The Good Sony's Alpha ILCE-7, aka the A7, delivers excellent photo and video quality in a well-designed camera that's enjoyable to shoot with.
The Bad The long startup time and short battery life disappoint.
The Bottom Line Sony Alpha ILCE-7 (A7) is a great alternative to similarly priced entry-level full-frame dSLRs, as long as you don't need speedy continuous shooting.
A welcome step-up from smaller sensors
There's no question that the cheaper model of Sony's full-frame interchangeable-lens duo looks mighty attractive, thanks to its lower price tag. The less-expensive 24-megapixel model (Alpha ILCE-7, aka A7) boasts faster performance and a better autofocus system than its slower, AA-filter-free 36-megapixel sibling (Alpha ILCE-7R, aka A7R). But despite those advantages, I still generally like the A7R better for its superior image quality. However, compared to similarly priced and bigger full-frame dSLRs, the A7 is a very attractive alternative as long as you don't need to shoot action.
Note: the design and feature set for the A7 is identical to the A7R, so much of my discussion of the camera is, well, also identical.
The A7 incorporates the lower-resolution sensor in order to use Sony's hybrid autofocus system; Sony says that it couldn't put the phase-detection pixels on the 36-megapixel sensor for the A7R. If you need both resolving power and autofocus speed, you're out of luck for now.
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