The most representative model of the series a7 Sony renews mirrorles with a full-frame without compromise.
Sony a7R II, the first stage in the development of the flagship mirrorless Sony brings major improvements, from CMOS sensor Exmor R 42.3-megapixel backlit well.
The detailed work involved on a7R II are intended to improve performance, in particular the reactivity in the response of the AF system and high sensitivity.
And there’s more. There is also a system of five-axis image stabilization, inherited from to7 II model and the ability to record 4K video with complete reading of pixels.
These are the highlights of a7R proven II preview, along with A7S II dedicated to video, in a day organized by Sony to present the second generation of its line of mirrorless full frame.
Improvements are not unique to the technology sector and therefore the resilience and performance on the field, but also the design. The camera body has been the subject of a review of some key elements, such as the handle – now more pronounced – and the different position of the shutter button.
There is also a new and practical locking mechanism of the mode switch and a wider range of functions and programmable buttons (four) to satisfy the most demanding photographers, and in any case those who want to sew the camera on himself. The compact and stylish camera body is always magnesium alloy, with the best compromise between lightness and strength.
Too bad the same attention has not been paid to the software menu, yet cumbersome navigate and select options. The Fn button comes in handy, allowing access to key shooting parameters, including how and area of focus, ISO, metering and white balance.
A camera body so compact integrates a battery from the relatively small size, at the expense of the autonomy that reaches barely half a day of shooting (photos and video).
But where Sony has overcome is the electronic viewfinder XGA OLED Tru-Finder, with double-sided aspherical lens and magnification of 0,78x, to preview and playback of clear images on the entire screen area.
In this first, short approach, however, sufficient to test the consequences of new technological solutions adopted, the Sony a7R II was brought to light for the new full frame CMOS sensor backlit 42.4 Mp, reaching new heights of quality, sensitivity and speed response.
Sony has worked on the AR coating (anti-reflection) on the gasket surface of the element in the glass to improve the collection efficiency of the light. This way you get a high sensitivity, combined with a low noise and a wider dynamic range.
The range of ISO ranging from 100 to 25,600, an impressive range considered to be the very high resolution available; It amazes the possibility of extending it further to 50 to 102,400. The best results are obtained at low values of ISO (100-200), but the yield is maintained at excellent levels up to 6400, having the foresight to shoot in RAW and make a minimum of editing in post production.
But it is mainly for responsiveness and precision of focus this a7R II impresses over the previous generation. The processor Bion X High Speed works hand in hand with the AF system to 399 points with phase detection focal plane, which works in conjunction with 25 points contrast detection.
Sony declares an increase of speed in the focus of 40%. In tests actually the answer appeared immediately in nearly all situations, with some natural indecision in low light conditions, areas with low contrast.
Always appreciable absence of an optical filter for low-pass, to ensure the best possible yield – for the detail and sharpness – of scenarios and landscapes.
But Sony a7R II does not just have a new sensor and an improved autofocus system: squaring the circle is achieved with the innovative five-axis image stabilizer. Only then the great potential in terms of quality, sensitivity and speed of the response are expressed at their best. Inherited from the model to7 II, acts both on vibration angle (pitch and yaw), which tend to occur when shooting in telephoto, is the lateral movements (X and Y) apparent with increasing Zoom, and the rotations (roll ), which often affect the video recording.
Sony claims that the shake compensation equivalent to shoot with a faster shutter speed of about 4.5 stops. Of course, we appreciate the opportunity to shoot freehand, with ISO content, with little external light, achieving remarkable results for overall image quality (signal / noise ratio high, wide dynamic range).
While not the scope of the preferred Sony a7R II, the Movie options are numerous, including 4K and Full HD at very high bit rates (up to 100 Mb / s on SDXC Class 10 compatible).
Sony has implemented the Super 35mm crop mode, in which the camera collects a variety of information from a number of pixels equal to 1.8 times that of 4K, with a complete reading without binning. Eventually the image processor upsamples this information to produce movies with 4K moire and step (jaggies) minimized. In full frame mode, however, it is exploited the entire surface of the sensor.
During filming the video camera uses the codec XAVX S, to enable the maximum bit rate available according to the resolution (up to 100 and 500 Mbps respectively for 4K and Full HD). The impression gained is to have a platform for the hands of quality, especially when shooting at ISO values of contents (maximum 1600), in which this a7R II is not so distant from the team A7s II.
Pending a thorough test …
With the second generation, Sony pushed even further the potential and performance of the platform mirrorless full frame. This a7R II shows off images of excellent clarity and low noise, in particular impart grace of an improved AF system and an image stabilizer effectively in any situation.
If the first generation directed all his attention on the resolution and detail, the performance is now more balanced, favoring, indirectly, the video portion.
We also appreciate the work done on the design and ergonomics of the controls, without prejudice to the need to improve the management of menu options via software, together with battery autonomy.