Sony Announces Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera System

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Sony is now taking pre-orders for its new Alpha 7 series, a mirrorless full-frame camera system, due in December. The electronics giant is offering the a7 and a7R cameras, with 24 megapixel CMOS and 36 megapixel CMOS sensors respectively.

The mirrorless micro 4/3 system has been around for ages - the cameras are much more compact than a typical DSLR. The only problem is the crop-factor induced by the mirrorless sensors. Sony has effectively bypassed this problem with their new a7 lineup.

The flagship a7R has an MSRP of $2299.99, for the body only. The a7 will go for $1699.99. Key features of the a7R include:

-E-mount with support for FE, E, and A-mount lenses (with adapter)
-Bionz X image processor
-Hybrid AF system with 25 contrast-detect and 117 phase-detect points [A7 only] -Weather-sealed magnesium alloy body
-3-inch tilting LCD with 1.23 million dots
-XGA (2.4 million dot) electronic viewfinder
-Diffraction correction technology
-Full HD video recording at 1080/60p and 24p; uncompressed HDMI output
-Wi-Fi with NFC capability and downloadable apps

Sony has also developed some new lenses to accommodate the new a7 system - five will be available at launch, and ten more will be available by 2015.

Interestingly, the cameras support clean HD out, but only at 60p and 60i frame rates. Firmware will likely add options in this regard down the line. Selectable in-camera AVCHD codec frame rates include 60p, 60i and 24p. An MP4 codec is also available.

The mirrorless system also makes the new a7's the world's smallest and lightest interchangeable lens full-frame cameras. The camera bodies are less than half the size and weight of a typical full-frame DSLR.

Sony has also been quite the imaging innovator. last year it launched it's FS700 cinema camera, featuring a super 35mm CMOS 4K sensor, the first in its class.

Image via Sony.

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