Sony launches mirrorless full-frame cameras, waiting for U.S. smartphone deals

|By:, SA News Editor

Sony (SNE -0.1%) has unveiled the A7 and A7R, the first full-frame digital cameras to lack mirrors. Sony asserts the devices are "significantly smaller, lighter and more portable than any other full-frame interchange lens camera" (i.e. full-frame SLRs), but still deliver comparable image quality.

The A7 and A78 will sell for a steep $1699 and $1999, and give Sony a way to stand out in the professional/prosumer camera space relative to SLR kingpins Canon (CAJ) and Nikon. While the point-and-shoot camera market has been decimated by smartphones, demand for SLRs and high-end mirrorless cameras has held up fairly well.

Meanwhile, Sony's new 5" Xperia Z1 and 6.4" Xperia Z Ultra phones are officially available in the U.S., but still haven't seen any U.S. carrier deal announcements.

The lack of U.S. deals comes as Sony says it will focus its smartphone efforts for now on Japan and Europe, where Xperia sales have been growing quickly, and not on the U.S. and China, where sales have been limited.