Sony Alpha 7S review
July 31, 2014
Sony Alpha 7S
Price as Reviewed:£2,259.00
The Sony A7S is the latest addition to Sony's growing full frame CSC stable. It features a 12.2MP sensor and an eye-watering 50-409,600 ISO range. Find out where it fits in alongside the other models in our Sony A7S review.
Sony Alpha 7S – Pros
- High ISO performance
- 4K video capture
Sony Alpha 7S – Cons
- 4K video recorded to external device
- AF not the fastest
Sony Alpha 7S review – Introduction
When Sony launched the A7 and A7R towards the end of last year, it broke new ground with the combination of an impressive full frame sensor in a portable and compact CSC body, gaining many accolades in the process.
Although the pair are very similar on the outside, one glance at the specification shows they are actually very different propositions.
The A7R features a 36.3MP resolution and, thanks to the absence of an anti-aliasing filter, was best suited to studio and still-life photographers whom demand the highest detail.
The A7, meanwhile, features a 24MP resolution and adopts a much faster hybrid phase and contrast detection AF, and as such delivers a more complete ‘all-round’ level of performance.
So where does the Sonly Alpha 7S fit in? Well, with a much lower resolution of 12.2MP, paired with an ISO range of 50 to 409,600 it’s seen as a low-light specialist which, Sony claims, really does have the ability to see in the dark.
Let’s see if it completes the set of impressive full frame CSCs for Sony…
Sony Alpha 7S review – Features
A host of the features found on the Sony Alpha 7S will be familiar to those already acquainted with the A7 and A7R.
For example, the model features the same Wi-fi and NFC connectivity which so impressed on the other two models. This allows for the camera to be connected to a similarly-enabled NFC device by simply touching the two together, or alternatively through its Wi-fi functionality.
Once connected, it’s possible to control the camera wirelessly and review images on the fly thanks to Sony’s excellent ‘Play Memories’ app.
On the rear of the camera sits the same LCD screen as seen on the other models. The unit is of the tiltable variety, is 3in in size and features a resolution of 921k-dots, which is a little below the highest resolution on the market.
The good news is that this LCD screen is once again paired with an impressive EVF. The viewfinder itself measures in at 1/2in and sports an impressive 2.4m-dot resolution, covering a 100% field of view and delivering shooting info display and histogram referral should it be required, as well as manual brightness adjustment.
The real change with regards to features, however, concerns the A7S’s sensor. The model sports a newly-engineered 12.2MP chip featuring gapless technology, meaning there’s no space between the light-gathering photodiodes.
In real terms this means that the sensor will deliver less noise at higher ISO settings, as well as a better dynamic range, something highlighted by the 50-409,600 ISO range.
- Video: 1080p at 60fps. Clean 4K output via HDMI
- External mic: Yes
- Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC, MS Pro
- Viewfinder Type: EVF, 2.36-million-dot resolution
- AF Points: Contrast detection with 25 points
- LCD: 3in, 921,000-dot resolution
- Output Size: 4240 x 2832 pixels
- Sensor: 12.2-million-pixel, full-frame CMOS sensor
- Focal Length Mag: 1x
- Weight: 489g (with battery and card)
- Power: NP-FW50 rechargeable lithium ion battery
- Shutter Speeds: 30-1/8000sec
- Drive Mode: 5fps or 2.5fps with AF
- RRP: £2,259 (body only)
- Lens Mount: Sony FE mount
- ISO: 50-409,600
- Dimensions: 126.9 x 94.4 x 48.2mm
- Metering System: 1,200 zones