Sony Alpha a7S Mirrorless Camera

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Key Features

  • 12.2 MP full frame CMOS sensor without an anti-aliasing/OLP filter
  • 15.3 stops of dynamic range
  • ISO 100-102400 (expandable to 50-409600)
  • XAVC S 1080 60p(50Mbps), 30p (50Mbps), 24p (50Mbps). 720 120p (50Mbps) video
  • AVCHD 60p (28Mbps), 60i (24Mbps/17Mbps), 24p (24Mbps/17Mbps) video
  • XLR support via optional adapter
  • 4K output via HDMI
  • 3" tiltable LCD with 1,230,000 dots
  • 1/2-inch XGA OLED color electronic viewfinder with 2.4M dots
  • Raw and Raw + JPEG shooting
  • Multi-interface shoe (optional external flash sold separately)
  • Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo card slot
  • Compatible lenses: Sony E-mount Full Frame, operation with Minolta/Konica Minolta Maxxum A-mount lenses confirmed via optional LA-EA3/LA-EA4 adapter

Product Description

The innovative a7S camera features a newly developed, 12.2 effective megapixel 35mm CMOS sensor paired with a powerful BIONZ X image processor, allowing it to shoot at a sensitivity range of ISO 50 – 409600 with unprecedented dynamic range and low noise.

The new model is also the world's first camera to utilize 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 utilize all of the artistic and creative benefits provided by the unique sensor.

The camera is also equipped with the same high-precision Fast Intelligent AF system as the a7R camera, with drastically improved low-light AF sensitivity that can go as low as -4EV.

Specs

Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor
Max resolution 4240 x 2832
Other resolutions 4240 x 2384, 2768 x 1848, 2768 x 1560, 2128 x 1416, 2128 x 1200, 1376 x 920, 1376 x 776
Image ratio w:h 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 12 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 12 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Bionz X
Image
ISO Auto, 100-102400
White balance presets 10
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Extra fine, fine, standard
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (2x)
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 25
Focal length multiplier 1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 921,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT-LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.71×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via Multi Interface shoe)
Continuous drive 5 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec; continuous (3 or 5 exposures))
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes
Videography features
Resolutions XAVC S 1080/60p(50Mbps), 30p (50Mbps), 24p (50Mbps). 720 120p (50Mbps). AVCHD 60p (28Mbps), 60i (24Mbps/17Mbps), 24p (24Mbps/17Mbps)
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Videography notes XLR support via adapter
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (micro-HDMI port with 4:2:2 8-bit 4K or 1080 video output)
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port Yes
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes with NFC and wireless control via smartphone
Remote control Yes (wired)
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 380
Weight (inc. batteries) 489 g (1.08 lb / 17.25 oz)
Dimensions 127 x 94 x 48 mm (5 x 3.7 x 1.89)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS None

Questions & Answers

QUESTION

How is full-sensor readout implemented?

Can someone explain what the full-sensor readout means for video? Does it mean that video is captured internally in 20MP, resized for each frame internally (bicubic/bilinear) to 1080p, then encoded to H264? Or does it mean you get 20MP/4K out raw via HDMI (at low frame rate) ? Or will the camera still pixel-bin internal video to 1080p like I suspect the A7s does?

okashira1 asked
3 months ago

ANSWERS

Depends on the exact camera you mean, but in general full sensor readout means the camera does not discard pixels, but instead it downsizes (probably bicubic?) each frame and then compresses to H.264. It does not mean it can write the full sensor readout to memory card (most can't). It may mean (for some Sony cameras this is the case) it can export the full (or something more than 1080p, e.g. 4k) sensor readout to HDMI so if you have a suitable equipment you can capture 4k externally. This is compared to cameras that don't and instead basically skip pixels along the horizontal and skip entire horizontal lines. Continue Reading

saintz answered
3 months ago

QUESTION

A7s users - How is silent shutter mode working?

Any shutter speed/ISO limits or banding during still shooting.  Is it really silent?  Any other impact on IQ? Thank you for sharing your impressions. Cheers.

Petroglyph asked
1 month ago

ANSWERS

Yesterday I figured out how to measure the scanning time of the silent shutter from top to bottom: the answer is 1/30 second. http://blog.kasson.com/?p=6450 Jim Continue Reading

JimKasson answered
1 month ago

Reduces the bit depth from 13 to 12, just like continuous mode. http://blog.kasson.com/?p=6153 Jim Continue Reading

JimKasson answered
1 month ago

Thanks. I have been curious about this number since I read about the fully electronic shutter. Sony has conveniently avoided anwering the question in their specs by not allowing the use of flash in silent shutter mode. Otherwise the flash sync speed could have given us the answer. Continue Reading

Allan Olesen answered
1 month ago

QUESTION

Shouldn't Tony Northrup give a training to some reviewers not to mess up equvalence calculations?

This morning I was watching this A7S vs GH4 review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O76Ci8MDGhI and I was shocked the myriads of mistakes this reviewer made. After learning from Tony Northrup how to do equivalence calculation properly, this reviewer messes up things completely: he simply ignores to do the proper aperture conversion math. Another mistake is that he simply ignores that (pro and advanced enthusiast) videographers don't use autofocus at all, and they are not rely on native lenses; on the contrary, they prefer real manual-focus (click-less, if possible) lenses of old times or recent cine lenses. The other reviewer MichaelTheMentor at least does not messes up equivalence calculation; but, he simply compares the two video-oriented camera with his high-burst, auto-focus oriented photography approach. What a disappointment, I liked the reviews of these guys but they lost credibility. Steve Huff, too, when giving a review of Fujinon lenses on XPro1, he simply forgets to ...

Miki Nemeth asked
12 days ago

ANSWERS

Guys, (1) think of exposure as the amount gathered per unit of area, e.g. mm2. (2) think of amount of light gathered as the exposure times the number or area units. Three inches of rain is three inches of rain (amount of exposure ), whether it hits your umbrella or an entire soccer field - but the soccer field gathers a lot more water (amount of light) A larger sensor gathers more light, because it is larger, assuming that it is using the same exposure as a smaller sensor. When you view an image, the enlargement of the image is proportional to the size of the sensor that took the image - this controls the DOF and noise levels that you see. Equivalency exposure is when DOF and noise levels are similar between the two formats, and involves the crop-ratio between the two sensors. Equivalent exposure, within a single sensor, lets you trade ... Continue Reading

blue_skies answered
12 days ago

Your photo caption isn't correct. Andrew Continue Reading

andrewD2 answered
12 days ago

Light gathering, yes. Exposure, no. Continue Reading

Erik Magnuson answered
12 days ago
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