Sony Alpha 7

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For the similarly named Sony APS-C format camera, see Sony Alpha NEX-7.
Sony ILCE-7
Sony Alpha ILCE-7 (A7) full-frame camera no body cap.jpg
Type Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera
Sensor 35.8 x 23.9mm Exmor full-frame HD CMOS Sensor
Maximum resolution 6000 x 4000 (3:2) (24 megapixels)[1]
Lens Sony E-mount
Shutter Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed range 1/8000 - 30 sec, BULB
ASA/ISO range Auto, 100-25600
Exposure metering Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Focus modes Contrast Detect (sensor), Phase Detect, Multi-area, Center, Selective single-point, Single, Continuous, Face Detection, Live View
Continuous shooting 5 frame/s
Viewfinder Built-in 2.4 million dots OLED Electronic viewfinder
Rear LCD monitor 3.0 in (76 mm) Tilting XtraFine LCD, 1,230,000 pixels
Storage Memory Stick Pro Duo, Pro-HG Duo, SD, SDHC, SDXC
Battery NP-FW50, InfoLITHIUM, 7.2 V, 1080 mAh, 7.7 Wh, Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
Dimensions 127 x 94 x 48 mm
Weight Approx. 474 g (16.7 oz) (camera body, card and battery)

The Sony ILCE-7, ILCE-7R and ILCE-7S (α7/α7R/α7S) are three closely related digital cameras. The first two were announced on 16 October 2013[2] and the third on 6 April 2014. Externally they are identical except for the model number. They are Sony’s first full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and share the E-mount with the company’s smaller sensor NEX series. The ILCE-7m2 (α7II) was announced in November 2014, and is the first in the family to revise the original body and ergonomics. The a7 series is targeted at experienced users, enthusiasts and professionals.[3]

Sony's new model naming prefix strives to unify model names. “ILC” indicates Interchangeable Lens Camera followed by an indicator of A-mount “A” or E-mount “E”[4]

The products are more commonly known as the α7, α7R and α7S. Pre-announcement rumours speculated that the new camera would be named Sony NEX-9.[5]

Although the α7 series uses full-frame sensors and have a DSLR-shaped design, their sizes and weights are less than Olympus OM-D E-M1 with its small micro four thirds sensor and can also be compared with the lightest Fullframe DSLR.[6] Compared to the smallest and lightest APS-C DSLR Canon EOS 100D, the α7 is 67 grams heavier and a bit larger, but the thickness is only two thirds of Canon's.[7] The α7 price is significantly lower than a comparative Fullframe DSLR price, but still higher than that of a low or mid-end compact camera price.[8] Compared to the Nikon D800E, the weight of Sony α7R is only about a half and the price is about two-thirds.[9]

Variations[edit]

There are four different models available in the α7-series. They are the α7, α7R, α7S and α7II.

The basic 'α7' model has 24MP and fast hybrid-autofocus.

The 'R' model is the 36MP "resolution" version of the series with a new, higher-density sensor design, and priced $600 more than the α7 at launch, but has no optical low-pass filter as the sibling has. However, the α7R does not include the faster hybrid auto-focus system found on the base model.

The 'S' model is a high sensitivity version of the series with an effective ISO range from 100 to 409600 and with 4K video capability, but only 12MP.

The α7II model uses the same sensor (with minor tweaks) as the original α7, but significantly revises the external ergonomics and adds Image Stabilization as the world's first 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilisation system for a full-frame ILC. Sony claimed that this can compensate a 4.5-stop equivalent of camera shake. In-body stabilization requires no special lens features, and mirrorless system cameras can typically accommodate lenses from any SLR system.[10][11] As an upgrade of the α7, the α7II has the same 50Mbit XAVC-S codec as the α7S but lacks 4K video, and the 5 axis stabilisation is less effective in video mode than that used in the Olympus OM-D E-M1.[12] However, the crop mode used in the α7II does not incur "very much loss in image quality", unlike that of the Nikon D750.[12]

Model differences[edit]

Model α7 α7R α7S α7 II
Product standing Perfection
w/ High Dynamic range
High Resolution
w/ High Color depth
High Sensitivity
w/ Video production
Perfection
w/ Stability For All
Sensor resolution 24.3 megapixel Exmor
6,000 x 4,000 pixels
36.4 megapixel Exmor
7,360 x 4,912 pixels
12.2 megapixel Exmor
4,240 x 2,832 pixels
24.3 megapixel Exmor
6,000 x 4,000 pixels
ASA/ISO range Expanded ISO 50 - 25600
(100 - 51200 at multi frame NR)
Expanded ISO 50 - 25600
(100 - 51200 at multi frame NR)
Native ISO 100 - 102400
Expanded ISO 50 - 409600
Expanded ISO 50 - 25600
(100 - 51200 at multi frame NR)
Autofocus 25 point contrast-detection
w/ 117 points phase-detection
25 point contrast-detection 25 point contrast-detection 25 point contrast-detection
w/ 117 points phase-detection
Maximum flash sync speed 1/250 1/160 1/250 1/250
Max Continuous Shooting 5 frame/s 4 frame/s 5 frame/s 5 frame/s
E-first curtain shutter Yes No Yes Yes
Body material Combination of Magnesium alloy
and polycarbonate
Full magnesium alloy chassis
and polycarbonate bayonet mount.
Full magnesium alloy chassis
and stainless steel bayonet mount.
Video record format MPEG-4, AVCHD (28 Mbit/s)
Full HD
MPEG-4, AVCHD (28 Mbit/s)
Full HD
MPEG-4, AVCHD (28 Mbit/s),
XAVC S (50 Mbit/s) Full HD
Professional Video edit No No Picture Profile w/CineGamma,
Timecode, Userbit
Video sampling Line skipping Line skipping Full-pixel readout Line skipping
Slow motion video record No No Yes (720p, 120fps) No
Gapless On-Chip Lens No Yes Yes No
Silent shutter mode No No Yes No
Live-view Tethered Capture No No Yes Yes
In-body stabilization No No No 5-axis
User Custom Buttons 3 3 3 4
HDMI Output 4K still and Full HD video 4K still and Full HD video 4K still and 4K video 4K still and Full HD video
Other features Fast Hybrid autofocus system No optical Low-pass filter AF works down to -4 EV Fast Hybrid autofocus system
Battery-life
(CIPA standards)
340 shots 340 shots 380 shots 350 shots
Weight 416g 407g 446g 556g
Dimension 127 x 94 x 48 mm 127 x 96 x 60 mm
Announced Oct 16, 2013 Apr 6, 2014 Nov 20, 2014

Features (universal for α7-series)[edit]

  • Exmor CMOS full-frame sensor (With different megapixels depending on camera version)
  • TruBlack XtraFine LCD screen (3"/ 7,5 cm) with 921.6K dots resolution with tilt functionality.
  • 1.3 cm (0.5inch) Electronic Viewfinder.
  • 1200-zone evaluative light metering.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC.
  • LED-auto focus illuminator.
  • Multi Interface Shoe.
  • 9 customizable buttons and 45 assignable functions.

Reception[edit]

The cameras received positive reception from the critics. DxOMark crowned the α7R as the highest full-frame with sensor quality by a mirrorless camera with the score of 95 and has same score with Nikon D800, but one point behind of Nikon D800E,[13] while the α7 has score of 90 and better than Nikon Df, Nikon D4 professional DSLR camera and Sony SLT-A99.[14] The Verge rated the cameras 8.3 out of 10 commenting that "It might be a few years before we realize it, but when the DSLR is relegated to a niche status among specialty photographers and full-frame mirrorless cameras dominate the market, we’ll have the α7s to thank as the cameras that started it all."[15] EPhotozine which rated the α7 5 stars, meanwhile praised the α7's price for being "the cheapest full-frame digital cameras currently available" while being lighter and smaller than comparable cameras.[16] It awarded the α7 as the "Camera of the Year."[17] The α7R was awarded by Imaging Resource as the "Camera of the Year".[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jeff Keller (February 2014). "Sony Alpha 7R Review: Digital Photography Review". Dpreview.com. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  2. ^ Sony announces A7 and A7R: first full-frame mirrorless cameras: Digital Photography Review. Dpreview.com. Retrieved on 2013-10-30.
  3. ^ Sony Global - Sony Global - Digital Imaging - α7. Sony.net (2013-10-16). Retrieved on 2013-10-30.
  4. ^ "Your α7 and α7R Questions Answered". blog.sony.com. 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  5. ^ DL Cade (October 3, 2013). "Sony NEX Full-Frame Rumor Roundup". PetaPixel. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  6. ^ "2013 High-End Mirrorless Camera Comparison Guide". November 23, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Canon EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 specifications". Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Mirrorless cameras offer glimmer of hope to makers". Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Sony Alpha A7r verdict". Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  10. ^ William Browley. "Sony A7 II Review". Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  11. ^ "The New Sony A7 Mark II". Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Andrew Reid. "Sony A7 II review – 5 axis stabilisation in video mode". Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  13. ^ Sony Alpha 7R review: Highest ever full-frame image quality? - DxOMark By Kevin Carter - Thursday October 31, 2013
  14. ^ "Camera Sensor Ratings by DxOMark". Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ Sony Alpha A7 and A7R review, The Verge, By Dan Seifert on December 16, 2013 09:31 am
  16. ^ Sony Alpha 7 ILCE-7 Full Review ePHOTOzine 3 Dec 2013 1:38PM by Joshua Waller
  17. ^ ePHOTOzine's Best Cameras Of The Year Awards 2013 Posted: 6 Dec 2013 3:56PM by ePHOTOzine
  18. ^ Top 13 for 2013: The Best Cameras, Lenses and Technologies of the Year by Dave Etchells, Imaging Resource posted Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 7:46 AM EDT