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New Full Frame mirrorless from Sony. Some statements such as highest IQ ever.

Sony Alpha a7 Mirrorless Digital Camera

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Product Highlights

  • 24.3MP Full Frame Exmor CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • Direct Compatibility with E-mount Lenses
  • 3.0" Tiltable TFT LCD with 1,229K-Dots
  • 2.4M-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • Full 1080/60p with Uncompressed Output
  • Fast Hybrid Autofocus; 5 fps Burst Rate
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Multi-Interface Shoe
  • Direct Access Interface

The Alpha a7 Mirrorless Digital Camera from Sony 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 sensor.

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.

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Sony Alpha 7R review: Highest ever full-frame image quality?

The Sony Alpha 7R is the most expensive of the two full-frame Alpha 7 mirrorless models announced earlier in the month. Externally the two share the same body and much of the same feature set, but, where the A7 adopts a 24-Mpix sensor with on-chip PD-AF capability, the Alpha 7R has a 36-Mpix CMOS sensor without an optical low pass filter for optimal image sharpness. Read on to see how well the sensor in this new model performs.

The Sony Alpha 7R is the higher-end, higher-pixel count version of two new compact full-frame mirrorless cameras from Sony to feature the firm’s existing E-mount.

The two models share the same body and many features and differ really only by their sensor. The more modestly priced of the two, the Alpha 7 has a 24-Mpix sensor but with the added capability of phase detection AF afforded by an on-chip pixel array.

The A7R on the other hand has a full-frame 36-Mpix sensor without an optical low pass filter for optimal resolution and image sharpness but lacks the faster focusing of its more modestly priced sibling.

Both models accept existing APS-C format E-mount lenses, albeit with the inevitable cropping. However, to take full advantage of the larger sensor, Sony has introduced a range of new full-frame F-E lenses.

Sony DSLR users need not feel left out either, as the camera is compatible with existing A-mount full-frame and DT (APS-C) lenses using an optional adaptor. Along with a new Bionz X processor, the two metal-bodied cameras feature a 3-inch tilting rear LCD, XGA OLED electronic viewfinder, 1080/60p video, WiFi with NFC and a multi-interface accessory hot-shoe. Availability is expected the beginning of December, and will priced at $2,299 for the A7R, while the A7 will set you back $1,699.

DXOmark

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If there's one thing that you can say about Sony's digital camera business, it's that they've experimented with many different concepts. From SLRs with dual autofocus systems and Translucent Mirror Technology to its NEX mirrorless line-up, Sony has gone down virtually every avenue in digital imaging. Their latest products - the Alpha 7 and Alpha 7R - may be the most exciting products to come out of the Sony labs in some time. The Company has managed to create full-frame cameras which are about the same size as the Olympus OM-D E-M1. In other words, much smaller than any other full-frame interchangeable lens camera.

In addition, Sony is also unifying the Alpha and NEX brands, so all future interchangeable lens cameras will now fall under the Alpha umbrella.

The big story here are the two full-frame sensors found on the A7R and A7. The A7R's 36 megapixel sensor (sans optical low-pass filter) is likely the same one used in the Nikon D800E. Sony says it is targeting this model for the photographer looks for the best image quality possible - if you don't mind a little moiré. The A7R uses a 'Fast Intelligent' contrast-detect autofocus system that Sony claims is 40% faster than the system on the NEX-7.

For those who don't need 36 million pixels, there's the A7. This camera uses a 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor with a low-pass filter and on-chip phase detection. This 'Hybrid AF' system will result in speedy focus times, and the ability to shoot at 5 fps with continuous autofocus.

The two cameras may also catch the eye of video enthusiasts. Both can record at 1080/60p and 24p, with manual exposure control, headphone and mic ports, an audio meter, zebra pattern, XLR support (via optional adapter) and live, uncompressed, HDMI output.

Here's a quick summary of the differences between the A7 and A7R:

More at dpreview.com

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Welcome to Britain where what is priced in Dollars in the U is price in Pounds in the UK. They seem not to understand exchange rates.

These A7's are ripe for Novoflex adapters.

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WOW!!!

Look at this DXO comparison . . .

http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Sony-Alpha-7R-review-Highest-ever-full-frame-image-quality/Sony-A7R-versus-competition

See those numbers are just some of the many reasons full frame is the way it's all going for proper cameras, the rest will be attached to telephones. Add to that the field of view is correct for 35mm equivalent so a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens and not a 75mm lens.

Edited by MJP
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WOW!!!

Look at this DXO comparison . . .

http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Sony-Alpha-7R-review-Highest-ever-full-frame-image-quality/Sony-A7R-versus-competition

See those numbers are just some of the many reasons full frame is the way it's all going for proper cameras, the rest will be attached to telephones. Add to that the field of view is correct for 35mm equivalent so a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens and not a 75mm lens.

Does this mean the 80mm lens on my medium format Yashica 12 is not "correct"? If you are comfortable and familiar with the field of view provided by the lenses you use on the system you have invested in; then that is the correct field of view for you and the "full frame equivalent" is completely meaningless. As for all "proper" cameras being full frame; well that's bad news for those of us who can't afford or don't wish to utilise such a system.Up till now, I thought my camera was a proper camera:

10456228723_2a4a27a316_c.jpg

Ready for the darkness by pattayadays.com, on Flickr

Now I will have to sell it and buy a phone!

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No I mean all proper cameras in the future. Yours is a proper camera, it's not a camera attached to a telephone.

I think the overall consumer market will spilt over the next few years into two,. 1. Camera phones will replace point and shoots pretty much entirely, 2. Proper cameras will be using full frame sensors as the technology becomes cheaper, M4/3 and crop will be gone.

I think the field of view thing comes from my owning Pentax full frame lenses but not having a full frame to use them on. I'd like my 50mm f/1.2 to be a 50mm FOV and not a 75mm FOV. I think that's fair.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Steve Huff has dedicated a whole corner of his site to the A7 and A7r.

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/all-reviews/sony-a7-corner/

Thanks for that. Some pretty impressive low light shots in there.

Yup. Now if an AF adapter for my Pentax glass can be found and the PK full frame lenses don't vignette on the A7r, an A7r it is. A Novoflex adapter is available, but manual focus only.

A7r + Pentax 31mm and 77mm Limiteds and PK 50 f/1.2 would be a serious bit of kit.

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That is a remarkably good price for purchasing in Thailand as BH Photo, where I bought my GH2, shows the A7r at $2298.00 USD which at the current exchange rate is actually slightly more expensive in the US. Wonder if it is gray market? My GH2 kit cost twice as much in Thailand as at BH where I ordered it from.

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That is a remarkably good price for purchasing in Thailand as BH Photo, where I bought my GH2, shows the A7r at $2298.00 USD which at the current exchange rate is actually slightly more expensive in the US. Wonder if it is gray market? My GH2 kit cost twice as much in Thailand as at BH where I ordered it from.

Big Camera, usually known for their Big Prices are doing the A7r for the same price.

Looks legit.

I find cameras to often be cheaper here in Thailand.

Edited by MJP
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Remarkable low noise high ISO samples here. Shows full ISO range of each shot. Can't believe the flower shot at ISO 6400.

http://www.photographyblog.com/previews/sony_a7r_photos/

If my Pentax Limiteds can be used on the thing it will be a thing of deep greatness. The 31mm and 77mm Limited's are reckoned to be the best autofocus lenses ever. Not quite Leica and Zeiss, but they're manual. The Pentax 50mm f/1.2 also beat the rest of the f/1.2's of it's day.

I just wish Pentax could use this Sony FF sensor.

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If third parties like TechArt and Metabones can manufacture AF adapters with the correct registry distance for infinity focus for all this old 35mm glass like Contax G and Pentax Limiteds, this opens up a whole new World with a full frame mirrorless that can use all/any of the finest of lenses . . .

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/first-video-shows-a7r-autofocusing-with-contax-g-lens-via-techart-adapter-2/

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/181173329046?lpid=83&device=c&adtype=pla&crdt=0&ff3=1&ff11=ICEP3.0.0&ff12=67&ff13=80&ff14=83

Edited by MJP
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If third parties like TechArt and Metabones can manufacture AF adapters with the correct registry distance for infinity focus for all this old 35mm glass like Contax G and Pentax Limiteds, this opens up a whole new World with a full frame mirrorless that can use all/any of the finest of lenses . . .

What a coincidence as I was looking at Metabones Speed Boosters (focal reducers) earlier today for my GH2. Interesting device.

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If third parties like TechArt and Metabones can manufacture AF adapters with the correct registry distance for infinity focus for all this old 35mm glass like Contax G and Pentax Limiteds, this opens up a whole new World with a full frame mirrorless that can use all/any of the finest of lenses . . .

What a coincidence as I was looking at Metabones Speed Boosters (focal reducers) earlier today for my GH2. Interesting device.

Now on ebay for £200, that Contax G adapter.

All I need now is a Pentax AF adapter and I can kiss Pentax DSLR's farewell !!!

Edited by MJP
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It was around four years ago now that FracturedRabbit mentioned to me in a PM that the best lenses ever made were the Contax G lenses.

Well . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azCxcXa9FDM

This DEO-Tech Eagle 2 adapter is $300.

Ken Rockwell on the Contax G lenses . . .

The 28mm, 45mm and 90mm lenses are very common. You can find them used, still in their boxes and looking new, for about $175 each. They are some of the best lenses ever made for 35mm photography, so I'm astounded at the low prices.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/contax/g-system.htm

They are a bit more than this now, but not huge money.

The only thing is the absence of optical stabilisation in either lens or body.

Anyone have any experience with Contax G? Would the A7r and Contax G 28, 45 and 90 make a good system today?

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I have a full compliment of Contax G lenses with the exception of the 16mm Biogon. The 28, 35, 45 and 90 should work fine but I doubt the 21mm will fit without severe hacking of the rear element protective housing. This might be a problem also for the 28mm.

I use my lenses on my Contax G2 and, via adapters also on my Panasonic GX1. Extraordinary lenses to say the least. Smaller than leica, sharper and better colour and saturation. I also have the MMG C/Y SLR lenses which again, via adapters, I use on my Canon 5D MK2. Very very sharp and should sit nicely on the A7r. Leica R lenses will also perform well, again via adapters.

Contax Zeiss lenses are very well regarded and at a fraction of their Leica counterparts. Well worth investing in.

Edited by fimgirl
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I have a full compliment of Contax G lenses with the exception of the 16mm Biogon. The 28, 35, 45 and 90 should work fine but I doubt the 21mm will fit without severe hacking of the rear element protective housing. This might be a problem also for the 28mm.

I use my lenses on my Contax G2 and, via adapters also on my Panasonic GX1. Extraordinary lenses to say the least. Smaller than leica, sharper and better colour and saturation. I also have the MMG C/Y SLR lenses which again, via adapters, I use on my Canon 5D MK2. Very very sharp and should sit nicely on the A7r. Leica R lenses will also perform well, again via adapters.

Contax Zeiss lenses are very well regarded and at a fraction of their Leica counterparts. Well worth investing in.

The 21 is tricky to find anyway. The 28, 35, 45 and 90 can still be found at reasonable prices.

This is it. It's an AF Leica kit for relatively small money.

Fim, how do you find the absence of optical stabilisation? Problem or not?

Edited by MJP
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