Sony’s New A7 And A7R: Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras


The end of the crop-frame camera is nigh, for anything except special markets at least. Sony’s new A7 and A7r are camera with full-frame sensors. That’s right: full-frame SLRs, only without the “R”. (But with an extra, different “R” in the A7R… Perhaps the R stands for “recycle”?).

The cameras are both rather handsome, with built-in 2.3-million-dot viewfinders, three-inch tilting screens, 60 fps video, a maximum ISO of 25,600 plus modern niceties like Wi-Fi and NFC. They actually look a lot like old-school film SLRs, only slimmer and without mirrors inside. The main difference is that the A7 has a 24MP sensor with on-chip phase-detection AF, while the A7R ditches the anti-aliasing filter and boosts the pixels count to 36MP. It also uses contrast AF only.

Full frame means that the sensor is the same sizer as a frame of 35mm film, allowing for bigger pixels and – in the case of full-frame SLRS from the likes of Nikon and Canon – access to a huge range of legacy lenses. Not so with the A7/R, which gets a whole new range of full-frame lenses. The cameras will accept other NEX lenses, but you’ll get vignetting, and a reverse crop factor, making the lenses seem more wideangle than they are on their regular bodies.

You can also use Alpha SLR lenses on the camera with an adapter.

Prices? $1,700 for the A7 and $2,300 for the A7R, with the A7 also available in a £2,00 kit with a new 28–70 ƒ3.5–5.6 lens.

  • Jonathan Ober

    Someone forgot to give a height requirement for your home page photo of this…that camera is stretched out on mac Chrome at least.

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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