Last week Sony announced three new high-end cameras, but we curiously weren’t allowed to let you preorder them, so we opted to wait for today to talk about them. We’re sure you’ve probably heard the buzz about the A7r II elsewhere, so, we won’t go too into depth but if you have more questions, get a hold of us and we’ll help you out.
That first one pictured up there seems to totally be the most exciting of the three, and we’ve had a few of you calling in asking about it already. It’s the new full-frame mirrorless A7r II, with a massive and first-of-its-kind 42 megapixel backside illuminated sensor. Yup, finally a full-frame BSI sensor (note, there’s no actual “illumination” happening behind the sensor, it’s instead a term for sensors designed with the wiring that transfers the pixel information run behind the pixel bins instead of between them. It’s what made the sudden jump in smartphone camera quality possible a couple years back and has become common in high-end compact sensors now). That sensor in the A7r II supposedly allows a native ISO range of 100-25,600 and expandable up to 50-102,400. Remember when ISO 6400 was a revelation? Seems quaint these days, looking back. Ah, nostalgia. Anyway. You also get 4k video of course, in either full-frame or Super 35mm mode. There’s a whopping 399 focal-plane phase detection sensors working in tandem with 25 contrast areas to give you what has to be ridiculous AF performance. And following in Olympus’ footsteps it seems 5-axis in-body image stabilization is becoming the new standard, and I can’t hate on that at all.
The A7r II will set you back about $3,200 when it starts shipping in August.
The other two cameras are updates to the stalwart RX100 and RX10 compacts.
Both of these models get the same new sensor. They’re still packing a 1″ CMOS sensor that’s rather large for a compact (Nikon calls the same size CX and thinks it’s large enough for mirrorless, after all), but Sony being sensor fabbers aren’t just resting around optimizing the same old tech. No no, this is a new 1″ sensor featuring a new stacked design where the pixel buckets, processing bits, and a dedicated layer of DRAM are sandwiched together in layers instead of all sharing the same space. The result? A 5x fast data readout that can do crazy things now like 40x slow-mo video at 960fps, true 4k video recording without pixel-binning, an anti-distortion 1/32,000 second electronic shutter (for shooting wide open at EV19!), and more.
The RX100 IV shoves its new powerhouse into a familiar compact design with a 24-70mm equivalent f1.8-2.8 Zeiss lens, while the RX10 II continues being the “bridge” camera super-zoom design with a massive 28-200mm equivalent f2.8 constant zoom. Fwoo. Beasts, the both of them.
If you’re looking for a pro-level compact to compliment your kit or save some weight on your aching shoulders when you want to travel light for the day, you can pick up the RX100 IV for about $1000 next month, and the RX10 for about $1300.