The New Sony Alpha a7 II Images Quality, Specification 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.

Sony Alpha a7 II Review
Sony Alpha a7 II Review

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 (640×480, 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.

Sony a7 II Body & Design

At first look, the Sony Alpha a7 and a7 II look very similar; front part, back again, and part to part, it is clear Sony Alpha technicians did not want to change the ergonomics much. The a7 II is is in fact larger and considerably bulkier than its non-image-stabilized version, though. And while efforts were made to keep the style and style identical to the a7, the capturing experience between the two digital cameras is quite different.

In side, the a7 II seems very strong, and very-well designed. The top board of the unit is now magnesium-alloy, instead of a blend content on the very first a7. The keep on the a7 II has been considerably increased and the shutter key has shifted from the top dish of you, to the tilted portion of the keep. Control calls have been shrunken down and recessed further into you body.

Sony Alpha a7 II Body and design
Sony Alpha a7 II Body and design

The grip

The keep on the a7 II is significant beefier than its forerunner. The style is also completely different. There seems to be two different ways of thinking regarding the style of the keep on the very first a7 sequence. Either you found the ergonomics to be great, or you can’t stand them. The a7 II’s remodeled keep seems intended to please the later group. Our staff was separated on which style of keep is recommended, with strong views on either part. The a7 II’s keep is more angular than that of the a7 (see above). Looking straight down at you, you’ll notice the a7 II’s keep comes to more of a point in front part side of you, while the a7’s is slimmer. The indent on the front part side, inside of the keep, where the tips of your fingertips relax, is also more recessed than that of the a7. This surge in the indent allows to provide a stronger keep on you, something that is vital considering the surge in bodyweight.

In your hand

The unique a7 was a fairly relaxed digicam to support and capture with. The a7 II is also relaxed to support, the bigger keep counteracts the additional bodyweight perfectly, giving customers more to hang on to. The moving of the shutter key will attraction to some customers, though others will desire for the very first structure of the a7. The back again thumbs relax area has more of an edge to it now and also airplanes out further than on the very first a7. Again, this assists deal with the additional bodyweight perfectly. The rubber content in the keep is the same as the a7 and grippy as ever.

Sony a7 II Images Quality

I liked the very first a7 quite a lot. It provided a complete structure signal in a reasonably-priced, extremely mild and little body system. The manages pleaded you to capture on complete manual; the management calls were large, too large and simple to push for some people, but available however.

Sony Alpha a7 II Images Quality
The Sony Alpha a7 II is a solid-feeling camera and handles more like a DSLR than a traditional mirrorless camera. It’s not the kind of camera you toss in a bag, or have with you to take a quick snap. It’s a camera with a presence, for better or for worse. ISO 400, 1/1000 sec at f/2.8.

Ever since Sony Alpha first decreased the NEX-7, I’ve been thoroughly satisfied not only with the company’s capability to think outside the box (they’ve been doing that in the digicam area for some time), but also their capability to apply these ground-breaking concepts into very useful cameras; electronic cameras that think that electronic cameras, not Ps3 remotes. Then came the a7 II. It’s not a revolution, but more of a improvement, an indication, perhaps, of what’s to come. It does not substitute the very first a7, it basically slips in drive next to it in the Sony Alpha collection. And for better or for more intense, the a7 II gets much from the a7.

Don’t misunderstand me, the a7 II is an extremely capable electronic camera, and most will be extremely pleased with pictures it can make, it does have the same signal, after all, as the very first a7. It’s just that while I’ve thoroughly experienced capturing with it over the past few months, I also find it to be a bit of a difficult electronic camera. The issue is, the Sony Alpha a7 II is a mirrorless electronic camera. Mirrorless electronic cameras have the benefits over their DSLR alternatives of being able to actually be more compact, less large and less loud. The a7 II is not particularly little, mild or silent.

Sony Alpha a7 II images Quality
This portrait was shot with the Sony Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA lens. Thanks to its massive aperture ring, I was able to get around using the wimpy control dials on the a7 II. Instead of shooting on full manual, I instead shot on aperture priority and used the lens’ aperture ring, coupled with the exposure compensation, dial to nail my exposure. ISO 50 1/100 sec, at f/1.4. Photo BY Azis Photography

And here’s why: it has a sensor-based picture backing packed within of it, a full-frame mirrorless first! It’s amazing useful, but also helps make the electronic camera quite large. The a7 II is kind of like a once baby-faced 13-year-old trying his best to tap back again to that boyish appeal, despite having a strange lanky body system and the onsets of a mustache. All the size/weight benefits of not having one procedure are disregarded the second you try to press an IBIS system within the body system.

I know, I know, the old calls on the a7, especially the rear experiencing one, were just too simple to push into. I’ve observed this from individuals. It’s an issue I’ve never run into, but obviously enough individuals did that Sony Alpha took the complete reverse strategy to the calls on the a7 II. Instead of having them be large, steel, and easily available, they created them small, nasty, super-recessed into the electronic camera body system, and annoying to use.

The articulating screen makes getting shots like these super easy, unfortunately, the eye sensor that chooses between the LCD and EVF is far too sensitive. For this shot, I had the sensor turned off and just the LCD view turned on. Processed using ACR. ISO 400 1/30 sec at f/16. Photo By Azis Photography

Just to be clear, my issue with the ergonomics of the top side and rear experiencing calls, not the real experience and managing of the electronic camera. The hold on the a7 II has been considerably beefed up, to coordinate the overall beefing of the body system itself. The new hold is very relaxed to hold, even for a long time. Yes, the electronic camera is irritatingly large for a mirrorless electronic camera, but its simple to hold however.

Despite this being the second version of the a7, there were an amazing number of problems Sony Alpha did not deal with that created their way into the a7 II including: an over-sensitive EVF/LCD signal, and a propensity for loud great ISO pictures. The latter issue will be fixed with some cautious disturbance decrease in publish (and by fostering to not turn the ISO too high). The former became be an important irritation, especially when trying to capture quietly, from the hip. It got to the point were I had to basically change the EVF off.

Auto ISO

Auto ISO performance has been enhanced over the very first a7 electronic cameras. Instead of defaulting to a 1/60 sec shutter rate when capturing in Aperture concern, regardless of one’s central duration, the a7 II instead choices a beginning shutter rate that is about comparative to one over your central duration. For example, with a 70-200mm f/4 fitted, at 70mm, the standard shutter rate is 1/80 sec and at 200mm, 1/250th sec.

The exemption to this is when capturing with contacts broader than ‘normal,’ 1/60 sec carries on to be the standard shutter rate, instead of one over the central duration. So if you’re capturing with a 28mm f/2, the standard shutter rate will be 1/60 sec, not 1/30 sec. The a7 II will not opt for a shutter rate more slowly than 1/60 sec or one over the central duration unless the situation is very, very dark; so black that the utmost ISO has been achieved. Unusually, though, toggling IS on and off has no influence on the shutter rate choosen in automatic ISO + Aperture Priority.

Low Light

Our assessments validate that the Sony models a7 II does between 1 and 2-stops lesser than the Nikon D750 and the Sony models a7S in regards to low-light abilities, with the gap increasing as ISOs get greater. Out-of-camera JPEGs, like the one below, have problems with over-aggressive disturbance decrease, becoming a standard mushing of details. Despite dropping behind the D750 and a7S, the a7 II does a reasonable job maintaining disturbance in examine at greater ISO’s, in fact. Answers are on par with what we saw with the very first a7. No real shock as they have the same indicator.

In common, I’ve discovered ISO 16,000 to be the furthermost ISO I believe safe forcing the a7 II, if I am capturing Raw. Beyond that, you’ll have a hard time getting something useful. The picture at the very top of the site was taken at ISO 16,000, and with some cautious disturbance decrease in Adobe Lightroom 5.7.1, I was able to make something useful. The below picture, taken at the highest possible ISO of 25,600 does not look terrible, for an out-of-camera JPEG, but still, a lot of details sheds, especially in his hair and hairs. If you plan on capturing Jpg only, your best bet is to set High ISO NR to ‘Low.’

Raw Compression

The Sony models a7 II uses the same indicator as the very first Sony models a7. It also has nearly similar specifications to the indicator in the Nikon D750 (both use a 24.3MP complete structure CMOS sensor). Unfortunately, Sony’s Raw information are nowhere near as flexible as the D750’s. The purpose for this is Raw information appearing of the D750 (and all Nikon cameras) are 14-bit uncompressed information. Sony models Raw information however are compacted, using lossy pressure, leading to all-around less flexible picture information. Currently, there is no way around this pressure when capturing with any Sony models digicam.

Sony a7 II Specifications

Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Body material Magnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution 6000 x 4000
Other resolutions 6000 x 3376, 3936 x 2624, 3936 x 2216, 3008 x 1688, 3008 x 2000
Image ratio w:h 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 25 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Bionz X
Color space sRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter array Primary color filter
Image
ISO 100-25600
Boosted ISO (minimum) 50
White balance presets 10
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Image stabilization notes 4.5 stops
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Extra fine, fine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (DCF 2.0, EXIF 2.3)
  • RAW (ARW 2.3)
Image parameters
  • Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, Sepia
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Digital zoom Yes (4)
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 117
Lens mount Sony E
Focal length multiplier 1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,230,000
Touch screen No
Screen type Xtra Fine LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.71×
Viewfinder resolution 2,359,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Auto
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
  • Scene Selection
  • Sweep Panorama
  • Movie
Scene modes
  • Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, Anti Motion Blur
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via Multi Interface shoe)
Flash X sync speed 1/250 sec
Drive modes
  • Single, continuous, speed priority continuous, self-timer, bracketing (AE, white balance, DRO)
Continuous drive 5.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec; continuous (3 or 5 exposures))
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
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 Bracketing Yes
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Videography notes Supports XAVC S codec (50Mbps) and S Log2 flat picture profile
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (micro-HDMI port with 4K still, uncompressed video output)
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port Yes
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes with NFC and wireless control via PlayMemories Mobile app
Remote control Yes (wired)
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 350
Weight (inc. batteries) 599 g (1.32 lb / 21.13 oz)
Dimensions 127 x 96 x 60 mm (5 x 3.78 x 2.36)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS None