The new Sony A7II! 5-Axis IS, Faster AF and more!

The new Sony A7II! 5-Axis IS, Faster AF and more!

a7II

Sony Japan has unveiled the latest and greatest from Sony in the form of the A7 II (Mark II). This is a pretty major release as it now includes the amazing 5-Axis Image Stabilization (as used in Olympus bodies) and marks the very 1st full frame camera with this technology. The 5-Axis IS is jaw dropping good and now Β that it is inside a Sony full frame A7 body, the possibilities are endless. THIS IS HUGE, believe me. It will make this series THAT much better.

Of course, this is only one announcement so far and I am sure Sony has much more up their sleeve..as in a super high res “pro” version and maybe something else.

The A7II has a 30% AF speed increase as well as much improved AF tracking capabilities and a 40% quicker start up rate over the original A7. Video is beefed up with the A7II as well to the A7s specs.

The A7 body is improved as well with a beefier grip and a tilted shutter release for more comfort and ease of use. Buttons and dials have improved sealing to prevent water and dust from getting inside the camera. There is also a newly designed battery grip which is also weather sealed. The camera retains the same 24 MP sensor as the A7 as well as the same Bionz processor.

A7II

a7IIf

This camera was announced in Japan and so far no announcement from Sony USA. No date of release or price as of yet but if I know Sony, this means more is on the way really soon πŸ™‚ This is not a rumor and you can read more about it at B&H Photo HERE.

a7IIgrip

I can’t wait to slap the Leica 50 APO on this guy!

Steve

SPECS OF THE A7II:

Lens Mount Sony E (Full Frame)
Image Sensor Exmor CMOS; 35.8 x 23.9 mm
Effective Pixels 24.3MP
Total Pixels 24.7MP
Still Image File Format JPEG, RAW
Storage Media SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick PRO Duo/PRO-HG Duo/XC-HG Duo
Card Slot 1x memory card slot
Viewfinder Type XGA OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder
Viewfinder Resolution 2,359,296 dot
Frame Coverage 100%
Magnification Approx. 0.71x
Shutter Type Electronic first curtain shutter available
Shutter Speed 30 to 1/8000 sec.
Flash Sync Speed 1/250 sec
Image Stabilization 5-axis in-body image stabilization equivalent to 4.5 stops
Drive Modes Single shot, Continuous High, Continuous Low
Top Continuous Shooting Rate Up to 5 fps in continuous high; 2.5 fps in continuous low
Exposure Metering System Advanced 1200-zone evaluative metering
Metering Method Multi-metering, center-weighted, spot
Metering Range -1 – +20 EV
Exposure Modes Aperture-Priority (A), Manual (M), Programmed auto (P), Shutter-Priority Auto (S)
ISO Sensitivity ISO 100-25600 (expandable to ISO 50-51200 with multi-shot NR)
Autofocus System Fast Hybrid AF
Number of Focus Points Phase detection: 117 / contrast-detection: 25
Autofocus Sensitivity -1 – +20 EV
Built-In Flash No; Multi-Interface Shoe to accept optional external flash
Movie Recording 1920 x 1080; 60p, 60i, 24p
File Format XAVC S, AVCHD Ver. 2.0, MP4 (YCbCr 4:2:2 8-bit, RGB 8-bit)
Video Data Rate XAVC S: 50 Mbps
AVCHD: 28 Mbps (60p, PS), 24 Mbps (60i & 24p, FX), 17 Mbps (60i & 24p, FH)
MP4: 12 Mbps (1440 x 1080, 30 fps), 3 Mbps (640 x 480, 30 fps)
Audio Recording Built-in stereo microphone, optional external stereo microphone
Audio File Format XAVC S: Linear PCM, 2 channel
AVCHD: Dolby Digital AC3 2 channel
MP4: MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2 channel
Maximum Recording Time 29 min.
Monitor 3.0″ 1.228.8k-dot TFT LCD monitor
Tilting Design 107Β° upward; 41Β° downward
Interface HDMI micro (type D), multi/micro USB, Multi-interface Shoe, 3.5mm stereo microphone jack, 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
Wi-Fi Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity (IEEE 802.11b/g/n, 2.4GHz band); NFC Forum Type 3 Tag
Power Source NP-FW50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Battery Life With Viewfinder: 270 shots
With LCD Screen: 330 shots
Operating Environment 32-104 Β°F / 0-40 Β°C
Dimensions 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4″ / 126.9 x 95.7 x 59.7mm
Weight 1.3lb / 599g (with battery and memory card)

Β 

144 Comments

  1. There is still a major problem with the lack of great lenses for the Sony Alpha line of cameras.
    And the problem remains with 3rd party lenses, although people would tend to think that they could adapt ANYTHING via lens adapters.
    People shouldn’t think that a great lens designed for a film camera will automatically give great results on a digital camera.
    The problem comes from the specific ANGLE from which the light hits the sensor of the camera.
    If there is too much angle, as it can happen in the corners with for instance a wide angle lens designed for film cameras, then the light will hit the “wrong color sensors” (to make it short) and there will be a very noticeable shift of the colors in these areas.
    As a result you can experience shots with perfect center area, but corners shifting to magentas on one side, and greens on the other, and the post editing will become a long work for rather unsatisfying results (wrong color density, contrast etc…).
    The quality lenses which are specifically designed for digital sensors will tend to uniformly “project” the light with angles as close as possible to 90Β° with the surface of sensors.
    To sum it up, this “angle issue” eliminates a great amount of 3rd party lenses professionals were used to work with for producing photos of mind blowing quality on film rolls.
    So, for the moment, the only solution is to chose from high quality lenses designed for digital sensors from other brands, and use adapters with all the compatibility problems which go together with such combinations (lower AF speed, camera’s software going crazy, black screen, etc …), or you decide to shoot mainly tele photos with good old tele lenses (’cause most long focal lenses project mainly uniformly pretty close to 90Β°) and go back to full manual without all your camera IQ that you paid hard cash for.
    As a conclusion I decided to go for a Sony A7II with a Tamron 24-70mm F2.8 “FOR CANON” as basic equipment (yes people, it sounds crazy, but, I also rent mostly from Canon lenses, and I don’t want to switch adapters all the time). The Tamron 24-70mm is a good quality mid rangy zoom (not the best though) and produces satisfying results for 90% of my work. I sometimes pull out my good old Carl Zeiss Contax G Biogon T* 21mm F2.8 which fits to the Sony A7II with a cheap full manual adapter, but only for black and white shots, because it’s a MESS with color shots for the reasons mentioned above.
    And that’s about it.

    • Only issue with 3rd party lenses on the A7II are when using ultra wide M lenses..you will get color issues on the edges when using 15,18, and some 21’s. Most 28 and up are just fine and 35 and up give better results than the Leica M does. There are 10+ native lenses for the FE mount right now and more on the way. Gorgeous lenses: 16-35, 24-70, 35 2.8. 55 1.8, 70-200… a fast portrait prime is coming this year as well as a couple others. For being only 1 1/2 years old, this system has TONS of lenses. More than Fuji had at this stage of the game. More than Olympus had at this stage of the game. Probably more than Canon or Nikon at this stage of the game.

      So native lenses are there for almost any focal length most will need.

      The only way you will have magenta sides is when using M glass that is ultra wide..as I said, 15. 18, some 21’s. (Voigtlander 21 1.8 is fine).

      Use the A7s and have no issues BTW.

      Using Canon lenses on the A7II is fine but will hinder the camera from bulk, to speed to weight, etc. This camera does best with native lenses or Leica M lenses in my experience. Rent the Voigtlander 21 1.8 if you want a 21 without issues πŸ˜‰ But use a good adapter.

  2. I always appreciate your reviews, Steve. I’m not a pro, just a casual hobbyist who enjoys using old manual focus lenses. This announcement is a dream come true- I’ve stayed with m43 Olympus over Sony E mount because I prefer IBIS, but the trade-off has been the increased crop. Now, we finally get a fullframe platform that can use legacy lenses, and still retain IBIS … and at the same time we see Sony is in the midst of a flurry of new cameras! My hope is that there will be several more iterations to come, and within a year this version will drop to reasonable prices for the guy on the street like me. I’ve got a full set of Rokkor and Canon FD primes ready for it.

    • be aware that focusing is not the simple matter described by most. The focus peeking is very inaccurate and most ‘older’ lens using an adapter wont give zooming. So, you have a nice camera, that you need terrific eyesight to focus, or use a high aperture to ensure in focus, of just be prepared for a low keeper count.

      It is most frustrating..

      • Not only is it simple, it is much easier than the old days with MF DSLR’s and those big optical VF’s. Assign a C button to magnify. Look through the EVF, eyeball focus and press that C button to blow it up to fine tune the focus. I can focus VERY quick this way but using peaking or just eyeballing it with peaking on LOW works great as well. The A7II is much much easier to manually focus than any DSLR or most other mirrorless cameras that have inferior EVF’s. The E-M1 is also easy. It’s not only simple but fun and quite rewarding as it makes you work a little for the images. It’s also easier to focus than using a Leica M as its a “what you see is what you get” scenario.

        Just make sure your diopter is adjusted correctly on the EVF so what you are seeing is sharp and how it should be for your eyes. Then assign a C button for magnification and use it when manually focusing. Works great and after 10-12 shots you will get the hang of it. After a day or two you will not want to shoot an AF lens.

        • Thank you for the info. But. I find when it tries to magnify I get s ‘lens nit connected’ which it clearly is. Or, when using a Sony lens, ‘not available in’ … Which effectively requires me to change the the focus mode to manual in in the menu prior to using the feature. Note that I have bought and there is nothing I want more than to have this feature work for me.

          • Mine works flawlessly with any MF third party lens I attach. You do have “release shutter without lens” set to on in the menu, correct?

          • I really appreciate your support and genuine concern. Thank you. I tried peeking but found the focus unreliable. I used a tripod to confirm not a movement issue. I set to zoom and press c1 but I get a not connected message. It will trigger a photo no problem but focus is badly off. I am waiting for my voigtlander lens and close focus adapter to arrive before I make a final decision… I am very hopeful because I love the promise.

  3. I love shooting with the Leica M, but moving objects are hard to get into focus. What camera would you pick for shooting people/faces with a fast autofocus and great glass? The Sony A7II? Oly OMD? Nikon D750? I love the colors I get with the M…

    • Well, no camera will quite give you Leica M 240 or M9 colors. All cameras have a unique color rendering. Nikon, Canon, Sony, Leica, Pentax, Ricoh, etc…

      For fast AF there is the Sony A7II, A7s, Olympus E-M1 or DSLR’s such as the Nikon D750 or Canon 5D (but these are not the fastest to AF). The fastest AF will come from pro level Nikon and Canon but those are overkill for 99% of us.

      Coming from an all manual Leica, the A7II or E-M1 will feel like lightning.

        • In many ways, yes.

          Low light will be much improved/high ISO
          Full frame files mean more depth, less noise, more shallow DOF is needed
          Can use any and all Leica M mount lenses (even cheap $50 ones) with great results.
          Build is superb on both, AF is superb on both

          E-M1 has more native lenses available, and better ones.

          All depends on if you want a full frame sensor. The E-M1 is fantastic and with lenses like the Nocticron, 75 1.8 and so many others its a solid camera system. The Sony is great for using old vintage lenses like Leica M mount or various old rangefinder lenses.

  4. Hi, people. I’m a photographer from Brazil and I’d like to ask your opinion. I work basicly photographing babies, newborns. Nowadays I have a Canon t3i and I’m going to make an upgrade in my equipment. I’m between the Canon 6D and the Sony A7II. I also work with projects of art and stuff, so I thought that the Sony would offer me something amazing when it comes to portability and image quality. But I saw the range of lenses offered and I’m very disapointed. But in general I’m expecting to have just the 35 2.8 to begin with. I’m very confused and I need some help choosing. Sorry for my poor english.

    Manoela

    • I am also very disappointed. Every lens I look at (in reviews) seems problematic, if not the lens then the adapter. Nothing that shines. I need a nice 28 and 40 but nothing seems to fit the bill without some sort of aberration.

      Very dissapointing

  5. I never got to finish the previous comment…. As auto focus speed is partly an algorithmic issue will Sony be patching the A7 to improve its auto focus?

    The shutter noise doesn’t appear to have been addressed at all.. such a shame… I suspect some cheap 2nd hands will appear… yummy

  6. I am a d800e user and love it. However the attraction of taking a FF from a belly pouch is very attractive but not at the expense of quality or speed. The two issues I had with the A7 are shutter noise and focus speed. It appears that sony are impressed with 30% improvement in focus

  7. It will be interesting to see how it works with F1.2 lens (very thin depth of field) being 5 axis and all of that

  8. Oh, no! I just desided to change my Pentax system (K-5II+31lim+77lim) to A7s+55+K-to-FE-mount-adapter (untill there is something like FE 85/1.8 and I have enough money for Loxia 35/2). So what do you think in terms of picture quality (and only) should I wait for A7markII or no need at all – it can hardly beat up the IQ of A7s?

  9. Everyone is talking about Sony A7. Where are the good old days, where we could read more about Leica? Missing sometimes some Leica reviews. Can not hear the name Sony any more.

    • I have reviewed every Leica product that exists already..(I think)..besides some of the lower end P&S and Panny superzooms. Next up will be the D-Lux even though it is the Panasonic LX100 (which I will finally have in hand on Tuesday). But I have hundreds of Leica articles here, and have written so many on the M, the M9, the MM, the M8, etc. Have also written on the T extensively. Not sure what else I can say about them until they have something new and special out. Sony keeps on pushing along with innovation, Leica takes 3-4 years between cameras (which is good) so less to write about until the next go round.

  10. Was considering getting an A7s though I am tempted by the A7 Mark-2. You have to way up all the pros and cons, I assume as the A7II has the same sensor as the Mark-1 that there would be no improvement for legacy short back-focus wide angle lenses (such as Leica M wides) in comparison to the A7s, what do you think?

  11. What I like about all the new gear coming up at the moment is that nobody can blame the camera anymore if the photos suck. Finally it will be again only the photographers fault, hallelujah πŸ˜‰

  12. Buy good or even great lenses if you can -If I were a Sony A7 shooter I would get some cool Zeiss auto and manual lenses -but I would hang onto my A7 and not be lusting after each new iteration of the camera -that’s my belief but some people enjoy buying new gear every other year so if it makes you happy then I suppose go for it!

    Rgds.

    • All I can say here is that they have been outstanding recently. I sent in my 55/1.8 and the Laredo service center called me and asked if I needed a loaner. I had a backup from the local Sony rep so I declined and the service was completed and returned within three days.

      I’m definitely signing up for their Pro Service program as well.

    • and the problem is? Sony is basically offering something for everyone with three model types (the A7 workhorse, A7r high resolution and the A7s high sensitivity) No different than a Nikon D800 vs D750 vs Df.

      I’ve noticed some people looking at each model as an upgrade or replacement for the others when they are distinct models.

      I’ve also got no issue with an aggressive 1 year upgrade cycle that we are seeing with the A7 (and have seen for the last three years with the RX100).

  13. I’m impressed with Sony’s development of the a7 range, they seem to have a very innovative product team with vision and execution.The images I’ve seen are impressive, although I haven’t shot with the a7 range. As a Canon shooter (not fanboy) it’s not enough just yet to prize me away from my L glass investment. But I’d happily look at trading in my x100s for this model and giving it a try. Steve & A7 owners – what lenses would you recommend for this camera (assuming its similar to the a7) for a walk around zoom and a 35mm/50mm prime for non Leica users?

  14. Sony surely want A7II users to use their professional Alpha lenses. But will their LA-EA4 adapter’s AF cancel out the new 5-axis IS? If so, that means we will have to either buy their LA-EA3 that does not carry an AF function or a cheaper 3rd party alternative.

    • LA-EA4 is completely compatible . They have sample shots on the Sony site using it. Why would you think they would make their best camera not work with their best adaptor to use their best lenses? πŸ˜›

    • The adapter’s not gonna turn off the IBIS, why it should? That would be dumb!
      Have you seen the video of which I’ve posted the link?
      They’re showing functionality of the IBIS with a lens connected to the LA-EA4: the Japanese dude at the beginning of the video has a camera with an adapted lens in his hands.
      IBIS is working also with third party lenses…

  15. According to Digitalcamera it’s not Olympus 5 axis IBIS. It’s a proprietary IS, made by Sony.
    It’s CIPA certified to give 4.5 stops of gain.
    For those of you curious about it, there’s a video here
    http://av.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20141120_676968.html showing what this system is capable of.
    Quite impressive.
    The cool stuff is that if you use one of the Sony’s OSS lenses, the camera will “understand” that the lens is stabilized and it’s gonna use only the axis not stabilized by the lens itself.
    Looking forward for the rumored A9 and then I’m gonna think about upgrade from my good old A900.

    • On one hand I don’t believe Sony developed their own 5 axis out of nowhere, much less considering their current partnership with Olympus (and the fact that it works exactly the same as Olympus already patented design). On the other hand though I would feel relieved if Sony actually did their own work from scratch, that would mean that Olympus still has the sense to not shoot themselves in the foot. But then again, if this isn’t the product of some sort of trade between Sony and Olympus then that means no privileged access to Sony’s latest sensor tech for Oly’s next gen.

      • As I understand it, Olympus’ 5-axis IBIS was developed utilizing some of the technologies used by the company’s medical imaging division (something Sony is now dialed into on account of the partnership). So the likelihood Sony did this all by themselves, right at this moment, given their access to Olympus tech, is remote.

        • Sony inherited sensor stabilisation from Minolta (remember the Minolta A1), were the only one’s to have it in full frame dslr’s such as the A900, A850. All they needed to do is use a system developed by Olympus to make it more efficient. Olympus must have shared this with Sony.

          • Reading in the comments of this article: http://reframe.gizmodo.com/sony-a7-mark-ii-hands-on-heres-what-5-axis-stabilizati-1666914015 an engineer who works in the design of these systems discusses scalability and why it’s not unexpected at all for Sony to develop a full frame IBIS as most of the technology is already out there and comes from multiple partners that develop these technologies for other kinds of systems as well as cameras. The engineer provides some example diagrams and explains some physics issues with larger sensors and the understanding is the linearity of the processes lends well to scalability. If I understand what he was writing, and if he’s accurate in his understanding, then Sony didn’t have to re-invent anything here, nor did Olympus, exactly. It was as much a matter of cost to produce small motors as anything else, since the tech has been around awhile.

  16. Very good news today.

    I had a dream.

    The Camera That I Have Been Waiting For So Long Is Coming!

    Next year after the A9R there will be the A9S and it will have that top quality rugged weathersealed body, silent shutter, excellence with M and other old glass, even faster AF, 5-axis stabilisation, 18 MP sensor, fantastic white balance, excellent skin tones, even better customization options and so on.

    It will look like a rangefinder camera and it will be just a little bit higher at the grip than the A7’s so my right hand doesn’t get cramped.

    In the mean time Sony has finally upgraded it’s Custumer Support here in Europe to the level of the companies that might then be called the DSLR Dinosaurs.

    And I will buy that camera. It will be my almost all-in-one.
    My Angel of Old Glass, my super fast action camera, my all weather camera, my more than enough resolution camera.

    It will be accompanied by one my old, fantastic looking and still working analogue bodies.

    And Yes, finally my Gear Acquiry Syndrome will be be Gone….

    • “…there will be the A9S and it will have that top quality rugged weathersealed body, silent shutter, excellence with M and other old glass, even faster AF, 5-axis stabilisation, 18 MP sensor, fantastic white balance, excellent skin tones, even better customization options and so on.”

      Crystal ball? πŸ™‚

      • Just wishful thinking!

        But a company like Nikon has pro level high megapixel cameras and pro level low megapixel cameras.
        Sony will come soon with a pro high megapixel A9 camera.
        I expect they will also bring us a low megapixel camera in the A9 series.

      • Seriously Steve? Nikon does not release a new D8XX series every year, and Canon still has no 5D mkIV.

        I have never heard of any company whatsoever releasing another line of their flagship series full frame cameras after only one year.

        • Many companies adopted this policy until this past year, when most slowed down. All but Leica, who stays on a 3-4 year cycle for their M line. Olympus used to pump them out every year, as did Panasonic, and Fuji as well, sometimes less than a year from model to model. Sony always did this with the NEX series, NEX5, Nex 5n, 5R, etc. Olympus stopped when they made the E-M1 and changed to a 2-3 year cycle. But nothing wrong with any company pushing forward as no one has it buy the new model if they do not want to. Sony is being aggressive and pushing forward with technology and new models in an effort to improve. Others have decided to slow down in 2014. But nothing wrong at all with companies releasing new improved models as often as they see fit. Just adds more options for those who are looking. Nikon D600 to D610 was how long? A year I believe. D800 to D810 was not much longer..

  17. Sony has done their homework. I ordered the A7 when it first came out, but quickly returned it for a few very annoying reasons. 1. the magnifying button is too close the the EVF. i feel like i have to jam my finger to press it, and i use that a lot with manual focus legacy lenses. 2. the shutter position, which many poeple have mentioned; 3.i wish the grip was a little bigger. Nowadays, all the mirroless cameras have small and short grips which would leave your pinkie unsupported. Hope this larger grip will my it more comfortable for people like me who have long fingers.
    If Sony makes an A7s II, i will buy one.

  18. Technology leaps and bounds ahead. Still, though, the photographer needs proper composition, lighting and exposure mastery and “decisive moments'” captured to make the image more than technical.

  19. Steve! I can hardly contain my excitement! My questions now are, is there silent shooting on this model? They don’t mention it on the JP site. Second, it will be interesting to see if they announce a Sony A9 and A9R (or equivalent) or if they are planning to let the Aii model be the ‘little brother’ to the Pro level A9 version. Time will tell I guess. Third, will the ISO performance match the A7s? Im thinking probably not because its the same sensor as the A7… and fourth hoping they change the SS limit on aperture priority to 1/80th like the EM1. In the photo it looks like they touch the design of the EM1’s grip which I happen to like a lot better then the A7. Good bonus there.

    There was some discussion amongst us on how the IBIS will work with legacy MF lenses. On the EM5 you had to manually choose the Focal Length for it to work. Do you think that will be the same case for the Aii or do you think there are any improvements on that functionality? I cant remember how the EM1 handled IBIS with older legacy non-electronic glass.

    • ISO will be the same as the A7..same sensor, same max ISO. Silent Shutter..not 100% but doesn’t appear to have it, which is odd. But maybe it is there. I will know soon.

      • I do not recall reading in the press release that this is the same sensor as in the A7. It is likely to be the newer sensor Sony have supplied to Nikon for the D750.

          • But the Bionz engine has been updated, the noise rectification is now sectorial, it analyzes the image and does not treats it in a superficial way anymore, but it splits it in sectors and just modifies the picture where it is necessary. This will keep much more of the shot unchanged ans thus will be less destructive. All we need now to see is if the noise flattening is really less destructive. Sony has progressed a lot in this matter but is far from what is really acceptable in previous models. Lets us now wait for a II version of the R and S models. It would be nice to see some day a camera that can shoot files we can use as good quality jpeg shots right out of the box at just any ISO range and light conditions. If the next generation of sensors that can translate all colors in one single layer and overlay it without Bayer filtering will do that better is questionable. The new sensor concept of the future Sony has presented is supposed to shoot up to 50000 Iso native. In a few years we will know more about that. But anyway, at the present state, Sony starts becoming the brand to beat. I have no FF now, but I will wait first what announced A7000 will be before I go for new material. I am not infected by GAS virus anyway.

  20. I’m intrigued by this, I mean, what sort of deal did Olympus get in exchange for giving up 5 axis IBIS ? If Olympus next MFT camera doesn’t feature some sort of revolutionary Sony sensor technology (organic, BSI ?) then they might as well have shot themselves in the head just now. They’re also talking of killing their entry level E-PM series, their only tool for market expansion towards amateurs and their sole truly small camera body (all this while Panasonic is getting praise for the GM series). Not only that but they still refuse to release a flagship PEN with EVF years after Sony and Panasonic have released theirs, loosing any sort of opportunity at making an impact in the market now. M4/3 biggest advantage is not only its tiny lenses but also its wide variety of bodies and exclusive features, and right now Olympus is killing both of those advantages, I don’t get it, just what is Olympus thinking ? I love their cameras and their innovative input in photography but they’re management is really messed up. Do they intend to survive in today’s market relying solely on the OMD line ? Why corner themselves into a niche (like with regular 4/3) ?

    • You realize Sony bailed out Olympus with a nice cash infusion a couple years ago?

      And that Olympus is consolidating its distribution and support channels with those of Sony in some geographies, both significant parts of a camera makers’ business?

      • @Tyler & Ronin

        Sorry but what does any of that have to do with what I said ? First off, this is being explicitly being called 5 Axis stabilization, Sony could’ve used ANY other buzzword or trademark but they went with Olympus’s own terminology. Secondly, We ALL know Sony and Olympus made a collaboration deal a long time ago, rumor sites have been talking about Olympus sharing their 5 axis tech with Sony and resulting in this exact same camera since before the 1st A7 came out (as a matter of fact Steve himself speculated on this shortly before the 1st camera was announced), not only that but the explanatory videos make it fairly explicit that both implementations are very much the same, so yeah, the possibility of this being Olympus own design is quite high. Lastly, Sony didn’t bail anyone out of anything, they themselves are in a pretty bad shape as a corporation, Sony was mostly interested in Olympus’s only profitable department, the medical one and they only bought enough shares to have the right to have an opinion within Olympus business activities (not on any technical development much less on the camera department). they have no interest nor the spare cash to save or buy a competing company, they struck a collaboration deal that’s meant to help both companies expand their business. There’s no charity going on here, Olympus and Sony just made it easier to make business with each other, Olympus buys Sony’s sensors and Sony buys 5 axis from Olympus, simple as that. What I was intrigued by is Olympus side of the deal, since as of now it seems to benefit only Sony, which coupled with Olympus lackluster ability to read the market makes for a bad combo.

        All I’m saying is that Olympus should make an effort to get a good deal with Sony, sensor-wise, to stop amputating its m43 lineup by cornering themselves into a one-model niche (only OMDs) and most importantly to expand their reach into aspiring photographers instead of limiting themselves to just enthusiast. Olympus is not Leica, they cannot survive under that business model and doing so will only hurt the diversity and impact (consumer reach) of the mirrorless format. I’m both an Oly and Pany fan but at least Pany makes and effort to offer different types of cameras to different users (GM, GX and GH). All this does is make it harder for Olympus in the long end.

        • Its because you are making a house of cards argument based off of speculation, which is contradictory to what Sony has stated: they only collaborate on medical imaging. Sure its the terminology that Oly uses: until yesterday, it was the only 5 axis IBIS made. Sony’s a-mountt IBIS is 4 way, as are Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sigma, qnd Tamron for lens-based. If you had facts over inference, it would be interesting to discuss. Find sources and quotes and we can talk.

          • Sorry but I’m not getting into a Dpreview type of argument here, I’m not gonna play that game. It seems like you didn’t read or pay attention to any part of my argument, I’m not criticizing Sony, I don’t care if they designed their own 5 axis or if it was derived from Olympus, that’s irrelevant now, they have it, it’s a reality, period. Besides, the end result is a carbon copy of Olympus, arguing who designed it is a moot point if the end result is absolutely the same. There’s no trophy at stake here. I’m talking about Olympus exclusively here. Either way Olympus is in a predicament and they’re historically not the best at resolving these issues at the management level. They HAVE to implement some sort of new trump card to differentiate themselves within the mirrorless market, something beyond just minor improvements. In some twisted way this is good for m43 and its consumers, just as it’s good for Fuji and the other players user bases; This puts a lot of pressure on them, and we the consumers are going to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Are they up to the task ? that’s what worries me.

          • Sorry, but I think you’re failing to connect the obvious dots here.

            The fact that Sony owns 10% of Olympus. The fact that the core technology is virtually identical. The timing. Choosing to use the exact same naming terminology. And, as many have perhaps forgotten, the fact that it was publicly reported 2 years ago that as part of the collaboration Sony would be granted access to Olympus’ 5-axis IBIS technology.

            Sony saying they did it themselves is just marketing-speak lost in Japanese-to-English translation. Or perhaps more accurately: intentional obfuscation.

            This is absolutely Olympus technology being used.

          • FWIW, Sony has clearly stated that the IBIS is not Oly’s and that it is a result of their own (Sony’s) patented design. Not sure why they are insisting on this or how much truth is in it but this is what they have said. Maybe they are trying to differentiate the 2 Brands? It is curious.

          • I think that Olympus has shared this technology with Sony, but Sony has modified this to work with a larger sensor. So I would say that Sony has patented the Olympus system for full frame.

          • It is Oly technology, no question. Sony did not invent it, they were able to use this tech from Olympus due to their deal. But yes, Sony has modified it to work with a full frame.

    • Just a side comment on your reference to the panasonic GM series. I have an E-M1 and just received a GM5. It has no compromise great image quality in a tiny package – a great complementary body to the E-M1. The kit zoom seems very sharp and it pairs extremely well with the Panny/Leica 15mm f1.7 for jaw dropping IQ.

  21. I plan to order the new A7 II as soon as I can. I love the A7s so I’m pretty sure having a second body for this system with higher res and stabilization will be a dream come true. With primes, this system is light and fantastic and much smaller than my recently departed 5D3. Some of the Sony zooms are pretty big and heavy, but I only use them when really needed. The A7s with the 35mm is very small and versatile and currently my favorite pairing. I’ll be watching for links on this site to order the A7 II.

  22. I find that new grip to be terribly ugly, and I don’t like how they’ve fattened up the body. The A7/R/S design was very elegant. This one is starting to look almost like all the other lumpy, dumpy SLRs or SLR-wannabes.

    This whole gripmania always baffles me, anyhow. I adore shooting with my Nikon FA with just the slightest protuberance constituting the “grip.” I believe they offered an attachable grip for those photogs who were, say, hanging from helicopters, but they didn’t see the need to ugly up a nice camera body to suit those peculiar needs.

    Wow, I sound even older and grumpier than I really am! It’s just because I covet this new A7, but just wish that the grip were optional…

    • I totally agree with your opinion on the grip. If sony made the rx1 with an e-mount I would take it over my a7 any day. But I am also guilty of liking big grips when its needed I do have the battery grip on my a7 and love it.

      Look at the new nikon v3 it comes with a removable grip and viewfinder for when you want it. I know there somewhat behind when it comes to mirror less but I think they may have some good ideas. I carry a beat up spray painted nikon j1 with the 10mm pancake around when i don’t have the space for my a7. If they made the a7 with an removable grip and possibly a pancake lens I believe allot of people would jump on it.

  23. I don’t get it. Everyone goes on and on about the smaller form factor of these Sony full frame cameras but then they slap on these huge lenses. There goes your smaller form factor, right out the window. Save some money and get the Canon 6D which is built like a tank and is the smallest, lightest, full frame DSLR out there. Oh and yeah awesome jpegs and raw files.

    • But it is a DSLR. Cant use my Leica M glass on it. Cant use Nikon glass on it. Cant use any RF glass on it at all. Slap a Leica 50 on the A7 and it is small and feels awesome. Cant do that with a fat 6D (and yes, the 6D is small for a DSLR but still very thick and fat..add a huge L lens and forget it). I loved the 6D (reviewed it) but with just two lenses (sigma 35 and 85L) it was a CHORE to lug around all day. An A7 body with a 15, 35 and 50 prime is small, light and can do what the 6D does..even more when we are talking about the A7s.

      • If you have all that glass I totally understand. I lug my fat and sassy 6D around all day in NYC with the 40 mm pancake or the 35mm f2, never had a problem. When I need something smaller I just take out the Fuji x100s. Keeping it simple.

      • You can put Nikon lenses on a Canon, no problem. $15 Chinese made adapters or fotodiox etc. The 35 and 85L lenses you reviewed are the biggest and heaviest ones of their type available – what about the 85/1.8 or 100/2 or 35/2, or 40mm pancake/28mm 2.8 IS etc? This is a common practice of the mirrorlessphiles: compare non-equivalent lenses and systems (e.g 1DX and 24-70mm vs OM-D and 25mm prime). It is almost an automatic assumption that “everything is SO heavy and SO big with a DSLR” but this is not necessarily so. They are bigger and heavier, but there’s no need to exaggerate the differences. It needn’t be a belief system: they are just cameras!

        • I agree with what you Robin, and Vidal are saying. The same people who complain about big heavy DSLRs (and we’re talking 2-300 grams difference here), will be the same people to put what will be a big (apparently to be released) 50/1.2 lens on a Sony A7, or to complain about small but “slow” 2.8 prime lens on a camera that goes to ISO 400,000. There is no logic. If size is your primary concern, then you should follow that through on all your equipment choices – especially lenses. The weight of lenses, on average, varies a lot more than the weight of a camera.

          In exchange for your 2-300 gram heavier DSLR, you get a battery that lasts at least 3 times as long (negating the need to carry spares and reducing the apparent weight advantage of mirrorless), and you get superior auto-focus. Auto-focus accuracy is something I have come to appreciate more and more as time goes on. A photo that is out of focus, or has the focus in a place other than where it was intended, is junk. In this day and age of software recovery, it is more important than exposure even. You can’t digitally correct for an out of focus photo. If a DSLR has the best focus system, it is going to be more useful to more people. This is why pro’s almost always use DSLRs.

          Can’t argue the mirrorless advantage with regard to using Leica lenses. However, if you are starting from scratch it would be cheaper for almost everyone to buy matched Nikon/Canon?Pentax lenses to go with the DSLR. With in camera correction of native lenses, it will probably lead to better results too. Put another way, if you have Leica lenses then sure, shoot a mirrorless, but I wouldn’t buy a mirrorless so that I could go and buy Leica lenses to use on it.

        • The thing that I think people miss about why we love a camera like the A7. It’s not that it’s always the smallest camera. It’s that it can be the smallest camera. If I take the A7 out with the 35 2.8, I can have a full frame camera in my jacket pocket. There are many times I don’t care how big my camera is and that’s when even carrying something really large like the 70-200 isn’t a big deal. I would even be open to them creating a larger E mount camera in the future if it will give it better operation and use the A7 as a backup. That might be what’s going on with the rumored A9. I really am more interested in the flexibility of this camera becoming slightly more than a compact up to a DSLR style camera with big zooms. We always talk about that every camera has to make a sacrifice somewhere and can’t be all things to all people. For me, the Sony A7 comes the closest to being the camera that can do it all, but of course your variables may be different than mine.

          • Exactly.

            The A7 is a “flexible” workhorse for me. Small when I want it with rangefinder glass or the 35/2.8, and a competent DSLR replacement for my A-mount glass with the grip and LAEA-4. Add the FE 55/1.8 as a low cost Summicron alternative and you have a formidable platform.

            Now, that we can use IBIS with A-mount again, about the only thing missing is an improved LAEA adapter with A99 coverage and performance.

    • Don’t forget an old sensor that isn’t up to the latest Sony offerings. Sorry I had a 5D MK 3 and all the L lenses and hated it…I preferred the OOC JPGs from Fuji to Canon.

  24. I didn’t buy the first generation precisely because the shutter release was just plain uncomfortable for me. This new one has me drooling.

    Any word on whether it has the sturdier construction of the A7r and A7s or the more plasticky build of the original A7? Not a big deal, I’ll probably buy one regardless.

    Now the real dilemma, buy this for a size and weight reduction or stick to my Nikon Df for color? I love the Df sensor and especially when combined with the 58/1.4G, but there is a lot that mirrorless can do that the Df just never will (besides video, which I don’t want or need). This is a VERY exciting release.

  25. Has anyone heard if this will have the same improvements as the A7s? This seems like it won’t and that means I’ll have a really tough decision to make.

    • Which improvements are you talking about?
      Video ? It’s there.
      Low ISO ability – can’t except if the sensor changes.
      AF is the same, just the algorithms been tweaked.
      Body construction -improved by using aluminum front.
      So what else did you want?

    • 30% will be nearly imperceptible in the real world. 300% would mean 3x faster; that would be a significant improvement.

      5-axis IBIS on a full frame sensor is a big step forward, to be sure, but not enough by itself. I’m more interested in seeing what the A9 PRO camera they’re set to announce early next year delivers.

  26. That’s what I hate in these vendors. The diarrhea of camera production! At least a canon 5d ii or iii can live for 5+ years till a new production. Reminds me with their previous NEX diarrhea.

    • There is nothing wrong with the Sony A7/r/s. Each one is actually good at its own thing but this one does gobble up the A7. But the A7 was released a year ago so no reason to complain about that. Moreover the Sony A7/r where clearly meant for early adopters. Comparing these cameras to a Canon 5DmkII that has was released on tried (tired) and true tech is completely different. Sony is pushing the very edge of this tech right now and no one can touch them yet. So yea, for those ready to strap in, keep the iterations coming my friend! If your not ready to be an early adopter, don’t buy it. Simple. πŸ™‚

  27. Fuji just announced a huge new firmware upgrade for the X-T1. Rather than making us all buy new cameras, Fuji keeps adding value to the one we bought. Bravo Fuji!

  28. The other day I was able to handhold the 40-150 Oly lens and get perfectly sharp images at 150mm 1/10 @ f:2.8. Something that I’ve never even as a kid been able to do with a non image stabilized body before. So if Sony makes a 300mm (or really any slow speed situation) this will certainly be something to shake the FF world up. As for Sony… ;-)~

    • It looks like the pricing will be above the A7S, but less than a Nikon D810. Take my advice: Don’t switch to ramen noodles. The A6000 is a very good camera, and you won’t get high cholesterol.

      • Not sure where you are seeing that. Pricing should be well below the A7s. The Euro price is $1600 and we usually see an exact conversion or less so I expect it to come in at a great price.

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