Sony climbs a step higher in the production of full-frame cameras with their release of the alpha a7 mirrorless digital camera. The much-awaited camera brings with it an FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens among other ground-breaking features that we’ll discuss later in this Sony Alpha A7 review. The 7s camera series has managed to outdo other full-frame interchangeable-lensed cameras from other manufacturers with whom they compete. That is based on the size and the fact that they aren’t SLRs.
The Camera is an essential tool for action photography as well as event photography, thanks to its great autofocusing and continuous shooting speed.
Is Sony Alpha A7 full frame mirrorless camera the ideal choice for your photography career? We can find that out by exploring its flagship specs.
Type: Digital full-frame mirrorless AF
Resolution: 24.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor plus OLPF
ISO: 100-25600 with a minimum extended ISO at 50
Shutter Speed: 30 seconds minimum and 1/8000 seconds maximum
Continuous Shooting Rate: 5fps
Size: 127 x 94 x 48 mm (5 x 3.7 x 1.89in.)
Weight: 74 g (1.04 lb. / 16.72 oz.) inclusive of batteries
Media Storage: SD Card, SDHC or SDXC
Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
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The Sony Alpha A7 is a full frame as well as a compact camera with great features presented at a low price. The A7 features a 24 megapixel CMOS sensor in addition to a hybrid autofocus system that makes shooting spontaneous. An on-chip phase detection compliments the AF system. The camera brags one of the quietest shutters and low potential for shock shutter vibration attributed to the electronic first curtain mode.
The Bionz X processor which it shares with the Sony Alpha A7s is responsible for the high functionality and speed. Other flagship features of the a7 camera include the XGA electronic viewfinders, motion sensor LCD, Wi-Fi connectivity and the weather proof body design. The Sony Company released the FE lens series at the time of distribution of the A7 camera to help improve their focusing and accuracy. The lenses seek to replace the E-mount lens.
Its hybrid autofocus is made of a 25-point contrast detection and a 117-point phase detection functions. It also has the multi-interface shoe for the addition of extra kits like a secondary flash applicable in dark environments. The diffraction technology is also an interesting little function that the A7 carries under its sealed alloy composite body.
Image Quality and Performance
The a7 takes a whole two seconds to start or before you can take any shot. This is unlike other mirrorless cameras with which it is competing. However, without the lens, the start-up and ready-to-shoot duration is less than half a second, implying that the delay could be as a result of initializing the fitted lens.
The 117 phase-detection plus the 25 contrast-detection provided by the AF allows the camera to move the lens in the desired direction to achieve focus and determine just how much it needs to go for an accurate shot. The method increases the focusing speed by pushing the lens straight to the object of interest instead of covering a whole range.
The A7 offers a 2.5 and five frames per second standard and priority continuous shooting speed respectively. The camera maintains its focus even when shooting in bursts of full 6fps.
The A7 without a doubt lives up to its capability as a full frame camera offering very high definition pictures. That is attributed to the shallow field of view as well as the low light capability with a large sensor ready to gather it. Great JPEG images can be produced in the dynamic ISO range of the alpha A7.
Design and Controls
The Alpha A7 is one of the smallest mirrorless full frame cameras ever produced. Nevertheless, it is also dynamic enough to support interchangeable lenses. You will find the front, back, and exposure compensation buttons strategically placed within easy reach. The movie record button which could be easily bumped upon in the RX-series has been relocated in the A7 to the right side of the camera.
At the top of the camera from the far left is the stereo microphone. Adjacent to it is the multi-interface shoe which can host the external Mic, video flash, and an XLR adapter. To the far right of the camera are the shutter release button, exposure compensation, customizable dial and the front dial. You can even set the functionality of the customizable button to your preferred needs in the menu.
The shooting interface of the alpha a7 is great with the standard choice of the live histogram, grid lines or the dual axis level. The camera has an extremely user-friendly interface and a great tilting LCD for shooting at different angles.
The Sony Alpha A7 has great features that professional photographers will know how to utilize to capture the best moments.
- It is tiny and light as a full frame camera for better handling.
- Immaculate image quality when shooting in raw mode.
- The camera has a great design and excellent ergonomics.
- The electronic viewfinder is good enough as compared to other full frames.
- It has excellent video shooting features which include manual controls, audio level adjustment, and HDMI output.
- The dual axis electronic level is well placed in a compact design.
- Well-implemented flagship Sony features such as the HDR and sweep panorama.
- It has a stable Wi-Fi system that allows remote shooting and photo sharing among others.
USB support allows convenient charging.
Despite being a great photography tool, this camera has little hitches that could be improved.
- The JPEG pictures from an alpha a7 aren’t the best of quality when compared to its competitors. This is attributed to little hitches like crude sharpening, hyper-aggressive processing, and potential posterization.
- Autofocus may be unreliable in low light.
- Auto ISO usually maintains the shutter speed at 1/60 seconds that often cause blurry images.
- Delayed start-up times.
- The camera cannot be operated when the buffer is clearing after a continuous burst shooting.
It is deficient of an inbuilt flash.
The Sony Alpha A7 utilizes a similar sensor to the A7 ii, and both have a bright, high-resolution viewfinders. The fast and consistent autofocus will help you capture great action moments, especially in sports. In events like weddings or family expeditions, the camera can also be a handy gadget. To sum it up, you won’t find the breathtaking features that the Sony Alpha A7 in any other camera at a similar price.
The camera is excellent in more than one aspect, despite downfalls like the over sensitive eye sensor and the noise in high ISO JPEG images. You should consider purchasing it to feel the real power of the mirrorless full frame cameras. Also, make sure to issue your opinions on the Alpha a7.