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Sony A7R SEL35F28Z Gear Rumors

Sony A7 M? New Sony B+W FF Camera Rumored…

By Anthony Thurston on January 12th 2014

The latest rumors are indicating that Sony will be releasing a black and white only camera in the near future. According to a Sony Alpha Rumors report, which rates the rumor one step below “happening for sure,”  Sony is developing a full frame mirrorless camera with a black and white only sensor.


The move would be the latest Sony swipe at Leica, who also has a full frame B+W only camera in the Leica M Monochrome. However, many of you are probably wondering what the appeal behind a black and white only camera is. Put simply, there are some pretty impressive advantages that are gained when you remove the color filter that most digital cameras use these days.

[REWIND: Sony Announces New Mirrorless A5000]

Greater sharpness, cleaner high ISO performance, and increased dynamic range are just a few of the advantages that you get with a black and white only sensor. The tradeoff, of course, is that you are stuck in black and white (duh!). The cool thing, though, is that if you prefer shooting in black and white, or if that is your specialty, you can get b+w images that would blow away images from your standard, color DSLR.

Sony A7R SEL35F28Z

Not much is known about the camera at this point, other than the sensor bits we mentioned above. But if I had to guess, I would think that this is likely an A7 or A7R with the color sensor switched out for a  black and white sensor. It would likely have some improvements to the A7/A7R based on user feedback since it was released.

The idea of a black and white only sensor is pretty intriguing to me. I like color, but in my opinion nothing can quite stand up to a “grade A” black and white image. I am curious what you all think. Would you be interested in a black and white only camera from Sony?

[via Sony Alpha Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jacob delaRosa

    TRI-X 4 LIFE

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  2. Laurance Marvin

    I started life, with a donated M3Ds from a neighbor down the street who was dying of cancer. I was an artist who was using an old Kodak rangefinder my parents had owned. He saw my photos and told me that paying it forward to help my development would make him happy. So at the time that Mint M3 DS body was valued at about $150 dollars. The lens was an “push and pull” Summicron 50. I knew nothing about cameras, until I show up at school to shoot a photo of my art teacher. I had it for over 20 years….then it was stolen. I found another, and owned it until recent. For me I looked for lenses that had special visual thumbprints….it was all about the glass. I purchased a contax g2 kit, the better rangefinder, I always liked Zeiss glass better. If Sony comes out with a Mono 7 body….I would buy it in a heart beat. Modern adaptors make any lens usable.

    Once LVMH got a hold in Leica…..then it became the idiot glam toy. Buy the glass, dump the body.
    As for Leica bodies the M5 meter was the best….and designed just for the Noctilux lens.
    M5 was really the night shooters camera. I can remember when even the idea of a light meter made the
    “true” Leica shooters get a rash. Now Leica is selling the idea….that any photo taken with a Leica is now great!

    Really…..that is the mind set that needs dumping.

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  3. Stan Rogers

    As it stands, the choice for fine art B&W photographers is: (a) film; (b) Leica; (c) Phase One; or (d) demosaic a colour sensor, throw away the colour (which was the reason for mosaicing) and lose data. I wouldn’t anticipate this being high on the all-time list of camera models sold by volume, but I suspect it will be more welcome than a lot of the naysayers think it would be. Done right, it would nearly be the difference between a really good enlarger print and a contact print. Of course, it would mean learning to use filters for a lot of people who are getting their B&Ws from conversions.

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  4. Sean Goebel

    It should be pointed out that the tonality of a digital black and white image will be COMPLETELY different from what you get with black and white film. Black and white film has peak sensitivity in the blue part of the spectrum (think of how blue skies will nearly always turn out white in b&w prints), but digital detectors have quite poor blue sensitivity and perform best in the red or even near-infrared (think: you always blow your red channel before other ones if you over-expose).

    Yes, they could apply a color filter to the detector to emulate the look of black and white film, but then you would lose the noise performance advantages of a panchromatic digital sensor.

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    • Stan Rogers

      That’s always depended on the film. I used to use Tech Pan for women’s portraits because of its extended red sensitivity; filtering other films meant blue and green eyes would go unnaturally dark.

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  5. Berneck

    Am I the only one who thinks that people who buy Leicas buy Leicas buy Leicas? They have the money, and they will buy a Leica. I just don’t imagine ANYBODY who has the money to buy a Leica, and wants a Leica, will all of a sudden decide to buy the A7. There are definitely those who may want a Leica but do not have the money and may settle for the Sony. I also don’t imagine many people buying a black and white A7, but I guess we shall see if this comes to be. Bottom line is, I do NOT envision Sony stealing any marketshare from Leica. Leica people buy Leicas for a specific user experience. An experience that the Sonys will never match. Not better, not worse, it just is what it is.

    However, I definitely think if Sony builds out the lens offering and sticks to a system for a change, Canon and Nikon have a lot to be worried about.

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