α7 and α7R

α7 and α7R

Sony a7R Review

By

This review includes an analysis of both the Sony A7R and the A7.

Review posted 04/17/2014

Quick Take
Pros
  • Plethora of exposure options, including an accurate iAuto shooting mode
  • Dedicated Video Capture Button is always ready to record
  • Fast and accurate AF
  • Amazing image quality 
  • Outstanding low-light performance
  • High Res 3.0-inch LCD tilts for tough shooting situations
  • Adjustable brightness allows you to see the screen in all lighting conditions
  • OLED EVF will quickly make you forget about your old camera's OVF
  • Good shooting performance
  • Good selection of lenses that continues to grow
  • HDMI and 4K output
  • Audio input
Cons
  • No built-in flash unit
  • No Phase-Detection AF (a7R only)
  • Single Memory card slot, instead of a dual card slot, important with 36-Megapixel images
  • Battery life did not live up to expectations, due to the large amount of useful extra features
  • High price tag
Bottom Line
Sony has gone above and beyond with both the a7 and a7R, bringing Professional image quality and performance to a much more compact ILC. If the price does not scare you away, you will be thrilled with the performance and image quality from these compact cameras. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
ILCE-7R_wSEL35F28Z_right.jpg
In late 2013, Sony announced two impressive new Alphas Series cameras. The α7 and α7R are -- as of October 2013 -- the world's smallest full-frame interchangeable lens cameras. Both cameras include full-frame image sensors mated to the new, 3x faster BIONZ "X" image processing engine, as well as Full HD 1080/60p Video Recording with full P/S/A/M exposure controls, a XGA OLED Tru-Finder (2.4M dots), a 3.0-inch tiltable LCD display, and 9 customizable buttons with 46 assignable functions. 

Wi-Fi is built in to both new models, so users can use Sony's PlayMemories Camera Apps with compatible iOS and Android smartphones. More apps are coming for the α7 and α7R, but for now the only two available are Multiple Exposure App and Smart Remote Control. Multiple Exposure automatically combines sequential exposures into one shot. And the Remote control app allows you to control your camera and adjust settings from your phone. NFC (Near Field Communication) is available with enabled Android devices as well.

So what are the major differences between the α7R and α7 models?

The α7R costs approximately $600 more than its sibling and is designed for professional photographers and advanced enthusiasts who need a smaller, secondary full-frame camera. The α7R features a 36.4-megapixel Exmor CMOS image sensor with no optical low pass filter (most have them) for "added resolving power and increased image detail." The α7R also includes the new Fast Intelligent AF (auto focus) system with Lock-on AF, Eye AF, and Flexible Spot AF.

For about $600 less, the α7 is designed for mid-level APS-C DSLR users. It also includes Lock-on AF, Eye AF, and Flexible Spot AF, but in a slightly different Fast Hybrid AF system, which combines Phase-Detect & Contrast-Detect AF methods. You also get 5 frames-per-second continuous shooting (with auto focus) in full resolution off the 24.3-megapixel Full-Frame Exmor CMOS image sensor. 
 
Sony α7R Features
  • 36.4-megapixel Full-Frame Exmor CMOS image sensor
  • BIONZ X image processor engine
  • Fast Intelligent AF Technology
    • Lock-on AF
    • Eye AF
    • Flexible Spot AF
  • XGA OLED Tru-Finder (2.4M dots)
  • 3.0-inch tiltable LCD display
  • Full HD 1080/60p and 1080/24p Video Recording
  • P/A/S/M controls
  • Live HDMI output for combining with an external display or storage device
  • Clear Image Zoom
  • Wi-Fi
    • works with Sony's free PlayMemories Camera Apps
      • Multiple Exposure App
      • Smart Remote Control
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • 9 Customizable Buttons
  • 46 Assignable Functions 

Sony α7 Features
  • 24.3-megapixel Full-Frame Exmor CMOS image sensor
  • BIONZ X image processor engine
  • Fast Hybrid AF (Auto Focus) system
  • Combines Phase-Detect & Contrast-Detect AF methods
    • Lock-on AF
    • Eye AF
    • Flexible Spot AF
  • 5 frames-per-second Continuous Shooting (with AF tracking)
  • XGA OLED Tru-Finder (2.4M dots)
  • 3.0-inch tiltable LCD display
  • Full HD 1080/60p and 1080/24p Video Recording
  • P/A/S/M controls
  • Live HDMI output for combining with an external display or storage device
  • Clear Image Zoom
  • Wi-Fi
    • works with Sony's free PlayMemories Camera Apps
      • Multiple Exposure App
      • Smart Remote Control
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • 9 Customizable Buttons
  • 46 Assignable Functions 

The Sony α7 and α7R are available in the following configurations. 
  • The α7R will be offered body-only with a $2300 MSRP. 
  • The α7 body-only version will have a $1700 MSRP, or you can purchase the α7 + a 28-70mm F3.5 - F5.6 full- frame lens (model SEL2870) for about $2000.
  • See the most current online prices at the top right of this page.

What's in the box?:

  • a7 or a7R body
  • AC Adapter
  • Rechargeable battery pack
  • Micro USB cable
  • Camera Strap


Additional Product Views

ILCE-7_wSEL35F28Z_right.jpg
ILCE-7_rear.jpg
ILCE-7_tilt_low.jpg
ILCE-7R_rightside.jpg
ILCE-7R_wSEL35F28Z_top.jpg
ILCE-7R_front.jpg
ILCE-7_front.jpg

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

Buy related cameras and accessories from Amazon.com
Related Product Description Price
Canon EOS 70D DSLR Camera Body with Canon 18-55mm IS STM Standard Lens 33rd Street Exclusive Bundle + Canon 55-250mm IS STM Zoom Lens + Deluxe Camera Carrying Case + 2pcs 16GB Class 10 SD Memory Cards + High Speed SD Memory Card Reader + Commander Starter Kit + Full Size Tripod + Extra High Capacity Battery + Commander Wide Angle and Telephoto Auxiliary Lenses + 4pcs Macro Lenses Set + Large Value Accessory Kit Canon EOS 70D DSLR Camera Body with Canon 18-55mm IS STM Standard Lens 33rd Street Exclusive Bundle + Canon 55-250mm IS STM Zoom Lens + Deluxe Camera Carrying Case + 2pcs 16GB Class 10 SD Memory Cards + High Speed SD Memory Card Reader + Commander Starter Kit + Full Size Tripod + Extra High Capacity Battery + Commander Wide Angle and Telephoto Auxiliary Lenses + 4pcs Macro Lenses Set + Large Value Accessory Kit $2,599.99
1.3 Megapixel H.264 20x Optical 1.3 Megapixel H.264 20x Optical $2,599.00
EOS Rebel T6i Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lens, 75-300mm Lens, Adventura 140 Bag, 16GB SDHC Card and Black Photo Printer EOS Rebel T6i Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lens, 75-300mm Lens, Adventura 140 Bag, 16GB SDHC Card and Black Photo Printer $1,849.97
Canon EOS 70D 20.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF Body and EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM + Accessories Kit With Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III Autofocus Lens + 16GB Card + Bag + Spare Battery & Charger + Flash + Telephoto & Wide Angle Lenses + UV Filter + Accessory Bundle Canon EOS 70D 20.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF Body and EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM + Accessories Kit With Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III Autofocus Lens + 16GB Card + Bag + Spare Battery & Charger + Flash + Telephoto & Wide Angle Lenses + UV Filter + Accessory Bundle $1,699.00
Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera and Canon EF 75-300mm III Lens + 32GB Green's Camera Package 1 Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera and Canon EF 75-300mm III Lens + 32GB Green's Camera Package 1 $1,279.79
Kipon Lr-nex Mount Adapter for Leica R to Sony α.E NEX α7r,α7 Kipon Lr-nex Mount Adapter for Leica R to Sony α.E NEX α7r,α7 $77.69
KIPON NIK-NEX Mount Adapter for Nikon F lens to SONY α.E NEX α7R,α7 KIPON NIK-NEX Mount Adapter for Nikon F lens to SONY α.E NEX α7R,α7 $75.89