After using the Sony a7 Mark II for several weeks I share my full review of this full frame mirrorless camera. How does the Sony a7 Mark II compare against the Canon 5D Mark III, my pro/con list and a discussion of where this camera fits in the current market of DSLR and Mirrorless cameras.

Video Review: Sony a7 Mark II

Sony a7 Mark II Features:

  • 24MP (100 – 25,600) Low 50, 64, 80
  • 117 Phase detect / 25 Contrast Detect (center frame)
  • In-body image stabilization IBIS 5-axis ~ rated 4.5 stops
  • 1080 60p & XAVC S Codec 50MB/s bit rate
  • Weather sealed
  • 350 shots battery life
  • 1.32 lbs (598 grams)

Sony a7 Mark II Changes from Sony a7 – Or what the Mark II offers over the original a7

  • 30% faster focusing
  • In-body image stabilization IBIS 5-axis ~ 4.5 stops
  • XAVC S Codec 50MB/s bit rate – better quality video
  • Greater use of magnesium alloy in build construction
  • 350 shots battery life a7 Mark II vs 340 shots in a7
  • Redesign grip for, larger, feels better in hand.
  • Heavier, 1.32 lbs vs 1.04lbs

In my experience the focusing is better, the camera feels much nicer in the hand and the in-body image stabilization allows for excellent versatility and makes using older manual lenses more useful.

Sony a7 Mark II vs Sony a7
Redesigned Grip provides a nicer in hand experience

Sony a7 Mark II Pros:

  • Travel friendly – smaller and lighter than most full frame cameras, can even fit in some jacket pockets, especially when using the excellent Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens
  • IBIS + shoot with fast prime! – Handheld slow shutter speeds shots are possible, also useful for handheld video (see sample a7 Mark II images)
  • Capable AF system – for general photography and street photography the AF system is fast enough to avoid any frustrating experiences.
  • Peaking and Magnification – additional manual focus aids can be easily assigned custom buttons for quick access and add to your focusing confidence.
  • Very good image quality, fairly clean at higher ISOs (see sample a7 Mark II images)
  • Excellent dynamic range in the RAW files (see sample a7 Mark II images)
  • Easy wireless control and photo transfer via NFC & WiFi

Sony a7 Mark II Cons:

  • Battery Life is short. buy a spare or two and/or carry a USB battery with you to charge the camera
  • Focus- Still not as fast a DSLR and not capable of capturing action or sports reliably.
    • Setting point – No dedicated button for focus point selection (see a7 Mark II tips)
    • Using single point in low light – Camera struggles in low light focusing outside the center area
  • Lens Selection- Sony’s selection of native FE lenses is growing but significantly less options than Canon or Nikon offers
  • Pay for apps / Play memories store -I am annoyed that buying an intervalometer costs $9.99 in the app store.
  • Lack of touchscreen and Sony menu system is dense, it would be nice to have the option to touch to focus and a better designed menu system for easy setup.
  • Silly SDcard reqs for XAVC S Codec- You will not have the option of using XAVC S with cards smaller than 64GBs
  • Video Moire – The Morie during video is very noticeable in some situations.


Sony a7 Mark II Bottom Line:

The sony a7 Mark II is an excellent travel and general photography camera offering full frame image quality at a value with the ability to use small fast primes and still have stabilized shots as a nice bonus.  This is my current pick out of all the Sony a7 series cameras unless you are serious about video, consider the sony a7s if that is the case.

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 I said it before, I will say it again - Yellowstone NP in winter is a magical place - for most of the day we were the only ones in sight - in all directions!! It is an amazing experience and I spend most of the day grinning at the beauty, the uniqueness and my luck at being able to experience it all. I remember driving through Hayden Valley on my Summer 1994 road trip- Obviously the place stuck with me and to see it now, all covered in snow... #FNFantastic //And now The Fear by Lily Allen is stuck in my head. ~  Captured with the #Sony #a7rII and Canon 70-200
 #bison #snowface ~  Captured with the #Sony #a7rII and Canon 100-400 and heavily cropped because I follow the #YellowstonePledge :)
 In Yellowstone National Park the roads are paved with snow and go straight for miles. Yesterday was sweet, today was the sweetest! Captured here on our way to Hayden Valley - a #dreamyplace like no other. #YellowstonePledge ~  Captured with the #Sony #A7RII and Canon 24-105 lens

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