Sony A7RII review – What makes it special?
About two months ago I became the happiest owner of Sony a7R II – professional camera. I researched a lot before taking any decision and, according to my needs, this one proved to be the best one for me.
It is a top performing camera with high-end features which I highly recommend. Keeping in mind the price / quality ratio (which I always suggest to be a top priority when buying a product) this one is truly a must have. So, here we go with the Sony A7RII review:
Product: Sony a7R II ILCE-7RM2
My rating: 5 out of 5
Sony a7R II comes with a back illuminated full-frame (35 mm) CMOS image sensor with 42.4 mega pixels and a sensitivity up to ISO 102400. The fast hybrid AF system has a dense extra-wide focal plane phase-detection. AF coverage keeps the subject in sharp focus at all time throughout the frame and the 5-axis image stabilization reduces blur which otherwise will affect hand-held photos.
Eye AF for perfect portraiture shoots, focuses on a person’s eyes when you press the button. By default, this camera has the eye AF function set on the center button of the control wheel. You can change this by allocating a new key from the menu → custom settings → custom key settings → assign the Eye AF function to the desired key.
It is also recording 4K movie featuring full pixel readout without pixel binning. Got fast hybrid AF for movies which is a extra-precise system that focuses perfectly.
High-bit-rate XAVC S format supports 4K recording at 100 Mbps bit rate as well as Full HD recording at 50Mbps, that is why the α7R II will capture movies filled with great detailed movement.
For reducing the image blur, the camera’s newly developed reduced-vibration shutter and the silent shooting mode minimizes camera shake caused by shutter action.
XGA OLED with Zeiss T Coating to reduce surface reflection and a high viewfinder magnification at 0.78x shows how settings affect images and maximizes the high resolution performance.
The BIONZ X image processing engine tunes efficiently the image sensor’s data, for truer and more natural, low-noise image depiction.
Sharper images for not using an optical low-pass filter that can compromise picture clarity.
- Sensor type: 35mm full frame (35.9 x 24.0mm), Exmor R CMOS – The world’s first back-illuminated full-frame CMOS sensor with 42.4MP
- Processor: BIONZ X image processing engine
- Focus type: Fast Hybrid AF w. 399-point focal plane phase-detection AF coverage
- Focus point: 35mm full frame: 399 points (phase-detection AF) APS-C: 357 points (phase-detection AF) / 25 points (contrast-detection AF)
- Shutter type: Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type
- Shutter speed: Bulb, Movies: 1/8000 to 1/4 (1/3 step), NTSC: Up to 1/60 in AUTO mode (up to 1/30 in Auto Slow Shutter mode), PAL: Up to 1/50 in AUTO mode (up to 1/25 in Auto Slow Shutter mode), Still images: 1/8000 to 30 sec
- Image stabilization: 5-axis image stabilization for stills and movies
- Lens compatibility: Sony E-mount lenses (FE)
- ISO sensitivity: Wide ISO range from ISO 50 to ISO 102400
- Viewfinder type: XGA OLED, 1.3 cm (0.5 type) electronic viewfinder (color)
- Viewfinder display: Graphic Display, Display All Info., No Disp. Info., Digital Level Gauge, Histogram
- Monitor type: 7.5 cm (3.0-type) TFT drive
- LCD display: Graphic Display / Display All Info. / No Disp. Info. / Histogram / Digital Level Gauge / Shooting information for viewfinder mode
- Real time image adjustment: both for viewfinder and LCD display
- Playback modes: 9/25-frame index view, Auto Review (10/5/2 sec, off), Delete, Enlarged display mode (Maximum magnification L: 24.9x, M: 16.2x, S: 9.4x), Folder selection (Still / Date / MP4 / AVCHD / XAVC S HD / XAVC S 4K), Forward/Rewind (movie), Image orientation (Auto/Manual/Off selectable), Panorama scrolling, Protect, Single (with or without shooting information, Y RGB histogram & highlight/shadow warning), Slide-show
- Audio: Built-in stereo microphone or XLR-K2M/ECM-XYST1M (sold separately)
- Speaker: Built-in, monaural
- Compatible print standards: Exif Print, Print Image Matching III, DPOF setting
- Storage media slot: Multi slot for Memory Stick Duo/SD memory card
- External flash compatibility: Sony α System Flash compatible with Multi Interface Shoe, attach the shoe adapter for flash compatible with Auto-lock accessory shoe
- Wi-Fi and NFC: NFC One-touch functionality, Wi-Fi
- Battery life (still images): Approx. 290 shots (viewfinder) / approx. 340 shots (LCD screen)
- Size and weight: 126.9 x 95.7 x 60.3 mm / 582 g (Body Only) / 625 g (With battery and media)
In the box: Power cord, 2 rechargeable battery NP-FW50, cable protector, AC adaptor AC-UD10, battery charger BC-VW1, shoulder strap, body cap, accessory shoe cap, eyepiece cup and micro USB cable.
DRO and auto HDR
D-range Optimizer – DRO corrects your images to achieve smoother and more natural gradations with more detail in the highlights and shadows. Can be used in continuous shooting mode and when targeting moving subjects.
High Dynamic Range – HDR combines the best specifics from three exposures to blow up the dynamic range of your images from pitch-dark shadows to brightest highlights and to capture all the tonal variations seen by your naked eyes.
Only two things I was able to find about this jewel camera which does not excel in performance – the battery life and the continuous shooting capability, which is only 5 fps (frames per second). Anyway the box contains two batteries which was always enough for a shooting day in my case, and to change the battery takes few seconds – so not a really big issue.
The 5 fps should do the job (is fine in my case) but could be better.
Here it is a video by Michael The Maven about the focusing system on A7RII:
Sony Alpha 7R II ILCE-7RM2 is an amazing digital camera which I rated with 5 out of 5 and I can easily recommend it as a truly professional, great companion to carry everywhere. From shooting the most exceptional moments, scenes or portraits to recording great videos, is doing the job with astonishing results.
I am not saying that this is the best camera out there, but (always) considering the price / quality ratio – for me is the best. You can have it from eBay for about £1,300 brand new (body only), which is a real deal for a top professional camera.
I hope you enjoyed my Sony A7RII review. Please comment bellow about anything you want to add or ask, as I am always happy to help. Thanks for reading!