Sony A7R II News, Links, & FAQs

Last Updated July 2, 2015

I’m very excited about this camera and I’m almost certainly going to switch to Sony from my Canon setup when it becomes available. I’ll keep updating this post as new information about the camera comes out.

Pricing & Availability

  • Retail cost $3200
  • Available in August
  • Preorders from B&H starting June 17

Official Information

Sample Images

Autofocus

Articles

Preview Videos

Sony Official Videos

Sony Support

One area that I’m very concerned with is the level of Sony support for repair work. With Canon, I can send my lens/body in to their service center and get a reasonably priced repair in a few days. However, initial reports for Sony have not been promising:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a back illuminated sensor (BSI)?
In a normal camera sensor, the wiring for each pixel is placed in front of the photodiode (I have no background in sensor design but this seems like a bad idea as it would block light. However, I understand that this is for manufacturing reasons). In contrast, with a backside illuminated sensor the photodiode is placed in front of the wiring (see this link for more details).

What does a back illuminated sensor (BSI) imply for the image quality on the A7RII?
In theory, a BSI sensor should allow more light to be collected. More light means better high ISO performance and increased dynamic range. However nobody yet knows the magnitude of improvement. I.e., will this be a substantial change in image quality or a relatively minor improvement. The BSI sensor should also help with tilt-shift and rangefinder lenses where light rays may hit the sensor at a steep angle from perpendicular.

How fast is autofocus with the Metabones adapter?

  • “At the press launch in New York we even got a glimpse of the a7R II autofocusing Canon EF lenses using a Metabones electronic adapter. Focus appeared to be on par with OVF focus on a native Canon body” – from DPReview
  • “We’ve used an a7R II with a Canon 24-70mm lens and a Metabones adapter, and focus is indeed very fast indeed.” – from DPReview

How well does the AF work in low light?
There are no user tests but according to Sony specifications, we see the following minimum sensitivity limits:

  • A7RII: -2EV
  • A7II: -1 EV
  • A7S: -4 EV
  • A7R: 0 EV
  • A7: 0 EV

So one stop better than the A7II but not as good as the A7S.

Is shutter vibration still a problem?
“According to Sony, the shutter is considerably better damped, but an electronic first-curtain shutter is the real story here, in our opinion. It eliminates all potential for shutter-induced vibration, which was a problem with the a7R, especially when paired with longer focal length lenses. Furthermore, a full-resolution ‘silent’ mode allows you to capture images without the shutter curtains moving at all.” – from DPReview

How loud is the shutter?
The A7R II has a silent shutter mode which uses an all electronic shutter eliminating noise. Also with the electronic front curtain shutter “it’s about half of the loudness of the previous models” (from Brian Smith)

Does the A7R II provide uncompressed RAW?
No. The A7R II provides the same lossy 11+7 bit RAW format as its predecessor. However, an interview with Kimio Maki suggests that Sony may be working on uncompressed RAW which would become available with a firmware update.

Does the A7R II have the ugly sensor reflections present in the prior models?
I’m searching for test shots that may demonstrate this. See this picture. So far, reflections do not seem to be a problem.

What 4k video modes does the A7RII support?
The camera “can shoot and record 4k video in multiple formats including Super 35mm (without pixel binning) and full frame mode” – from the press release

Can APS-C lenses be used with Super 35mm video mode?
Super 35 format is somewhat larger than APS-C with a diagonal of 31.1mm vs 26.7mm (see sensor size comparison) so you may experience vignetting or some loss of the image. However, experience mounting APS-C lenses on full-frame suggests that many have a larger image circle than the minimum requirement (so each lens would need to be checked).

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Passing Google's mobile friendly test.

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When I moved my main machine to a retina Macbook Pro, I was surprised to notice that the screen made my website images appear blurry. I had thought image sharpness would stay the same (or improve) since the physical resolution of the screen was much higher. I also thought that any resampling by the browser…

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Couple at walking at sunset on Santa Monica beach.

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Light trails and Prague Bridges.

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Newly hatched baby Atlantic Green Sea Turtle struggles to reach the ocean. Tortuguero, Costa Rica.