Sony Japan Unveils the a7II Mirrorless Camera, 70-300mm G SSM II A-Mount Lens

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It was just over a year ago when the groundbreaking full-frame a7 series was released and now Sony Japan is looking to further establish themselves with the announcement of the Alpha a7II Mirrorless Digital Camera. Building upon its much lauded predecessor, the a7II features 5-axis in-body image stabilization, a first for a full-frame image sensor, as well as improved handling, faster AF, enhanced weather sealing, and the addition of the XAVC S video codec along with the S-Log2 gamma curve. Beyond the announcement of the a7II E-mount camera, Sony Japan has also announced the A-mount 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II lens; a long-reaching telephoto zoom with optical refinements and improved AF performance.

Sony Alpha a7II Mirrorless Digital Camera

Perhaps the most exciting upgrade to the a7-series is the addition of 5-axis in-body image stabilization in this newest model. Shooters can now enjoy up to 4.5 stops of image stabilization when using any of their lenses, including adapted and fully manual lenses. This allows photographers to push the boundaries of their nighttime shooting by using slower shutter speeds or longer focal lengths in less than ideal lighting conditions. Also, videographers can now rejoice in having stabilization at all times without needing dedicated lenses or electronic adapters.

The a7II utilizes the same 24.3MP Exmor CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor as its predecessor, along with a Fast Hybrid AF system that utilizes 117 phase-detection points and 25 contrast-detection points. However, an updated autofocus algorithm has also been implemented to improve subject tracking performance and focusing speeds by approximately 30%. Additionally, this new model carries over the same top native sensitivity of ISO 25600 as well as a continuous-hi shooting rate of 5 fps. The a7II also starts up 40% faster than the original a7.

In terms of video performance, the a7II now includes the XAVC S codec with its 50 Mbps bit rate. Also, users can now select from multiple picture profiles, including S-Log2, as well as S-Gamut for a dramatically improved dynamic range during video shooting. Timecode, user bit, and REC control functions are available when using an external recorder to ensure this camera will function in a professional workflow. These settings match those available of the a7S released earlier this year, albeit without the capability of 4K recording.

The a7II’s body has seen some improvements, most notably in the grip. Optimized for comfort and operability, the grip has been redesigned for more natural hand placement with the shutter release button having moved to a tilted front area. There are also 10 customizable buttons with 56 different functions available for programming. The body now features a magnesium alloy top and front like the higher end a7R and a7S and major buttons and dials have much improved sealing to prevent water and dust from entering your camera. Also, the lens mount is now more robust for handling larger telephoto lenses.

The a7II features updated 3.0” tilting LCD monitor, with 1,228k-dot resolution, as well as the same XGA OLED Tru-Finder with 2.36m-dot resolution found on the original. Other features that have carried over to the new model include the Multi-Interface Shoe, mic and headphones jacks, built-in Wi-Fi with NFC, and the use of the NP-FW50 battery pack.

With a new body come new accessories, and in this case a new VG-C2EM Vertical Battery Grip with a weather-resistant design to match the a7II. A special LCS-ELCB Soft Carrying Case that includes a leather body case and lens jacket was also announced, as well as the FDA-EP15 Eye Cup for users desiring more comfortable viewing.

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

Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II Lens

Alongside the a7II, Sony Japan has also announced the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II A-mount lens for their Alpha DSLT lineup. This updated telephoto zoom lens employs a new nano AR coating to better reduce flare and ghosting for improved clarity and contrast. The AF motor has also received a notable upgrade to quicken its overall performance, which pairs well with the weather-resistant design to benefit its use in difficult shooting conditions.

This lens construction incorporates extra-low dispersion glass to reduce chromatic aberrations and distortions throughout the zoom range. It also retains the 3.9’ minimum focus distance of its predecessor and features a rounded 9-blade diaphragm for smooth out-of-focus areas.

Lens Mount Sony A
Focal Length (35mm-Equiv. on APS-C) 70-300mm (105-450mm)
Aperture Range f/4.5 to f/29
Angle of View 34° to 8°10'
Lens Construction 16 elements in 11 groups
Number of Diaphragm Blades 9
Minimum Focus Distance 3.9' / 1.2m
Maximum Magnification 0.25x
Filter Ring Diameter 62mm
Dimensions 3.2 x 5.3" / 82.5 x 135.5mm
Weight 1.7lb / 750g

The a7II and 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II lens were announced by Sony Japan and are not yet available in the USA. Some specifications may change or be updated before their official release. If you would like to be notified when more information in available please fill out the form below

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I'm curious about the pricing, not sure yet if I would be a buyer.

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Would like to know the price.

Sony has yet to provide information on pricing and availability.  If you would like to be notified with more information as it becomes available, such as pricing and estimated availability, you can sign up for that at the end of the article.  There is a box where you can enter in your name and email address.

a7 ii notify

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Impressed with the review ! All I need to do is, raise money to buy this Sony ! !  

How much does the camera cost?

PC World says the price in Japan comes to $1686 US. I have no information about what the U.S. street price will be, but am guessing it will be about what the a7 is now, plus perhaps up to $200. Sony hasn't been afraid to inch up prices for the RX100 in its mark 2 and mark 3 releases, so I figure this may happen with the a7 too. Or not.

Thanks!

Interested in this new Sony A7ii. Please notify.

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Sony Japan Unveils the a7II Mirrorless Camera, 70-300mm G SSM II A-Mount Lens ... notify me when available.  

Thanks!

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Is this better than the 7s; it will be mainly used for video!?

please send info

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Why are lenses magnified if it's actually full frame?

I'm not finding any mention of lens magnification in the article.  Can you please quote/cite what statement you are basing your question off of so I may research it further for you?  Thank you in advance. 

Yossi the Camera is shown as full frame, but under the Lens Specs you see this

Focal Length (35mm-Equiv. on APS-C)70-300mm (105-450mm)

Surely this is Indicating Cropping? 

The parenthetical figures are when the lens is used on an APSc body. If one accepts the idea of "equivelent focal length", the equivelent focal length would be the same regardless of crop or full frame design as that is a function of the camera.

 The lens is an Alpha series lens, and is compatible with both the Full-Frame Alphas as well as the APS-C format lenses which is why the specifications are listed the way they are.

Where is the GPS ??? Lack of onboard GPS means that I am dumping all my Sony gear and moving to Canon 6D. 

Notify, please.

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it's amazing that people just don't read.

Please notify me when pre-order pricing is available on the a7II.

Curious of some of these updated features woudld be added to the a7R.  a7RII?

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As far as features introduced with this camera being used in the future versions of the A7R and A7S goes..anything is possible but we have no way of knowing until Sony makes an official announcement on those as they did with this camera.  Once they ever do we will post a new article on the topic then.

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

You're forgetting that the Canon's not mirrorless. Mirrorless shooting is a whole different experience, and those looking for an A7 are looking for that aspect.

You also need to be aware of the basics of physics..... to maintain a minimum quality of image, the lenses have to be a certain size...... Not many ways around this to really keep a sharp, aberration low (can't really say free) images with a tiny lens...... I changed from a Canon 5D MKII with their huge, heay lenses to an A7R and I'll NEVER go back to a mirrored camera. I just love the versatility of the A7's and their ease of use and image quality...... Just wish the new lenses would hit the market sooner.

I agree! I was using Nikon d800 but took a Sony nex7 to North Korea and shot

without drawing much attention. Loved it and carry everywhere now.

release info for Sony A7II mirrorless camera and of course, the pricing

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Your notification gave me an error and told me to wait 2,592,000 seconds before trying again.  what?

Will the Sony a7II take pictures at the same time it is taking video???

Unfortunately theres been no mention so far as to this capability to the camera.  We won't know until more details are released from Sony USA.  Please check back with us in the future, you may send an email to askbh@bhphoto.com and once the more info on the camera is released, we will reply with all the info we have. 

The camera is described as using E mount lenses, rather than the original A7's FE mounts. Does this indicate a change, and the end of dedicated FE lenses and a return to E?

I'm pretty sure FE is a lens designation for full-frame E-mount lenses. There is no FE mount on the cameras themselves, only A and E.

Any E or FE Lens can mount to the E-mount on this camera, but only the FE lenses will give the full-frame image circle. 

The term "E mount" describes all the cameras in Sony's line with this certain type of mount.  Within the "E" system they have the standard "E" series lenses which are formated for use on APS-C mounts or Full-frame cameras which can crop down to also be compatible with them.  "FE" series lenses denote those which are designed for use on the Full-frame models.

Got the A7 at B&H last spring. Hope to be able to afford the new model. The image stabilization and improved autofocus sounds great!

Please let me know when the Sony a711 Mirrorless Camera is available.  Thanks,  Bob Craig 

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Let me know when this becomes avail for preorder. thanks!

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curious if this camera can replace my canon eos 5 set. Also interested in 'a camera to walk around with' instead of dragging a back-pack for 7-8 hours.

Depending on what lenses you are accustomed to shooting with, this camera could very well replace your 5D system.  I mention lenses as with Canon you have a greater overall lens selection base for natively designed lenses to choose from.  Sony has fewer, but they are good quality.  Many popular lenses can also be adapted, albeit with limitations and loss of original functions etc but there is that option should you wish to salvage a particularly special lens.

Size and weight-wize the camera is smaller and easier to carry around over an all day shoot. 

When will it market?   What is the price? 

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Shawn/Yossi,

You might want to add an extra paragraph about, well, anything. Just be sure to insert it between the notification form and the comment form so people stop posting "notify me" comments. ;-)

Having said that, it will be interesting to see if Sony rolls out the software-based improvements to the current lineup.

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