Sony Alpha a7 II Review
The Sony Alpha a7 II is an image-stabilized full frame mirrorless camera, the fourth release in Sony's a7 lineup and the follow up the original a7. It uses the same 24-megapixel sensor as its predecessor, and the same Bionz X processor as the rest of the a7 series. Improvements come in the form of 5-axis sensor-based image stabilization, improved AF performance and some overall design tweaks. The controls are laid out in similar fashion to the a7, though the grip, command dials and shutter have been completely redesigned.
The body of the a7 II is physically larger, and about 25% heavier than the original a7-series cameras. It is also now comprised entirely of magnesium alloy like the a7S; the original a7 and a7R featured a frontplate made out of a composite material.
The A7 II uses the same hybrid AF system as the A7 with 117 phase-detect and 25 contrast points. Sony claims AF has been improved about 30% over its predecessor thanks to algorithm tweaks, and tracking has been improved 1.5x.
Sony a7 II key features
- 24.3MP Full Frame CMOS sensor
- 5-axis sensor-based image stabilization
- Improved hybrid AF system with 25 contrast-detect and 117 phase-detect points
- E-mount with support for FE, E, and A-mount lenses (with adapter)
- Bionz X image processor
- 3-inch tilting LCD with 1.23 million dots (640x480, RGBW)
- 2.36M dot OLED viewfinder
- 1080 footage at up to 50Mbps (XAVC S)
- Wi-Fi with NFC capability and downloadable apps
Like the a7S, the a7 II has the ability to record in the XAVC S codec, which offers a 50MBps bit rate at 1080/60p (as well as 1080/30p and 1080/24p). Recording in AVCHD and MP4 also remain an option.
The a7 II retains the 3" tilting LCD of its predecessor, but with an increase in resolution. It offers 1.23 millions dots in a 3:2 aspect ratio, and can be tilted upward 107 degrees and downward 41 degrees. The electronic viewfinder also remains unchanged, and uses 2.3 million dots for 100% accuracy and .71x magnification. It is extremely bright and detailed.
Here's how the a7 II fits into the current Sony a7 lineup:
|Sony a7 II||Sony a7||Sony a7R||Sony a7S|
|Sensor||24MP full-frame||24MP full-frame||36MP full-frame||12MP full-frame|
|Image Stabilization||In-body||In-lens only||In-lens only||In-lens only|
|ISO Range (Stills)
Standard / Expanded
100 - 25,600
|100 - 25,600
50 - 25,600
|100 - 25,600
50 - 25,600
|Continuous Shooting||5 fps||5 fps||4 fps||5 fps|
|AF system||Hybrid with 117 phase detect and 25 contrast detect points||Hybrid with 117 phase detect and 25 contrast detect points||Contrast AF with 25 points||Contrast AF with 25 points|
|Front panel construction||Magnesium alloy||Composite||Magnesium alloy||Magnesium alloy|
|Optical low pass filter||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Weight w/ battery||600 g||474 g||465 g||489 g|
|Launch price||$1,700 body only||$1,700 body only||$2,300 body only||$2,500 body only|
|The 5 different types of movement the A7 II's tries to compensate for using IBIS.|
The Sony a7 II is the fourth full frame ILC to feature in-camera image stabilization, (the three before it were the Sony a900, a850 and a99). The IS system in the a7 II works by compensating for movements along 5 different axis, X and Y as well as pitch, yaw and roll.
When shooting with Sony FE lenses that are already stabilized, denoted by 'OSS' on the lens, the a7 II will use both the sensor-based and lens-based IS together, to get the optimal image stabilized performance. The effects of image stabilization can be seen in a live preview when looking through the EVF or LCD.
The great thing about sensor-based IS in a camera like the a7 II is the realm of possibilities it opens up for third-party, and adapted lens users.
To compensate for the increased weight of the a7 II, the size and depth of the grip has been increased, resulting in a very comfortable camera to hold. The front and rear facing control dials have been substantially shrunken down and recessed into the camera body, making it nearly impossible to accidentally nudge them without knowing it, a frequent complaint of a7 users.
The shutter button has also moved from the top of the camera body, to the top of the grip itself, and is now angled slightly downward. Its diameter has been increased slightly over that of the original a7.
An addition custom function button has also been added to the top plate of the camera body.
Pricing and Kit options
The Sony Alpha 7 II will be available, body only, for $1,700 and as a kit with the 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens for $2000.
It's worth noting that the Sony a7 II does not ship with a proper battery charger, instead it comes with a Micro USB cable and the AC-UUD11 AC Battery Charging Adapter (a USB to AC converter). It also ships with an eyepiece cup, shoulder strap and one NP-FW50 Lithium-Ion battery.
|walkersons fields by George Veltchev|
from -Waiting for Autumn- (in Full Colours Only)
|A smile is worth a thousand words by alberto_b|
from Fill the frame
Nikon's Sendai factory in the Tōhoku region North of Japan has been churning out cameras and lenses since 1971. We had the opportunity recently to visit Sendai during events to mark the launch of Nikon's new Z mount.
There's no mistaking the Nikon Coolpix P1000 – with a 24-3000mm equivalent zoom, it really is in a class of its own. It's a conspicuous-looking superzoom with one main job: getting you really close to far away subjects. We've put together a gallery showing the kind of results you can expect from it.
A new report from The Verge claims Instagram is currently testing a feature that allows users to re-share posts to their own account feeds.
GoPro has announced its HERO7 camera lineup. The updated action cameras feature new HyperSmooth and TimeWarp modes, as well as improved video and photo specs.
The latest Samsung midrange smartphone offers a super-wide-angle lens in its triple-camera setup.
The Sony 24mm F1.4 is the latest lens to join the company's premium G Master lineup. We've been shooting with one for a couple of days - here's what you need to know.
Apple released iOS 12 a few days ago and some iPhone X users are less than happy with how the new operating system has made their phones look.
Camera bag manufacturer Lowepro has introduced mark II backpacks for its ProTactic AW range with models that are said to feature an improved handling experience as well as a collection of accessories that can be attached to the outside.
Canon has announced its latest superzoom camera, the PowerShot SX70 HS. Compared to the SX60 that came before it, the SX70 has the same lens but offers a higher resolution EVF, 4K video capture and support for Canon's new CR3 Raw format.
Cosina has announced its eighth lens designed specifically for Sony's E-mount system. The Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 lens is due out October 2018.
Sony has taken the wraps off of its new 24mm F1.4 GM full-frame lens, which the company claims is the lightest in its class. Despite its fast aperture, the 24mm F1.4 is remarkably light, weighing just 445 grams (15.7 ounces). The lens will set you back $1400 when it ships next month.
In this episode of DPReview TV we take a look at Sony's brand new 24mm F1.4 GM lens, a desirable focal length for many photographers. How does it perform? Chris and Jordan give us their first impressions.
We've had a little time to shoot with Sony's new wide/fast prime, both close to home and on the water in San Francisco. Check out our initial sample images.
Fujifilm released a firmware upgrade for its X-T3 mirrorless camera that addresses issues with distortion compensation and the mechanical lock on SD cards.
The app's algorithms have been trained using using 200 million cropping data points from real photographers.
Thanks to a software update, the Loupedeck+ editing console can now be used for video editing.
British photographic engineer MTF Services is claiming the world’s first third-party lens adapters for the new Nikon Z system with a collection of four units designed to allow cinema lenses to be mounted on the mirrorless full frame bodies.
Think Tank Photo has updated its line of heavy-duty rain covers and introduced a new, compact version for emergency situations.
The X-T3 is our first opportunity to analyze what's likely to be Fujifilm's next generation image sensor. Take a look at how it performs next to the competition in our studio test scene.
Canon's new normal is seriously sharp wide open. After shooting with it for a few days, we've prepared a gallery of real-world sample images.
Nikon will cease offering Brazil-based customer service and technical support, though the company stresses that it will still offer technical assistance and warranty repairs for valid warranties.
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
The GoPro Fusion is designed to make it easy to capture 360-degree video and stills. We took it out recently on a typically hot Seattle summer day to see what it can do.
We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
A new Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Chroma Chrono, a programmable RGB camera flash that emits multiple colors during long exposures.
Think Tank Photo has launched a new lineup of six dual-access, water-resistant protective lens cases it calls Lens Case Duo.
Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
The devices' camera specs look pretty much identical to last year's iPhone X but under the hood a number of important improvements have been made.
Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.