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Sony Alpha 7R review

December 19, 2013

Overall Rating:

5

Sony Alpha 7R


  • Autofocus:
  • Noise/resolution:
  • Metering:
  • Features:
  • AWB Colour:
  • LCD viewfinder:
  • Dynamic Range:
  • Build/Handling:

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

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...

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Sony Alpha 7R review – Build and handling

The Alpha 7R could be described as functional rather than stylish. That doesn’t mean it’s an ugly camera, but it does lack the retro charm of, say, the Olympus OM-D EM-1. As some have commented on our forum (www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/forum), the magnesium-alloy body of the Alpha 7R looks a little like the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 with an additional pentaprism-style hump for the electronic viewfinder and a handgrip – and they aren’t far wrong.

The camera is comfortable to hold, and the 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6mm kit lens is a good size to accompany the camera. The combination is also very light, making it ideal to take travelling. I certainly didn’t feel the effects of carrying around the Alpha 7R, the kit lens and a few wide and standard optics in a small shoulder bag for an entire day.

While out shooting with the Alpha 7R I got caught in rain showers quite a few times, but the camera suffered no ill effects. The body is weather and dust-sealed, and although Sony makes no commitment in defining exactly how much water resistance the Alpha 7R has, the camera and kit lens can certainly be used in reasonably rainy conditions.

With a straightforward button layout and design, the Alpha 7R doesn’t throw up any surprises. On the top-plate are a mode dial, shutter button, exposure compensation dial and a custom button, with the power switch jutting out from in front of the shutter button. There are front and rear control dials, giving the camera the feel of a DSLR, while on the rear is a standard button arrangement. As with other recent Sony cameras, there are a number of different customisable buttons on the Alpha 7R, so you can really tailor its controls to your own needs.

The only thing that I feel would improve the handling would be a touchscreen. While I don’t like using them for changing menu settings, I do find they are extremely useful for quickly selecting the AF point. At present, it can be a little time-consuming to shift AF points, especially with so many available in manual-selection mode. A touchscreen would make the process far easier, as it does in other cameras.

  • 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

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