The recent addition of the α7 II further expanded Sony’s full-frame mirrorless camera line-up in the alpha 7 series. It’s an uncompromising series, and not only for superior image quality and mobility. Innovative design and manufacturing help us be more environmentally conscious as we make these amazingly compact cameras. Here, a few of the developers explain environmental benefits of the series, focusing on the core model α7.
The α7 fits a full-frame, 35 mm-equivalent image sensor into a body more compact than ever. The bigger the sensor – which is a key component that captures light from subjects – the better your shots. Unfortunately, a bigger sensor usually means a bigger, bulkier camera. Why did Sony dare to defy this logic in the α7? The product planner Goh put it this way.
“Full-frame cameras are traditionally big, heavy, and hard to carry around. We sought an impressively compact body that would bring full-frame image quality to everyday shots – a new style of cameras” said Goh.
Sony had launched large full-frame cameras in the past, but along these lines, there was little room to make cameras any smaller. That’s why for the α7, engineers overhauled the basic structures themselves. To save space, every part was reexamined, which in turn, saved resources.
Just how was the α7 cameras reduced to such a convenient size? An engineer sheds some light on the feat.
“When we make a camera at Sony, it was inevitable that we would go for the world’s smallest, lightest body. We took it to an extreme. We began by getting rid of our preconceptions” said Sudoh in product design. It took the combined effort of all engineers in electrical and mechanical design and other departments. Looking at 3D CAD drawings of the target size, the team shrank each part and circuit board by every last fraction of a millimeter. The densely mounted parts were checked again and again. “Although it’s smaller, in use it still feels like a camera. That was something we made sure of.” The dials on top of the camera are a good example. These are as small and close together as possible without being difficult to use. Streamlining the α7 in every detail ultimately led to success. The new model is 42% smaller by volume than previous models,(*) which saves resources.