PetaPixel

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

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.


 
  • Andreas

    Has anyone any info on central shutters and sync time?

  • Jordan Drake

    1/160th sync.

  • Alex

    The “tilty-flippy-screen” looks awefull on that… nice thing

  • Genkakuzai

    Looking good. Can’t wait for the reviews to start pouring in, especially regarding AF performance, as I’m certain the sensor will kick ass.

  • Andreas

    :(

  • iconflyer

    “1080p uncompressed footage at 60 and 24fps” ???

  • ader

    NEX 7R and canikonpannyolypentaxleicahassy will be screwed out!! hall hail sony the real modern name in photography

  • SirCos

    They compared prints and Sony a7r beats Nikon D800E !

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    $1,000 for a 55mm 1.8 ? you must be crazy. Canon EF mount adapter anyone? ;D

  • Malinda

    Digital rev lol

  • Carsten Schlipf

    Here is a great detailed hands-on review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnvgceTEV3c

  • Joe Gunawan

    One word: Zeiss.

    Just check out the new Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 lens for Canon. $3,990!

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1007599-REG/zeiss_2010_056_55mm_f_1_4_otus_lens.html

  • Carsten Schlipf

    Watch the video I’ve posted below. That guy has mounted an Canon EF lense to the A7

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    ah Camera Store, always worth a watch :) thnx

  • yopyop

    Thanks for the link, very interesting video. It’s really a good thing for competition that these two new great products don’t come from the big two Canon and Nikon.

  • Swade

    I agree. But if I’m going to be spending $1100 for that 1.8, I’d rather just get the A-Mount to E-Mount and get the new 50mm 1.4 Planar

  • Swade

    So, what is the point of the A-Mount to E-mount adapter with translucent mirror?

  • swade

    If you had the A7r

  • http://photokaz.com/ Mike

    Reference? Lenses matter more than body/sensor.

  • Cinekpol

    Well, that’s the only option to get a choice of lenses with decent AF.

  • Steven Wade

    They have another new A-mount converter, that won’t do it. Doesn’t the metabones converter allow AF?

  • bmassao

    Come on, Fuji, your turn now! :D

  • Cinekpol

    Any adapter that doesn’t have SLT mirror will use on-sensor focusing, which is horribly slow in comparison.

  • Banan Tarr

    I was hoping for an aurora camera but with the current offering of lenses… this ain’t it.

  • ccccc

    yeah but my playstation is better

  • Ian

    If it’s even half as good as that lens, it might be worth $1k, but still seems crazy.

  • Ian

    This certainly looks cool, but we don’t all need small or smaller cameras. Besides, the lenses aren’t much smaller, so I think it’s not quite as exciting as it looks. What I find more interesting is the move from optical viewfinders and mirrors to EVFs and mirrorless in a full frame pro body/system. I think this could be an inevitable path and would love to see what could be done with FPS and tracking autofocus. Imagine a 1DX or D4 with 30-60 FPS and full tracking someday…

  • Chris

    35mm f/2.8 for $800 is equally crazy. 35mm f/2’s go for $200 as well

  • SirCos

    Reference Steve Huff blog . I quote : ”I have seen prints and crops in print from
    the D800E and this camera. I preferred the prints from the A7r
    slightly but they were close.”

  • Turbohampster

    Im certainly no expert and could well be wrong! But I’m not sure if the shutter or autofocus could keep up with that?
    I have the 1DX and with the mirror locked up and no autofocus or metering it can just manage 14FPS

  • JoeNoName

    You can get other lenses besides the 3 offered you know?

    How about some voigtlanders? Some old small Nikkors ? Leica perhaps?

  • Joe Gunawan

    Even if Canon or Nikon came out with a full-frame mirrorless, new lenses still have to be created. The benefit for the a7 and a7R is that any full-frame DSLR lenses can be mounted with existing 3rd party to E-mount adapters. And Metabones has a Smart Canon EF to E-mount adapter that lets you control AF, aperture, and IS. Even the EXIF gets carried over.

  • Joe Gunawan

    All the above. 3rd party lens adapters are already available for E-mount. Steve Huff has his Leica lenses mounted on the a7R: http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/10/16/exclusive-sony-a7-and-a7r-images-with-the-leica-m-e-m1-and-rx1/

    Brian Smith’s field test boast an impressive 100% crop of the a7R!

    http://briansmith.com/sony-a7r-field-test/

  • http://photokaz.com/ Mike

    One person compared it and prefers the A7r. That is great, I’m sure there will be many people that will prefer prints from that camera vs the D800E. There will be many that prefer the D800E. Don’t get me wrong, I think the A7r is awesome but it’s not a D800E killer. On it’s own, a nice offering but not without it’s problems (slower focus, smaller battery, no second card slot, etc.). The biggest issue for Sony is the lack of lenses. No wide angle (how long before they have something even remotely close to a Nikkor 14-24?), no telephoto (I can get 400, 500, 600, and 800mm telephoto for the D800, Sony can’t come close). There is a big weight benefit, and if the lenses fit into your shooting style then may be the camera for you. If you are going on safari, like to shoot wide angle landscapes, or need focus performance then Nikon is still better.

  • JoeTheMan

    why not buy a 14-24 or a 400, 500, 600 and adapt them to the A7 ?

  • http://photokaz.com/ Mike

    I don’t know much about adapters, but I know they don’t support all of the features of the lens. Some lenses will be manual focus, have no aperture control, no VR. Given the cost of some of the zoom lenses, I wouldn’t want to give up those features. Also, if I’m spending $10K on a lens that weighs 20 pounds saving a few dollars and a few grams on the body doesn’t make much sense, does it? Also, I’m not sure the 14-24 would work well on the A7r because of the short throw, apparently it may cause aberration and distortion problems but I would like to see someone actually test this.

  • http://www.matthewpautz.com/ Matthew

    because few people are willing to pay that much for a lens and adapter to lose autofocus

  • Ian

    I think that’s a matter of the processor and amount of data to be written to the card, but you can’t track AF when your 1DX is locked up proving that the mirror is at least one limiting factor in the speed where this and dual pixel and other systems could continue AF

  • Banan Tarr

    So what would a 14-24 F/2.8 become with the adapter in terms of focal length?

  • frank

    Loud shutter rules it out for discreet “leica like” street photography.
    Everything else about it is wonderful.

  • Joe Gunawan

    Because the sensor is a 35mm full frame, it will keep the original 14-24 f/2.8 focal length. No crop factor.

  • Rob Elliott

    The A7r has no phase detection points, it is contrast only, the adapter has the A66 (iirc) AF system in it

    The A7 has Phase Detection built into the sensor and so the other adapter is the perfectly workable for focusing as it doesn’t need the additional help.

  • tdzan

    From a purely aesthetic point of view, I think that the rangefinder look of the Leicas and Fujis, suits better to this kind and this size of cameras, guys. The look of the Olympus OM and the Sony A7 resembles to an old SLR and automatically becomes less discrete and more austere than the rangefinder look and it looses one main advantage of the compact sytem cameras. You have to give all the credit to Sony though for they are pioneers now once again.

  • Moderatior

    why is your post to upvote ratio so bad? judging by your posts in this thread I guess you post nonsense, drivel, and half-truths. that’s annoying. stop.

  • Joe Gunawan

    Wait what? What are you talking about? How are my posts nonsensical half truths?

  • Jacqui Dee

    Another great innovation! Has Sony produced this sensor themselves or is it made by someone else? Anyone know?

  • Banan Tarr

    Interesting! Maybe this *is* the camera I’m looking for. Always open to carrying less weight around for aurora shots.

  • http://photokaz.com/ Mike

    Heri, I don’t think you can get a Metabones adapter for the A7 or A7r.

  • jkspepper

    Sony make their own sensors. They also make sensors for others, like the Nikon D800e – that’s a Sony sensor

  • Jacqui Dee

    Thanks for that, I thought it was the same sensor :)