User Tools

Site Tools


Sony NEX FX full frame mirrorless cameras


  • these are the 1st full frame mirrorless camera systems
  • they use the same E-mount as cropped sensor Sony NEX E-mount camera system but require full frame lenses such as Sony FE E-mount full frame lenses for full frame coverage
    • this E-mount is theoretically too small for full frame:1)
      • the diameter does not allow for optimum sensor movement for IBIS, nor edge image quality with wide angle lenses
      • the short flange distance makes extreme wide angle lenses very difficult to engineer and perhaps unlikely that they will perform well on the edges
  • major selling points of the latest Sony full frame mirrorless cameras:
    • best sensors on the market for dynamic range and high ISO performance
    • best video quality - oversampling of full frame instead of line skipping or pixel binning
    • great video codecs and face autofocus tracking
    • the best Eye AF that even works in continuous AF
    • in camera image stabiliser
    • reasonable AF speed when used with Canon EF lenses and a Sigma or Metabones adapter
  • issues with these cameras
    • colour technology and skin tones in particular can be problematic
    • ergonomics and menu system is awkward, front heavy with most pro lenses
    • initial camera bodies were not fully weathersealed
    • many of the models are not useful for astrophotography due to the “Star-eating” NR algorithms which even affect the RAW files - this seems to be addressed for the Sony a7 III full frame mirrorless camera and later models
    • battery life is extremely poor on the older models
    • Sensor Filter Stack Issues makes it harder to clean sensors
    • Touchscreen has limited functionality
    • Banding with electronic shutter mode and certain lighting
    • High burst mode forces 12bit RAW and not able to shoot in 14 bit RAW
    • Buffer lag prevents use of camera after burst shots
    • No XQD card reader
    • Rack Zoom During Burst: When shooting moving subjects on high frame burst, zooming in causes dropped focus
    • Moiré and Rolling Shutter in videos
    • Overheating during video - this is one of the issues with using full frame sensors for video
    • Compressed RAW format creates posterization effect with green compression blocks between black and white pixels
    • lenses are large (compared with Micro Four Thirds) and very expensive (compared with most other full frame manufacturers)
    • as of June 2020, it appears around 2% of heavily used rental stock may have cracks in the mount binding the sensor to the IBIS system which may cause increased variation in the lens flange distance and some softening on parts of the image 2)
  • 3rd party sensor-based filters

comparison of current cameras

model release mp IBIS PDAF video price weight main features
Sony a1 Jan 2021 50mp stacked CMOS “5.5EV” 759PDAF 8K 30/25p 10bit 400mbps; 4K 60p 9120p in 1.1x crop); $US6499 g 1/200thsec sensor readout much less rolling shutter and can use flash to that speed in silent shutter mode (1/320th sec in APS-C mode); mech. shutter x-sync with on-camera flash 1/400th sec (1/500th sec APS-C); 30fps lossy compressed RAW; 20fps x 82 full RAW or x92 lossless compressed RAW; 10fps mech; HEIF images 4:2:2 or 4:2:0; AF calculation speed 2x that of the a9II and adds Eye-AF for birds; tilt touch screen, 9.44mdot EVF, 5x more effective heat dissipation than the a7RIV; 199Mp pixel shift images now with flash; 10Gb/s USB; Ethernet; 3.5x faster WiFi transfers than the a9II as uses MIMO; similar control and menu layout as the a7Siii
Sony a9ii Oct 2019 24mp back-illum. “5.5EV” 693PDAF/425CDAF 4K 30p/1080 120p 100Mbps $US4500 678g 20fps AF-C, 10fps mech, tilt touch screen, 3.7mdot EVF
Sony a9 Apr 2017 24mp back-illum. “5EV” 693PDAF/425CDAF 4K 30p/1080 120p 100Mbps $US4500 673g 20fps AF-C, 5fps mech, tilt touch screen, 3.7mdot EVF
Sony a7r IV Sept 2019 61mp “5.5EV” 567PDAF/425CDAF 4K 30p/1080 120p? $US3500 g perhaps the best landscape/product/portrait/wedding full frame camera in 2019, no AA filter, 10fps, 5.76mdot EVF, pixel shift
Sony a7r III Oct 2017 42mp “5.5EV” 399PDAF/425CDAF 4K 30p/1080 120p $US3200 g perhaps the best landscape full frame camera in 2017, no AA filter, 10fps, 3.7mdot EVF, pixel shift
Sony a7 IV Oct 2021 33mp “5.5EV” 693PDAF/425CDAF 4K 30p / 4K 60p cropped $US2499 659g 10fps; IBIS, PDAF, much improved Eye-AF in C-AF; 1/15thsec readout;
Sony a7 III Feb 2018 24mp “5EV” 693PDAF/425CDAF 4K 30p / 100Mbps 1080 120p $US1999 650g 10fps; IBIS, PDAF, Eye-AF in C-AF; best wedding camera in 2018
Sony a7r II Jun 2015 42mp “4.5EV” 399pts 4K 30p/1080 60p $US3200 625g perhaps the best landscape full frame camera in 2015, no AA filter
Sony a7s II Sept 2015 12mp “4.5EV” NO 4K out $US2999 446g? mainly for videographers; 4K video and 120fps 100Mbps HD video
Sony a7 II Nov 2014 24mp “4.5EV” 117pts 50Mbps 1080 60p XAVC-S $A1688 600g IBIS, PDAF
Sony a7s April 2014 12mp NO NO 4K out $A2349 446g mainly for videographers; 4K video but only via HDMI out
Sony a7r Oct 2013 36mp NO NO 1080 60p $A1799 465g 36mp, no AA filter
Sony a7 Oct 2013 24mp NO 117pts 1080 60p $A1199 474g 24mp, PDAF

timeline of FX cameras

  • Sony a7CR
    • announced Aug 2023
    • 61mp sensor as with Sony A7R V
    • otherwise much the same as the Sony a7CII except it comes bundled with an add on grip which makes it much better for larger lenses
    • $US2999
  • Sony a7CII
    • announced Aug 2023
    • 33mp sensor same as A7 IV; inherits the dedicated AI processing unit of the Sony A7R V
    • single SD card slot;
    • grip is still problematic with heavier lenses
    • $US2199
    • announced Oct 2022 with specs competitive with the Canon R5
    • same 60MP BSI CMOS sensor but more powerful Bionz XR processors
    • Improved AF with subject recognition - will recognize Humans, Animals, Birds, Insects, Cars & Trains, and Aircraft and can choose whether the camera focuses on Eye/Head/Body, just Eye/Head or just Eyes, for humans, animals or birds
    • 8EV Dual IBIS; new RAW options: 60mp Large, 26mp Medium or 15mp Small Lossless Compressed files as well as APS-C sized 26mp and 15mp downsampled;
    • 8K/24p or 4K/60p video (both with 1.24x crop); Full-width 4K up to 30p; 10-bit 4:2:2 video options in 4K, including S-Log3, S-Cinetone and HLG;
    • Fully-articulated rear screen on tilt-out cradle but reduced to 2.1mdot; 9.44mdot 0.9x EVF up from 5.76mdot 0.78x!
    • Focus bracketing mode (with stacking via computer) - a 1st for Sony cameras; 240mp 16 shot Hi-Res tripod only mode now with motion correction plus 4 shot HiRes mode;
    • Sensor shift dust removal and close shutter with power off option; 500,000 actuations rated shutter; flash sync 1/250th sec;
    • 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi; UVC/UAC USB-standard video for use as webcam; USB 3.2 Gen 2 now twice as fast at 10Gbps; heavier at 723g up from 665g;
    • gains the interactive settings menu tab first seen on the FX30 which displays all the camera's key settings on a page;
    • same 16.4Wh 440 shot NP-FZ100 battery
    • $US3899
  • Sony a7IV
    • announced Oct 2021
    • 33MP BSI CMOS sensor, closable shutter for dust protection, but with 66msec readout so only 1/15thsec hence rolling shutter will be an issue;
    • up to 10fps lossy RAW; 6fps lossless RAW;
    • 5.5EV IBIS; 1stop better low light AF than a7III and now adds a much improved real time AF tracking of eyes/faces as well as modes for tracking animals even in video mode.
    • much better video than a7III:
      • full-width oversampled 4K from 7K, up to 30p
      • 4K/60p oversampled from 4.6K with Super35 / APS-C mode
      • 10-bit video or HEIF stills capture
      • H.265 video, S-Cinetone color mode
      • live stream video over its USB connection although 4K option is only 15fps
    • 3.69M dot 0.78x OLED viewfinder
    • fully articulated rear screen
    • x-sync 1/250th sec mechanical;
    • dual card slots (1x CFe A/UHS-II, 1x UHS-II SD)
    • full-time Bluetooth LE connection
    • 659g
    • Tamron warns its 20mm, 24mm and 35mm F2.8 primes have AF issues with Sony a7 IV cameras
    • $US2499
    • Canon EOS R6 offers better 8EV IBIS, 12fps mech, 20fps electronic burst, 4K 60p with 1.05x crop only, higher resolution rear screen but only 20mp sensor at same price
    • NikonZ6II has similar specs and adds a top plate display but 24mp sensor at $US1999
  • Sony a1
    • announced Jan 2021
    • 50mp stacked sensor for fast 1/200thsec sensor readout and minimal rolling shutter
    • can use flash to up to 1/200th sec in silent shutter mode (1/320th sec in APS-C mode);
    • mech. shutter x-sync with on-camera flash 1/400th sec (1/500th sec APS-C);
    • 5.5EV IS
    • 30fps lossy compressed RAW; 20fps x 82 full RAW or x92 lossless compressed RAW;
    • 10fps mech;
    • HEIF images 4:2:2 or 4:2:0;
    • AF calculation speed 2x that of the a9II and adds Eye-AF for birds;
    • tilt touch screen,
    • 9.44mdot EVF as on a7SIII
    • 5x more effective heat dissipation than the a7RIV;
    • 199Mp pixel shift images now with flash;
    • 10Gb/s USB; Ethernet; 3.5x faster WiFi transfers than the a9II as uses MIMO;
    • similar control and menu layout as the a7Siii
    • $US6499
  • Sony a7c
    • announced Sept 2020
    • compact version of Sony a7III with EVF to left and articulating screen designed for vloggers
    • world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera with IBIS.
    • 24mp 10fps burst
    • 5EV IBIS
    • oversampled 4K/30p (8-bit only)
    • 2.36M dot EVF but only 0.59x magnification
    • fully articulating screen 900K dot
    • single UHS-II SD card slot
    • NP-FZ100 battery
    • 124 x 71.1 x 59.7mm
    • 509g
    • $US1800
    • Youtube preview - not a great vlogging cam at all - poor res. LCD screen, poor IS, poor rolling shutter, kit lens doesn't suit vlogging as not wide enough.
  • Sony a7s III
    • announced July 2020
    • 12mp BSI sensor with base ISO of 80 and PDAF and face detection in video (but no animal AF)
    • new Bionz XR processor allows image and video processing to be handled entirely separately from file management and handling
    • 5 axis IBIS
    • 10fps burst rate
    • 9.44M dot EVF with 0.91x magnification
    • native 4K UHD video at up to 120p(1.1x crop 280Mbps 4:2:2), 60p full width (200Mbps 4:2:2) for 'at least an hour' and 24p 100Mbps 4:2:2
      • 16-bit Raw video output at up to 60p
      • 10-bit 4:2:2 internal capture (in codecs including H.265 and All-I H.264)
    • 1080HD 24p 10bit 4:2:2 50Mbps up to 60p 10bit 50Mbps and 120p 8bit 4:2:0 100mbps
    • four channel audio via two XLR inputs and a 3.5mm stereo input
    • 1.44mdot fully articulating LCD
    • twin card slots that each accept either SD or CFexpress Type A
    • external white balance sensor
    • 10bit 4:2:2 HEIF format as well as jpegs
    • 699g
    • $US3500
  • Sony a9II
    • announced Oct 2019 same a9 sensor, EVF, and screen, but with significant improvements overall, especially the mechanical shutter and file saving/transfer options, and some of the Sony a7RIV features and ergonomics
  • Sony a7R IV
    • announced July 2019, coming Sept 2019
    • 61mp 15 stop dynamic range; 10fps with C-AF; 567 PDAF covering 74% frame; 5.5EV IBIS;
    • 5.76mdot EVF; upgraded grip and weathersealing;
    • 4K video
    • $US3500
  • Sony A7 III:
    • announced Feb 2018
    • 24mp, 5EV IS, 10fps burst, 4K video, many of the features of the a9 (including AF coverage) and a7RIII
    • much improved over the a7II in nearly all aspects
    • $US1999
  • Sony a7RIII:
    • announced Oct 2017
    • same 42mp sensor as a7RII but improved circuitry and processing delivers 1EV more dynamic range at low ISO
    • IBIS improved to “5.5EV”
    • 10fps burst rate
    • better mirror shock handling and better shutter shock handling
    • adds HiRes mode (“Pixel Shift Multi Shooting”) similar to Olympus OM-D cameras but delivering 4 pixel shifted RAW images covering 169mp but outputs to a single 42mp RAW with better colour fidelity and texture reproduction than a single shot (ie. much less moire)
    • double the AF speed with low light capability extended down to -3EV and with 425 CDAF pts in addition to 399 phase detect points which provide improved image coverage of 68% of frame (cf 45% in a7II and 93% in the a9)
    • adds the a9's touchscreen focus point control and multi-selector joystick on the back of the body in place of the button-style directional pad as well as anti-flicker ability, a 2nd card slot, larger grip and the larger a9 NP-FZ100 batteries
    • 4K video plus now can do 120fps 1080HD mode
    • USB-C 3.1 connector
    • $US3199
  • Sony a9
    • see Sony a9 full frame mirrorless camera, announced April 2017
    • 24.2MP Full-Frame Stacked CMOS Sensor
    • ISO range of 100 – 51200, expandable to 50 – 204800
    • Blackout-Free Quad VGA 3.7m-Dot OLED EVF
    • silent electronic shutter to 1/32,000th sec
    • 3.0″ 1.44m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
      • touch focusing on the rear LCD screen for easily selecting of and shifting focus towards a desired focus point or subject
    • Internal UHD 4K/30p Video Recording
      • uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, oversampling it to produce high quality 4K footage
    • full HD 1080 120p at up to 100mbps with AF Tracking
    • 20 fps Shooting with AF/AE Tracking for up to 241 RAW/ 362 JPEG images
    • 693-Point Phase-Detection AF System with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second
      • 25% faster performance when compared with α7R II
    • 5EV 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
    • Mag. Alloy Body, Dual SD Card Slots (one for UHS-II media), Ethernet port for file transfer
    • all-new Sony battery (model NP-FZ100) giving double the battery life of a7R II
    • $US4500
    • optional: VG-C3EM Vertical Grip; NPA-MQZ1K Multi-Battery Adaptor Kit; GP-X1EM Grip Extension;BC-QZ1 Battery Charger
  • Sony a7S II:
    • 12mp full frame videography oriented mirrorless
    • adds:
      • now has 164 AF points
      • can now record 4K footage internally with full pixel read-out
      • Full HD 120 fps video recording
      • 4/5x slow motion recording internally
      • new S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3 and S-Gamut3/S-Log3 profiles
      • a new Gamma Display Assist function and improved Zebra function
      • improved performance of Fast Intelligent AF
      • ISO range of 50 up to 409,600 (100-102,400 native)
      • 5 axis sensor based image stabiliser
    • $US2999 RRP
  • Sony a7R II:
    • the best camera of 2015?
    • 42mp, IBIS, 399pt PDAF, faster AF for Canon EF lenses
    • shutter issues addressed, silent shutter mode, 500K shot shutter rating
    • awesome video capabilities including 4K 30p/24p, uncompressed HDMI out
  • Sony a7II:
  • Sony a7S:
    • announced Apr 2014
    • newly developed, 12.2 mp 35mm full frame Exmor® CMOS sensor paired with powerful BIONZ X image processor
    • ISO 50 – 4096002
    • 1st full frame camera with full pixel read out in movie mode (ie. no pixel binning) which allows videos with much reduced aliasing, moiré and false color artifacts
    • 4K (QFHD 3840 x 2160 pixels) video using the full width of the sensor, this can be output to a 3rd party external recorder (eg. Atomos Shogun ~$2000) but apparently cannot be saved to a memory card
  • Sony a7R
    • Oct 2013
    • 36mp sensor, no AA filter (apparently a revised version of the sensor in the Nikon D800 dSLR with new micro-lens design)
    • no phase detect AF on sensor
    • $2299 body only
    • optional vertical grip & 2nd battery holder ~$300
  • Sony A7
    • Oct 2013
    • same as A7R including the 25 CDAF points but:
      • 24mp sensor with 117 phase detect AF points on sensor and equipped with AA filter
      • 5fps burst with continuous autofocus
    • $1699 body only, $1999 with kit lens
photo/sonynex_fx.txt · Last modified: 2023/08/30 15:20 by gary1

Donate Powered by PHP Valid HTML5 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki