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.
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