Sony RX10 and Alpha 7 cameras: a superzoom and a full-frame interchangeable lens compact

Sony's built a reputation for making small camera with great image quality, with large-sensor models like the RX1 and RX100 leaving the competition–and our wallets–in pain. The latest models? A superzoom, and the full-frame interchangeable-lens compact that fans have been waiting for.

The CyberShot RX10 (left) has the same 20.2-megapixel one-inch sensor as the smaller RX100 mkII, but adds a constant f2.8 superzoom lens that would be equivalent to a 24-200mm on a full-frame camera. It shoots macro to 3cm, records 1080p HD video at 60 and 24fps, and Sony claims a fast autofocus. The lens has a manual aperture that can be declicked for video (there's also a proper mic jack, unlike the RX100s), and it, like today's other new model, has WiFi, NFC, and Sony's new accessory hotshoe.

Today's real star, though, is a 24.3mp full-frame interchangeable-lens compact camera, the Alpha 7. Similar to the popular and high-end fixed-lens RX1, it comes with a 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens, produces 14-bit raw stills, and tops out at ISO 25,600.

It shoots 1080p movies at 60 and 24 frames per second, outputs uncompressed HDMI, and has an external mic jack--good news for videographers, too.

The 7 is $2000 (or $1700 without a lens); a premium version, the Alpha 7r, has a 36.3 megapixel sensor, no low-pass filter, and a $2300 price tag.

Minuses? There are a couple. The $2k+ price tag is steep, and the relatively limited selection of full-frame E-mount lenses will have to grow fast. To start, there'll be the kit option, 24-70mm and 70-200m f4 zooms, and 35mm/f2.8, 55mm/f1.8 and 200mm/f4 primes.

Compact cameras usually involve significant compromises; the 7R looks like the most potent challenge to pro DSLRs yet. The RX10, though, seems too steep at $1300: lots of top-end micro4/3 models lurking in that price range, and once you're paying that much anyway, it seems a short leap to a used RX1.

Update: DPReview has detailed first looks of the RX10 and the Alpha 7. Steve Huff likes them, too.

Notable Replies

  1. I'm fairly happy with the RX100 but appalled by how sensitive it is to weather conditions. I tried to take a few shots outside in the (uncommon) snow of SE England last winter and it simply stopped operating. It wasn't even below freezing outside. It was probably like 5C and I had only been outside with it for a couple minutes.

  2. Ok, I guess I don't really consider the D600 a current product, even if Nikon does smile But yeah, the lenses for the A7 sure are super expensive (see also: micro four thirds... At least that was the case a year or 2 ago when I got out of that ecosystem). But I was talking strictly about the issue of the price of the camera itself. The lens availability is a whole other kettle of fish.

    I guess if you want full frame in-body stabilisation, you'll have to stick with the A99 though.

Continue the discussion

5 more replies