Capturing the images for the a7r is a 36.4-Megapixel full-frame Exmor CMOS imaging sensor. The a7r along with a7 (24.3-megapixel) are the first mirror-less compact interchangeable lens cameras to feature a full-frame image sensor. Along with this image sensor, Sony has also included the Boinz X image processor to handle all of the camera's advanced features and burst shooting. Shooting modes like the Intelligent Auto, Auto HDR and Motion Panorama all benefit from the power of this new processor.
Surrounding the processor is Sony's E-mount, allowing the use of all of their E-mount and A-mount (with adapter) lenses. Sony's newest adapter even includes full-time Phase Detection AF capabilities.
Included with the a7r for our testing is the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA lens. This lens was specifically designed for Sony's full-frame E-mount bodies, and delivers the highest image quality possible in low-light situations. This lens is available from Sony for US $999.99.
On the top of the back of the camera you will find the first of the two framing/composing options with the fantastic 2.4-Million dot OLED viewfinder. Designed to show you exactly what you are going to capture, the viewfinder shows all of your setting changes instantly. It also shows all of the information that you would normally only find on the back LCD screen. Another great advantage of the OLED, especially for those who like to manually focus, is the camera's great peaking feature. It allows you to pinpoint the focus points, which can be incredible when shooting with low-light lenses like the f/1.8 55mm lens listed above.
One either side of the viewfinder you will find the Menu or C2 (custom 2) buttons. The menu button takes you to the camera menu, giving you control of the entire camera. The custom menu allows you to program the button to the feature of your choice in shooting mode. In playback mode, the C2 button allows you to zoom in on your saved images.
Your second option for composing and viewing your images is the tilting 3.0-inch 1,229k dot LCD screen. The screen tilts a total of 129° to allow you to see it in bright lighting and to shoot over, under or around obstacles when needed.
For storing your captured files, you can use any SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-1) style card, or one of Sony's very own Memory Stick PRO Duo, PRO-HG Duo, or XC-HG Duo style memory cards. The camera is shown here with the Sony UHS-1, 94MB/s 32GB SDHC memory card that was used to test the camera. With 36.4-Megapixel images, a second card slot would have come in handy.