Sony α7  and Sony α7R

Sony Alpha7 and Sony Alpha7R

Sony has finally announced the launch of the new Full frame a7 cameras. The camera range will no longer be known as the NEX range. Sony is attempting to consolidate its brand to the “Alpha” range.  The cameras are still NEX E-Mount, which is great news for the lenses and the adaptors, especially the A-mount adapter, you accumulated in the past few years.  Just like the Canon EF mount though, there will be nuances between full-framed lenses and the cropped lenses, and not all will yield the expected results.  Sony calls the new lenses the “FE” range to make the distinction.

They both use BIONZ® X image processor and Exmor Full-frame CMOS sensor (35.9 x This is the sensor size known as the “Full-Frame”, because it is the same size as the good old 35mm Film camera. So, a 35mm film camera is indeed a full frame camera, except it has an analogue sensor!

New Sony a7R

The Sony a7R is a 36 mega pixel full frame camera with no low-pass filter for the best in class resolution. The Sony a7 is a 24.3 Mega Pixel camera, but still full frame. They have different auto focus methods too, otherwise the twins are indeed identical. Although the pixel count on the a7 is much the same as the old NEX 7, the full frame sensor should at least on paper blow the old one away, as the larger sensor surface captures so much more light and hence more details.

The three inch tiltable TFT LCD is an impressive 921,600 dots that compliments the XVGA electronic viewfinder with 4x digital zoom. WiFi and NFC are standard.

They both seem talented Video machines too. At 1080/60p with continuos focus and/or manual exposure and HDMI in addition to other audio and accessary ports, don’t be surprised to see a pro movie shot entirely on a Sony a7 in a few months.


Both of these cameras look much more like a traditional Digital SLR’, having both a TFT-LCD screen and the viewfinders now. While the form factor will no doubt be superior to handle, I’ll miss the smaller and more portable current NEX flat look.  The new a7 and a7R will be in the shops in December along with five new FE Carl Zeiss lenses (and ten more coming next year) that look equally tempting, to fill Santa’s bag. There are more FE lenses coming!

The physical characteristics are: 127mm or 5″ wide, 95mm or 3.7″ tall, 65mm or 2.6″ deep, and they both are light weight at around 470 grams. You would only appreciate these dimensions when you compare it to something like a Canon 5D Mkiii that is around 1/3 bigger in practically every direction.

The Sony 7R will retail for  $2299 for the body only and $1999 for the Sony a7 with the new 28-70mm kit lens. The a7 body only will be $1699.

See the official announcement here:

And if you want to pre order it, Sony is eagerly waiting for your hard earned $ at their On-line store.

Unless there is some weird manufacturing SNAFU, given the current impressive tiny full frame RX1 range, predicts the a7 & a7R cameras to be, not only the hottest cameras for Christmas 2013, but the must have cameras in 2014. Don’t be surprised to see these cameras in the hands of Pro shooters, rubbing shoulders with the Nikon and Canon mob, with no sense of inferiority, if not a sense of superiority!

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