Shutter
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Shutter

Another benefit of BSI-CMOS sensors is the extra room afforded for more sophisticated circuitry - in the case of the a7R II that means faster readout circuitry. This allows the camera to record high frame-rate video (more on this shortly), autofocus faster than any comparable full-frame mirrorless camera (again, more shortly), and also to offer a fully electronic shutter.

Shutter (and mirror) induced vibrations plagued our experience of using the original a7R, and have proved a serious headache in several other high-resolution cameras, including the Nikon D800-series. While the mirror tends to be more of an issue with DSLRs, shutters can be particularly problematic in mirrorless cameras because of the requirement to both close and open them to start an exposure (remember: it's always open to enable Live View). The a7 II and a7R II mitigate these issues with an electronic first-curtain shutter feature, but the a7R II also offers a totally electronic shutter option that comes with an almost negligible penalty in terms of additional noise (a traditional side-effect of electronic shutters).

We don't recommend shooting with the fully electronic shutter option all the time, because there is the risk of some rolling-shutter distortion (i.e. if you're panning to follow a fast-moving subject). But it is extremely handy for situations where you want to be discreet, like a performance space or a wedding ceremony.