The latest Sony full-frame mirrorless interchangeable camera, the A7s, seems targetted at shooting high quality video, and with its high-sensitivity 12-megapixel sensor, low light or action-stopping still images.
It’s been announced well before actual availability – probably so Sony had something new to talk about at the US NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show in Las Vegas this week.
The distinguishing features of the new model are:
– 4K video quality – but only to an optional external 4K compatible recorder/storage device; Full HD records to on-camera storage; (4K at 8-bit only);
– ISO range: Still 100 – 102,400, Movie 200 – 102,400; (‘Expandable’ ISO range: Still 50 – 409,600, Movie 200 – 409,600; (High ISO not available at 4K);
– All-new 12.2 megapixel full-frame sensor sensor;
– Accepts E-mount lenses, A-mount with an adaptor.
The A7s is the world’s first camera to utilise the entire width of a full-frame image sensor shooting 4K video,according to Sony, and achieves this without cropping or line skipping.
Sony says the camera also features a newly developed on-sensor technology that allows it ‘to optimise the dynamic range throughout the entirety of the ISO 50 – 409,600 sensitivity range.’ This also broadens the range of tonal gradation in bright environments and minimises noise in dark scenes.
In video mode, the A7S can output 4K video at QFHD (3840 x 2160) to an optional external 4K compatible recorder, and can record full HD (1920 x 1080) at frame rates of 50p, 50i, 30p and 25p directly to a compatible memory card.
Video can be changed down from full-frame to APS-C (super 35mm equivalent) if desired, and in this crop mode, the camera can support high frame rates to 120fps shooting at standard HD resolution (1280 x 720p), creating a 5x slow-motion effect.
There are no pricing or local release details, although press releases from overseas sources state a mid-2014 release date.
The full press release, dense with further detail (and don’t forget to read the fine print!) can be accessed here.