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Sony Unveils Full-Format ILCs, Super Zoom Compact

New York – Sony introduced Wednesday a pair of full-format (35mm equivalent) Alpha series mirrorless “interchangeable lens cameras” and an advanced super zoom 28-200mm equivalent point-&-shoot model with a continuous F2.8 aperture.

The mirrorless ILCs include models Alpha ILCE-7r (A7r) and Alpha ILCE-7 (A7) – one built for top resolution the other for DSLR-like speed and feature full-format CMOS sensors unlike the APS-C sized sensors used in Sony’s NEX mirrorless compact system camera line.

The weather-sealed cameras will ship in December. An A7 kit for a $1,999 SURE price (unilateral pricing policy) includes a 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 lens with optical image stabilization. The A7r will carry a $2,299 SURE price for the body only.

Both models are billed as the world’s lightest interchangeable lens full-frame cameras, are fully compatible with Sony’s new full-format and E-mount lenses, include direct access interface for fast, natural shooting control, include high contrast 2.4-million dot OLED viewfinders, 3-inch 1.23M-dot tilting LCD screens, fast intelligent AF systems, offer built-in WiFi connectivity with NFC support, and produce FullHD movies in 24p/60i/60p with uncompressed HDMI output.

Sony’s A7R includes a 36.3 megapixel Full-Frame sensor that removes the optical low-pass filter and combines with a new Bionz X image processing engine to reproduce fine detail.

The camera also supports gapless, optimally positioned on-chip lenses to cover every pixel and significantly enhance light-gathering efficiency. The design eliminates gaps between the micro-lenses to collect more light. Lenses are optimally positioned to accommodate the sharper angle of light enter the periphery, which is caused by larger sensor dimensions being teamed with the E-mount’s short flange-back distance, Sony said. 

Both cameras also offer 4K Ultra HD still image output (3840-by-2160) via HDMI 1.4 or WiFi to compatible Ultra HDTVs and Eye AF control that pinpoints the eye of a subject as the focus point to ensure an entire face is in focus when shooting with a shallow depth of field.

The A7 features a Full-Frame 24.3-megapixel sensor with 14-bit RAW output and a BIONZ X processing engine that enables up to 5fps high-speed continuous shooting.

The A7 also packs a hybrid AF with phase-detection and accurate contrast-detection enabling DSLR-like focusing speed. The system has been accelerated, Sony said, using a new Spatial Object Detection algorithm. It is said to be the first phase-detection AF with 117 densely packed AF points.

Sony also unveiled one of its most ambitious point-and-shoot offerings yet, in the DSC-RX10 (shipping in December at an $1,299 SURE price, offering a 20.2-megapixel 1-inch BSI Exmor R CMOS sensor capable of extreme low-light shots; 28-200mm (35mm equivalent) F2.8 Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens with optical image stabilization; macro shooting and built-in ND filter; ultra-fast AF with a new Bionz X processing engine; FullHD video capture at 24p/60p frame rates with full exposure control; lightweight dust/moisture resistant magnesium alloy body; up to ISO 12,800 sensitivity; 3-inch 1,229,000-dot tilting LCD and XGA OLED electronic viewfinder.

The camera also includes built-in WiFi support and NFC.

The new AF and Bionz X system enable the RX10 to shoot up to 10 frames per second with continuous autofocus. The RX10 also has a new Eye AF system, which tracks focusing by pinpointing the subject’s eye, not just the face.

For video, Sony said the RX10 is capable of processing data from each one of the sensor’s pixels, unlike many DSLRs that drop pixels in video mode.

The camera will also output native 4K still images to compatible Ultra HDTVs over standard HDMI cables.