Sony Alpha a7 (no lens included)
Full-frame 24.3-megapixel mirrorless camera with fast hybrid autofocus
Item #: 158ILCE7B
Your price: $1,099.99
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Item #: 158ILCE7B
Your price: $1,099.99
The Sony Alpha a7 is compact and easy to handle while still delivering full-frame quality (lens not included).
Sony has shattered traditional preconceptions of what a high-end camera should be with the new Alpha a7. Photography's a field famous for trade-offs. The general rule until now has been: go for a big camera to get great full-frame image quality and the features pros demand. Smaller cameras simply can't house the optics and electronics necessary to compete with high-end DSLRs. Or can they?
Let us tell you: the Alpha a7 has done it, and done it spectacularly well. A new family of bright, sharp Sony FE-mount lenses — some made by Zeiss® — are waiting to bring you striking imagery from a camera that's only about half as bulky as some of the high-end full-frame offerings from its competitors. Adapters made both by Sony and by third parties allow you to host a great many more lenses from the world's best manufacturers. And, if you own Sony E-system lenses for the NEX family, your a7 will automatically enable a special crop mode when they're mounted so you can use them too. All this variety will lead to wide-open visual possibilties when you pack a few extra lenses in your camera bag. Because, you know, you'll have extra room.
And because this is a camera made for the connected world, you'll be able to use Sony's remarkable Wi-Fi® technology, because it's built right into the camera from the start. If you're an Android™ device user, built-in NFC (near-field communication) simplifies the process of pairing your camera and smart device, but Wi-Fi is easy to set up for almost any smartphone or tablet. From there, the versatile Sony PlayMemories family of apps comes into play. Transfer and upload files for easy sharing and posting? Sure. Remotely view and control your camera? No problem. Set it up for cool capture modes like time-lapse? Yes. Now, some of these apps are free, and some need to be purchased from Sony's app store, but you'll appreciate the increased creative latitude that app-based photography and videography gives you.
The video shooters have a lot to cheer about as well. In addition to getting their cherished cinematic full-frame look from a camera this size, the Alpha a7 also offers remote camera control from your PC. This means you'll be able to perform critical adjustments and set capture parameters without disturbing your setup. The camera offers high-quality AVCHD internal recording of video, but it can also pass uncompressed video signals output via HDMI, so you can attach a third-party solid-state recorder and capture extreme high-quality video in a variety of codecs.
Fast, intuitive autofocus is achieved with the help of the newly enhanced BIONZ X image-processing engine and a specially-designed hybrid autofocus system. It incorporates both contrast- and phase-detection strategies to give you fluid, precise focusing no matter the challenge. Whether you're photographing children, pets, or sports, the Alpha a7 will deliver sharp, detailed shots while capturing up to 5 continuous frames per second. Oh, and the other part of the stability equation — that is, keeping you stable? There's an available battery grip so you can shoot easily in portrait orientation, plus have extra power available for those long events.
These digital cameras combine the creative options of a DSLR with portability that's more like that of a point-and-shoot. Their automatic modes will help you take striking pictures from day one without having to be an expert. However, like DSLRs, mirrorless cameras have interchangeable lenses, and advanced control and processing. You can explore these features for even better results as you take time to learn more about the hobby. Cameras in this class have large image sensors for beautifully detailed pictures, but their mirrorless design means the camera bodies and matching lenses can be smaller, lighter, and more portable great for snapping memorable pics when you're on the move.
I have been wow'd by photos from people using the A7 series (A7, A7s, and A7r). I looked at all three and really the standout in the crowd was the A7. I owned an older Sony Alpha camera and had several lens for it, so if I was going to move or change cameras, I wanted to use those lenses. While you can't do that directly, there are adapters for nearly every camera lens type available, I purchased the Sony adapter with the camera from Crutchfield. It proved it's worth on what I called the tour of the canyons (Grand, Canyon de Chelly, Palo Duro). The photos were so crisp and rich in color. I had several blown up to 11x17 and some panoramics made as long as 12 x 33 inches. All of the images are razor crisp thanks to the mirrorless technology. People claim mirrorless are not good for sports, however, I've been using the A7 at my daughter's basketball games and again, the A7 is working better than my older Sony A700 because I can use higher ISO settings and end up with very little noise in the photos.
I highly recommend you look at images taken with this camera on any of the photo sites, you'll see nothing but jaw dropping images. The camera won't make you a better photographer, but you will have one of the best tools in the biz to make better photos!
Pros: resolution and colors are superb.
Cons: No built-in flash.
|LCD Screen Size||3"|
|Lens 35mm Equivalent||N/A|
Memory Stick PRO Duo + PRO-HG Duo
|Effective Megapixel Count||24.3|
|Image Stabilization||With optional lens|
|Highest Resolution||6000 x 4000|
|HD Video Recording||1920 x 1080/60p|
|Weight With Battery (ounces)||16.7|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
Overview: The Sony α7 (ILCE-7) alpha series camera kit contains the α7 camera body, along with a rechargeable battery, adjustable neck strap, and USB cable. The α7 has a full-frame 35mm image sensor, and is compatible with Sony E-mount lenses. With the LA-EA2 or LA-EA1 Mount Adapter, the camera can also use Sony A-mount lenses.
3" Tiltable LCD Screen: The α7 uses a 3" Xtra Fine LCD screen with 921,600 dots. You can tilt the LCD up approximately 84° for low angle shots or approximately 45° for high angle photography. The brightness of the LCD monitor can be adjusted in 5 steps from -2 to +2.
0.5" OLED Electronic Viewfinder: The 0.5" high contrast Tru-Finder OLED electronic color viewfinder has 2.4-million dots, and provides approximately 100% field of view. You can adjust the brightness in 5 steps. The built-in diopter lets you adjust the viewfinder image to your individual eyesight. You can set the camera to switch between the LCD screen and viewfinder automatically when you look into the EVF, or choose one or the other in the camera's menu.
Display Options: You can choose how much information appears in the viewfinder and LCD monitor. There are five options each for the LCD screen and Viewfinder: Graphic Display, Display All Info, No Display Info, Level, and Histogram.
Live View: The α7's Live View lets you use the LCD screen and Electronic Viewfinder to frame your photos as you shoot. When the Live View display is set to "Setting Effect On", the LCD or viewfinder will provide an accurate preview of your photo, including the white balance, exposure compensation, creative style or picture effect. With the "Setting Effect Off", you can check the image composition without the effects of the exposure settings.
Image Sensor: The α7 features a full-frame 35mm Exmor CMOS image sensor (35.8 x 23.9mm). It has approximately 24.7-million total pixels and 24.3-million effective pixels.
Still Image Recording Formats: The α7 can shoot 35mm full-size image sensor pictures, but it can also shoot APS-C size equivalent pictures. Still images are recorded in JPEG file format in Standard, Fine, and Extra Fine compression rates. You can choose to shoot in 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratio, and in large, medium, and small image sizes. You can also record still images using the RAW format, which is uncompressed with no processing performed in the camera. RAW images must be transferred to a computer for processing, editing, and printing using the downloadable Image Data Converter software. You can select the following image sizes:
|Aspect Ratio/Size||35mm Full-Size||APS-C Size|
|3:2 Large||6000 x 4000 (24M)||3936 x 2624 (10M)|
|3:2 Medium||3936 x 2624 (10M)||3008 x 2000 (6M)|
|3:2 Small||3008 x 2000 (6M)||1968 x 1312 (2.6M)|
|16:9 Large||6000 x 3376 (20M)||3936 x 2216 (8.7M)|
|16:9 Medium||3936 x 2216 (8.7M)||3008 x 1688 (5.1M)|
|16:9 Small||3008 x 1688 (5.1M)||1968 x 1112 (2.2M)|
|3:2 RAW (L)||6000 x 4000 (24M)||3936 x 2624 (10M)|
|16:9 RAW (L)||6000 x 3376 (20M)||3936 x 2216 (8.7M)|
Panorama Photos: The Panorama mode lets you record panoramic images by holding down the shutter button as you pan across the scene. Panoramic photos can be taken in several different resolution settings:
Movie Recording Formats: The α7 can record 16:9 Full High Definition movies with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video and 2-channel Dolby Digital audio. Movies can also be recorded in MP4 mode with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video and MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2-channel audio. You can select from the following bit rates/image quality:
|File Format||Average Bit Rate||Resolution|
|AVCHD 60i 24M (FX)||24 Mbps||1920 x 1080 (60i)|
|AVCHD 60i 17M (FH)||17 Mbps||1920 x 1080 (60i)|
|AVCHD 60p 28M (PS)||28 Mbps||1920 x 1080 (60p)|
|AVCHD 24p 24M (FX)||24 Mbps||1920 x 1080 (24p)|
|AVCHD 24p 17M (FH)||17 Mbps||1920 x 1080 (24p)|
|MP4 1440 x 1080 12M||12 Mbps||1440 x 1080 (30fps)|
|MP4 VGA 3M||3 Mbps||640 x 480 (30fps)|
Dual Media Options: The α7 camera accepts two types of media for capturing still images: Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, and Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, plus SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards. The maximum number of images that can be recorded on a memory card formatted with this camera varies slightly between the two types of media.
Clear Image Zoom: Clear Image Zoom, powered by Sony's By Pixel Super Resolution Technology, increases the effective focal length of the lens by up to 1.4x (Medium images) or 2x (Small images) by digitally magnifying the center of the image. Combined with the camera's Digital Zoom and Smart Zoom, you can increase magnification up to 8x over the lens' maximum focal length.
Hybrid AF System: The α7's Enhanced Fast Hybrid auto focus system combines phase-detection auto focus with highly accurate contrast-detection AF for lightning fast auto focusing. Phase Detection uses 117 densely placed AF points to quickly move the lens to bring the subject nearly into focus. Then Contrast Detection's 25 focus points fine-tunes the focusing, resulting in the sharpest images. You can choose from the following Auto/Manual Focus Modes:
AF (Auto focus) Area: You can select between 4 settings:
Eye AF: The new Eye AF function can be assigned to a customizable button. When Eye AF is selected, the camera focuses on a person's eyes for extremely sharp focusing of the face.
Face Detection/Smile Shutter: The camera can detect human faces, and adjusts the focus, exposure, performs image processing and adjusts flash settings for best results. Faces can be registered, and priority given to those faces over others in the frame. Up to 8 faces can be detected and/or registered. When the Smile Shutter feature is enabled, the camera will automatically release the shutter when a slight, normal, or big smile is detected.
Auto Object Framing: When the camera detects and shoots faces, subjects shot with macro or subjects captured using Tracking Focus, the captured image is automatically trimmed into a suitable composition. Both the original and the trimmed images are saved. The trimmed image is recorded in the same size as the original image size. This feature can be turned on or off in the menu.
Focus Lock: If a subject is off-center and outside of the AF area, you can lock the focus of the camera.
AF Illuminator: When you press the shutter button halfway down a red illuminator is emitted until the focus is locked. Under dark lighting conditions or when you shoot a low contrast subject, the AF illuminator allows the camera to focus more easily on the subject.
Drive Modes: The camera offers the following shooting modes:
Shooting Modes: The top-mounted Mode Dial lets you select from the following shooting modes:
Picture Effect: In Intelligent Auto or Superior Auto mode, you can select Picture Effect to get one the following effect filters to achieve more impressive and artistic expression: Toy Camera, Pop Color, Posterization (color), Posterization (B/W), Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Color (Red, Green, Blue, or Yellow), High Contrast Mono, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Mono, Miniature, Watercolor, and Illustration.
Creative Style: The Creative Style function lets you select the desired image processing. You can adjust exposure (shutter speed and aperture) as you like with Creative Style. You can choose from: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, or Sepia. You can also adjust Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness.
Exposure Compensation: Exposure compensation is used to alter the camera's standard exposure setting. You can make the image look lighter (increased exposure) or darker (decreased exposure) The exposure compensation amount can be set up to +/-3.0 EV in 1/3-step increments by turning the dial on the top of the camera or +/-3.0 EV in 1/3-step increments in the menu. When shooting movies, the exposure can be adjusted in a range of +/-2.0 EV.
AE Lock: You can fix the exposure before deciding on the composition when taking a picture. This is effective when the metering object and focusing object are different or when you want to shoot continuously while keep the same exposure value.
Metering Mode: A 1200-zone evaluative sensing system provides multi-pattern measuring for superior exposure control accuracy in a wide range of lighting conditions. You can select the method for measuring the brightness of a subject from the following three methods:
White Balance: You can adjust the color tones according to the lighting conditions. You can choose from the following WB options, and adjust the +/- 3 to fine tune the colors: Auto WB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White), Fluorescent (Cool White), Fluorescent (Day White), Fluorescent (Daylight), Flash, Color Temperature, Color Filter, Underwater, and Custom.
Color Temperature/Color Filter: You can adjust the white balance further by selecting Color Temperature or Color Filter in the Custom White Balance option. With Color Temperature, the higher the number, the more reddish the image, and the lower the number, the more bluish the image. Color Filter achieves the effect of Color Compensation filters for photography. Based on the set color temperature as the standard, the color can be compensated to Green (G) or Magenta (M).
ISO Settings: ISO is a unit of measurement of sensitivity to light. The larger the number, the higher the sensitivity. The camera's ISO can be set manually or automatically, depending upon the exposure mode. The manual ISO range is 50 to 25600 in 1/3EV increments.
Multi-Interface Shoe: The α7 does not have a built-in flash, but is equipped with the Multi-Interface Shoe, allowing you to use an external flash, such as the HVL-F20M, HVL-F43M, or HVL-F60M. The ECM-XYST1M stereo microphone is also compatible.
Flash Features: When an optional external flash is attached, the camera offers several Flash Modes: Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync, Rear Sync, and Wireless. You can adjust the amount of flash light in a range of -3.0 EV to +3.0 EV with the Flash Compensation feature.
Wi-Fi Overview: The Sony α7 has built-in Wi-Fi so you can interface the camera with your smartphone or Wi-Fi-enabled laptop computer and wirelessly perform various shooting and playback functions. The camera also supports NFC (near field communication).
PlayMemories Mobile: To interface with the Sony α7, your smartphone must have the PlayMemories Mobile application. The app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and requires iOS 4.3 or later. It is also compatible with Android smartphones and tablets with the Android 2.3 - 4.4 operating environment.
NFC (Near Field Communication): By touching an NFC-enabled Android smartphone or tablet to the "N" mark on the right side of the camera, the smartphone will be connected automatically via Wi-Fi, and the PlayMemories Mobile app will be launched. The two devices must touch for approximately 1-2 seconds to make the connection.
Wi-Fi Functions: The following wireless functions can be performed with the α7:
Playback Screen: You can view your photos back as a single image on the LCD monitor, as an Index or as a Slide Show. During Index View mode, you can view 9 (3 x 3) or 25 (5 x 5) images at once.
Auto Review: After an image is recorded, you can have the camera automatically display it on the LCD monitor for two, five or 10 seconds. You can also turn off auto review.
Image Rotation: Vertical shots can be rotated automatically so that they are displayed upright during playback. This can be done manually or automatically.
Slide Show: You can automatically play back still images continuously in a slide show. You can set the interval to 1, 3, 5, 10, or 30 seconds.
View Mode: There are four View Modes to choose from for playing back images and movies: Date View, Folder View (Still), Folder View (MP4), and AVCHD View.
D-Range Optimizer/Auto HDR: The camera allows you to correct the brightness and contrast of an image automatically, using the D-Range Optimizer (DRO) and Auto High Dynamic Range functions. The DRO optimizes the gradations of a recorded image in each area of the image; you select the optimal level from Lv1 (weak) and Lv5 (strong). When Auto HDR is selected, the camera shoots three images with different exposures, then overlays them to create one image with the correct exposure and an overlaid image.
4K Still Image Playback: The α7 can output images in 4K resolution to an HDMI-connected TV that supports 4K. The 4K playback function can be selected in the Playback Menu only when the camera is connected to a 4K-compatible TV via HDMI or Wi-Fi.
Protect Images: You can protect all images on your memory card or select only certain images to be protected from accidental erasure.
Printing Options: The camera offers the following printing options.
InfoLithium Battery: The α7 is powered by the NP-FW50 InfoLithium battery (supplied). The battery communicates data to the camera, so that the percentage of battery power remaining can be displayed. Approximately 340 images can be recorded with the supplied battery using the LCD monitor.
Charging: The NP-FW50 InfoLithium battery requires approximately 5 hours 10 minutes for a full charge, using the supplied AC-UB10 AC adapter and USB cable.
Power Save: You can set different time intervals for the camera to switch to Power Save mode. You can set the interval to 10 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, or 30 minutes. Once the camera goes into Power Save mode, you can return to the shooting mode by pressing the shutter button halfway.
Downloadable Software: The α7 does not include software in the box. Instead, Sony offers software for Windows- and Mac-compatible computers for importing still images and movies recorded with the camera to your computer. The software is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Windows Vista (SP2), and Mac OS X v10.6 - v10.8 operating systems. You can download the software to your computer using the appropriate URL provided in the supplied Instruction Manual. The following downloadable software is compatible with the camera:
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Cheapest full frame with astonishing IQ. [ Sergei Jan 11, 2016 ]
Thanks for your question. For information on comparing two or more models I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your needs and your budget. [ Greg Jul 03, 2014 ] Staff