Sony A7S Shooter’s Report Part I: First impressions, handling and oh my, high ISO!


posted Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 11:47 AM EDT


They say "three's a crowd," but in the case of the Sony A7-series of full-frame mirrorless cameras, perhaps the more apt analogy is "The Three Bears" in that with the A7, A7R and now the A7S, there's something for everyone, and you can find an A7 camera that's "just right" for you. The A7 is more focused on speed and being a good "all-around" camera, the A7R is better for sheer image resolution, while the new Sony A7S, with it's large pixels and lower resolution is aimed at video shooters and low-light afficiados who need insanely-high ISO performance.

In the first installment of my Sony A7S Shooter's Report, I dive right with an overview of the ergonomics and design. While the A7S looks exactly like the A7 and A7R before it, this is the first A7-series camera I've personally spent any serious time with. Overall, I love the camera's design, the build quality and the feel of it in my hands, apart from a few rather minor points. 

Sony A7S + FE 70-200mm F4 G: 116mm, f/4, 1/125, ISO 10,000 

My big area of focus with this portion of my review, being primarily a stills shooter, was the high ISO performance of the camera. And boy, oh boy, is this a ridiculous camera! In a good way. With a maximum ISO sensitivity of 409,600, the Sony A7S can basically see in the dark. Of course, the low ISO images are very good as well -- be sure to check out the sample gallery images

For all the details about how the Sony A7S handles and it's high ISO chops, head over to my Sony A7S Shooter's Report Part I. Coming up for my next installment, I'll explore not only more image quality details with this unique sensors's dynamic range performance, but also the A7S's hallmark video recording features with uncompressed 4K output and high quality Full HD video.

PS: If you're interested in comparing the specs between the Sony A7S and it's popular siblings, check out our new comparison pages! [A7S vs A7; A7S vs A7R]

[Quick Links: Sony A7S • Shooter's Report: Part ITest ShotsGallery Images]