UPDATE: The announcements have finished, reporters are now headed upstairs to look at the cameras. A second article will follow with impressions.
At Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City, Sony unveiled three “groundbreaking” new products to a collection of imaging journalists today. The first is the Sony a7RII, which uses a brand new chip to produce new high quality images.
Sony COO Mike Fasulo described the company’s commitment to affordable quality, image quality and video quality. “Sony has earned the respect to be a leading photography company. Today we’re very pleased to announce three new products.” Kimio Maki, Senior General Manager of Digital Imaging Business Group took the stage, and introduce cameras where “consumers can capture up to 40x super slow motion movie or up to 1/32000 second” the are “realized by new 1.0-type stacked CMOS stacked sensor with faster transfer.”
The second thing he announced is a new 35mm full-frame back-illuminated CMOS sensor” with 42.4 MP resolution and 4K imaging without pixel binning. “usually,” he explained “as pixel counts go up, sensitivity is traded off” by changing the layout they have achieved over 100,000 sensitivity 40+ megapixel resolution.
The a7RII is a 42.4 megapixel sensor with ISO up to 102,400 and readout 3.5x faster than the a7R thanks to a brand new backside-illiuniated CMOS sensor. Traditionally you could have either a high ISO sensor or high resolution but the a7RII looks to do both. “It is about sensitivity, but it is also about fast response” says Sony. “It doesn’t give up one virtue to realize another.” The camera uses the BionzX sensor to take high image quality images and process them almost four times faster than the a7R. But the new camera also has can capture with no shutter blade motion at all. That’s huge, no motion at all with a 42 megapixel camera.
Sony has been able to put 399 phase-detection AF points for a total of 45% coverage on the sensor, the highest in the world, on the chip. It also works in combination with the contrast detection system. “For the very first time, mirrorless cameras can work with SLR cameras in autotofucs and focus them as fast as a camera with a mirror.”
The focus is 40% faster compared to the a7R as well. The sensor is using 42 megapixels of color and shape across the sensor to track subjects, so the tracking is “exceptional” and it can use lenses from “other companies” and is “truly remarkable,” according to Sony.
The camera has the five-axis stabilization of the A7II, which gives it the equivalent of 4.5 steps faster shutter speed.
The a7RII is the first camera to do edge-to-edge 4K video without any pixel skipping. It records as many as 1.8x as many pixels as required for 4k video. It records 4k video directly into the camera without the need of an external reader. There is also a Super 35mm equivalent resolution taking nearly 2x the resolution for Super 35 for the 8mp frames and does so to make 4k video. “It is truly a breakthrough in motion picture capture.”
The viewfinder resolution has been revised and now is the “highest resolution” in the world. The body is similar to the a7II, and has some refinements, including a locking mode dial and other grip enhancements.
The a7RII will be available in August for $3200.
Sony RX100 IV and RX10II
The Sony RX100 IV will have the words’ first 1.0 type stacked CMOS image sensor with a DRAM chip built in. The ability to capture images has improved about 5x.
That gives the camera an ability to capture at a high frame rate, up to 960x. The Sony FS camera that can capture at 960fps is a $7000 camera.
Photographers can capture two seconds or four seconds (that comes out to two minutes or three minutes of video). The camera has a start trigger and end trigger setting that lets the camera continuously buffer the shot and then let the photographer press the record button and capture video from the stream, capturing video after the moment has passed.
This camera is also the first cyber-shot with 4K recording capabilities, making it possibly the smallest camera with built-in 4K recording. This is near broadcast quality recording in a shirtpocket-sized camera. Continuous video recording is limited to five minutes for 4k video. The RX10 II (see below) will provide longer 4k video clips).
There is also the ability to capture incredibly short shutter speed with stacked CMOS. This electronic shutter can capture up to 1/32000 of a second and from EV-2 to EV19.
The camera can also capture at 16fps, that’s 16 20mp frames per second. The RX10II can captures at 14fps.
The RX100IV will be available in June for around $1000 and the RX10II in July for around $1300
Sony also announced a new 5-inch LCD monitor with full HD resolution, a perfect external monitor for videographers and macro shooters. It is an extremely advanced monitor with focus peaking and color lookup tables. This monitor pricing and availabilityhas not been set.…