New Sony A7 and A7R have focus magnification and adjustable audio controls while filming

by steven schwartzLeave a Comment

When you shoot on DSLRs and CSCs (Compact System Camera), you give up many of the basic camera features professional shooters require – internal ND's, manual audio controls, headphone jack, manual focus & aperture controls, etc. In this News Shooter article, Sony has made their new A7 and A7r mirrorless cameras harder for pros to resist.

Putting the question of image quality aside, a lot of those pro gotta-haves are there – including the much-appreciated ability to magnify while shooting to get those tack-sharp HD images we've all grown to love.

Sony A7 and A7R's Focus magnifier

Technical Marketing Manager for Sony Europe’s Digital Imaging division, Ben Pulling, has had his hands on the A7 camera and reported to us that: the “Focus magnifier CAN be used while recording video”. It seems that like the NEX cameras, the majority of the rear buttons on the A7 and A7R are customisable (there are nine buttons in total). If one of these is set to be used as the focus magnifier it can then be accessed at any time, even when filming.

(note: The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has focus magnification while recording but is not really a CSC due to the lack of a stills function).


Sony A7 and A7R Audio Levels

There was a second surprise when it came to audio levels. The A7/A7R cameras feature both an internal microphone and the ability to attach XLR microphones via an adapter, and from the press release it was clear that the audio levels were manually adjustable. However, we assumed this would be locked once recording had started. Not so, it seems. Ben Pulling told us that: “Audio Level Control CAN be used while video recording, you don’t have to set it before.” As with the magnification, this requires the audio level function to be set to one of the buttons in advance but this can then be accessed and adjusted at any time.


It has always been small details such as these that have put professional filmmakers off using DSLR-style cameras. However, the video features in the A7/A7R pair (Zebra, clean HDMI, audio and focus control), and the new RX10 (3-stop ND, Zebra, clean HDMI, audio control) suddenly make them very appealing prospects. Lets hope the video quality is better than Sony’s current NEX cameras.

[ Via News Shooter ]
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Do you think the Sony A7 and A7r will deliver on image, and do you consider these video strengths important to your shooting needs? Discuss among yourselves via the Forum link below.

(cover photo credit: snap from News Shooter)

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