, on Sunday, announced the latest entrant to its alpha series of cameras, the Alpha 7S. While the pricing will be announced at a later date, the camera is the successor to the acclaimed alpha7 and alpha7R cameras which were amongst the smallest full-frame, interchangeable lens cameras available in the market. The Alpha 7S or the A7S features the ability to shoot 4K video.
The Alpha 7S features a new 12.2-megapixel, 35mm Exmor CMOS sensor paired with the BIONZ X image processor. This is interesting as Sony has reduced the resolution as compared to 24.3-megapixel in the alpha7 and the 36.4-megapixel in the alpha7R. This is done because the Alpha 7S features a very high sensitivity (ISO) range of 50 - 4096002 which would allow the camera to shoot in virtually no-light conditions. To compensate for this, the resolution of the full-frame sensor has been reduced. The Sony Alpha 7S is equipped with the Fast Intelligent AF system found in the alpha7R, with improved low-light AF sensitivity that can go as low as -4EV.
Speaking about the release Neal Manowitz, Director of the interchangeable lens camera business at Sony Electronics, said, "The Alpha 7S gives Sony the most complete, versatile lineup of full-frame cameras in the market today. Between the alpha99, VG900, RX1, alpha7, alpha7R and now Alpha 7S models, we have completely revolutionised what it means to be a 'full-frame' camera, bringing a new level of quality and portability to enthusiast photographers and videographers."
Since the camera is touted to help videographers, the Alpha 7S has an array of features up its sleeve for that. The sensors on board the Alpha 7S helps process data from all the pixels on the sensor to give a 4K (QFHD 3840x2160 pixels) output video, but it can be recorded only via an external third-party 4K recorder. It also records full-HD (1920x1080) at 60fps, 60i fps, 30 fps and 24fps. The video mode can also be changed from full-frame to APS-C (super 35mm equivalent) and support high frame rates (120 fps) at standard-HD (1280 x 720p) to create a 5x slow-motion effect.
The Alpha 7S also features the S-Log2 gamma, which is available in the Sony professional video cameras. The feature expands the dynamic range by 1300 percent thereby reducing clipped highlights and loss of shadow detailing. The Alpha 7S also uses the XAVC S recording format along with the AVCHD and MP4 formats.
Other features on the Alpha 7S include the synchronous recording compatible with other devices, markers and zebra displays on the LCD as well as the viewfinder. The viewfinder is a 2.3 million dot, XGA OLED, 1.3 cm electronic one, while the LCD has 9.3 million dots and is a 3-inch TFT drive screen. It also features a PC mode, multi-micro USB terminal, NFC and Wi-Fi capabilities to share videos. The multi-terminal interface shoe is compatible with the Sony XLR Adaptor Microphone Kits.
The Alpha 7S uses the interchangeable lenses from the E-mount lens range. In addition the lenses from the A-mount and other systems can also be used with optional adapters. The complete range includes 54 lenses in the A and E mounts.