Sony has officially unveiled the new A7S mirrorless camera with a full frame sensor, which can record videos at 4K resolution, during NAB Show 2014.
The National Association of Broadcasters Show 2014 began on April 5 with press conferences from the participants. Sony has opted to hold its product launch event on April 6 and the company has finally added a new shooter to its FE-mount line-up.
As a result, the Sony A7S is now official with an interesting set of specifications and the promise that will give the Panasonic GH4 a run for its money.
Sony announces A7S full frame camera with full pixel readout and extended ISO range
Sony has revealed that the “S” in the camera’s name stands for “sensitivity”. The A7S features a 12.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS full frame image sensor powered by the BIONZ X image processing engine.
According to the company, this is the first full frame camera in the world to full pixel read-out without pixel binning during video recording. This means that the camera uses the whole width of the 35mm-sized sensor without line skipping in order to improve image quality by reducing color artifacts and moiré patterns.
Moreover, the dynamic range of the sensor is among the highest in the world. The shooter will offer an extended ISO sensitivity range of 50-409,600 during stills and 200-409,600 during movie capturing, respectively. However, the footage will be detailed and will not display very much noise, delivering high quality videos in low-light environments.
A high ISO is useful in dark conditions, such as indoor photo sessions. Autofocusing will not pose a problem in these scenarios, as the A7S comes with the Fast Intelligent AF system available in the A7R.
The camera’s low-light abilities are extended thanks to S-Log2 gamma support. This system reduces highlights and detail losses in the bright and dark areas of the frame, respectively.
Sony A7S mirrorless camera records 4K videos in XAVC-S codec at 50Mbps
Videographers will adore the new Sony A7S. It can capture 4K videos at QFHD 3840 x 2160 resolution and 30 frames per second. However, it can only do so when using an external third-party recorder via the built-in HDMI output.
As for the on-camera setup, it can capture full HD videos at a maximum of 60fps. The good thing is that the mirrorless camera supports XAVC-S codec with a rate of maximum 50Mbps. This is the first Sony A-mount or E-mount camera to be compatible with the XAVC-S codec.
If you have not figured it out by now, then you should be advised that you will need a compatible external recorder in order to output 8-bit 4:2:2 4K footage with the A7S. Time code is available as well and it allows users to apply their own metadata.
In addition to 4K and full HD, the Sony A7S supports 1280 x 720 recording at up to 120fps, allowing videographers to create beautiful slow-motion movies. The A7S also supports XLR Adaptor Microphone kits for professional-grade audio recording.
Built-in WiFi and NFC for remotely controlling your camera and wireless file transfer
The Sony A7S specs list includes an AF assist light, 3-inch 1,230K-dot tilting LCD screen, built-in electronic viewfinder with 100% coverage and 0.71x magnification, USB / microphone / headphone ports, NFC, and WiFi.
Users can connect their smartphone or tablet to the MILC and take control over it. Nevertheless, WiFi and NFC can be used for transferring content wirelessly.
The PlayStation maker’s new camera measures 5 x 3.7 x 1.89-inches / 127 x 94 x 48mm and weighs 17.25 ounces / 489 grams with the battery included.
Sony’s new FE-mount camera is compatible with all E-mount lenses for APS-C or full frame sensors as well as with A-mount lenses via an adapter.
No availability details, yet, except for the existence of a kit containing new 28-135mm f/4 lens
Although Panasonic is planning to release its 4K camera, the Lumix GH4, by the end of April for less than $1,700, Sony has not announced the release date and price of the A7S.
What we do know is that when the camera hits the market, it will be released along with a brand new video-centric 28-135mm f/4 lens.