The S stands for sensitive, well not quite it stands for sensitivity. We’re talking about the S is in Sony’s latest camera release, and celebration of new technology, the a7s. In this instance Sony are using sensitivity as a precursor before the words ‘to ISO’ and not because they have boldly decided to launch the world’s first emotionally unstable camera . Believe the marketing previews and the a7s does seem to be incredibly capable when operating in low, low lighting conditions. With the a7s Sony have chosen the opposite strategy to Nikon – who released a modest boost on the D4 with their D4s- by completely re-working, rather than just tweaking, the earlier generation. Sony have tried their up most to demonstrate in the a7s’ preview marketing material the fantastic range of ISO capabilities that the camera has. Releasing an outstanding video showing the transition from a black screen with a little fire to a fully fledged dawn seaside scene in less than 2 minutes simply by flicking through the ISO range. Worth remembering however is that incredible is relative, and despite the a7s being streaks ahead of most other cameras when operating at ISO409600 as Fstoppers pointed out the pictures show there is still far too much noise for the a7s to be used in most professional situations. Raising the question, who is Sony targeting with this camera? There probably are certain individuals out there who walk around in the early hours of the morning making home videos, and so are frequently filming in low, or no lighting conditions, and furthermore do not require professional standards of picture quality. But this, let’s call them ‘night stalkers’, group of camera users seems like a small customer base.
Putting that mystery aside this camera has other innovative design traits and bucks the trend of ever increasing numbers of megapixels by instead offering a modest 12MP. Though each individual megapixel is larger than your standard megapixel that can be found in other cameras. Likewise this camera promises 4K capability but rather than bogging it down with the serious hardware needed to support this function the a7s will only be able to record 4K when using an external recorder plugged in by a HDMI. Today Sony put an end to the final question of how they will price the – night stalker- model as Petapixel are reporting that it is to cost $2500 USD and ship in June.
Joking aside, are you tempted? How would it help your work?