Sony Alpha A7S Review

Overall 51
Imaging 25
Features 57
Size 77
Price 0

Main Features

  • 12.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 409600
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 3840 x 2160, XAVC S 1080 60p(50Mbps), 30p (50Mbps), 24p (50Mbps). 720 120p (50Mbps). AVCHD 60p (28Mbps), 60i (24Mbps/17Mbps), 24p (24Mbps/17Mbps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 127 x 94 x 48 mm
  • Weight: 489 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced by Sony A7S II.

Sony Alpha A7S Summary

This review is devoted to Alpha A7S that Sony has first introduced to the public in Apr 06, 2014. This model is a Pro Mirrorless camera with a resolution of 12.0 MP and a Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

Sony has replaced this product with their most recent model A7S II.

In Pro Mirrorless cameras (Top 10 MirrorLess Cameras) this model has taken rank #33 out of 180. Its Overall Score has reached 51/100 and it takes a rank of #58 out of 1174 in all Cameras.

Sony Alpha A7S Compared to other MirrorLess Cameras

Now let's delve into more details of our Sony Alpha A7S review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.

PROs

  • Screen Type: Tilting
  • Viewfinder Coverage: 100
  • Dxo Dynamic Range: 13.2
  • Dxo Low Light Iso: 3702
  • AutoFocus Face Detection: Yes
  • Microphone Port: Yes
  • Headphone Port: Yes
  • Video Formats: MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC
  • Wireless Connectivity: Built-In
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes

CONs

  • Number Of Focus Points: 25
  • Af Phase Detection: No
  • Battery Life: 360 shots
  • Timelapse Recording: With downloadable app
  • Storage Slots: 1

Complete Comparison of Sony Alpha A7S With Other Cameras in Pro Mirrorless Category

In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Sony Alpha A7S. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Pro Mirrorless cameras.

Physical Characteristics Of Sony Alpha A7S

Sony Alpha A7S has the following external dimensions 127 x 127 x 48 mm (50 x 37.01 x 18.9″) with the weight of 489 g.

The typical weight for average Pro Mirrorless type cameras is 672g. If we compare the average indicator of the weight of Sony Alpha A7S, we can conclude that this model is lighter than many other similar products.

Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Sony Alpha A7S is thinner than other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 48mm.

Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Sony Alpha A7S with the indication of this model’s dimensions:

HTML
BB

If you want to have a better idea of how big the Sony Alpha A7S is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.

HTML
BB

Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Sony Alpha A7S compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:

Battery

Sony Alpha A7S — 360 shots
Min: 210 shots
Average: 432 shots
Max: 870 shots

Thickness

Sony Alpha A7S — 48 mm
Min: 37 mm
Average: 63 mm
Max: 97 mm

Weight

Sony Alpha A7S — 489 g
Min: 465 g
Average: 672 g
Max: 1320 g

Unfortunately, Sony Alpha A7S comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.

Unfortunately, Sony Alpha A7S comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.

Sony Alpha A7S Photo and Sensor Features

Sony Alpha A7S comes with Bionz X processor. This model also boasts of a resolution of 12.0 MP and is equipped with a Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

The base of Sony Alpha A7S has the following ISO range 100 - 409600 .

Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.

Sony Alpha A7S features a 12.0 MP Full frame sensor, which is not a good pick for high-quality and detailed pictures. However, we have an alternative option for you if you were looking for higher resolution.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Sony Alpha A7S, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 87 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Sony Alpha A7S’s sensor.

Anti-Aliasing Filter

Sony Alpha A7S is known for the lack of anti-alias (Low-pass) filter. It is one of its essential features of the sensor built in this model. The absence of this filter contributes to a higher level of details and sharpness in the pictures you take. Yet, the lack of an anti-alias filter also enhances the possibility of more occurring in certain conditions.

Now let’s check how we can compare the size of Full frame sensor featured in Sony Alpha A7S with other standard sensor sizes.

HTML
BB

Other Characteristics And Features of Sony Alpha A7S

LCD and ViewFinder

Sony Alpha A7S is equipped with a Tilting 3" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 1,230k dots.

In addition, this model comes with a built-in Electronic ViewFinder.

The Sony Alpha A7S’s embedded ViewFinder comes with coverage of 100 and a resolution of 2,359k dots.

100% ensures that the resulting photo will capture the exact scene you could see in the viewfinder while shooting. Such coverage indicator also means that the framing of your shot will be more accurate, so there won’t be need for further cropping.

Max Shutter speed

Some of the other highlights of Sony Alpha A7S are its 5.0 fps max speed and 1/8000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.

Besides, Alpha A7S comes with an electronic shutter, which has a max speed of 1/8000 sec. It also means that you can take shots without any noise. However, there is one thing to keep in mind. While electronic shutter is great for continuous and noiseless shooting, in some cases, it may result in rolling shutter effects on your images.

Flash

Unlike some other cameras from this category, Alpha A7S unfortunately, is not equipped with a built-in flash. Luckily, it has a special slot for external flashes instead.

Focusing

In addition, Alpha A7S has a Face detection AF feature that quickly finds the faces that appear within the frame range and locks the focus on them automatically.

Video Features

As for the video quality characteristics of Sony Alpha A7S, it gives you a possibility to shoot videos at the highest resolution of 3840 x 2160 You also have enough flexibility in terms of how you can save your files. Namely, Sony Alpha A7S allows you to save files in MPEG-4, AVCHD and XAVC formats.

Sony Alpha A7S supports 4K (Ultra-HD) video. This is the highest available resolution as for today . Thus, opting for this model, you will be dazed by the video’s crispness and the quality of details when watching it on a 4K screen.

Such impressive resolution stats make this model stand out against the previous model, which provides a max video resolution of only. Thus, in case you are planning to update your old camera and would love to have a possibility to shoot lots of high-quality videos, high resolution is a significant advantage of Alpha A7S.

In addition, Sony Alpha A7S is equipped with a special port that you can use to connect an external microphone and, since it comes with a port for external headphones, we can call Sony Alpha A7S a perfect camera for high-quality videography purposes.

Connectivity and Storage

One more advantage of Sony Alpha A7S is its embedded wireless (Wi-Fi) and NFC connectivity. This feature makes it possible to share files with suitable devices without the necessity to connect them physically.

In addition, Alpha A7S is equipped with its USB 2.0 or HDMI ports that make it possible to connect Alpha A7S with suitable external devices.

Battery Life

In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Sony Alpha A7S provides a shooting life of 360, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 432 shots.

With the commonly accepted standards in mind, we can conclude that Sony Alpha A7S is above the average indicator of battery life. However, we believe it is still a great idea to grab a few extra batteries if you are planning long photo trips.

How Good is Sony Alpha A7S for Different Types of Photography?

In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Sony Alpha A7S’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Sony Alpha A7S’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the Alpha A7S to the average MirrorLess camera.

Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.

Sony Alpha A7S for Portrait Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha A7S performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 92. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha A7S can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Sony Alpha A7S for Street Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha A7S performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 87. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha A7S can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (127 x 94 x 48 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Sony Alpha A7S for Sports Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha A7S performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 93. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha A7S can be called a 93 model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (3702)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.0 fps)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (25)
  • Small battery life (360 shots)

Sony Alpha A7S for Daily Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha A7S performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 69. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha A7S can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (489 g)
  • Big size (127 x 94 x 48 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Sony Alpha A7S for Landscape Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha A7S performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 97. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha A7S can be called a 97 model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.2)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (3702)

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)

Sony Alpha A7S Detailed Specs

General
Brand Sony
Model Alpha A7S
Announced Apr 06, 2014
Body Type SLR-style mirrorless
Lens
Manual Focus Yes
Lens Mount Sony E
Number of Lenses 83
Focal Length Multiplier 1x
Macro Focus Range
Screen
Screen Type Tilting
Screen Size 3″
Screen Resolution 1,230k dots
Live View Yes
Touch Screen No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 2,359k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.71
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 5.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes
Custom White Balance Yes
Image Stabilization No
Built-in Flash No
Flash Range 0
Flash Modes no built-in flash
External Flash Yes
AE Bracketing Yes
WB Bracketing Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes
Average No
Spot Yes
Partial No
AF-Area No
Center Weighted Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Scores 87
DxO Color Depth 23.9
DxO Dynamic Range 13.2
DxO Low Light ISO 3702
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 35.8 x 23.9 mm
Sensor Area 855.62 mm2
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4240 x 2832
Max Native ISO 409,600
Max Boosted ISO n/a
Min Native ISO 100
RAW Support Yes
AutoFocus
AF Touch No
AF Continuous Yes
AF Single Yes
AF Tracking No
AF Selective Yes
AF Center Yes
AF Multi Area Yes
AF Live View Yes
AF Face Detection Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes
AF Phase Detection No
Number of Focus Points 25
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a
Video Features
Video Resolutions 3840 x 2160, XAVC S 1080 60p(50Mbps), 30p (50Mbps), 24p (50Mbps). 720 120p (50Mbps). AVCHD 60p (28Mbps), 60i (24Mbps/17Mbps), 24p (24Mbps/17Mbps)
Max Video Resolution 3840 x 2160
Video Formats MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC
Microphone Port Yes
Headphone Port Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes
Water Proof No
Dust Proof No
Shock Proof No
Crush Proof No
Freeze Proof No
Weight 489 g
Physical Dimensions 127 x 94 x 48 mm
Battery Life 360 shots
Battery Type 360 shots
Battery Model NP-FW50
Other Features
Self Timer Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes
GPS
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
Storage Slots 1

Most popular Pro Mirrorless cameras

Sony Alpha A7S II 12.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II 20.0 MP CMOS
Four Thirds
Sony Alpha A7R 36.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Sony Alpha A7 II 24.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Sony Alpha A7R III 42.0 MP BSI-CMOS
Full frame