Sony a7R II Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera, Body Only (Black) (ILCE7RM2/B)
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Sony a7R II Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera, Body Only (Black) (ILCE7RM2/B)
Most helpful customer reviews
261 of 270 people found the following review helpful.
I can't tell you how much this camera has added to my life
By Alan E. Gesler
I began shooting with 35mm slr's 50 years ago. Found my way into the air force where I got trained in 4 x 5. Fell in love. I shot a whole bunch of 4 x 5 cameras both in b&w and color for years. Did my own darkroom work. Loved it. Got older and not so strong. Went to Hasselblad, just like Ansel. Loved it. Never lost my preference for German glass. Then digital came along. I was slow to respond. Finally I took the dive. Traded everything film for a Canon system. EOS 5D Mark II with 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200. I thought zooms would make life easier. But I began to lose interest in photography. I'd just grab the camera, zoom, and snap. My photos showed my laziness. With the 4 x 5 and a fixed lens, tripod position was everything. With zooms it didn't matter. Then Sony comes out with this camera. It's magical. Mirrorless. No bypass filter! Incredible low light sensitivity. F**k flash. A body that feels like the Leica M3. A shutter with almost no vibration, but a definite, solid feel. The "program" mode is just like the Hasselblad EV setting. There's a level in the viewfinder. How long did it take to come up with that? On and on. One of the things that slowed my move from film to digital was the difference in dynamic range. No more. You can, in the camera, take bracketed exposures of the same scene exceeding the range of film. For an old dog, this is Nirvana. And German glass. I've gone back to Zeiss prime lenses and I LOVE IT.
326 of 345 people found the following review helpful.
FINALLY a Good Digital Camera....from an Film Photographer
By R. Auger
I mostly shoot black and white 120 film, and make my living selling big fine-art prints. I returned to film 5 years ago for aesthetic reasons, and tried all kinds of digital cameras and hated them all (5dmkiii, D800E, etc). The Sony A7Rii is the first digital camera I really like and can live with.
For the past year, I've also brought along a Sony A7R (with 16-35 and 24-70 zeiss lenses). It was a slow, clunky focusing camera with an amazing sensor. I liked the mirrorless concept, so I tolerated its faults. The mark ii version is a vast improvement; about 5 generations ahead of the old one. Sony has fixed just about everything about A7R, while adding some unique features.
I am the last person on earth to run out and buy the latest gear. I was lucky enough to walk into a local store who had one for me to try and buy. I was not happy about the price, but I could quickly see why it cost so much. The build quality and speed were terrific. You're definitely paying an early adopter fee for all the R&D. It will be years before all this technology becomes cheaper, so go ahead and buy it now. At least this time Sony includes 2 batteries and a charger.
1) This is the first camera to shoot as unobtrusively as my rangefinder film cameras, except that I get a really nice preview. DSLRs were always old technology slapped onto modern technology. I hate DSLRs because you constantly need to 'chimp' and take your eyes away from the viewfinder to check exposure. With mirrorless, you can get a full what-you-see-is-what-you-get preview before hitting the trigger. No need to review for focus or exposure.
2) The new viewfinder more improved then you can initially tell. When turning a polarizer, for instance, I can see the change in sky much better. The screen is sharper, bigger, and very high resolution. I can distinguish background blur from whats in focus, even with a 16mm at f/4. I can manually focus accurately without focus assist (but I do have very good eyes).
3) DR of the sensor is astounding. I'm considering not using grad nd filters anymore. Ignore people obsessing over lossless RAW.
4) The sensor stabilization really works. Works seamlessly with Zeiss lenses with stabilization (btw, upgrade your 24-70 to v2 firmware, I had already done so. Some people have focus issues, that is why!).
5) Soft shutter finally gets rid of camera shake on long lenses. I repurchased the 70-200 f/4, which works worlds better than on the mk1. Silent shutter allows hand held exposures that are super slow. e-front curtain shutter has a nice quick chirp sound, vs the old clunky a7r that drove me nuts.
6) Lots more settings and customization. I spent a good 4 hours customizing each switch. Then, I programmed the 1 and 2 dial for switching between tripod exposures and hand held. Lots more bracketing options. Bulb mode works better with wireless remote.
7) Focusing is great. Really great, even in low light with the f/4 lenses. My intention is to only use native sony lenses. The real focusing system works much better for closeups with wide angles, and other situations where the a7r struggled. You can disable the video button. The list goes on and on.
8) The camera is now lightning fast and super responsive. This is from the combination of fast shutter and focus.
8) Build quality is terrific. Gone is the twisty, bendable lens mount. Too bad they didn't use real gaskets (although tight build is important for good weather sealing).
9) Light meter. This doesn't get enough attention, but the meter is sooooo more accurate in mirrorless cameras in general, especially with portraits.
10) More lens choices coming soon. Sony and Zeiss are dedicated to the e-mount system.
11) Knock-off accessories are really good, and most from a7r work with a7rii
12) ISO performance is great, but I can't compare since I mostly only use 100-400 iso.
1) Update September 2015: True 14bit files are now available, which did matter for star trail photography and in some occasions.
2) Silent shutter and/or continuous mode will only give you only 12bit files. Use e-front curtain instead.
3) Spend a good 4 hours customizing all the buttons. Make the camera fit your needs.
4) I set the image review to off, which prevents the photographer from having to chimp, and allows a more subject connected, intuitive style of shooting that I associate with film rangefinder cameras. BTW Film SLRs were always terrible, and not made for fine-art photographers.
5) The Neewer Arca-Swiss Bracket for the A7ii fits the A7ii. Makes the camera a little bit taller, which is good.
1) Sony is still catching up with lens choices. No ultra-super-wide, no fisheye, no wide primes, etc. Some lenses are branded Zeiss, but are made by Sony and cost more for the zeiss name.
2) Battery life still sucks, but Wasabi batteries are cheap and good (easier than carrying film). Turn off the pre-focus, which will save power. Turn off camera when not in use.
3) No gaskets for super-duper weather sealing.
4) Included camera manual is useless. Spends more time on liability stuff than using the camera.
5) Camera is a bit small without a bottom arca swiss plate, even with my small hands.
**Random thought. Wouldn't it be great for Sony to make this into a Nikonos style underwater camera? Just a thought.
262 of 284 people found the following review helpful.
Sony a7RII: the camera that set a new standard
By Love Hope
Last night we received the Sony a7RII camera that we had preordered about a month ago. It’s a good thing that we jumped on an available deal so quickly, because apparently it’s now sold out in most places and backordered at most of the popular online camera retailers, including B&H, Amazon, Adorama and BuyDig.
My husband and I are hobbyists and take photos for our own pleasure. If you want to see more photos we took with the camera, check out our website: [...]
When we first saw the specifications on the a7RII, my husband and I were both extremely excited. Yes, it’s expensive, but it has just about every feature we wanted:
- 42 megapixels world’s first backside-illuminated full-frame sensor, with class-leading dynamic range, color depth and high ISO performance.
- 4k internal video recording with color profile at 30fps, with Super 35mm mode and clean HDMI output.
- SteadyShot 5-axis in-body stabilization.
- High ISO performance, ISO 25600 expandable to ISO 102400.
- Silent shutter mode and electronic front curtain shutter, rated up to 500,000 shutter actuations.
- 399 phase detect points and 25 contrast-detect points, rated to -2 EV sensitivity for low light autofocus performance.
- Continuous eye autofocus, which automatically detects and tracks an eye of a moving person.
- Bright electronic viewfinder, with 2,359,296 pixels, 0.78x magnification (largest for full-frame), and 100% coverage.
- Articulating LCD screen with 1,228,800 pixels that tilts both up and down.
- Minimum shutter speed for auto ISO, with options to change how the camera responds to changes in lighting.
- 1/8000th second shutter in both stills and movies mode, 1/250th second flash sync speed.
- Small and compact body size, despite weighing a little more than its predecessors.
That is not to say it has no drawbacks. The downsides of the a7RII are:
- No dual card slots.
- No touch screen, something that would be great for pulling focus during video.
- Less than stellar battery life: rated for 290 shots when using the viewfinder, and 340 shots when using the LCD.
- Although the build quality has been upgraded to all plates made of magnesium alloy, I still would not completely trust the weather sealing claims.
- Still incomplete native E-mount lens selection, like no 18mm wide angle or 135mm long portrait prime lenses.
Because we had gotten the Sony a7II a little over two weeks ago and have been playing with it a lot, we felt right at home with the new camera. We quickly set up the menu system to our liking and started taking photos.
My husband was immediately wowed by the large, bright and beautiful viewfinder. We both prefer electronic viewfinders and the “what you see is what you get” effect of them, and this camera has the best one we’ve seen. Unlike traditional DSLRs, an EVF allows one to review photos and look at menu options without needing to squint in bright daylight.
As luck would have it, we got an awesome sunset this evening when we went to the park for a walk with our cameras. My husband used the A7RII with the native E-mount 16-35mm F4 lens to take a few shots — all handheld, thanks to the awesome 5-axis in-body stabilization that Sony calls SteadyShot.
The camera was a little heavier in the hand than the a7II, but not by much. When my husband first pulled it out of the box, I was reminded once again of just how small and compact these full-frame E-mount cameras are. We also received the Peak Design sling and strap from Amazon today, which distributes the weight comfortably and is useful for changing between carry positions quickly.
The autofocus is extremely responsive, noticeably faster than the a7II, and my husband remarked that it was practically on par with the APSC Sony a77II camera we previously owned, which boasts sports-oriented lock-on tracking and fast autofocus.
The a7RII has 399 on-sensor phase detect autofocus points with 25 contrast-detect autofocus points, and focuses down to -2 EV, which definitely makes a huge real world usage difference. Even indoors under low light conditions, the autofocus was fast, confident and accurate. My main complaint about the a7II, indoor low-light focusing speed and accuracy, was completely addressed by the new a7RII.
The a7RII also has an amazing autofocus feature for taking portraits of high-energy kids, of which we have two — continuous eye AF, which works extremely quickly with the native E-mount lenses we have. It finds the eye almost instantaneously and keeps the focus as the person moves around the frame!
After the shoot and sitting down in Lightroom, we were highly impressed by the image quality, dynamic range and well-controlled noise from the huge 42 megapixel RAW files.
My husband underexposed by quite a bit, and the dynamic range after lifting the shadows by several stops is astonishing. There’s definitely noise after raising the shadows so much, but it’s very usable and controllable with a little bit of noise reduction.
In our indoor test shots, the low light noise performance was excellent. The a7RII seems to have about a stop better high ISO performance than the a7II, which has about two stops better than the APSC cameras we had been used to using before this month.
To summarize, we both love the camera. It is fast, responsive, compact, feels great to shoot with and has class-leading image quality. It's packed full of awesome, state-of-the-art technology, and it's currently the cheapest full-frame camera that delivers 4k internal video. Sony also makes the next cheapest full-frame camera, the a7S which retails for $2500, but you'll have to add $1000 to that price tag to get an external 4k recorder. Canon's 1DC is selling for $8000. Considering all of this, plus the amazing stills performance, the a7RII is an amazing deal.