Sony Alpha a7S
Full-frame 12.2-megapixel mirrorless camera with Wi-Fi®
Item #: 158ILCE7SB
Your price: $2,199.99
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Item #: 158ILCE7SB
Your price: $2,199.99
The Sony Alpha a7S is so compact, you wouldn't guess how much cutting-edge technology there is inside. The camera uses upgraded sensor technology to gather as much light as possible. The impressive direct pixel readout chip inside the camera is the same size as a full frame of 35mm film, allowing for high sensitivity and low noise levels with high dynamic range in every light condition from severe low light to bright sunlight. Sony's BIONZ processor makes sure beautiful photos emerge quickly.
The upshot of all that technology inside the camera? Every pixel is working at maximum efficiency, so you can shoot high-definition stills and let the camera convert the images for optimum playback on a compatible Sony 4K TV.
The technological advances that make the a7S a great choice for still photos also make it an excellent video camera. Shooting in the AVCHD format with a speed class 10 memory card, the camera can capture full HD video at 1920 x 1080p resolution. If you're looking for the best possible image quality for your nature documentary or film school project, the a7S can even output uncompressed 4K video to an optional external third-party 4k recorder via HDMI. S-Log2 technology expands the camera's dynamic range by up to 1300% to minimize clipped highlights and loss of detail in shadows.
The a7S also supports Wi-Fi and NFC (Near Field Communication). NFC provides a "one touch connection" with NFC enabled smartphones and tablets. The free Sony PlayMemories apps add functionality when downloaded, including the ability to control camera functions remotely via a compatible device.
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.
After a long history with Nikon SLRs and DSLRs, decided to give the A7S a shot and see what the mirrorless hype was about. Primarily chose the A7S based on its video advantages over the A7 and A7R, but it hasn't disappointed in that department - but happily surprised by the quality of photos as well. May not have the speed of the R, but has plenty of capability for the advanced amateur up to the pro shooter looking for a video edge. Great purchase.
Pros: Great low light capability in both video and photo shooting. Beautiful, crisp images with great uncorrected color.
Cons: Haven't discovered any significant cons yet, outside of entry price vs A7.
I know this is a video version of the A7 family. The video is amazing, but this pictures are the most sublime. Not just low light- everything is amazing. Plenty of resolution if you aren't a power cropper. The file sizes offer plenty res, and at the same time the are so nice and small on the computer. I just can't describe all the different was this camera impresses me daily. There is something indescribable about these huge photo sites soaking up all that light and color. The best colors and amazing whites & blues. The best ever B&W conversions from any camera that is not a Leica BW only camera. Oh- the video is the most lovely IQ this side of 4k- so gorgeous video without going 4k with external recorder.
Cons: Auto Focus is it's only weak point, though as good or a little better than A7
|LCD Screen Size||3"|
|Lens 35mm Equivalent||None|
Memory Stick PRO Duo + PRO-HG Duo
|Effective Megapixel Count||12.2|
|Image Stabilization||With optional lens|
|Highest Resolution||4240 x 2832|
|HD Video Recording||1920 x 1080|
|Weight With Battery (ounces)||17.2|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
Overview: The Sony α7S (ILCE-7S) Alpha series camera kit contains the α7S camera body, along with a rechargeable battery, adjustable neck strap, and USB cable. The α7S has a full-frame 35mm image sensor, and is compatible with Sony E-mount lenses. With the LA-EA2 or LA-EA4 Mount Adapter, the camera can also use Sony A-mount lenses.
3" Tiltable LCD Screen: The α7S 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, or set for Sunny Weather.
0.5" OLED Electronic Viewfinder: The 0.5" high contrast Tru-Finder OLED electronic color viewfinder has approximately 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. There's also a "For Viewfinder" display option which shows multiple camera settings at once on the LCD screen that you can use when shooting with the viewfinder.
Live View: The α7S'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 α7S features a full-frame 35mm Exmor CMOS image sensor (35.6 x 23.8mm). It has approximately 12.43-million total pixels and 12.2-million effective pixels.
Still Image Recording Formats: The α7S 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||12M: 4240 x 2832||5.1M: 2768 x 1848|
|3:2 Medium||5.1M: 2768 x 1848||3.0M: 2128 x 1416|
|3:2 Small||3.0M: 2128 x 1416||1.3M: 1376 x 920|
|16:9 Large||10M: 4240 x 2384||4.3M: 2768 x 1560|
|16:9 Medium||4.3M: 2768 x 1560||2.6M: 2128 x 1200|
|16:9 Small||2.6M: 2128 x 1200||1.1M: 1376 x 776|
|3:2 RAW (L)||12M: 4240 x 2832||5.1M: 2768 x 1848|
|16:9 RAW (L)||10M: 4240 x 2384||4.3M: 2768 x 1560|
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 α7S can record moving images in XAVC S (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 with 2-channel LPCM audio), AVCHD Ver. 2.0 format (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 with Dolby Digital 2ch audio) or MP4 (MPEG-4/H.264 with 2-channel AAC audio). You can choose from the following file formats and bit rates:
|File Format||Average Bit Rate||Resolution|
|XAVC S 60p 50M||50 Mbps||1920 x 1080 (60p)|
|XAVC S 30P 50M||50 Mbps||1920 x 1080 (30p)|
|XAVC S 24P 50M||50 Mbps||1920 x 1080 (24p)|
|XAVC S 120p 50M||50 Mbps||1280 x 720 (120p)|
|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 α7S 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.
Focus Modes: The α7S's Fast Intelligent auto focus system combines the high-speed BIONZ X image processor and improved algorithms with optimized image sensor read-out speed to provide ultra-fast auto focusing. 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.
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 +/-5.0 EV in 1/3-step or 1/2-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: Auto WB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White), Fluorescent (Cool White), Fluorescent (Day White), Fluorescent (Daylight), Flash, Underwater Auto, Color Temperature, Color Filter, and Custom (1/2/3).
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 409600 in 1/3EV increments.
Multi-Interface Shoe: The α7S 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 α7S 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 α7S, 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. NFC One-touch Sharing allows you to directly send single images from the camera to the smartphone.
Wi-Fi Functions: The following wireless functions can be performed with the α7S:
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 five View Modes to choose from for playing back images and movies: Date View, Folder View (Still), Folder View (MP4), AVCHD View, and XAVC S.
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 α7S 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.
BRAVIA Sync: When connecting the camera to a Sony TV with BRAVIA Sync via HDMI, you can control the camera with the TV's remote control.
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 α7S is powered by the NP-FW50 InfoLithium battery. Two batteries are supplied with the camera. The battery communicates data to the camera, so that the percentage of battery power remaining can be displayed. The battery life specs are as follows:
|Function||Battery Life||Number of Images|
|Shooting Still Images||LCD||Approx. 190 min||Approx. 380 images|
|Viewfinder||Approx. 160 min||Approx. 320 images|
|Viewing Still Images||Approx. 280 min||Approx. 5600 images|
|LCD||Approx. 60 min||---|
|Viewfinder||Approx. 55 min||---|
|LCD||Approx. 90 min||---|
Charging: The NP-FW50 InfoLithium battery requires approximately 150 minutes to reach a full charge in the camera, using the supplied AC-UUD11 AC adapter and USB cable. When the included BC-TRW battery charger is used, the battery reaches a full charge in approximately 220 minutes.
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 α7S 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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