World's Lightest Interchangeable Lens
Sony Alpha a7
Mirrorless Digital Camera.
There's one thing
to be said for Sony's digital camera operation, they've experimented with
numerous different concepts. From SLRs deaturing dual autofocus systems and Translucent Mirror Technology to its NEX mirrorless line, Sony has
explored virtually every path in digital imaging. Its latest cameras - the Alpha 7 and Alpha 7R -
are perhaps the most exciting cameras to come from the Sony labs in some time.
Sony has managed to create full-frame cameras which are around the same size as the Olympus OM-D E-M1. In other words, the Alpha 7s are much smaller than their full-frame interchangeable lens
competition (such as Nikon's D610 and the Canon EOS 6D), an achievement
primarily made possible because they're not SLRs.
Additionally, Sony is unifying the Alpha and NEX brands, so all future interchangeable lens cameras will now
be labeled as the Alpha cameras. Being mirrorless, the a7 would have otherwise likely been prefixed with the letters NEX.
The a7 and a7R are identical in terms of physical design, with the primary differences being the sensor and autofocus system. The a7 features a full-frame 24 megapixel CMOS, while the a7R has a 36 megapixel CMOS sensor
eliminating the optical low-pass filter. The a7 uses a Hybrid AF system (with on-chip phase detection) similar to the one found on the NEX-6, while the a7R has traditional contrast detection. The a7 is also capable of electronic first curtain mode, which allows for a quieter shutter, and reduces the potential for 'shutter shock' vibration; this is absent from the a7R. Both cameras use Sony's latest Bionz X processor and also have XGA electronic viewfinders, tilting LCDs, Wi-Fi, and weatherproof bodies that resemble that of the Olympus E-M1.
The A7 incorporates a
full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor into an E-mount
body thus providing the light gathering
capability and detail-rich imaging of a
full-frame sensor with a compact,
lightweight, and versatile mirrorless,
interchangeable lens camera system. The
24.3MP sensor enables high resolution images
and low light effectiveness with its
standard ISO sensitivity range of 100-25600.
The new BIONX X image processor offers fast
processing and operation speeds such as 5
fps burst shooting and front-end LSI
(large-scale integration) improves the early
stages of image processing resulting in more
natural details and richer tones. 14-bit RAW
output preserves the detail provided by the
An enhanced Hybrid Autofocus
system combines a 117-point, phase-detection
AF system with a 25-point contrast-detection
system for high speed and accuracy. Flexible
spot focus areas in addition to multipoint,
center-weighted, and zone focusing
contribute to its functionality and manual
focus assist can be optimized for full-frame
or APS-C-format shooting zones. New Eye AF
Control provides highly precise
eye-detection for shots that place the focus
directly on the subject's eye, even when
they are partially turned away.
Full HD 1080 video capture with
24p/60i/60p frame rates is supported in both
AVCHD and MP4 codecs. Uncompressed video can
be recorded off-camera via an HDMI
connection, and both built-in and external
stereo recording is available. HDMI and
wireless output allows for viewing of still
images on ultra HD 4K television. The 3.0"
tiltable LCD has a 1.23M-dot resolution and
WhiteMagic technology for better visibility
in bright light. A high-contrast 2.4M OLED
electronic viewfinder provides 100%
coverage, a wide viewing angle, and features
the same 3-lens optical system used in the
Sony a99 DSLR.
Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC capability enable
easy wireless transfer of images as well as
remote shutter control from smartphones and
tablets. Remote Control via a USB connection
enables still photo adjustment control and
now includes video capture control. The
Quick Navi Pro interface system can display
all camera adjustments on the LCD for rapid
setting changes when needed.
The advanced Sony Multi-Interface shoe
expands compatibility options for flash,
microphone, and other accessories, and as an
E-mount full-frame camera, the Alpha a7 is
compatible with all present APS-C sized
E-mount lenses in APS-C Crop Mode as well as
the new E-mount full-frame Zeiss and Sony
G-series lenses. Lens mount adapters with a
tripod mount are also available to use
A-mount lenses on E-mount cameras and an
optional dedicated battery grip enables
stable extended shooting and vertical
Other Sony 35mm Digital Cameras to Consider