"It's the first camera of its kind to ever even attempt to use its native phase-detect AF system to focus non-native, even off-brand lenses" – that's slightly wrong, the first was the Olympus OM-D E-M1 :-)
Seems it only allows for single-row panoramas, as it only rotates but does not tilt. I'd probably rather go for a Gigapan head instead...
Francis Carver: Just buy a camera -- and lenses matching it in the first place. Simple, really. That'll put Metabones and all other gizmo-makers out of business, and do so rather quickly, I would surmise.
That would force me to buy (and, for that matter, carry) more than one camera in order to be able to use the lenses I want to use. And it would force me to buy a camera I wouldn't really choose if it wasn't for the lenses. This is what adapters and focal reducers are for: getting the most out of all kinds of lenses while staying with one – possibly your favorite – camera. Which is why Metabones & Co. won't get out of business any time soon, although their stuff is not cheap.
Jokica: Why would owners of A7R II needed SpeedBoster anyway. Why would they need adapter with PDAF ???
@Bernard Carns, random78: With DSLR lenses designed for PDAF, CDAF is either intolerably slow or inaccurate. It cannot be accurate and decently fast at the same time. Exceptions prove the rule.
KAMBIC: It's a shame they don't make larger sensor cameras. I have liked Panasonic's feature set for a long time, and now Olympus is improving their own. I just can't bring myself to go smaller though, if only they made FF, or at least apsc.
I repeat, regarding "better": for hand-held supertele photography, and to some extent for macro, too, at least down to something like 1" smaller sensors are better than larger ones. If I was still in for a DSLR, I would always favor an APS-C model over a FF model even if it was more expensive, because for my purposes the smaller format is the better format.
And regarding depth-of-field control, there are options, too – fast f/0.95 lenses on one hand, and the use of a focal reducer that offers the use of FF lenses with a smaller crop factor (1.4x) than naked APS-C on the other. I'm quite happy with my old Minolta lenses attached via Speed Booster, giving me 25mm f/1.2 (MD 35mm f/1.8), 35mm f/1.0 (MD 50mm f/1.4) or 60mm f/1.4 (MD Rokkor 85mm f/2).
The decision for the Four Thirds sensor size was well-founded and the reasons are still as valid as they used to be in the beginning of the system - although the manufacturers' communication wasn't always honest about it. Of course, Full Frame has its merits. But they come at a price. Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds were consciously designed to bring an alternative concept to near-perfection, without the benefit of some of those merits, but without having to pay that price, too.
Funny thing is that (Micro) Four Thirds started to offer competitive image quality only with the current generation of 16 MP sensors, first introduced with the E-M5. It was what cut the Gordian knot of sub-standard sensor technology which had unnecesserily given the Four Thirds format a bad name for many years.
Some think there was nothing to lose in offering a larger sensor? Yes, there is: Easily carriable and hand-holdable supertele lenses. Smaller, more effective macro lenses. Smaller lenses in general.
Excellent! Can't wait to try it all out... Now all that's still missing is configurable Auto-ISO and exposure compensation in M + Auto-ISO mode. I really hope they will be added, too, before the E-M1 II comes along and firmware updates for the predecessor will end. At least Olympus has conclusively proven they can do upgrades by firmware just like Fuji.
PowerG9atBlackForest: "What's the plural of Milvus? Milvi?" Yes, may be. But in Latin, there is another form of plural for some words ending with -us: If Milvus belongs to this group the plural would be Milvus.
It stems from 'miluus', the plural of which is 'milui' (cf. http://www.latein.me/latein/miluus), so it would indeed be 'milvi' :-)
Other reports say ISO 12500, not 125000.
justmeMN: "US $649 (Canon EF mount)" Yikes! :-)
@dleemans: Of course, but what if you already have the camera you want and neither want to buy nor carry a second one, a camera that would come with maybe just the size and weight because of which you chose to buy into a mirrorless system in the first place?
Mssimo: I wonder if they could make speed booster for Medium format lenses onto full frame (sony a7) cameras.
@ProfHankD: Nice idea, but remember that the MFT Speed Booster was designed for a thicker filter stack and thereby image quality would be slightly reduced especially at large apertures when used on a Sony body...
fmian: I just never understood why people buy into formats that don't have the lenses they want to use, and instead opt to spend more money on compromising performance...
What is so difficult to understand? There are valid reasons for choosing a smaller-format camera, even if it is just the option of having a smaller and lighter setup for everyday applications. Or because of the increased telephoto range and macro resolution. So the decision has been made, the Micro Four Thirds camera has been bought along with a couple of lenses. Now why should I buy and carry another camera just to use the full-frame SLR lenses I still have and like and which significantly broaden the options I have in terms of shallow depth of field?
RPJG: "offering the attractive option of a 25-49mm equivalent F1.3 lens (F2.5 equivalent in full frame terms)."
When describing equivalence for f numbers, I wish you'd separate out the two separate factors, i.e. exposure equivalence and DoF equivalence.
'Exposure equivalence' is not a meaningful concept. When using equivalent ISO settings (instead of numerically identical ones), which of course is what we have to do when 'equivalence' is what we're after, then by using what you misleadingly call 'DoF equivalence' both DoF and shutter speed will be the same across sensor sizes.
If a society wants capitalism, it gets capitalism. Intellectual property and copyright are inherent to capitalism just as plain old physical property and the freedom which is significant in a capitalist society: the freedom to make use of property to extort and exploit.
Henrik Herranen: Dear Damien Demolder,is there a good reason why you don't revise this article and remove the following incorrect statement: "for the specification it is a good deal more compact than a similar lens for a full-frame or even APS-C system".
It is not. In the Full Frame world there are lenses like the EF24mm f/1.4 which both perform significantly better, and have much shallower DoF + much higher total light transmission than this lens.
(Before the I-don't-understand-equivalence-so-you-must-be-an-idiot-brigade trolls in, let me just remind you that because FF has 4 times the sensor area of m43, then the noise over image area, given similar sensor technologies, are similar when FF uses ISO 400 and m43 ISO 100. ISO is just a number without any real, physical dependence. When equivalent aperture (e.g. f/1.9 vs f/0.95) and ISO (e.g. ISO 1600 vs ISO 400) is used, then noise over image area, DoF, exposure time (or in a word: everything) is equivalent.)
Right, and actually there is exactly one comparable full-frame lens on the market, the Voigtländer Ultron 21mm f/1.8. And of course it is slightly smaller and lighter, and less expensive to boot. Don't know whether it performs better, though.
Nice stuff! But who on earth came up with the 'Edelkrone' brand name? It sounds like a really cheap German discount-supermarket beer. Actually, it immediately reminds me of 'Karlskrone Edel-Pils', which used to be sold by Aldi some time ago for 0.29 € a can (0.33 l), before they renamed it 'Karlskrone Premium Pilsener'... ;-)
Hubertus Bigend: "This marks the first time that the AF system of a mirrorless camera can achieve high performance with lenses originally designed for DSLRs."
No, it isn't, it is the second time. The first was the Olympus E-M1 which does it since 1 1/2 years.
Nevertheless, it is of course one of the several features which probably make the A7R II the most versatile camera on the market today.
And it finally is the beginning of the end of SLT and A-Mount, too, with lenses probably staying in production longer than A-Mount cameras.
@xlabsmedan: Right, but the phase detection technology is on the sensor, not in the adapter... Unfortunately, it now seems that the Kipon adapter doesn't even work with the EM-1 and its phase detection AF at all. They've promised a new version which does, but at least until then I'll keep my wallet closed ;-)
@xlabsmedan: Yes, at least with Canon EF lenses it can, thanks to the recently released Kipon adapter (http://petapixel.com/2015/05/11/kipons-ef-to-mft-adapter-has-impressive-af-speed/), which has been reported to be quite speedy even with contrast-detection-only M43 cameras.
I have in nearly four decades of photography never, ever, aspired to owning a Leica M, because I always found the rangefinder to be a poor kludge compared to the SLR finder, making macro and tele photography impossible, which happen to be two of my favorite fields. The SLR was invented more than half a century ago to overcome the shortcomings of the rangefinder, and the SLR did overcome them, and it was for a reason that it went off on its triumphant course to replace it. Yes, the rangefinder camera could still be slightly more compact with short focal lengths and it continued to exist in a tiny niche, but at no time would I have voluntarily have given away my DSLR for a rangefinder camera.
The Q, on the other hand, is no rangefinder camera, it is a technologically advanced EVF camera, a sophisticated mirrorless system camera without the 'system' aspect. Give me a Leica Q with interchangeable lenses and a broad range of lenses to go with it, and, given the budget, I might be in.
"This marks the first time that the AF system of a mirrorless camera can achieve high performance with lenses originally designed for DSLRs."