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NAB 2014: Sony Alpha 7S Senses a Presence I've Not Felt Since...

DSLR without lens and exposed sensor

You sense something about the Alpha 7S. 

Full-frame cameras simply help video look great. Sony decided to take their Alpha 7 and reload the image sensor, this time with more sensitivity, capability for 4K video and less noise. That said, even though among many a camera, we've had a chance to look at the Alpha 7, we can't help but join the excitement when it comes to this nicely sized camera. According to Sony, the entire width of the camera's image sensor is being utilized, so while some lenses result in a crop factor because their image doesn't match up to the image sensor, the Alpha 7S should allow for more coverage. We may see a reduction in pixel density, but, all the more reason we're looking forward to hands-on tests.

Side of camera with port flaps open

The 35mm Exmor CMOS image sensor and BIONZ X image processor enable the ISO to be upped to 409,000. Even if the noise gets bad at the max, we've got to imagine that at more common maximums like 12800, the ISO noise will be negligible. In case your looking for clear colors and anyone doing green screen should take special attention, the Alpha 7S will capture uncompressed 4:2:2 color sampling. Recording can be done at the high data rate of 50MB/s and in Sony's XAVC S.

The image sensor at the heart of a camera. Much of the camera without the 'S' will feel the same, and in this case an exterior sign, Alpha 7S is indication of an interior change. It will ship in June so your patience will be rewarded.

Jackson
Wong
April 08th, 2014

Press Release

Sony’s α7S Full-Frame Camera Realizes a New World of Imaging Expression Features newly developed, wide dynamic range sensor with awe-inspiring sensitivity SAN DIEGO, April 6, 2014 – Joining the acclaimed α7 and α7R family of the world’s smallest full-frame interchangeable lens cameras1 sensitivity, low noise and spectacular 4K video quality into the hands of professional photographers and videographers. The innovative α7S camera features a newly developed, 12.2 effective megapixel 35mm Exmor® CMOS sensor paired with a powerful BIONZ X image processor, allowing it to shoot at a sensitivity range of ISO 50 – 4096002 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 α7S gives Sony the most complete, versatile lineup of full-frame cameras in market today,” said Neal Manowitz, director of the interchangeable lens camera business at Sony Electronics. “Between the α99, VG900, RX1, α7, α7R and now α7S models, we have completely revolutionized what it means to be a ‘full-frame’ camera, bringing a new level of quality and portability to enthusiast photographers and videographers.” Wide ISO Sensitivity (ISO 50 - 409,6002 Sony, the world’s largest manufacturer of image sensors, has developed a unique 12.2 MP sensor with extraordinary sensitivity that allows the α7S camera to collect dramatically more light than traditional cameras and to produce beautifully detailed, low-noise images in even the darkest environments. The camera also features a newly developed on-sensor technology that allows it to optimize the dynamic range throughout the entirety of the ISO50 – 409,600 sensitivity range. This on-sensor technology also broadens the range of tonal gradation in bright environments , Sony’s new α7S model puts extraordinary with unprecedented dynamic range and ) and Impressive Dynamic Range and minimizes noise in dark scenes, allowing the camera to deliver impressive results in these extreme conditions where other cameras (and image sensors) typically struggle. World’s First Full-Frame Camera with Full Pixel Read-out3 (without pixel binning) during Movie Shooting With the new α7S camera, the high-speed read out of the 35mm full-frame image sensor combined with the high-speed processing of the BIONZ X processor enables significant improvements in video quality. These powerful components allow the camera to process data from all of the sensor’s pixels and output stunning HD and 4K (QFHD 3840 x 2160 pixels) video3 the full-width of the sensor. In addition to the benefits for low-light shooting, the read out of all pixels frees the video from aliasing, moiré and false color artifacts (as opposed to pixel binning) to achieve the highest quality video. while utilizing Additional Pro-Quality Video Functions In video mode, the α7S can output 4K video4 external 3rd 30p and 24p directly to a compatible memory card. Video modes can be changed from full- frame to APS-C (super 35mm equivalent) if desired, and in this crop mode, the camera can support high frame rate 120fps shooting at standard HD resolution (1280 x 720p), creating a 5x slow-motion effect. The α7S camera is also equipped with S-Log2 gamma. Common to Sony’s range of professional video cameras, S-Log2 expands the dynamic range by up to 1300% to minimize clipped highlights and loss of detail in shadows. Additionally, for the first time ever in a Sony α camera, the α7S adopts the workflow-friendly XAVC S recording format in addition to AVCHD and MP4 codecs. XAVC S format allows for full HD recording at a data rate of 50 mbps with lower compression for improved video quality. at QFHD (3840x2160)5 to an optional party 4K recorder, and can record full HD (1920x1080) at frame rates of 60p, 60i, Other specialist video functions on the new camera include a picture profile that can adjust settings like gamma, black, level and color adjustment, and can be saved for use in a multi-camera shoot. It also has Full HD and 4K base band HDMI® output, time code/user bit for easier editing, synchronous recording feature with compatible devices, various marker and zebra displays on both the LCD screen and viewfinder and can dual record XAVC S as well as MP4 (1280x720 @30p). The camera also has a Multi-terminal interface shoe that is compatible with Sony’s XLR Adaptor Microphone Kits (XLR-K1M plus a new model under development), allowing the use of professional microphone systems. Low-light Shooting Advantages The high ISO sensitivity range of the α7S camera is extremely effective for still image shooting, especially in low-light conditions, where the camera can shoot at high shutter speeds while keeping noise as low as possible. This is particularly useful for shooting indoor, dimly lit sporting events or other situations where most cameras typically struggle. The camera is also equipped with the same high-precision Fast Intelligent AF system as the α7R camera, with drastically improved low-light AF sensitivity that can go as low as Expanding α Mount System and New Power Zoom Lens for Movie Shooting Directly compatible with the growing family of E-mount lenses, the α7S camera can also be used with A-mount and others lens systems with optional adapters. Sony’s complete α lens system now includes 54 total lenses for both A and E mounts, including several premium offerings from Carl Zeiss® and G Series Lenses. As a whole, Sony’s E-mount lens system is particularly well-suited for video shooting, with a variety of models containing “movie-friendly” features like smooth focusing, powered zoom control, and silent iris/aperture control. Building on this, Sony has announced development of a brand new, full-frame power zoom 28-135mm F4 lens E-mount lens that is an ideal match for the powerful movie capabilities of the α7S model. Pricing and availability of the α7S full-frame interchangeable lens camera will be announced at a future date. To learn more about the product in the meantime, please visit www.store.sony.com, and follow #SonyAlpha on twitter for the latest α camera news. ### Notes to Editors: Amongst interchangeable-lens digital cameras equipped with a 35mm full-frame image sensor, according to Sony research as of April 2014 Standard ISO range: Still 100 – 102400, Movie 200-102400; Expandable ISO range: Still 50-409600, Movie 200-409600 When used in 4K (24p/30p), HD(24p/30p) movie setting 4 Video baseband output In video mode, Full HD video (24p/30p) output also can be upconverted to 4K (24p/30p)