a7 II

Sony a7 II
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
$1525 to $1700
  • 90%

  • Sony a7 II
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: October 18, 2017
  • Usability
    Editor: 80%
  • Image Quality
    Editor: 90%
  • Speed
    Editor: 45%
  • Accessories
    Editor: 50%

Compared to its predecessor, the Sony a7 II offers one important upgrade: Sony SteadShot Inside. This feature, also known as In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) stabilizes any lens against camera shake induced by handholding the camera at slow shutter speeds. It’s one small feature difference, but it’s an important one that’s made the Sony a7 II my favorite camera for artistic photography. SteadyShot Inside allows me to use slow shutter speeds with literally any lens, including adapted DSLR lenses, and fast prime lenses that don’t have image stabilization built in. Now, you can attach that 55mm f/1.8 lens and hand-hold it at ¼ or 1/8th of a second and get clear shots, allowing you to use low ISOs even at night. No other camera in the world can do that with full-frame image quality. Combined with the electronic viewfinder (standard on all mirrorless cameras) it means I can use my fast DSLR lenses with image stabilization, manual focus, focus peaking, magnification, and see a real-time preview with a histogram and correct depth-of-field in the viewfinder. If I’m shooting black-and-white, I’ll see the world in black and white when I look through the viewfinder. If you plan to use zoom lenses that are already stabilized, or if you don’t use slow shutter speeds handheld, choose the original a7 instead. At $1,000 new, the original a7 is the better value. The only other difference you might notice is that the a7 II has an improved autofocus system (but neither camera autofocuses as well as comparably priced DSLRs). Here’s an overview of the features: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mid3yowuCJU Here are two tests that include the a7 II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsywiyX1iKE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVpPG8oqheg Existing owners can use this hands-on training tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sMsZotpXTg  

Pros

  • Full-frame image quality
  • Stabilized sensor works with any lens, even fast primes
  • Electronic viewfinder shows you your exact exposure
  • Focusing is better than the a7 or a7R

Cons

  • Focusing is still frustrating, especially with moving subjects
  • Lacks a touch screen
  • Sony’s native lens selection is more limited than Canon and Nikon