Sony Alpha 7R II Review
The Sony a7R II is a 42MP full frame mirrorless camera with 5-axis image stabilization, featuring the world's first (and currently only) 35mm BSI CMOS sensor, and including a hybrid autofocus system and 4K video capabilities. It's the fifth in the company's a7 range of full frame cameras and the second high-resolution 'R' model. However, although its name and appearance are very similar to the first round of a7s, the R II arguably represents just as significant a step forwards as those first full frame mirrorless models did.
The reasons for suggesting this are two-fold. Although the a7R II's body is essentially the same as that of the 24MP a7 II (albeit with more substantial magnesium alloy construction), the camera includes two significant changes:
The first is that this is the first full frame camera to feature a sensor based on BSI CMOS technology. Although Sony always stressed that the benefits of BSI designs are most valuable in small sensors, its application on larger scales should reduce the pixel-level disadvantages of moving to higher pixel counts (which means an improvement in quality when viewed at a standard output size).
Secondly, and perhaps, most unexpectedly: the camera's phase-detection autofocus capabilities have been increased to the point that it not only focuses quickly and effectively with its own lenses but can also do so with lenses designed for other systems. This may not sound like a big deal until you think about what Sony needs to do to make the camera a success: win-over dedicated photographers, many of whom are already committed to other systems.
Sony a7R II Highlight specifications
- 42MP Full Frame BSI CMOS sensor
- 399 on-sensor Phase Detection points
- 5-axis image stabilization
- Internal 4K recording from full sensor width or 'Super' 35 crop
- Picture Profile system including ITU-709 and S-Log2 gamma
- Full magnesium alloy construction
- 2.36m dot OLED viewfinder with 0.7x magnification
- High speed AF with non-native lenses
The rest of the camera's core capabilities are exactly as you would expect from a high-resolution camera at this level: weather-sealed magnesium alloy body, twin control dials, extensive customization of control points and 5fps shooting.
The camera's video capabilities, though, are well worth highlighting. Like the recently-released, and more video-focused a7S II, the a7R II can record 4K (UHD) video internally. But, unlike the a7S II, its sensor has enough resolution to shoot using a near full-frame crop or a Super 35 (~APS-C) crop. In fact, the camera is over-sampling when you shoot Super 35 4K - which should help control moiré. These two modes should let you choose between the shallow depth-of-field and low-light capability of using the full sensor, vs. the effective extra reach and greater lens compatibility of Super 35 mode (though our testing shows this isn't quite the case).
|Sony a7R II||Sony a7R||Sony a7 II||Sony a7S II|
|Sensor||42MP full-frame||36MP full-frame||24MP full-frame||12MP full-frame|
|Image Stabilization||In-body||In-lens only||In-body||In-body|
|Electronic First Curtain Shutter||
|Silent (full electronic) Shutter||
|ISO Range (Stills)
Standard / Expanded
100 - 25,600
|100 - 25,600
50 - 25,600
|100 - 25,600
50 - 25,600
|Continuous Shooting (with AF)||5 fps||1.5 fps||5 fps||2.5 fps|
|AF system||Hybrid (399 phase detect and 25 contrast detect points)||Contrast AF with 25 points||Hybrid with 117 phase detect and 25 contrast detect points||Contrast AF with 169 points|
|4K from Super 35 crop?||Yes||No||No||No|
|4K Movie specs||UHD 30/24p
XAVC S (100/60Mbps)
XAVC S (100/60Mbps)
|HD Movie specs||1080 60/30/24p
|1080 120p (100/60Mbps) 60/30/24p
|Front panel construction||Magnesium alloy||Magnesium alloy||Composite||Magnesium alloy|
|Optical low pass filter||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Battery life (CIPA)
|340/290 shots per charge||340/270 shots per charge||350/270 shots per charge||370/310 shots per charge|
|Weight w/ battery||625 g||465 g||599 g||627 g|
|MSRP||$3,199 body only||$2,299 body only||$1,699 body only||$2,999 body only|
(Lossy) Compressed Raw
Although, at launch, the a7R II only offered Sony's lossy compressed Raw files, which can reduce the processing flexibility of the files, the company has promised a firmware update allowing uncompressed 14-bit Raws. The dynamic range and Raw analysis section of our review is based on these uncompressed files.
|Saddle Bronc by Gerry Frederick|
from horsing around
|diamonds are forever by summicron|
|Reflections by Birdman50|
from No 6
TinyMOS is back with NANO1, an all-new astrophotography camera that's one-third the size of the TINY1 it announced three years ago.
Huawei's latest flagship device comes with the widest range of focal lengths of all current smartphones.
After shaking up the Lightroom ecosystem with Lightroom CC last year, Adobe has released version 2.0 of the cloud-centric photo organizer and editor. We look at new features like People View, how far Lightroom CC has come in its first year, and where Lightroom is headed.
Today, at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe previewed Photoshop CC on iPad, a full-featured, desktop-class version of Photoshop for iOS.
The weather and has most definitely taken a turn toward fall here, and our shooting opportunities have followed suit. We brought the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 along to a harvest festival of sorts and a few of our usual haunts.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed House Bill 1346 into effect, which imposes a fine upwards of $300 to drone operators who invade the privacy or harm the physical wellbeing of citizens.
Sigma is a company in flux, but CEO Kazuto Yamaki is undaunted by the upcoming prospect of developing lenses for eight lens mounts. The challenge will be keeping the company's identity along the way.
If you've been meaning to convert all of your old photos, video, and audio to digital formats, but simply lack the time or willpower to get through it all, a new service from Kodak will help you get the job done.
Almost all new cameras include impressive video features, but for the best results you'll often need an off-camera recorder. Chris and Jordan take a look at the brand new Ninja V from Atomos, and explain why it might just be one of the most useful tools you can add to your camera.
Collect allows you to transform 360-degree into a more easily digestible format by transforming it into directed traditional videos.
Sick of using your plain ol' keyboard to edit your photos in Lightroom and Photoshop? TourBox is hoping to expedite your post-production workflow using a clever combination of dials, buttons, and knobs.
Bag and accessory manufacturer Hex has launched two bags as part of its latest collection: the Clamshell Backpack and DSLR Sling.
Crank out instant photos with Holga Digital's new analog printer, currently being funded on Kickstarter.
We got some hands-on time with Leica's new S3 medium format camera, which boasts a new higher-res sensor as well as other improvements.
Luna Display started its life as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter. Now, it's available to purchase directly online.
We sat down with the Google Pixel camera team to learn about key new camera features on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and an explanation of the sophisticated software advancements that power them.
A lawsuit filed on Tuesday claims the cameras in Apple's iPhone 7 Plus and newer dual-camera models infringe on a patent that was granted in 2003.
Nikon's Coolpix P1000 has moved the zoom needle from 'absurd' to 'ludicrous,' with an equivalent focal length of 24-3000mm. So far, it's a fun camera to shoot with – if a bit over the top.
Like the LG V40 ThinQ the A9 combines a super-wide-angle, regular wide-angle and tele camera, but adds a depth-sensor to the mix as well.
The FAA has issued a warning to drone pilots in anticipation of disaster response following Hurricane Michael, noting that fines for interfering with emergency operations can exceed $20,000.
According to a report from Fortune, Apple acquired Danish masking technology startup Spektral in December 2017 for "more than $30 million."
Insta360's latest model comes with a range of features that allow for the creation of unique action cam footage.
The Photogrip can be used as a camera grip, mini tripod or phone stand and comes with a detachable remote.
At a time when manufacturers are adding triple and even quad-cameras to their flagship smartphones, Google is sticking with one main camera. But given the sophistication of the company's computational efforts, we think it's the right approach for now.
DPReview is hiring! We're seeking three Software Development Engineers at a range of experience levels to join our Seattle-based team.
The University of Dayton Research Institute created a video detailing what damage is caused when a drone strikes the wing of an airplane.
Lenovo's upcoming high-end smartphone will be the first model to feature four cameras on the back.
The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL offer a second front-facing camera and a host of improved computational features such as digital zoom based on super-resolution capture, better depth mapping and a fill-light effect for low light portraits.
Canon has ported a large chunk of its Digital Photo Professional (DPP) Raw processing software's feature set to iOS and launched the DPP Express app.