Sony A7S Review – Light in the darkness




The Sony A7S is an excellent all-round camera, and contains compared to the A7 and A7R interesting improvements, such as extremely high ISO modes, a silent mode and improved autofocus in low-light. Because of the higher price are other full frame cameras for general use a more logical choice, especially since not everyone needs a sensitivity higher than iso 6400. But watch you from the perspective of video, then the price of A7S not so bad. For evening, night and astrophotographers the Sony A7S a joy to work with. Thanks to the strong light sensor, good EVF and high sensitivity of the autofocus, from -4 EV, you in the dark, well off with the camera and you see more than the naked eye.

Very light-sensitive sensor
4k video
Good autofocus in low-light
Silent picture mode
Tilting screen


Needed for 4k external recorder
Limited number of FE lenses
Battery life

Tweakers zegt: zeer goed!
Price publication: € 2400, –

In April 2014 Sony A7S announced. The third member of the A7-family system cameras with full frame sensor was not another variant, but distinguished himself in one area: photosensitivity. The camera supported a maximum sensitivity of ISO 409 600. Until that moment, there was only one camera that could also: announced in March Nikon D4S, an improved version of the D4. The step from Sony, however, was more than one reason for striking. Unlike Nikon, these are not top model. Even though the best retail sharply, the camera is financially accessible to advanced amateurs in principle. Compared with the cheapest full frame cameras of the moment, he is about 800 euros more expensive than a Canon EOS 6D or Nikon D610. Only the original A7 is more than a thousand euros cheaper and the most affordable full frame camera today.

Special sensor

The reason why the A7S is more expensive than its predecessors, the A7 and A7R should be sought mainly in the fact that it is a niche camera, which excels in 4k (!) Video and low-light photography. For many photographers, the A7 and A7R will offer more than enough options, but the special of A7S has been developed specifically for this model sensor. Sony does not use its existing full frame CMOS sensors 24 and 36 megapixels, which for some time on the market, but has developed a new 12-megapixel sensor specifically for A7S. That step is as courageous as logical.

Raising the ISO value can not with impunity. Each sensor has a native sensitivity, which he performs best; In most cases that is iso 100 Everything above and below is artificially achieved and will always be less quality. For higher iso-values, the signal is amplified. The sensor can result in a faster shutter speed from the feet, while the ambient light remains the same. In strengthening the noise signal is further amplified, however, as with the enhancement of, for example, a TV or radio signal. The negative impact do you see especially at high light sensitivities. That noise is suppressed by software in the camera, if you shoot jpeg at least, but that can have consequences such as loss of detail, color and sharpness.

A7s sensor

Apart from the optical quality of a lens is the image quality of a camera, under the influence of noise and dynamic range, especially depending on the characteristics of the sensor: the design, size and number of pixels. The ratio of the latter two leads to the “pixel pitch”, and therefore the size of the pixels. Read more about this on the next page.


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