If you're looking for one of the best cameras you can buy right now, you're not going to go wrong with one of Sony's excellent full-frame mirrorless cameras.
The Alpha A7 series is now several generations down the line, but the great thing is that as new models come along, Sony continues to offer the older models at a reduced price. That means whatever your budget, you can get yourself a full-frame mirrorless camera at a great price.
It's safe to say that the Alpha A7 series of cameras has been a huge success. So much so that arch rivals Canon and Nikon have followed suit and introduced their on full-frame mirrorless cameras.
Sony's Alpha A7 series of cameras has won acclaim among enthusiasts and professional photographers alike, and they’re not only the best Sony cameras you can buy right now, but, arguably, among the best digital cameras you can buy right now full stop.
With a wide range of models available, which one should you buy? We highlight the pros and cons of each Alpha A7 model to help you decide.
1. Sony Alpha A7 III
We love the A7 III for its balance of a well-rounded feature set with a sensible price tag. Video users love the detailed 4K footage and sensor-based stabilization while the nippy hybrid autofocus system and fast burst shooting makes it great for those shooting action. On top of that you get a detailed (if last-generation) EVF, two card slots and a solid build, together with great image quality. What more could you want? Well, if it’s a cheaper alternative, check out the previous A7 II (position 4).
2. Sony Alpha A7R III
If you need the highest output resolution from a Sony body, this is it. Well, this and the previous A7R II (position 5), which has the same pixel count. Reasons for plumping for the newer body include faster burst shooting at 10fps, together with better battery life, an improved image stabilisation system and a more refined AF system.
3. Sony Alpha A7S II
Its replacement has been anticipated for some time, but the A7S II has managed to retain its appeal in videography circles. This is in large part thanks to sublime 4K footage and video flexibility, together with excellent high-ISO results and the benefits of sensor-based stabilization. It’s not exactly cheap, but this is a specialist tool for the most demanding videographer/low-light shooter.
4. Sony Alpha A7 II
The A7 III (position 1) might be the camera most enthusiasts are after right now, but you can save yourself a good chunk of cash by opting for the previous model instead. OK, so you’ll have to do without 4K video and mod cons like a touchscreen, but neither is critical: it still takes great images.
5. Sony Alpha A7R II
This was the first camera to sport a back-illuminated full-frame sensor, which maximises light gathering capabilities for excellent image quality. While the 42MP sensor means it’s intended for resolution-hungry applications, silent shooting, Eve AF and a fast hybrid AF system also means that you can use it successfully across a plethora of different applications.
6. Sony Alpha A7S
The A7S is one of the oldest A7 models, but it’s only been updated once (by the A7S II, position 3). While it lacks internal 4K video and a touchscreen, and its AF system isn’t quite the newest, it’s still a great budget option if you need a camera that can shoot clean images and videos in all kinds of conditions.
7. Sony Alpha A7R
This first-generation ‘R’ model packs a respectable 36.3MP sensor, which still holds up isn today’s market. As an older model you lose out on things like 4K video and touch-screen operation, and image stabilization comes through the lens rather than at the sensor. But for landscapes, still life or anything where maximum detail is key, this is a great way to achieve it without forking out a small fortune.
8. Sony Alpha A7
It might be almost six years old, but you can still find the A7 new and at a rock-bottom price. And its specs still hold up pretty well too, although the lack of sensor-based image stabilisation means you’ll need to make sure your lenses have this if you need it. The newer A7 II (position 4) would be a better alternative if you have a little more budget to play with.