I love this camera. The sensor, IBIS, Eye AF, full frame 4k video, and size make this camera special. I can make it a big heavy beast with grip and heavy lenses or make it small and discrete depending on the situation.
I have put over 20k images and video with no issues in all types of weather conditions. The minor gripes I have are the slow buffer and poor battery life which become apparent when you shoot fast action stuff or need to work quickly.
- 42MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor.
- BIONZ X Image Processor.
- Internal UHD 4K Video & S-Log2 Gamma.
- 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization.
- 399 Phase-Detect AF Points & 5 fps Burst.
- 0.5″ 2.36M-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF.
- 3.0″ 1,228.8k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor.
- ISO 102,400 and Silent Shutter Mode.
- Durable Reduced-Vibration Shutter Design.
- Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC.
Sony Alpha A7R II Digital Camera Overview
With a world’s first full-frame 42.4-megapixel Exmor R back-illuminated structure CMOS sensor, the Alpha a7R II Mirrorless Digital Camera from Sony is prepared to take mirrorless imaging to another level. This sensor design both improves low-light operation and speeds up data throughout, enabling fast high-resolution stills and UHD 4K video recording.
Working with the BIONZ X image processor, these images can be produced at sensitivities up to ISO 102,400 and at a continuous 5 fps shooting rate. Five-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization has also been implemented, compensating for vertical, horizontal, pitch, yaw, and roll movements.
Speed has received a major boost with a 40% increase in speed over its predecessor. The AF system received its own massive upgrade with the use of 399 phase-detect points and 25 contrast-detect points for a speedy Fast Hybrid AF system which will offer extremely accurate tracking. The phase-detection points even extend to A-mount lenses when used with the LA-EA1 and LA-EA3 adapter.
- Sony Alpha A7 II – Good camera, still on the fence
- Sony Alpha A7 II Digital Camera – Good size
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Designed to last, the updated magnesium alloy body has improved weather sealing and a robust lens mount for working with large lenses. Also, the shutter has a reduced-vibration design, cutting down shutter vibrations by about 50%. Also, it now uses an electronic front curtain shutter and is rated for 500,000 cycles. Silent shooting is also available for a quiet shooting experience when needed.
Onto video, the major addition is internal UHD 4K 3840 x 2160p recording at 30 or 24 fps with the XAVC S format at 100 Mbps. This is possible using either the Super 35 crop mode, with no pixel binning, or the full-frame readout. Full HD 1920 x 1080p is still readily available at up to 60 fps and HD 1280 x 720p is possible at up to 120 fps. Additionally, the a7R II benefits from the inclusion of the S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut settings as well as fully customizable picture profiles.
Composing and reviewing your images as you work is handled with either the 0.5″ 2.36M-dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder or the 3.0″ 1,228.8k-dot tilting LCD monitor. The viewfinder offers 0.78x magnification and a 4-lens system with double-sided aspherical elements for comfortable viewing. The monitor helps in odd positions by tilting up 107° and down 41°. And, to stay connected, the a7R II packs in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC for remote operation and transfer of images to a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
42.4 MP Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor
The world’s first back-illuminated full-frame sensor, the 42.4-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor present in the a7R II works with the BIONZ X image processor to offer high-resolution stills and video while minimizing noise and improving speed. This sensor structure works with gapless on-chip lens design and an anti-reflection coating, as well as eliminating the optical low-pass filter, to improve light collection and enhance detail.
Also, the copper wiring layer dramatically improves data transmission speed for creating high-resolution 42.4-megapixel stills at sensitivities up to ISO 102,400. Also, it enables internal UHD 4K video recording with a wide dynamic range using the full-frame sensor.
5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Image Stabilization
Packed into the svelte a7R II is a 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization system. This compensates for five types of camera shake encountered during handheld shooting of still images and video. This allows users to confidently use any lens, even adapted lenses, for critical imaging without encountering blur from camera shake. This system will compensate for approximately 4.5 stops of shutter speed for working with a huge variety of subjects.
For long focal lengths, the system will correct for pitch and yaw adjustments. Macro and high magnification imagery on the other hand will benefit from the inclusion of horizontal and vertical shift compensation. And, all shooting styles will get usage out of the roll compensation. All 5 axes of stabilization will function at all times, even when used with third-party lenses and adapters or lenses with built-in optical stabilization.
When using lenses that do not transmit imaging data to the camera, manual settings can be used to input the correct focal length and ensure proper stabilization. Also, the viewfinder can be used to preview the amount of compensation by pressing the shutter release button halfway or magnifying the image.
Fast Hybrid AF with 399 Phase-Detect Points
Lock onto your subjects quickly and without hesitation thanks to the revamped Fast Hybrid AF packed into the a7R II. It uses 399 on-sensor phase-detect AF points with 45% coverage along with 25 contrast-detect AF points in order to improve the speed, accuracy and tracking performance of the system. Faster readout thanks to the back-illuminated sensor structure also allows for tracking while shooting at the top continuous shooting rate of 5 fps. This can be captured in a burst of up to 24 frames when shooting in JPEG Fine L format at 42 MP and a continuous AF Display allows users to view the active AF points.
Another feature available with this AF system is a Lock-on AF tracking that will analyze more information from the scene to provide dramatically improved accuracy and stability. Eye AF is also available which will prioritize a subject’s pupil for excellent portraits even with a shallow depth of field.
UHD 4K Video Recording in XAVC S Format
In addition to the first BSI full-frame sensor, the a7R II is the first full-frame camera to offer internal UHD 4K video recording at 30 or 24 fps. This is possible using either the full-frame sensor or the Super 35 format which uses oversampling with full pixel readout and no pixel binning. This limits moire and aliasing common with high-resolution sensors. Video recording also benefits from live tracking thanks to the 399 phase-detection AF points present in the Fast Hybrid AF system. An additional benefit of this camera is the ability to switch back and forth between NTSC and PAL operation for worldwide use.
When recording internally, users will record video with a 4:2:0 sampling at 8-bit, however, to even further improve image quality the a7R II has clean HDMI output for use with an external recorder. This allows users to capture 4:2:2 uncompressed video and save in an edit-ready format.
Timecode and User Bit Settings
The a7R II has multiple timecode recording options to meet different workflows. It has the standard ‘Record Run” mode that only advances the timecode when recording, as well as “Free Run” timecode that advances the timecode even when not recording, which can be great for syncing multiple cameras at live events. It can also record timecode in both drop frame and non-drop frame modes. When recording internally the a7R II is also able to output timecode via HDMI.
Customizable Picture Profiles and S-Log2 Gamma
To make sure the a7R II is able to use its extensive dynamic range while recording video it incorporates extensive customizable color and gamma controls. Users can adjust the gamma, black level, knee, color level, and more. Also users can use the same S-Log2 Gamma Curve that is found on high end Sony Cinema cameras that squeezes up to 1300% more dynamic range into the video signal then traditional REC709, for increased post-production flexibility.
3.0″ 1,228.8k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor
With a higher 1,228.8k-dot resolution, the LCD screen will provide shooters with an excellent screen for composing images, adjusting settings, and reviewing video and photos. It also tilts upward 107° and downward 41° for working with multiple shooting angles. Use in sunlight is improved with the implementation of WhiteMagic technology which doubles the brightness of the display through a RGBW pixel structure.
0.5″ 2.36M-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder Electronic Viewfinder
With its 4-lens optical system using double-sided aspherical elements the viewfinder faithfully displays what will appear in your recording, including the effects of your camera settings. You’ll enjoy rich tonal gradations and improved contrast. High-end features like 100% frame coverage and a 0.78x magnification enable comfortable and stable eye-level composition.
Redesigned Grip, Shutter Release Button, and Controls
With a larger, more refined shape to the grip, users will find the a7R II to have a more secure feel and grasp even when large lenses are mounted. Also, the shutter release button has been reshaped and moved forward for a more natural shooting position and a decrease in camera shake.
The controls also have been refined with new position for easier handling and improved operation. Button customization is available with the ability to assign any of 56 functions to any of the 10 customizable buttons for a more personalized setup.
Magnesium Alloy Construction and Robust Lens Mount
The compact form is well-built with a magnesium alloy top cover, front cover, and internal structure. The lens mount has been redesigned with a greater strength and rigidity for extra security when using larger or longer lenses.
The body itself also features greater sealing for dust and moisture resistance, providing more protection when shooting out in the elements. Additionally, the optical filter on the sensor has an anti-static coating and there is an anti-dust mechanism to prevent dust from adhering to the sensor.
Reduced-Vibration Shutter & Silent Shooting
Cutting down on mechanical vibrations by 50% is the durable reduced-vibration shutter implemented in the a7R II. It has been tested to last for 500,000 cycles and also uses an electronic front curtain shutter. Additionally, a Silent Shutter mode is available for completely silent shooting when needed in certain environments.
Audio Input & Headphone Jack
The a7R II features a 3.5mm microphone input jack for compatibility with external microphones. And for users needing more the a7R II is also compatible with the Sony XLR-K2M XLR Adapter for recording professional balanced XLR audio signals with phantom power and adjustable mic/line inputs. For monitoring audio the a7R II features a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as real time audio levels for a visual reference.
Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity enables the a7R II to instantly share imagery to mobile devices for direct sharing online to social networking, via email, and to cloud storage sites. NFC (Near Field Communication) is also supported, which allows for one-touch connection between the camera and compatible mobile devices; no complex set-up is required. Once connected, the linked mobile device can also display a live view image on its screen and remotely control the camera’s shutter.
Additionally, PlayMemories Camera Apps are also supported via the built-in Wi-Fi connection, and allow you to personalize the camera’s features depending on specific shooting styles. Apps are available to suit creating portraits, detailed close-ups, sports, time lapse, motion shot, and other specific types of imagery.
Other Camera Features
- Picture Effect modes: Posterization (Color, B&W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-Key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-Tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, and Illustration.
- Creative Style settings: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, and Sepia (all with +/- 3 step contrast, saturation, and sharpness adjustment).
- Color space: sRGB standard (with sYCC gamut) and Adobe RGB standard compatible with TRILUMINOS Color.
- Picture Profile parameters: Black Level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine 1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode, Color Level, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, and Reset.
- Scene Selection modes: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, and Anti Motion Blur.
- Face Detection is available to base exposure and focus on up to eight recognized faces. Furthermore, Eye AF can be used for even greater precision by maintaining critical focus on a subject’s eye.
- 2x Clear Image Zoom can be used to effectively double the magnification afforded by any lens in use with minimal image degradation. For even greater magnification, 1.5x and 2x Smart zoom is available, as well as 4x digital zoom.
- Pre-flash TTL control with flash bracketing available and a variety of flash modes, including: Flash off, auto, fill-flash, rear sync, slow sync, red-eye reduction, hi-speed sync, and wireless control.
Sony Alpha A7R II Review
Excelente built quality and amazing raw files
The camera itself feels robust and very well built, but for me the most important thing is what it can produce and it doesnt disappoint, the uncompressed raw files are amazing, awesome dynamic range, with shadow and highlight recovery capabilities Ive never imagined. Very satisfied with this camera!
Great camera !!
The a7Rii has so many options that as a retired truck drive, will probably not use, auto works great for me !! My first DSL camera, CX 100, almost 16yrs old, 14,000 photos, still working good !! I past it on to my daughter, but kept some of the lens that I bought though the years !! With the adapter they work great on my new camera !! Then the CX 100 cost me $1,000 w/lens !!
At the time, 15 or 16mp cost around $15,000 for body only !! 36mp could be bought from Hasselblad for around $36,000, for body only !! So for around $2,400 with the bundle you sold me, lens, 64GB SD card, and camera bag, I felt it was a fair price !!
The switch to mirrorless
I recently switched to the Sony mirrorless from the Canon 6d DSLR and so far I love it. I feel like the Sony is a little more user friendly and intuitive as well. I still have lots to learn about this camera, but so far so good!