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Camera review: Sony A7

Date

Terry Lane

Sony alpha7

Sony alpha7

Price: $1900 body (street price)
Simply brilliant

The lowdown

This is the 24-megapixel version of Sony's full-frame mirrorless camera. There is also a 36-megapixel A7r ($2500 body). The magnesium alloy body is weather-sealed and is smaller than any full-frame DSLR. There is a 2.4M-dot electronic viewfinder and 75mm high-resolution tilting LCD. Wi-Fi and NFC (near field communication) are built in. For video, there is uncompressed HDMI output and, for recording, a microphone and headphone socket and audio level meter. At release there are five lenses, and Sony E mount lenses from the NEX system will fit, although the image area is reduced. There are adapters for other lenses, such as Nikon, Canon and Leica.

Like

Image quality is stunning, with exceptional high ISO low-noise capability. The smaller form factor and price make it an irresistible entry point into full-frame photography. Auto HDR works well.

Dislike

The shutter is very loud. You won't sneak any stealth shots with the A7. The electronic viewfinder is a little shimmery.

Verdict

This camera looks handsome, feels solid and has the output expected of full-frame digital sensors. We used it with the supplied Zeiss 55mm prime lens, which is incomparable and expensive, and it is a superb kit. We have used the A7 and the A7r and admire them both. Although the A7 has fewer pixels, we feel that it handles high ISO noise better. We would need a good reason to spend the extra on the A7r. Buying another lens could be a better use of the $500 difference.

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