Sony a7s II Review

It was only a matter of time before Sony introduced the update to the Alpha 7S, its 12-megapixel, low light, and video-centric model that has become popular in the film and television industry. After the introduction of the Sony Alpha 7 II and the Sony Alpha 7R II, it was only a matter of time before Sony introduced the update. As a result, the Alpha 7S II was officially introduced in September 2015 and is currently available for purchase.

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Sony a7S II ILCE7SM2/B 12.2 MP E-mount Camera with Full-Frame Sensor, Black

Last update was on: April 13, 2024 10:59 am
$769.99 $2,812.83

The Alpha A7S II (or, to give it its full technical name, the ILCE7SB.CEC) has been around for a while, but it is still one of our favorite cameras that shoots 4K, while its low-light Performance for photography still impresses us.

Even if the improvements brought about by the new camera are much appreciated, its feature list does not offer many surprises since it has many of the same enhancements found elsewhere in the Sony A7 range.

Build Quality Sony a7s II.

The new A7S II appears nicely crafted and is comfortable to carry, with most controls being within easy reach and the same ergonomic design as the A7 II and A7R II. In addition, the newer generation of the camera is more durable than its predecessor because of the increased amount of magnesium alloy and the strengthened lens mount.

Additionally, it is resistant to the elements; however, you must be careful to prevent raindrops from landing on the viewfinder sensor, as this might cause the back screen to turn off when you do not want it to.

In response to feedback on the appearance of the original A7, A7R, and A7S models, Sony modified the designs of the Mark II versions of these cameras. These include making the grip larger, moving the shutter release button forward onto the top of the grip, and converting the dial on the back of the camera, which is shaped like a barrel, to a dial that is more conventional and has a semi-recessed type.

Unfortunately, the video record button is still on the back of the camera, in the corner of the thumb grip. This makes it difficult to detect and hit the button while the camera is being held.

There are many different configuration choices, so it can be mapped to another button. For example, those who want to use the A7S II primarily for stills may find that one of the two customization buttons on the top plate is a good choice. On the other hand, dedicated videographers may find it more convenient to use the large button on the back of the camera in the center of the control dial and navigation pad.

Sony a7s II Performance.

Because it has a lower pixel count than the A7R II and A7 II, the Alpha 7S II cannot resolve as much detail in still images as its stablemates; however, there is sufficient data to produce high-quality prints on an A3-size paper.

You probably wouldn’t want to use an ISO of 409,600 regularly. Still, if you’re reporting events in near darkness, you’ll get something almost recognizable from the new A7S Mark II, just like you would from the original A7S. In addition, its larger photosites help with noise control.

Sony a7s II Autofocus

Even though Sony has significantly improved the autofocus system of the A7S II compared to the A7, it is still doubtful that professional video shooters will switch from manual focus while shooting. However, these improvements are helpful when taking still photographs.

You should be prepared to do some searching for the subject while photographing in dimly lit rooms or outside at night, but if you can find an area with adequate contrast, you should get crisp images of your subject. Then, in more typical lighting conditions, it performs quickly and accurately.

It is also capable of tracking a moving subject in good light; however, when using Lock-on AF mode, it is frequently distracted by other objects in the scene; therefore, it is preferable to use Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Spot mode and to try to keep the active AF point over the subject yourself.

Sony a7s II Image Quality.

During this evaluation, the Sony A7S II captured exceptionally high-quality photographs. The ISO range of the Sony A7S II can go from 50 to 409,600, which is rather large and helpful. Furthermore, ISO 50-3200 is noise-free, while ISO 6400 and 12,800 yield more than satisfactory results, and even ISO 25,600 and 51,200 are appropriate for usage in an emergency.

Although the most sensitive settings of 102,400, 204,800, and 409,600 have a lot of background noise, they let you take photos in almost complete darkness. However, the RAW examples show how much processing the camera undertakes by default since they are significantly noisier than their JPEG counterparts across the board, regardless of the ISO value.

When using the camera’s default creative style, the images captured at 12 megapixels come out a little soft right out of the camera. Therefore, for the best results, you should sharpen them further in an application such as Adobe Photoshop; alternatively, you can adjust the level of sharpening that the camera applies automatically.

The night shot turned out well thanks to the camera’s maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and its Bulb mode, which allow lots of room for creative experimentation during nighttime shooting.

A practical Dynamic Range Optimizer function will extract additional data from an image’s shadow and highlight sections without adding any noise or other artifacts that aren’t intended.

The High Dynamic Range mode combines the results of two separate images taken at various exposures into a single image. The result is an image that has a higher dynamic range than what would be produced by a single photograph. However, it does yield some excellent effects even though it can only function with JPEGs and stationary subjects.

Even after all these years, they are using Sony’s Sweep Panorama, which is still a delightful experience. While the many Picture Effects enable you to create unique looks in a short amount of time, which would generally need you to spend a significant amount of time in the digital darkroom, the Creative Styles make it simple and quick to adjust the JPEG photos captured by the camera.

Sony a7s II Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Max resolution4240 x 2832
Other resolutions4240 x 2384, 2768 x 1848, 2768 x 1560, 2128 x 1416, 2128 x 1200, 1376 x 920, 1376 x 776
Image ratio w h3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors12 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorBionz X
ISOAuto, 100-102400 (expands to 50-409600)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)409600
White balance presets10
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes5-axis
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View.
Digital zoomYes (2x)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points169
Lens mountSony E
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,228,800
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT-LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.78×
Viewfinder resolution2,359,296
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via Multi Interface shoe)
Continuous drive5.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec; continuous (3 or 5 exposures))
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Resolutions4K (3840 x 2160 @ 30p/24p [60-100Mbps]), Full HD (1920 x 1080 @ 120p/60p/60i/30p/24p [50-100Mbps]), 720p (30p [16Mbps])
Videography notesXLR support via adapter
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI port with 4:2:2 8-bit 4K or 1080 video output)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote controlYes (wired or smartphone)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FW50 lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)370
Weight (inc. batteries)627 g (1.38 lb / 22.12 oz)
Dimensions127 x 96 x 60 mm (5 x 3.78 x 2.36″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo

Sony a7s II Final Verdict

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Sony a7S II ILCE7SM2/B 12.2 MP E-mount Camera with Full-Frame Sensor, Black

Last update was on: April 13, 2024 10:59 am
$769.99 $2,812.83

According to Sony, more than half of the customers who purchased the A7S are professionally working in photography or videography. The A7S is a specialized stills and video camera with high sensitivity. Although no evidence is available on the proportion of photographers who also shoot video, our previous encounters lead us to believe that the video component was the primary factor in its success. In addition, the A7S II is an upgraded version of the A7S, and it has excellent handling, making it more appealing to filmmakers.

Because Sony currently manufactures A7-series cameras with a higher resolution, the company can focus the A7S II on low-light and video photography without making concessions to appeal to a larger audience.

This was starting to appear like a severe failure in the previous model, but the inclusion of in-camera 4K recording brings it up to date. Additionally, quicker autofocusing, 5-axis picture stabilization and improved noise management are necessary leaps ahead.

These upgrades should also make the A7S II more appealing to stills shooters who need to shoot in low light and who don’t need to create prints larger than A3 size. Wedding photographers and front-line reporters are examples of typical users who might benefit from this camera.

The image quality, however, isn’t significantly better than what the camera it replaced could provide.

Sony a7s II FAQs

Is Sony A7S II discontinued?

To answer your question, the Sony A7S II was taken off the market in September 2018.

Is Sony A7S II good for photography?

Yes, the Sony A7S II is an excellent camera for photography. Its high sensitivity and wide dynamic range make it particularly useful for shooting in low-light environments.

Does Sony A7S II have autofocus?

The Sony A7S II has an autofocus system comprising 169 phase-detection points in addition to the 25 contrast-detection points.

Is Sony A7S II mirrorless?

To answer your question, the Sony A7S II is not a DSLR but a mirrorless camera.

What does the S stand for in Sony A7S II?

The “S” in “Sony A7S II” stands for “sensitivity,” referring to the camera’s great sensitivity to light, which makes it an excellent choice for photography in low-light environments.

How old is the Sony A7S II?

The Sony A7S II was first made available in April 2015, meaning it will be almost seven years old in 2022.

Is Sony A7S II good for portraits?

Because of its high sensitivity, outstanding dynamic range, and high level of sharpness, the Sony A7S II is a good choice for taking photographs.

Is Sony A7S II a DSLR?

To answer your question, the Sony A7S II is not a DSLR but a mirrorless camera.

Is Sony A7S II good for street photography?

Because of its small size, high sensitivity, and exceptional Performance in low light, the Sony A7S II has the potential to be a good camera for street photography.

What is Sony A7S II good for?

The Sony A7S II is a capable camera for low-light photography, video recording, and other niche uses that call for excellent sensitivity and a wide dynamic range.

What is the ISO range of the Sony A7S II?

The Sony A7S II has an ISO range of 100-102,400, but this can be extended up to 50-409,600 if necessary.


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