The Sony A7RII Camera Review. A Real world look.

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The Sony A7RII Camera Review. A real world look.

By Steve Huff

Buy the A7RII at Amazon or B&H Photo

Here we go! After a few weeks of use with this camera I can finally sit down and write about all of my thoughts on this incredible technological marvel, the new Sony A7RII. As of the end of August there are many who received their new A7RII and are enjoying it. I can state with conviction that I have enjoyed every second I have had with this stunning memory maker. I hope you enjoy reading my real world review as much as I have enjoyed creating it for you.

Zeiss Loxia 50 on the RII at f/2 – click it for bigger!

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Let me start this Sony A7RII review by saying I have never shot, tested, used, owned or reviewed a camera in 35mm full frame format that competes with this one as an overall package. It does everything I need, and then some. It offers me fantastic low light abilities, fantastic video abilities, amazing snap and detail and beautiful files that print out as large as you would ever need, and look amazing as well. The camera is a true beauty, and one I expected to like not love (I usually steer away from mega megapixels due to the usual compromises involved).

55 1.8, late night low light with the A7RII – click it for bigger!

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The A7RII, when announced, was something I thought was a “Uh Oh” moment for Sony. I assumed ISO would suffer, speed would suffer and the camera would  be cumbersome and slow due to the 42MP sensor (Like the original A7R was when compared to later models). Sony was promising a “no compromise” experience, the best of the A7II, A7R and A7s all in one camera almost…well, they did not say that specifically but hinted at it on more than one occasion or gave the idea that yes, this is one camera that can do it all.

Here is an image shot with the little Voigtlander 40 2.8 for the Sony system. See my review HERE. LOVE this lens on the A7RII!

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The shot below was with the Zeiss 35 Loxia, another fantastic lens on the A7RII. Maybe not as brilliant as the 35 1.4 Distagon but so small and lovely to use. Shot at f/2 in a very dim and low light restaurant. The sensor of the A7RII sucked in the light and “lit it up” which is what my Leica M always seems to excel at. This lens renders a nice organic image on the A7RII sensor. 

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When I finally was able to test this camera, I started to realize that their claims were true (no compromise). Here I was with a “much smaller than any full frame DSLR” beautiful camera in feel, build and looks and when I started shooting it I was blown away by the speed improvements, IQ, color, AWB, metering, ISO performance, video and EVERYTHING it was doing for me. Those 1st few days were great but I knew I was in the “Honeymoon Phase” and that excitement would eventually wear off, as it always does. That is why these companies cam make a new camera like this every two years, as many people (the ones stricken with GAS) love to upgrade for something new and exciting after some time and tech keeps evolving at a rapid rate in the Sensor arena, so companies like Sony who make these sensors are pushing strong with the hardware to go with these incredible imaging sensors.

Outside at night with the Sony/Zeiss 55 1.8 (at 1.8) and the A7RII

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So I kept shooting and using the camera and every day my enthusiasm would jump UP instead of DOWN, which was odd while testing a new camera. The more I used it, no matter the light or situation, it never failed me in any way, and always delivered beautiful results. It was quick, it was easy to use manual focus glass on, it felt beautiful and with my wooden JB Grip, I had many asking me what kind of camera I was using as it looks stunning with a nice prime lens and that grip!

This one, the Zeiss 16-35 on the A7RII. Lovely lens that I am now addicted to for its amazing performance. Click for larger!

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Then again, I also use the Voigtlander 15 4.5 III in Leica M mount and also adore it for its small size and brilliant performance. Click for larger! 

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In any case, the more I shot this with Sony FE lenses, Zeiss FE lenses, Leica M mount lenses, Canon EF lenses..the more impressed I was. When I did this ISO test against the A7s I was blown away. When I shot it indoors, outdoors, in brutal full sun, in the magic hour or for portraits or landscapes, the A7RII just delivered the goods without muss of fuss. The Dynamic Range of this camera/sensor is astounding.

The 24-70 Zeiss on the A7RII

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The Controversy

All the while I was enjoying the A7RII I was seeing forum postings about pixel peeping nonsense that has nothing to do with taking, displaying or printing photos. Was boggling my mind. If you believe what some who never touched the A7RII say, you would think you could not get a decent image from this camera due to the compressed RAW files. Lol. As you can see in this review, I see no issues with any of these images in regards to compressed vs non compressed raw files. I also do not see any issues in my huge prints I made. Hmmmm. The whole thing stems from pixel peepers and has nothing to do with the real capabilities of this camera as a serious or pro photo tool. I know pros using it without issue, at all, ever. So that is what matters. The real results.

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With that said, I feel Sony should give an option of uncompressed RAW files just to please those customers who want it. Shouldn’t be too hard for them to do with a camera on this price level.

As you can already sense, I love the A7RII. Spoiler. Bam. BUT it is not perfect and I’d love to see a couple changes made down the road to get it closer to where perfect lies.

The 1st image below was shot with the Zeiss 24-70 at f/4. VSCO Filter applied. I found this lens to perform exceptionally well on the A7RII. The filter here crushed the blacks, but sometimes I like this look. 

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Below, using the Canon 50 1.2 via a Metabones adapter. No more front or back focus with this lens ;) 

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Before I get into all of the Nitty Gritty, I’d like to say that while I really liked the original Sony A7 and A7R, I never LOVED them for the long haul or when compared to the newer gen A7 series. Compared to what we have in the A7II and A7RII and even A7S the A7 and A7R were slow, clunky and LOUD. Todays A7RII is like a different camera when compared to the A7R of yesterday. Newer body style, better build, quieter shutter, silent shutter, 5 Axis IS, 4K video, 40% faster AF, much better C-AF, and the list goes on. Shooting the A7RII is very enjoyable so the usability factor is up there with this one, and that is unusual for a Sony camera as old NEX bodies were more like mini computers than cameras. The A7RII is very much a “camera” but one that is loaded with features and usable function.

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Using it with a Canon lens was also enjoyable. The image above and below were both shot with the Canon 50 1.2 using a Metabones adapter, and the AF was faster on the A7RII than the Canon 5DIII using the same lens! Crazy but true, and verified by many who were with me. I loved the 50 1.2 Canon so much on the A7RII I put one in my Amazon cart right after testing it out. I never did buy it as it’s not a cheap lens but one day I just might as it seems to do really well on the A7RII.

Was much more enjoyable to use on the A7RII than it was on my old 5D from long ago (would always front focus or back focus on the 5D for me). This lens keeps its 3D character on the A7RII.

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One more from the Canon 50 1.2 (see it HERE). Beautiful color, rendering and Bokeh.

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It’s all in the details..

For me, I enjoyed the Sony A7s with intense enthusiasm (and still do) because those big fat megapixels on that big full frame sensor just delivered the goods. It was the 1st A7 body that really pushed on with speed, low light, video and user experience. Due to the 12MP on the huge sensor we were getting insane high ISO performance that was previously not possibly. We were close with the Nikon D4 and Df but the A7s pushed it over the edge for low light work. Video guys were using video at crazy high ISO and getting nice clean footage out of it. The A7s and A7II, for me, were the pinnacle of the A7 series. Until now. With the A7RII I am seeing the best of all previous A7 bodies rolled into one, and then some.

Click the image for larger view and enjoy the details ;) Taken from a Helicopter while in Portland.

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With the A7RII we have a camera that is not only full frame, not only 40% faster than the previous A7R for AF and not only built to a higher standard, we have a camera that creeps somewhat into the A7s territory for low light high ISO work. We have a camera that is the technically best in the Sony line for video (though some overheating issues have been reported).

We have an improved 5 Axis IS (though it still is not up to Olympus E-M5 II levels of performance for the 5 Axis IS) so ALL lenses can be stabilized on this new massive sensor, even old Leica glass. We have a huge EVF that allows us to see what we do in real-time as in, “what we see is what we get”. We have a swivel LCD and a vast selection of native and non native lenses to pick from to use on this camera. We have an amazing street camera in the A7RII because while we do not need 42MP of resolution, with the camera being fast and good in low light, we no longer compromise here (huge MP used to mean crappy low light, not anymore). This also gives us great cropping ability with all of those megapixels.

Man, remember the days of 1MP cameras? Now we have 42 in a smallish full frame compact body. Crazy!

Take a look at the images below. Click on them and see them larger with a full 100% crop

1st a full size from RAW image, OOC

1st one, Zeiss 35 Loxia at f/2

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Next, Zeiss 16-35 at f/4

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Loxia 35 at f/5.6 – CLICK IT TO SEE THE INSANE DETAIL!

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Voigtlander 40 2.8

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Image then a crop. Taken with the Batis 85 

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Click it for 100% crop!

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One more crop but you must click the crop to see it in its full size. 

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It’s a pretty amazing thing what Sony has accomplished in such a short time span. About two years from the first A7r to the new A7RII and we have a camera that is BRILLIANT in almost every aspect.

Sure, there will be those who still prefer a DSLR, Optical VF and the DSLR way of shooting but for many, and yes there are many, this Sony represents the wave of the future for hobbyists, enthusiasts and pros alike. It is a camera like the Sony A7RII that is breathing new life into what was becoming a tired industry. This A7RII has shaken up things a bit, and for good reason. Even Leica is starting to really sit up and take notice as mark my words, they will be releasing a Sony A7RII competitor soon, they have to as this camera and the previous A7II and A7s have eaten away at some of their M sales I am sure.

ISO 8000, 55 1.8 at 1.8, Zero NR (I never use NR, always OFF)

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Just look at the impressive specs below of the new Sony…

THE SPECS OF THE A7RII:

With a world’s first full-frame 42.4-megapixel Exmor R back-illuminated structure CMOS sensor, the Alpha a7RII Mirrorless Digital Camera from Sony is prepared to take mirrorless imaging to another level. This sensor design both improves low-light operation and speeds up data throughout, enabling fast high-resolution stills and UHD 4K video recording. Working with the BIONZ X image processor, these images can be produced at sensitivities up to ISO 102,400 and at a continuous 5 fps shooting rate. Five-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization has also been implemented, compensating for vertical, horizontal, pitch, yaw, and roll movements.

Speed has received a major boost with a 40% increase in speed over its predecessor. The AF system received its own massive upgrade with the use of 399 phase-detect points and 25 contrast-detect points for a speedy Fast Hybrid AF system which will offer extremely accurate tracking. The phase-detection points even extend to A-mount lenses when used with the LA-EA1 and LA-EA3 adapter.

Designed to last, the updated magnesium alloy body has improved weather sealing and a robust lens mount for working with large lenses. Also, the shutter has a reduced-vibration design, cutting down shutter vibrations by about 50%. Also, it now uses an electronic front curtain shutter and is rated for 500,000 cycles. Silent shooting is also available for a quiet shooting experience when needed.

Onto video, the major addition is internal UHD 4K 3840 x 2160p recording at 30 or 24 fps with the XAVC S format at 100 Mbps. This is possible using either the Super 35 crop mode, with no pixel binning, or the full-frame readout. Full HD 1920 x 1080p is still readily available at up to 60 fps and HD 1280 x 720p is possible at up to 120 fps. Additionally, the a7RII benefits from the inclusion of the S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut settings as well as fully customizable picture profiles.

Composing and reviewing your images as you work is handled with either the 0.5″ 2.36M-dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder or the 3.0″ 1,228.8k-dot tilting LCD monitor. The viewfinder offers 0.78x magnification and a 4-lens system with double-sided aspherical elements for comfortable viewing. The monitor helps in odd positions by tilting up 107° and down 41°. And, to stay connected, the a7RII packs in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC for remote operation and transfer of images to a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Zeiss Loxia 35 mid day sun – OOC

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42.4 MP Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor

The world’s first back-illuminated full-frame sensor, the 42.4-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor present in the a7RII works with the BIONZ X image processor to offer high-resolution stills and video while minimizing noise and improving speed. This sensor structure works with gapless on-chip lens design and an anti-reflection coating, as well as eliminating the optical low-pass filter, to improve light collection and enhance detail. Also, the copper wiring layer dramatically improves data transmission speed for creating high-resolution 42.4-megapixel stills at sensitivities up to ISO 102,400. Also, it enables internal UHD 4K video recording with a wide dynamic range using the full-frame sensor.

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5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Image Stabilization

Packed into the svelte a7RII is a 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization system. This compensates for five types of camera shake encountered during handheld shooting of still images and video. This allows users to confidently use any lens, even adapted lenses, for critical imaging without encountering blur from camera shake. This system will compensate for approximately 4.5 stops of shutter speed for working with a huge variety of subjects.

For long focal lengths, the system will correct for pitch and yaw adjustments. Macro and high magnification imagery on the other hand will benefit from the inclusion of horizontal and vertical shift compensation. And, all shooting styles will get usage out of the roll compensation. All 5 axes of stabilization will function at all times, even when used with third-party lenses and adapters or lenses with built-in optical stabilization.

When using lenses that do not transmit imaging data to the camera, manual settings can be used to input the correct focal length and ensure proper stabilization. Also, the viewfinder can be used to preview the amount of compensation by pressing the shutter release button halfway or magnifying the image.

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Fast Hybrid AF with 399 Phase-Detect Points

Lock onto your subjects quickly and without hesitation thanks to the revamped Fast Hybrid AF packed into the a7RII. It uses 399 on-sensor phase-detect AF points with 45% coverage along with 25 contrast-detect AF points in order to improve the speed, accuracy and tracking performance of the system. Faster readout thanks to the back-illuminated sensor structure also allows for tracking while shooting at the top continuous shooting rate of 5 fps. This can be captured in a burst of up to 24 frames when shooting in JPEG Fine L format at 42 MP and a continuous AF Display allows users to view the active AF points.

Another feature available with this AF system is a Lock-on AF tracking that will analyze more information from the scene to provide dramatically improved accuracy and stability. Eye AF is also available which will prioritize a subject’s pupil for excellent portraits even with a shallow depth of field.

Zeiss 50 Loxia

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UHD 4K Video Recording in XAVC S Format

In addition to the first BSI full-frame sensor, the a7RII is the first full-frame camera to offer internal UHD 4K video recording at 30 or 24 fps. This is possible using either the full-frame sensor or the Super 35 format which uses oversampling with full pixel readout and no pixel binning. This limits moire and aliasing common with high-resolution sensors. Video recording also benefits from live tracking thanks to the 399 phase-detection AF points present in the Fast Hybrid AF system. An additional benefit of this camera is the ability to switch back and forth between NTSC and PAL operation for worldwide use.

When recording internally, users will record video with a 4:2:0 sampling at 8-bit, however, to even further improve image quality the a7RII has clean HDMI output for use with an external recorder. This allows users to capture 4:2:2 uncompressed video and save in an edit-ready format.

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Timecode and User Bit Settings

The a7RII has multiple timecode recording options to meet different workflows. It has the standard ‘Record Run” mode that only advances the timecode when recording, as well as “Free Run” timecode that advances the timecode even when not recording, which can be great for syncing multiple cameras at live events. It can also record timecode in both drop frame and non-drop frame modes. When recording internally the a7RII is also able to output timecode via HDMI.

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Customizable Picture Profiles and S-Log2 Gamma

To make sure the a7RII is able to use its extensive dynamic range while recording video it incorporates extensive customizable color and gamma controls. Users can adjust the gamma, black level, knee, color level, and more. Also users can use the same S-Log2 Gamma Curve that is found on high end Sony Cinema cameras that squeezes up to 1300% more dynamic range into the video signal then traditional REC709, for increased post-production flexibility.

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3.0″ 1,228.8k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor

With a higher 1,228.8k-dot resolution, the LCD screen will provide shooters with an excellent screen for composing images, adjusting settings, and reviewing video and photos. It also tilts upward 107° and downward 41° for working with multiple shooting angles. Use in sunlight is improved with the implementation of WhiteMagic technology which doubles the brightness of the display through a RGBW pixel structure.

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0.5″ 2.36M-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder Electronic Viewfinder

With its 4-lens optical system using double-sided aspherical elements the viewfinder faithfully displays what will appear in your recording, including the effects of your camera settings. You’ll enjoy rich tonal gradations and improved contrast. High-end features like 100% frame coverage and a 0.78x magnification enable comfortable and stable eye-level composition.

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Redesigned Grip, Shutter Release Button, and Controls

With a larger, more refined shape to the grip, users will find the a7RII to have a more secure feel and grasp even when large lenses are mounted. Also, the shutter release button has been reshaped and moved forward for a more natural shooting position and a decrease in camera shake. The controls also have been refined with new position for easier handling and improved operation. Button customization is available with the ability to assign any of 56 functions to any of the 10 customizable buttons for a more personalized setup.

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Magnesium Alloy Construction and Robust Lens Mount

The compact form is well-built with a magnesium alloy top cover, front cover, and internal structure. The lens mount has been redesigned with a greater strength and rigidity for extra security when using larger or longer lenses. The body itself also features greater sealing for dust and moisture resistance, providing more protection when shooting out in the elements. Additionally, the optical filter on the sensor has an anti-static coating and there is an anti-dust mechanism to prevent dust from adhering to the sensor.

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Reduced-Vibration Shutter & Silent Shooting

Cutting down on mechanical vibrations by 50% is the durable reduced-vibration shutter implemented in the a7RII. It has been tested to last for 500,000 cycles and also uses an electronic front curtain shutter. Additionally, a Silent Shutter mode is available for completely silent shooting when needed in certain environments.

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Audio Input & Headphone Jack

The a7RII features a 3.5mm microphone input jack for compatibility with external microphones. And for users needing more the a7RII is also compatible with the Sony XLR-K2M XLR Adapter for recording professional balanced XLR audio signals with phantom power and adjustable mic/line inputs. For monitoring audio the a7RII features a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as real time audio levels for a visual reference.

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Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC

Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity enables the a7RII to instantly share imagery to mobile devices for direct sharing online to social networking, via email, and to cloud storage sites. NFC (Near Field Communication) is also supported, which allows for one-touch connection between the camera and compatible mobile devices; no complex set-up is required. Once connected, the linked mobile device can also display a live view image on its screen and remotely control the camera’s shutter.

Additionally, PlayMemories Camera Apps are also supported via the built-in Wi-Fi connection, and allow you to personalize the camera’s features depending on specific shooting styles. Apps are available to suit creating portraits, detailed close-ups, sports, time lapse, motion shot, and other specific types of imagery.

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Other Camera Features

Picture Effect modes: Posterization (Color, B&W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-Key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-Tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, and Illustration.

Creative Style settings: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, and Sepia (all with +/- 3 step contrast, saturation, and sharpness adjustment).

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Color space: sRGB standard (with sYCC gamut) and Adobe RGB standard compatible with TRILUMINOS Color.
Picture Profile parameters: Black Level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine 1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode, Color Level, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, and Reset.
Scene Selection modes: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, and Anti Motion Blur.

Face Detection is available to base exposure and focus on up to eight recognized faces. Furthermore, Eye AF can be used for even greater precision by maintaining critical focus on a subject’s eye.
2x Clear Image Zoom can be used to effectively double the magnification afforded by any lens in use with minimal image degradation. For even greater magnification, 1.5x and 2x Smart zoom is available, as well as 4x digital zoom.

Pre-flash TTL control with flash bracketing available and a variety of flash modes, including: Flash off, auto, fill-flash, rear sync, slow sync, red-eye reduction, hi-speed sync, and wireless control.

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More of MY Experience with the A7RII

Here we are 3700 words in and I have yet to show you guys comparisons, Leica M mount results, High ISO performance…wow. From this point on I will try to be to the point and quick so let’s start with some high ISO results against the top dog in high ISO, the Sony A7s. I assumed the A7RII would be sub par at high ISO due to the massive 42MP sensor. Well, I was wrong, and this is good! So below I will get to high ISO, Leica M lens use, Dynamic Range and more. Let’s get to it!

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HIGH ISO PERFORMANCE vs LOW LIGHT INDUSTRY LEADER A7S

Let’s take a look from ISO 6400 all the way to 102,800 ISO on both the new A7RII and the high ISO king, the A7s. WOW, this is 42MP? IT DOES QUITE WELL though I would only use it at up to 6400 comfortably with the occasional 12,800.

Text that says what camera is what is on each image, click them for larger and 100% crops!

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So there you go. The A7s still beats the A7RII (as expected) at the extreme higher ISO’s but the A7RII did much better than I had thought here. ISO 12,800 is VERY VERY usable, which is unheard of in a 42MP sensor.

Also, When out and about shooting in VERY low light or near darkness the A7RII gave me no issues. I never ever ever use Noise Reduction, so EVERY shot you see in this review or any other reviews by me in the last 4-5 years will not have NR applied.

Two more high ISO shots in VERY LOW LIGHT! The 1st image we were in a DARK room and her face was lit by her iPhone, that is all. ISO 6400, Zero NR as always. Click it for larger and know this is what you can expect of the A7RII in super low light at 6400 ISO. The image shows much more light than my eyes saw! 2nd shot is also 6400.. Lens is the 55 1.8

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ISO 12800, crazy low light room. 55 1.8

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ISO 102,400 – Zero NR here. Zeiss Loxia 50

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For being a 42MP sensor, this is extremely impressive.

LEICA M MOUNT WIDE ANGLE PERFORMANCE

Testing the Leica 28 Summicron and 35 Summicron up close, mid distance and at infinity. From what I understand, shooting at infinity is where these M mount wide angles pose the largest problems with the A7 series, so I was asked by a very knowledgable guy who loves his Leica glass to test these two lenses, and if they do well at infinity then it could mean the A7RII is fantastic with M glass.

Let us take a look and see how it went..1st up, a few images using the Leica 28 Summicron f/2 lens:

Looking at these snapshots with the Leica 28 Summicron tells me “no problems”!! No magenta edges, no off color, none of that..

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In this next image you can see the searing on the left and right side of the image (the red wood) which is an issue if you want across the frame sharpness. In fact, I would recommend the Sony 28mm f/2 over the Leica as depending on how you focus (infinity or up close) there could be some soft corners…

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Here is a shot with the 28 cron and a 100% crop, plenty of detail here..CLICK IT FOR LARGER and 100% crop! Corners have some softness but no color issues. 

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NOW THE 35mm SUMMICRON

The 35 Summicron also shows no magenta colors, edges or problems unless you are shooting something like a sweeping landscape using infinity focus, which is where you will see the softness/smearing on the sides of the frame.

This is the Sony A7RII with Leica 35 Summicron at f/4. Click for larger. No vignetting issues, no color issues but there is some edge smearing when shooting at infinity (or so it appears). 

The good news is that for 98% of uses, the 28 and 35 Leica cron work great on the A7II. So if you have one of them, they will do well on the A7RII unless you are doing critical landscape work shooting at infinity.

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Few more snaps with the 35 Cron. Click them for larger. 

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Detail and snap looks as it should with the 35!

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For wide open shooting up close and mid distance this lens is great on the A7RII

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So at the end of the day, it seems the Magenta sides and color issues when using wider angle Leica lenses are no longer issues, as in 100% gone, which is fantastic. The new backlit sensor does indeed fix the #1 issue we had with M glass on the A7 series. Bokeh and character rendering all are the same as they are if shooting these lenses on a Leica M. In other words, if I shot a portrait using the 35 cron on the M and A7II, my guess is that no one would be able to tell me which was shot on which and the Sony may even produce a sharper image.

If I was buying an A7RII I would stick with native lenses for the most part, and would pick up vintage M mount lenses for their character here and there (the cheap ones). I would not invest $4-5k in a 28 cron or 35 summicron for the A7RII as I feel there are cheaper lenses that do just as well on the camera. The Sony/Zeiss 35 1.4, (the Zeiss 35 1.4 M mount is also fantastic), the Sony 28 f/2 is cheap and punches well above its price point, etc. There are some amazing Leica 50mm lenses I would consider like the 50 Summilux ASPH or 50 APO which work amazingly well on the A7S, A7II and now A7RII. Other less expensive 50’s I would buy for the A7RII in Leica M mount would be the Voigtlander 50 1.5 Nokton ASPH or the Zeiss 50 1.5 Sonnar. Both are spectacular on the A7s, A7II and A7RII,

If I already owned a few Leica M lenses I would 100% buy an A7RII to use them with as a backup to my M or whatever I was using. In many ways the A7RII beats the Leica M. In some ways the Leica M beats the Sony (Build, feel, design, RF use, simplicity).

So there ya go, and the new 15mm III from Voigtlander works VERY well with the A7RII, sharp across the frame, no distortion, tiny. :) The A7RII is a VERY versatile camera.

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DYNAMIC RANGE

Dynamic range is spectacular just going by the fact that it is simple to NOT blow highlight and that shadow detail is incredibly easy to recover as well. The info is there, packed in to the file and if we under or over expose, we can easily fix the issues. Of course, underexposing is always easier but the challenge has always been when we pull out those shadows, we also pull out noise and in some cases, banding or other artifacts. With the A7RII, I had no problem recovering the shadows from the shot below which I exposed this way purposely. As always, click images for larger.

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So as you can see, the DR of this sensor in the A7RII is rather good. I look forward to seeing DXO’s test of the sensor to see what the numbers are. I am not a huge DXO guy but I do like their Dynamic Range and ISO tests.

COMPARED TO the A7II and A7S and old A7R

Compared to the A7II and A7s (TWO cameras I adore) the A7RII is like having the best of both of those bodies into one. It beats the A7II for me as I prefer the image quality I am getting from the new backlit sensor in the RII over the A7II. With fantastic low light ability, fast AF and the ability to shoot any fast prime ever made (just about) the A7RII has taken the place of my A7s and A7II, and condensed it down to one body. The A7s still has a place in my heart as it is a unique camera and it is still on my shelf. LOW megapixels, easier to handle the files, easier to edit on a low horsepower computer and lovely color and speed as well as industry leading low light abilities.

The A7RII is not too far off from the A7s in low light, which is astounding and makes me think a new A7SII will have 1 million ISO possibilities. I could be wrong but I feel that is where we are headed.

To see my A7s review, click HERE

To see my A7II review click HERE

To see my original A7R review, click HERE

SO basically, for me, the A7RII is “IT”. It replaces the A7II for me, as there is no need for both. I still have an A7s and will keep that one around for when I want low MP and extreme low light use.

wheels

AF SPEED – MUCH IMPROVED OVER A7R and equal to or a tad faster than the A7II in my experience 

The AF speed is MUCH faster than the old A7R and its not subtle. If you have been shooting an A7R and move to the A7RII you just might be shocked in the 40% faster AF speed, AF accuracy and the shutter which is now MUCH quieter! The new body style is also more rugged and solid and feels fantastic. Sony really did their homework with this camera and while it is not perfect (no camera is), it is fabulous and quite a special machine. Well worth the investment if you are a passionate shooter like myself. It brings many levels of joy and with the new AF speed, I no longer miss shots as the A7R used to make me do with its dodgy AF, especially in low light.

Also, I feel I can AF faster with the A7RII than I can with a Nikon Df, which gave me many AF misses. With the EVF showing me exactly what is IN focus, if it did miss I could easily fix it on the spot. So yes, the AF is at the level of the A7II, maybe a bit faster (seems like it is)

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VIDEO

This camera is WAY beyond my capabilities as a videographer but many have been reporting overheating issues with video recordings longer than 30 minutes. I remember having this issue with my old NEX-7, but I have not experienced myself with the A7RII yet, but my videos have been 15-20 minutes max. Seems Sony has some overheating issues with some of their cameras when shooting video. Should not be here in a camera of this level or price point so if you shoot video segments longer than 30 min at a time, you may want to dig into this issue deeper on other review sites that specialize in video reviews. All I can say is that the video I have shot so far (for my own personal projects) has been superb, especially with the new enhanced 5 Axis IS, which is in body. Shooting with a Zeiss 16-35 is so nice, it almost seems like a steady cam is attached when shooting at 16mm.

If I were buying this strictly for video work though I would investigate the over heating issues 1st!

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Leads me to two more weaknesses with the A7RII, video overheating is one..and the 2nd and 3rd?

*EVF PERFORMANCE

The EVF of the Sony A7RII is an upgrade from the old A7R but it is not without issues that some have been reporting all over the internet and camera forums. When using a manual focus lens, let’s say a Zeiss Loxia (which I love to death on the A7RII). Turn the focus ring and the A7RII will automatically magnify the EVF screen so you can critically focus. Press your magnify button again and it will blow up even bigger, but when this happens you will see some degradation in the EVF frame, something the A7II and old A7 series did not do. There is some sort of degradation which makes it hard to critically focus, so I never blow up the EVF image that large, as it is does the opposite of what I need, making it harder to manually focus.

Other than the Manual Focus issue with the EVF, it is fantastic. I still can easily manually focus my Loxia lenses, so do not think it makes it hard or impossible, it just makes it “harder” than it should be if you magnify the screen to its max level.

yellowgrage

*BATTERY LIFE

The weakness that has started with the original A7R continues..battery life. For some this is an issue. For me it is not at all as I get 350-400 shots per charge, and I have 6 batteries (but only carry two with me when out shooting) and batteries are cheap if you go 3rd party, very cheap.

Many want 2000 shots from a battery charge and many shoot their cameras like a machine gun. Me, I do not and if I am out for 8 hours shooting I may come home with 40 images. Many would come back with 3000. So if you are a massive frame rate machine gun shooter, you will need a few batteries or you will need to slow it down, or bring along a Nikon D4 with it’s massive weapon of a battery.

If you are like me, and getting 300-400 shots per battery is PLENTY, then this is a non issue. When shooting video you will use more power so the battery does suck down MUCH more when filming video. But the A7RII is just as impressive with still images as it is video. In other words, it is NOT a video specific camera, at all. I am more impressed with the photo side than video on this camera.

I slightly mis-focused this one with the Zeiss 35 Loxia

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PROS AND CONS

Pros

  1. Lovely build and feel
  2. 5 Axis IS is now enhanced for the new sensor
  3. Splash proof
  4. Compatible with ALL FE lenses and E lenses
  5. Compatible with all Leica M lenses, Canon and Nikon (with adapters)
  6. Nice big fat EVF
  7. Tilting LCD
  8. Gorgeous IQ and color
  9. Improved AF speed by 40%
  10. Much nicer AWB than previous model
  11. Pro level video features and capabilities.
  12. Feels fantastic in the hand
  13. High ISO is incredible for megapixel size.
  14. All buttons are customizable! Woohoo!
  15. Sony’s best digital camera ever IMO.
  16. Resolution can be mind blowing
  17. Near medium format feel at times (to the images)

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Cons:

  1. Expensive at over $3000
  2. Still some smearing issues with some wide angle Leica M mount lenses
  3. EVF degradation issue at max magnification for manual focus
  4. Battery life could be better, especially for video use.
  5. Could be simpler. I’d love to see an A7 series body stripped down  to basics, like a Leica. ONLY for photo, no video.
  6. 12 Bit RAW, they should make it 14 bit for those who want it.

ZEISS 16-35

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MY FINAL CONCLUSION

Well here I am again writing a conclusion on another Sony camera. I remember vividly reviewing the early NEX-3 and 5 years ago. Both revolutionary cameras at the time that I loved back then. Today it’s all about full frame and pushing the limits of 35mm IQ, low light high ISO and even image stabilization. The latest and greatest camera in the mirrorless world is the A7RII and for me, it surpasses any and all that have come before, quite handily. Is it the best 35mm full frame camera in the world? Maybe not, but then again, maybe it is. Depends on your needs and wants, and for me, it is the one I would choose if I was buying ANY 35mm format full frame digital camera today. Here is why…

  • Massive resolution
  • Finally…fast AF speed
  • C-AF is quite good though not pro DSLR good
  • High ISO is up there with the best in the world
  • Video is outstanding (as long as we do not overheat)
  • Color, detail and image quality up with the best available in 35mm
  • Pro-ISH build and feel here, much better than previous A7R and A7
  • Large EVF, I prefer these to OVF’s today by FAR!
  • Camera handling, speed and response is fantastic
  • Hundreds, if not thousands of lenses can be Mounted and used. Limitless creative possibilities with ONE camera. It’s a beautiful thing.

The A7RII is one hell of a camera, and it’s not just me saying this. Many long time reviewer’s are praising it as well, and the reason is because it is the real deal. Many are complaining about the compressed RAW thing, and I understand the concern (on paper) but for me, I have never had any issue with any of my A7RII images that have been taken since using it in Portland at the Sony media event and now in my home. NOT ONE issue related to that, so for me, it is a NON issue. Though I do get it, and I hear Sony is looking into this as I write this.  If I ever have an issue due to having compressed RAW files I will let you all know. I do not expect to EVER have an issue as I do not pixel peep at 400%, or even 200%.

At the end of the day, the Sony A7RII is quite an achievement. Sony never gave up, never stalled, and they listened to what WE had to say. They implemented many of our needs and wants and we now have a NEAR perfect camera in the A7RII for those who just love to shoot, love photography and love when they see such amazing quality when they load the images.

Zeiss Batis 85 f/2

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From Zeiss to Sony to Leica to Canon to Nikon to others…so many lenses can be used to great effect with the A7RII. With its in body 5 Axis Image Stabilization, its resolution and all the things I Just mentioned, there is really nothing NOT to like. For me, it’s the best camera in 35mm full frame format that I have ever used, tested or reviewed. This is my new #1 replacing my A7II. I will keep the A7s for those moments when I am in the “S” mood or need that extra bit of low light ability.

Sony 35 1.4 Distagon – Chris from the Phoblographer

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If you want the best that 35mm can offer you in IQ and features and size and ease of use/joy of use, take a long look at the A7RII. It may be your dream camera. Now I have to try the Canon dream lens on the A7RII which I will then dub the “Dream Team”! Hehehe.

Where to Buy?

I would buy the A7RII at Amazon HERE or B&H Photo HERE. Two of the best retailers on the planet.

A few more A7RII Snaps…

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bridge

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liveshows

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oldford

window

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bike

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Purchase the A7RII at B&H Photo HERE

Purchase the A7RII at Amazon HERE

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221 thoughts on “The Sony A7RII Camera Review. A Real world look.”

  1. Quick ?
    this has come way down to where its just over 2k new, so Olympus has a new cam the em1-2.
    If you had to choose which between these two, which would you prefer.. its like a compare and contrast from school! ha

    thanks again for all your hard work..
    Matthew

    1. The A7RII is $2900 new these days, so still %$800-$900 more than an EM1 MKII. Also, depends on if you want full frame benefits (more shallow DOF, better in low light, use almost any lens of any brand via adapters) of M 4/3 benefits (faster AF, Oly color, pro build).

  2. Have the muscle mass burn off this.

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  3. Steve – How would you rate the focus accuracy and focus dependability of the A7RII? I saw another popular reviewer state the auto-focus was “hit and miss”, which really surprised me based on everything else I’ve read. What percentage of your shots would you say were misfocused when using AF? Thanks!

    1. Well, I can say after 1.5 years of using both Nikon and Sony systems in there entirety, Yes the whole enchilada. Having full line of bodies and lens available and now with the addition of D5 and D500 in my workforce. Still waiting for the Sony FE 70-200 2.8. Wow what a ride it has been.. Sony image quality is outstanding for sure. Hands down if you have the time to compose the shot, it’s worth its weight in Gold. However, the compromises stack up over time, battery life, single card slot, menu system, autofocus speed and read/write times to cards. overheating while shooting 4k video. IT hunts for focus often and pauses when trying to capture just people in events. I can go on..I miss more shots then i can count because of the slow start up and response. FYI for those of you who know there are setting you can turn off and things you can do Which I have done all of them and I use the fastest cards available. The two Sony A7RII’s still have these issues. Sony is a winning looser. Yet I love the product. Not sure that makes since to everyone, but what I am saying is if you use a camera for a living you better make sure it fits the task at hand. If, you just have a lot of money to spend and like gadgets, without total direction, then dive in. Otherwise Nikon and Canon are still the ones to beat and I am afraid to say the ones to own. I wish all three of them could sit at a round table and share technology concepts. Wow what would that camera look like.. So to wrap it up.. I am back on my Nikon gear full steam ahead, awaiting a High resolution D8??.. Canon is doing a great job, however Nikon and Canon are both worthy of some changes.. Certainly Nikon focus system is outrageously wicked. Choosing Sony is only if you have money and time to spend managing a lot of useless accessories and how to quickly use a menu system that is slow at best., Dog slow.. Wait I mean turtle slow like the start up. For still images and desire to crop and have high resolution files that will eat the competitor’s for lunch, as it also eats the space on your hard drive., go Sony. However, If Sony does not get their menu system in order and make some major hardware changes like, (battery, 1 SD card slot, focus toggle joystick, etc.. I think their cameras will be for the guy who just wants the brand. It will just be another burp in the industry soon to be expelled onto the floor as a pile of regretted nasty stuff.. Hope this helps someone, because if I knew what I do now, I would have not gone down this path of Sony YET?… Two things I will miss is image quality and silent shutter. Thanks for letting me unleash my thoughts.. In the end the only right answer for anyone is what appeals to you. It is your adventure. Capture the moment.. Heck one of the best shots I have ever seen was from an iPhone.. G~

  4. Steve, with the HDR shadow recovery samples in your article, did you do the recovery on the OOC JPG or was it done on a RAW file from the same scene?

  5. Do you have both bodies?
    I would like to print out a Sony 7A rii & 7Sii image file approx. 38” X 24”
    on Canvas. I am so curious being a filmmaker / still shot / Printing
    Artist ie if I can get away with the 7Sii or not. Proof for me is in wide format
    Printing. I will mail back at no cost. My Nikon shoots 12 mp & is fine up to
    44” formats/images. GH3 at 16 mp does great at 44”.

    42.4 mp vs 12 mp big print hum 244 dpi or 300 dpi @ 1,600 to 2,400 or
    Under.

  6. Hi,
    I’m planning to get a 35mm system camera and thinking of the A7 series.
    Is the A7Rii worth the extra money compare to the A7ii?
    I focus on photography but not video shooting so the A7Sii should not be on the list, right? As you mention the A7Rii high ISO performance is already very good.

    As you recommend, I’m tempted to get the Zeiss Loxias as I like MF lens too. But which one should I start with? 35 or 50?
    Although I can afford both together but I think I’ll do it step by step or my wife will not be happy while seeing the bill, LOL.

    Looking forward to your advices.

  7. Hello,
    I’m planning to get a Sony A7 series camera with a Zeiss Loxia lens before my honeymoon trip next year. Still thinking which model should I get, is the upgrade of 7Rii worth the extra money compare to the 7ii? I’m focus on photography only and not interested in video shooting so I think 7Sii should not be in the list although it’s a beast in high ISO performance.
    And which Loxia should I get first if I only want to get one first, 35 or 50(yes I do want to get both together, but I don’t think my wife will be happy with the bill…let see if I can get the approval…)
    Very confuse and want to get some advice from the professional.
    Looking forward to your advice.

  8. Hi Steve,

    I tracked down a great deal on a Sony A7R II (am currently on a sony A7 II) but it’s still a huge chunk of cash. Without being an obsessive pixel peeper, do you think the A7R II is worth the upgrade if I shoot mostly manual focus (e.g. Loxia) lenses? I plan on using it for landscapes and personal travel photography.

    I’m generally happy with my current setup so it’s only cause this opportunity is a bit too good to pass that I’m considering this. My other option is wait for whatever the next generation is but trying to not make a habit of constantly upgrading :)

    Thanks for the great work and any feedback you can provide.

    Tony

    1. The RII has slightly different IQ qualities, more pop, etc. But its not THAT huge of a difference in the grand scheme of things. Same body, more resolution…It’s my #1 right now, daily driver.

  9. Hi Steve,
    I read about the sony 55 1.8 lens that it performs worse on the A7RII compared with the A7II due to the extra megapixels. Is this also your experience? I looking to buy the como A7RII and the 55 1.8. This is my last doubt. Hope you can fill me in on this. Thanks beforehand.

    1. Nope, not true in my experience. It performs, for me, best on my A7RII over my A7S or A7II that I no longer have. Sony has even stated that ALL of their lenses will resolve more than what the RII will give them.

  10. Hi Steve! (And everybody else)

    Long time reader and first time poster.
    I’ve been using a Panasonic GF-1 mainly with the pancake 20mm 1.7 and I got a Voigtlander 50mm 1.1 Nokton for fun then stupidly got the Voitlander 25mm 0.95 for MFT (regretful purchase and need to sell).

    I’ve been waiting and waiting and saving and saving to upgrade my whole kit… NOW IS THE TIME!

    Looking for advice! I know everything I’m going to get is a massive upgrade but still looking to make better decision than I did in the past.

    Decided on the a7Rii. I travel a lot as a roadie for work so I like taking photos in the cities I visit. Nature, people, architecture. I want to start shooting models some and doing portraits and I want to up my concert photography game (since I’m there for work anyway).

    As much as I love my 50mm getting some auto lenses is pretty important for concerts (as far as I can tell) and there look to be some amazing native lenses now.

    I really like the idea of the Voigtlander 15mm III. Especially if I keep my 50mm so the adapter wouldn’t be wasted on just one lens.

    Thinking about 2 possibly sets of lenses:
    1. 15mm, 35mm, 50mm (maybe eventually 85/90mm)
    2. 25mm, 50mm (maybe eventually 85/90mm)

    Considering for option 1:
    Voigtlander 15
    Which 35!? The Sony 1.4 looks amazing but massive!
    stick with my 50mm (or change for what auto 50?)
    either the batis 85 or Sony 90 macro.

    Considering for option 2:
    Batis 25mm
    stick with my 50mm (or change for what auto 50?)
    either the batis 85 or Sony 90 macro.

    Maybe I should hold out for some more lens options on the horizon and just stick with my 50?

    Looking for advise/opinions on options and lens choices please! ASAP as I’m ready to pull trigger and going on a tour soon!

    MUCH appreciated!
    LOVE your work!

    1. I got too eager… Still awaiting reply for advice about which to get, 25mm? 35mm? or even a 50 to replace my Nokton 1.1? Which might be too big for all around everyday use? Or are they really that amazing to deal with it?

      I just ordered a close-focus adapter so I could at least use the lens I have for a while, and I really like the idea of the 15mm

      Also, to play a little more i picked up the 40mm 2.8 pancake…

      Thoughts?….

      1. I can not tell you what lens to buy, but can say go with what lens pulls you in the most. Do you want small or large? Do you want Auto Focus or Manual focus? Do you want a Sony branded lens or Zeiss or one of many other 3rd party brands? What is the budget? I can’t tell you what would be best for you to replace your Nokton with, only you can decide that. Best advice is to read as many reviews as you can, and go with what you feel works for you. Thank you.

  11. Thanks for the review Steve, helpful as always.

    I wonder if you have managed to try the Canon dream lens on the Rii. I own the A7s and the combo with the dream lens is my favorite. Will this lens work just well on the Rii or will the mega pix sensor show it flaws? I’m considering trading up my S to Rii but don’t want to lose the dream lens magic, can’t try before I buy unfortunately.

    Thanks again,

    Kfir

  12. Hello Steve,

    Thank you for another outstanding review!

    I’m hesitating between buying a Leica M with a summilux 50 1.4 lens or getting a A7Rii with also a summilux 50 1.4 and voigtländer adapter. What would be your choice if you could only take one!?
    Thanks in advance

    Fab

  13. Thanks Steve. Great review.

    Quick question (apologize if already answered): I assume there are in-camera options to downscale the OOC JPEG to a “medium” size. How do these “down sampled” JPEGs compare (in color depth and high ISO noise) to the normal output of the a7S?

    I am wondering if the a7R II can essentially emulate the a7S if you are willing (or want) to output smaller file sizes?

    I no longer “work” as a photographer, but occasionally shoot weddings, and don’t have time for RAW. I also don’t need huge resolution, but would be nice to have it in the back pocket if needed.

    1. Two ways of downsizing JPG’s:
      FF:
      – downsize the JPG image; only applies to JPG output
      7952 x 5304 (42.2 MP, 3:2), RAW and JPG both FF
      5168 x 3448 (17.8 MP, 3:2), JPG only; RAW is FF
      3984 x 2656 (10.6 MP, 3:2), JPG only; RAW is FF

      or
      Crop Mode:
      – shoot in Crop Mode; downsizes both the RAW and JPG output
      5168 x 3448 (17.8 MP, 3:2), RAW and JPG both Crop Mode
      3984 x 2656 (10.6 MP, 3:2), JPG only; RAW is Crop Mode
      2592 x 1728 (4.5 MP, 3:2), JPG only; RAW is Crop Mode

      If you’re going to do this, select Xtra Fine as the JPG format for the best JPG quality.

      bwa

    2. As for A7S vs. downscaled A7R II subs, I find the A7R II actually outperforms the A7S on a downscaled basis, at least up to about ISO 12800, maybe ISO 25600. I’ve used the A7R and A7R for astrophotography since they were released and am now testing the A7R II in this capacity. It definitely outperforms the A7R and really pushes the A7S. I like to think DxOMark’s Low-Light ISO is indicative of the difference:
      A7 II: 2449, quite noisy under low light conditions
      A7R: 2746
      A7R II: 3434
      A7S: 3702

      bwa

  14. When using the Voigtlander M close-focus adapter on the A7Rii, does the camera still AF or can only use manual focus? I’d like to use my Leica glass but Is it best to use native lenses on the Sony to use all its features?

      1. I don’t like the adaptor, auto-focus slow and in low-light situations practically impossible to work with because I’m not getting the AF lighting assistant when I’m using this adaptor. If anyone is interested in buying it, pls contact me.

  15. Steve- [not so] simple question: I you had nothing and wanted an all around body, photo, video, and great AF- do you take A7II with the FE 35mm 1.4, or the A7RII with the 35mm 2.8??

    1. I wouldn’t buy the 35 2.8 with either. Good lens but there are so much better. In any case, I would take the RIi for its backlit sensor which fixes 90% of issues when using Leica M glass, the tweaked 5 Axis and one that would last me for years and years. With the RII there is nothing in regards to res or IQ that I would want different, so it would last me a long long time. I still shoot the original A7s as well and enjoy it but the RII is the most mature A7 yet with the A7II right behind it. My combo would be something like an RII with Voigtlander 35 1.7 M mount (manual) though the Sony 35 1.4 is for me, the best 35mm lens out there.

  16. Steve, I have read all your reviews of the A7 series cameras. I do not think you cover what I am about to ask. You review various lenses options for the cameras, but have not heard anything about what you feel about the A series lenses using the sony adaptor. I have ordered but not received yet the A mount 27-70 2.8 series II and 70-400 series II. Is there a better and maybe cheaper option of achieving those focal lengths? Thank you!

    1. I would never use the A lenses with adapter on an A7 body. if I had a collection of A lenses I would sell them and buy the native lenses. Why? The A lenses will be larger, then the huge adapter, then they will focus slower than the current crop of lenses. Also, Sony has a load of new FE lenses coming SOON (as in, any time now), and they will be superior to the previous A lenses. SO….I would not use them personally. Many do though.

  17. Steve, thanks for all the reviews, it’s a huge help. “Quick” question:
    – Last night I pulled the trigger on the A7RII. I intend to use a Mitakon 50mm 0.95 and the zeiss batis 24mm 2.0 when released. I have used the A7S before and been very happy at night with the mitakon, but honestly felt i got a sharper pic during daylight with my a6000 and the 50mm1.8. I was super excited with my purchase till i saw the A7SII announcement today. Should I hit the return button and wait? I dont plan on doing video, mostly landscape, portrait, and concert photography. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

  18. Steve, somewhere on this site you recommend a certain shutter release for the A7 series which for the life of me I cant find. Can you tell me the shutter release you use? Thanks.

  19. Hi Steve, great review, someday hope to be able to afford the upgrade from the A7R that I use now. Meanwhile I would like to get either the Sony 90mm f2.8 or the Zeiss 85mm f1.8 for portraits. The thing is I like to do Macro work too. I presently have the Olympus EM 1 with the 60 macro that I use for that work. I find myself using the A7r for pretty much everything else. My question is would I be happy with the Sony 90mm for portraits and macro use? The Olympus 60mm macro is a great lens and easy to use hand held for macro with the 5 axsis stabilization. I would sell the Olympus equipment and many lenses but my wife is now using it so can’t do that.

  20. Steve, I’d really like to read your response to the review in progress of the Sony A7R2 by Ken Rockwell. Ken is an actual working pro who makes his living shooting and SELLING his images. I think he makes some excellent remarks about the Sony A7R2 both on the positive and negative aspects of this new system.

  21. Hi Steve,
    great review as usuall! Thanks for that.

    I want to ask one question: Is it really possible to use a (very) old Minolta AF Lens with Sonys LA EA 3 Adapter on the 7r2?
    I have a more than 25 year old Minolta 2,8 100mm Macro (i think the first series). It has no sonic motor or anything else built in and now I want to use it on a 7r2 because it is a great lens.
    Perhaps I am a little stupid but how does it works without any axel like with my old Minolta 9000?

    Best regards
    Armin

  22. Steve…

    Many of us are (speaking for myself I guess) are enthusiasts who want to make the most of their hobby. Maybe we sell an occasional print… but for the most part.. we do not make our living in photography. I have the A7II, the 55mm, the 35 f/2.8, and the voigtlander 15mm. Do you think that the A7RII will make a clear obvious difference in the photographs of an enthusiast? I’m having a difficult time finding anyone compare these two cameras, and in particular when an enthusiast might prefer one or the other.

    1. The A7RII is like an A7II on steroids in regards to megapixels ;) It has a tad different signature, more like the A7s IMO. But both are fantastic. If you like your A7II, I’d stick with it.

    2. Dan,

      I have the A7S, A7R, A7 II and A7R II. As Steve says, “The A7RII is like an A7II on steroids in regards to megapixels”. It also has much faster autofocus with adapted 3rd party lenses and better low light performance; much closer to A7S performance than the A7R or A7 II.

      I like the A7 II for daylight shooting but I’ve gone almost totally with the A7S and A7R II for indoor projects.

      And the A7R II, of course, shoots and records 4K video if you’re into hi-res video.

      The A7S, A7 II and A7R II are all great cameras! Which one you use depends upon what you plan to do with it… Both my A7S and A7R are full spectrum modified for astro/nightscape/IR photography. The A7 II and A7R II cover everything else.

      bwa

  23. Dear Sony,
    Give us light, small and cheap lenses with high quality optics such as A mount 85mm f2.8. I know you won’t but still we want them :) For instance, I’d be OK with a small 18mm f4, or 135mm f4. 35mm f2.8 and 55mm f1.8 are great, still not inexpensive enough. f1.8 is good but it make lenses big and expensive.
    And please revise those Zeiss 16-70 and 24-70 lenses, they are horrible performers for their prices.

  24. Thanks for the review, Steve.

    I’ve been shoooting landscapes for a few days with this camera and I noticed it’s not delivering sharp enough images for my taste. I’m using the Metabones adapter and all Canon 2.8 EF lenses. Yes lacking a bit soul like Mark says and a bit flat. I was happier with my Canon 5D MK III images for now . . . there must be a way to get sharper images. Should I only shoot in manual and not use autofocus. I turn steadyshot off when using a tripod? The images seem a bit mushy too. Any suggestions?

    1. Try a 16-35 Zeiss or a 35 1.4 Zeiss, and you will not have issues with sharpness. Rent them. Other gems are Loxia 35 and 50, Batis 85, Sony 90 Macro. GOBS of detail and sharpness.

      1. Thanks very much for your suggestions, Steve! Looks like I’ll stick with my Canon 5D MK III and new 5DSr. I’ve had a chance to work with both the new Canon and Sony and I find they both need a sturdy tripod to obtain a sharp image. The Canon wins over the Sony in sharpness using Canon lenses. I’m dissapointed in A7r II camera stablizer. I found it useless with my all my Canon L lenses hand held. Otherwise the camera was very nice but I need lots of pixels and sharpness for large panorama prints. I’m also concerned about the A7r II not withstanding challenging wet weather too. Thanks again . . . great article!

        1. Are you careful to enter the focal length of the Canon lens? That’s needed for IBIS to compensate correctly for tilt and yaw vibrations, which predominate for pictures taken at normal (i.e., 10′ or more) distances. That said, only a tripod and cable release will eliminate vibration at the A7Rii pixel level.

    2. I’m almost sure your 5D is auto-correcting. The disadvantage of using the A7RII is that you have to post-process your images. Using a Dxo profile will solve your problem.

  25. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for this complete (and a bit more technical than usual :) ) real world review. I’m an amateur photographer soon taking the full frame route, and I have a very naive question: compared to the magnificent pictures on your Leica M 240 review, the still beautiful pictures on this one seem to slightly lack… soul, if you see what I mean. They didn’t give me the same desire to ditch my current hardware and change manufacturers completely (Leica / Sony). From a very subjective point of vue, have you felt something similar (and as remarked by other commenters, your syntax this time seemed a tad less enthusiastic)? Is it the camera? Colors? Flattening of the picture? The choice of lenses?

    Thanks again for your great work

    1. Well, thank you for reading. Me, I feel the images stand up and best the M 240 files without question. It is a better camera with better specs, features and IQ BUT the Leica has the Mojo in the build, feel, simplicity and RF as well as the lenses. It’s all about the lenses and in my M review I used some exotic glass (Noctilux, Summulux, APO cron) so what you are seeing is a result of those lenses (which can be used on the Sony perfectly) more than anything else. It’s not the body of the M or the sensor. This is why Leica is so expensive for the glass. :)

      The A7RII is technically the better camera. The M 240 is the better companion. I love BOTH.

  26. Hi Steve

    Great review of a great camera. The high resolution rivals to the A7RII in the 35mm space are the Nikon D810 and the Canon 5DR & 5DRs. Also, I know this is the previous model but the A7R which is loved by me but unloved my many. How much better is the image quality

    Will you be doing a shoot out between them?

    The Nikon and Canon rivals will be limited in the number of lenses you can mount on them but that said, I am interested to know whether they are in the same league as the A7Rii.

    One last thing, if you look at the Sony A7 lenses, there are many that appear to be just the DSLR version of the lens with a spacer on it. The only mirrorless lenses that Sony appears to produce that do not appear to be the DSLR knock off lens plus spacer is the 35mm f2.8, the 28F2 and the 55 f1.8. The 35 f1.4 is a curious beast because it is bigger than the 35 f1.4 Dslr lens Sony G lens that looked exactly like the Minolta 35 f1.4 AF lens. I am wondering about that one whether it was originally designed as an A99 lens that was modified to be an A7 lens.

    Message to Sony if you are listening, make small lenses that go on your beautifully small full frame mirrorless digital camera. Fast small sized lenses please. Something simple like a 50 f1.4 and 28 f1.4 and if you can manage it an 85 f1.4. If you can make a 50 F1.2 really sharp wide open, that would be most welcome but until then, I have to settle for the Canon 50 f1.2.

    I do not have an issue using fast Leica lenses on the Sony. In fact I find them easier to use on the Sony than on a Leica M body. That focus peaking is outstanding.

    Thanks again for a great review.

    1. No shoot out as those are DSLR’s and are different types of cameras altogether. With that said, I feel the A7RII would whip them both in the IQ dept, especially in more challenging light. The Sony, even with the larger lenses is still half the size of those beasts. The 35 1.4 DIstagon from Sony/Zeiss is the best 35mm I have ever used for any System (even Leica) and is a gorgeous lens. I spoke with Sony about lens sized and due to it being full frame and the fact that they need audio focus motors the lenses can never be small. Not possible. Leica can make small lenses as they do not use AF (so this means much smaller lens) and they also put loads of money into making them small, which is why they are so expensive. So expect new lenses from Sony soon, but none will be tiny ;)

  27. Hi Steve
    I am glad you like your Sony. A7r2.
    I was looking at your photos and i think all the faces have a reddih unnatural shade which i dont like.
    Last week i shot some photos with the R!!. I must say i did not like the texture and the feeling of the camera cover it felt like plastic.
    I also did not like the viewfinder but i guess itws because i am used to Leicaws M viewfinder.It gave me kind of a headache.
    I also could not turn the LCD screen off which is a huge buttery consumer, and infact the buttery does not lust long.
    My friend who owns this camera says he finds a bluish tendency that he can fix with Lightroom.
    It is a good camera no doubt , but not as good as i expected.
    I know i will get alot of angry responses especially after reeding your article , but who cares, this is what i think :)
    One last question: IS THE KING NAKED?
    Danny

  28. Who can resist pixel-peeping with a 42 MP camera? It shows every flaw in equipment and technique in exquisite detail. After a disappointing day in the Chicago Botanic Gardens, relying on image stabilization, I took a harder look at my technique. It is much the same as using an high-resolution medium format camera – you need to use a tripod, mirror up (Hasselblad anyway), quiet shutter (EFS) and a cable release, if you want the best the A7Rii can do. The lenses are up to the job if you do your part. For ordinary purposes, IBIS/OSS and a solid grip will do, but it’s fun to push the envelope. Now I need the Windy City to stop huffing for a while.

  29. Hi enjoyed the article, I have a bunch of Canon EF lenses, which Metabones EF adaptor did you use?
    I understand there is more than one type of Metabones Sony-Canon adaptor.
    Thanks.

  30. All the comments, and Steve’s original post, have all been very interesting for me to follow. I’m about to jump on the Sony A7 bandwagon. However, it’s hard for me to make out what is the best Sony body for me to get. I mainly due street photography, and I often shoot in low light. Here’s my 3 major priorities for a new body:

    – silent shutter
    – good low light capabilities
    – fast (actually, very fast) auto-focus capabilities

    Here’s my current conundrum:

    – get the new A7R ii body
    – get the older A7S body
    – wait for a new A7S ii body at some indefinite future time

    I’m guessing a new A7S body will be released within 12 months, but obviously I may be wrong about this.

    Any suggestions? My guess is there are a few of you that have used both the A7S and the new A7R ii. Silent shutter is on both: so that’s a non-issue. But low-light comparisons, and most importantly fast auto-focus comparisons (especially in low light) , would be especially helpful.

    Many thanks in advance.

    1. The A7s will have slightly faster AF, slight. It can also focus in the dark, almost pitch dark (though it is of course slower doing this). The A7s has the older body style. The newer body style is built to a higher standard, feels more solid and has the 5 AXIS IS inside. Both are fantastic, and I have both here. I use the RII 90% of the time.

  31. I’d also like to add a big thank you to Steve another great review.
    As an owner of a number of ‘legacy’ lenses, and several with rear lens elements that protrude, I’d like to know if such lenses work with the A7RII.
    In particular, I’m referring to the Zeiss Biogon 35mm F2 ZM and the Nikkor 50mm F1.2.
    I found images taken with an A7II with these lenses showed unacceptable smearing in the corners.
    If anyone has tried these, or similar lenses with protruding rear elements, I’d be interested to hear how they perform with the A7RII.

    1. The amount of smearing is about the same as on the A7ii, but I see no trace of purple coloration near the edges. I have the ZM 35/2.8, which is still useable unless the extreme edges are needed (e.g., large groups and some landscapes).

  32. Thank you steve for this great and useful review. No doubt this camera is pushing the limits.Awesome what sony is doing with the A7 series lately.

  33. Hi Steve.

    Nice review as usual. Check your site everyday for updates. Addicting!!!

    Ive been using an M7 and a7ii. If ever there will be an A7sii I might upgradeü. I have been buying and going crazy with lenses this year.

    Im not so happy with elmarit 28 f2.8 that I have. Have you encountered issues on a7ii with this glass. I want to upgrade to zeiss 35 1.4 since your saying that there are no issues. Funny saying upgrading from a Leica to Zeiss normally it should be the other way.

    I have a planar zm 50 which is great. Chose this because I have an M7 and having a Loxia Is not an option since I cant use it on M7. The same idea goes for the zm 35 1.4.

    I have a minolta md 135 3.5. This is so light but for me too soft. Any suggestion as a replacement? Cant bring the fe 70-200 because of its size.

    Lastly Im tempted to get a very fast glass but they are all huge and expensive. I just tried pentax k 50 1.4 and It can see in the dark already. Is mitakon 0.95 fe really worth or I should just go and buy a voigtlander? When I want to shoot at night I always become lazy because i know I need a flash and just dont go ahead with my plans. I will never use flash in the streets. Still leaning towards dual use for M7 and a7ii.

    In my bag for travelling is elmarit 28 2.8, fe 16-35 (great lens my fav), zm 50 planar and minolta md 135 f3.5.

  34. Hey Steve, thanks for the review! My first full frame camera was the A7r and I have loved using it despite the quirks like a loud shutter. Would you consider the technical improvements of the A7rII reason to upgrade or do they just make getting a great image easier? Obviously 5 axis stab. in the body is a huge one.

    I think that so far, I am still developing as a photographer and don’t want to jump the gun on an upgrade unless all of the features you speak about make shooting on the the A7r seem archaic.

    Thanks for the site and your real world reviews. My experiences in photography have definitely been impacted by the site and all the commenters.

  35. Hi Steve,
    It has been mentioned around the internet, and touccherd on in your review here, that the A7r2 can exhibit slight smearing/soft corners with some leica lenses, especially the wider ones.
    Does this mean that all wider M-mount lenses will exhibit this characteristic too, regardless of manufacturer, as all these M-mount lenses are made specifically for M bodies and so are sensitive to the same focus / light angles / sensor position issues, etc?
    In other words, in the interests of maximum image quality, would one best forget about any other lenses except ones designed for the A7 series of cameras?
    thanks
    Andy

    1. The original A7 and A7R had smearing with wider angle lenses along with the awful magenta cast on the edges. The A7s fixed most of the magenta edges and the A7RII eliminates the magenta edges entirely. The slight softness in the corners is there with certain wide angle lenses only if shooting at infinity, as mentioned here. I will always use M glass on my A7s and A7RII as I do not have issues at all because I never shoot at infinity, and if I do, I will use a different lens. :)

  36. Steve, I want to thank you for posting yet another informative review. You have a knack for highlighting the key features, but more important, how and why you find them useful. You go way beyond the features list into the real world.

  37. I agree that this is a fantastic camera (small warts and all).

    AF is surprisingly good with this camera — better than my DSLRs in some cases (at least when they are not in live view). Resolution is phenomenal. I am seeing distant detail that is invisible to the naked eye rendered crisply.

    I have ended up using it mainly with Leica / Voigtlander lenses because they are portable and because the focusing technology and stabilisation give me great results. The Zeiss 55mm is a stunning light lens and their 35mm f2.8 is also very usable. I have not tried the various NEX lenses from Sony and Sigma in my collection; I suspect that they are likely to struggle.

    The other Sony / Zeiss lenses are heavy/bulky and/or uninspiring in performance and/or unavailable in practice. What Sony needs is a range of light, compact lenses that complement its bodies. This would give them a significant advantage over DSLRs. (The best camera being the one that you have with you, etc.)

  38. Hi Steve, thank you for your review. Can you tell me if the wifi has a decent range for remote capture? I’ve been disappointed with the rx10 and rx100m4 disconnecting beyond 15-20 feet.

  39. My A7II (with 55, 1.8) has continued camera failures. I counted up to ten times to switch the cam off and on. I wonder if the A7RII is also an impressive computer but no reliable tool to do the job. This never happended to any Nikon (with the exception of the V1+32,1.2), Panasonic or Leica I also use.

    1. I used the A7II since launch, heavily and never one issue or problem or had to restart the camera for any reason. Sounds to me like an isolated thing which should have been a warranty repair.

  40. Thanks for your review, Steve
    I know everybody has their favorite settings depending on use, lenses, but could you share your favorite settings on the new A7Rii?

    1. I dono t really worry about settings, at all. I just shoot in Aperture Priority, always use center point focus only (So I know what the camera is focusing on..where I aim it) and that’s it. I shoot RAW so the color profile doesn’t matter as they do not get apple dot the RAW files.

  41. Hey Steve. Amazing review, thank you for taking so much time as you always do. My question is I agree that Zeiss is on par with Leica so with that said- would you invest in the Loxia’s or the Batis? Seems like both will be out with complete sets before too long. I held both at a demo and found the Loxia’s to have a better build aesthetic and be smaller. From a usage and image observance though- which line would you run with? Thank you

      1. Up till 50mm, I for sure prefer MF. The Loxia’s have the clear advantage for me, indeed regarding build and size. But I ordered an AF lens for the first time in my life: the Batis 85. I reckon that the autofocus (that I read is excellent and fast) can really help for shooting yet even faster non-posed portraits than I can do with the excellent MF tools of the A7 Series. The more since I (personally) find an 85mm more designated for shallow DOF. This is only how I imagine this, since there is no opportunity to try right now. The Batis lenses are coming etremely late to Belgium. Do you think it was a good decision? Do you think you would prefer a more compact 85 Loxia, once it would be released, over the 85 Batis? (I hope I won’t be disappointed by the focus-by-wire system – must feel weird at first.)

        1. Dirk: I do mainly street shooting. So it’s important to me to have a fast focus as people are typically moving. It’s not sports or super-fast, but still … For 28, 35, and 50 would MF really work well for street photography? I always assumed “no” and have always used auto-focus, but I’m willing to mend my errors if MF really can accomplish as good, or better, quick focusing.

          My main interest in getting the Sony has to do with using lightweight equipment (I have a Canon 5D iii) along with fast focus and low light capabilities.

          1. If you do mainly street shooting and don’t know about zone focussing, you really need to read up on it :)

            This is how most of the Leica street shooters operate.
            Set the aperture to F8.
            Set the focus distance in the middle to 6 feet or so.
            Read off the distance for F8 either side of the middle.
            This is the zone that everything will be in acceptable focus.
            Set your shutter speed to 1/500s and you are good to go.
            With the great ISO and DR of the Sony, you can set the ISO to Auto and let it float.

            Zone focussing is better (the is more range) the wider you go and on a 28 it is about perfect.

            50 is harder as the zone is much narrower, but 21mm, 28 and 35 work great, 28mm being my favorite focal length for street.

            HTH

  42. Many thanks for the great and extensive review. I’m on the verge of buying the A7RII but I one thing is holding me back. Unlike its predecessor it lacks the in-camera multiple-exposure app. I don’t know why Sony have omitted this. For creative photographers like me it’s a real shame. I know many people say “you can do this in Photoshop”, well, honestly, the answer is “no you can’t”. Making those pictures ‘in the moment’ with all the little quirks and serendipity that happen just can’t be replicated believe me. A simulation in Photoshop isn’t the same beast. I’ve asked Sony about this and so far the answer is effectively “no plans”. Well Sony, you’re missing a whole user-base with this omission. I can’t imagine it’s that complicated a task to adapt the app for the A7RII. Come on Sony, let’s have it – you won’t regret it. And I’ll buy one tomorrow – even with the promise of the app.

  43. My first comment on your exhaustive website just to say: you the man, Steve. I read everything from Digilloyd to Sony Alpha Rumors, but you, I trust, you know. Plus: not unusually, some of the best photos from this camera I’ve seen yet!

  44. If using eg a voigt with no exposure info transmission , can you tell me how to input the data to the camera to get the stabilisation ?

    1. There is a setting that allows you to tell the camera length your lens is. That’s all it needs to know for IBIS to work at its best.

  45. Hello Steve. Your enthusiasm reflects exactly my experience with this camera for the 33 days that I am using it now. BTW, I am fan of detail, but peeping at more than 100% has nothing to do with photography anymore, IMO. But anything up to 100% is absolutely normal. And it just shines, in every picture I took so far.
    My greatest hope is that Zeiss will come up FAST with more Loxia and Batis lenses now. Because those lift this camera up even more. Especially the Loxia 2/35 has become my favorit lens. It combines this friendly silkness, without any harshness, but still with incredibly insane detail, as you showed here again. It’s not as brilliant as the 1.4 Distagon, you say, but that’s for wide open shooters only, because of it’s one-step-narrower aperture. On the other hand it’s so handy and physically a lot more balanced on this body, that it’s just the perfect 35mm for this body… if you’re into MF of course.
    Thumbs up!

    1. To avoid misunderstandings: what I said about peeping doesn’t reflect on your review, of course, but at those guys with nonsense critics in comments tp all kind of reviews.

        1. It’s sometimes tricky to write in another language than your native one, which can easily lead to misunderstandings. What I mean is: in many comments I read that people have, what I would like to call, unrealistic criticism on this camera, often based on pixel peeping. Sometimes based on really exceptional situations, unreal to the vast majority of photographers. Now I love detail, but any view larger than 100% seems absolutely rediculous to me. Then it’s no longer about photography, IMO. And about those exceptional situations: maybe some photographers (verrry few) encounter those situations on a regular basis. I guess this camera is not for them then. But that’s alright! No camera is for everybody. For special situations, you need special equipment. Think for instance about under water photography, for one. But I’m sure that for the vast majority, this is the best camera thinkable. (Nothing more than my personal opinion.)
          Another matter is how things feel. If somebody feels that a big DSLR is the only thing that feels right, there is no argueing. One can’t beet a feeling. And that’s also a matter for me. This camera, this concept feels absolutely right for me. Based on facts, but also on just how it feels.

          1. Dirk, it’s not for me to go into the beaten to death ” big DSLR” vs something else debate. I can’t really fathom why you brought that up.

            Anyway, in your post you referred to “peeping”, which – apparently – was a word you used in a previous comment, and now felt the need to apologize for.

            I couldn’t find that previous comment, that’s all.

  46. Steve, it only goes into 12 bit mode in bulb, or in 5FPS shooting mode. Otherwise it’s 14 bit compressed (some would like the compression to be lossless, but this very rarely is visible except for certain kinds of astrophotography)

  47. One more question about the experience of using a manual RF lens on the A7Rii. What is the actual physical experience like? On my range finder the focus window lets me do this with precision. What mechanism do you use to really nail a super-shallow depth of field – is the sharpness of the live view or the EVF good enough that you can discern perfect “eye focus”?

    In case it wasn’t obvious, I’m looking to move over from my M9 + summilux + 28mm elmarit, and trying to figure out whether to go A7Rii or second hand M240.

    What would you do?

    1. I can easily focus with more precision on the A7 series with a Leica lens due to the magnification feature. With a Leica that RF goes out of whack every 6-9 months and when that happens you can not focus correctly to save your life. Happened to me many times with the M8, M9 and M 240. Then the camera has to be sent in for 4-6 weeks to get calibrated. I find a good EVF makes it so much easier to nail focus. But that is me, and what I am used to these days. The Leica is amazing when it is calibrated and spot on, then we can get precision but even so, it is in no way easier than these new EVF’s we have today. Between the RII and M, that is a personal choice. The M is beautiful, solid, and looks and feels amazing. In use it is beautiful as well. Quiet, under stated, small, beautiful glass. The IQ will not meet or beat the RII, nor will it have the color performance, detail, pop or richness. What it will give you is the best M ever made, and I adore the M. Being 3 years old now, we have cameras that beat it for IQ, quite a few of them. But none meet it in usability or experience.

    2. @Brandontrew: The a7RII has a specific function called Eye AF. For me, this is the most important feature of the camera. It will absolutely NAIL focus the eye anywhere in the shot 100% of the time. And it is blazingly fast!!! No more move sensor points around, or center focusing the eye and recomposing, forget all that. Just phocus on your photography and compose your shot, push the Eye AF button, and shabang! The eye is in focus with exposure based on the face. The camera gets all the way out of your way so you can just enjoy shooting!!!!!!

  48. Amazing review Steve, thank you!
    I’m specifically interested in how the A7Rii fares with the 28mm Elmarit-M (which was apparently one of the worst wide angles on the previous A7* models.).
    Would you choose to take the A7Rii out over your M240 given those lenses?

  49. I keep reading that high ISO performance is about a stop behind the A7S.
    Question: If you shoot an A7R II at (or down-sample to) 10.5 mp, how does the high ISO noise compare to the A7S’s 12 mp files??

    Cuz if the pixel-binning makes the remaining noise comparable between the two models, it occurs to me that the A7R II is close to being a complete replacement for the A7S (10.5 mp being close enough to 12 to not matter much).

  50. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the review, but a question comes to mind. In your list of positives you included:

    “3. Splash proof”

    Are you absolutely sure??? I have serious doubts from all I’ve read, and this is one of the big reasons I’m shy about buying a Sony A7 series camera body. Various sources have determined these cameras are not weather proof at all. Tightly packed components does not equal splashproofing.

    Like you I also own an Olympus OMD, and that camera is truly splash proof — I’ve seen people literally shower it, and saw an Olympus rep pour water all over it. Can the A7RII match the Olympus in this way?

    As someone who regularly shoots outdoors and in environments that may have moisture this feature really matters to me, and others as well.

    1. Notice I said “splash proof” not “weather Sealed”. The A7RII is splash proof, but in no way is it weather sealed. There is a difference. The Oly E-M1 is weather proof. The Sony is not advertised as being full on weather proof like the Olympus. If you are out in light rain, no problem (I already had mine in a downpour and it survived just fine).

      1. I appreciate your reply. However, even Sony’s manual says on page 13:

        • This camera is designed to be dust and
        moisture-resistant, but is not
        waterproof or splash-proof.

        If/when Sony offers an A7 body with Olympus quality weather sealing I will probably buy one.

  51. Thanks for one more detailed practical review. The only thing that stopped me from buying this marvel was the price compared with the A7ii. There is a difference of 1500 pounds here in the U.K. i.e. about $2200! I have decided to splurge on lenses instead.

    Steve, did you see any vignetting when using canon 50, 1.2? I am thinking of getting that as ‘poor man’s’ noctilux :-)

    I am also deciding between 50 sonnar vs loxia! I tried sonnar in the shop and the portrait of the saleman looked great despite his not so happy face!
    Now where can I get that Batis? :-)

    1. I did not notice any vignetting in the few shots I snapped with it. The Sonnar is nice, as is the Loxia. I love the Loxia’s as they are small, well made, and using them is like using Leica glass. The 50 Sonnar though is also very very nice. Can’t go wrong with either.

      1. Hi Steve, I have a Loxia 50 and it’s a very good lens. I’m thinking of getting another 50mm Which one would you recommend, the voigtlander 50mm f1.5 or the zeiss sonnar 50mm f1.5?

          1. Thank you. I think I prefer the bokeh of the c sonnar, but i’m a sucker for the appearance of the voigtlander 50 1.5

  52. The camera delivers 14 bit raws (with a 11 + 7 Bit delta compression scheme). It switches to 12 bit only in some modes (long exposure with 30+ seconds, high speed series and silent shutter mode). Your review is suggestive that the A7RII never delivers more then 12 bit from its raws, which is wrong (and many forums / blogs mix that up as well).

    Apart from that a nice review.

  53. Great review Steve (as always), been looking forward to read your full review. I got out of the DSLR game (Canon) and though I miss some of the features I don’t miss the weight at all. I really loved shooting the 50/1.2 though and your mention of it on the a7rii getting rid of the front/back focus and the increased focus speed is really sounding like a temping combo! Regarding Sony IBIS; is it the same using metabones/Canon lens as it is with manual lenses that you have to set the focal length in the menus to get the correct IS? Also how was the IS shooting at 1.2? I tried out the a7ii with a leica 75/2 and found the IS to feel a bit twitchy (hyper?) when looking through the EVF. Great review!

    1. The in body IS is good but not better than the Olympus 5 Axis. But it helps. When using a lens like a Canon, you must set it manually in the menu to get the IS to work correctly.

  54. Very nice review Steve. The camera might not be perfect for everyone, but seems like a great all around camera. Will be fun to see how the other manufacturers respond.

  55. I was waiting for your review, thank’s for it!

    I own 5 Contax-Zeiss DSLR primes and wonder if focusing is fast and precise with A7rII peaking… I tried them with A7 and focusing was good but not that precise I expected…. have you noticed any improvement of focus peaking on A7rII?

    1. I prefer to use focus magnification when using a manual focus lens. I stopped using peaking 2 years ago as it is not really accurate – no matter what camera brand.

  56. Hi Steve, thanks for that interesting review. Here a Canon MF-lens shooter asking whether peaking with lenses wide open is reliable? Is EVF manual focusing faster than with a DSLR OVF? Is it a matter of practice or a technical advantage? Thanks if you’d find short time for an answer.

    1. The real advantage of a EVF with manual focus lenses is not really peaking (although it can be quite good sometimes)… but the fact you can instantly digitally zoom to 5x, 12x, etc to really nail focus. It’s generally not as fast for a “seasoned” photographer as focusing something with a split prism, rangefinder, etc, especially where there are convenient high contrast edges at the focus point… but can be more accurate and is ‘almost’ as fast. Also, you don’t have to worry about focus shift, etc.

      1. Thanks for your answer DanielD. That confirms my own experience. I was not sure if I gave it a long enough try to practice. I see advantages in EVF mf focussing if we talk about precision, no doubt. I wish Sony would introduce a peaking alternative, more reliable than peaking, faster and more practical than magnification, without losing composition in mag mode. High expectations from an MF shooter for an already excellent camera, I know..

        1. Hey, give the Loxias a chance. Once you turn focus you get instant zoom for focus. If you touch shutter release you compose. Is as fast as other MF methods. And the rendering is super too.

        2. The instant zoom feature nails focusing, but it is slow and interrupts composition. If that’s an issue, you can turn it off and focus like it were a ground glass. I program C2 to turn magnification on for other lenses, and it works just as well for Batis and others in manual mode. Mostly, I leave auto-magnify on, compose before focusing, and again after an half-press of the shutter.

    2. In my experience shooting with the A7R (I just got the A7RII but haven’t shot with it enough to comment about it on this particular issue), focus peaking isn’t accurate enough when shooting wide open. It’s fine while shooting at smaller apertures (f/11, f/16) but it’s not reliable for shooting at wider apertures (f/1.4 – 2.8). I rely on focus magnification instead. It’s a little slower than using focus peaking (only slightly) but is highly accurate in my experience.

  57. Hey Steve, quite interesting read. Even though all seems fine, you seem to hold back (if I were to buy, not liking too many MP). The only conclusion is that you know the next thing you will buy: Leica’s competing Q with interchangeable lens (same as Q sensor, AF lenses and option to adapt Leica M glas without loss of sharpness at the sides).
    Even though you list all the positives with this Sony your heart seems to be somewhere else as this time there is less than expected excitement. Thanks for the details and the in-between lines messages.

    1. Hello, thanks for reading Fritz. No, I was not holding back anything. In fact, I say it is basically the best camera I have ever used, tested or reviewed. It’s a stunner and beats any full frame camera today for ME. I will not buy the new Leica. Review it, yes. Buy it? No. Leica is just too expensive for me these days with cameras like the A7RII out there. I am sure it will be beautiful though and am excited to see what it is. The A7RII is all I need, really. For me, there is nothing better on the market today for 35mm full frame digital.

  58. Steve, love this review! For B&W photography, how do you think the A7Rii would compare with the Leica Monochrom 246? More pixels (42 MP vs. 24 MP) but the Leica has no Bayer filter over the sensor.

    1. The Sony has no Bayer filter either. The RII would be a fantastic B&W camera, beating the Leica on many fronts for IQ. But it is not a Leica nor a rangefinder so different experience. Thanks for reading!

      1. The a7rII certainly does have a Bayer filter! That’s now it gets to capture color! What it doesn’t have is an AA filter. Monochrome cameras have a theoretical advantage because the Bayer filter eats up a stop or so of light.

        1. Shooting in color to process to B&W is vastly superior to shooting a monochrome camera. With the Mono, the only thing you can do to effect a change the relationship among the luminance levels of the various colors in your scene is put a filter/gel on the lens. This is a very course adjustment. With a color image in LR you can keep adjust the color slider to effect change on a color by color basis. This means there are no limits to what you can do in creating the B&W image of your dreams. With a mono camera, it decides how to represent each color and you have almost no control or creative license available at all. Happy Shooting.

          Thanks for the great review Steve!

    1. I’m not Steve, but I use both the Metabones III & IV with Canon lenses. The IV is a bit better flocked and its firmware can be updated w/o sending it back for such. Operationally, both adapters seem to work almost identically and both work relatively well with most Sigma lenses and at least a few Tamron lenses; the newer the lens the better the chance it will work properly with an adapter…

  59. I do love my 7rII. It is fun to use and the images are beautiful. I was interested to know about the grip. It does look sharp but what does it add to function? It seems to just add a bit to the bottom but maybe that is more comfortable. The one thing I have noticed in LR is that the dynamic range of this camera is not anymore and actually maybe less than my previous 99. However, the image stays intact better than the 99 which took on more of an HDR quality sooner in the shadow recovery process. It also seems that sharpening the image is not significant but maybe it’s because the image is already pretty darn sharp. There was always more significant differences during the editing with the 99 or my canon but maybe it was they could use it more than this camera. I don’t know if using different editors would make a difference as well. The biggest surprise to me with this camera is its low light capabilities for the resolution you get. Just short of incredible, which I guess is the 7s. My only problem now is waiting for my two Batis lenses which are on back order. I am just using the 55/1.8 which is a great lens in its own right. I never did like the nex menu system but there is enough customizable buttons on this thing to limit your time in the menu. The battery has never been a huge issue with me but it does not last as long as other camera batteries. The video for this amateur is pretty sweet. Also love your reviews and general outlook on life. I always know after one or your reviews if the camera or accessory is something I would like or not. Thanks for that.

  60. Great review! Even though a bit over the top with enthusiasm, an honest, balanced working man’s look at the camera.

    I own the A7S, A7R, A7 II and A7R II. The A7S & A7R are full spectrum modified for astro/nightscape/IR photography. Both function very well in this capacity! The A7R II, what can one say, is quite fantastic!

    I might add a comment WRT to battery life. The A7R II can be powered via its USB port making it really usable for long photo sessions, i.e.: shooting time-lapses, and capturing long star trail and astro-imaging subs. I’ve shot over 2000 pix with the camera todate and loved every minute of it!

    bwa

  61. Thanks for the detailed review which mirrors my experience with it so far. I think many potential buyers of this camera are on the fence because of the heavy handed 200++ pixel peepers reporting issues as you had mentioned.

  62. Great review, thanks. Sadly, this model is out of my price range, and I don’t need all the megapixels. I’ll wait for an A7m3 in order to upgrade my A7, hoping that the price won’t be too high…

  63. Love the photo of the guy with red paint on his head (and very nice bokeh of someone pointing to his head too). Great review and answered many of my questions, but I’m wondering about two things: (1) With 42 MP what kind of SD card do you use? Is writing images to memory noticeably slower? and (2) With higher resolution like 42 MP do you notice more problems in lenses? So is a lens good for lower resolution, but looks really bad on this great a sensor?

  64. Hi Steve!

    Finally! I’ve been waiting for your review for 2 weeks! Amazing! Thank you for the great review. I am thinking of getting an adapter for the sony a7rII, I will use your link when I do (International here).

    Steve, I got couple of questions.

    1. I want to get an exotic lens for my upcoming A7RII. A lens that inspires me, a lens that have a characteristic, not sterile. I set my eyes on Leica lenses. My top budget only allow me to go as far as Summicron model, not Summilux. I need/want 50, and 35.

    In your opinion, which would be best? Getting Sony 50mm f/1.2 like your pictures above (loving the 3D POP) or Leica M 50mm Summicron? Budget, I can’t stretch beyond $2000. I will want to use this lens for my daily driver.

    2. How’s the performance of Zeiss ZM distagon 35mm f/1.4 (leica mount) on A7RII? (Anyone that have this combo, please, please help me test it out too) I found that the price is similar to the larger and heavier Sony Zeiss 35mm f/1.4. I saw some sample pics from the ZM and I am loving it so much. Just afraid that if it doesn’t work, then I’ll have a tedious process of selling after just bought it. And I would like to avoid that.

    3. Any thoughts on that Zeiss 24-70 f/4 that most reviewer seems to have a negative vibe out of it? I am thinking of getting more of Canon lens. 50mm f/1.2 above for example. I want the best 24-70mm, doesn’t matter about the “f”. It can be f4 or f2.8. I heard the best 24-70mm is Canon’s Mark II version. Any thoughts? Is it silly to put this lens + adapter on the A7RII? too heavy perhaps?

    4. Last, can I please get your best recommended lenses for the A7RII? I just want a lens that’s not boring to shoot with, and it usually means having a great character. Voigtlander 50 f/1.5 for example, I am intrigued, but am afraid of the color issue and whether of not the lens can match the sensor in this case, 42MPx.

    Cheers and I love this website, and you take an amazing pictures!

    Tora

    1. The 50 1.2 in this review was the Canon 50 1.2, which required a fat adapter ;) Sony makes a 55 1.8, Zeiss makes a 50 Loxia f/2 (which I would take over a Leica 50 Cron). The ZM Distagon is fabulous on the A7s, A7II and A7RII. Would make a great daily lens IMO. The 24-70 is average. I am not a big fan after using it much more. Just seems to lack anything special for the price. Another great lens is the Voigtlander 50 1.5 VM (M mount) which is near Leica 50 Summilux 1.4 level. I would get that for sure ;)

      1. Dear Steve,

        Pleasure to have your reply. I’m really glad.

        I get it now. I just saw some pictures. The adapters are quite large.. I don’t think I want to go to the Canon route anymore.

        Just 3 more questions and I’ll stop taking more of your time.

        1. Steve, for travelling and daily shooting, do you think this combo will be more than enough?

        A7RII + Zeiss ZM 35 distagon (daily use and low light due to the f1.4) + Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 (for very lightweight and portrait?) + Zeiss 16-35 (for landscape and general wide angle uses).

        2. Do you think its wise for me to go for the ZM version of 35mm instead of the Sony Zeiss’s version? I do mind the weight and I don’t mind the manual focus since we get a lot of aids that makes everything easier. Any different in rendering or character? Will the sony sensor makes it worse than the Leica’s, since its design for it?

        3. 16-35+35+50 a good non-overlapping set? or would I be better served with 16-35+28 f2+50? I don’t want too much redundant lenses. I’d love to try the 50mm voigtlander because of your excellent review and the current price.. it’s quite cheap really..

        That’s all. I will be happyu if you can spare a bit of your time again.

        Regards,

        Tora

        1. If you want to keep it smaller, go for the Voigtlander 15 III, it is Leica mount and works fantastic with the A7RII. But the 16-35 is awesome as is. The 35 1.4 ZM, 50 1.5 VM would be a stellar combo. That 50 1.5 is wonderful and really super close to the Leica 50 Summilux. In a blind test a year or so ago no one could tell me which lens was used in an image shot at f/1.4.

          1. Steve – do you feel that the Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 is a good match for the resolution of the A7RII? The reason I ask is because I’ve been using this lens with the A7R since the A7R was released and I’ve noticed that all of my shots seem a little soft when shot wide open. Not sure if it’s because of the awful shutter vibration of the A7R or if the lens just isn’t as sharp as a Leica. I love the way the Voigtlander renders images, but it’s lacking in sharpness. Not really an issue until I want to make large prints.

          2. I feel it is as mine was a tad sharper than my 50 Lux at the time when wide open or stopped down. But I do not worry about biting sharpness more than I do character. There are also variances in lenses..some are perfect, some are a little less but still within spec. Also when manually focusing it can sometimes be tricky to nail it 100%. But it’s a great lens and often compared to the 50 Lux ASPH.

          3. Hi Steve, did you mean 50 lux Pre-ASPH when people are making a comparison with the voigtlander 50 f1.5?

        2. @Tora don’t be blinded by GAS ;), start with ONE good lens and then shoot the crap out of it for a couple of weeks, or even months. Get to know the lens and the camera, and most importantly: you. Not having all these lens choices will force you to create magic. And then, once you found what the lens offers, add another one. Take it slow. It’s worth it.

          1. Thank you for your advice!

            I have been back and forth.. I made a mistake last week by visiting my only Leica store in my country. I saw those black Ms.. They were so magnificent looking (My gf totally disagree, she think its too plain and wonder why its so expensive). I just can’t get it out of my head!

            On the other hand, I already pre ordered sony A7RII which is due mid of this month. It comes with many extra stuffs worth around $1900. Like the 24-70mm lens, limited edition ONA bag, strap and voyej wrist strap, nikon and canon adapter, 64gb UHS III SD card, etc. I don’t think I can cancel it.

            I just find that the Leica dream is unresistible sometime but I don’t know why! I often think that with Leica, I can get the M240+50 summicron (both second hand for approximately $5000) and I’ll be fine, and happy. With Sony or Olympus, I don’t find it enough. I just have to get more lens, and often those lenses are unecessary.

            What is it about Leica and what’s wrong with me? haha.. Is it really the different shooting experience and the prestige of holding one that makes me head over heel for Leica? I know in terms of technology, it got beat by A7 series, moreover A7RII. But, somehow I still lusting over it. I blame the small lenses! haha

            I think I will have to decide what to do with my incoming a7rII. Sell it right away, and trade for Leica+1 lens, or use it first but losing its value due to second hand status and then trade it if I am not satisfied..

            Again, thank you for the replies!

            Cheers!

          2. If you can get an M 240 AND 50 Summicron (as long as it is a later version of course) then that is a steal. If you are getting an old Summicron then that is about right. The A7RII will give better IQ than the Leica from color, low light, resolution, pop, depth, and everything. The A7RII will give far superior video as well. The Leica will offer you the Leica design and build, the rangefinder experience (which is unlike ANY other camera made) and the name. I love the M 240 as it just oozes quality, and it will be a fantastic camera even 10 years from now but the Leicas lose value fast as well, and they are being sold off at heavy discounts now due to slow sales. You can find M 240’s in the $4k range these days used and $5k-ish new. Also be careful when buying a used M as many seem to have the Rangefinders out of whack (which is a thing with Leica, it will happen) and when this happens it makes it very frustrating to use until the camera is re-adjusted at the factory (a 4-6 week wait). So if buying a used Leica, try to test it before buying if you can with a fast prime wide open and critically focusing on something to make sure it is aligned. If so you will be good to go!

          3. Dear Steve,

            thank you for your insight! I will be sure to test in the same method like you told me when the time come.

            The price is around $5300 after recalculating. The 50 summicron is the newer one because they are still on warranty until 2016.

            Steve, I think I’m just inexperienced person that always hear that Leica color is the best, Leica look you can’t get anywhere else, etc and eat that remark as a whole. A question to you, can I do post processing to make the file out of A7RII to look like Leica’s?

            Funnily, after reading your comment on someone’s question (about how you won’t purchase another Leica at this day and age for that full retail price when Sony can produce much more for much lower price), I have decided to not fuss over Leica yet. I’ve decided to give the A7RII a try with only 1 lens. The Sony Zeiss Distagon 35mm. I hope those combo will be great enough that can make me stop thinking about Leica. Someone sold M9, in excellent condition and replaced sensor for $2900 in here. I was gonna take it until I realized that the new Leica will come out next year (perhaps) and it means the price of the 240s will come down even more. So maybe that’s the time when I’ll get a proper “modern” Leica.

            I can’t wait for my package to arrive sometime this month. Thank you for your time Steve and I will try to contribute if I can. I understand that you don’t accept donation, and that’s very high of you, but when you open to it, I will make sure to be amongst the first to donate because I love this website!

            Cheers!

          4. There was once a news and features photographer called Bert Hardy who worked for a magazine called ‘Picture Post’. He was told once that he only took ‘good’ pictures because he had a Leica so what did he do? He did a magazine article on the English seaside using a Kodak Box Brownie! He produced a great set of pictures, one of which is here

            https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=bert+hardy+box+camera+pics&view=detailv2&&id=9209E01F70894F5C16B5BB80139828A885293989&selectedIndex=0&ccid=gY7np2VX&simid=608037021851127666&thid=OIP.M818ee7a765578f1927ebab3f58e8c351o0&ajaxhist=0

            If you have an eye for a picture, you will produce good work, if you don’t, then a Leica will not make you any better.

        3. You get the best satisfaction with lenses designed for the A7. My personal favorites are the Loxia 35/2 and 50/2. While manual focus, turning the ring pops up the magnified view – very quick and accurate to use. There is no sign of smearing in the corners, typical of 3rd party wide angles. Autofocus is very fast with the A7Rii, especially if you keep the aperture open by turning Viewfinder Effects OFF. I’m definitely looking forward to a brace of Batis lenses, the 25/2 and 85/1.8.

  65. Steve, I have been waiting on your review and I am so happy to see your results. The photos are amazing and I am now sure I want this camera.Since this will be my first interchangable lens camera, I was going to buy three lenses, Zeiss 16-35, sony sonnar T 55 f 1.8 and the sony FE 90 2.8 Macro,
    do you think this would cover most needs? Or do you recommend one that would do it all like a 24-70mm to start.
    . I love all your work and your reviews are so informative.

    1. @jessie Don’t get the 24-70, it’s a mediocre lens. I rented all 3 FE zooms, the 16-35, 24-70, 70-200. I returned the 70-200 (too large, even though it’s light), 24-70 (mediocre, plus I find 24-70’s generally uninspiring). But I bought the 16-35. It kinda blew me away. I already had the 55 1.8, but the 16-35 eats the cake. I would get that one and the 90mm. Wait with everything else, and experiment with cheap legacy glass, I love the Contax 40!

      1. I have the voigtlander close focus as well but it is expensive (very good but expensive) I recently ordered a yeenon close focus adapter via eBay and have been really impressed with it . It is a solid and well built adapter and in fact I have preferred using it to the voigt one . It’s only about $100. ( compared to the voigt one in this UK which is (£250-ish) . In fact I now have several on my voigts permanently so I don’t have to flap around changing adapters when changing lenses . ( btw I have no association with yeenon – I’ve just genuinely been impressed with their close focus VM-E adapter )

      1. The Novoflex is a gem…check-out its very fine machining and the face plate with six retaining screws…it looks like part of an aircraft assembly…expensive at nearly $300. but wobbling, cheaply made products that sacrifice fine focus -because of poor lens to camera body alignment, are not the way to go on ANY camera let alone the A7R II at three plus grand

        1. Here in Europe the Novoflex adapter is significantly cheaper, btw… usually the price is in the range of 130..150 Euros – so, less than 200 US$… and it is worth that money, considering precision and robustness.

    1. I agree that the Voigtlander adapters are excellent. Nice, solid and smooth. Feel like they’re part of the actual camera body instead of an add-on. I tried the Metabones M adapter previously but didn’t like it because it felt rough and seemed like it was grinding on the mount whenever I changed lenses. The Voigtlander is more expensive, but worth it!

      1. Interesting; I also found the Metabones adapter to be a tight fit and twisting it felt rough. The Voigtlander is well built and has a dimple for lining up the mount and the body, where there is normally only a painted spot. The only drawback with the Voigtlander is that it vignettes in the extreme corners on my 135mm Elmar.

  66. Hello Steve thanks a lot for the review, excellent job :). Can you please tell me if in your experience with the camera you noticed hot pixels when using longer shutter speeds (above 2 sec)?

    1. I’ll also address this. I use the A7S, A7R and A7R II for astro/nightscape photography and shoot a lot of 30-60 sec. images. I don’t see any issue with hot/cold pixels. Of course any long exposure at high ISO’s will have additional noise, which occurs with any camera. The Sony A7 series cameras hold their own in this area!

      1. bwana. Long exposure, even 10 seconds have terrible red/blue hot pixel issue and white spec issue all over the image. I have to assume you’re processing with Capture One and not ACR. If you use ACR you’ll see these hot pixels and white noise. I know 3 other A7RII owner’s and myself all have had this problem, rendering the camera pretty much useless for long exposure timelapse work. For stills you can turn on LENR and you won’t see the pixels, but it doubles the exposure time – so not an option for timelapse.

        1. Ron,

          I do all my processing in Lightroom and, as I said, don’t see any problem noise with 30-60 sec. exposures up to about ISO 6400. Above that there is noise but no worse than I’ve seen in any other camera. I don’t run any in-camera noise reduction.

          I’ve been shooting Aurora’s, star fields, etc. with excellent results. Typical imaging sessions would be: 157×13 sec. @ ISO 3200, 14×10 sec. @ ISO 1600, 201×20 sec. @ ISO1600, 10×30 sec. @ ISO 6400, etc. To this point the only camera I’ve had less noise with is the A7S.

          Performance-wise for astro/nightscape photography I would rate the A7R II at better than halfway between the A7R and A7S. DPReview’s Low-Light ISO is probably a good indication: A7R: 2746, A7R II: 3434 & A7S: 3702.

          And yes, I did see the link you referenced. Since I don’t have the problem I just thought it might be a faulty camera!?

          bwa

  67. Great review as always Steve! From using the 16-35 lens, how do you think that compares to the Batis? Not sure I want to wait much longer for the back order.

    Also, what differences did you see between the 55/f1.8 and the Canon 50mm/f1.2 lens?

    1. The Zeiss 16-35 and 25 Batis are quite different. The Batis is a fast prime, so you can get some low light use from it and more shallow DOF. The 16-35 will be more versatile but it’s also an f/4 lens. I love both but probably have used the 16-35 more.

    2. > Also, what differences did you see between the 55/f1.8 and the Canon 50mm/f1.2 lens?

      At least with mine, the FE55 is significantly sharper off-centre, and offers better contrast at lower distortion. The EF 50 f/1,2 L has advantages fully open when shallow depth of image is required, but at a price – it is way bigger and heavier.

      (I know that I am not Steve, but as I have both lenses and use them on an A7R (not A7Rii), I thought I could contribute….)

      1. I also notice the Canon color signature with the 50 1.2L, and the character is MUCH different. The shallow DOF look of the Canon 50L and 85L are very unique and beautiful. The 55 1.8 is much more sterile and has harsher Bokeh with more contrast and bolder color. I prefer the Canon by far but in use it is much larger, and slower. The Sony 55 1.8 is small, light and quick.

        1. Different lenses, different purposes.

          The overall sharpness and contrast of the FE55 makes it more universal to use.

          However, the Canon lenses (50L, 85L – both FDn and EF), their shallow depth of image and the dreamy rendering of borders and out-of-focus areas are much superior for portraits or similar situations where you want to have the object of interest isolated and shown in a flattering manner at the same time. My favourite lens – namely on APS-C – in that aspect is the Canon RF 50 f/0,95 – albeit the bokeh can be a bit funky… in situations when this is the case, Canon FDn 50 f/1,2 L or FDn 85 f/1,2 L do the trick, or the Summilux R 80 f/1,4.

          More often than not I have three cameras and six lenses in my bag – A7R with Summilux R 80, NEX-7 or HL with Canon RF 50 f/0,95, NEX-7 or HL with FE 55 and as separate lenses Canon FDn 17 f/4, FDn 85 f/1,2 L and Leica Apo-Summicron 90 – the FE 55, FDn 17 and Apo-Summicron 90 for hard, unflattering imagery, the other stuff for sweet outputs.

  68. Great review, I love the A7rII so far, but its not without faults. I’d like to be able to assign crop mode to a custom button or include it in the Fn menu – no avail. Moving the focus point could be easier. Lots of the other usability complaints have been address in this model – sad that its a $3200 fix though. There are other issues, I doubt Sony will address them until the A7r3. But it would be nice if they could improve performance of the EVF.

    Overall its a powerhouse package, offering IBIS, amazing IQ, stunning 4k video and some truly impressive AF features in one small package. I was running two systems to get 4k video and high rez stills, the A7rII allowed me to shrink my kit considerably. The Batis 85 is a real gem too, just got my copy and I absolutely love it.

  69. Very impressive all around. I’m currently on the fence regarding getting a Leica Q and this camera. I know they are different beasts. I mainly use cameras when traveling, so the appeal of the “Q” is that it is light and small. How well do you think this camera compares, weight/travel wise, against the Canon 5D iii and lenses? (My current setup.)

    I know you’ve used a variety of lenses. I know I can get an adapter for my Canon lenses. But what are the best and fastest focusing lenses that directly match with this camera without an adapter? I believe you wrote somewhere about one or two of the Sony lenses, or perhaps it was about a Zeiss lens that went with this camera.

    1. The A7RII is much smaller than a 5D. See my size comparison from last week here on this site. My fave native lenses are the Sony 35 1.4, Zeiss 50 Loxia, Sony 90 Macro, Zeiss 16-35.

        1. Batis lenses are NOT yet available -as of Aug.31st…B&H confirmed the Zeiss is having production problems…some Batis are out there but in small numbers

          1. Steve is stating what his fave lenses are for native mount and he has had the Batis lenses…maybe still does.

    2. I was also on the same boat regarding the Leica Q and the A7RII (I have the A7II). Different beats yes, but both very appealing with budget for only 1. I recently traveled to Greece with the A7II and the 28mm F/2 lens. After coming back I made my decision that getting the RII made more sense over the Leica Q (as cool as it looks). The combo I took with me was nearly just as small as the Q but I had good stabilization for video clips as well as the ability to change lenses. Also brought the 21mm converter and 55 FE. I never felt like I was carrying a lot so I always had my camera on me and didn’t dread taking it out while exploring. Really awesome travel camera!

  70. Steve, are you sure you are seeing EVF degradation with maximum magnification? It is actually the lower magnification that has problems, not the maximum, which is much worse. It is much harder to check the focus and still be more or less aware where in the frame are you.

    1. If you use a lens with an electronic diaphragm and set Viewfinder Effects OFF, the diaphragm remains open until the focus locks, you use a preview function, or complete the image. The EVF has less noise, the focusing effect is crisper and AF much faster than when stopped down. This doesn’t help with a 3rd party or Loxia lens, but the Loxia doesn’t need much help.

      1. Ed, where in the menu’s is that located? I have Live View Display (Gear > 3) off and Display Quality (Toolbox > 2) set to standard. But I don’t see a viewfinder effects listed. Thanks.

        1. I read it in a thread on photo.net, and subsequently verified it in operation. Also undocumented is the ability to assign preview functions to a button, including preview aperture and preview results (all effects). There are a lot of easter eggs in the A7Rii.

          1. Menu/Gearbox/#3/Live View Display/Setting Effect OFF

            Menu/Gearbox/#7/Custom Key Settings/Custom Button 1/Aperture Preview (or Shot Result Preview).

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