Sony has made a long-awaited announcement, presenting the A7 and A7R to the world as the first full-frame mirrorless system cameras, equipped with a quite compact and comfortable body to hold it, an electronic viewfinder and a lot of manual settings. The differences in cameras mostly concern their technical specifications.
Model A7R, equipped with a 36.4-megapixel CMOS-sensor Exmor, does not have an optical low-pass filter and is limited in contrast autofocus (this new technology is called Fast Intelligent AF). Such a high resolution sensor has been used in the line of Sony A cameras for the first time. At the same time, a more affordable A7 is equipped with a 24.3-megapixel Exmor CMOS-sensor with an autofocus and low-pass filter Hybrid AF, including phase detection. A7 enables continuous shooting at the speed of 5 frames per second with a tracking autofocus.
Both cameras are designed with Sony NEX E lens mount, but a new type of FE lens is needed to take advantage of the full-frame sensor. Magnesium alloy bodies with protection from moisture and dust are available, as well as the new BIONZ X processor, viewfinder XGA OLED Tru-Finder with 2.4 million pixels, 3-inch swivel LCD screen with a resolution of 1.23 million pixels, Wi-Fi and NFC support, and the ability to record video in 1920×1080 pixels at the speed of 60 shots per second. The possibility of adjusting the ISO sensitivity in the range from 100 to 25,600 and the support of shutter speed from 1/8000 to 30 seconds should also be noted.
Sony claims that its new A7 camera is completely revised in terms of its appearance and the use of the principles of professional digital cameras. The devices have become significantly smaller, lighter and more portable than any other full-frame camera with interchangeable lenses. Nevertheless, it still provides quality and professional-level capabilities.
Both cameras provide the greatest opportunity for manual operation and settings. 9 different customizable keys and 46 assignable functions are available. Models A7R and A7 have access to Sony PlayMemories Camera Apps platform, which lets you add effects, filters, useful features, and so on. After installing the Smart Remote Control application, cameras are compatible with the beta-version of the API Camera Remote for remote control via Wi-Fi from smartphones and tablets.
According to the CIPA estimate, if the standard battery is fully charged, NP-FW50 can provide up to 340 shots. The weight of A7 with battery is 474 grams, and A7R weighs 465 grams. The size of the two cameras is 127x94x48 mm.
The new products are coming to the market in December. In the U.S., the cost of A7 without a lens is $1,700, and the cost of the camera with a new 28-70 mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens is $2,000. A7R does not come with the lens in a set, and its cost is $2,300.