Sony Unveils the a7 and a7R, E-Mount ILCs that Pack a Full-Frame Punch


After all of the anticipation, rumors and leaks we sincerely hope the announcement still has you excited, because Sony has finally made the long-awaited a7 and a7R official. That’s right, the cameras once known only as the “NEX Full-Frame” have finally arrived, with full specs, press photos and a lens and accessory lineup to prove it.

Truth be told, the leaked specs and photos were 100% accurate, so you’re not in for any surprises here. Still, that doesn’t mean these cameras aren’t worth salivating over. As expected, the a7 will be the more affordable of the two, with the a7R taking up the the mirrorless full-frame flagship title for Sony.

Sony Alpha a7

Hardware-wise, there aren’t actually that many differences between the a7 and its big brother. Inside you’ll find a 24.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with an anti-aliasing filter, 117-point phase detection AF/25-point standard AF, 5fps continuous shooting, ISO range from 100-25600, 2.4-million-dot OLED EVF, tiltable 3.0-inch 1,229K-dot LCD, and 1/8000 max shutter speed.

There’s also built-in WiFi and NFC, an advanced 1,200-zone evaluative metering system, a new BIONZ X image processor, 14-bit RAW, focus peaking and the ability to capture Full HD 1080p uncompressed footage at 60 and 24fps… all packed into a weather sealed body.

On the body, you’ll find nine different customizable buttons built into the camera with 46 assignable functions that can be adjusted based on shooting preference, fully customizable front and back dials, a rear control wheel and an exposure compensation dial.

Here’s a peek at what this puppy looks like:






The a7 will be the cheaper of the two cameras, selling for $1,700 for the body only and $2,000 in a kit with a 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. It should make landfall in stores starting in December.

Sony Alpha a7R

The a7R is the big boy of the bunch, but the majority of its spec sheet is actually identical to the a7 we just described above. In lieu of listing off everything again, we’ll just tell you what’s different about it.

Instead of a 24.3-megapixel sensor the big brother sports a much higher resolution 36.4-megapixel sensor without an anti-aliasing filter. That, of course, means sharper images at the price of potential moire issues.

The only other differences we noticed were a slightly sturdier build, the lack of phase detection AF and slightly slower continuous shooting that only clocks in at 4fps. For all the rest, just read the a7 specs above. Sony is also calling the a7R (not the a7) “the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame interchangeable lens camera.”

You can take a gander at what the a7R looks like below:







This one will ship in December as well, but you won’t be getting it for the same price. There is no kit available with the a7R, and so interested parties will have to drop $2,300 on the body only and pick up some glass on their own.

And speaking of glass, Sony also announced a few new lenses built, as you might expect, with these two full-frame shooters in mind. We have the new Sony Vario-Tessar T* 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens that will retail for $1,200 (available in January), the Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens that will go for $800 (available in December) and the Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens that will go for $1,000 (available in January). All are weather sealed.




Other accessories that launched alongside the new cameras include an A-Mount to E-Mount adapter for $200, an A-Mount to E-Mount adapter with translucent mirror technology for $350 and a battery grip that will fit both cameras for $300.

These will ship at the same time as the cameras do in December.




For more information on both cameras, check out the official press release at this link. And if you’d like to pre-order any of the goodies mentioned above, just click on the links provided to head over to the B&H Photo pages and drop some cash.

  • dyna

    It’s really okay that Sony did it first, you know. Fuji makes nice product but it’s simply not the be all end all of photographic prowess their fanatics make it out to be.

  • dyna

    I’ve done street photography for half my life and about zero of it done with a rangefinder. The idea that you can be any more or less discreet, or that you necessarily need to be, given the camera seems wild to me. I used an FM2 for a long, long time, and that camera was louder than the A7r. Never seemed to have a problem with it getting the image I wanted, and that was an utterly manual camera. I’ll take the EVF and several of the auto options on the A7r while still keeping everything small and light. Seems like a hell of a street cam to me.

  • dyna

    The sensor in the A7 is the same as the sensor in the A99v. The sensor in the A7r is new and has never been used before… and will likely never be sold to anyone else.

  • dyna

    We talked to them during PPE, as did B&H. The Metabones AF-S adapter is coming.

  • dyna

    People who are using the D800e professionally aren’t auto focusing at all. They are manual focusing everything because Phase Detect can’t be trusted at resolutions that high, not for critical focus work. Sony’s peaking program will make them all a lot happier where this is concerned. They’ll be more than happy to adapt, simply because of that one feature alone.

  • Mike

    That makes no sense at all. Pros don’t use AF? Not sure what pros you are referring to, but no one I know uses manual mode except in rare cases with a D800/E.

  • dyna

    It’s a real pain to edit here when using a smartphone :) I meant to qualify: the D800e professionals using it for landscape, architecture, product… they manual focus a majority of the time because critical focusing is so difficult on a 36mp sensor, especially at wide angles, the live view and focus magnification (and knowing their lenses’ diffraction limits), is indispensable. You simply can’t trust PDAF at times like that. The higher the resolution, the quicker the flaws are shown.

  • Mike

    If you limit it to those fields the statement makes more sense. I would argue that if you are using wide angle to shoot landscape and architecture you are often at higher apertures and essentially everything is in focus. Yes, you may want to drop into manual and zoom in live view if you want to ensure a certain part of the frame is in critical focus. In many cases though, phase detect will do a great job on a stationary subject.

    Moving subjects need phase detect, I doubt many people shoot weddings entirely in manual focus.

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  • Fed Up with weirdos like you

    typical sony…..a sorta ok body…..with JUNK LENSES

  • Fed Up with weirdos like you

    and this lens Adapter is PURE INSANITY….it is JUNKY JUNK JUNKY……hokey Pokey…laughable…….shi††y