This camera is unquestionably aimed at videographers, announced during the NAB show for broadcasters. The Sony alpha 7S camera features a newly developed, 12.2 effective megapixel full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor paired with a BIONZ X image processor, allowing it to shoot at a sensitivity range of ISO 50–409600 (yes, you read that correctly, four hundred thousand) with unprecedented dynamic range and low noise, says the company.
The new model is also said to be the world’s first camera to utilize the entire width of a full-frame image sensor in 4K video acquisition, and does this without cropping or line skipping as it can read and process data from every one of the sensor’s pixels.
Sony says on-sensor technology also broadens the range of tonal gradation in bright environments and minimizes noise in dark scenes, allowing the camera to deliver impressive results in these extreme conditions.
The high-speed read out of the full-frame image sensor combined with the high-speed processing of the processor enables significant improvements in video quality.
All this allows the camera to process data from all of the sensor’s pixels and output “stunning” HD and 4K (QFHD 3840 x 2160 pixels) video while utilizing the full width of the sensor. The read out of all pixels frees the video from aliasing, moiré and false colour artifacts (as opposed to pixel binning) to achieve the highest quality video.
In video mode, the 7S can output 4K video at QFHD (3840×2160) to an optional external third party 4K recorder, and can record full HD (1920×1080) at frame rates of 60p, 60i, 30p, and 24p directly to a compatible memory card. Video modes can be changed from full-frame to APS-C (super 35 mm equivalent) if desired, and in this crop mode, the camera can support high frame rate 120fps shooting at standard HD resolution (1280 x 720p), creating a 5x slow-motion effect.
The camera is also equipped with S-Log2 gamma. Common to Sony’s pro video cameras, S-Log2 expands the dynamic range by up to 1300 percent to minimize clipped highlights and loss of detail in shadows. Additionally, for the first time ever in a Sony alpha camera, the 7S adopts the XAVC S recording format in addition to AVCHD and MP4 codecs. XAVC S allows for full HD recording at a data rate of 50 mbps with lower compression for improved video quality.
Other specialist video functions on the new camera include a picture profile that can adjust settings like gamma, black, level and colour adjustment, and can be saved for use in a multi-camera shoot. It also has Full HD and 4K base band HDMI output, time code/user bit for easier editing, synchronous recording feature with compatible devices, various marker and zebra displays on both the LCD screen and viewfinder and can dual record XAVC S as well as MP4 (1280×720 @30p).
The camera also has a Multi-terminal interface shoe that is compatible with Sony’s XLR Adaptor Microphone Kits, allowing the use of pro mic systems.
The camera is equipped with the same Fast Intelligent AF system as the 7R camera, with significantly improved low-light AF sensitivity that can go as low as -4EV.
Directly compatible with the family of E-mount lenses, the 7S camera can also be used with A-mount and others lens systems with optional adapters.
[Sony has announced development of a new, full-frame power zoom 28-135 mm f/4 E-mount lens that it says is an ideal match for the movie capabilities of the 7S.
Pricing and availability have not been announced.