Finally!! Sony Alpha Mirrorless Full Frame Cameras are available!

Sorry guys, I had heavy projects last week and fall sick for a few days since last Friday night hence cannot update the Sony new babies. Anyway, getting better now and get down from the bed to update the news!

Sony had finally announced and launched their mirrorless full frame cameras on 16 Oct 2013. The new mirrorless full frame cameras are not the rumored NEX-9 but the Sony named them as Sony Alpha 7 and 7R. Both cameras have the identical look and build while the Sony Alpha 7 comes with a 24.3 Megapixel 35 mm CMOS image sensor and the Sony Alpha 7R has a 36.4 Megapixel 35 mm CMOS image sensor without low-pass filter. Both A7/7R use the Sony latest Bionz X image processor which promised to process more sophisticated algorithm and image processing such as the ‘Diffraction Reduction’.

Sony Alpha 7/7R Front View
Sony Alpha 7/7R Front View

Sony Alpha 7/7R With Lens Attached
Sony Alpha 7/7R With Zeiss FE 55 F1.8 Lens Attached

Let’s have a glance about the difference between A7 and A7R.

A 7

A 7R

Image Sensor 24.3 MP 36.4 MP
Optical Low-pass Filter Yes
Auto Focus Fast Hybrid (Phase Detection and Contrast Detection) Contrast Detection
Flash-Sync Speed 1/250s 1/160s
HDMI Out Yes
Weight (body only) 416 g 407 g

The Sony Alpha 7/7R come with a high quality XGA OLED EVF (electronic viewfinder) and the same 3-lens optical system which used in the flagship Alpha 99 (Sony full frame A-mount camera). Unlike the EVF on NEX-6 or NEX-7, Sony placed the EVF on the top center of the Alpha 7/7R camera body. The 3 inches LCD screen is tilt-able and its design is same as the NEX-6 and NEX-7 which is a bit let down. Besides the incapability of any angle view of LCD screen (especially self-shooting), if you mount the camera on a tripod, tilt the LCD screen downward to the maximum of 45 degree is nearly impossible as the LCD screen edge will hit the base of the tripod. The owners of NEX-6 and NEX-7 who did the same thing before will know what I feel.

Sony Alpha 7/7R tilt-able LCD screen, and XGA OLED EVF
Sony Alpha 7/7R tilt-able LCD screen, and XGA OLED EVF

The Sony Alpha 7/7R does not use the TRI-NAVI button design as the NEX-7. Instead, they implemented something more convenience and more professional look buttons placement as show below. The mode dial and exposure dial are on the top of camera body and there are front dial, rear dial, and a control wheel at the back of the camera.

Sony Alpha 7/7R top view
Sony Alpha 7/7R top view

Besides, there are total of 9 buttons are customizable. We are allowed to assign our preference functions to specific button and make the camera as our personalized camera to suite our style!

9 Customizable Buttons
9 Customizable Buttons

The camera body is made of magnesium alloy and is dust and moisture resistance. This is excellent! We do not need to worry anymore when shooting at the beach or in the poor rainy weather, or even in the adventure journey!

Sony had abandon the NEX series menu system and bring  a brand new intuitive design menu system to the A7/7R! The menu system had taken many features from the Sony Alpha A-mount cameras to enhance and provide a smoother and more intuitive operation experience. This is definitely a welcome as the NEX menu system had been criticized since it was on the NEX series cameras due to its lack of intuitive and wordy menu.

New Design System Menu
New Design System Menu

Besides the new UI menu system, Sony still provides the Quick Navi Pro UI which display all major shooting options on the LCD screen.

Quick Navi Pro Fast Access Menu
Quick Navi Pro Fast Access Menu

In additional, Sony remove the low-pass filter for A7R in order to retain more details and produce sharper image. Due to the lack of low-pass filter, A7R only has the traditional contrast detection AF instead of the Fast Hybrid AF (Phase detection and contrast detection) on the A7.

Both camera do not have in-body image stabilizer too. This may also bring many of us down as we expected in-body image stabilizer in such a high-end camera. However, consider to its slim design and its more affordable price than other full frame professional DSLR, the omit of image stabilizer may be forgiven.

Sony A7/7R are compatible with all the current APS-C E-mount lenses (without adapter but work in cropped mode) and A-mount lenses (with adapter). Besides, Sony also introduced few high quality FE lenses as the following

Lens Name

Lens Type

Sonnar T* FE 35 mm F2.8 ZA Wide-angle prime
Sonnar T* FE 55 mm F1.8 ZA Normal prime
Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70 mm F4 ZA OSS Standard zoom
FE 28-70 mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Standard zoom
E FE 70-200 mm F4 G OSS Telephoto zoom

There are 3 Sony-Zeiss lenses, 1 Sony G lens, and 1 Sony lens. More introduction to the lenses above will be posted in my next post.

Sony A7 will be available in body only (USD 1,699) and with the kit SEL2870 (USD 1,999) while the A 7R only available in body only (USD 2,299). No price info in Singapore yet but they are always around 1.3 times higher after convert to SGD.

All the images are taken from the Sony official website. You can get more camera details from the Sony official website as well.

So how do you think about the Sony new full-frame mirrorless camera? If you just bought a NEX-6 or NEX-7 or other NEXs, would you consider to buy these newbies? Or if you are using other brands DSLR, would you like to give Sony a try?

Welcome to share you thoughts here and thanks for your reading. Hope you enjoyed =)

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Contact me by email: jamesphotography2013@gmail.com

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