SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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Sony's alpha7S 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 /PRNewswire/ -- Joining the acclaimed alpha7 and alpha7R family of the world's smallest full-frame interchangeable lens cameras1, Sony's new alpha7S model puts extraordinary sensitivity, low noise and spectacular 4K video quality into the hands of professional photographers and videographers.  

The innovative alpha7S 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 with unprecedented dynamic range and 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 alpha7S gives Sony the most complete, versatile lineup of full-frame cameras in the market today," said Neal Manowitz, director of the interchangeable lens camera business at Sony Electronics.  "Between the alpha99, VG900, RX1, alpha7, alpha7R and now alpha7S 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) and Impressive Dynamic Range

Sony, the world's largest manufacturer of image sensors, has developed a unique 12.2 MP sensor with extraordinary sensitivity that allows the alpha7S 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 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 alpha7S 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 while utilizing 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, moire and false color artifacts (as opposed to pixel binning) to achieve the highest quality video.

Additional Pro-Quality Video Functions

In video mode, the alpha7S can output 4K video4 at QFHD (3840x2160) to an optional external 3rd party 4K recorder, and can record full HD (1920x1080) at frame rates of 60p, 60i, 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 alpha7S 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 alpha camera, the alpha7S 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.

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 alpha7S 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 alpha7R camera, with drastically improved low-light AF sensitivity that can go as low as -4EV.

Expanding alpha Mount System and New Power Zoom Lens for Movie Shooting

Directly compatible with the growing family of E-mount lenses, the alpha7S camera can also be used with A-mount and others lens systems with optional adapters.  Sony's complete alpha 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 alpha7S model. 

Pricing and availability of the alpha7S 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 alpha camera news.

Notes to Editors:

1 Amongst interchangeable-lens digital cameras equipped with a 35mm full-frame image sensor, according to Sony research as of April 2014
2 Standard ISO range: Still 100 – 102400, Movie 200-102400; Expandable ISO range: Still 50-409600, Movie 200-409600
3 When used in 4K (24p/30p), HD(24p/30p) movie setting
4 Video baseband output

Key specifications

General

Lens mount


  alpha E-mount

Image sensor

Type


35mm full frame (35.6 x 23.8mm), Exmor CMOS sensor

Number of pixels (effective)

Approx. 12.2 megapixels

Recording system (still images)

Recording format


JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.3, MPF baseline compliant),
RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)

RAW output


14 bit

Recording system (movies)

Recording format


XAVC S / AVCHD format Ver. 2.0 compliant / MP4

Video
compression


XAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264


AVCHD: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264


MP4: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264

Audio recording
format


XAVC S: LPCM, 2ch


AVCHD: Dolby Digital (AC-3), 2ch, Dolby Digital Stereo
Creator


MP4: MPEG-4 AAC-LC, 2ch

Image size
(pixels)


XAVC S: 1920 x 1080 (60p/50Mbps, 30p/50Mbps,
24p/50Mbps), 1280 x 720 (120p/50Mbps)

AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (60p/28Mbps/PS, 60i/24Mbps/FX,
60i/17Mbps/FH, 24p/24Mbps/FX, 24p/17Mbps/FH)

MP4: 1440 x 1080 (30fps/12Mbps), 640 x 480
(30fps/3Mbps)

Movie functions


Audio Level Display, Audio Rec Level, Auto Slow Shutter,
HDMI info. Display (On/Off selectable), Time Code/User
Bit, Picture Profile, Creative Style, Picture Effect, Rec
Control, Dual Video Rec, Marker Setting

Picture Profile


Yes (Off / PP1-PP7) Parameters: Black level, Gamma
(Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2),
Black Gamma, Knee, Colour Mode, Colour Level, Colour
Phase, Colour Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset

Clean HDMI output

Output signal


3840 × 2160(30p/24p) / 1920 × 1080(60p/60i/24p)

YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit/ RGB 8bit

Media

Media


Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo,
Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, SD memory card, SDHC
memory card (UHS-I compliant), SDXC memory card
(UHS-I compliant)

Focus system

Type


Contrast-detection AF

Focus point


25 points

Sensitivity range


EV -4 to EV 20 (at ISO 100 equivalent with F2.0 lens
attached)

Exposure control

Metering type


1200-zone evaluative metering

ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure
Index)

Still images: ISO 100-102400, Movies: ISO 200-102400
equivalent (both expandable to 409600,for still:
expandable down to 50)

Viewfinder

Type


XGA OLED, 1.3cm (0.5 type) electronic viewfinder (colour)

Total no. of dots


2,359,296 dots

Field coverage


100%

Magnification


Approx. 0.71x (with 50mm lens at infinity, -1m-1)

LCD screen

Type


7.5cm (3.0 type) TFT drive

Total number of dots


921,600 dots

Adjustable angle


Up approx. 90 degrees, down approx. 45 degrees

Other features

PlayMemories Camera Apps

Yes

Interface



Wireless LAN (built-in)


Wi-Fi Compatible, IEEE802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz band)*1
Playback of still images and movies on smartphones, PCs
and TVs

NFC™


Yes (NFC Forum Type 3 Tag compatible, One-touch
remote, One-touch sharing)

Multi Interface Shoe


Yes

HD output


HDMI micro connector (Type-D), BRAVIA Sync (link menu),
PhotoTV HD, 4K still image playback

Shutter

Type


Electronically controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type

Shutter speed


Still images: 1/8000 to 30 sec., Bulb
Movies: 1/8000 to 1/4 (1/3 step), Up to 1/60 in AUTO
mode (up to 1/30 in Auto Slow Shutter mode)

Electronic front curtain shutter

Yes, On/Off

Drive  

Drive modes  


Single shooting, Continuous shooing, Speed Priority Continuous shooting, Self-timer (10/2 sec. delay selectable), Self-timer (Cont.) (10 sec. delay, 3/5 exposures selectable), Bracketing (Cont., Single, White Balance, DRO)  

Speed (approx.., max)
* May vary depending on shooting conditions and media)  

Continuous shooting: Max. 2.5fps,
Speed Priority Continuous Shooting: Max. 5.0fps  

Power

 

Battery


Rechargeable battery pack NP-FW50

Still images


Approx. 320 shots (viewfinder) / approx. 380 shots (LCD
screen) (CIPA standard)

Movies


Actual*2: Approx. 55 min with viewfinder, approx. 60 min
with LCD screen (CIPA standard)
Continuous*3: Approx. 90 min with viewfinder, approx. 90
min with LCD screen (CIPA standard)

External power


AC Adaptor AC-PW20 (optional)

Weight

With battery and Memory Stick PRO Duo

Approx. 489g (approx. 1 lb 1.2 oz)

Body only


Approx. 446g (approx. 15.7 oz)

Dimensions

W x H x D (excluding protrusions)

Approx. 126.9 x 94.4 x 48.2mm (approx. 5 x 3 3/4 x 1
15/16 in.)

Operating temperature

Range


32 degrees - 104 degrees F /  0-40 degrees C


Specifications and features are based on information available at the time of printing and are subject to
change without notice.

*1 Configuration method/Access method: WPS or manually/infrastructure mode. When connecting to smartphones, the camera can always work as a base without a wireless access point. (Security: WEP/WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK)
*2 Indicated recording time is defined by repeating the following cycle: Power on, start recording, zoom, stand-by and power off.
*3 Indicated recording time is defined by repeating the following cycle: Pressing the MOVIE button. No other operations such as zoom are performed.

SOURCE Sony

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