Why can they release a product like this? Because they are SONY. The Alpha 7S is the new model in the Alpha 7 series with a full-size sensor and it new features ISO of up to 409,600! In addition, it's the world's first camera with a full-size sensor that is capable of shooting 4K movies. So, it truly lets you capture "a whole new world of imaging expression." Although this high ISO performance looks to be the highlight of this model, the real value of this camera is the drastic reduction of the number of pixels. The 12.2-megapixel is the half of the Alpha 7 and the one-third of the Alpha 7R. This means the pixel size is larger and it's a big advantage in picture quality. This is a camera that will cause a sensation to the trend of preferring more megapixels.

( Photography : Z II / Text : 48 )

The color reproduction is identical to "memory colors" and the rich tonal gradation is simply amazing.

We don't want showy red, but we want the colors to be loyal to what we see. Red subjects are good examples to show the potential of digital cameras. Having seen this output, I felt astonished by the sexy and realistic color reproduction. It must be due to the powerful sensor and the latest profound image processor. It's difficult to define the real meaning of image quality, but I just want you to take a look at the sample shots in this review without preconception. All of them are JPEG images straight from the camera, so you can feel the potential of this model.

This shot doesn't have anything special. Of course, the lens is also great, but I think not many cameras can depict like this.

Because of the modest number of pixels, you can't expect breathtaking resolution when you look at the output in the original size. But, the resolution is high enough for general viewing. Actually, it has 4240 x 2832 pixels and it have enough information to print on the A4 paper at 300 dpi. Generally, you will rarely need the resolution higher than this.

Each leaf is clearly isolated. When we hear about high sensitivity performance, we wonder if noise was overly reduced at the sacrifice of reality. But, I had an impression that the Alpha 7S just receives the light with the sensor and directly reflect it to the output. I guess it's also due to the higher luminance allowance realized by the large pixel pitch. The green gradation expresses the pleasant season naturally.

What do you think of this gold color? Stunning, right?

Here comes the high ISO shooting. It can focus and shoot in the low light condition where even human eyes don't work. I can even say this is a technological revolution in the camera industry. I shot this nocturnal lesser slow loris with ISO40000 and the noise looks natural. This forced me to reset my common sense in photography.

ISO3200 is nothing but regular. When the body evolves like this camera, lenses will be smaller and better. Since many events including sports are held indoors, this camera is a good choice for family use as well.

I tried to shoot fireflies with ISO12400. As expected, it generated noticeable amount of noise, but including the picturesque background, it still looks good enough.

The new Alpha for pure picture quality.

SONY developed the new sensor with smaller number of pixels to earn the pixel pitch. And, they used it for the new model. They could realize it because they can produce sensors in-house. Image quality depends not only on the sensor size and the number of pixels, but also the pixel pitch, which explains the advantages of using medium format digital backs. And, it also tells us why manufacturers haven't increased the number of pixels for their flagship models recklessly. The Alpha 7S realizes the best picture quality in its class in terms of pixel pitch. I want you to focus on the profound picture quality rather than the title of "the lowlight king." And, I'm sure you'll be amazed by the picture quality at the completely different level.

Including this model, SONY now has three Alpha 7 models, but they are different in nature. By the release of this model, I feel this lineup has become very attractive and deeper, and you can choose the best one according to your needs. And, if your top priority is pure picture quality rather than resolution, go for the Alpha 7S. It will never disappoint you.

( 03.07.2014 )