Sony A7R II – Image Quality
Now for the main event: image
quality. The Sony A7R II has a particularly bold sensor, pushing
forwards from the standard-setting full-frame CSC design of the A7R.
a higher-resolution sensor, at 42.4 megapixels, to the last
generation’s 36.4. This is the first time we’ve seen this sensor used,
and rather than causing a decrease in high-ISO performance as you might
imagine, Sony has actually raised the ISO ceiling.
The Sony A7R
II’s native ISO range is 100 – 25600, but can be expanded down to ISO 50
and all the way up to ISO 102400. This is very different to the
ISO-limiting style we saw in the ultra-high-resolution Canon 5DS R.
is possible because the Sony A7R II sensor is back-side illuminated,
increasing its natural sensitivity. This technology has been used most
notably in phones, but now it’s even working wonders in top-end camera
Shooting at low ISOs, the Sony A7R II’s detail capture
is simply phenomenal. At ISO 100 the camera rendered 4,800l/ph in our
labs tests, far in excess of almost all cameras but the Canon 5DS R,
which outperformed it with 5,600l/ph.
Like so many cameras of
the moment, the A7R II doesn’t have an optical low-pass filter, helping
it to hold onto every scrap of detail the sensor can see.
give you some idea of exactly how detailed the camera is, it offers
magazine-grade images (300ppi) at 22 x 15in or 57 x 38cm, offering scope
for massive enlargements with zero sense of limited image information.
The combination of effective OIS and good higher-ISO performance offers
spectacular versatility too.
The detail level at ISO 6400 too
is, compared with other CSCs, staggering. Even when shooting at ISO
12800 and 25600, the results can be pretty good with a liberal dose of
noise reduction. Thanks to the ultra-high resolution sensor, the detail
at 25600 is still higher than some capable cameras at base ISO.
range at base ISO is a strong 13.1EV and, like detail, it holds up
very well into mid and higher ISO sensitivity levels. The Sony A7R
II is a stills powerhouse.
Here are some photos we took using the camera:
Sony A7R II – Video
video abilities are also excellent, especially when compared to
high-end DSLRs at the price, none of which have 4K video capture. The
Sony A7R II does.
Using the XAVC codec you can shoot at 100Mbps,
at 4K resolution. Step down to 1080p and the bit-rate drops to 50Mbps,
which is still great for Full HD.
Having OIS to work with helps to
improve the look of handheld video, and there are plenty of features
that make the Sony A7R II seem like a very good choice for budding video
fans. For example, there’s an aux 3.5mm mic input to let you avoid
using the basic embedded microphone setup, and there are multiple
Of most interest to those looking to properly
edit their footage, the Sony A7R II offers a “flat” mode that helps to
retain the greatest dynamic range possible. It won’t look like much
fresh out of the camera, but gives you plenty of image information to
work with if you’re going to grade the video after shooting.
Should I buy the Sony A7R II?
Sony A7R II could never have made quite as big a splash as its
predecessors. Quite simply there are no strides it could have made to
compete with being the first full-frame CSC.
However, this is by a
substantial margin a better camera than the A7R. A bunch of
improvements add up to a significant whole. Which matters most depends on
Better ergonomics and control layout, 4K video,
great in-body image stabilisation, a silent shutter mode and
significantly increased resolution paired with improved high-ISO
performance: it’s a remarkable achievement. It’s worth considering over a
high-end DLSR if you haven’t already invested in lenses for, most
likely, the Nikon or Canon systems.
A superb full-frame CSC whose numerous improvements make it a much more versatile camera than the original A7R.
Score in detail
Image Quality 9
Build Quality 9