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Sony Unveils Alpha 7S Mirrorless Camera
By Ian Seldrup, April 7, 2014 @ 12:15 AM (EST)

With the Alpha 7 and Alpha 7R, Sony took the concept of the mirrorless full-frame camera to new heights, creating ultra-compact camera bodies with top-notch resolution and high maximum shutter speed. Indeed, the Japanese giant was quick to point out that the new cameras were “the world’s smallest full-frame interchangeable lens cameras.”

While the Alpha 7 and 7R sported 24.3-megapixel and 36.3-megapixel sensors, respectively, the brand new addition to the range, the Alpha 7S features a more modest 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor newly developed for a groundbreaking purpose: 4K video output using the full width of the sensor. Moreover, the BIONZ X processor in the Alpha 7S reads data from all the pixels (QFHD 3840 x 2160) simultaneously, freeing the output from moiré, aliasing and false color artifacts.

It is important to note that Alpha 7S can't record 4K video internally, only with an external video recorder connected via HDMI. This isn't a huge deal for shooting on land, but becomes significantly trickier for underwater use.

In addition to 4K/24p capture, the sensor can record full HD (1920x1080) at frame rates of 60p, 60i, 30p and 24p, and in a special APS-C crop mode, supports 720p HD at 120fps. The Alpha 7S also supports Sony’s lower-compression XAVC recording format, a first on a Sony Alpha, and is equipped with S-Log2 gamma, a feature found on Sony’s professional video cams that boosts dynamic range by as much as 1300%.

For all its video taking prowess, you might be wondering why this new camera wasn’t given a “V” in its name. Well, it turns out that the “S” stands for “sensitivity”—the Alpha 7S can shoot stills in an extended ISO range from 50 to 409,600, the larger pixels in the new sensor quite possibly making the low-light end of this spectrum quite usable. Now this is something that could truely be a game changer!

Clearly, with their new full-frame mirrorless camera, Sony have gone all out to raise the bar.

For more info, check out the press release.


 

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