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Review: Sony A7s

by Chris Gampat on 07/25/2014

Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Sony A7s product images (1 of 8)ISO 16001-50 sec at f - 4.0

The Sony A7s has to be the single camera that will shift the megapixels race to the ISO stage. When it was first announced, it was billed as a low megapixel high ISO territory trailblazing camera. Then tests started to come out that confirmed this. Indeed, Sony’s 12MP full frame sensor is quite capable not only of delivering very clean high ISO results, but also pretty darned good RAW file versatility. But there is so much more to the camera than this.

The A7s also is one of the fastest focusing cameras that we’ve tested on the site–and for that reason its reliability as a tool in your daily life increases. The camera is a dream come true for many photojournalists, concert photographers, and videographers.

On the other hand, still photographers are bound to be disappointed somewhat by fewer megapixels and the lack of detail at lower ISOs.

But Sony delivered some Editor’s Choice award winning products in the A7 and A7r. Is the A7s worthy of the award too?

Editor’s Note: this review is based solely on a photographer’s point of view. We will post another article later on comparing this camera’s video output to the Panasonic GH4.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7s first impressions photos (4 of 22)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 5.0

While we’re currently in our testing stage with the Sony A7s, we’ve been seeing how it performs at high ISOs and out in the streets. And to be honest, the high ISO results make us believe that this single camera will change the street photography game. With results that are completely usable at levels we never even thought of (and those that aren’t can be worked with in Adobe Lightroom) it basically makes the traditional rules of photography obsolete.

Here’s why.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7s first impressions photos (9 of 22)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 3.2

In our tests so far with the Sony A7s, we found that the high ISO results have been awesome and that the camera’s silent shutter feature is super quiet–in fact we can’t even hear it.

But the AF also received some impressive bumps with the Lock On AF setting that lets you focus on a subject then tracks it through the entire frame. It’s perfect for folks that want to focus and recompose. While this technology has been around for a while, it’s really cool that it’s in a full frame mirrorless camera now.

The feature is demonstrated in a short video that we did on our Instagram. It has been embedded into this post and you can see it after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7s first impressions photos (4 of 22)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 5.0

Just a quick note to let readers know that we updated our Sony A7s first impressions to include not only high ISO image samples, but also our thoughts on the autofocus performance boosts.

Seriously, we think that the Sony A7s could have the best focusing system that we’ve seen in a while.

Head on over and check it out. We’re still working on the full review.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon G1x product images (7 of 7)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

When we first had the chance to play with the Canon G1x Mk II back around CES 2014, we were quite impressed with the specs and the build quality. Its previous version, however, had both high ISO problems and autofocusing issues–which plagued the otherwise very good camera. Canon decided to give it another shot with very modest improvements where it counts. Their efforts created what we believe to be an almost perfect companion camera–almost a notebook for your life.

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Could the Samsung NX1 look anything like this?

Could the Samsung NX1 look anything like this?

A recent report indicates that Samsung may be working on a high-end model to complement its line of NX-series mirrorless cameras. The new camera, which could be called the NX1, will allegedly sport a much more substantial body reminiscent of the Mamiya 6 medium format rangefinder film camera of the olden days (or the Mamiya 7/7II pictured above, which looked just like it.) Apart from that, the NX1 will purportedly be equipped with loads of amazing features.

The electronic viewfinder of the NX1 is said to be the highest-resolving on the market according to the report, and it will feature some kind of new technology. Likewise, the sensor–which is, unfortunately, still APS-C and not full-frame, as many will have hoped–is said to sport 28 megapixels and to deliver outstanding performance especially at higher ISO settings. Autofocusing will allegedly be of a hybrid nature like that of the Sony A6000, yet with more AF points.

The reported release date of the camera is this fall, which means it’s possible that we’re actually going to see it at photokina. The body along will reportedly cost $1,300, and in kit with the 16-50mm lens (we assume it is going to be the f2-2.8 version) the NX1 will sell for $2,300. As always, take this information with a grain of salt, as there is currently no way of verifying it. We’d sure be excited to see a camera like this, though–although we would’ve been even more excited about a full-frame mirrorless camera from Samsung.

Via Mirrorless Rumors