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Sony officially announced today the new line of Nex cameras, and they’re full frame e-mount cameras.

Specs, as reported on SAR:

A7r:
– Lightest FF camera with interchangeable lens ever
– 36.4 MP
– gapless lens design on sensor (no AA filter)
– each on-chip lens is optimally positioned depending on its location to accommodate the sharper angle of light entering the periphery, which is caused by larger sensor dimensions being teamed with the E-mount’s short flange-back distance
– new BIONZ X image processing engine
– 14-bit RAW image
– ISO 100-25600 (with 50 ISO extension)
– Advanced 1200-zone evaluative metering
– 4fps (Max. 1.5fps, Speed Priority Continuous shooting)
– 1/8000 to 30sec shutter
– TRILUMINOS™ Color technology (color space)
– 1080 HD uncompressed, 60p/24p and 60i frame-rates. AVCHD and MP4 codec.
– 2.4M dot OLED EVF
– 25 points contrast AF
– +/- 5EV compensation
– tiltable 3.0” (1,229k dots) Xtra Fine™ LCD
– Multi-interface Shoe for flash
– PC control with remote video capture control
– Wi-Fi®/NFC control
– Playmemories App
– weight 465g (with battery and card)
– battery 1080 mAh for 340 shots (with LCD monitor always on!)
– weather sealed body

A7 (I do only list what’s different from the A7r):
– 24 MP (has AA filter)
– 117 points (phase-detection AF), 25 points (contrast-detection AF)
– 5fps (Max. 2.5fps, Speed Priority Continuous shooting)

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/

From a technological point of view they’re a masterpiece. Small size + full frame + 24/36mb + mirrorless = easily the best landscape cameras you can get, and they are MUCH cheaper than any other FF camera from other brands.

There’s 2 reasons why I won’t be getting neither of those:

a) I was hoping for an updated non-full frame Nex7, because the image quality of the Nex7 is still top class and a minor update, maybe with better controls, bracketing etc would have been enough for me and, I’d guess, for the vast majority of landscape photographers.

b) Currently the Full Frame E-mount has 5 lenses, with no wide lenses to speak of (28-70mm f/3.5-5.6, 24-70mm constant f/4, 70-200 constant f/4, 55mm f/1.8, 35mm f/2.8) , unless you’re willing to buy adapters that will allow you to use full frame lenses from other brands.  And the FF E-mount lenses lineup is NOT CHEAP by any stretch of the imagination.

I think this new line of FF compact cameras from Sony will shake the market quite a bit and people who didn’t preorder will struggle to find them for Christmas, but to be honest I’ll sit this one out and wait probably a couple of years to see what Canon/Nikon/Ricoh will bring to the table in terms of full frame cameras, because if Sony/Sigma/Tamron start to produce E-Mount FF lenses of good quality and offer them at a reasonable price, then Canon/Nikon would find it very hard to sell their mid-range FF cameras (currently D610 / 6D) if they cannot offer much more compared to a smaller, lighter and cheaper camera.

All props to Sony.

PS: I’ve mentioned the word “LANDSCAPE” a few times in this article because Nex cameras don’t perform amazingly well for fast action, but when it comes to landscape photography they’re second to none in terms of image quality, and currently they’re only gimped by a firmware that I consider pretty lame and painfully slow to operate.

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