Sony’s long-rumored full-frame mirrorless cameras are now a reality. The Japanese firm today announced its Alpha A7 and Alpha A7R digital cameras, which it claims are the smallest full-frame interchangeable-lens shooters in the world.
The two devices look just about the same, and they come with a largely similar set of features. They’re both equipped with Sony’s BIONZ X processor, a 2.4 million dot XGA OLED viewfinder, built-in WiFi and NFC, 3-inch tilting LCD displays, 1080p at 60p video recording capabilities, fast autofocus, and magnesium alloy builds that Sony says to be dust- and water-resistant.
The major difference comes in those full-frame sensors. The Alpha A7R’s impressive 36.4-megapixel 35mm Exmor CMOS sensor is the more professional of the two, and it doesn’t come with an optical low pass filter either. The Alpha A7, meanwhile, dials it down just a tad to a 24.3-megapixel sensor. Either way, these full-framers should theoretically produce clearer images on par with heftier DSLRs (especially in low light settings) despite being housed in lighter form factors.
The Alpha A7 and Alpha A7R will work with the E-mount lenses that are used in Sony’s NEX line of cameras, but only in a crop mode. For the new devices, Sony’s launching a new series of FE lenses that include a 55mm f/1.8, 35mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/4, and a 70-200mm/f4. The kit lens of the group is 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6.
The new shooters and their lenses are being pitched as professional (or near-professional) level cameras, and so they have professional level prices. The cameras will be available sometime this December, with the Alpha A7R priced at $2300 for just its body, and the Alpha A7 priced at $2000 with that aforementioned kit lens or $1700 as a body-only model.