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Sony’s a7r packs a full-frame sensor into a teeny interchangeable lens camera

Sony's announced a slew of super snappers this morning including the dinkiest interchangeable lens cam with a full-fat sensor on board

Until recently if you pranced around with a compact system camera instead of a proper DSLR, you’d essentially be bellowing to the world ‘I’M COMPROMISING.” That changed with Olympus’  excellent Micro Four Thirds OM-D E-M5 and now Sony is raising the bar even further with its twinset of Alpha cams – the Sony a7r and a7.

Sony reckons the a7r is the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera, as of October 2013, with dimensions of just 127mm x 94mm x 48mm and weighing in at 407g (body only), 465g with the battery.

Its magnesium alloy body is also dust and moisture resistant – a bonus for snappers wanting to get wet’n’wild with their CSC.

Small Camera, Big Sensor

Small Camera, Big Sensor

But it’s what’s inside that counts with Sony pulling out all the stops. The a7r’s full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor has 36.4 MP and sits alongside a new Bionz X processor, promising pro-quality Full HD video recording and high ISO snapping.

Autofocus should be as snappy as the OM-D too with a new Fast Hybrid system and a 3in LCD screen on the rear is joined by an OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder. Plus the a7r and a7 rock both Wi-Fi and NFC meaning you can download PlayMemories apps straight to the cameras.

Now that Sony has killed off its NEX line, both E mount and A mount lenses (via an adapter) will be compatible with the a7 and a7r bringing your total of possible lens options to 52 with 15 newbies promised by the end of 2015 including ultra wide angle and macro lenses.

Unsurprisingly, the a7r doesn’t come cheap at a suggested retail price of £1600. The larger, 417g a7 is slightly more wallet-friendly at £1300 (body only) or £1550 with a 28-70mm lens.

Pre-ordering opens today and they should both be in shops mid to late November in the UK. If you loiter around stuff.tv we’re going hands on with the a7r, a7 and RX10 in a matter of hours.