Sony α7

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Sony α7
Sony Alpha ILCE-7 (A7) full-frame camera no body cap.jpg
Type Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera
Lens Sony E-mount
Sensor 35.8×23.9 mm Exmor full-frame HD CMOS Sensor
Maximum resolution 6000×4000 (3:2) (24 megapixels)[1]
ASA/ISO range Auto, 100-25600
Storage Memory Stick Pro Duo, Pro-HG Duo, SD, SDHC, SDXC
Focus modes Contrast Detect (sensor), Phase Detect, Multi-area, Center, Selective single-point, Single, Continuous, Face Detection, Live View
Exposure metering Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Shutter Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed range 1/8000 - 30 sec, BULB
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
Battery NP-FW50, InfoLITHIUM, 7.2 V, 1080 mAh, 7.7 Wh, Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
Dimensions 127×94×48 mm
Weight Approx. 474 g (16.7 oz) (camera body, card and battery)

The Sony α7, α7R and α7S (the α is sometimes spelled out as Alpha) 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 α7 II was announced in November 2014, and is the first in the family to revise the original body and ergonomics. The α7 series is targeted at experienced users, enthusiasts and professionals.[3] The α7R II was announced in June 2015.

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" indicates Interchangeable Lens Camera followed by an indicator of A-mount "A" or E-mount "E"[4]

Pre-announcement rumours speculated that the new camera would be named "Sony NEX-9".[5]

Although the α7 series uses full-frame sensors and has a DSLR-shaped design, α7 cameras are smaller and weigh less than Olympus OM-D E-M1 with its small micro four thirds sensor and can also be compared with the lightest full-frame 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 full-frame 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]


In 2015, three new models became available in the α7 series. They are the α7 II (ILCE-7M2), α7R II (ILCE-7RM2) and α7S II (ILCE-7SM2). Sony continues to deliver the first generation models, even three years after the launch.

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.[10][11] 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.[12] However, the crop mode used in the α7 II does not incur "very much loss in image quality", unlike that of the Nikon D750.[12]

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

Model differences[edit]

Model α7 α7R α7S α7 II α7R II α7S II
Product standing Balanced High Resolution High Sensitivity Balanced Mark II High Resolution Mark II High Sensitivity Mark II
Sensor resolution 24.3 Mpx Exmor CMOS
6,000×4,000 pixels
(35.80 mm×23.90 mm)
36.4 Mpx Exmor CMOS
7,360×4,912 pixels
(35.80 mm×23.90 mm)
12.2 Mpx Exmor CMOS
4,240×2,832 pixels
(35.80 mm×23.90 mm)
24.3 Mpx Exmor CMOS
6,000×4,000 pixels
(35.80 mm×23.90 mm)
42.4 Mpx Exmor R BSI-CMOS[13]
7,952×5,304 pixels
(35.80 mm×23.90 mm)
12.2 Mpx Exmor CMOS
4,240×2,832 pixels
(35.80 mm×23.90 mm)
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
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
25 point contrast-detection
w/ 399 points phase-detection
169 point contrast-detection
Maximum flash sync speed 1/250 1/160 1/250 1/250 1/250 1/250
Max Continuous Shooting 5 frame/s 4 frame/s 5 frame/s 5 frame/s 5 frame/s 5 frame/s
In-body image stabilization No 5-axis
Flash Exposure Lock No No Yes Yes Yes
Electronic shutter mode First-curtain only No First-curtain and
Silent shutter
First-curtain only First-curtain and
Silent shutter
First-curtain and
Silent shutter
Gapless on-chip lens No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Live-view Tethered Capture No No Yes Yes Yes Yes[14]
Custom minimum
shutter speed at Auto ISO
No No No No Yes Yes
Flexible Spot with Lock on AF No No No No Yes Yes
Continuous Eye-AF No No No No Yes Yes
AF Sensitivity 0 ~ 20 EV 0 ~ 20 EV -4 ~ 20 EV -1 ~ 20 EV -2 ~ 20 EV -4 ~ 20 EV
Metering Sensitivity 0 ~ 20 EV 0 ~ 20 EV -3 ~ 20 EV -1 ~ 20 EV -3 ~ 20 EV -3 ~ 20 EV
User Custom Buttons 3 3 3 4 4 4[15]
Monitor Resolution 921.6 K 921.6 K 921.6 K 1,228.8 K[16]
Viewfinder Magnification 0.71× 0.78×
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
Video sampling Line skipping Line skipping Full-pixel readout Line skipping Pixel-binning at Full Format
Full-pixel readout at Super 35
Full-pixel readout[17]
Slow motion video record No No Yes (720p, 120fps) No Yes (720p, 120fps) Yes (1080p, 120fps)
HDMI Output 4K still and 1080p video 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
Video Light mode No No Yes No Yes
Professional Video edit No No Picture Profile w/CineGamma,
Timecode, Userbit[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.
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
Phase-detection AF on
non-native lenses
Only A-mount lenses with LA-EA2 and LA-EA4 Yes (Firmware update) Yes Only with LA-EA2/4[19]
Operate while USB charging No No No No Yes Yes
(CIPA standards)
340 shots 340 shots 380 shots 350 shots 340 shots 370 shots
Weight 416 g 407 g 446 g 556 g 582 g 584 g
Dimension 127×94×48 mm 127×96×60 mm 126.9x95.7x60.3 mm
Announced 16 October 2013 6 April 2014 20 November 2014 10 June 2015 11 September 2015

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
  • 9 customizable buttons and 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).[20] 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.[21] 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."[22] 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.[23] It awarded the α7 "Camera of the Year."[24] The α7R was awarded by Imaging Resource as the "Camera of the Year".[25]

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. ^ Sony Global - Sony Global - Digital Imaging - α7. (2013-10-16). Retrieved on 2013-10-30.
  4. ^ "Your α7 and α7R Questions Answered". 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 2014-01-09. 
  8. ^ "Mirrorless cameras offer glimmer of hope to makers". Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  9. ^ "Sony Alpha α7R verdict". Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  10. ^ William Browley. "Sony α7 II Review". Retrieved 2015-01-14. 
  11. ^ "The New Sony α7 Mark II". Retrieved 2015-01-14. 
  12. ^ a b Andrew Reid. "Sony α7 II review – 5 axis stabilization in video mode". Retrieved 2015-01-14. 
  13. ^ Zimmerman, Steven (12 October 2016). "Sony IMX378: Comprehensive Breakdown of the Google Pixel’s Sensor and its Features". XDA Developers. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  14. ^ "Supported Sony cameras for Capture One (for Sony)". Phase One. Retrieved 2016-01-19. 
  15. ^ "First Impressions of the New Sony a7SII | Fstoppers". Fstoppers. Retrieved 2016-01-19. 
  16. ^ "ILCE-7RM2 Specifications". Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "ILCE-7SM2 Specifications". Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  19. ^ "Compatibility Information - ILCE-7SM2". Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  20. ^ Sony Alpha 7R review: Highest ever full-frame image quality? - DxOMark By Kevin Carter - Thursday October 31, 2013
  21. ^ "Camera Sensor Ratings by DxOMark". Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  22. ^ Sony Alpha α7 and α7R review, The Verge, By Dan Seifert on December 16, 2013
  23. ^ Sony Alpha 7 ILCE-7 Full Review ePHOTOzine 3 Dec 2013 by Joshua Waller
  24. ^ ePHOTOzine's Best Cameras Of The Year Awards 2013 Posted: 6 Dec 2013 by ePHOTOzine
  25. ^ Top 13 for 2013: The Best Cameras, Lenses and Technologies of the Year by Dave Etchells, Imaging Resource posted December 11, 2013