All the advantages of a 35mm full-frame image sensor and lens interchangeability are now compressed in a body of unprecedented compactness a dream once considered impossible without compromising on image quality, shooting comfort, functionality or AF performance. Whether capturing still images or HD movies, you'll enjoy what was previously only possible on larger high-end cameras. The extraordinary α7.
Ultra compact and lightest 35mm full-frame interchangeable-lens camera
An unprecedented combination of revolutionary compactness and remarkably realistic image quality with supremely natural detail.
24.3-megapixel* 35mm full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor
The 35mm full-frame Exmor CMOS image sensor delivers beautiful images from corner to corner and stunning 24.3-megapixel resolution that's ideal for large-format prints.
* Approximate effective megapixels
New BIONZ X image processing engine
The new BIONZ X image processing engine faithfully reproduces textures and details in real time, as seen by the naked eye, via unrivaled high-speed processing capabilities.
Enhanced Fast Hybrid AF
Combines speedy phase-detection AF with highly accurate contrast-detection AF, which has been accelerated through a new Spatial Object Detection algorithm, to achieve among the fastest autofocusing performance of any full-frame camera.
High-contrast, high-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder
High-contrast, high-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder features OLED improvements and the same 3-lens optical system used in the flagship α99, despite the compact body.
Swift and intuitive control
Controls are refined for intuitive operation and immediate adjustment of parameters while viewing scenes through the viewfinder. Shaped and placed for easy access, they contribute to a remarkably comfortable shooting experience. Despite compact dimensions, the α7 features front and rear dials for intuitive setting of exposure, a control wheel for setting ISO, and an exposure compensation dial.
Full-frame expression without the bulk
Such powerful moviemaking capabilities have never been available in a camera this small. The unprecedented combination of mobility and functionality unleashes exciting new moviemaking possibilities. By taking full advantage of the 35mm full-frame sensor, new BIONZ X image processing engine, audio production features and flexible lens interchangeability, you can create movies of breathtaking visual and sound quality with exquisite background blur, remarkably clear details, and the sensitivity to bring dark scenes to vibrant life. Features like Picture Effect, clean HDMI output, P/A/S/M modes and your choice of 60p or 24p recording further expand your creative options.
Ultimate precision and craftmanship
Sony broadens your photographic horizons with an expanded lineup of full-frame lenses offering incomparable performance. The α7 empowers you to fully utilize the renowned depiction performance of professional full-frame A-mount lenses as well as new FE full-frame lenses in the E-mount series that are optimized for the α7.
Mount adaptors for attaching A-mount lenses
Both of these 35mm full-frame compatible adaptors let you mount the α7 with any A-mount lens. The LA-EA4 additionally features a built-in AF motor, aperture-drive mechanism and Translucent Mirror Technology to enable continuous phase-detection AF. Both adaptors also feature a tripod hole that allows mounting on a tripod to support large A-mount lenses.
Accessories to meet every need
The superior imaging capabilities of the new α7 are complemented by a wide variety of accessories that afford enhanced convenience and creative potential.
Connect to smartphones and tablets with one touch!
You can instantly transfer a photo or movie to your Android smartphone or tablet by simply touching it with the α7 thanks to built-in Wi-Fi and NFC (Near Field Communication)*. Once a photo or movie has been transferred, you can upload it directly to your favorite SNS with ease.
* Requires NFC-compatible Android device.
PlayMemory Camera Apps - Add new feature to your camera
Download new editing and shooting apps
Upload photos wirelessly without a computer
Add future enhancements to your camera
For Overviews, please go here: http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-gb/products/uxc2/index.html#overview
For Features, please go here: http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-gb/products/uxc2/index.html#features
For Specifications, please go here: http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-gb/products/uxc2/index.html#specifications
For Lenses, please go here: http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-gb/products/uxc2/index.html#lenses
For Accessories, please go here: http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-gb/products/uxc2/index.html#accessories
For Product Gallery, please go here: http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-gb/products/uxc2/index.html#gallery
For Sample photos and videos, please go here: http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-gb/products/uxc2/index.html#samplephotos
Due to time being very tight and needing to return the camera quickly, and the fact that others have already reviewed first impressions, I'll just give my hands-on, and you can find more details and comparisons in other reviews.
First out of the box, you'll notice one thing - this strikes you as a 'Serious' camera. SOLID is the only way to describe it. Another way would be - CARVED out of a SOLID Block of Steel!!!
The A7 body is a Magnesium alloy, and is weather-sealed against dust and moisture.
When I first looked at it, the size vaguely reminded me of the very small DSLRs designed for smaller and women's hands, which were really difficult to grip properly, but that was where the similarities ended. Hefting the A7 was a pleasure. Sure-footed, the grip ensured a very secure fit in the hand with controls a little cramped, but falling right away into place, and I won't at all be surprised that would also be the case if you put on a long, heavy lens on the A7.
The EVF feels comfortable to the eye, is clear and very crisp, but has some distortion if you move your eye off axis.
I'll be honest - I use 'A' mode at least 99% of the time when not shooting in studio environments. The metering systems of modern cameras have gotten so advanced that it seems like an inefficient approach to go the old adage of 'Only serious/pro photographers use Manual Metering'. Why deliberately make life more difficult than it already is where photographic technicalities are concerned? But I do advocate UNDERSTANDING Light, and you'll find that in any auto systems, you sometimes have to fine tune exposure by simply using a +/- EV function.
In many systems, you can assign a function to do +/-EV, but it's sometimes a two or even more step process.
What I really love about the A7 is that there is a dedicated +/-EV dial on the top deck, easily reached by the thumb so you don't have to move your eye away from the EVF is you're using that, and can easily adjust +/- EV. BRILLIANT!
Good to know: the A7 uses a CMOS 24Mp sensor with a Low-Pass filter, and coupled with the Bionz X Processor, it seems that the capabilities offered are second to none as the processor has features like diffraction reduction (when using lenses set at small apertures), a more subtle sharpening algorithm, and to many, I am sure, something called 'Context sensitive area noise reduction'. What this means is that the A7 detects different areas of the scene, and breaks it down to say smooth tones, sharp edges, lines and textured areas and applies different amounts of noise reduction to each area!
AF wise - the A7 utilizes a hybrid on board phase detection which is similar to the SLT-A99. In practice, in low light, medium to high contrast situations, I found the AF to lock on rather quickly and solidly even without the AF illumination lamp, which is quite bright.
This is probably as much 'technicalities' we're going to go into. As mentioned, there are other technical reviews out there, and after this, we'll show the hands-on, real-life photos.
Quickly rushed down to the Marina Bay area and took a couple of quick ones.
Aside: While reviewing the photos on the LCD, I was reminded of ... medium format digitals when I zoomed in! Of course, the quality of the A7 and medium format digitals are very different, but for awhile, I was reminded of it, especially in the center region of the photos!
These were shot at full res Jpeg, down-sized to 4x6 and edited minimally in photoshop, then down-sized again for the forum. I'm making these a little large so you can see more details, but would probably have to scroll a bit.
The base ISO is 100, but can be pulled down to as low as 50. Doesn't seem to clip at 50 unlike some cameras, and very handy when you don't have NDs for long exposures like the last two shots. The water was quite ripply with river taxis plying their routes non-stop, but going down to ISO 50, 30 sec exposures was really nice!
After some initial shots last night, I'm beginning to fine-tune my own settings that way I prefer, so I cannot make any conclusions at this point, except that I'm initially impressed with the easy of use of the A7, considering it takes me some time to get used to a model's GUI and start tweaking adjustments!