the powerful new BIONZ X processor.

The exciting new camera has 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.

New Sony A Lenses and Accessories

There are a total of 5 new full-frame E-mount lenses designed to take full advantage of the powerful imaging capabilities of the A7R and A7 cameras, including mid-range zoom lenses from Sony and Carl Zeiss, two bright Zeiss Sonnar T*™ prime lenses and a premium-quality G Lens™ telephoto zoom.  Sony’s growing E-mount interchangeable lens lineup now consists of 21 different lenses including the new full-frame models.

In addition to the new lenses, there are also two new-generation mount adaptors that give photographers the ability to utilize full-frame Sony A-mount optics on the A7 and A7R cameras.  The LA-EA3 adapter simply adds compatibility for existing A-mount lenses the new cameras, while the LA-EA4 model adds the ultra-fast focusing and shooting capabilities of Sony’s innovative Translucent Mirror Technology.

There is also a new vertical grip (VG-C1EM) that offers greater comfort during vertical shooting and can accommodate two separate NP-FW50 batteries for extended battery life and shooting time.  A new BC-TRW compact external battery charger that quickly charges batteries and is great for travel, and FA-CS1M off camera shoe allows the use of external flashes (HVL-43M, 20M) in off-camera wired applications.   Additionally, the new LCS-ELCA premium soft leather carry case protects the A7 and A7R cameras from scuffs and marks while being carried. 

Pricing and Availability

The Sony A7R and A7 full-frame interchangeable lens cameras will be available for purchase this December.  

The A7R camera will be offered as a body-only for about $2300. 

The Sony A7 compact system camera will be offered with a 28-70mm F3.5 – F5.6 full-frame lens (model SEL2870) for about $2000.  It will also be offered as a body-only for about $1700.

The versatile new LA-EA3 and LA-EA4 mount adapters will be available in December for about $200 and $350, respectively.

The new VG-C1EM vertical grip and LCS-ELCA premium case will also be available in December for about $300 and $ 140, respectively. 

The new camera and all compatible accessories will be available at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.

Please visit www.blog.sony.com for a full video preview of the new Sony A7R and A7 full-frame cameras and follow #SonyAlpha on twitter for the latest A camera news.

1 According to survey conducted by Sony as of October 2013, for non-reflex interchangeable lens digital camera equipped with auto focus function. 

2 According to Sony’s internal research as of October 2013

3 Some functions can only be assigned to certain buttons

4 ‘Direct Upload’ available at launch. ‘Multiple Exposure’, ‘Smart remote control v2.10’, ‘Picture Effect+’, ‘Photo Retouch’ and ‘Lens Compensation’ will be available for the A7 / A7R by the end of 2013

5 A7 series will become compatible with “Camera Remote API beta”(http://camera.developer.sony.com) , API (Application Program Interface) for remote operation of Sony camera with Wi-Fi-equipped smartphones and electronic tablets, after installation of the most recent Smart Remote Control that is distributed from countries providing PlayMemories Camera Apps.

Sony A7 and Sony A7R specifications

 Sony Alpha 7Sony Alpha 7R
Price
MSRP$1699.99 / £1299 (body only), $1999.99 / £1549 (with 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 lens)$2299.99 / £1699 (body only)
Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 40007360 x 4912
Other resolutions6000 x 3376, 3936 x 2624, 3936 x 2216, 3008 x 1688, 3008 x 20007360 x 4144, 4800 x 3200, 4800 x 2704, 3680 x 2072, 2400 x 1600
Image ratio w:h3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels36 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels37 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm)
Sensor size notesNo optical low-pass filter
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorBionz X
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISO100-25600
White balance presets10
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (DCF 2.0, EXIF 2.3)
  • RAW (ARW 2.3)
Image parameters
  • Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, Sepia
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (4)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points11725
Lens mountSony E (NEX)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3
Screen dots1,230,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeXtra Fine LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.71×
Viewfinder resolution2,359,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Auto
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, Anti Motion Blur
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via Multi Interface shoe)
Drive modes
  • Single, continuous, speed priority continuous, self-timer, bracketing (AE, white balance, DRO)
Continuous drive5 fps4 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec; continuous (3 or 5 exposures))
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD
Videography notesheadphone and microphone ports, XLR support via adapter
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI port with 4K still, uncompressed video output)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless noteswith NFC and wireless control via PlayMemories Mobile app
Remote controlYes (wired)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FW50 lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)340
Weight (inc. batteries)474 g (1.04 lb / 16.72 oz)465 g (1.03 lb / 16.40 oz)
Dimensions127 x 94 x 48 mm (5 x 3.7 x 1.89)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSNone