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Sony a7 II Review

Because they were the first mirrorless cameras to contain full-frame sensors – the same size as a frame of 35mm film – the introduction of Sony’s Alpha A7 and Alpha A7R generated a big uproar in the world of photography. The Alpha A7 has 24 megapixels, while the Alpha A7R has 36 megapixels.

The latest information reveals that the Alpha A7 II has succeeded by the Alpha A7 III, which is now one of our most favoured cameras. The new model incorporates several enhancements, including an all-new sensor and a very advanced 693-point autofocus system. Additionally, the device’s handling and performance have been enhanced. However, the Alpha A7 II is still a terrific deal, and it is possible to get it at much-reduced costs, which makes it a very appealing prospect.

In addition to this, both of these cameras (which were later joined by the 12-megapixel Sony Alpha A7S) are incredibly compact for full-frame cameras. They are roughly the same size as the Micro Four Thirds Olympus OM-D E-M1 and provide a level of control comparable to that of the Olympus camera.

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Sony a7 II Features

The fact that it is Sony’s first full-frame compact system camera to have in-body stabilization is the most notable piece of information regarding the Alpha A7 II. This indicates that the sensor can move to compensate for any unintentional movements made by the camera while the exposure is being taken. The 5-axis image stabilization that is built into the A7 may not be enough to convince current customers to change. Still, it makes the newer camera generation more appealing to prospective purchasers than the previous one.

Sony a7 II Build Quality.

The A7 II, much like the previous cameras in the Alpha 7 series, has a very angular and retro-looking design that many photographers will find appealing. Additionally, it has a pleasant and sturdy sensation in hand.

According to Sony, the magnesium alloy used in the A7 II’s sensor housing is more in quantity than that used in the camera’s predecessor, making it far more robust. This, in addition to the fact that the camera is sealed against dust and moisture, ought to make the camera quite resilient.

Compared to the A7, the A7 II from Sony offers a more substantial and pleasant grip and a newly developed covering that is densely textured and provides a good purchase. The camera’s rear also has a tiny but functional thumb ridge. This ridge has the same coating as the grip found on the front of the camera.

When shooting or wandering between photos with the camera, it feels pretty comfortable and more stable in hand than the A7 because of the combination of these components.

Sony a7 II Autofocus

Sony claims that new focusing algorithms enable a 30% increase in AF speed, with faster and longer high-speed drive and a 1.5x improvement in AF Tracking performance even though the A7 II has the same hybrid AF system as the A7, with 117 phase-detection and 25 contrast detection points. This is even though the A7 II has the same number of phase-detection and contrast-detection points as the A7.

As a result of the firmware 2.0 upgrade, the Sony A7 II has become the second Sony camera, following in the footsteps of the company’s flagship A7R II, to feature fully-functional phase detection AF on both E-mount and A-mount lenses.

Sony a7 II Performance

Naturally, we were quite interested in learning more about how well the stabilization mechanism of the A7 II worked. When we used the camera with the stabilized Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar FE, 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS lens placed on it, we discovered that we could produce sufficiently crisp results at 70 millimetres by setting the shutter speed to one-sixth of a second.

This stabilization is excellent, even though it does not quite match the 4.5EV maximum that Sony claims it can achieve. It is essential to remember that the outcomes might differ from one individual to the next and that variables such as the amount of coffee you’ve had can play a role in this.

Sony a7 II Image Quality

We were pretty impressed by the results that the first Sony A7 generated, and given the A7 II has the same sensor and processing engine, we knew that it would perform very well. The results that the original Sony A7 produced left us highly impressed. The Alpha A7 II can create excellent-quality photographs in various lighting circumstances and catch a great deal of information about its subjects. This has not led to a shakeup in our trust.

The lower, midrange, and somewhat high sensitivity levels all do an excellent job of controlling image noise. When raw files are viewed at 100% and noise reduction is off, a significant amount of chroma noise is present in the image captured at ISO6400.

JPEG files recorded simultaneously and edited with the camera’s default noise reduction setting appear to be extremely high quality. The colourful speckling is effectively disguised, and there is no significant loss of information. The residual luminance noise is of fine grain and is dispersed uniformly over the image. There is no banding or clumping, so even at 100%, the photographs seem realistic.

Sony a7 II Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Other resolutions6000 x 3376, 3936 x 2624, 3936 x 2216, 3008 x 1688, 3008 x 2000
Image ratio w:h3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorBionz X
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISO100-25600
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
White balance presets10
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes4.5 stops
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard
File formatJPEG (DCF 2.0, EXIF 2.3)RAW (ARW 2.3)
Image parametersStandard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, Sepia
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (4)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points117
Lens mountSony E
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,230,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeXtra Fine LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.71×
Viewfinder resolution2,359,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesAutoProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManualScene SelectionSweep PanoramaMovie
Scene modesPortrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, Anti Motion Blur
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via Multi Interface shoe)
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modesSingle, continuous, speed priority continuous, self-timer, bracketing (AE, white balance, DRO)
Continuous drive5.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec; continuous (3 or 5 exposures))
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Videography notesSupports XAVC S codec (50Mbps) and S Log2 flat picture profile
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI port with 4K still, uncompressed video output)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless noteswith NFC and wireless control via PlayMemories Mobile app
Remote controlYes (wired)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FW50 lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)350
Weight (inc. batteries)599 g (1.32 lb / 21.13 oz)
Dimensions127 x 96 x 60 mm (5 x 3.78 x 2.36″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSNone

Sony a7 II Verdict

The Sony Alpha 7 II is an excellent camera that minimizes the adverse effects of having a full-frame sensor by cutting down on its size. It boasts accurate autofocus (AF), and a perfect image stabilization system, and it can create high-quality photographs in a wide variety of lighting settings.

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