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Sony Announces New Full-Frame a7 Series, RX10 and E-Mount Lenses

by Brandon Russell | October 15, 2013October 15, 2013 11:00 pm PDT

Sony on Tuesday announced a few big new cameras and a handful of e-mount lenses, including what the company says are the world’s smallest full-frame mirrorless cameras, the a7 and a7R. The Japanese company’s Cyber-shot RX line is also getting a new member, RX10, adding incredibly high-performance zoom (24-200mm) to an already respected family of cameras. Get your wallets ready, because you might not be able to resist what Sony has to offer.

Up first are Sony’s new full-frame cameras, both of which come equipped with new BIONZ X processors, Fast AF capabilities, Wi-Fi and NFC connections, water and dust resistance and bright XGA OLED Tru-finder (viewfinder), among other features. The a7R model itself sports a 36.4-megapixel 35mm Exmor CMOS sensor—Sony’s highest resolution sensor in the a line—and features a no optical low pass filter, which the company says will result in an “unprecedented level of detail.”

Other a7R specs include new eye AF control, a 3-inch tiltable LCD, 14-bit RAW output, Full HD movie recording, 4K still image output, and PC control with remote video capture. The camera itself looks incredibly tiny and very, very handsome; Sony cameras typically have among the best designs on the market. Including an actual viewfinder is hugely important for pro photogs, especially when shooting with such powerful technology; it’s not the same when merely looking at what’s on a small LCD screen.

Sony’s new a7 is a more paired down version of the a7R, and features a 24.3-megapixel full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor—same new BIONZ X processor, however, along with the same superfast hybrid AF system, which combines phase- and contract-detect methods for the quickest and most accurate focusing. Sony says its a7 is capable of shooting 5 fps continuously with non-stop AF tracking, so you’ll be able to capture fast-moving objects, such as your dog or child at a sporting event.

Unfortunately, these two new cameras, along with multiple new e-mount lenses, will make your wallet weep in pain. When the a7R and a7 are available this December, they’ll start out at $2,300 and $1,700, respectively. The a7 will be offered in a kit, with the body and a 28-70 f3.5-f5.6 full-frame lens for around $2,000. No word on what kind of bundles the a7R will come.

Getting into much more wallet-friendly territory, the RX10 is a slick new camera that comes equipped with a 1.0-type, 20.2 effective megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, 24-200mm f2.8 Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T zoom lens, and a BIONZ X processing engine along with an advanced AT system. The sensor is actually the same Sony used in the RX100 II, though the camera overall is much different from that pro-sumer point-and-shoot.

The RX10 also has a viewfinder onboard, lock-on AF system, the ability to shoot at 10 fps, and bright 3.0-type White Magic LCD. Other features include Full HD video shooting, flexible controls and settings for DSLR-like flexibility, and six customizable buttons. When the RX10 launches this November, it’ll run consumers $1,300 and be available through Sony retail stores.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...