Sony Alpha A7S II Review

Following the introduction of the Sony Alpha 7 II and Sony Alpha 7R II it had been only a matter of time before Sony introduced the update to the Alpha 7S, its 12Mp, low light and video-centric model which includes recognition in the film and tv industry. Affirmed, the Alpha 7S II was announced in September 2015 and is currently on sale.

As the changes brought by the brand new camera are welcome, its specification sheet holds a couple of surprises, featuring most of the upgrades already seen somewhere else in the Sony A7 range.

Sony Alpha A7S II Price, Deals and Bundle

For example, like the A7R II, the A7S II may record 4K 4:2:0 8-bit video (in XAVC S format and without pixel binning) to a suitably fast memory card and it has a 5-axis stabilization system.

Pixel binning combines the result from a little grid of pixels and it’s really a way to getting higher sensitivities from a sensor at the cost of a lower resolution.

Just like the A7S, the Mark II may also record 4K video to an exterior recorder just like the Atomos Shogun via HDMI with 8-bit 4:2:2 color depth.

Check Out: Best Lenses for Sony A7S II

Having an 8-bit color implies that there are 256 tones of every primary color, which might sound good but it doesn’t compare therefore well with recording externally to a 4K recorder from a Panasonic GH4 as its 10-bit output gives 1024 shades per color.

One significant first scored by the A7S II for the A7-series, however, maybe the ability to record complete HD footage at up to 120fps at 100Mbps (without pixel binning) for super-slow movement playback.

The A7S cameras are also designed for low-light shooting and as before, the utmost sensitivity setting is ISO 409,600. The indigenous range is ISO 100-102,400. There’s also the 5-axis image stabilization program that we’ve noticed and valued in the A7 II and A7R II, for smoother footage and sharper pictures.

Like the original A7S, in the center of the A7S II is a full-frame 12.2Mp Exmor CMOS sensor. According to Sony’s Masaaki Oshima, Deputy General Supervisor of the Digital Imaging Business Group’s Imaging Items and Solutions Sector, the new camera uses the same sensor and processing engine as the A7S, but new circuitry along with improved sound reduction algorithms imply that sound is controlled superior to before. It is also been optimized for video shootings.

Build and Handling

Just like the A7 II and A7R II, the brand new A7S II feels well-crafted and is comfortable to carry, with most controls being within easy reach. The brand new camera can be tougher than the original model, with an increase of magnesium alloy and a reinforced zoom lens mount. It’s also weatherproof, although you need to watch out for rainfall droplets obtaining onto the viewfinder sensor and switching off the rear screen when you do not want it to.

In response to criticisms of the look of the initial A7, A7R and A7S, Sony has produced shifts to the Mark II versions. Included in these are making the grip larger, moving the shutter release forward to the top of the grip and changing the trunk barrel-like dial to a far more standard, semi-recessed type dial.

Check Out: Best Sony E-Mount Lenses

However, the video record button continues to be on the corner of the thumb grip on the back of the camera and it’s awkward to find and press when holding the camera. Fortunately, there are lots of customization options so that it can be set to some other button. Those that want to use the A7S II mainly for stills could find among the two customization control keys on the top-plate a good choice, while devoted videographers may choose to utilize the large button on the trunk of the camera at the center of control dial and routing pad. This switch makes a great choice for accessing the concentrated point setting for stills shooters.


As it includes a lower pixel count compared to the A7R II and A7 II, the Alpha 7S II can’t resolve as very much detail as its stablemates in stills, but there will do information to create high-quality A3 prints. Furthermore, its larger photosites actually help with noise control and while you wouldn’t wish to make use of ISO 409,600 routinely, if you are reporting occasions in near darkness you’ll receive something nearly recognizable – just as you’ll from the original A7S.

In most cases, the A7S II produces much less saturated and even more natural colors in video and stills. Thus giving give much greater scope for post catch adjustment/grading.

Sony has considerably improved the A7S II’s autofocus system more than the A7’s even though it’s even now unlikely to tempt pro video shooters from manual focus whilst shooting, it’s helpful when taking stills. You may expect just a little hunting in dark interiors and outside during the night, nonetheless it usually gets the subject sharp provided that you will discover a location with a reasonable comparison. In more typical lighting circumstances it’s fast and accurate. It is also competent to tracking a shifting subject matter in good light, however in Lock-on AF setting is frequently distracted by other items in the picture so it’s easier to use Flexible Spot or Expanded Flexible Place mode and also to try to keep carefully the active AF stage over the topic yourself.

The A7S is a specialized, high-sensitivity stills/video camera and according to Sony over half of the individuals who got it are professionals. There is no information about the ratio of stills to video shooters available, but our experience shows that it’s the video component that really sold it. The A7S II can be an update to the A7S and it’s really more appealing to videographers, with improved managing.

Sony already makes higher quality A7-series digital cameras, so it’s in a position to focus on the A7S II in low light and video photography with no need to compromise it for a wider market. The in-camera 4K recording brings it current – this was starting to look like a significant failing in the initial model – and the quicker autofocusing, 5-axis picture stabilization and better sound control are of help steps forward.


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