Sony Alpha 7R review
December 19, 2013
Sony Alpha 7R
Price as Reviewed:£1,699.00
A full-frame CSC with a 36.3-million-pixel sensor – the Sony Alpha 7R promises much but does it deliver? Read the Sony Alpha 7R review to find out...
Sponsored by CameraWorld
Looking to upgrade? Our Trade-In and Purchase Service is one of the best in the industry. We buy all sorts of equipment and make that upgrade much easier than you may think. Visit www.cameraworld.co.uk/trade-in for a quote.
Sony Alpha 7R review – Lens compatibility
Although the Alpha 7R is compatible with all existing Sony E-mount lenses, these lenses are designed for APS-C-sized sensors and have a smaller imaging circle. As such, the Alpha 7R will automatically crop the image to a lower 16-million-pixel resolution when they are used, in much the same way that APS-C-format DSLR lenses are cropped when used on a full-frame model.
With such a short back-focus distance, theoretically nearly all 35mm SLR lenses can be fitted to and used on the camera via an appropriate mount adapter.
During my test I used a standard third-party E-mount adapter by SRB Griturn (www.srb-griturn.co.uk) to use a manual-focus Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens on the Alpha 7R and found that it worked very well. With focus peaking and manual focus area magnification, it was possible to manually focus this old lens quite quickly.
Another option is to use a Metabones Canon-mount Smart Adapter, which has electronic communication between the camera and lens to allow the Alpha 7R to autofocus with Canon lenses. I tried the adapter with a Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 lens and found that the lens did indeed autofocus, although it was quite slow.
Those with Sony A-mount lenses for Alpha DSLR and SLT cameras can also use these via the LA-EA3 and LA-EA4 adapters. The adapters maintain autofocus with the lenses, and the LA-EA4 also has a built-in phase-detection SLT mirror system so the speed on autofocus is roughly the same as when using a Sony SLT model.
Image: Petit Piton, St Lucia, shot with the Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 lens and a Metabones adapter. The pull-up image shows just how sharp corner definition can be
- Dioptre Adjustment: -4 to +3 dioptre
- White Balance: Auto, 10 presets, Kelvin, plus custom
- External mic: Yes
- Video: AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 pixels (at 50fps or 25fps PAL); MP4: 1440 x 1080 pixels (25fps pal); VGA: 640 x 480 pixels (at 25fps)
- Built-in Flash: No
- Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
- Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC or Memory Stick Pro Duo
- Viewfinder Type: 2.359-million-dot XGA OLED EVF
- Output Size: 7360 x 4912 pixels
- Field of View: Approx 100%
- LCD: 3in LCD with 921,600 dots, tilted and articulated
- White Balance Bracket: Yes, 3 images over 15 steps
- AF Points: Contrast detection, multi-point (25 points), centre spot or manual selectable spot covering entire frame
- Max Flash Sync: 1/160sec
- Sensor: Full-frame, 36.4-million-effective-pixel, CMOS sensor
- Focal Length Mag: 1x
- Exposure Modes: Auto, PASM, 10 scene modes, sweep panorama
- Weight: 407g body only
- File Format: Raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
- Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion NP-FP-W50 battery
- Shutter Speeds: 30-1/8000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus bulb
- Drive Mode: 1.5fps continuous, 4fps speed priority, single, timer, remote, bracketing
- Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
- Dimensions: 126.9 x 94.4 x 48.2mm
- Connectivity / Interface: Micro USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, NFC, HDMI, separate 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack
- Metering System: 1,200-zone evaluative metering, centreweighted and fixed centre spot
- Compression: 3-stage JPEG
- Exposure Comp: ±5EV (±3EV using exposure compensation dial) in 1⁄3EV or 1/2EV steps
- RRP: £1,699 body only
- Focusing Modes: Single-shot AF, continuous AF, direct manual focus, manual focus, face detection, focus peaking
- ISO: 100-25,600 (extended to ISO 50)
- Lens Mount: Sony E mount
- DoF Preview: Yes
- Tested as: Advanced CSC