Sony A7RII, we've tested it

Sony A7RII

The A7RII Sony is the successor to the original A7R and becomes the fifth mirrorless camera full frame of the series . It was introduced in June 2015 and remains Sony's highest resolution camera to date, boasting 42 megapixels compared to 36 megapixels for its predecessor, the A7R . It is the first to feature a 42-million-dot , back-illuminated full-frame CMOS , allowing it to perform better in low light conditions by allowing sensitivities to be extended to ISO 102,400. In addition, it allows the recording of 4K videosinternally and we say internally because with the A7S Sony allowed recording at 4K but with an external recorder. It consists of a  3-inch non-touch rotating screen and one of the best electronic viewfinders in the world , with a resolution of 2.4 million dots, OLED XGA technology  and a massive 0.78x magnification . In addition, it includes Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC technology, a lock mode selector, 5 frames per second of continuous shooting and a shutter with an electronic first curtain system that reduces vibrations.

It is a camera whose features make it a perfect hybrid  whether you are passionate about photography or video recording.

SONY A7 RII

Layout and controls

The body of the camera is practically a clone of its predecessors, the A7 and A7R, with some improvements that make its handling much more comfortable and safe. The camera body is  thicker than previous models to accommodate the built-in stabilizer, and it also features a  more slick non-slip grip for a secure and ergonomic grip . It is a full - format camera and sealed construction measures 127 x 96 x 60 mm  and weight 625 gram including the battery. Although we have tested it with an FE 24-240, A lens not exactly very light, it is still lighter than some SLRs of a similar category, such as the Canon EOS 5DS (r) which measures 152 x 116 x 76 millimeters and weighs 925 grams with battery. In terms of build quality, the A7RII is a step up from previous A7s thanks to increased use of magnesium alloy in the body finish and a much more robust lens mount. Despite not having a touch screen, we find shortcuts to many personal configuration options for the controls . As for the controls we have, at the top, a multiple interface shoe, the mode dial in which we can set the shooting modes and also select video recording here, the custom C1 and C2 shooting buttons and the compensation and exposure dial.

Sony A7RII

At the back we find the rest of the main controls. From top to bottom we have the wheel diopter adjustment that allows us to adjust our visual display needs. Next to this we find another custom button C3 and next to it the AF / EF / AEL switch lever and a rear dial to move through the menus. On the right side of the camera is the record button, which is separate from the rest of the controls. A decision that does not seem right to us, since it is less intuitive. The control wheel is also located here, with which we can change the screen display, the ISO sensitivity and the driving mode - if we want continuous capture or activate the self-timer. Finally, we have the play and trash buttons to delete files.

Sony A7RII

As for the screen equipped on the A7 RII, the camera mounts a 3-inch LCD panel with a very vibrant image. It can be tilted to facilitate visibility and, like the viewfinder, a real-time histogram can be superimposed to indicate the levels of inclination. The screen brightness is by default too low for outdoors, but we can level it in the settings. The biggest drawback of this screen is that it is not tactile , something that would greatly facilitate the work when using it, but there is a predisposition of manufacturers not to include this option in their high-end cameras.

Sony A7RIISony A7RII

Picture quality

The Sony A7 RII incorporates a 5-axis stabilizer thanks to which we can shoot hand-held at the speed we want. In addition, the hybrid focus system embeds  399 points for phase detection and 25 points for contrast,  which allows you to work seamlessly with lenses from other brands. Sony has made this camera a machine with a very advanced focus, especially using its own lenses, although the result is good with other brands as long as we use an adapter. Although undoubtedly its performance in motion and action scenes is where the great work is really appreciated . Here the results are much more remarkable and your reaction capacity and the quality of your results are not indifferent. 5-axis stabilizer, hybrid focusand also a  shutter  that reduces vibrations effectively. But the real gem of this camera is its 42 megapixel full frame backlit sensor whose  performance does not leave you indifferent . The high resolution work together with the absence of the low pass filter (OLPF) allows us results with exquisite clarity. The dynamic range and the level of detail are very high , not only in RAW formats but also in JPG. Although it is true that Sony aimed at a CMOS above 50 megapixels but with these 42 it achieves fabulous results. This resolution mixed with an ISO sensitivity capable of forcing up to 102,400it is a very strong bet by Sony. The shooting speed reaches 5 frames per second and the backlit sensor is responsible for capturing the light to unthinkable points. We have forced it by trying to shoot in complete darkness and the sensor has been able to find points of light and take an image - low quality, but without forgetting that we had no light at all. As for noise, we have found that it holds up perfectly up to sensitivities from ISO 12,800.

As for recording video , the camera is optimized for recording 4K UHD up to 30p, 1080p and 60p to 720p, especially in the Super 35 mm format. It  supports continuous AF with the built-in AF system, and the built-in stabilization can be activated to reduce the effect of oscillations. Audio is recorded with the built-in stereo microphone or we can connect external microphones via minijack; there is also a headphone jack for monitoring sound while recording.

Let's see some tests carried out with the Sony A7 RII in different lighting conditions.

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Outdoor daylight, ISO 100 f6.3

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Outdoor, daylight ISO 120 f10

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Telephoto shooting, ISO 100 f7.1

Sony A7RII, we have tested it 1

Outdoor daylight, ISO 200 f9.0

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Motion capture, ISO 100 f8.0

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Indoor artificial light, ISO 6400 f3.5

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Indoor natural light, ISO 8000 F4.5

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Indoor artificial light ISO 6400 F3.5

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Interior total absence of light, ISO 12,800 f3.5

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Telephoto shooting, ISO 100 f8.0

Connectivity and autonomy

The Sony A7RII includes Wi-Fi connectivity via NFC technology to facilitate connection with compatible devices. The Wi-Fi option on the A7RII allows us to wirelessly navigate and transfer JPEG images to any iOS or Android smartphone using a free application, and we also have the ability to control the camera from our device. It also has HDMI plugs and MicroUSB port  to view photos connected to a television or screen and to download them more quickly without having to remove the memory card. If we talk about autonomy, perhaps this is his pending subject. Despite the two batteries included with the camera, which allow us to alternate them orThe direct charging option through the mini USB port that allows you to work while recharging, the battery does not withstand abuse despite not having a built-in flash.

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Conclusions

We are facing  a high-priced camera (3,500 euros per body) aimed at a very specific as well as demanding public. These two aspects are not critical but it is true that it is not a competitive camera in the market since its target audience is very limited . It is a robust and resistant camera, with features that do not leave you indifferent, such as the backlit sensor or the 5-axis stabilizer. If we believe that there is something in which it has to improve, it is in its autonomy and on the screen, since it would help a lot if it were touch. If you want to start in the world of EVIL cameras by the big door, the Sony A7RII is undoubtedly the best option.

BrandSony
ModelSony A7R II
TypologyMirrorless

Sensor

TypeCMOS EXMOR R Backlit
Effective pixels42.4 effective megapixels
Total pixels42.9 total megapixels
Image processor
Compatibility -
Focal distance
Image Stabilizer
Lens included

Focus

TypeTTL
Zones31 AF points
AF point selectionSize (normal, small)
Focus modesPhoto-to-Photo AF / Servo AF / Manual focus

AF lock

Exposition

Measurement modes
AE lockAF-S, AF-C and DMF
Exposure compensation-5 to +5 EV
ISO sensitivity100 to 102,400
Type
Speed1/8000 s

White balance

Typebracketing, fine adjustment, manual in degrees Kelvin
SettingsAutomatic, manual

screen

screen7.5 cm (3.0 ”) vari-angle touchscreen LCD (TFT)
Resolution3: 2 format. Up to 1,228,800 pixels
Brightness

Flash

Guide number-
Coverage-
Recycling time-
Modes-
External flash Includes shoe

Shooting

Shooting modesSimple, Burst, Video
Picture Styles
Serial shootingApprox. 5.9 shots / s [12] with AF: Approx. 4.4 shots / s
Image size7,952 x 5,304 5 fps, 7,952 x 4,472, 5,168 x 3,448, 5,168 x 3,448, 5,168 x 2,912, 5,168 x 2,912, 3,984 x 2,656, 3,984 x 2,240, 2,592 x 1,728, 2,562 x 1,456
Video size3,840 x 2,160 pixels, 30 fps, 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, 25 fps, 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, 25 fps, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, 60 fps, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, 50 fps, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, 30 fps, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, 50 fps, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, 30 fps
Length of videos
FormatsJPEG, RAW, AVCHD, XAVC, MP4, MPS
Memory cardMemoryStick Micro, MemoryStick Pro Duo, MemoryStick Pro-HG Duo, microSD Card, microSDHC, microSDXC
With cablesUSB, jack (3.5 mm), jack (3.5 mm) for microphones, microHDMI
Without cablesWiFi (802.11b / g / n)

NFC

Batterylithium ion NP-FW50

Physical specifications

Dimensions127 x 96 x 60 millimeters (  width x height x depth)
Weight 625 grams with battery and card included

+ info

Release dateOctober 2015
Manufacturer's websiteSony

Price:  3,500 euros