Sony has finally taken the wraps off of its two new mirrorless cameras, the Alpha 7 and 7R. Catering to the professional market, both models tout huge full-frame sensors and a number of interchangeable lenses. They’re remarkably high-end in a form factor that’s smaller than the competition.
There are a lot of improvements to be enjoyed. Both models employ a new BIONZ X processor, speedy contrast auto-focus (AF), 1080p recording capability at 60 frames per second, and XGA OLED Tru-finder. The Sony Alpha 7 uses a 24.3-megapixel full-frame sensor, whereas the 7R does without a low-pass filter and has a 36.3-megapixel sensor.
Though small, both the Sony Alpha 7 and 7R are jam-packed with two dials, nine customizable buttons, and assignable control surfaces for a wider variety of manual control and quick handling. They bear resemblance to Sony’s older cameras, donning a black body with leathery and dense textures. They’re quite nice to the touch, albeit somewhat substantial in weight.
Other features include wireless connectivity (i.e, Wi-Fi and NFC) that lets the Sony Alpha 7 and 7R be remotely controlled through the PlayMemories app from a smartphone. Old lenses from Sony’s NEX-branded cameras are compatible with the new Alpha models, although there will be some cropping in resulting pictures due to the sensor size difference. Only five new lenses have been announced for the new cameras, though that number is expected to expand.
As with many high-end devices, the Sony Alpha 7 and 7R come with premium prices. The 7 initially costs $2,000 (kit lens included), whereas the 7R will set professionals back at least $2,300. But being the world’s smallest full-frame cameras with interchangeable lenses, both models are actually priced cheaper than many others. Intended to outclass those bulky DSLRs we’ve seen pro shooters often use, they are scheduled for a December release.