The Alpha 7R was one of the best cameras we tested in 2013, but what of its sibling, the Alpha 7? Phil Hall tests the 24.3-million-pixel, full-frame CSC, Sony Alpha 7

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Sony Alpha 7

AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:


Sony Alpha 7 review


Price as reviewed:


Sony Alpha 7 review – Autofocus

The combination of contrast-detection and phase-detection AF sees the Alpha 7 deliver prompt AF acquirement in most general shooting situations I tried it in, even coping well in relatively poorly lit conditions. Swap over from single-shot AF to continuous AF, and while subject tracking is possible, it shouldn’t be relied upon for fast-moving subjects. I found it struggled to maintain focus or even lock on in some instances.

To sum up, then, the AF performance is good for single shots, but we’d have to say it’s not as rapid or as versatile as the AF system employed by the Olympus OM-D E-M1, which really does set the benchmark for AF performance in a CSC.

While there are wide, zone and centre AF modes, I found I mostly used flexible spot. There are three AF area sizes to choose from, depending on the precision you’re after, while custom button 1 allows you to select the focus area and then use the D-pad to move around the frame. If you prefer, you can use the dual control dials to move the AF area left, right, up and down.

  1. 1. Sony Alpha 7 at a glance:
  2. 2. Sony Alpha 7 review - Build and handling
  3. 3. Sony Alpha 7 review - Autofocus
  4. 4. Sony Alpha 7 review - Viewfinder, live view, LCD and video
  5. 5. Sony Alpha 7 review - White balance and colour
  6. 6. Sony Alpha 7 review - Metering
  7. 7. Sony Alpha 7 review - Dynamic range
  8. 8. Sony Alpha 7 review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  9. 9. Sony Alpha 7 review - Our verdict
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