Sony a7 Mark II Review

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 IISony 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 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.Support my work-Buy from B&H PhotoSony a7 Mark II from B&H