At a glance
Capture almighty professional quality with a 24.3MP full-frame sensor
Shoot the scene exactly as you see it with Fast Hybrid Autofocus and a high resolution OLED viewfinder
Get the shot, from wide-angle 18mm to telephoto 70mm, when using the dust and moisture resistant SEL-1870 full-frame lens
Made for professionals with a sure grip, customisable controls, and dust and moisture resistant seals
Reproduce fine detail and textures in real time with the high speed BIONZ X processor
Step up to full-frame power
Switch lenses. Shoot almighty professional quality with 24.3MP. React with speed and accuracy thanks to Fast Hybrid Autofocus and a high resolution OLED viewfinder. Realise your creative vision anywhere with the world's smallest 35mm full-frame interchangeable-lens camera.*
Capture almighty professional quality with 24.3MP
With a 24.3-effective-megapixel 35mm full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor, the a7K really lets you express your creativity. Shoot beautiful defocus effects. Capture highly realistic detail, even in low-light. Ensure every shade and tone of your vision comes to life with a wide sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 25600 (which is further expandable down to 50 and up to 51200). The power of the full-frame sensor combines with the high speed BIONZ X image processing engine so that the scene is faithfully reproduced even when you're shooting with deep focus and a high pixel count. The a7K also comes with a compact and lightweight, full-frame standard zoom lens. Be ready for any scene, from wide-angle 18mm to telephoto 70mm. Capture blur-free results when shooting handheld or on the move with built-in image stabilisation. The dust and moisture resistant SEL-1870 full-frame lens is the ideal partner for the a7K.
Catch the moment in the blink of an eye
The a7K combines a full-frame sensor with high-speed, high-precision Fast Hybrid Autofocus. Lock-on to your subject fast. Shoot a continuous burst of images at 5fps. With a wide 25 point autofocus area for contrast-detection and 117 densely placed phase-detection AF points, you can track things even when they're moving fast. Together with the OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder, you can be sure to capture exactly what you see. Frame your subject in high contrast and high resolution across the full screen, even in a dimly lit scene. It's time to start reacting as one with your camera.
Portable, professional handling in any situation
It may be the world's smallest 35mm full-frame interchangeable-lens camera* but it handles like a professional camera twice its size. Carefully placed customisable buttons and an intuitive control wheel easily let you adjust settings. The robust build of the camera - with dust and moisture resistant seals - and sure grip mean you're ready to take on any assignment. Start shooting safe in the knowledge that the a7K is designed to withstand the demands of professional use.
Share photos and movies instantly with Wi-Fi and NFC
Go anywhere, share anytime. Simply touch your a7K against an NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet to activate remote control camera apps or share photos or movies instantly for upload to social networks - no extra cables, no complicated connections.** Use the camera's built-in Wi-Fi*** for easy sharing or back-up with a range of devices including your smartphone, tablet, PC or TV.
Show detailed HD photos and Full HD movies
From an expressive photo to an atmospheric movie, the high image quality and defocusing power of the full-frame sensor open up a world of possibilities. Transfer a photo in seconds to a HD TV, via HDMI or Wi-Fi, and see every tiny detail on the big screen. The a7K also has a range of features for professional movie-making, from high performance audio recording, to Clear Image Zoom for close-ups with no loss of resolution. Shoot smooth 60p Full HD movies, or 24p for a classic movie feel.
Accessories Click to view a product in more detail (this will open a new tab)
* Information correct as of 16th October 2013 and refers to commercially available products intended for consumer use.
** Availability of apps depends on region. More apps will become available post-launch. PlayMemories Mobile needs to be downloaded onto the smartphone/tablet.
*** Only videos recorded in MP4 can be transferred to a smartphone/tablet.
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. Its 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, the Alpha 7s are much smaller than their full-frame interchangeable lens peers (such as Nikon's D610 and the Canon EOS 6D), an achievement made possible primarily because they're not SLRs.
In addition, Sony is also unifying the Alpha and NEX brands, so all future interchangeable lens cameras will now fall under the Alpha umbrella. Being mirrorless, the a7 would have otherwise likely been prefixed with the letters NEX.
The a7 and a7R are identical in terms of physical design, with the main differences being the sensor and autofocus system. The a7 features a full-frame 24 megapixel CMOS, while the a7R has a 36 megapixel CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter. The a7 uses a Hybrid AF system (with on-chip phase detection) similar to the one found on the NEX-6, while the a7R has traditional contrast detection. The a7 is also capable of electronic first curtain mode, which allows for a quieter shutter, and reduces the potential for 'shutter shock' vibration; this is absent from the A7R. Both cameras use Sony's latest Bionz X processor and also have XGA electronic viewfinders, tilting LCDs, Wi-Fi, and weatherproof bodies that resemble that of the Olympus E-M1.
As you'd expect, Sony had to come up with new lenses to take advantage of the full-frame sensors, and they'll be known as 'FE-series'. Five lenses were announced to start with (listed below), with ten more promised by 2015. Existing E-mount lenses will work, though the image will (necessarily) be cropped. If you have A-mount lenses laying around, those too will work, as long as you pick up either of Sony's full-frame-ready adapters (the LA-EA3 or LA-EA4).Sony a7 key features
- 24.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with OLPF
- E-mount with support for FE, E, and A-mount lenses (with adapter)
- Bionz X image processor
- Hybrid AF system with 25 contrast-detect and 117 phase-detect points
- Weather-proof alloy and composite body
- Multi-Interface Shoe
- 3-inch tilting LCD with 1.23 million dots (640x480, RGBW) XGA (1024x768) electronic viewfinder
- Diffraction correction technology
- Full HD video recording at 1080/60p and 24p; uncompressed HDMI output
- Wi-Fi with NFC capability and downloadable apps
The a7 uses a 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor with a low-pass filter and on-chip phase detection. This 'Hybrid AF' is supposed to result in speedier AF, supporting the camera's ability to shoot at 5 fps with continuous autofocus. The more expensive a7R, on the other hand, has a 36 megapixel sensor with no optical low-pass filter and a more conventional contrast-detect AF system.
Both the a7 and a7R can record video at 1080/60p and 24p, with manual exposure control, headphone and mic ports, an audio meter, zebra pattern, XLR support (via adapter), and live, uncompressed HDMI output.
Bionz X Processor
The company's latest processor, dubbed Bionz X for reasons that presumably made sense to someone, is considerably more powerful than the previous generation, allowing what the company says is more sophisticated processing.
Sony is being a little vague on specifics but is touting the new processor as offering 'Detail Reproduction Technology' which appears to be a more subtle and sophisticated sharpening system. The company promises less apparent emphasis on edges, giving a more convincing representation of fine detail'.
Another function promised by the Bionz X processor is 'Diffraction Reduction', in which the camera's processing attempts to correct for the softness caused by diffraction as you stop a lens' aperture down. This processing is presumably aperture-dependent and sounds similar to an element of Fujifilm's Lens Modulation Optimization system (introduced on the X100S), suggesting it's something we should expect to see become more common across brands in the coming months.
Finally, Sony says the Bionz X chip offers a more advanced version of its context-sensitive, 'area-specific noise reduction', which attempts to identify whether each area of an image represents smooth tone, textured detail or subject edges and apply different amounts of noise reduction accordingly. Later in the review, we'll show you just how well this system works, and also the problems it can create.