At their NAB Show today, Sony made certain that ’4K’ would be their hot word for audiences to catch on to. It’s what came up on the screen as the live stream even began, and continued to be spoken about for its presence in medicine, business, filmmaking, and consumer use. Sony made sure that 4k touched every single topic they covered. One of those topics was the company’s announcement of the full frame Sony A7S, a camera introduced at the end of the segment that we’ve been anticipating for a while now.
The A7S stands for ‘sensitivity’, the spokesperson stated as he described the camera’s exposure. Unfortunately, the A7S only got about 5 full minutes worth of time on the stage alone, ending the show rather abruptly, so we’ll be bringing in more details on the camera as they come in. Until then, the specs for the camera are below:
- 12.2 megapixel full-frame sensor
- Ultra-high sensitivity up to ISO 409600
- Wide sensitivity range ISO 50-409600
- 4K HDMI video output, high quality Full HD with 3840 x 2160 (QFHD) 4K video) recording using world’s first full pixel read-out without pixel binning.
- Professional video functions: 120fps/720p, S-Log2, XAVC S 50Mbps and optional XLRAudio input
- Shutter speed (still images) 1/8000 to 30 sec., Bulb
- Shutter speed (movies): 1/8000 to 1/4 (1/3 step), Up to 1/60 in AUTO mode (up to 1/30 in Auto Slow Shutter mode)
Now mainly the biggest consumer markets in the SLR business have always been Canon and Nikon. Sony hasn’t had as great of a play in the game, but they’re getting there fast. They’re already getting higher and higher on the food chain in the smartphone race with their Xperia Z line, and its clear that they know what they’re doing these days. One of the things Sony stated at the NAB show today was that they strive to push towards new boundaries (well, that is what NAB is about, but still), and it’s exciting to see that the company may just be doing that. The just-announced A7S has specs that look incredible on paper; they might even surpass Nikon’s D4S in low-light photography when put to practical use.
In the video department, however, the A7S may have some shortcomings. There won’t be a way to record 4K internally, and the camera will require an outboard recorder in order to do so. The ultra-high sensitivity is obviously what Sony decided to focus on more to make up for this end, but will that be enough?
The news is still so fresh that we honestly can’t tell just yet. But eventually, as a release date is set, a price tag is given, and leaks start coming in, we’ll be getting closer to finding out just how much of an impact the A7S can make for photographers today.