Sony a7

According to, Sony is likely to release a full frame mirrorless camera labeled the a7s (catchy name right?), with a 12 mp sensor that’s capable of shooting 4k video. Sony already has the Sony FDR-AX100 4k Ultra HD camcorder which means they’ve already worked out the internals needed to create a 4k camera with their BIONZ X Processor at a prosumer price. This is the same processor used in the Sony a7 mirrorless full frame camera labeled on chip as the Sony CXD90014 processor. The AX100 uses a 1 inch 20 megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor and can handle 24 and 30 fps frame rates at 4k.

Now imagine dropping the megapixel count to 12 megapixel (probably an effective count closer to 11 Mp) and increasing the sensor size to a full frame 36x24mm. That would make each pixel unit on the sensor roughly 2 times larger than the 6.25 µm square pixel units on the Canon 5d mark III.  Increasing the pixel unit size by that much would dramatically increase low light performance which is why the Canon C300 uses a 9.84 megapixel sensor.

By reducing the megapixel count Sony also decreases the sensor read times and processing power need by the BIONZ X processor to handle an incoming 4k image. This could mean 4k frame rates higher than 30 fps and far less rolling shutter issues. Combine that with low light performance that’s possibly better than the 5d mark III and you would have a very attractive camera.

Where this gets really interesting for me is that this could allow me to use all of my Canon L glass with a Metabones adapter to shoot 4k in a full frame format. That could mean even better low light performance than the 5d mark III, no need to buy a new set of lenses, and the same shallow depth of field i’ve gotten used to over the years. A single $500 adapter versus a couple $1000 in lenses.

Part of the eye opener I noticed this week while playing around with the GH3 is the big difference in DOF on a M4/3 body. While I could always pick up a 25mm f0.95 lens to replace my 50mm f1.2, it would be much nicer to simply keep using all of my Canon glass.

Sounds like we’ll find out on Sunday if the rumors are true. If so, the Panasonic Gh4 could have an uphill battle at which point the decision might come down to price. Might need to sell off my Canon c100 to finance a Sony a7s if the rumors prove to be true (still don’t like the c100 much).

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