Sony’s powerful A7 series now has a new addition to the family. And, like always with Sony cameras, this newest one isn’t lacking in significance – it’s their first small-bodied, mirrorless, full-frame DSLR camera to pack in 4k video recording.
The Sony a7S has a 12.2 MP 35 mm Exmor CMOS sensor paired with a BIONZ X image processor. It’s also incredibly sensitive, with a pretty impressive range of ISO 50-409600 – needless to say, it won’t be often when you need to go to those extremes. But hey, it’s nice to have, if it’s really, really dark.
But, the big story here is 4k recording. Having a full-frame image sensor of this caliber means that the camera can extract data from each of the sensor’s pixels, without sampling, line skipping, or cropping. That leaves you with pure, excellent 3840 x 2160 video, although you can still take 1080p video at 60p, 60i, 30p, and 24p frame rates, or 720p video at as much as 120 frames per second. The a7S also has S-Log2 gamma, which dramatically expands dynamic range. When recording, you’ll be able to use XAVC S, AVCHD, and mp4 formats.
The one catch with 4k recording is that you’ll need a third party external recorder in order to actually save that video. That’s not a knock on Sony – they just don’t make SD cards big enough or fast enough to handle 4k recording, and the massive influx and volume of data that that entails. Not yet, anyway. For your 1080p video, there’s an HDMI-out port on the camera, as well.
Like its siblings, the a7S is an interchangeable lens camera, and it has a shoe for external accessories, like microphones. Pricing and availability for the Sony a7S is, as of now, unannounced.