Sony α7

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Sony α7
Sony Alpha ILCE-7 (A7) full-frame camera no body cap.jpg
TypeFull-frame mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera
LensSony E-mount
Sensor35.8×23.9 mm Exmor full-frame HD CMOS Sensor
Maximum resolution6000×4000 (3:2) (24 megapixels)[1]
Film speedAuto, 100-25600
Storage mediaMemory Stick Pro Duo, Pro-HG Duo, SD, SDHC, SDXC (α7R IV supports only SD family)
Focus modesContrast Detect (sensor), Phase Detect, Multi-area, Center, Selective single-point, Single, Continuous, Face Detection, Live View
Exposure meteringMulti-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
ShutterElectronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed range1/8000 - 30 sec, BULB
Continuous shooting5 frame/s
ViewfinderBuilt-in 2.4 million dots OLED Electronic viewfinder
LCD screen3.0 in (76 mm) Tilting XtraFine LCD, 921,600 pixels
BatteryNP-FW50, InfoLITHIUM, 7.2 V, 1080 mAh, 7.7 Wh, Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
Dimensions127×94×48 mm
WeightApprox. 474 g (16.7 oz) (camera body, card and battery)
Sony A7 Rear

The Sony α7, α7R, α7S and α7C (the α is sometimes spelled out as Alpha) are four closely related families of full-frame mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras. The first two were announced in October 2013,[2] the third in April 2014 and the fourth in September 2020. 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 α7 II was announced in November 2014, and is the first in the family to revise the original body and ergonomics. The α7C introduced an even more compact form factor, being the smallest full-frame camera with in-body image stabilization.[3] The α7 series is targeted at experienced users, enthusiasts and professionals.[4]

The Sony α7 and α7R have the model numbers ILCE-7 and ILCE-7R respectively. In addition, the α7S, the α7 II, and the α7R II have the model numbers ILCE-7S, ILCE-7M2, and ILCE-7RM2. Sony's new model naming prefix strives to unify model names. "ILC" stands for Interchangeable Lens Camera, followed by an indicator of A-mount "A" or E-mount "E".[5]

Pre-announcement rumours speculated that the new camera would be named "Sony NEX-9".[6]


In 2014/2015, three new models became available forming the second generation of α7 series. They are the α7 II (ILCE-7M2), α7R II (ILCE-7RM2) and α7S II (ILCE-7SM2). Sony continues to produce the first generation models α7 and α7S, even three years after the launch, only the α7 has been discontinued in April 2019.

The basic α7 II model has 24 MP and hybrid autofocus.

The second generation common ground is the newer and improved body design as well as the world's first five-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system for a full-frame ILC. Sony claims 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.[7][8] As an upgrade of the α7, the α7 II has the same 50 Mbit XAVC-S codec as the α7S but lacks 4K video, and the five-axis stabilization is less effective in video mode than that used in the Olympus OM-D E-M1.[9] However, the crop mode used in the α7 II does not incur "very much loss in image quality", unlike that of the Nikon D750.[9]

On 14 June 2015, Hasselblad announced the Lusso, a variant of the Sony α7R marketed by Hasselblad.

The third generation started in 2017, and the fourth was announced in July 2019.

Model differences[edit]

Model α7 α7R α7S α7 II α7R II α7S II α7R III α7 III α7R IV α7S III α7C
Product standing Basic High Resolution High Sensitivity Basic Mark II High Resolution Mark II High Sensitivity Mark II High Resolution Mark III Basic[10] Mark III High Resolution Mark IV High Sensitivity Mark III Compact
Announced 16 Oct 2013 6 Apr 2014 20 Nov 2014 10 June 2015 11 Sept 2015 25 Oct 2017 26 Feb 2018 16 Jul 2019 28 Jul 2020 15 Sep 2020
Sensor resolution at Full Format 24.3 Mpx Exmor CMOS
6000×4000 pixels
36.4 Mpx Exmor CMOS
7360×4912 pixels
12.2 Mpx Exmor CMOS
4240×2832 pixels
24.3 Mpx Exmor CMOS
6,000×4,000 pixels
42.4 Mpx Exmor R BSI-CMOS[11]
7952×5304 pixels
12.2 Mpx Exmor CMOS
4240×2832 pixels
42.4 Mpx Exmor R BSI-CMOS[12]
7952×5304 pixels
24.2MP Mpx Exmor R BSI-CMOS sensor[13]
6000 x 4000 pixels
61.0 MP Mpx Exmor R BSI-CMOS sensor[14]
9504 x 6336 pixels
12.1 MP Mpx Exmor R BSI-CMOS sensor[15]
4240×2832 pixels
24.2MP Mpx Exmor R BSI-CMOS sensor[3]
6000 x 4000 pixels
ISO range Expanded ISO 50 - 25600
Multi frame NR 100 - 51200
Expanded ISO 50 - 25600
Multi frame NR 100 - 51200
Native ISO 100 - 102400
Expanded ISO 50 - 409600
Expanded ISO 50 - 25600
Multi frame NR 100 - 51200
Native ISO 100 - 25600
Expanded ISO 50 - 102400
Native ISO 100 - 102400
Expanded ISO 50 - 409600
Native ISO 100 - 32000
Expanded ISO 50 - 102400[16]
Native ISO 100-51200
Expanded ISO 50 to 204800 [17]
Native ISO 100–32000
Expanded ISO 50–102800[14]
Native ISO 80 - 102400
Expanded ISO 40 - 409600[15]
Native ISO 100-51200
Expanded ISO 50 to 204800[3]
Autofocus 25 points CD-AF
w/ 117 points PD-AF
25 points CD-AF 25 points CD-AF
w/ 117 points PD-AF
25 points CD-AF
w/ 399 points PD-AF
169 points CD-AF 425 points CD-AF
w/ 399 points PD-AF[16]
425 points CD-AF
w/ 693 points PD-AF[17]
425 point CD-AF
w/ 567 points PD-AF[14]
425 points CD-AF
w/ 759 points PD-AF[15]
425 points CD-AF
w/ 693 points PD-AF[18]
Maximum flash sync speed 1/250 1/160 1/250 1/160
Max Continuous Shooting 5 frame/s 4 frame/s 5 frame/s 10 frame/s
In-body image stabilization No 5-axis
Flash Exposure Lock No Yes
Shutter Speed 1/8000 - 30s 1/4000 - 30s

(1/8000 electronic)

Electronic shutter mode First-curtain only No First-curtain and
Silent shutter
First-curtain only First-curtain and
Silent shutter
Gapless on-chip lens No Yes No Yes
Live-view Tethered Capture No Yes Yes (wired and wireless)
Custom minimum
shutter speed at Auto ISO
No Yes
Flexible Spot with Lock on AF
Continuous Eye-AF Yes Yes (real-time tracking)
AF Sensitivity 0 ~ 20 EV -4 ~ 20 EV -1 ~ 20 EV -2 ~ 20 EV -4 ~ 20 EV -3 ~ 20 EV -6 ~ 20 EV[15] -4 ~ 20 EV[18]
Metering Sensitivity -3 ~ 20 EV -3 ~ 20 EV
User Custom Buttons 3 4 1
Programmable settings No Yes
Monitor pixels 921.6 K 1,228.8 K[19] 1,444K[16] 921.6 K[17] 1,444K 921.6 K
Touch Panel No Yes Yes (fully touch menu system) Yes
Viewfinder dots 2.4 M 3.7 M 2.4 M 5.76 M 9.43M 2.4 M
Viewfinder Resolution XGA

(1024x768 pixels)


(1280x960 pixels)[20]


(1024X768 pixels)[21]


(1600x1200 pixels)[22]


(2048 x 1536 pixels)


(1024X768 pixels)

Viewfinder Magnification 0.71× 0.78× 0.90x 0.59×
Memory card slot 1 (Memory Stick Duo/SD) 2 (slot 1: SD; slot 2: Memory Stick Duo/SD) 2 (both slots: SD/CFexpress Type A) 1 (SD only)
Video record format MPEG-4, AVCHD (28 Mbit/s)
MPEG-4, AVCHD (28 Mbit/s),
XAVC S (50 Mbit/s) 1080p
MPEG-4, AVCHD (28 Mbit/s),
XAVC S (100 Mbit/s) 4K video
MPEG-4, XAVC S, H.265 (280 Mbit/s),
MPEG-4, XAVC S, H.264 (100 Mbit/s) 4K video[23]
MPEG-4, AVCHD (28 Mbit/s),
XAVC S (100 Mbit/s) 4K video
Video sampling Line skipping Full-pixel readout Line skipping Pixel-binning at Full Format
Full-pixel readout at Super 35
Full-pixel readout
Slow motion video record No Yes (720p, 120fps) No Yes (720p, 120fps) Yes (1080p, 120fps) Yes (4K, 120fps) Yes (1080p, 120fps)
HDMI Output 4K still and 1080p video 4K still and 4K video 4K still and 1080p video 8K still and 4K video 4K still and 4K video 8K still and 4K video 4K still and 4K video 8K still and 4K video
Video Light mode No Yes No Yes
Professional Video edit Picture Profile w/CineGamma,
Timecode, Userbit
Other features Hybrid autofocus system No optical Low-pass filter Full-pixel readout video
at Full Format
Hybrid autofocus system Hybrid autofocus system,
No optical Low-pass filter
Full-pixel readout video
at Full Format
Lossless RAW No (11+7 bit lossy RAW[24]) Yes, uncompressed (2.0 firmware update[25][26]) Yes, uncompressed
Star Eater[27][28] Only in Bulb mode Only at 4s and above after Fw2.10, upgraded algorithm after Fw4.0, not present in continuous shooting mode[29] Only at 4s and above, upgraded algorithm[30]
PD-AF w/ adapted lens Only A-mount lenses w/ LA-EA2 and LA-EA4 Yes (Firmware update) Yes Only w/ LA-EA2/4[31] Yes
Operate while USB charging No Yes Yes w/ Tethering
(CIPA standards)
340 shots 340 shots 380 shots 350 shots 340 shots 370 shots 530 shots (EVF) / 650 shots (Monitor)[16] 610 shots (EVF) / 710 shots (Monitor)[17] 530 shots (EVF) / 670 shots (Monitor)[14] 510 shots (EVF) / 600 shots (Monitor)[15] 680 shots (EVF) / 740 shots (Monitor)[18]
Body material Combi. of magnesium alloy
and polycarbonate
Full magnesium alloy chassis
and polycarb bayonet mount.
Full magnesium alloy chassis
and stainless steel bayonet mount.
Magnesium alloy used for the top, front, and rear covers[18]

(w/ battery and media)

416 g
(474 g)
407 g
(465 g)
446 g
(489 g)
556 g
(599 g)
582 g
(625 g)
584 g
(627 g)
572 g
(657 g)
565 g
(650 g)[17]
578 g
(665 g)[14]
614 g
(699 g)[15]
424 g
(509 g)
Dimension 126.9x94.4x54.8 mm 126.9x 95.7x 59.7 mm 126.9 x 95.7 x 60.3mm 126.9x95.6x73.7 mm[17] 128.9x96.4x77.5 mm 128.9x 96.9x 80.8 mm 124×71.1×59.7 mm
Discontinued Dec 2019[32]

Features (universal for α7-series)[edit]

  • Exmor CMOS full-frame sensor (with different megapixels depending on camera version)
  • TruBlack XtraFine LCD screen (3 inch/7.5 cm) with tilt functionality
  • 1.3 cm (0.5 inch) electronic viewfinder
  • 1200-zone evaluative light metering
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC
  • LED-auto focus illuminator
  • Multi Interface Shoe (α7R IV adds digital audio interface)
  • 9+1 customizable buttons (10+1 starting with second generation) / 45+ assignable functions


The cameras received a positive reception from critics. DxOMark crowned the α7R as the highest ranking full-frame mirrorless camera, with a score of 95 (the same score as the Nikon D800, but one point behind the Nikon D800E).[33] The α7 achieved a score of 90, higher than the Nikon Df and Nikon D4 professional DSLR cameras, as well as the Sony SLT-A99.[34] 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 α7's to thank as the cameras that started it all."[35] EPhotozine which rated the α7 5 stars, meanwhile praised the α7 series' price point for making them "the cheapest full-frame digital cameras currently available" while being lighter and smaller than comparable cameras.[36] It awarded the α7 "Camera of the Year."[37] The α7R was awarded by Imaging Resource as the "Camera of the Year".[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jeff Keller (February 2014). "Sony α7R Review: Digital Photography Review". Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  2. ^ Sony announces α7 and α7R: first full-frame mirrorless cameras: Digital Photography Review. Retrieved on 2013-10-30.
  3. ^ a b c "Sony α7C Compact full-frame camera". Sony. Retrieved 2020-09-16.
  4. ^ Sony Global - Sony Global - Digital Imaging - α7. (2013-10-16). Retrieved on 2013-10-30.
  5. ^ "Your α7 and α7R Questions Answered". 2013-10-17. Archived from the original on 2013-11-02. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  6. ^ DL Cade (October 3, 2013). "Sony NEX Full-Frame Rumor Roundup". PetaPixel. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  7. ^ William Browley. "Sony α7 II Review". Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  8. ^ "The New Sony α7 Mark II". Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  9. ^ a b Andrew Reid. "Sony α7 II review – 5 axis stabilization in video mode". Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  10. ^ "Sony calls this the "basic full-frame model," but there's nothing basic about it". The Verge.
  11. ^ Zimmerman, Steven (12 October 2016). "Sony IMX378: Comprehensive Breakdown of the Google Pixel's Sensor and its Features". XDA Developers. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Sony α7R III 35mm full-frame camera with autofocus". Sony.
  13. ^ "Sony α7 III with 35-mm full-frame image sensor". Sony.
  14. ^ a b c d e "Sony introduces the a7R IV with 61 Megapixel full-frame sensor". Digital Photography Review. July 16, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d e f "Sony introduces the a7S III with 12.1 Megapixel full-frame sensor". Sony.
  16. ^ a b c d "Sony α7R III 35mm full-frame camera with autofocus". Sony.
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Sony α7 III with 35-mm full-frame image sensor". Sony.
  18. ^ a b c d "Sony α7C Compact full-frame camera". Sony. Retrieved 2020-09-16.
  19. ^ "ILCE-7RM2 Specifications". Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  20. ^ "Sony α7R III 35 mm full-frame camera with autofocus". Sony. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  21. ^ "Sony α7 III with 35-mm full-frame image sensor". Sony. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  22. ^ "Sony α7R IV 35 mm full-frame camera with 61.0 MP". Sony. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  23. ^ "Sony a7S III initial review". dpreview.
  24. ^ "diglloyd blog: Sony's 11+7-bit Delta Compression, Posterization in Some Situations". Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  25. ^ Ltd, Magezine Publishing. "Sony Alpha A7 II Uncompressed RAW Firmware Update v2.0". ePHOTOzine. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  26. ^ "Sony a7R II uncompressed Raw firmware update available October 19". DPReview. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  27. ^ Norman, Ian (2017-05-03). "Star Eater: Documentation of an Issue with the Sony Cameras for Astrophotography (and How to Fix It)". Lonely Speck. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  28. ^ "Sony Star Eater". Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  29. ^ Retrieved 2020-11-27. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ Retrieved 2020-11-27. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ "Compatibility Information - ILCE-7SM2". Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  32. ^ "The day has come: Sony A7 marked as discontinued at BHphoto and Adorama!". sonyalpharumors. 2019-12-27. Retrieved 2019-12-27.
  33. ^ Sony Alpha 7R review: Highest ever full-frame image quality? - DxOMark By Kevin Carter - Thursday October 31, 2013
  34. ^ "Camera Sensor Ratings by DxOMark". Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  35. ^ Sony Alpha α7 and α7R review, The Verge, By Dan Seifert on December 16, 2013
  36. ^ Sony Alpha 7 ILCE-7 Full Review ePHOTOzine 3 Dec 2013 by Joshua Waller
  37. ^ ePHOTOzine's Best Cameras Of The Year Awards 2013 Posted: 6 Dec 2013 by ePHOTOzine
  38. ^ Top 13 for 2013: The Best Cameras, Lenses and Technologies of the Year by Dave Etchells, Imaging Resource posted December 11, 2013

External links[edit]