Sony has released the α7 II (ILCE-7M2), the next in the α7 series of interchangeable-lens models and the world’s first[i] camera with optical 5-axis image stabilization designed for a full-frame image sensor.
The camera offers outstanding image quality in a compact size and light build, and it carries on the traditions of the α7 series, which includes the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable-lens full-frame camera (α7R). A 24.3 effective megapixel 35 mm full-frame Exmor® CMOS sensor moves along five axes to compensate for camera shake, providing optical image stabilization equivalent to up to 4.5 steps faster shutter speed of correction[ii] for still images. Shooting sharp handheld stills and video is now possible under conditions that may have required a tripod in the past. In this and other scenarios, users can enjoy beautifully rendered images from the full-frame sensor with the convenience of image stabilization. In-camera image stabilization also offers sharper images for those using A-mount lenses on an optional lens adapter.
World’s first full-frame camera with optical 5-axis image stabilization
Detects and corrects various camera shake along five axes for still images and video, including angular shake (pitch and yaw) that tends to occur when shooting with a telephoto lens, shift shake (along the X and Y axes) that becomes noticeable as photographing magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects shots at night or when recording video.
The full-frame image sensor moves to compensate for these kinds of camera shake. For still images, stabilization is equivalent to up to 4.5 steps faster shutter speed of correction.
Optical 5-axis image stabilization ideal for a variety of αTM lenses[iii]
Handheld low-light shooting at slower shutter speeds becomes possible, allowing for greater creativity and mobility without the need for a tripod. The camera’s in-body image stabilization is therefore effective even in combination with E-mount lenses without Optical SteadyShot (OSS). For A-mount lenses as well (using an optional mount adapter such as LA-EA4 or LA-EA3), camera shake is compensated for along five axes within the camera body. Users can thus make the most of the beautiful rendering power of various α lenses with the α7 II.
Verify image stabilization results with live view functionality
Monitor the corrected image in real-time on the camera’s LCD screen or in the OLED viewfinder, thus allowing for fine-tuned framing and focusing even when using a telephoto or macro lens.
Speedy, accurate autofocus with Fast Hybrid AF
Wide AF coverage with the employment of a 117-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor (in combination with a 25-point contrast detection AF points)
117-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor and 25 contrast detection AF points are placed over a wide area of the screen, making use of the superb tracking capabilities of the phase detection AF and therefore enabling clear capture of moving subjects that might otherwise evade focus.
30% faster AF responsiveness[iv]
A more advanced algorithm is used to detect the subject position, enabling optimal lens drive. In a variety of scenarios, autofocus is very responsive – 30% faster than in previous models.
1.5 times the tracking ability of previous models4 with an improved motion-prediction algorithm
An improved, original Sony algorithm for the prediction of moving bodies results in a 1.5 times improvement in performance in tracking a subject and predicting its next movement. Additionally, AF and automatic exposure (AE) continue to track the subject during high-speed continuous shooting (up to 5 fps), so that a sudden movement or expression of the subject is never missed. Finally, greatly improved tracking ability and subject capture are made possible through the advances in image analysis technology with “lock-on AF,” a feature that optimizes focusing on the subject in accordance with its size.
Superior image quality and enriched video recording functionalities with the full-frame sensor and BIONZ XTM image processing engine
35 mm full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor for high resolution and sensitivity, with minimal noise
The camera is equipped with a full-frame Exmor CMOS image sensor with approximately 24.3 effective megapixels. High resolution and larger pixels enhance sensitivity and reduce image noise to release the full potential of lens’ optical performance. Images are rendered beautifully and bokeh effects attainable only with full-frame sensors become possible.
BIONZ X image processing engine for superb detail and natural textures, less noise
Loaded with an advanced BIONZ X image processing engine. The fast processing enabled by this engine enhances images in several ways, through “detail reproduction technology,” which recreates natural-looking textures even in the minute details of an image; “diffraction-reducing technology,” which prevents loss of detail when aperture stopped down; and “area-specific noise reduction,” which greatly reduces noise while maintaining exceptional detail and texture even under low light conditions such as night time and indoors.
Supports high bit rate XAVC-S recording
In addition to recording in AVCHD Ver. 2.0 Full HD (1920×1080) 60p (50p)/60i (50i)/24p, the camera records in XAVC-S, a consumer format derived from the professional XAVC® format.[v] This offers outstanding Full HD video quality at a high bit rate of 50 Mbps. Long GOP compression is used, targeting differences between frames, along with the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video. Regarding audio recording, linear PCM is used and files are saved in the MP4 format.
Full-featured video recording that suits professional workflows
Picture profiles enable convenient in-camera tone adjustment. The α7 II also supports the S-Log2[vi] gamma function, which preserves a wide dynamic range, and a wide S-Gamut mode. Other features include Time Code/User Bit (useful in editing), Rec Control (for synced recording with compatible external recorders), marker display/settings, and dual video recording.
Enhanced usability and reliability
Grip shape and height keep the camera steady even when using a large telephoto lens. The shutter button has been shifted toward the front, to a position that feels more natural. This, along with the button’s increased size, helps reduce camera shake. Shooting comfort and convenience were a priority in design. Ten customizable buttons can be assigned to any of 56 functions.
The tilting display features a White MagicTM LCD screen for exceptional visibility even under bright sunlight.
Sharp, high-contrast XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ viewfinder for accurate previewing
An XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder with a 2.36 million dot equivalent resolution and high contrast, enabling faithful reproduction of setting adjustments, fine-tuned focusing using magnified display or peaking features, and bokeh effects. The viewfinder also allows for clear review of previous shots. Because the camera is fully APS-C-compatible, it displays the entire view even when APS-C lenses are used.
Reliability that professionals can appreciate
Sturdy magnesium alloy construction of the top, front cover, and internal structures ensures that the camera is both durable and light. The robust mounting structure easily handles large telephoto lenses, heavy video lenses, and many others.
Main buttons and dials are also sealed to help keep out moisture and dust, and an interlocking double layered construction of media and port covers as well as body seams ensures greater moisture and dust resistance. Overall, the camera is designed to be used by photographers in any number of situations without having to worry about the safety of their cameras.
Quick startup time – 40% fasteriv
After the camera is switched on, it is ready to shoot 40% sooner than current models.