Body Elements

At the heart of both a7 models are their full-frame CMOS sensors. The Alpha 7 has a 24 megapixel sensor with an anti-aliasing filter, while the more expensive a7R bumps the resolution to 36MP and loses the AA filter.

Sony's dust removal system includes a combination of ultrasonic vibrations as well as a 'charge protection coating'.
One of the highlights on the a7 is the electronic viewfinder, which was built-in to the NEX-6/7 and a99, and optional on the RX-series cameras.

The EVF has 2.4 million dots, and its 0.71x magnification makes photo composition a breeze.

We did find the eye sensor that automatically turns on the EVF to be way too sensitive.
The directional controller is much the same as those on NEX cameras. It has a wheel for adjusting settings, and can also set the drive mode, white balance mode, and what's displayed on the screen.

The Fn button opens the shortcut menu, and sends images to a smartphone in playback mode.

The trash button's function in record mode can be customized.
Above the directional controller is a switch that swaps the function of the button inside it between AF/MF and AE-Lock. The first option activates autofocus when you're manually focusing, and vice versa.

Above that you can see the rear dial and another customizable button.

On the top plate we have the mode and exposure compensation dials, the final of the three customizable buttons, and the shutter release / power switch combo.

On the right side of the body is the dedicated movie recording button, which seems to move further away from the back of the camera with each new camera.

To the lower-right you can see the NFC symbol, which is where you'll 'tap' your compatible smartphone.

The a7 has a single memory card slot, which can take both SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick Pro Duo cards.
On the left side of the camera, under a pair of plastic doors, are four I/O ports. They include microphone, headphone, 'multi' (for USB, internal battery charging, and wired remote), and micro-HDMI.

The a7 uses the NP-FW50 InfoLithium battery, which contains 7.7Wh of energy. This translates into 340 shots per charge.

As mentioned in the introduction, the default charging method is over USB, with an AC-to-USB adapter included in the box. If you want faster charging, or just want a spare on-hand, you'll want to pick up the external charger.