Sony Alpha a7S Brief Review

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REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 12.2 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO range 50-409600
  • Burst shooting 2.5 fps (5 fps with fixed focus and exposure)
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • 25-area contrast autofocus
  • Maximum shutter speed 1/8000
  • No built-in flash
  • Optical image stabilization
  • UHD/30p/25p 4K video via HDMI port only
  • 1080/60p HD video at 50 Mbps
  • 3” tilting LCD
  • Wi-fi and NFC
  • Lithium-ion battery rated at 360 shots
  • Weighs 17.2 ounces
  • Release Date: 2014-06-01
  • Final Grade: 95 A

A
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Sony Alpha a7S
Sony impressed last year with full frame mirrorless cameras--now they've added 4K to the mix.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 6/21/2014

As if Sony's announcement for a full frame mirrorless camera last fall wasn't enough, the camera giant is now offering the a7S that boasts 4K video and a top ISO of 409600. The a7s cut the megapixels in half to manage the 4K and higher ISOs, but if the performance of the a7 and a7R are any indication, the A7S should be a solid performer.

Outside of the boost in image quality and ISO, the a7S offers a full frame sensor in small package; the body weighs less than 18 ounces. The large image resolution, however, makes the camera a bit slower than other mirrorless and even DSLR models with just 2.5 fps burst shooting, upped to 5 fps if the focus and exposure settings don't need to change. The 1/8000 maximum shutter speed and optical image stabilization will help capture crisp, sharp images.

What the Sony a7S has going for it, it has in a big way. The resolution is excellent in both stills and video. Be aware though, that the 4K video is only available when recording directly out of the HDMI port. And if you don't have a 4K screen to view it on, you're better off shooting in 1080 HD. The A7S can shoot in 1080p at a rate of 60 fps with a huge 50 Mbps, so even plain "old" HD will look pretty sharp. Here's Sony's official video announcing the camera, shot with the a7S itself:





The Sony a7S may not the the fastest or have the longest battery life, but the resolution, image quality and video quality should be quite excellent. An official list price and release date hasn't yet been announced.

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