Sony has taken their line of full-frame digital 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.
24.3MP Exmor CMOS Image Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor
Incorporated into the a7 II's redesigned body are a 24.3-megapixel Exmor CMOS image sensor and BIONZ X image processor, which work together to enable a wide dynamic range with minimal noise and rich, subtle gradations. The camera features an ISO range of 100-51,200 which can be expanded down to ISO 50. Also, this combination allows the a7 II to reproduce details with excellent clarity.
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
Packed into the svelte a7 II is a remarkable 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization system. This compensates for five types of camera shake encountered during handheld shooting of still images and video. This allows users to confidently use any lens, even adapted lenses, for critical imaging without encountering blur from camera shake. This system will compensate for approximately 4.5 stops of shutter speed for working with a huge variety of subjects.
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.
Shoot full HD 1920 x 1080 video at frame rates of 60p, 30p, and 24p with the high-bit-rate 50Mbps XAVC S format. This results in excellent image quality with minimal noise and artifacts without requiring a large amount of disk space. Additionally, the system using linear PCM sound for high quality audio.
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
The a7 II has multiple timecode recording options to meet different workflows. It has the standard 'Record Run" mode that only advances the timecode when recording, as well as "Free Run" timecode that advances the timecode even when not recording, which can be great for syncing multiple cameras at live events. It can also record timecode in both drop frame and non-drop frame modes. When recording internally the a7 II is also able to output timecode via HDMI.
Customizable Color Profiles and S-Log2 Gamma
To make sure the a7 II is able to use its extensive dynamic range while recording video it incorporates extensive customizable color and gamma controls. Users can adjust the gamma, black level, knee, color level, and more. Also users can use the same S-Log2 Gamma Curve that is found on high end Sony Cinema cameras that squeezes up to 1300% more dynamic range into the video signal then traditional REC709, for increased post-production flexibility.
3.0" 1,228.8k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor
With a higher 1,228.8k-dot resolution, the LCD screen will provide shooters with an excellent screen for composing images, adjusting settings, and reviewing video and photos. It also tilts upward 107° and downward 41° for working with multiple shooting angles. Use in sunlight is improved with the implementation of WhiteMagic technology which doubles the brightness of the display through a RGBW pixel structure.