Sony has taken their line of full-frame cameras to the next level with the Alpha a7 II Mirrorless Digital Camera, which features 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization with 4.5 stops of compensation for pitch, yaw, horizontal shift, vertical shift, and roll. Operation of the 24.3-megapixel series has been streamlined with a redesigned grip, shutter release button, and customizable controls. The a7 II also features a moisture- and dust-resistant design with a magnesium alloy body and a more robust lens mount. And, with refined algorithms and better utilization of the BIONZ X image processor, the a7 II has an enhanced Fast Hybrid AF system that is about 30% faster than the previous model along with a 5 fps burst rate with continuous autofocus as well as a 40% faster start time.
The 24.3-megapixel sensor enables high resolution images and low light effectiveness with its standard ISO sensitivity range of 100-25600. The BIONZ X image processor offers fast processing and operation speeds and front-end LSI (large-scale integration) improves the early stages of image processing resulting in more natural details and richer tones. And, 16-bit image processing and 14-bit RAW output preserves the detail provided by the sensor.
In addition to highly detailed stills with smooth gradations, the a7 II now has access to the high-bit-rate XAVC S format with 60p, 30p, and 24p recording options, all at 50 Mbps. The look of movies can also be adjusted with picture profiles, including the addition of the S-Log2 gamma setting with a dynamic range approximately 1,300% of the standard sRGB spectrum. Timecode and user bit settings are available as well as clean HDMI output for a variety of recording options.
The advanced Sony Multi-Interface Shoe expands compatibility options for flash, microphone, and other accessories and, as an E-mount full-frame camera, the a7 II is compatible with all present APS-C E-mount lenses in APS-C crop mode as well as new E-mount full-frame Zeiss and Sony G-series lenses. Lens mount adapters with a tripod mount are also available to use A-mount lenses on E-mount cameras, and an optional dedicated battery grip enables stable extended shooting and vertical orientation stability.
Rounding out the a7 II's imaging capabilities, both a 3.0" 1,228.8k-dot tilting LCD monitor and 2.36 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder are available for image monitoring and review. Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, with support for NFC, is available, too, for instant sharing of imagery from the camera as well as remote camera control from a linked mobile device.
24.3MP Exmor CMOS Image Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor
Benefitting image quality is the use of detail reproduction technology and diffraction-reducing technology which suppresses the effects of diffraction to reproduce fine details at small aperture settings. Add to this area-specific noise reduction to selectively apply different noise reduction to each area for clear imagery. Also, the sensor features 16-bit image processing with a 14-bit RAW output to preserve detail and ensure optimal quality for later adjustment.
Further improved in this generation is metering performance, which is now possible down to a rated -1 EV. Also, the a7 II will start up approximately 40% faster than the previous generation for almost instant on.
5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Image Stabilization
For long focal lengths, the system will correct for pitch and yaw adjustments. Macro and high magnification imagery on the other hand will benefit from the inclusion of horizontal and vertical shift compensation. And, all shooting styles will get usage out of the roll compensation. All 5 axes of stabilization will function at all times, even when used with third-party lenses and adapters or lenses with built-in optical stabilization.
When using lenses that do not transmit imaging data to the camera, manual settings can be used to input the correct focal length and ensure proper stabilization. Also, the viewfinder can be used to preview the amount of compensation by pressing the shutter release button halfway or magnifying the image.
Enhanced Fast Hybrid AF
Another feature available with this AF system is a Lock-on AF tracking that will analyze more information from the scene to provide dramatically improved accuracy and stability. Eye AF is also available which will prioritize a subject's pupil for excellent portraits even with a shallow depth of field.
Full HD Video Recording and XAVC S Format
When recording internally, users will record video with a 4:2:0 sampling at 8-bit, however, to even further improve image quality the a7 II has clean HDMI output for use with an external recorder. This allows users to capture 4:2:2 uncompressed video and save in an edit-ready format.
Timecode and User Bit Settings
Customizable Color Profiles and S-Log2 Gamma
3.0" 1,228.8k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor
0.5" 2.36M-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder Electronic Viewfinder
Redesigned Grip, Shutter Release Button, and Controls
Magnesium Alloy Construction and Robust Lens Mount
Audio Input & Headphone Jack
Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
Additionally, PlayMemories Camera Apps are also supported via the built-in Wi-Fi connection, and allow you to personalize the camera's features depending on specific shooting styles. Apps are available to suit creating portraits, detailed close-ups, sports, time lapse, motion shot, and other specific types of imagery.
Other Camera Features
- Picture Effect modes: Posterization (Color, B&W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-Key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-Tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, and Illustration.
- Creative Style settings: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, and Sepia (all with +/- 3 step contrast, saturation, and sharpness adjustment).
- Color space: sRGB standard (with sYCC gamut) and Adobe RGB standard compatible with TRILUMINOS Color.
- Picture Profile parameters: Black Level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine 1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode, Color Level, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, and Reset.
- Scene Selection modes: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, and Anti Motion Blur.
- Face Detection is available to base exposure and focus on up to eight recognized faces. Furthermore, Eye AF can be used for even greater precision by maintaining critical focus on a subject's eye.
- 2x Clear Image Zoom can be used to effectively double the magnification afforded by any lens in use with minimal image degradation. For even greater magnification, 1.5x and 2x Smart zoom is available, as well as 4x digital zoom.
- Pre-flash TTL control with flash bracketing available and a variety of flash modes, including: Flash off, auto, fill-flash, rear sync, slow sync, red-eye reduction, hi-speed sync, and wireless control