Sony A7S – 4K Full Frame Mirrorless DSLR Shipping in July

Joining the acclaimed α7 and α7R family of the world’s smallest full-frame interchangeable lens cameras, Sony’s new α7S model puts extraordinary sensitivity, low noise and spectacular 4K video quality into the hands of professional photographers and videographers. The Sony A7s will be available in July for US$2,499.99.

The innovative α7S camera features a newly developed, 12.2 effective megapixel 35mm full frame Exmor CMOS sensor paired with a powerful BIONZ X image processor, allowing it to shoot at a sensitivity range of ISO 50 – 409,600[1] with unprecedented dynamic range and low noise.

The new model is also the world’s first camera to utilise the entire width of a full-frame image sensor in 4K video acquisition, and does this without cropping or line skipping as it can read and process data from every one of the sensor’s pixels. This allows 4K video shooters to utilise all of the artistic and creative benefits provided by the unique sensor.

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Wide ISO Sensitivity (ISO 50 – 409,600)2 and Impressive Dynamic Range
Sony, the world’s largest manufacturer of image sensors[2], has developed a unique 12.2 MP sensor with extraordinary sensitivity that allows the α7S camera to collect dramatically more light than traditional cameras and to produce beautifully detailed, low-noise images in even the darkest environments.

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. And this on-sensor technology also broadens the range of tonal gradation in bright environments while also minimising noise in dark scenes, allowing the camera to deliver impressive results in these extreme conditions where other cameras (and image sensors) typically struggle.

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World’s First Full-Frame Camera with Full Pixel Read-out[3] (without pixel binning) during Movie Shooting
With the new α7S camera, the high-speed read out of the 35mm full-frame image sensor combined with the high-speed processing of the BIONZ X processor enables significant improvements in video quality.

These powerful components allow the camera to process data from all of the sensor’s pixels and output stunning HD and 4K (QFHD 3,840 x 2,160 pixels) video4 while utilising the full-width of the sensor. In addition to the benefits for low-light shooting, the read out of all pixels frees the video from aliasing, moiré and false colour artefacts (as opposed to pixel binning) to achieve the highest quality video.

 

Additional Pro-Quality Video Functions
In video mode, the α7S can output 4K video[4] at QFHD (3,840 x 2,160)[5] to an optional external 4K compatible recorder, and can record full HD (1,920 x 1,080) at frame rates of 50p, 50i, 30p and 25p directly to a compatible memory card. Video modes can be changed from full-frame to APS-C (super 35mm equivalent) if desired, and in this crop mode, the camera can support high frame rate 120fps shooting at standard HD resolution (1,280 x 720p), creating a 5x slow-motion effect.

The α7S camera is also equipped with S-Log2 gamma. Common to Sony’s range of professional video cameras, S-Log2 expands the dynamic range by up to 1,300 per cent to minimise clipped highlights and loss of detail in shadows. Additionally, for the first time ever in a Sony α camera, the α7S adopts the workflow-friendly XAVC S recording format in addition to AVCHD and MP4 codecs. XAVC S format allows for full HD recording at a data rate of 50 mbps with lower compression for improved video quality.

Other specialist video functions on the new camera include a picture profile that can adjust settings like gamma, black, level and colour adjustment, and can be saved for use in a multi-camera shoot. It also has Full HD and 4K base band HDMI output, time code/user bit for easier editing, synchronous recording feature with compatible devices, various marker and zebra displays on both the LCD screen and viewfinder and can dual record XAVC S as well as MP4 (1,280 x 720 @ 30p).

The camera also has a multi-terminal interface shoe that is compatible with Sony’s XLR Adaptor Microphone Kits (XLR-K1M plus a new model under development), allowing the use of professional microphone systems.

Low-light Shooting Advantages
The high ISO sensitivity range of the α7S camera is extremely effective for still image shooting, especially in low-light conditions, where the camera can shoot at high shutter speeds while keeping noise as low as possible. This is particularly useful for shooting indoor, dimly lit sporting events or other situations where most cameras typically struggle.

The camera is also equipped with the same high-precision Fast Intelligent AF system as the α7R camera, with drastically improved low-light AF sensitivity that can go as low as -4EV.

 

The A7S displayed at NAB 2014 (image from Newshooter)

The A7S displayed at NAB 2014 (image from Newshooter)

 

 

Expanding αMount System and New Power Zoom Lens for Movie Shooting.
Directly compatible with the growing family of E-mount lenses, the α7S camera can also be used with A-mount and others lens systems with optional adapters. Sony’s complete αlens system now includes 54 total lenses for both A and E mounts, including several premium offerings from Carl Zeiss and G Series Lenses.

As a whole, Sony’s E-mount lens system is particularly well-suited for video shooting, with a variety of models containing “movie-friendly” features like smooth focusing, powered zoom control, and silent iris/aperture control. Building on this, Sony has announced development of a brand new, full-frame power zoom 28-135mm F4 lens E-mount lens that is an ideal match for the powerful movie capabilities of the α7S model.

Pricing & Availability

US$2,499.99 Shipping in July.

 

Video claims of clean 4K video captured in candlelight.

SPECS:

Imaging
Lens Mount Sony E-Mount
Camera Format Full-Frame
Pixels Actual: 12.4 Megapixel
Effective: 12.2 Megapixel
Max Resolution 12MP: 4240 x 2832
Aspect Ratio 3:2, 4:3
Sensor Type / Size CMOS, 35.8 x 23.9 mm
File Formats Still Images: JPEG, RAW
Movies: MP4, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Audio: AAC LC, AC3, Dolby Digital 2ch, Linear PCM
Bit Depth 14-bit
Dust Reduction System Yes
Memory Card Type SD
SDHC
SDXC
Memory Stick PRO Duo (High Speed)
Memory Stick PRO HG-Duo
Memory Stick XC-HG Duo
AV Recording
Video Recording Yes, NTSC
Resolution 1920 x 1080: 60 fps, 50 fps, 30 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps
1280 x 720: 120 fps, 100 fps
1440 x 1080: 30 fps, 25 fps
640 x 480: 30 fps, 25 fps
Video Format High Definition
1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (50Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 30 fps (50Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (50Mbps)
High Definition
1920 x 1080p / 50 fps (50Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 25 fps (50Mbps)
High Definition
1280 x 720p / 120 fps (50Mbps)
1280 x 720p / 100 fps (50Mbps)
High Definition
AVCHD
1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (28Mbps)
1920 x 1080i / 60 fps (24Mbps)
1920 x 1080i / 60 fps (17Mbps)
High Definition
AVCHD
1920 x 1080p / 50 fps (28Mbps)
1920 x 1080i / 50 fps (24Mbps)
1920 x 1080i / 50 fps (17Mbps)
High Definition
AVCHD
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (24Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (17Mbps)
High Definition
AVCHD
1920 x 1080p / 25 fps (24Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 25 fps (17Mbps)
High Definition
MP4
1440 x 1080p / 30 fps (12Mbps)
1440 x 1080p / 25 fps (12Mbps)
Standard Definition
MP4
640 x 480p / 30 fps (3Mbps)
640 x 480p / 25 fps (3Mbps)
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 16:9
Video Clip Length Not Specified By Manufacturer
Audio Recording Built-in Mic: With Video, Stereo
Optional External Mic: With Video
Focus Control
Focus Type Auto & Manual
Focus Mode Continuous-servo AF (C), Direct Manual Focus (DMF), Manual Focus (M), Single-servo AF (S)
Autofocus Points Contrast Detection: 25
Viewfinder/Display
Viewfinder Type Electronic
Viewfinder Size 0.5″
Viewfinder Pixel Count 2,359,296
Viewfinder Eye Point 27.00 mm
Viewfinder Coverage 100%
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.71x
Diopter Adjustment – 4 to +3 m
Display Screen 3″ Rear Touchscreen Tilting  LCD (921,600)
Screen Coverage 100%
Exposure Control
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100-102400 (Extended Mode: Auto, 50-409600)
Shutter Type: Electronic & Mechanical
Speed: 30 – 1/8000 sec, Bulb Mode
Type: Electronic & Mechanical
Speed: 1/4 – 1/8000 sec in Movie Mode
Remote Control RM-VPR1 (Optional)
Metering Method Center-weighted average metering, Multi-zone metering, Spot metering
Exposure Modes Modes: Aperture Priority, Auto, Intelligent Auto, Manual, Movie, Programmed Auto, Scene Selection, Shutter Priority, Superior Auto, Sweep Panorama
Metering Range: EV 3.0 – EV 20.0
Compensation: -5 EV to +5 EV (in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)
White Balance Modes Auto, Cloudy, Color Temperature, Color Temperature Filter, Custom, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent (Cool White), Fluorescent (Day White), Fluorescent (Daylight), Fluorescent (Warm White), Incandescent, Shade, Underwater
Burst Rate Up to 5 fps at 12.2 MP for up to 200 frames
Up to 2.5 fps at 12.2 MP for up to 200 frames
Flash
Flash Modes Auto
Fill-in
Hi-Speed Sync
Off
Rear Sync
Red-eye Reduction
Slow Sync
Wireless
Built-in Flash No
Max Sync Speed 1 / 250 sec
Flash Compensation -3 EV to +3 EV (in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)
External Flash Connection Hot Shoe, Proprietary
Performance
Continuous Shooting Up to 5 fps
Self Timer 10 sec, 2 sec
Connectivity 1/8″ Headphone, 1/8″ Microphone, DC Input, HDMI D (Micro), Micro-USB
Wi-Fi Capable Yes
Software System Requirements Windows: Vista (SP2), 7 (SP1), 8
Mac: OS X 10.6 or later
Power
Battery 1x NP-FW50  Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, 7.2VDC, 1080mAh
AC Power Adapter AC-PW20 (Optional)
Operating/Storage Temperature Operating
32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
Physical
Dimensions (WxHxD) 5.0 x 3.7 x 1.9″ / 126.9 x 94.4 x 48.2 mm
Weight 1.08 lb / 489 g with battery and memory card

 

Excerpts from Press Release

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