Sony has a new flagship full-frame mirrorless camera, the alpha 7R II. The interchangeable lens camera features the world’s first back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor, says Sony, which realizes high resolution (42.4-megapixel approx. effective), high sensitivity (expandable up to ISO 102400) and high speed AF response up to 40 percent faster than the original 7R thanks to 399 focal plane phase detection AF points.
The camera also includes a 5-axis image stabilization system borrowed from the acclaimed 7 II and can shoot and record 4K video in multiple formats including Super 35 mm (without pixel binning) and full-frame format. Additionally, it has a newly refined XGA OLED Tru-Finder with the world’s highest (0.78x) viewfinder magnification.
Sony says the newly developed sensor is the most advanced, versatile and highest resolution full-frame image sensor that Sony has ever created, allowing the 7 II to reach new levels of quality, sensitivity and response speed.
The 42.4 MP sensor combines gapless on-chip lens design and AR (anti-reflective) coating on the surface of the sensor’s glass seal to dramatically improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range. This allows the camera to shoot at an ISO range of 100 to 25600 that is expandable to ISO 50 to 1024002.
Additionally, the sensor’s back-illuminated structure, with an expanded circuit scale and copper wiring design, enables faster transmission speed and ensures content can be captured in high resolution without sacrificing sensitivity. Data can also be output from the sensor at an approximately 3.5x faster rate compared to the original 7R.
The 7R II features a high-speed BIONZ X image processing engine. There is also no optical low pass filter on the camera.
The camera has a new highly durable reduced-vibration shutter that realizes 50 percent less vibration from shutter movements compared to its predecessor, and has a cycle durability of approximately 500,000 shots. The camera can also be set to Silent Shooting mode to shoot images quietly without any sensor vibration or movement.
The new image sensor features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points – the world’s widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensor, says the company – that work together with 25 contrast AF points to achieve focus response that is about 40 percent faster than the original model. The 7R II utilizes an advanced motion-detection algorithm combined with this Fast Hybrid AF system to achieve up to 5 fps continuous shooting with AF tracking.
Additionally, the focal plane phase-detection AF system on the 7R II works well with Sony A-mount lenses when they are mounted on the camera using an LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 mount adapter. This allows users to enjoy the wide AF coverage of 399 focal plane phase-detection AF points, high-speed response and high tracking performance with a wider range of lenses. Sony notes this marks the first time that the AF system of a mirrorless camera can achieve high performance with lenses originally designed for DSLRs.
The 7R II is equipped with a 5-axis image stabilization system. Similar to the system launched on the 7 II, this advanced form of image stabilization corrects camera shake along five axes during shooting, including angular shake (pitch and yaw) that tends to occur with a telephoto lens, shift shake (X and Y axes) which becomes noticeable as magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects video recording. This camera shake compensation system is equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed approximately 4.5 steps faster.
Additionally, the 5-axis stabilization works cooperatively with Sony alpha lenses with optical SteadyShot (OSS) to provide maximum stabilization and clarity, while also performing “admirably” via a compatible mount adapter with Sony alpha A-mount lenses without on-board stabilization. Effects of the stabilization can be previewed via live-view on the LCD or OLED viewfinder of the camera.
In Super 35 mm video mode, the camera collects a wealth of information from approximately 1.8x as many pixels as 4K by using full pixel readout without pixel binning and oversamples the information to produce 4K movies with minimal moire and ‘jaggies.’
In full-frame mode, the 7R II utilizes the full width of the 35 mm sensor for 4K recording. It is the world’s first digital camera to offer this in-camera full-frame format 4K recording capacity, says Sony.
The camera utilizes the advanced XAVC S7 codec during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shooting.
Additionally, the 7R II features a variety of functions to support a professional video workflow including Picture Profile, S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut, 120 fps high frame rate movie shooting in HD (720p), time code, and clean HDMI output.
The camera has an upgraded XGA OLED Tru-Finder with a double-sided aspherical lens that delivers the world’s highest viewfinder magnification of 0.78x for crystal clear image preview and playback across the entire display area, says the company. Zeiss T* Coating is also utilized to reduce unwanted reflections.
The camera has a light, rigid magnesium alloy design, and has a re-designed grip and shutter button compared to its predecessor. There is also a new mechanism to conveniently lock the mode dial, and an expanded range of customizable functions and buttons.
The camera is Wi-Fi and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app available for Android and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s range of PlayMemories Camera Apps, which add a range of creative capabilities to the camera. For example, there is more creativity available now for time-lapse photography thanks to a new “Angle Shift add-on” app which allows users to easily add pan, tilt and zoom to time-lapse images without any additional shooting equipment or PC software required.
Sony has also introduced a new LCD monitor for video shooting.
The Sony alpha 7R II will be available in August.