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Sony Alpha a7II Mirrorless Digital Camera - Body Only
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- World’s first 5-axis in-body image stabilization in a full-frame camera.
- Use your favorite lenses without blur from camera shake.
- Capture stunning images with full-frame, 24.3MP resolution.
- Fast hybrid AF with phase-detection - 30% faster than a7..Compatible with Sony’s E-mount lenses, and others with adaptors.
- Viewfinder Type:0.5-type electronic viewfinder (colour)
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Beyond Human Vision
From the Manufacturer
Full-frame Mirrorless Camera
Minimize blur in every shot with the world’s first in-body 5-axis image stabilization in a full-frame camera. Best of all, it works with your favorite lenses. With 24.3MP resolution, super-fast autofocus and a compact design, you’ll capture breathtaking imagery and video that is more stable than ever.
World’s first 5-axis in-body image stabilization in a full-frame camera.
Reduce blur caused by camera shake from five different directions—vertical, horizontal, pitch, yaw and roll—as opposed to only two in previous systems. The 5-axis image stabilizing system excels during video recording and even compensates for blur caused by the photographer walking or running. It’s a true marvel of engineering.
Use your favorite lenses with minimized blur from camera shake.
With image stabilization built it into the body of the camera itself, mounted lenses—even A-mount or non-Sony lenses using an adaptor 2—can utilize the 5-axis image stabilization for both still images and video. It even enhances lenses that already have optical image stabilization systems.
Full-frame, 24.3MP resolution.
Capture stunning images with 24.3MP resolution, a 35mm full-frame sensor, a normal sensor range of ISO 100–25600, and a sophisticated balance of high-resolving power, gradation and low noise. The BIONZ X image processor enables up to 5 fps high-speed continuous shooting and high-50Mb/s XAVC S video recording.
Fast hybrid AF with phase-detection - 30% faster than α7.
This fast hybrid autofocus system utilizes 117 phase-detection points and 25 contrast-detection points. Updated from the α7, this new autofocus algorithm improves subject-tracking performance and focusing speed by approximately 30%.
Utilizes Sony’s E-mount lens system.
Take advantage of the growing family of E-mount lenses, including G Series and ZEISS. The E-mount lens system is particularly well-suited for video shooting, with a variety of models containing “movie-friendly” features like smooth focusing, powered zoom control and silent iris/aperture control.
High contrast, 2.4-million dot OLED EVF for eye-level framing.
View every scene in rich detail with the XGA OLED Tru-Finder, which features OLED improvements and 3-lens optical system. The viewfinder faithfully displays what will appear in your recording, including the effects of your camera settings, so you can accurately monitor the results. You’ll enjoy rich tonal gradations and high-end features like 100% frame coverage, a wide viewing angle, and more.
Record Full HD in XAVC S format up to 50Mb/s.
The α7II adopts the high bitrate, workflow-friendly XAVC S recording format in addition to AVCHD and MP4 codecs. XAVC S format allows for Full HD recording at a data rate of 50 mbps with lower compression for improved video quality. The α7II can record Full HD (1920x1080) at frame rates of 60p, 60i, 30p and 24p directly to a compatible memory card. Video modes can be changed from full-frame to APS-C (super 35mm equivalent) if desired, and in this crop mode, the camera can support high frame rate 120fps shooting at standard HD resolution (1280 x 720p), creating a 5x slow-motion effect.
3 LCD screen tilts up and down for easy high and low-angle framing.
The tiltable 3” (1,229k dots) Xtra Fine LCD Display makes it easy to photograph over crowds, or low to capture pets eye-to-eye by swinging up approx. 90° and down approx. 45°. Easily scroll through menus and preview life thanks to WhiteMagic technology that dramatically increases visibility in bright daylight. The large display delivers brilliant-quality still images and movies while enabling easy focusing operation.
Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi/NFC.
Connectivity with smartphones for One-touch sharing/One-touch remote has been simplified with Wi-Fi/NFC control. In addition to Wi-Fi support for connecting to smartphones, α7II also supports NFC (near field communication) providing “one-touch connection” convenience when transferring images to Android smartphones and tablets with NFC. Simply touch devices to connect.
Tether your camera to a PC for Remote Camera Control.
Remote Camera Control allows you to control your α7II from your PC and transfer files using a USB cable. Feature control has also been updated to include video capture control.
Personalize your camera with PlayMemories Camera Apps.
Add new features to your α7II with PlayMemories Camera Apps. Find apps to fit your shooting style - with everything from portraits, detailed close-ups, sports, time lapse, motion shot and more. Use apps that shoot, share and save photos to your smartphone using Wi-Fi, making it easy to post photos directly to Facebook or backup images to the cloud without connecting to a computer.
Designed for a pro-workflow with Picture Profile, S-Log2 and time code.
The α7II is equipped with S-Log2 gamma. Common to Sony’s range of professional video cameras, S-Log2 expands the dynamic range by up to 1300% to minimize clipped highlights and loss of detail in shadows. The α7II include a picture profile that can adjust settings like gamma, black, level and color adjustment, and can be saved for use in a multi-camera shoot. It also has Full HD base band HDMI output, time code/user bit for easier editing, synchronous recording feature with compatible devices, various marker and zebra displays on both the LCD screen and viewfinder.
Compatible with professional microphone systems.
The α7II has a Multi-terminal interface shoe that is compatible with Sony’s XLR Adaptor Microphone Kits (XLR-K1M and XLR-K2M), allowing you to use professional microphone systems during recording.
2014 Sony Electronics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Sony is not responsible for typographical and photographic errors. Features and specifications are subject to change without notice.
Sony, BIONZ X, Exmor, InfoLITHIUM, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, the Memory Stick logo, PlayMemories Home, PlayMemories Mobile, PlayMemories Camera Apps, PlayMemories Online, Remote Commander, SteadyShot, SteadyShot INSIDE, Smile Shutter, Stamina, Theatre Sync, Sweep Panorama, Xtra Fine LCD and the Sony logo are trademarks of Sony. AVCHD is a trademark of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation. Microsoft, Windows is a trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Mac OS and iMovie are trademarks of Apple Computers, Inc. HDMI is a trademark of HDMI Licensing LLC. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.
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(NOTE: For more detailed photos and video, check out the A7ii review on my website [...]-- also do a search for "Loloho Photo YouTube" to find my VIDEO channel with lots of photo great reviews!)
The original A7 was named "camera of the year" for cramming a 24MP full frame sensor into a compact mirrorless body. How does Sony top it with the A7ii? By improving ergonomics, focus speed, video capabilities, and delivering a groundbreaking IN BODY image stabilization system - the world's first 5-Axis stabilized full frame sensor. This illustrates a couple of admirable characteristics about Sony's imaging division - they listen to customers, and they relentlessly innovate. When Sony updates a camera (which they do often), they deliver significant design changes that translate to real world improvement - not just megapixel boosts.
A note about lenses: the lens situation is improving. At the time of this writing, the best native prime lenses for the A7ii are the brilliant Zeiss 55 f1.8 and the Zeiss 35. I've heard the Zeiss 16-35 is outstanding but have not tried it yet. At Photokina Sony announced a number of new E-mount lenses that are expected to hit the market in 2015. I feel the sub-100mm range will soon be pretty well covered, especially once these new lenses hit the market. Of course with an inexpensive adapter, you can use just about any lens you please with an A7, and that's what makes these cameras so wonderful.
I bought my A7ii here on Amazon and got it the first day of release. In this review, I'm going to assume you know the basics about the A7 series, and go straight to the pros and cons of the new camera. For more files and video about the camera, check out my site. [...]
*In Body Steadyshot - This is the marquee feature and for good reason. Now ALL of your lenses have image stabilization - including those 40-year old Nikkors and Leicas. It's amazing and it works. Of course the stabilization is more helpful with lenses towards the telephoto end of the spectrum. I've tried it with my 105mm and 300mm Nikkor primes with impressive results. With native E-mount lenses that deliver focus distance information, you get full 5-Axis stabilization. If there's no electronic communication with the camera to transmit focus distance (as with older legacy lenses) you get 3-Axis stabilization. Note that for legacy lenses, you'll want to manually specify the focal length to ensure the best results. And yes, Steadyshot works a treat for handheld video too. Shortly after the A7ii hit the market, Sony released a firmware update (version 1.1) that improved the in camera Steadyshot and squashed an annoying bug - if you get an A7ii, MAKE CERTAIN that you are running the latest firmware!
*Shutter release - The shutter release has been moved forward on the camera body to a more natural location. It's now right where your finger expects it to be. Alas, it's flat across the top like most DSLRs, so there's no possibility of a cable or soft shutter release.
*Better Grip - The new hand grip is thicker and easier for my hand to grasp. The new grip extends about 10mm further from the body. The new grip contributes to the apparent size increase in the A7ii.
*Improved Autofocus - Sony is claiming 30% better autofocus performance. While many were hoping for AF as fast as the a6000, unfortunately it's not there yet. But Sony has improved the focusing algorithms to elicit noticeably better performance. I've had good success with facial recognition, eye focus, and object tracking. A7ii autofocus is good; I have no major complaints, but it's not as fast as a DSLR or the a6000 (a camera I also own and enjoy).
*Build quality - More magnesium is now used in the camera body, and it's obvious. The camera feels solid and reassuring in the hands, like it's been carved out of metal. Even the buttons and control dials add to the premium feel of the camera.
*Video - The A7ii has several notable video improvements. High quality 50 Mbps XAVC S codec is now included. Built in stabilization is a HUGE help with nonstabilized lenses. Now ALL your fast primes are stabilized for video! And the camera includes a S-LOG picture profile with enhanced dynamic range that's useful for color grading.
*Wifi - This is not a new feature, but Sony has done a nice job integrating wifi into the camera. The wifi integration really showcase Sony's prowess as a tech company (Nikon and Canon have badly lagged behind in this department, IMHO). We are already taking this stuff for granted, but it's really kind of incredible to remotely control your camera from your tablet or phone -- with a live image view, no less. If you want to quickly share photos from your full frame camera to social media, it's been made easy for you, no clunky adapters required. Sony needs to do a better job highlighting these features, because they are great.
*Alpha menus - Sony has now standardized the Alpha menu system across several different camera bodies. It's a clean, logical user interface that works well. With a little practice, it's remarkably easy to access the features you need quickly. The upshot? You spend less time "menu diving" and more time taking photos.
*EVF - The A7ii electronic viewfinder is essentially the same as the A7, but it should be noted that it's great. The EVF is what allows Sony to squeeze down the body size of the A7 series. Once you get used to having focus assist and peaking (and the results of your shot) available inside the EVF, you will love it. What once seemed like a drawback of mirrorless cameras is now a huge advantage.
*Metal lens mount - The A7ii lens mount is more robust than that of the first gen cameras. No wiggle! Lenses mount nice and tight to the body.
*More customizable buttons - There are now four customizable "C" buttons to which you can assign your favorite functions, like eye autofocus, focus assist, white balance.
*Articulating LCD screen - The articulating LCD screen merits a mention because so many DSLRs still do not include the feature. Once you've shot with an articulating screen, you don;t want to go without one. The LCD screen provides a decent range of motion for high and low angle shots.
*Startup time - Startup time of the camera has been improved, which means fewer missed shots.
*Matte finish - This is a matter of taste, but I like the matte finish of the A7ii.
*Weight - Weight has increased over the original A7 by 146 grams or 5.15 ounces to 599 grams. This is no small increase (a 26% gain over the A7, to be precise). When packing camera gear, every ounce matters. If it gets much heavier, we're losing a key advantage of mirrorless. Yet to be fair, at 599 grams the A7ii is still lighter than the Nikon Df (760g), Canon 6D (760g), Canon 5D Mark III (950g) and Nikon D800 (980g). Of course none of those competing cameras offer in body image stabilization, or many of the other features of the A7ii. So the A7ii remains lighter than the competition while offering a uniquely powerful functionality. If the added weight is a deal killer for you, there's always the original A7. Personally, I decided that the extra features are worth the cost in weight.
*Girth- The A7ii body is not quite as svelte as the original A7. Thickness of the body itself has increased by a couple of mm. It seems more pronounced because the new grip extends a good 10mm further than the old. The A7ii is (dare I say it?) a bit chunky. The body has become more like a blend of mirrorless and DSLR. I suspect that the average non-photographer would glance at this camera and assume it is a small DSLR. Note that for some people this minus will actually be a plus. Why? Because the camera handles larger/heavier lenses with better ergonomics.
*Small control wheels - This is a nitpick, but the fore and aft control wheels are small and almost flush with the body. A larger size would provide better tactile feel.
*No 4k video - Not a major omission to me, but the lack of 4k is a disappointment. I think it would have been easy for Sony to include 4k, but the marketing department must have other plans. If you must have 4k, you want the A7S.
*No silent shutter - The shutter noise is improved over the original A7, but it's not the dead silent shutter of the A7S.
*Antialiasing filter - The A7ii has a low pass filter. I'd prefer they omit it.
*Poor Apps Implementation - The original idea of offering apps is a good one, but unfortunately the PlayMemories apps have been poorly implemented by Sony. The PlayMemories store has a few worthwhile offerings, but as of this writing one of the best (time lapse) isn't compatible with the A7ii. Sony needs to open up the app store to allow outside development to make the most of this functionality. (Imagine how lame iTunes or Android would be if Apple/Google provided all the apps! That's what we're getting now from Sony.) Please, Sony - either do a better job with the PlayMemories app store, or just go ahead and include the app features in our cameras from day one.
*Battery charger not included - Battery life is not a strength of these cameras (rated at 350 shots per charge) so you will want extra batteries. If you want an external battery charger, you've got to buy your own. I have several batteries and prefer to charge the extras while still having my camera free to use.
*Questionable flash options - There's no onboard flash, and Sony's flash offerings are disappointing. No sync speed higher than 1/250. I don't often do flash photography, but there are times when it is necessary. Personally I would appreciate an onboard bounceable flash like that of the a6000 (the a6000 flash works great in this respect) or even a small fill flash like the X100 series.
Whether you want an A7ii really boils down to two words : STEADYSHOT INSIDE. With the A7ii, it's all about image stabilization. The in body stabilization is actually a big deal. That's why you pay the premium for this camera over a first generation body. If you shoot with lenses that lack OSS (and that includes all legacy lenses) then it makes sense to get the A7ii. It's like getting a nice across-the-board upgrade to your lens collection. It's extremely cool to attach a 40-year old Nikkor 105mm and enjoy the benefits of stabilization. I have a host of Nikkors and some unstabilized E-mount (including the superb Zeiss FE55) that benefit.
Of course the ergonomic improvements of the A7ii are welcome. I'm sure that many professionals will upgrade to the A7ii simply for the relocated shutter release button and improved grip.
The 24MP sensor of the A7ii is basically the same as that used in the A7. If you want a high resolution mirrorless monster, you want the A7R.
If you are heavily interested in VIDEO, your decision may come down to the A7ii versus the A7S. You might think of it this way: the A7S is a video camera that takes stills, while the A7ii is a stills camera that takes great video. While "steadyshot inside" certainly helps with handheld shooting of video on the A7ii, lowlight performance trails the A7S. If you must have the King of Lowlight Video, you still want the A7S.
Because I shoot both video and stills I debated between the A7ii and the A7S. It was a difficult choice, but I ultimately decided that the superlative all around performance of the A7ii was best for me.
I have owned (and in some cases still own) cameras from Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Fuji, and Olympus. At the moment there's literally not an apples-for-apples competitor to this Sony camera. I buy the camera that is the best for my needs and am not loyal to one brand. Lately it seems that SONY is the company that's delivering innovation and excitement in this space. While Nikon and Canon have gingerly tested the waters of mirrorless camera design (no doubt to protect their existing DSLR product lines), Sony has been fearlessly pushing ahead with groundbreaking technology. Sony makes the sensors, and is hungry for market share; we photographers are reaping the benefits.
Today, I find the A7ii the best general purpose full frame camera on the market. It's compact, solidly built but not too heavy, plays nice with a huge number of lenses, and is packed full of AMAZING technology. It just does everything (stills and video) very well. And by the way, the price is quite reasonable considering all it delivers. It's one of the most affordable full frame cameras you can buy. If you purchase one, I think you will enjoy it.
I mostly use this body with EF (Canon/Zeiss), FD, (really old Canon), and M (Leica) mounted lenses. I had a chance to borrow two native mount lenses for a month, Loxia 35mm & 50mm, thank you Zeiss! I have a flick-site with dedicated albums of photos taken with various lenses attached to the Sony - please search for "Fret Spider" and click on the albums tab for each type of lens.
With the Canon EF Metabones IV adaptor, auto-focus was inconsistent, particularly in darker environs. But this didn't really bother me, I mostly use manual lenses on the Canon bodies with LiveView and magnification - I was able to port over the same methodology on the Sony. Therefore my migration to this system was perhaps easier than those that rely on automatic focus systems. The focus-peaking feature is very useful, but it doesn't always guarantee dead-on focus with super-wide aperture lenses - I found that magnification is really the only way to be certain. For Canon's FD lenses, this camera is a beautiful thing, truly breaths new life into that (sometimes radioactive!) glass.
For Leica M lenses, it's a bit more complex and this might burst the bubble of some; the combination will not avail the full potential of the sensor or lens. My experience echoes what I've read with regard to how the light exits the rear of the Leica (or M-mount) lens and its angle of incidence with the Sony sensor stack. In the middle of the frame, there's no problem but as you get to the edges things don't fare so well for wide-angle lenses - decreased resolution & contrast and increased shading & color smearing become more prevalent as the focal length gets shorter starting with around 50mm. The Zeiss Loxia 50mm and adapted Otus 55mm have sharper extreme corners than the APO 50mm Summicron (yes, that Leica lens) - this is with all lenses being stopped down to around f/8 - f/11. In saying that, the 50mm Summicron with the Voigtlander Close-Focus adaptor is probably my favorite lens to attach to this body, crazy small package with deceptively amazing results wide open and very good stopped down! For their cost however, lenses in the Zeiss Loxia series give fantastic results, particularly when stopped down, if you like manual lenses.
The stabilization system works ok given that nearly all my usage was with non-native lenses - the native mount lenses may do better. With Leica lenses, I don't feel there's much assistance and I end up turning off the stabilizer - possibly given their petite size, maybe it doesn't adjust correctly …?… For the Canon EF or FD mount lenses, I've witnessed more assistance.
The menus are not as difficult to navigate as others may have eluded to, once you figure out where things are, the navigation becomes second nature. If I had used Sony for years and suddenly switched to Canon, I would probably be in the same boat …
The whole compressed 14-bit thing is a bit overblown. With over 40k exposures on this camera, I have yet to find artifacts of the compressed raw files people talk about - I pixel peep and my lenses aren't a limiting factor. The battery life (as everyone else mentions) blows and I find that manually turning off the camera between scenes of interest is really the best way to conserve the battery and last an entire day of say, site-seeing. I just keep wondering when I'm going to wear out that switch and render the camera useless!
Compared to the new A7R II (which I have recently acquired)... unless you're going to be blowing your photos up to poster-sized dimensions (more than a meter on any side) and allowing your audience to really get close to the print, there's not much perceptive difference between the two cameras from a stills perspective - so buy this camera instead, save your money and buy a better lens. Picture quality is exceptional on this camera. As a Canon user, the extended dynamic range on this body and the newer A7R II is quite impressive as everyone raves - yes, you can theoretically pull out details from deep shadows, but if you get your exposure correct, you really shouldn't have to pull up your shadows by 5 stops. I like taking pictures of cityscapes at night, and this thing delivers on long (30 second) exposures. However, for true nasty weather (rain & blizzards) conditions, I still grab my Canon 5D3 - I just don't have the confidence in the A7II that it will take the beating.
I can't speak much for the video and auto-focus capabilities of this camera, so you'll need to read other reviews to get more info on those features. My only thought is that if you're interested in an inconspicuously small (albeit solid) camera body that is packed with features and possessing exceptional picture quality, I highly recommend at least renting the A7II and seeing for yourself, if this style of camera suits your needs. Peace and happy shooting!
UPDATE 3/31/2018: This is a good buy if you're just getting into the full frame world on a budget. Otherwise, buy the α7 III. The updated features and tech on the α7 III completely destroy the α7 II. It's not even funny--for Sony to call the α7 III the "basic model" comes of as sarcasm. The α7 III is essentially a baby α9.
I'm actually giving 4.5 stars to this camera only because the rear wheel is to small and hard to use. I think the a7 has better control wheel, other than that this camera is a totally worth upgrade..