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New Sony Cameras Boast Cutting-Edge Sensors

New York — Sony has raised the bar on the camera sensor market, debuting a new flagship mirrorless camera with what it called “the world’s first” back-illuminated full-frame 42.4-magapixel CMOS sensor.

The new α7R II flagship boasts in-camera 5-axis image stabilization, internal full-frame 4K video recording (another first), and an astounding sensitivity range of up to 102,400 ISO.

Additionally, it has a newly refined XGA OLED Tru-Finder with the “world’s highest” (0.78x) viewfinder magnification.

Sony president Mike Fasulo called the camera a game-changer and stressed Sony’s leadership in the development of cutting-edge imaging technology. “Sony continues to deliver game-changing imaging products that are changing the way imaging enthusiasts, hobbyists and professionals can see and capture the world,” he said.

The new camera can record 40x super-slow motion video at 960 fps, which translates to 80 seconds of video playback for a two-second clip.

The Sony α7R II full-frame interchangeable-lens camera will be available in August for about $3,200.

Senior imaging general manager Kinio Maki shared proprietary data showing Sony taking a larger share of the worldwide market for interchangeable-lens cameras, as well as compact models. Entry-level camera sales continue to decline as cellphone camera quality increases, but, Maki said, the higher-end market for camera enthusiasts is growing.

To that end, Sony also debuted two midrange Cyber-shot cameras, both built around another “world’s first”: a 1-inch stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor that allows for an ultra-fast anti-distortion shutter with a maximum speed of 1/32,000 second, as well as 4K video capture and the same 40x super-slow motion as the flagship. 

The sensor in the compact RX100 IV (model DSC-RX100M4) and high-zoom RX10 II (DSC-RX10M2) cameras feature advanced signal processing and an attached DRAM memory chip. The high-speed signal processing and DRAM memory chip work together to enable more than 5x faster readout of image data, Sony said.

Prior to shooting video, users can choose among 960 fps, 480 fps and 240 fps frame rates and among 60p, 30p and 24p playback formats  to optimize the recording to fit the speed of the moving subject, with the option to use the movie record button as a “start trigger” to begin recording once the button is pressed or “end trigger” to record footage up until the button is pressed. The “end trigger” mode lets shooting begin two to four seconds before the movie button is pressed, enabling shooters to capture the decisive moment with much more consistency and accuracy.

Both cameras are equipped with a new high-contrast XGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 2.35 million dots of resolution and an updated intelligent auto-focus system that enables high-speed, high-precision contrast detection of a moving subject in as little as 0.09 seconds

They are also Wi-Fi and NFC compatible and can access Sony’s range of PlayMemories camera apps. 

The Cyber-shot RX100 IV compact and RX10 II high-zoom camera will be available this July for about $1,000 and $1,300, respectively. Presales for each model will begin on June 17.