Sony Alpha 7R review: Highest ever full-frame image quality?

By Kevin Carter - Thursday October 31 2013

Camera Review
Introduction | Sony A7R sensor performance | Sony A7R versus competition | Conclusion
Sony Alpha 7R review: Highest ever full-frame image quality?

The Sony Alpha 7R is the most expensive of the two full-frame Alpha 7 mirrorless models announced earlier in the month. Externally the two share the same body and much of the same feature set, but, where the A7 adopts a 24-Mpix sensor with on-chip PD-AF capability, the Alpha 7R has a 36-Mpix CMOS sensor without an optical low pass filter for optimal image sharpness. Read on to see how well the sensor in this new model performs.

The Sony Alpha 7R is the higher-end, higher-pixel count version of two new compact full-frame mirrorless cameras from Sony to feature the firm’s existing E-mount.

The two models share the same body and many features and differ really only by their sensor. The more modestly priced of the two, the Alpha 7 has a 24-Mpix sensor but with the added capability of phase detection AF afforded by an on-chip pixel array.

The A7R on the other hand has a full-frame 36-Mpix sensor without an optical low pass filter for optimal resolution and image sharpness but lacks the faster focusing of its more modestly priced sibling.

Both models accept existing APS-C format E-mount lenses, albeit with the inevitable cropping. However, to take full advantage of the larger sensor, Sony has introduced a range of new full-frame F-E lenses.

Sony DSLR users need not feel left out either, as the camera is compatible with existing A-mount full-frame and DT (APS-C) lenses using an optional adaptor.  Along with a new Bionz X processor, the two metal-bodied cameras feature a 3-inch tilting rear LCD, XGA OLED electronic viewfinder, 1080/60p video, WiFi with NFC and a multi-interface accessory hot-shoe. Availability is expected the beginning of December, and will priced at $2,299 for the A7R, while the A7 will set you back $1,699. 

Key specifications:

  •      36-Mpix Full-frame CMOS sensor
  •      No Optical Low-Pass Filter
  •      Gapless On-Chip Lens Design
  •      BIONZ X Image Processor
  •      Compatibility with all E-mount Lenses (and A-mount with adaptor)
  •      3.0-inch Tilting TFT LCD (1,229K-Dots)
  •      2.4M-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  •      Full 1080/60p Video with Remote Capture
  •      Built-In Wi-Fi and NFC
  •      Multi-Interface Accessory Shoe

Sony A7R sensor performance

Sony A7R versus competition

Conclusion