New Camera Caps NAB Announcements, But No Word on Price or Availability

The big surprise at Sony's pre-NAB press conference was the new α7S full-frame mirrorless camera that outputs 4K UHD (3840×2160) baseband video via HDMI to an optional external third-party recorder. Update: That third party is Atomos, which is showing its new 4K Shogun 7-inch IPS monitor/recorder at NAB. Atomos said the Shogun will record 10-bit 4:2:2 images using 4K/HD ProRes, uncompressed raw Cinema DNG, or Avid DNxHD. It's expected to ship later this year (Q3 or Q4) for "under $2,000."

Onboard recording to a memory card is limited to a max resolution of 1920×1080 HD at 60p/i, 30p, and 24p, but an APS-C crop mode allows the camera to shoot 720p video at up to 120fps.

Other high-end features of the α7S include support for S-Log2 gamma and XAVC S recording at 50 Mbps in addition to the more common AVCHD and MP4.

A picture profile (gamma, black level, color adjustment) can be created and saved for use on other cameras in a multicamera shoot. The camera also supports timecode, synchonous recording, and dual-recording XAVC S and MP4 in 720p/30. An XLR adapter can be attached to the shoe to connect pro mics.

Sony is also touting the camera's low-light shooting capability, claiming a standard ISO range of 100-102400 for stills and 200-102400 for video, with an expandable ISO of up to 409600. (As usual, we won't know until users get their hands on the camera what the usable ISO range really is before noise makes the picture unpleasant.)

The camera comes with an E-mount, and Sony said it is developing a new full-frame f/4 E-mount cine style power zoom, presumably to highlight the camera's capability as a moviemaking machine.

As to the most important questions—when will it be on sale and how much will it cost?—Sony had no answers.