According to rumor sites but with a high degree of specifics, Sony is about to upset the world of camera gear by announcing two full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras of high caliber, at least sensor-wise.
Sonyalpharumors.com is reporting that the company will livestream the presentation at 7 AM London time October 16 (2 AM in New York, yikes!). The site also links to an accidentally released post on Diglloyd.com about the new cameras.
The Sony A7 is expected to sport a 24mp sensor, while the A7r apparently will have a 36mp sensor, taking on the current leader of the DSLR pack, the full-frame 36mp Nikon D800/e.
The thing is that the Sony will offer all those pixels in a small package and accompanied by a series of small lenses, some of them carrying the vaunted Zeiss brand name. Both cameras will have the E-mount.
Rumored pricing is also quite attractive, $1700 for the A7 and $2000 for the A7r.
Some more rumored specifications:
- A7 with phase detection AF
- A7r without sensor Phase detection and anti aliasing filter
- the same excellent EVF as in the Olympus E-M1
- faster AF than the RX series
- weather sealed
- 1/8000 shutter speed
- tiltable LCD screen
- focus peaking
- built-in wifi, NFC
The rumored lenses:
- Zeiss FE 24-70mm f/4.0 OSS
- Sony G 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6
- Zeiss FE 35mm f/2.8
- Zeiss FE 55mm f/1.8
- Zeiss FE 70-200mm f/4.0 OSS
I’m sure the more established websites already have their preview copies in hand or will get to handle the new cameras soon at some media event. I have reached out to Sony PR, but heard nothing back.
I know I’m starting out small, of course, but it’s a bit hard to take for a guy who used to get major economic releases under embargo, releases that would rock Wall Street once they hit our news wires. It only strengthens my resolve to make this site count, though. But that’s an aside.
No matter what Sony PR does, I will review the A7r and compare it with a Nikon D800 which I’m about to receive. I’m not just interested in image quality, which I’m sure will be great for most practical purposes. What I’m more interested in is if this is a camera that can take it all, or virtually all, like the Olympus OM-D E-M1 can, albeit with ‘just’ 16 megapixels.
If it is or comes close, then these cameras can herald the true demise for DSLRs, which would be needed for just a few choice applications like sports and wildlife photography. Slowly, the enthusiast photographers would move to mirrorless and get the same image quality in a smaller package. Later on, the larger public looking for a holiday camera would also notice the smaller setup of mirrorless and forgo the mini-DSLRs aimed at them.
This reviewing business is becoming an expensive endeavor as long as I can’t get early review copies. I also have the Pentax K-3 on order and for a while had an order for the new Nikon D610, until I decided that that camera offers too little that’s new. But with rumors swirling around that both Fuji and Canon are also planning announcements, this could hurt my wallet.
All of the above is not a cry for financial help, but I do hope that you spread the word if you enjoy this site and what I hope is a different voice in this field.