Sony announced the a7 II (ILCE-7M2), the world’s first full-frame interchangeable lens digital camera with optical 5-axis image stabilization in a compact size and light build. Featuring a 24.3 effective megapixel 35 mm full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor that moves along five axes to compensate for camera shake, providing optical image stabilization equivalent to up to 4.5 steps faster shutter speed of correction for still images. Shooting sharp handheld stills and video is now possible under conditions that may have required a tripod in the past. In this and other scenarios, users can enjoy beautifully rendered images from the full-frame sensor with the convenience of image stabilization. In-camera image stabilization also offers sharper images for those using A-mount lenses on an optional lens adapter.
World’s first full-frame camera with optical 5-axis image stabilization
Detects and corrects various camera shake along five axes for still images and video, including angular shake (pitch and yaw) that tends to occur when shooting with a telephoto lens, shift shake (along the X and Y axes) that becomes noticeable as photographing magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects shots at night or when recording video.
The full-frame image sensor moves to compensate for these kinds of camera shake. For still images, stabilization is equivalent to up to 4.5 steps faster shutter speed of correction.
Optical 5-axis image stabilization ideal for a variety of α lenses
Handheld low-light shooting at slower shutter speeds becomes possible, allowing for greater creativity and mobility without the need for a tripod. The camera’s in-body image stabilization is therefore effective even in combination with E-mount lenses without Optical SteadyShot (OSS). For A-mount lenses as well (using an optional mount adapter such as LA-EA4 or LA-EA3), camera shake is compensated for along five axes within the camera body. Users can therefore make the most of the beautiful rendering power of various α lenses with the α7 II.
Verify image stabilization results with live view functionality
Monitor the corrected image in real-time on the camera’s LCD screen or in the OLED viewfinder, allowing for fine-tuned framing and focusing even when using a telephoto or macro lens.
Speedy, accurate autofocus with Fast Hybrid AF
Wide AF coverage with the employment of a 117-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor (in combination with a 25-point contrast detection AF points)
117-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor and 25 contrast detection AF points are placed over a wide area of the screen, making use of the superb tracking capabilities of the phase detection AF and therefore enabling clear capture of moving subjects that might otherwise evade focus.
30% faster AF responsiveness
A more advanced algorithm is used to detect the subject position, enabling optimal lens drive. In a variety of scenarios, autofocus is very responsive – 30% faster than in previous models.
1.5 times the tracking ability of previous modelss with an improved motion-prediction algorithm
An improved, original Sony algorithm for the prediction of moving bodies results in a 1.5 times improvement in performance in tracking a subject and predicting its next movement. Additionally, AF and automatic exposure (AE) continue to track the subject during high-speed continuous shooting (up to 5 fps), so that a sudden movement or expression of the subject is never missed. Finally, greatly improved tracking ability and subject capture are made possible through the advances in image analysis technology with “lock-on AF,” a feature that optimizes focusing on the subject in accordance with its size.
Superior image quality and enriched video recording functionalities with the full-frame sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine
35 mm full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor for high resolution and sensitivity, with minimal noise
The camera is equipped with a full-frame Exmor CMOS image sensor with approximately 24.3 effective megapixels. High resolution and larger pixels enhance sensitivity and reduce image noise to release the full potential of lens’ optical performance. Images are rendered beautifully and bokeh effects attainable only with full-frame sensors become possible.
BIONZ X image processing engine for superb detail and natural textures, less noise
Loaded with an advanced BIONZ X image processing engine. The fast processing enabled by this engine enhances images in several ways, through “detail reproduction technology,” which recreates natural-looking textures even in the minute details of an image; “diffraction-reducing technology,” which prevents loss of detail when aperture stopped down; and “area-specific noise reduction,” which greatly reduces noise while maintaining exceptional detail and texture even under low light conditions such as night time and indoors.
Supports high bit rate XAVC-S recording
In addition to recording in AVCHD Ver. 2.0 Full HD (1920×1080) 60p (50p)/60i (50i)/24p, the camera records in XAVC-S, a consumer format derived from the professional XAVC format. This offers outstanding Full HD video quality at a high bit rate of 50 Mbps. Long GOP compression is used, targeting differences between frames, along with the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video. For audio recording, linear PCM is used and files are saved in the MP4 format.
Full-featured video recording that suits professional workflows
Picture profiles enable convenient in-camera tone adjustment. The α7 II also supports the S-Log2 gamma function, which preserves a wide dynamic range, and a wide S-Gamut mode. Other features include Time Code/User Bit (useful in editing), Rec Control (for synced recording with compatible external recorders), marker display/settings, and dual video recording.
Grip shape and height keep the camera steady even when using a large telephoto lens. The shutter button has been shifted toward the front, to a position that feels more natural for the user. This, along with the button’s increased size, helps reduce camera shake. Shooting comfort and convenience were a priority in design. Ten customizable buttons can be assigned to any of 56 functions. The tilting display features a White Magic LCD screen for exceptional visibility even under bright sunlight.
Sharp, high-contrast XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder for accurate previewing
An XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder with a 2.36 million dot equivalent resolution and high contrast, enabling faithful reproduction of setting adjustments, fine-tuned focusing using magnified display or peaking features, and bokeh effects. The viewfinder also allows for clear review of previous shots. Because the camera is fully APS-C-compatible, it displays the entire view even when APS-C lenses are used.
Design, Controls, Wi-Fi and New Accessories
Ergonomically, compared to the original α7, the α7II model has a larger shutter button that has been moved closer to the front of the camera for optimal finger position. It is constructed with sturdy magnesium alloy on the top, front cover and internal panels for a sturdier, more solid feel in the hand, and boasts about a 40% faster start-up time compared to the α7 camera.
The new α7II camera is Wi-Fi and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories application available for Android and iOS platforms. New accessories designed for use with the new α7II include the VG-C2EM vertical grip and LCS-ELCB soft carrying case.
New α A-mount 70-300mm F4.5 – F5.6 G SSMII Telephoto Zoom Lens
Sony has also introduced a new telephoto zoom lens for it’s α A-mount line, the 70-300mm F4.5 – F5.6 G SSMII (model SAL70300G2). Ideal for outdoor sports and wildlife photography as well as tightly cropped portraits, the lens features approximately 4x faster AF tracking than the current lens model 70-300mm F4.5 – F5.6 G SSM. It also has Nano AR coating to minimize flare and ghosting and improve rendering, and is dust and moisture resistant.
Development of New α A-mount Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSMII and Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA
Sony has also announced the development of the α A-mount Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSMII and the Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSMII lenses. The second generation of these acclaimed lenses will improve upon the speed of AF tracking, reduce flare and ghosting and incorporate a dust and moisture resistant design.
Price and Availability
The Sony α7II full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera will be available beginning on December 9, 2014 as body-only for $1700, or as a kit with the FE 28-70mm F3.5 – F5.6 OSS zoom lens (model SEL2870) for about $2000.
The new 70-300mm F4.5 – F5.6 G SSMII telephoto zoom lens for α A-mount cameras will be available for about $1150 in February 2015.
Pricing for the Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSMII and the Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSMII lenses has not yet been determined, however target ship timing is Spring 2015.