Sony Creates a MONSTER! The new A7RII..see my hands on report!


Sony Creates a MONSTER! The new A7RII..see my hands on report!

I am writing today from NYC at a Sony Event held in the beautiful Le Parker Meridian Hotel. Myself and loads of other journalists, bloggers and camera geeks all packed into a meeting today with Sony to see what they were revealing. Not only did they reveal the A7RII, they also announced the new RX10II and RX100IV. ALL THREE are spectacular cameras with some amazing new tech that was very cool to see. Mirrorless cameras have matured..big time and Sony is leading the way without question.

Pre-Order the A7RII at B&H Photo HERE. Available to pre-order on June get ready 😉 





My brain, heart and soul instantly fell for the A7IIR  – as it is an entirely new beast from the old A7r..I mean, entirely new.

The A7RII now has a 42.4 Megapixel full frame backlit sensor which allow the camera to do all sorts of things. 40% faster AF (and yes, it is much quicker than the old A7r and even the A7II it seems), ISO up to 102,000 (we are talking A7s territory in a high res sensor), Tweak 5 Axis IS so the images are stabilized in body with ANY lens you attach, Full 4K video shooting with an option for Super 35 shooting that offers double the res of standard Super 35. Full pixel readout without pixel binning.



It also boasts the world’s highest viewfinder magnification at 0.78. Let me  tell you, the EVF in this guy is amazing. Like a window. Of course it gas WiFi, NFC, and is compatible with all the Play Memories Apps but this A7RII is giving us the BEST of the A7II, A7s and old A7R.

We have the super high resolution of 42.5 MP..and usually there are drawbacks with this such as slow AF speed and not so high ISO capabilities. Sony changed all of that with the new sensor and processing and we get it all. Fast AF, high ISO capability and JAW DROPPING AMAZING photo quality and video quality. It has it all, and will be the most amazing A7 camera ever developed.


Data output is 3.5 times faster than the old A7r and with technology like copper wiring layers, Sony has been doing their homework.

One other awesome feature is the new Reduced Vibration shutter along with a totally silent mode that we had in the A7s.

I had some hands on time with the A7RII, was able to shoot it, handle it, check it out and I was very impressed. By far the most complete A7 to date. Not sure how they do it but Sony keeps upping the game and they created a beast with the new A7RII. Will be great for pro video, pro photo, and give you the NO COMPROMISE features and capabilities you have always wanted.

No longer do we have to substitute high res for low light abilities. It does it all!


Before you ask where the images are…well, we were not allowed to shoot with our own memory cards, in fact, the SD slots were all taped up as these are not final production cameras. So no images yet but I will have a full review unit available to me soon I am sure.

The price for all of this tech? $3198, shipping in August. Just a couple of months away. Exciting times…I mean..this camera is pretty incredible, and I have just seen huge prints and 4K video from it that were astonishing. Using it was a joy as well. This is nothing like the old original A7r. BTW, it has the new A7II body style.

BRAVO AGAIN to SONY for pushing the envelope and making the best sensors in the world (IMO).

So to sum it up, $3200, available in August and pre-orders will start on June 17th. I CAN NOT WAIT to review this camera. I will have more on the other two new releases, the RX100 4 and the RX10II in the next day or two, stay tuned!


Here is the official press release from Sony on the A7RII:


Sony’s New α7R II Camera Delivers Innovative Imaging Experience with World’s First Back-Illuminated 35mm Full-Frame Sensor.

Sony’s Flagship Mirrorless Camera Features 42.4 MP Back-illuminated CMOS sensor, In-camera 5-axis Image Stabilization, Internal 4K Video Recording, Silent Shooting, Fast Hybrid AF and more

NEW YORK, Jun. 10, 2015 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their new flagship full-frame mirrorless camera, the α7R II (model ILCE-7RM2).

The new α7R II interchangeable lens camera features the world’s first back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor1, which realizes high resolution (42.4 MP approx. effective megapixels), high sensitivity (expandable up to ISO 102400)2 and high speed AF response up to 40% faster than the original α7R thanks to 399 focal plane phase detection AF points.

The camera also includes a 5-axis image stabilization system borrowed from the acclaimed α7 II model and can shoot and record 4K video in multiple formats including Super 35mm (without pixel binning) and full-frame format, a world’s first for digital cameras1. Additionally, it has a newly refined XGA OLED Tru-Finder with the world’s highest (0.78x) viewfinder magnification3.

“Sony continues to deliver game-changing imaging products that are changing the way imaging enthusiasts, hobbyists and professionals can see and capture the world,” said Mike Fasulo, President of Sony Electronics.

Kimio Maki, Senior General Manager of Digital imaging Business Group for Sony Corporation, added “By harmonizing high resolution, sensitivity and speed, we’re delivering a high-level full-frame imaging experience unlike anything else in market today, with Sony’s newly developed, world’s first back-illuminated 35mm full frame CMOS sensor.”

High Resolution, High Sensitivity and High-Speed Response

The newly developed 42.4 MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor is the most advanced, versatile and highest resolution full-frame image sensor that Sony has ever created, allowing the α7R II to reach new levels of quality, sensitivity and response speed. In the past, many photographers have been forced to choose between high-resolution and high-speed or high resolution and high sensitivity when selecting a camera. The new α7R II eliminates that sacrifice thanks to its innovative image sensor.

The 42.4 MP sensor combines gapless on-chip lens design and AR (anti-reflective) coating on the surface of the sensor’s glass seal to dramatically improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range. This allows the camera to shoot at an impressive ISO range of 100 to 25600 that is expandable to ISO 50 to 1024002.

Additionally, the sensor’s back-illuminated structure, with an expanded circuit scale and copper wiring design, enables faster transmission speed and ensures content can be captured in high resolution without sacrificing sensitivity. Data can also be output from the sensor at an approximately 3.5x faster rate compared to the original α7R.

An ideal match for Sony’s extensive collection of FE lenses (35mm full-frame compatible E-mount lenses), the new α7R II features a high-speed BIONZ X image processing engine that allows images and video from the camera to be captured with supreme details and low noise. There is also no optical low pass filter on the camera, ensuring that scenery and landscapes are captured in the highest possible resolution and clarity.

The α7R II has a new highly durable reduced-vibration shutter that realizes 50% less vibration from shutter movements compared to its predecessor, and has a cycle durability of approximately 500,000 shots4. The camera can also be set to Silent Shooting mode in order to shoot images quietly without any sensor vibration or movement.

The new image sensor features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points – the world’s widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensor1 – that work together with 25 contrast AF points to achieve focus response that is about 40% faster than the original model. The α7R II utilizes an advanced motion-detection algorithm combined with this Fast Hybrid AF system to achieve up to 5fps continuous shooting with AF tracking.

Additionally, the focal plane phase-detection AF system on the α7R II works well with Sony A-mount lenses when they are mounted on the camera using an LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 mount adapter. This allows users to enjoy the wide AF coverage of 399 focal plane phase-detection AF points, high-speed response and high tracking performance with a wider range of lenses. This marks the first time that the AF system of a mirrorless camera can achieve high performance with lenses originally designed for DSLRs.

5-Axis Image Stabilization Optimized for 42.4 MP

The new flagship α7R II model is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilization system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity. Similar to the system launched on the acclaimed α7 II model, this advanced form of image stabilization corrects camera shake along five axes during shooting, including angular shake (pitch and yaw) that tends to occur with a telephoto lens, shift shake (X and Y axes) which becomes noticeable as magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects video recording. This camera shake compensation system is equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed approximately 4.5 steps faster5.

Additionally, the 5-axis stabilization works cooperatively with Sony α lenses with optical SteadyShot™ (OSS) to provide maximum stabilization and clarity, while also performing admirably via a compatible mount adapter with Sony α A-mount lenses6 without on-board stabilization . Effects of the stabilization can be previewed via live-view on the LCD or OLED viewfinder of the camera.

Unrivaled 4K Movie Shooting Performance

The impressive video credentials of Sony’s new α7R II camera include the ability to record movies in 4K quality (QFHD 3840×2160) in either Super 35mm crop mode or full-frame mode.

In Super 35mm mode, the camera collects a wealth of information from approximately 1.8x as many pixels as 4K by using full pixel readout without pixel binning and oversamples the information to produce 4K movies with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’.

In full-frame mode, the α7R II utilizes the full width of the 35mm sensor for 4K recording, allowing users to utilize the expanded expressive power of the sensor. It is the world’s first digital camera to offer this in-camera full-frame format 4K recording capacity1.

The camera utilizes the advanced XAVC S7 codec during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shooting.

Additionally, the α7R II model features a variety of functions to support a professional video workflow including Picture Profile, S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut, 120fps high frame rate movie shooting in HD (720p), time code, clean HDMI output and more.

Enhanced Design, Operability and Reliability

The new full-frame α7R II has an upgraded XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ with a double-sided aspherical lens that delivers the world’s highest viewfinder magnification3 of 0.78x for crystal clear image preview and playback across the entire display area. ZEISS® T* Coating is also utilized to reduce unwanted reflections that interfere with the shooting experience.

The camera has an extremely solid, professional feel in-hand thanks to its light, rigid magnesium alloy design, and has a re-designed grip and shutter button compared to its predecessor. There is also a new mechanism to conveniently lock the mode dial, and an expanded range of customizable functions and buttons to suit the most demanding photographers.

The new α7R II camera is Wi-Fi® and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ application available for Android™ and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™, which add a range of creative capabilities to the camera. For example, there is more creativity available now for time-lapse photography thanks to a new “Angle Shift add-on” app allows users to easily add pan, tilt and zoom to time-lapse images without any additional shooting equipment or PC software required. Learn more at

Sony has also introduced a new LCD monitor model CLM-FHD5, an ideal companion to the α7R II for video shooting. A compact 5.0 type Full HD (1920x1080p) LCD monitor, the CLM-FHD5 features enlarging and peaking functionality for precise focusing, false color and video level marker for adjusting exposure and S-Log display assist to assist S-Log shooting.

Pricing and Availability

The Sony α7R II full-frame interchangeable lens camera will be available in August for about $3200 at and a variety of Sony authorized dealers nationwide.

The α7R II is compatible with Sony’s growing lineup of α -mount lenses, which now totals 63 different models including 12 native ‘FE’ full frame lenses. By early 2016, Sony will add an additional 8 new lenses to its FE full frame lineup, bringing the FE total to 20 lenses and the overall α -mount assortment to 70 different models.




  1. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in truth was
    a entertainment account it. Glance complicated to far delivered agreeable from you!
    By the way, how could we communicate?

  2. I was considering A7rII but the selling price in Europe is for $4000 body! Decided to go for X-Pro2 with a few primes.

  3. Hi Steve,

    Have you received a unit of the a7rII for review?

    Thank you.


  4. Hi Steve, thank you for the review.

    Looks like a fine piece of gear, and it may be the thing that finally claws me away from Nikon.

    I did try the Fuji’s but found the lag, shot-to-shot delay (EVF freeze/aperture stop-down/shutter actuation/capture/mechanical reset/black-out) to really cause me to miss shots in many scenarios; tried in both AF and MF. For reference, with my Nikon D810 (and even lowly D5500), I just set back-button focusing, continuous AF, 3D tracking, slap the single-point sensor on an eye or whatever I want to track, and fire at will with the shutter release button. In single shot drive mode, I can squeeze off 4 or 5 shots a second if I really want, but the machine gun thing is not what I mean. I do a lot of tribal village portraiture, and with the Nikons, I can see almost as I take the shot if the subject blinks, moves, or slightly changes their expression, and I can then immediately fire another one or two shots, anticipating their next move. So long as my slow old brain and finger reflexes are up to it, I essentially am not held up by the camera and the Nikon responsiveness allows me to get the shot. I found the Fuji’s just could not work in such a way; too slow, too-long a black-out time, and AF tracking was not up to it in some of those dimly lit village huts I was in!

    If you understand the scenario I am talking about above, which of course is not what everyone needs, I understand that, but from what you felt when messing around with the A7Rii, do you think it will be up to the task of replacing that Nikon performance, AF-wise, tracking and shot-to-shot almost-instant-response speed?

    Many thanks and looking forward to more from you soon.



    The camera will not activate if there is no remaining battery. Insert a sufficiently
    charged battery pack into the camera.
    • If you use the camera while power is being supplied from a wall outlet (wall socket),
    make sure that the icon ( ) displays on the monitor.
    • Do not remove the battery pack while power is being supplied from a wall outlet
    (wall socket). If you remove the battery pack, the camera will turn off.
    • Under certain conditions, power may be supplied from the battery supplementarily
    even if you are using the AC Adaptor.

    This may sound bad, that it requires the battery to be charged but it’s actually great for those that use solar panels. Also wedding photographers can now use a 24,000mAh external battery. Battery life is not a problem for professional jobs. Please make a news post about this if possible

  6. Mr Huff, a couple years ago you recommended the Sony Rx1r. I bought it and love it to this day. Now I am ready to buy the New Sony A7r11, I do not own any lenses. What lens would you recommend I purchase when I buy the camera I would like a nice quality lens , moderate price. For everyday. Thank you so much for your valuable advice, I love your photography. Jessie Mann

    • Depends on focal length you want. There are so many fantastic lenses out there today for the Sony FE system. The Loxia from Zeiss, Batis from Zeiss, the Sony offerings. All great. But choose your focal length and go from there. You really can not ho wrong with ANY of these FE lenses.

  7. Each iteration Sony raises the bar in terms of innovation and usability. The argument is becoming pretty compelling to jump ship.

  8. I wish the loxia lenses were sealed. They have a gasket but no sealing. The FE lenses have sealing but no gasket. What madness, lol. This camera with a sealed lens manual focus lens would be a nice combo

  9. Steve, I have a Sony a7 and a few primes for that system. I was planning on buying the 90mm and upgrading to this camera, but after seeing your review of the Leica Q and how close in price this camera and the Q are, I’m now debating simply getting the Q for all my wide shots, and then selling some wide lenses to make up the difference and still allow me to buy a 90mm for my a7 and stick with that camera + the Q.

    The Q seems to be the first Leica that is within my reach so I’m very interested in it.

    Do you think that’s a good choice, or do you think I’d be better served just upgrading to this?

  10. I’m very interested to see if the new back-lit sensor does better with M wides…..

    • Because why exactly? You just switch the battery out and walla! Back in business. It’s the least problematic issue a camera can have.

      • I’m hiking the continental divide trail. That’s extra weight, and an annoyance because of dust. It’s the least problematic to you but I don’t think you should assume all photographers have infinite batteries on them

          • It’s far more than 1.5oz, and when hiking more than 3,100 miles with a base weight of 14 pounds, an extra few ounces is actually noticeable yes. It does not “keep me” from hiking it. What about you? Do you have a website I can see your CDT photos on? I’d love to see

        • If I may, the Sony battery is comparatively small and light, so carry several spares would still be significant weight savings over a Nikon D810 or Canon 5D plus lenses vs the A7R II with lenses. Besides on such expeditions, carrying spare batteries is surely mandatory?

          • It’s 1,000mAh, and it uses old technology. It’s actually pretty heavy. If you consider the fact it’s difficult to charge them in the middle of nowhere. The best option for long hiking is to use external battery packs and in some places, you can use a solar panel. Carrying more than two spare lithium batteries is sometimes prevented on airlines, furthermore, if you start taking more than three batteries, you’re not going to be able to charge them all when you’re in town. You and the post above you shows you’ve clearly not hiked a long distance trail. I’ve done both the AT and the PCT. What do I know though? Please internet experts, teach me more

      • It’s not so much the weight, the FW-50 is very light. The problem is the number of lithium batteries you’re permitted to take on a flight. I was restricted to two batteries recently! Also had one in the camera they didn’t know about. All the other spares were taken off me before boarding.

        • Mike: that’s very weird. I just flew overseas with, I believe, 6 Sony batteries (okay 2-3 were knock-offs, but 6 batteries nonetheless). Perhaps this is a problem with specific airlines, or a specific airport.

          • It was Flybe out of Exeter in Devon, to Amsterdam. On their website it said batteries to be carried in hand luggage but didn’t state how many. On checking in I was asked about batteries so showed them and they took most of them off me stating only two permitted.

            It’s not a very welcoming airport to be honest and doesn’t see a lot of traffic.

            I hope it isn’t the same for long haul. I heading back to my home in Thailand soon and would hate to try and find a place that sold FW-50’s up there in the rice paddies.

        • never heard of this before.

          Airlines ask passengers to put lithium ion batteries in hand luggage, not hold luggage as it is seen as a lower risk in the event of fire.

          Airlines limit the power capacity of batteries in hand luggage, but it is significantly higher than any camera battery would ever be.

          Security staff don’t work for airlines, so don’t enforce any policy on carry on baggage content beyond the obvious such as no liquids. Airlines staff at the gate don’t check hand luggage contents.

          Obviously, check with your airline on their policies if you have any concerns.

          I have never heard any story like this, and I don’t think it’s policy, unless you care to name the airline and we can check their luggage rules?

          • I’m not sure when you’ve recently flown but they do not let you take 10 lithium batteries (which does weigh a lot actually), moreover, even if you were in a situation you had multiple chargers (how else would you charge them all?), it doesn’t negate the fact the battery life could be better

  11. Seems like a decent camera but hard to get excited about it with a Monster price of 3000 USD.
    In Europe that means around 4000 USD (equivalent), way out of most peoples budget.
    Here in Sweden, the Sony A7II is still around 2000 USD…
    Not sure what Sony are playing at, but can’t see their European sales going well

    • Have a look on DigitalRev, their prices are much lower usually and I’ve never had a problem with them. I expect the A7rII will fall in price after the first six months after launch.

      No confirmation on UK price yet. Park Cameras pulled it from their website after advertising it at £2100. I suspect the price will be more like £2795 or £2895 at launch.

      Really can’t see me shelling out that sort of money, there’s other financial priorities.

      • If you leave the country and go back in, you’ll get stung customs. This has happened to me. Digitalrev also use their cameras for review and rebox them. Digitalrev avoid vat. It’s much easier just to get a VAT refund, assuming you’re a working businessman

        • Official price just release here in Sweden, official site equals about: 4313.78 USD – OUCH!
          Oh well, guess no one will be buying it from Sweden.
          Anyone ever thought about getting a cheap weekend round trip to US and throwing the box away before coming back? Seems like return flights are <100 USD

          • I did consider a flight to B&H in New York once. But this was for a planned change over from Pentax to Nikon D800e with a complement of Nikkor lenses.

            That would have made sense considering the saving, but for individual items I don’t think it would unless you’re going to go street shooting in New York for a holiday.

            Return flights are typically around £1000 and then there’s all those other holiday costs . . . taxi’s, hotel’s, hooker’s, binge drinking, police bail, lawyer costs, court fines . . .

            It just wouldn’t stack up.

  12. Steve: Thanks for the review. This is very helpful. Quite an interesting time period right now in the development of exciting cameras.

  13. Does the rubber eye cup on the A7RII have any cushion on it? Sounds like an insignificant detail but the eyecup on my A7R is as hard as concrete and I literally take it off the camera to shoot. Worst eyecup I’ve ever seen and impossible to cushion against ones eye for stability.

  14. Hey everyone,

    Sure appreciate the helpful information.

    I am fairly new to high-end mirrorless and have an aperture/DOF question about Sony FF cameras.

    I own an EM-5ii with a variety of fast prime lenses, like the 42.5 1.2 and the 25 1.4.

    I understand that “42.5” equates to 85mm.

    However, is there some upward our downward multiplier with aperture/speed when it comes to full frame lenses? When I go to Full-Frame E-Mount Lenses there are only a couple of primes. This one:

    is only an f1.8. Is a 1.8 on a FF equivalent to an even lower aperture on smaller sensors?

    I am not satisfied with my with my m43 camera’s lack of super-shallow, 3d-effect DOF, for both photos and videos. So, I am seriously considering jumping ship to Sony if I can achieve this effect.

    Is that Sony f1.8 lens on the FF camera going to create the insane separation I am looking for? I have even put a .95 Voitlander on my E-M5ii and it still doesn’t create the shallow DOF that I see in combos like Leica Ms with Leica’s .95 lenses.

    Any thoughts would sure be helpful, including lens options. It seems like Sony only has two primes for FF E-Mount.


  15. I’m a little worried…I shoot with a ‘vintage camera’ (a7) and ‘inferior’ 35mm lens (f2.8)…I’m almost ashamed to say, and please don’t judge me, that I’m always really happy with what I think are great ergonomics and stunning results. I realise after reading all of the comments on the 35mm 1.4 and a7r ii that I should be unhappy with this stoneage setup. I mean, a two and a half year old camera shouldn’t be able to take good photographs! What was I thinking!!

    So I obviously need to go and get my eyes fixed. Maybe it’s my optical nerve that’s not working properly? I’m going to make an appointment now. I’m really glad I stopped by. I hope I have caught the problem early enough…You all may have just saved my eyesight.

  16. Let’s see, Do I want an overpriced Leica with a fixed 28mm lens or the new Sony? Not a hard decision.

  17. As all new A7s seem to come with that 5-axis in body system, will there be “travel zooms” without OSS? As far as I understand both stabilisation systems don’t work together and one has to be shut of so OSS in the lens would be redundant or am I missing something?

    • You can use which system you prefer. If you have An A7II with 5 Axis and a lens with OSS, turning off the OSS on the lens will activate the 5AXIS and vice versa.

    • They are working together. Just look up the 5 axis info on Sonys site. If you attach an OSS lens, those two axes that OSS compensates for are used and the other 3 of the IBIS system will work in conjunction with it. It is better to use OSS, especially in longer lenses, together with IBIS instead of shutting it either one off.

      Scroll down to where it says “automatic optimisation”.

  18. The Sony A7s has fat pixels that make it special in ultra low light, does the A7rii have the same fat pixels to make it stellar in low light?

    • What do you think? Cut the square (sensor) up into 12MP. Cut the square up into 42MP. Do you think the pixels are the same size???

      • I have wondered whether it would be possible to group pixels together to form a low light mode of large photosites. Say 48mp divided into groups of four to make 12mp.

  19. wonder what the raw and jpeg files sizes are going to be, that’s the only thing worries me! 🙂 Everything else looks amazing. I will they come out with an A7s ii soon with stabilization

  20. Steve: I am an amateur photog. I just took the plunge with the a7II. Still within my return period I think. Should I hand it back and get in line for the A7RII?

  21. Yeah, the more and more I read about this beast, the more and more I want it. I’ve got the A7r and it’s an absolute joy to use for my purposes, but I can’t deny that I’ve been thinking a lot about an upgrade. I was considering the A7S,but this seems like the better choice. Here’s to hoping that Sony releases a new battery that can be used by all the old models as well as this one. With all that power, I can only imagine how fast the battery drains.

    Congrats on getting to see it firsthand, Steve. So envious.

  22. So many levels of image quality to choose from: RX100iii, RXiv, a6000, A7, A7ii, A7r, A7rii. And A7s for excessively low light (or video). Perhaps some time in the future there will be one more A7 version for press, sports and wildlife with truly fast start-up, processing and AF.

    Don’t forget to budget for the matching lenses, the storage and processing capacity and the general effort on greater care for not loosing the gain in image quality at source during post-processing.

    In the film era not every pro shot medium or large format, and from these not all did it for image quality. Some preferred a waist level finder, some preferred the larger polaroids, negatives, contact prints or slides on the light table and for easier retouching, some preferred the slower workflow. But with digital camera that is all the same.

    Sony already claimed “fastest AF” for the a6000, but only in the context of several conditions. Any claim for the A7rii regarding “good AF” will be measured against that.

    After all, I dropped out from the high ISO and pixel race, being happy for my modest talent (and willingness to suffer from expensive, heavy gear) with a Nex6.

  23. I have loved my a7r for some time now but wished for a few changes – quieter shutter, slightly better low light performance, image stabilisation and acceptable autofocus on non-native (i.e. Canon) lenses. I love shooting street photography as well as more normal stuff. Now the a7r ii fixes all those issues and more. My poor Canon 7d barely got out of the bag before and now with this gorgeous piece of tech I fear I will give away my Canon bodies – and yet because of the amazing design I can still keep my 100mm macro L, TS-E 24mm f/3.5 II and sigma 50mm Art (plus the usual zoom suspects) and use them with (I hope) autofocus on my Metabones adapter. Canon really have fallen by the wayside – I thought the 5DSR or 6DII might tempt me but this really does everything better than Canon. I only hope it don’t have any quirky problems or software glitches.
    The IQ from the a7r blew me away and anyone who doesn’t appreciate the amazing ability to crop – street scenes that feature lots going on can reveal amazing stories in the details – obviously does very different photography to me. I have really gone over to the prime side of things – with 36 or 42 megapixels, cropping is simple and the sharpness of the sony/zeiss lenses is phenomenal. I have even learned to enjoy manual focus with focus peaking.
    Bravo Sony – they do what Canon should have done a long time ago – they make my photography more enjoyable.

  24. Hi Steve

    I know the MkI A7r wasn’t a favourite. I thought it was fantastic and ultimately led me to selling my Leica M because it wasn’t significantly better than the A7r. If you read my comment on the Leica Q, I thought it was good but not really great. This looks like it’s truly a great product from Sony.
    In giving praise to Sony, I am taking it away from Leica. I love Leica Products. I own several of them. That said, Leica needs the proverbial Rocket launched at them because they are not producing game changing products and are resting on their laurels as an outstanding lens manufacturer.
    Sony are advancing in this area to boundaries formerly unknown in digital photography. All they lack are some hard hitting compact full frame lenses to match the formidable capability of the cameras.

    Their current range of lenses they just released are good but they are enormous compared to Leica. This is where Leica produce lenses that are great and Sony produce lenses (with some notable exceptions eg the 55 mm f1.8 ) that are just good but not spectacular. Adequate rather than desirable. Too much a product of injection moulding and building to a budget (which I understand given who typically buys Sony). Why can’t we have both great lenses and a great camera body?

    Thanks again Steve

    • I have the FE 28/2, 35/1.4, 55/1.8 and 70-200/4 G. (My other kit is Pentax with all three FA Limited’s).

      They’re all solidly made of metal. All tack sharp. Only the 55/1.8 has fringing (neon green). All have great colours, in fact the 70-200 you need to tone the colours down a tad in post. Apart from the 35/1.4, they’re all compact for what they are, including the 70-200 which is a joy to use. The 28/2 is stunningly sharp and the distortion is just about manageable in post.

      I have observed no injection moulding.

      I can’t fault Sony/Sony Zeiss autofocus lenses. Then you can also have Zeiss Loxia and soon Batis.

      I’ve seen chromatic aberration from the Leica 50/2 APO, so money doesn’t necessarily buy taste old boy.

      The more I read about the A7rII, although I’m resisting the pre-order launch hype, I’m finding resistance may actually be futile. A7r may have to become a full spectrum IR special. Or go on ebay.

  25. Steve, like you I have Sony and Olympus bodies (a7ii / em1). I’ve always felt the m43 system has been more responsive then the Sony. I even use the near eye on all the time, I love the touch screen for autofocus selection, and the lenses are great. I don’t like having 2 systems and know eventually I’ll likely just be Sony FF (at least at this rate of innovation). Would you say Sony’s now up to par in regards to responsiveness and overall hit count. I feel like I never miss a shot when I have my m43 gear on while with Sony it just misses or it’s just a hair too slow (regardless of dof). Mind you I have a 2 and 5 year old.

    • Well, the Olympus cameras are quick. The Sony A7s is very fast. The A7II not as fast and the A7RII about as fast as the A7II if not a tad quicker. I never miss shots with my Sony but I also do not shoot moving subjects. 😉 Best way is to rent one and see.

      • This is why I think the camera to watch for is the A7sII. Bit more resolution, no doubt faster AF and frame rate, also with IBIS, and perhaps Sony have a D4s killer.

        Really hope Sony come through with it.

    • I’ve got the cool Oly em5ii, and sony a6000 and a7ii, and have to say that the autofocus speed on Olympus is very impressive, definitely faster than sony, although sony has no issues keeping up with my 4yo. The em5ii overall is such a fun camera to use, that’s why I’m keeping two systems as well. I’ve put my name on the list for a7rii and will sell the a7ii if it delivers what it promises (main difference being back-illuminated newer sensor, the improved AF with more points, and the internal 4K video capability of course, everything else seems to be very similar).

  26. This is the final nail in the Nikon coffin, IMHO. Not now, mind you, but they’ll be dead in five years if they don’t change course soon. STEVE: after having problems with two newer Nikon bodies — and getting zero satisfaction from Nikon — I’ve decided to order the A7RII and sell my Nikon gear. If I want to start with the Sony/Zeiss lenses — for now — which 3 lenses should I buy?

    • Well quite a few are on the way this year still, but for what is out now…BEST ones I have used..

      35 1.4 Zeiss = Best 35 I have ever owned or shot with, period. But its large.

      16-35 – Fantastic WA Zoom. Love it.

      Zeiss Loxia 35 and 50 are superb, but manual focus. Small, solid, gorgeous.

      The Sony/Zeiss 55 1.8 is adored by many but it’s not my fave 50 as I find it a bit sterile. GREAT lens, but all personal pref.

      All depends on what you like..zooms? Primes? Manual or Af? There are quite a few lenses out there today, and as I said, many more coming this year.

    • Ask yourself, what do the paparazzi, sports photographers and photojournalists mostly shoot with? Nikon. Canon.

      I have a dear friend who’s a professional photographer and I don’t mean weddings, I mean war. He likes the Sony A7 gear, but is a committed Nikon shooter (D810/D4s) and says it’s too late for him to change now.

      The fact is the Canon and Nikon gear will turn out top quality images under more stressful and demanding conditions, they’re just a lot faster is all. Those who have the Nikkor Holy Trinity of zooms and a bunch of Nikkor primes are hardly likely to chuck the lot in for Sony.

      So no, I really don’t think either the DSLR or Nikon and Canon are dead quite yet. Under pressure perhaps, but that can only be a good thing for those folks committed to those lens mounts.

      Now, if Sony introduce an A9 professional sports camera that competes with the D4s/1Dx and shooters can use their Canon and Nikon lenses, then I see Sony to be a real risk to the big two.

      • It’s changing my friend. Nikon and Canon are not what they used to be. They are getting stagnant. I know of a few photo journalists who shoot Sony, some who shoot Leica and one or two who use Nikon. The fact is Sony, Leica, Olympus, any of those will turn out great images in demanding conditions. War? No need for Canon or Nikon, they are made no better today than a Sony A7II or RII or many others. The Oly E-M1 is the toughest camera I know of actually. In a few years, if they do not make a move they will be in trouble. After all, the biggest market today for camera sales is NOT pro sports, or paparazzi. It’s enthusiasts, hobbyists and even street. Then there is the wedding market, TONS who have switched to mirrorless systems. Sports is a niche, and not that big of one in the grand scheme of things. Every time i pick up a modern day DSLR it feels slower with AF than the faster mirrorless cameras today.

        • LOL….you can throw a Canon 1DX down a flight of stairs and it will still work once you pick it up. Do that with a Sony? LOL, hell no!

  27. I would think there is one lesson to be learned here… DON’T BUY this NOW! Sony’s product cycle is so short that you should always buy one or two versions behind. A7’s and A7R’s can be had for $600-$1000, these will drop further as soon as this one is available. The A7 2 and the A7s will now plummet in price. Just wait a few months and the bargains will be there. Sony’s retailers must hate them by now. In six months Sony will release another model and the A7R 2 will drop in price significantly… there’s no reason to buy them right when they are released. At least the other manufactures… Canon, Nikon, Leica etc have a more lengthy life cycle. This is nuts.

    • not weather sealed – At least the SONY website doesn’t say so. And they continue to dodge this question. I can’t go to Iceland with this thing during extreme weather. Operating temperature Range 32–104°F/0–40°C. In this area, still need the bid DSLR…otherwise I’m tempted.

    • There’s a pretty good overview on Wikipedia under “back-illuminated sensor.” Basically backside illumination (BSI) is a design feature of the sensor itself: instead of having the sensor’s electrical conductors in front of the light-receiving cells (where they block a bit of the light coming through) the conductors are on the back, so the receivers have an unobstructed view.

      Thing is, it’s not that big a difference with a large-sensor camera such as this. The electrical conductors have to be pretty much the same size regardless of the size of the cells. So on, say, a phone camera with a tiny sensor and tiny cells, BSI makes a huge difference, because the size of the conductor is a big fraction of the size of the cell. On a large sensor such as the Sony’s, the conductor is the same size but the cell is much larger, so moving the conductor to the back has less impact. I suspect that Sony used it here not so much because it provides a major advantage, as that they’ve accumulated a lot of experience in making BSI sensors, and using this architecture helps standardize their manufacturing. Oh, and it’s good for marketing… 🙂

  28. I have to admit that I love my A7 and I am thinking about the purchase of the A7s and the A7RII, but I really, really can’t understand why Sony is so reluctant about touchscreens. It makes no sense. I am a photographer and earn my living with video- and photography and I studied Marketing and advise companies in this field.So I have a pretty good feel for the selling of products. And from a marketing standpoint it is absolutely, well, kinda unwise to exclude touchscreens from the RX and Alpha-line. Everytime Sony introduces a new model they get the same feedback from customers and the press: “Awesome cameras, but where are the touchscreens? We WANT touchscreens!!!” And everytime Sony does….nothing O_o How the hell can a company miss this important detail again and again and again ^^ If they would cost 200 bucks a piece…okay, we could understand. But it does not make that much difference in overall costs, but enables a much faster camera operation. Steve, do you have any insight why they are doing this? I only can invision two scenarios. First: One (it is always just one) important guy doesn’t like touchscreens. Second: They want that feature for camera version XXX. Both are really bad reasons. I love that Sony included so many cool features, but on the other side feel disrespected as a customer and professional that they still ignore us. Acutally, I am really angry and frustrated about it :-/

  29. Let’s talk about quality. How comfortable will you be bringing the Sony on a trip? Will it stand up like my Nikons have over the years? Not that I use my Nikon to bang nails in, I know that their service is truly world wide. I’d like to see some ‘blind’ comparisons between all of the major makes…..let’s see if you can consistently guess the correct camera? Anyone willing to put some $’s to make it interesting.

  30. any insight whether the A7S II will follow, or does it stop with the A7R II given its low light abilities?

  31. Steve I currently shoot with an A7r with Sony 35 and 55 lenses. (Have the two Batis on order). I also shoot with Nikon D810 with Otis 55 1.4. I am always trying to get medium format look and smoothness that matches my Phase One 60 megapixel back (which I really don’t use much any more as I lean toward lighter equipment now). My question….Can I get UNCOMPRESSED RAW from the A7rII menu choices (not lossy)? I am not a high iso shooter…I will be shooting at iso 50 or 64 with the A7RII which I will order. I know you don’t feel it makes any difference but I haven’t been able to find an answer to this question. Many thanks for the time you spent on this review! It is appreciated. Eleanor

  32. Steve,

    I really do not like the images made by A7II, but love that comes from RX1… what images A7RII produces – do they look similar to RX1?

  33. Steve, You mentioned clean HDMI output. In other reviews (not hands-on) they mentioned that this camera will record uncompressed to the memory card. Do these things conflict? Is the latter not true? I ask because it seems that, if true then clean output would be a lot less important, perhaps so much so as not to warrant mention.

    • I never uttered the words “Clean HDMI” in this article, anywhere. Not sure what you mean. This camera records 4K direct to the memory card.

      • “clean HDMI output and more”.

        It’s in the press release you posted, in the article above.

  34. I love some of these comments. People can’t get over the word SONY on the metal box. IMO this is now one of the best metal boxes, which produce image files in the world! Batteries, buy another one your not poor if you buy this camera…lens choices give me a break there are TONS!

      • A Zeiss digital Ikon camera would be great! I imagine a very simple and clean design (basically like a Leica M) to go with the clean Loxia and Batis prime lenses.

  35. So Steve,

    If you had a few Leica lenses, say 50, 35, 28 & 21mm focal lengths, would you buy the A7rII or the M240, ignoring price differences?

    • Cant say yet as I have not had an A7RII to use – shot with one, but was not able to take the card for the images. I was told I will have one within 2-4 weeks for review.

      • I look forward to your response to this question once you have had a chance to review the A7rII. I am in the same boat trying to make a decision on an M240 or Sony A7 model.

    • If cost is no issue, why not have both? i love my a7ii with loxia lenses. i love the m240 as well. i will say…. i prefer focusing manually with the evf on the sony….

  36. A few questions about this rather pricey camera:

    What’s the flash sync speed?;

    Is Sony still using their RAW compression? This has been a gripe which could have been fixed;

    Battery life? This is a big problem if you’re travelling by air. I just returned from Amsterdam where I’d been shooting with the A7r (a struggle for street, low light, anything that moves) and the airline took most of my spare batteries off me, permitting just two lithiums and only in hand luggage which really limits shooting for a day;

    Buffer performance? No UHS-II support. With the new high speed cards this could have really boosted the buffer performance. Not bothered about dual cards. Also USB2.0 and not USB3;

    AF speed 40% better than the A7r. Well, that’s not much to write home about to be honest considering the A7r’s performance, this is still probably slower than the A6000;

    Does low light AF now actually work? This would be the most important improvement because the A7r simply refuses to focus in poor light (my Pentax K-3 nails it every time);

    Tracking AF? I found this to be okay in good light with the A7r, but made fairly pointless due to the shutter lag and low continuous shooting rate along with the hydraulic breaker vibration of the shutter;

    Shutter shock? Is it now acceptable rather than dire?

    Shutter lag? Is it now acceptable rather than dire?

    Boot time? Is it now less than the sometimes 8 seconds my A7r decides to wake up?

    Menu system? Better?

    Look, I’m not trolling. I’m asking legitimate questions as a person who’s been frustrated as hell using an A7r for the past year and Sony are asking one hell of a lot of money for its successor.

    • No idea on the flash sync as I have not used a flash in 15-20 years. I am not a flash guy.
      RAW compression? That is the most overblown bunch of nonsense I have seen online. I have 40X60 prints on my wall from my A7II, they are gorgeous and no one, NO ONE would walk up and say…hmm, would have been better without that RAW compression. It’s not noticeable.
      Battery life, THIS is my only concern and I spoke with Sony last night over this. I have a feeling battery life will be not so hot. I own 7 batteries fr my A7II.
      Buffer seems just fine.
      USB 3? Why? Who uses the camera to connect? Use a SD reader. MUCH better.
      The AF speed was about the same as my A7s which is a HUGE increase over the A7, A7r. Plenty fast. Was almost instant.
      The A7s and A7II focus wonderfully in low light, as did the A7RII fro my limited experience. Though I did not have REALLY low light test it out.
      No shutter shock, this has been fixed and written about in this article.
      I have no perceptable lag with my S and II, and this was the same.
      My A7s and II wake up within a second or so, this one was about the same. Again, I do not have one for review but no one had issues with start up.
      Menu system of the A7Ii and A7s are superb, and it is the same here. Nothing wrong with the menu system.

      This camera is in another league over just about ANY camera made today for 35mm full frame. Really is. There is nothing like it for what it offers, and the build and feel are superb, just as with the A7II. It’s going to be huge. The images, prints and video from this are simply stunning. Usability is fantastic. Nikon and Canon really should be worried, and with loads of new lenses on the way this year…wow.

      • Steve,

        Flash sync for strobists, off camera flash stuff. It’s great fun. USB3 for tethered shooting. Pro’s use this for studio a lot. Seems daft not to use USB3.

        Must say I’m enjoying the Sony and Zeiss glass, just need an enjoyable camera for it to go on. That FE35/1.4 is the nuts.

        Any indication an A7sII is on the works?

      • raw compression IS noticeable if you have to do some postwork with the files.
        For example: you have to lighten a dark sky in Photoshop then you will see artefacts and banding when using compressed rawfiles.
        Today in professional work, every file is undergoing a lot of postwork.
        16 bit, uncompressed files are the basic you need to achieve good quality.
        For photographers who does not do any intense postproduction with the RAWs the SONY-AWR files might be sufficient.
        The new A7r II might be interesting for the pro if there would be an option to save uncompressed 14 or 16 bit raws….

    • Dear Mike, I really can’t understand that you owned and shot the A7r for a whole year, when you have so many complains and apparently can’t live with the Sony approach. If something gives me so much sorrow, I just get rid of it. I simply don’t like to feel unhappy. (I’m really wondering why you kept it so long? Was there ànything you did like about it?)
      That being said, I loved shooting my A7r from the first moment. And I told my dealer that he makes sure to get me one of the A7rII’s from the first shipment…

      • Dirk,

        The original A7r is okay for anything that doesn’t move and only then in good light at sufficient shutter speeds. For me, the rest of it really isn’t good at all as an all round creative tool. The truth is the A7r is a studio/landscape camera.

        I also shoot Pentax (K-5IIs and K-3) and as photographers tools go, these are actually far better, albeit I wish they had the full frame sensor.

        When I look back through my albums, all my best work actually came from the K-5IIs with the FA Limited’s, the 31mm and the 77mm.

        Cameras/lenses are about so much more than just resolution. They need to become an extension of your hands and eyeballs. They need to handle and react to catch the moment. They need to make you want to pick them up and shoot with them. The A7r failed miserably at this. It’s just too slow at everything, from when you switch it on, to autofocus (no autofocus at all in low light), to shutter lag, to buffer time. Then there’s “that shutter”. Not a pleasant experience.

        There is not that much I like about the A7r, it has to be said. The concept was there, a light full frame mirrorless, but as cameras for photographers go I think it’s not particularly wonderful. But then it was a first. These things take time and iteration to improve.

        I hung on to it and stayed the Sony path because I do not want a heavy camera, I like the Sony Zeiss glass and I was confident these quite serious user issues would be fixed in the next model, which right now looks hopeful, but I’ll hang on for the reviews.

        I’m also going to wait and see if there’s an A7sII in the works, because I believe this will likely be something quite extraordinary. Also talk of a professional A9 camera later in the year. There’s no rush.

        • I can understand you, Mike. Big difference with me is, that I’m mainly a MF shooter and perform zone focusing a lot. In that case, moving subjects are never a problem. But even with my 85/1.2 at wide apertures, I love to focus manually with focus peeking – also moving subjects and portraits. But then, indeed, the percentage of mishits increases. If I would do more of that kind of work, I guess I’d maybe prefer AF. Anyway, I’m gonna give it a try with the Batis 85. I’m really curious to see how it will perform on the A7rII.

    • Most likely the lossless raw isn’t there. This big accomplishment would have made in to product specification (maybe even large writing on product box).

    • Ditto – and much better low-light AF. Can they ever get it to D750 territory? If they do, it’s a slam-dunk. And I’d like the same big EVF as the a7rII. And IBIS. And better battery life. I plan on having extra batteries, but don’t want to change out three times a day. Then rinse and repeat for the a7III on the AF. 😀

  37. I’m excited to see a full-frame BSI sensor: this should greatly improve performance with Leica mount lenses. Leica is using a Sony sensor in the new Q camera, I hope they will use this sensor or one similar to it for the next model M.

    For Sony: will they finally use a lossless compression scheme for the new sensor? The A7 and NEX series cameras all use Lossy compression, and it can create artifacts in the image. Seems crazy to have the worlds best full-frame sensor and ruin the image trying to save a little storage space. At least they could drop the “lossy” part of their algorithm and switch to lossless, as Leica did with the M240.

    • Where are you getting all this info about the Q that you are passing off as facts?? I read a review today by a guy who has been shooting a prototype since Jan and he says the sensor is neither Sony nor Cmosis design.

  38. Can’t wait for your review! If the high ISO performace is as good or at least close to the A7s, I’ll sell my A7 and A7s and get this!

    • I think it will be more like the A7II instead of the S. While it will go to 102K, usable will probably be around 25k, where the A7s can be used at 60K and look good. Close but will not hit A7s ultra high ISO territory.

  39. Truly amazing camera. I can only say my opinion, there are two camera manufacturers that listen the users:

    1) Olympus
    2) Sony

    Olympus does the body, functions and optics for photographers to allow them to have a vision and capture its soul.

    Sony does technology, pushes the raw limits of silicone industry and delivers candy to photographers who doesn’t want the best of the all (Medium Format aka Full-Frame) but can have second best silicone technology in neat body.

    I have kept my eye and hands on A7, A7r, A7 II and now just eyeing the A7r II but only few things would make me to leave m4/3 and Olympus for Sony in that new model. And one is the 1000 fps Full HD video recording (40x slow motion in Full HD!!!). Put that function with macro lens in use and you get amazing videos how bees and insects lives etc.

    I just got Olympus “holy trinity” 7-14mm PRO three days ago and it is truly best UWA I have had (and I have had the famous Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR, and of course equivalent Nikon 14-28mm f/2.8 too).
    Olympus offering the 7-14mm 12-40mm and 40-150mm (with 14TC) is line that Sony doesn’t have equivalents to meet this high optical quality (not even Zeiss has that).

    This new body from Sony truly is the thing that makes people throw DSLR and abandon Canon and Nikon. There is no question that person who wants (just wants, doesn’t really need) 35mm sensor should stay on Canon and Nikon anymore. As if you want the 35mm camera, it is Sony. If you want high quality image in small package, it is Olympus. If you want highest possible image quality, it is PhaseOne, Pentax, Hasselblad etc (but those who have those doesn’t even talk to crop format owners (35mm is the crop format, not the full frame) as they don’t even work in same league).

    The EVF must be great on the A7r II. As Olympus is bringing on its next generation EVF 4.5 megapixels and possible a over 1.6x magnification (that is 0.8x for equivalent, so larger than Sony) like Olympus partner presented it in the CP+

    I am interested to read the Sony presentation as I like to know does Sony still stick on OLED EVF? While OLED benefit is to be usable when wearing polarized sun glasses but it doesn’t work so well in low light situation and colors are off. While the LCD technology what Olympus and Fuji use offers best colors and works perfectly in bright lights and low light situations, but blocks up with polarized sun glasses.

    As the EVF is truly one main reasons to throw DSLR away. As it alone improves photography possibilities and changes for success by 2-3x.

    • Er

      Don’t get me wrong I think both Sony and Olympus are great companies and I don’t disagree with your statements.

      But omitting Fuji from a list of camera companies that listens to their users is a little bit blinkered.

      Fuji not only listen to their users but a lot of the advancements they make are given to the users free rather than forcing them to upgrade to a new body. Note both X-T1 and X-E2 are going to get the latest AF system upgrade that comes with the X-T10, pretty sweet.

      Not looking to start a war here, just saying props where props are due.


  40. Steve, did they finally listen to the people and included touchscreens? It really sucks that the original A-series and the RX-series came without them. I am not sure why Sony was ignoring the market sooooo long. Touchscreens make cameraoperation a lot easier and more speedy and I am sure they don’t add up to much cost to include.

  41. After Canon having launched their EOS 5DS and 5DS R, I’m very glad that Sony didn’t participate in this crazy MP race, but only increases resolution in a meaningful way, i.e. combining it with further improving ISO capabilities. The 12800 ISO of the Canons almost seem laughable now.
    In an article that I wrote after Photokina and that Steve published here on Octobre 3 2014, I wrote: “But what I expect (of course I can’t be absolutely sure about it) is a future Sony sensor that will combine resolution and high ISO. I’m sure it will happen, maybe in some years time, but probably earlier than I expect. And it will be mounted in an FE-mount Alpha body! Thàt will be my next camera…”
    Indeed, this is earlier than I expected. Didn’t think I’d have to replace my A7r thát soon! 🙂
    Anyway, I didn’t hesitated for a second to place my order…

    • It seems that Sony is participating in the megapixel race…. Precisely for people who buy Otis lenses, pixel peep etc… Otherwise they’d just stick to the A7s and A7 2. Personally, I think it’s a good thing. I’d rather have more detail then less. Tony Northrop had an interesting very rep out showing that higher mp cameras don’t have more noise then low ones. Comparing the a7s to a7r when scaled to the same size image, low light noise levels were the same with more detail in the A7r. This should make the new A7r 2 the new low light king. This is for stills not video.

      • Of course there is a MP race at hand, david, as there is an ISO race and a race on all other possible domains. That is, manufacturers always work to further improve their products. But I call it a crazy MP race, when one wants the highest resolution, no matter what. Sony could easily have launched a sensor with more than 50MP, but decided to stay under it and instead increase the ISO level to an impressive >100K. That’s not crazy at all. That’s meaningfull. The “old” A7r already had 25K ISO. That’s why I have questions with the 12,8K of the Canon. IMHO, this is not wise.

  42. I have gone through the A6000 and A7II recently and neither quite found a sweet spot that led me to keep them. The A7II was close but it was producing odd inconsistent images that led me to mistrust it (i.e. what I was seeing in the EVF was light years away from the resulting image). I have really been waiting on this announcement and if everything on paper and your reviews holds true, this camera is going to seriously shake the photographic world. The Canon users (I am one of those) have been looking for a lifeline and this will be it for many. The Nikon users are also salivating at these specs which just goes to show you how impressive this looks. We are witnessing a massive revolution folks!

    • I have also experience the EVF not displaying the same image as there resulting photo. This was not the case with the original a7. The newer processor seams to be handling things different. It appears if the creative styles are not being fully applied to the EVF feed. The different isn’t enough for me to worry but it is noticeable. It could be the IBIS puts increased workload on the EVF feed and they needed to make short cuts so it was still responsive (total guess). Hopefully this will be a non issue with the new cameras

      • I wonder if it may be addressed in a firmware update. On my GX-7 I see a small difference but it is always in the same direction so I know what to expect.

  43. Will this really be in par or better at 50k iso with the a7s? cause i was gonna buy the a7s till i saw this its sounds like an a7s,a7ii,a7r in one body.

  44. I sent my Sony A7r to Sony for warranty repair and they actually lost it. It took months to get a resolution and they sent me an A7s as an replacement… not that I was unhappy with the A7s but I just don’t feel the same about it as I did yesterday. As far as the price, the A7r II seems competatively priced for it’s specs but that’s a rather large jump for the A7 series. I thought they were going to try to keep it at $2495 or $2695.

  45. Hi Steve, I know that you are busy. If you could spare a moment to answer my question I’d really appreciate your time. I’ve seen some reports saying that the camera is fully magnesium in build (front and back plates) so has a slightly different build to the A7ii. Can you confirm, and also can you confirm if they have done anything with the front and rear job dials on the A7ii.
    Thanks for your time. Have a safe trip back and enjoy your trip 🙂

    • Well, considering that Canon and Nikon still massively outsell Sony (and everyone else), and that the most recent CIPA numbers show that DSLR sales actually just rose again, I wouldn’t be too worried. They’ll introduce their own serious mirrorless systems when they deem the time is right. Count on it.

      If the A7RII genuinely has high resolution coupled with clean ISO at, say, 12,800 … plus a fully silent shutter, IBIS, and dramatically improved autofocus, then it’s quite an (engineering at least) achievement.

      But I’m highly skeptical about some of this. For example, Sony says autofocus is “40% faster than the original model”. That’s nothing. 400% would be an achievement. 40% is negligible (near unnoticeable) in the real world. And overall, A7 Series autofocus has been very poor in all but ideal conditions, and worthless for tracking.

      Then there’s the problem with lackluster native lens choices, multiple mounts, Sony’s failure to understand the importance of “system”, the inability to save images as lossless or uncompressed RAWs, etc, etc.

      ‘A’ for effort, though…

      • Lets put that 40% in to the context.

        Lets say that the original A7 (2013) has outofocus speed of 0.07 seconds, or 70ms.

        Lets everyone see how fast their reaction times are:

        Everyone should do that test once and check results, did you get below 200ms?

        Now, 40% improvement to that autofocus speed.
        Now it is 70/100*40=28ms improvement. So it is now 42ms now. That is great improvement. Have a 400% improvement? 70/100*400=280ms. So it would be faster than you 😀

        But lets make it correctly. So 400% is actually same as “four times better”. Meaning it is calculated as divider by four, meaning we take 70ms and we divide it with four and we get 17.5ms. So the new AF speed would be 17.4ms and that is huge change from 70ms.

        We wouldn’t really even notice the focusing at that moment.

        But lets see the focusing performance on the A7r

        0.359 second

        So 359 milliseconds. 40% better is 359/100*40= ̃144ms so 359-144=215ms.

        I would say that 215ms focus speed would be huge improvement, wouldn’t you as well? As “40% better” is same as “Half of the speed it now has”.

  46. This sounds almost too good to believe. It seems to deliver everything except sports shooter autofocus and frame rate. Some might still need faster and longer native telephoto lenses than currently available. No doubt – I will pre-order. Thanks for posting this news. I’ve placed my bet on the right full frame system.

  47. Can you comment on the AF performance with Canon EF lenses? I’ve heard they used them during the demonstration. How fast were they?

  48. Does it have mRAW style smaller MP raw options? I would love the bump in AF speed but for events 42mp RAW files would be a deal breaker. The 18mp and 11mp size options listed in the specs would be PERFECT, but I can’t give up my RAW to get there… Any chance you can find that out?

      • That’s what the current bodies do. I’m hoping they’ve added the option for smaller raw files using the full frame at its lower resolution options like canon does with mRAW and sRaw. I’d love the 11mp crop option to also be raw as an option. If they haven’t given the option shooting at 18mp in cropped mode is still and option with raws, I’d just need to pick different lenses (24 and 55 vs 35 and 85) bit it would still be the cleanest and best AF on a mirror less camera with the best AF I’d bet (beating my a6000).

    • This info is from the specs sheet, JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.3, MPF baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)

      3:2 aspect ratio, 35mm full frame L: 7952 x 5304 (42M), M: 5168 x 3448 (18M), S: 3984 x 2656 (11M) APS-C L: 5168 x 3448 (18M), M: 3984 x 2656 (11M), S: 2592 x 1728 (4.5M)

      16:9 aspect ratio, 35mm full frame L: 7952 x 4472 (36M), M: 5168 x 2912 (15M), S: 3984 x 2240 (8.9M) APS-C L: 5168 x 2912 (15M), M: 3984 x 2240 (8.9M), S: 2592 x 1456 (3.8M)

      Sweep Panorama, Wide: Horizontal 12416 x 1856 (23M), vertical 5536 x 2160 (12M), Standard: Horizontal 8192 x 1856 (15M), vertical 3872 x 2160 (8.4M)
      RAW, RAW & JPEG, JPEG Extra fine, JPEG Fine, JPEG Standard

      RAW output is 14 bit

    • I already have and I’ve been sitting on the cash waiting for this announcement!! It’s more than I was expecting in every way, including price which I hoped would be nearer £2500 ( I am expecting the $3200 to equal £3200 as well). It’s just a shame we have to wait until August….

  49. Fantastic specs, but I wonder about the fate of an A7S successor. The A7R II has up to ISO 102400, so is it really as good in low light as the A7S? If so, how could the A7S II beat it? The A7R II already has in-body stabilization, which seemed the obvious thing to add to the A7S.

    • What I think we’re seeing is that Sony is beginning to reap the benefits of going all-in on mirrorless.

      I think I remember Thom Hogan pointing out that for mirrorless, the manufacturer only has to worry about aligning two basic parts (lens mount and sensor) whereas a DSLR design has to deal with lens mount, sensor, focus screen position, AF sensor position, main mirror angle, and secondary mirror angle.

      The fact that their core design is so much simpler frees up Sony to make big leaps with each new model, while Nikon and Canon have to stick to smaller incremental improvements. I don’t know if it’s going to translate into sales or profit, but I think Sony’s technological head start is going to be hard for the Big Two to overcome…

  50. Any thoughts whether the A7RII can handle M-mounted wides as well as the A7S, i.e., no distortion or color shifts?

    • Purely theoretically the high resolution sensor + M lens combination is no good match. I just hope the Loxia lenses (especially the wider 35mm) have no issues on that new big sensor.

  51. Blimey, it’s a load of money though. I mean US$3200 translates into UK£3200 at retail. Honestly, unless this thing really does sort out the A7r problems (of which there are many, I have one and frankly it’s a dog) and performs like a sports shooter then really this price is way too high.

    I’d bite at £2200, but no more.

    • Lol, the A7s, A7II and now A7RII are 100% different beats from the original A7 and A7r – this new A7rII is probably the best, most complete, most functional, most impressive camera I have ever touched. It offers EVERYTHING we could ever want, need or use. The AF is fantastic, the low light capabilities for the resolution are insane, the video is stunning, the IQ is STUNNING, the feel of the body is stunning, the only weakness, and I will say this now, will be battery life.

        • Ummm, yes I am aware of that, which is why I have not said I did. I used it for about an hour though so have some experience with it.

          • Sony state its autofocus is not as good as a DSLR. Look at dpreview, the interview. Battery life is actually a strength, just plug in an external usb and get way more battery life than a DSLR. They’re cheaper too

          • To me people going on and on about the battery life may be pre-madonnas… I do not understand the issue of having to change a drawn battery with a fresh one… I am in Asia these days just back from some time shooting the Angkor era temples in Cambodia now heading for Thailand, Yes, at times I had to replace the battery and lost A shot but this happened once a day at max… Ok, I shoot in manual mode with AF using the viewfinder only and not post view whatsoever, the plane mode is on and the camera pre-AF is off. Now I think that adjusting aperture and speed using my right hand fingers as well as pressing the shutter button with yet another right hand finger to get the AF then take the picture is weird… since the left hand is just used to support the camera… I was taking pictures much faster with my old Olympus OM2 using both hands… and there was no AF !!! I rather feel uncomfortable with the A7r ergonomy wrt use of both hands rather than its battery life !!!! On good shots _ assuming no mistake from my part _ the A7r picture quality is awesome though. I definitely love this camera for the results it provides and this is despite its slow and frustrating AF but I am looking forward to get the A7r ii !!!! Whilst shooting at the temples I felt really great whilst looking at most others carrying large, bulky and heavy Canikon DSLRs… Ok, most people took pictures with mobile phones, many were at the end of a stick… but that’s different… I carry 4 of these small batteries but never had to change more than once in a day… Perhaps I’m wrong though…

          • I am not a pro and in fact very far from it. I am just a permanent traveller since the age of 6…

      • How did the low light capabilities feel compared to A7S? Say you selected a similar MP on A7Rii.. is it better/comparable atleast?

        • Wont know until I get to review it. All I had was an hour with it and was not allowed to take my images or use my own card. Still pre production. What I saw was fantastic though.

      • Honestly, does this camera justify a 100% price increase? In Canada I bought the A7R at first for $1900 CDN. The A7RII is quoted at stores at $4,000CDN !!!! No thanks!

    • parkcameras tell me its £2,100, which is a direct translate of the dollar
      they tell me they have loads of pre-orders already
      everyone get in line ……. 😮

      • It’s actually saying £2600. Which is to be expected when they translate it to pounds. We always get a bum deal.

        I do hope it goes down, that £500 extra is just a little too much!

  52. The battery is the weak link in all previous a7 models, will this monster have a new and longer lasting battery?

    • I am going to ask the tonight but its the same body as the A7II (style wise anyway) and I think uses the same battery. If it is a power hog more so than the II, it may be an issue as that is the one weakness with the A7II I have.

        • Perhaps if Sony can make a battery grip which is “all battery” rather than just a caddy that can take two FW-50’s, this would help, especially considering airline rules about the maximum number of lithium batteries that can be taken onboard.

          I had one FW-50 in the camera and nine spares packed in hand luggage last weekend on a European flight. The airline took seven off me before boarding, stating only two spare batteries were permitted and they should be in their original packaging.

          This meant that I had to continually switch the camera off during street shooting and with the boot up time of the original A7r this meant a lot, and I mean a lot of missed shots.

      • I don’t call such batteries as weakness. As like example with E-M1 I can get from single battery 1200-1400 frames, meaning one 32GB card full of RAW photos.
        That is one day session. So I have extra card and extra battery with me, taking no space in pocket if on foot for few days or they are in bag just for if needed.

        If we would talk about 150-200 frames range, then it would be weakness.

        • The EM1 is a quarter of the size of the a7x. It will take more juice to power the thing. Larger file mean more write time, etc etc etc. blah blah blah. You get the point.

          The a7ii gets about 350-400 to a charge if your not shooting burst. If burst this number is around 800-1000. My a7ii has better battery life than the my a7.

          The biggest draw is the LA-EA4 adapter I use.

          But regardless if your getting 1200 plus per battery on the em1 the FE camera are not in the same league.

    • THIS IS FOR THE A7RII SPECS, Approx. 290 shots (viewfinder) / approx. 340 shots (LCD screen) (CIPA standard)
      Actual : Approx. 50 min. with viewfinder, approx. 55 min. with LCD screen (CIPA standard) Continuous*5*7: Approx. 95 min. with viewfinder, approx. 95 min. with LCD screen (CIPA standard)

  53. So, o wise reader of Sony tea leaves, do you think this portends the future appearance of an A7s II with the original’s lower pixel count and super low-light capability, plus the in-body IS and other new goodies?

    Or will the A7s be an evolutionary dead end, with Sony deciding the A7r II covers the same needs?

    To put it another way, do you think the A7r II, shot at its top 102,000 ISO and then downsampled to the same final file size, will match the low-light image quality of the A7s?

  54. 50 percent reduction in shutter noise….also rated at 500k shots? Folks, you’ve just entered the twilight zone.

  55. I rented an A7r for a week and I was sorely disappointed with the AF as an available light shooter. Sure, in good light most cameras are okay, but the A7r was not good in normal house lighting. Did you get a chance to try the A7rII in lower light?

      • I was quite surprised to see A7 focusing faster than A7S with the same FE 70-200 attached. In good light, A7 is noticably faster. In darkness, A7S pulls ahead.

  56. Does this model have menu option to save photo as lossless or uncompressed raw? This is pretty important feature for resolution geeks and pixel peepers alike.

    • Are you really asking if it shoots raw stills… ?

      Without the shadow of a doubt the answer is yes

      • Sony uses a compressed raw algorithm, which unfortunately is not loseless. As I’m only a Sony shooter I’ve never experienced fully loseless Raws so I can’t tell you the difference.

        • Yes, lossy compressed RAW with low pass filter. Don’t understand why! I’ll wait for this to be sorted out. It might never happen. Otherwise looks to be an awesome camera.

          • Yep- the lossy compressed raw files are the only knock I can find with this camera.
            Sadly, it’s enough to detour me(though this may change after I see more examples).

            Not sure why Sony hasn’t remedied this.

            It’d be nice if Steve (or another reviewer) can ask Sony directly- why, in 2015, are they using compressed lossy Raw, and 11-bit in a flagship pro camera.

  57. Shutter noise? Electronic shutter doesn’t work well with flickering lights (most of them where I live, it seems) or motion (distortion) so leaf ala leica q is attractive for discretion.

  58. Steve,

    This looks great, but what about sensor cleaning on that stabilized sensor? I shoot in the (dusty) real world and sensor cleaning is a way of life. Does it have to go for service each time it needs cleaning?

    • I clean the sensor on my A7II with a gel stick without a problem. The press release says that the new A7RII uses the same basic stabilization system so it shouldn’t be a problem. It’s a bit of a strange feeling to clean it because the sensor is “floating”, and you will shift the sensor around somewhat during the cleaning process.

      • I clean the sensor on my A99 once a week, or sometimes more often with the Artic Butterfly, large format cleaning swabs and cleaning solutions….. I’m changing lenses all the time in very sandy and dusty environments…….Never had a problem…..I was nervous the 1st time, but just did it….I wouldn’t hesitate to clean the sensor on this camera when I get it…..The floating sensor is going to feel a little strange I reckon, but it’s just something I’m going to have to get used to doing…..

  59. Cool.

    Wonder how that pic the bearded dood took of the model came out. Seeing her face is in the shade, but her nose is in bright sunlight. But he is using the best camera ever, so I’m sure it will be great!

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