Sony rocked the photographic world when it launched the first full-frame mirrorless cameras, the a7 and a7R. These cameras catapulted the mirrorless market into the forefront of technology for many MILC advocates. But those outstanding specs don’t mean anything if the cameras’ features and performance don’t live up to the hype. The two cameras are almost clones of each other and while this review focuses on the a7, we’ll comment (where appropriate) on the a7R as well. To start, the biggest difference between the two is the sensor. The a7 uses a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor with hybrid autofocus, which utilizes on-chip phase and contrast detection AF. Perhaps the main difference between the two is that the a7R is built around a 36-megapixel full-frame sensor. Additionally, the a7R lacks an optical low pass filter (OLPF)–a trend that we’re beginning to see in high end cameras to help ensure that the a7R delivers the ultimate resolution (hence the addition of the letter “R” to the name). Both have Wi-Fi, the must-have feature of 2013.
- excellent image quality
- advanced feature set with extensive custom options
- high quality electronic viewfinder
- slightly sub-par kit lens vs. cameras' capabilities
- movie record button awkwardly placed
- autofocus somewhat sluggish in low light
- relatively short battery life
- limited availability of native full-frame lenses at launch
Sony rocked the photographic world when it launched the first full-frame mirrorless cameras, the a7 and a7R. This was a huge leap for the ILC genre. Will the specs have photographers rushing to buy one or will the cost outweigh the features?
Read Our Full Review: Sony a7 Review: Catapulting the Mirrorless Market