Sony A7

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For the similarly named Sony APS-C format camera, see Sony NEX-7.
Sony α7
Sony Alpha ILCE-7 (A7) full-frame camera no body cap.jpg
Type Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera
Sensor 35.8×23.9 mm Exmor full-frame HD CMOS Sensor
Maximum resolution 6000×4000 (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 127×94×48 mm
Weight Approx. 474 g (16.7 oz) (camera body, card and battery)

The Sony α7, α7R and 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 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 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 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]


There are six different models available in the α7 series. They are the α7 (ILCE-7), α7R (ILCE-7R), α7S (ILCE-7S) as well as the α7 II (ILCE-7M2), α7R II (ILCE-7RM2) and α7S II (ILCE-7SM2).

The basic α7 model has 24 MP and hybrid autofocus.

The "R" model is the 36 MP "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 12 MP.

The α7 II 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 five-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 α7 II has the same 50 Mbit XAVC-S codec as the α7S but lacks 4K video, and the five-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 α7 II does not incur "very much loss in image quality", unlike that of the Nikon D750.[12]

On 2015-06-14, 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
(35.90 mm×24.00 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
7,952×5,304 pixels
(35.90 mm×24.00 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 - 12800
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 stabilization No No No 5-axis 5-axis 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
Gapless on-chip lens No Yes Yes No Yes
Live-view Tethered Capture No No Yes Yes Yes
Custom minimum shutter spd.
at Auto ISO
No No No No Yes
Flexible Spot with Lock on AF No No No No Yes
Continuous Eye-AF No No No No Yes
AF Sensitivity 0 ~ 20 EV 0 ~ 20 EV -4 ~ 20 EV -1 ~ 20 EV -2 ~ 20 EV
Metering Sensitivity 0 ~ 20 EV 0 ~ 20 EV -3 ~ 20 EV -1 ~ 20 EV -3 ~ 20 EV
User Custom Buttons 3 3 3 4 4
LCD Resolution 921.6 K 921.6 K 921.6 K 1,230 K 1,230 K
Viewfinder Magnification 0.71× 0.71× 0.71× 0.71× 0.78×
Video record format MPEG-4, AVCHD (28 Mbit/s)
Full HD
MPEG-4, AVCHD (28 Mbit/s),
XAVC S (50 Mbit/s) Full HD
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
Slow motion video record No No Yes (720p, 120fps) No Yes (720p, 120fps)
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 4K still and 4K video
Video Light mode No No Yes No Yes
Professional Video edit No No Picture Profile w/CineGamma,
Timecode, Userbit
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
Phase-detection AF on
non-native lenses
Only A-mount lenses with LA-EA2 and LA-EA4 Yes (Firmware update) Yes
Operate while USB charging No No No No Yes
(CIPA standards)
340 shots 340 shots 380 shots 350 shots 340 shots
Weight 416 g 407 g 446 g 556 g 582 g
Dimension 127×94×48 mm 127×96×60 mm
Announced Oct 16, 2013 Apr 6, 2014 Nov 20, 2014 Jun 10, 2015 Sep 11,2015

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 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.


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).[13] 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.[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 series' price point for making them "the cheapest full-frame digital cameras currently available" while being lighter and smaller than comparable cameras.[16] It awarded the α7 "Camera of the Year."[17] The α7R was awarded by Imaging Resource as the "Camera of the Year".[18]


  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 stabilisation in video mode". Retrieved 2015-01-14. 
  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 2013-12-22. 
  15. ^ Sony Alpha α7 and α7R review, The Verge, By Dan Seifert on December 16, 2013
  16. ^ Sony Alpha 7 ILCE-7 Full Review ePHOTOzine 3 Dec 2013 by Joshua Waller
  17. ^ ePHOTOzine's Best Cameras Of The Year Awards 2013 Posted: 6 Dec 2013 by ePHOTOzine
  18. ^ Top 13 for 2013: The Best Cameras, Lenses and Technologies of the Year by Dave Etchells, Imaging Resource posted December 11, 2013