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 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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