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85

conclusion:We like it

85

In spite of its flaws, Sony's full-frame mirrorless A7 offers a lot of value for the dollar. First and foremost, the A7 takes exceptional photos, with Digital Photography Review saying "quality is pretty much what you'd expect" and that it's "making it easier to get shallow depth-of-field and offering excellent low light capability." On the video side the A7 is less spectacular, with Gizmodo calling the quality "mediocre." Despite the A7's full-frame sensor, Sony keeps the body compact without giving up too much. Digital Versus finds that the "controls on the back of the camera all fall in the right places for easy handling" and Pocket-Lint notes the design "errs on the side of functional." Unfortunately, the A7 has its low points as well, including a sluggish start up speed compounded with an autofocus that "hunts a little more" in low light, according to TechRadar. An even bigger issue is the battery life, with Gizmodo noting the A7 can "suck batteries dry." If you're in the market for a full-frame camera with a compact body Sony packs a lot of punch into an affordable package, but be prepared for that package to run out of juice pretty quickly.

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Critic reviews

8.7
14 reviews
  • Image quality
    9.8
  • Video quality
    6.9
  • Battery life
    5.7
  • Design and form factor
    8.2
  • Durability
    8.2
  • Speed (start-up time, lag)
    7.1
  • Ease of use
    7.8

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User reviews

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  • Image quality
  • Video quality
  • Battery life
  • Design and form factor
  • Durability
  • Speed (start-up time, lag)
  • Ease of use
8.0
Gizmodo Nov 22, 2013

Sure there are trade-offs with the A7 series like poor lens selection and battery life, but those problems just fade away as you bask in the glory of the full-frame system.

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8.0
Digital Photography Review Jan 21, 2014

While it has done a remarkable job creating these two cameras, we feel that some refinements are necessary in order to make them more competitive with the likes of the Canon EOS 6D and Nikon D610.

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9.0
Pocket-Lint Nov 26, 2013

At £1,299 for the body only, this is as affordable as large-sensor snapping can get, and it could open up a whole new set of interest from more casual photographers, as well as pros looking to obtain a smaller system to work with.

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10
T3 Jan 21, 2014

The conclusion is that, while it won't be justifiable for everyone, in the A7R Sony has pretty much produced the ultimate compact system camera as far as today's market is concerned.

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9.0
What Digital Camera Nov 26, 2013

If you're prepared to invest in the extra quality that these lenses provide or intend to use existing glass, you'll be rewarded with excellent images from a camera that's perfect for the photo enthusiast looking for a high quality but lightweight camera.

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9.0
Camera Labs Nov 1, 2013

But what a specialist body, and what a start for the FE system. By delivering and in some cases exceeding the D800e's image quality, the Alpha A7r has become the quality leader in the non-medium format league.

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9.0
TechRadar Dec 12, 2013

The Sony A7 is a fantastic camera, there's no doubt about that. For the price and size, you can't really beat it. But it does feel a little unfinished at the moment.

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9.0
TrustedReviews Feb 11, 2014

Barring slightly lacklustre focusing and a limited lens lineup, the Alpha 7R is a hugely impressive camera. If you’re willing to part with serious cash for a CSC then this is the best one you’ll get.

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8.0
Digital Versus Nov 5, 2013

The Sony Alpha 7R is an impeccably good camera that's not far from flawless. Picture quality is exceptionally good, the controls and lightweight build ensure first-rate handling, and the autofocus is fast in spite of the fact that it only uses a contrast-detection system.

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8.0
TrustedReviews Dec 4, 2013

The Sony Alpha 7 is a very impressive camera that delivers the goods when it comes to image quality. There are certainly issues when it comes to continuous focusing, and the standard kit lens isn’t anything to write home about, but on the whole it earns our recommendation.

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10
ePHOTOzine Dec 3, 2013

There are a few niggles that it would be nice to see resolved including the shorter than ideal battery life, the lack of built in flash, and the lack of provided external battery charger. But putting these issues aside, the Sony Alpha 7 is one of the most exciting cameras of the year.

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8.0
Steve Huff Photo Nov 29, 2013

These are an EASY recommendation and if you are out there trying to decide which model to go for, I can not see anyone being unhappy with the A7 over the A7r. At under $1700 for the A7, it is a steal for what you are getting.

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8.0
Expert Reviews Mar 6, 2014

There's no doubt about it – the a7 is an extraordinary camera. Full-frame quality in such a small, light and reasonably priced package is a stunning achievement, and a watershed moment for CSCs.

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10
Photography Blog Dec 5, 2013

In terms of value-for-money, the Sony A7 is something of a steal, being roughly equal to the cheaper full-frame DSLR models from Canon (the 6D) and Nikon (the D610), and not being too much more expensive than top-of-the range compact system cameras.

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First Looks

product preview
Engadget Oct 16, 2013

On the performance front, the 7 can capture consecutive shots at 5 fps, while the 7R can accomplish the same at 4 fps. The 7 also features superior auto-focus, with 117 phase and 25 contrast-detect points teaming up for Sony's Fast Hybrid AF.

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Engadget Nov 15, 2013

In short, both cameras lived up to my lofty expectations, and should prove most tempting to DSLR and mirrorless devotees alike. These are Sony's two finest mirrorless cameras I've ever used, and while they are priced at a premium level, they deliver premium results.

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product preview
PC Mag Oct 16, 2013

Save for the name badges, the 7 and 7R are identical on the outside—but the two cameras feature very different image sensors. The Alpha 7 uses a 24-megapixel full-frame chip with on-sensor phase and contrast detection for fast hybrid autofocus. It can rattle off shots at 5 frames per second.

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product preview
Gizmodo Oct 18, 2013

Speaking of looks, the A7 feels like Sony cut up an RX1, NEX-6, and OM-D EM-1, then glued the parts all together. Its weather-sealed body sports a new 24.3-megapixel sensor with hybrid contrast/phase-detect auto-focus that should deliver speedy results similar to Sony's cams.

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product preview
Gizmodo Nov 1, 2013

If anything, the A7r and A7 are exciting because they prove that a full-frame, mirrorless camera is possible. Or, more precisely, that it's possible and reasonably practical to build one. Whether it's worth actually buying one will depend how the images ultimately stack up.

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Pocket-Lint Oct 16, 2013

For now the A7 is a pre-production so we can't conclude anything concrete about the resulting quality based on the short time we've had with the camera, but it looks like something to get excited about. We are.

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Imaging Resource Oct 16, 2013

Overall, we're very impressed with the Sony A7's handling and capabilities. It's surprisingly compact for a full-frame interchangeable lens camera, and packs an impressive set of capabilities. We love its control interface, and it has arguably the best EVF we've ever seen on a camera.

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Reviewed.com Cameras Oct 30, 2013

The A7 is a camera meant for enthusiasts, aimed at wealthy amateurs and manual lens hoarders, but the system has real potential to disrupt the status quo in the DSLR market.

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SlashGear Nov 3, 2013

What makes the A7 and A7R appealing is the relatively unique approach Sony has taken to their design: starting with the assumption that you want a full-frame sensor and a compact form-factor, and then innovating from there.

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TechRadar Oct 16, 2013

Sony has done it again – introducing a camera which is ahead of the curve of the other cameras which are on the market.

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TrustedReviews Oct 18, 2013

First impressions of the new Sony Alpha 7 and 7R are very positive. Sony has produced what are by some margin the world’s smallest and lightest full frame interchangeable lens cameras, both of which feel extremely well made and feature different but equally ground breaking features.

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The Verge Oct 16, 2013

It’s an impressive achievement for Sony, which says it’s spent years inventing the tools and parts it needed to make this camera possible.

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ePHOTOzine Oct 17, 2013

The Sony Alpha 7 features a 24.3 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor, with built in phase detection focus (with 117 AF points), as well as contrast-detection AF (with 25 AF points), which is said to be 35% quicker than the Sony NEX-7, giving the fastest AF performance of any full-frame camera.

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Expert Reviews Oct 17, 2013

They feel really well made and look stunning, nicely squared off but with a sizeable, ergonomic handgrip. There's an XGA OLED viewfinder with a 100% view, plus a crisp 3in tilting display.

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Stuff Oct 16, 2013

The a7 is comfortable to grip, perfectly weighted (it's only slightly heavier than the a7r at 474g with a battery) and smaller than some Micro Four Thirds cameras, an impressive feat from Sony. It's very similar in size and build to the NEX cameras we've encountered.

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