Yesterday, Sony announced 3 new cameras: the RX10 II, the RX100 IV, and the rumored a7R II, which we were waiting for and hearing about for a loooooong time.
Every camera is interesting and a huge step forward, but being a landscape photographer (mostly), I will tell you more about what excited me most about the a7RII, and especially in the light of long exposure photography.
- 42MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
- BIONZ X Image Processor
- 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
- 399 Phase-Detect AF Points & 5 fps Burst
- Internal 4K XAVC S Video & S-Log2 Gamma
- Weather-Resistant Magnesium Alloy Body
- Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
- ISO 102,400
- no shutter blade motion
- 3.5x faster than the A7r
- A7rII focus is almost 40% faster than the one of the A7r
- Shipping in August
Estimated Price: $3200 USD
My opinion in 7 points:
1- The 42MP sensor:
Very little info has surface about it, but given the quality of the previous Sony sensors (including those being used by other major camera manufacturers), I expect and HOPE for a high dynamic range, a very low noise level and limited number of hot pixels. Two of the most important aspects for long exposure.
2- No low pass filter:
Back to one of the greatest features of the original a7R in my mind: the absence of a low pass filter. This feature will lead to crispier images, and you’ll see how sharp your lenses actually are…
3- The 5-Axis SteadyShot Stabilization system:
It will give stabilization to EVERY lens available on the market, including 3rd party lenses. That’s right, you read it: EVERY lens available! From zoom lenses to 30+ years old medium format glass. From the latest Zeiss beauties to the highly technical and fully manual Canon tilt/shift lenses. And all of the others as well 🙂
Potentially, it also means that it is possible to move the sensor around in the camera body. What’s the point you’ll ask me, right? Well, if you move the sensor one way, take a shot, move it the other way, take a shot and stitch them together, that’s a pretty good way to increase the resolution of your image… sort of like doing a pano.
4- New silent shutter with no blade motion:
No noise!! How cool is that for genuine street and portrait photography?
Even better in my mind (very biased toward long exposure of course), no blade motion, meaning less vibrations in the system, meaning even crispier images!
5- Internal 4K:
Sure I’m a photographer, sure I normally don’t do video. But hey, 4K!! And no need for an external recorder, it does it all internally. So damn, I think I’ll get into video at one point or another
6- ISO 102,400:
Why ISO 102,400? Hell, why not! 🙂 Again, high sensitivity can be a nice addition. Not that I would personally use it too much, but having the option seems like a great way to sweeten the deal: you can use fast or not so fast lenses for street or action photography more easily
7- faster everything:
Sony heard the complains that people had with the a7R: slow-ish auto-focus, especially with 3rd party lenses. Well, to go hand in hand with a higher sensitivity, they were able to speed things along: the camera itself is 3.5x faster than the A7r, and auto focus is almost 40% faster than the one of the A7r. I even heard somewhere that Canon lenses will have next to the same speed as on Canon bodies.
I am very excited about this new release. Sony was able to take the best of every camera in the alpha line and concentrate it in this body: high sensitivity, higher resolution, 4K video recording, image stabilization, to name just a few.
One big question that remains unclear however is how the sensor will behave in terms of noise level, dynamic range and hot pixels.
Working closely with Sony, I hope to have more info soon on these aspects, and I also hope to get my hands on a body ASAP, take it in the field and let you know more about it… So hang tight!
What do you think about this new release? Are you excited? Indifferent? Would you have wanted to see more features and then, which ones? Let me know in the comments below!