A7 R II Initial Thoughts

Started Feb 26, 2016 | Discussions thread
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A7 R II Initial Thoughts
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I have just been given the Sony NZ demo camera with the 24-70 f4 for a week, as I am looking for a lighter system due to a wrist injury.

I've had a single day of playing with it but thought that I would share my immediate thoughts on it (these come from a background of shooting Nikon D3s/D810 usually and before digital, Leica M film bodies)

First up, I coughed a bit when I saw the build quality vs price. The bodies are the same money as a D810 here in NZ and I know which one of the two I would expect to survive better in the field. It may be very good in many ways, but the perceived value from handling it does not quite live up to the $4,500 price tag.

Second, the menus and options. Just way way to much here. So many choices it seems excessively complex, especially with things like AF options. I'm sure once I set it the way I want it to work (which means translating Nikonese into Sonyese) it will be fine, but on initial inspection,  not really amazingly clear!

Third. The battery. How on earth do you live with that? This alone could rule the system out for me. In 90 minutes of idly wandering, shooting whatever and playing a bit I chewed 55% of a battery. Sony clearly intend this to be a professional use camera and that battery life needs quadrupling before it is. I reckon with a grip, I might get 4 hours shooting. So for a full day with 2 bodies, I need at least 8 batteries and probably 10. How am I even supposed to charge that many in time to be up and shooting the next day?! The grip is surely big enough that a large capacity D3s sized battery could have been produced for it to allow all day shooting?

Image quality seems nice. I do not really need that many MP - 24 would be adequate - but the R has better AF than the plain Jane A7 and a few other things.

Size is nice although slightly too small - the grip would be permanently attached were I to buy the camera for two reasons - battery life and to make the camera fit my hands better.

Weight is excellent. Good in my injured hand, easy for travel and carry-on weight etc so that is a big tick.

IBIS is nice and works well.

With such big files, a second card slot (which could perhaps be in the grip?) would have been a boon I think.

I'll be continuing to test and explore over the week and it will be interesting to see how I feel about it at the end.

Nikon D3S Nikon D810 Sony a7 Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM
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