Sony A7 Series | All 11 Models Examined

Sony A7 Series – Review

In 2014 when Sony introduced the Alpha Series, there was the A7, the A7R, and the A7S. Things were pretty straightforward.

The A7 was the affordable option, the A7R was the high-res model, and the A7S was the best at filming video. It was relatively easy to identify the ideal camera.

The situation has gotten a bit complicated since then. Sony introduced the Mark II and Mark III versions for the A7, A7R, and A7S as well as a third option for the A7R, the Mark III.

And recently, they’ve introduced the A7C, making that a total of 11 cameras in the lineup.

Now the big question for people out there is, which is the best Sony Alpha 7 camera for me?

While we may not cover all the aspects of all these cameras, we will try our level best to list the most crucial specs in each unit in order to clarify the issue.

But be advised the differences amongst these cameras aren’t cut and dried; there are some overlapping attributes.

As for which cameras is best for you, we’ll give recommendations, but you can also decide based on the spec sheet we will provide below.

Sony A7 SeriesForm FactorOptical ResolutionVideo ResolutionMax ISOImage StabilizationOptical ZoomPhoto Sensor SizeWeight
Sony A7S Mark III Mirrorless12.1 Megapixels4K (2160p)409600Yes1x35mm (Full-Frame)1.35pounds
Sony A7R Mark IVMirrorless61 Megapixels4K (2160p)102400Yes2x35mm (Full-Frame)1.46 pounds
Sony A7SLR-style Mirrorless24.3 MegapixelsFHD (1080p)102400 No4x35mm (Full-Frame)1.04 pounds
Sony A7 Mark IISLR-style Mirrorless24.3 MegapixelsFHD (1080p)102400Yes3xAPS-C1.32 pounds
Sony A7 Mark IISLR-style Mirrorless24.3 Megapixels4K (2160p)204800Yes1x35mm (Full-Frame)1.44 pounds
Sony A7CMirrorless24.2 Megapixels4K (2160p)204800Yes2.1x35mm (Full-Frame)1.47 pounds
Sony A7RSLR-style Mirrorless36.4 MegapixelsFHD (1080p)102400Yes4x35mm (Full-Frame)1.03 pounds
Sony A7R Mark IISLR-style Mirrorless42 Megapixels4K (2160p)102400Yes40x35mm (Full-Frame)1.28 pounds
Sony A7R Mark IIISLR-style Mirrorless42.4 Megapixels4K (2160p)102400Yes1x35mm (Full-Frame)1.45 pounds
Sony A7SSLR-style Mirrorless12.2 Megapixels4K (2160p)102400Yes1xAPS-C1.08 pounds
Sony A7S Mark IICompact-DSLR12.2 MegapixelsFHD (1080p)409600Yes1x35mm (Full-Frame)1.29pounds

1. Sony A7S Mark III

Sony A7 Series
Sony A7 Series – Sony A7S Mark III

The A7S Mark III from Sony is a camera optimized for speed, sensitivity, and footage. As a result, it raised the bar for what a full-frame mirrorless camera is actually capable of.

The revised 12.1 Megapixel Exmor R BSI CMOS optical sensor and a refined BIONZ XR image chipset provide better performance, wider dynamic range, and enhanced noise reduction.

They also offer 4K (2160p) recording at 120 fps and internal 10-bit sampling.

Video is still the primary forte of the A7S Mark III.

The enhancements to the processor and sensor have allowed for reduced rolling shutter, faster readout speeds, 16-bit RAW output via the full-size HDMI port, high-bitrate internal footage as well as adaptable control over motion with adjustable frame rate selection.

The A7S Mark III also does away with recording time restrictions, includes HLG for direct HDR creation and gamma profiles for cutting-edge HDR creation with editing.

Key Features Include:

  • Form Factor: Mirrorless
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 12.1 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Max ISO: 409,600
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Optical Zoom: 1x
  • Photo Sensor Size: 35mm (Full-Frame)
  • Weight: 1.35pounds

2. Sony A7R Mark IV

Sony A7 Series
Sony A7 Series – Sony A7R Mark IV

The A7R Mark IV carries on the remarkable series of high-res full-frame cameras from Sony characterized by noteworthy stills, improved video performance, and versatility.

Being the 4th edition of the widely acclaimed A7R, this camera sees the addition of a refined full-frame 61 Megapixel Exmor R BSI CMOS optical sensor and an updated BIONZ X image chipset.

The optical sensor and image processor combine to provide notable image results with apparent smoothness, speed, and of course, a 15-point dynamic range.

With this camera, you can shoot continuously at ten fps as well as recording footage at 4K (2160p) resolution.

Both image and footage functions on the A7R Mark IV support Tracking AF (autofocus) and Real-time Eye AF technologies with 567 face-recognition autofocus points. This allows for fast and precise autofocus performance.

And despite the optical sensor having such a high resolution of 61 Megapixels, it’s also renowned for its adaptable native ISO of 100-32000, allowing you to shoot in a variety of lighting conditions.

In addition, the A7R Mark IV retains the 5-axis image stabilization, which comes in handy and reduces the camera’s shake by up to 5.5 stops.

Key Features Include:

  • Form Factor: Mirrorless
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 61 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Max ISO: 102,400
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Optical Zoom: 2x
  • Photo Sensor Size: 35mm (Full-Frame)
  • Weight: 1.46pounds

3. Sony A7

Sony A7 Series
Sony A7 Series – Sony A7

With the Alpha 7, Sony strikes a balance on the ergonomics and precise control that photographers need.

The result is well-crafted dials and knobs, various photo and video options, connectivity options, and extensive customization potential.

All this comes in a compact body that’s about 25% smaller than other DSLRs in the A7’s class. The A7 comprises two types of wireless sharing NFC and Wi-Fi.

NFC allows for quick image sharing with a single tap to any NFC-ready laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Wi-Fi, on the other hand, allows photographers to upload photos quickly from various locations.

Key Features Include:

  • Form Factor: SLR-style Mirrorless
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 24.3 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: FHD (1080p)
  • Max ISO: 102,400
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Optical Zoom: 4x
  • Photo Sensor Size: 35mm (Full-Frame)
  • Weight: 1.04 pounds

4. Sony A7 Mark II

Sony A7 Series
Sony A7 Series – Sony A7 Mark II

With the A7 Mark II, Sony has taken its full-frame cameras to the next level. In this camera, Sony has streamlined the operation of its 24.3 Megapixel optical sensor with customizable controls, shutter release knob, and a redesigned grip.

The A7 Mark II features a dust and moisture-resistant magnesium alloy body. In the A7 Mark II, the algorithms are advanced, and there is better application of the BIONZ X image processor.

This ensures that its Fast Hybrid AF (autofocus) system is about 30% faster than the A7.

The image processor provides front-end LSI (large-scale integration) and fast operation speeds, enhancing the initial stages of image processing.

This results in richer and more natural color tones. The camera’s 14-bit RAW output will reserve the detail provided by the sensor.

Key Features Include:

  • Form Factor: SLR-style Mirrorless
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 24.3 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: FHD (1080p)
  • Max ISO: 102,400
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Optical Zoom: 3x
  • Photo Sensor Size: APS-C
  • Weight: 1.32 pounds

5. Sony A7 Mark III

Sony A7 Series
Sony A7 Series – Sony A7 Mark III

Renowned for its overhauled sensor design, Sony’s A7 Mark III is a well-rounded unit suitable for photo and video use in various work scenarios.

This camera features a full-frame 24.2 Megapixel Exmor optical sensor and a BIONZ X image processor refined for better low-light performance and enhanced speed.

When combined, the image processor and sensor realize an impressive continuous shooting rate of 10 fps (frames per second) as well as better autofocus for faster and consistent subject tracking.

In addition to speed and AF (autofocus), the processing enhancements also help realize better image precision and reduced image noise throughout the camera’s ISO range of 100-51200, which can be optimized to a max output of ISO 50-204800.

Video recording has also been improved so that you get better quality when recording at 4K (2160p) resolution.

Key Features Include:

  • Form Factor: SLR-style Mirrorless
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 24.3 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Max ISO: 204,800
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Optical Zoom: 1x
  • Photo Sensor Size: 35mm (Full-Frame)
  • Weight: 1.44 pounds

6. Sony A7C

Sony A7 Series
Sony A7 Series – Sony A7C

The Sony Alpha 7C is built for the hybrid shooter, and it can be a great camera if you’re starting out as a photographer. It’s also a fun option for pro photographers to have in their camera bag.

The ‘C’ in the name stands for compact, and this camera certainly lives up to its name. Sony is already known for building fully-fledged small and lightweight cameras, and they’ve gone one step further with the Alpha 7C.

This camera combines video and high-level stills making the Alpha 7C perfect if you’re a vlogger who happens to like taking photos from time to time.

Key Features Include:

  • Form Factor: Mirrorless
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 24.2 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Max ISO: 204,800
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Optical Zoom: 2.1x
  • Photo Sensor Size: 35mm (Full-Frame)
  • Weight: 1.47 pounds

7. Sony A7R

Sony A7 Series
Sony A7 Series – Sony A7R

You won’t find another portable, full-frame interchangeable lens camera than the Alpha 7R. its full-frame performance is all you need in a compact size camera.

The Alpha 7R will undoubtedly change your perspective on compact size cameras.

With the 7R’s vertical grip, you can enjoy long hours of comfortable use. Also, this unit can hold two batteries allowing you to shoot for longer.

The camera’s chassis is also dust and moisture resistant. You also get Wi-Fi and NFC one-touch for all your image sharing needs.

Key Features Include:

  • Form Factor: SLR-style Mirrorless
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 36.4 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: FHD (1080p)
  • Max ISO: 102,400
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Optical Zoom: 4x
  • Photo Sensor Size: 35mm (Full-Frame)
  • Weight: 1.03 pounds

8. Sony A7R Mark II

Sony A7 Series
Sony A7 Series – Sony A7R Mark II

The Sony A7R Mark II features the industry’s first full-frame 42.4 Megapixel Exmor R CMOS optical sensor. This means that this camera from Sony is ready to take mirrorless photography to a whole new level.

The sensor configuration enhances low-light use and speeds up data thruput allowing for robust high-res stills and 4K (2160p) video recording.

With the A7R’s BIONZ X image processor, shots can be produced at ISO sensitivities of up to 102,400 and shooting at a continuous rate of 5 fps.

The image processor also precisely and efficiently tunes the optical sensor’s 42.4 Megapixel resolution for accurate, richer, low-noise, and more natural image interpretation.

Key Features Include:

  • Form Factor: SLR-style Mirrorless
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 42 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Max ISO: 102,400
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Optical Zoom: 40x
  • Photo Sensor Size: 35mm (Full-Frame)
  • Weight: 1.28pounds

9. Sony A7R Mark III

Sony A7 Series
Sony A7 Series – Sony A7R Mark III

The A7R Mark III from Sony proves that resolution, speed, and video capabilities can all coexist in one unit. All these features ensure that the A7R Mark III is multipurpose and high-performing not only because of its resolution but also its multimedia adaptability.

With the full-frame 42.4 Megapixel Exmor R BSI CMOS optical sensor and a refined BIONZ X image chipset, the A7R Mark III can afford a remarkable continuous shooting rate at ten fps as well as enhanced autofocus speed for faster and more dependable subject tracking.

This camera’s Fast Hybrid AF (autofocus) System deploys a combination of 425 contrast-recognition points.

399 face-recognition areas to acquire focus more quickly in a variety of lighting conditions as well as maintaining concentration on subjects more effectively.

Key Features Include:

  • Form Factor: SLR-style Mirrorless
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 42.4 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Max ISO: 102,400
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Optical Zoom: 1x
  • Photo Sensor Size: 35mm (Full-Frame)
  • Weight: 1.45pounds

10. Sony A7S

Sony A7 Series
Sony A7 Series – Sony A7S

The Sony Alpha 7S features a full-frame 12.2 Megapixel optical sensor and BIONZ X image processor to provide you with still image and video quality.

Pictures and footage taken using this camera feature low noise and extensive dynamic range.

The optical sensor and image processor combo provide good performance such that you can shoot continuously at a rate of 5 fps (frames per second).

You can also natively shoot 4K footage with this camera aided by its 25-point contact detection system.

Key Features Include:

  • Form Factor: SLR-style Mirrorless
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 12.2 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Max ISO: 25,600
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Optical Zoom: 1x
  • Photo Sensor Size: APS-C
  • Weight: 1.08 pounds

11. Sony A7S Mark II

Sony A7 Series
Sony A7 Series – Sony A7S Mark II

Sony’s A7S Mark II has made considerable strides in the video arena, and it provides a remarkable combination of resolution, dynamic range, sensitivity, and speed allowing for a flexible multimedia workflow.

With its full-frame 12.2 Megapixel Exmor CMOS optical sensor, the A7S Mark II can record 4K (2160p) footage at 30 fps with complete pixel readout.

It can also record FHD (1080p) footage at 120 fps in the XAVC S format.

For both images and footage, the BIONZ X image processing engine combines with the optical sensor to provide improved sensitivity to ISO 409600.

With the A7S Mark II, you can shoot continuously at a rate of 5 fps with fast and intelligent autofocus.

Key Features Include:

  • Form Factor: Compact-DSLR
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 12.2 Megapixels
  • Video Resolution: FHD (1080p)
  • Max ISO: 409,600
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Optical Zoom: 1x
  • Photo Sensor Size: 35mm (Full-Frame)
  • Weight: 1.29pounds

Final Thought

To sum it all up, the Sony A7 series has plenty of cameras to choose from, as illustrated above.

You might ask which camera is best for you, but this comes down to whether you want a camera to shoot, record, or both.

However, if you want a Sony A7 camera that balances photo and video aspects, you should go for A7 Mark III. This unit is a great all-rounder that Sony has designed with photographers in mind and won’t disappoint you at all.

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