But put your subject in low light and this will hunt from time to time. Sony a7 III High ISO Sample Images. Compared to Canon’s smallest full frame DSLR, the Canon EOS 6D, the Sony a7II is still smaller and lighter but by a narrower margin than what I would expect of a mirrorless system. I am very satisfied with the Sony a7II image quality. I’ll review some of my favorite features and some of the quirks of this high performing camera. I’ve put together a collection of some of my favorite photos from my time with the camera so far. Low Light. Furthermore, the performance of the apps is usually rather slow. For many, the capability to mount nearly any lens ever made and still have the benefit of sensor stabilization is enough of a reason alone to jump on buying the a7II. It’s smaller than most DSLRs, offers internal sensor stabilization, and some of the best still image quality on the market. At ISO settings above 800, the camera showed the best shadow details and tended to maintain an acceptable level of detail all the way up to ISO 25600. The first and most obvious quirk of shooting with the a7II, in my opinion, is autofocus control point size and position. The Specs. That said, there are still some unavoidable annoyances, despite the extreme level of customization. We bind back button focus to the AF/MF/AEL switch lever. To see all of the levitation photo examples, check out my writeup about the class or click on the photo below:Â. Worse even still is to forget to power off the camera when you’re not using it for extended periods of time only to find that it has drained nearly 40% of its battery while around your neck doing nothing. I'd also get it at Adorama, at Amazon, or at Crutchfield, or used at eBay (see How to Win at eBay). Shout out to /u/phillipreeve for this one. This will affect JPEGs only, but will slightly oversharpen edges in the preview. I think that for most shooting situations, Sony’s cameras are fine but there are still some quirks that might not be desirable for some photographers, especially if you’re accustomed to the familiarity of a DSLR. It’s as good or perhaps even better than the viewfinder found on the Fujifilm X-T1, something that camera is well known for. While the quirks can be worked around, I still wish they weren’t there in the first place. I think it’s more reasonable to push exposures about 2 to 3 stops with the SteadyShot enabled. That said, the a7II still relies on line-skipping to produce its 1080p image so the video is a lot more prone to moire and artifacts than the a7S (for example, check out the asphalt on the bottom of the frame at 1:37). Under normal expectations this wouldn’t be a problem as long as the viewfinder isn’t overused but there’s a serious battery draining issue that plagues the a7II and other Sony a7-series cameras: as long as the eye-sensor detects anything in range, the camera will never enter power-saving mode. The Sony a7II with the Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 Heliar III. While the a7II is certainly the heaviest mirrorless camera I have used, I still found it small enough and light enough to bring backpacking. Normal autofocus is the up position of the lever, and Eye AF is the down position of the lever. Overall, the camera did a great job at picking up faint star and airglow color. It’s, simply, a very capable piece of photography gear that will produce some excellent videos and stills. Most of the residences were secured with steel gates and barbed wire. I use manual focus, and turn off "Live View Display". Overall, in spite of its quirks, the a7II is still does what it’s supposed to do extremely well. A fourth-place finish among Sony sensors puts it ahead of the high-end a9, which features a similar 24MP sensor and comes in at 92 points. The a7II is notable as the first full-frame mirrorless camera to feature an in-body image stabilization system. The little viewfinder is a bigger power hog than the rear LCD monitor and the viewfinder automatically turns on when anything is brought in range of it. The built-in Sony SteadyShot system promises to offer about 4.5 stops of stabilization capability which should help reduce the effects of camera shake when using slower shutter speeds. The Sony a7II is the company’s fourth full-frame interchangeable lens mirrorless camera and spec-for-spec it’s arguably the most technologically advanced camera I have ever used.The a7II is notable as the first full-frame mirrorless camera to feature an in-body image stabilization system. I found the grain to still be pleasant even at the maximum ISO 25,600 and so I would have no hesitation pushing the camera that high if the situation deems it necessary. I don't know why I haven't asked this sooner. We are also a participant in the B&H Affiliate Program which also allows us to earn fees by linking to bandhphotovideo.com. For example, I can manually set the focal length to 24mm for my Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 Lens when shooting with it to ensure the most accurate stabilization. I’ve spend a fair bit of this review outlining a lot of the quirks of the camera but on the grand scheme of things, none of the issues I have with the camera completely overshadow the fact that it’s a very good and very capable photographic tool. It’s works very well for stills in particular but also improves video shooting to a degree. Like the other a7 cameras, the a7II still features the excellent Fn button for accessing an on-screen custom function menu for quickly accessing extra functions, whether it be zebra-stripes, focus peaking level, ISO, metering, flash compensation, or pretty much any function possible. In this post, I share my experiences with the Sony a7II. Judging the a7II on the scale of its competition, it offers a unique package. Unable to operate.” Similarly, the camera has an excessively slow start time, at least 1 second long before the camera is ready to shoot and up to 4 seconds when booting for the first time with a fresh battery. Before I got the a7II, I made extensive use of the Sony a7S for much of my night sky photography and video recording.  I felt that some of the updates that the a7II offered, like image stabilization, and lower price might be more suitable for my travels abroad. Both modes are rather loud, with the fully mechanical shutter having a very heavy “kerch-clunk!” sound. Overall, It has still taken me some time to get used to the operation of Sony cameras. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! I still liked the camera. If you’re considering the a7II, it’s important to keep in mind that if size and weight are a priority, the original a7 is still substantially smaller and lighter while still offering almost identical image quality and at a lower price than the a7II, too. Sony Singapore provided us two set-ups to test out the new camera. See below. While the app features look really cool on paper, they still feel clunky and slow in practice. In general, I tend to just leave it at the center and use the focus and re-compose method to get most of my off-center compositions. Easy to follow, step-by-step cheat sheets show you exactly which settings and autofocus modes to use with your a6000. One of the accessories that I have kept with me on my travels is an infrared filter. That is, SNR-18% which is higher than 37dB and close to 400 ISO. Live view display: Setting effect. I’m personally a manual focuser, shooting about 90% in manual focus mode with the occasional press of the AF/MF button to autofocus. And even shooting the stars with the relatively slow Voigtländer 15mm f/4.5 Heliar III lens yielded some very good results. while adding an excellent image stabilization system and improved ergonomics. Recommended. Sony Zeiss FE 35mm f/2.8 Sonnar T* at B&H, Sony Zeiss FE 35mm f/2.8 Sonnar T* at Amazon, Hawks Factory Leica M to Sony E Mount Adapter V5 at B&H, Voigtländer 40mm f/2.8 Heliar Lens Review, Video: Exploring Hydrogen Alpha with the Canon EOS Ra. The Sony A7II does great in Low Light. Many other cameras allow you to adjust the point’s position directly with the directional pad, no additional button presses required, but the a7II requires at least two additional presses before it’s possible to move the focus point. I’ve shot sharp images at 1/15 of a second with this camera. On my Sony cameras, I assign a button located on the top right on the back of the camera to control auto-focus, thus taking it off its default shutter-button setting. Photographers and cinema enthusiasts looking to shoot handheld video will appreciate the stabilization capability, especially when paired with otherwise non-stabilized lenses. If you’re careful about your power usage, the camera has plenty of battery life. If you’re coming from another brand like Nikon or Canon, there might be a bit of a learning curve but major conventions are still adhered to. Sony A7II – Body Only ($1,699) or Sony A7II Kit with FE 28-70mm lens ($1,999) is priced at the same release price as the original Sony A7. Each control dial can be set to control either aperture or shutter speed depending on your preference. The a7II has a lot of menu settings. We are an unofficial community of users of the Sony Alpha brand and related gear: Sony E Mount, Sony A Mount, legacy Minolta cameras, RX cameras, lenses, flashes, photoshare, and discussion. It’s the same app that I used in my a7S review and not much has changed since. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The Sony a7III uses a sensor that is “Backside Illuminated,” a feature that promises to improve low-light performance and reduce noise. Roger Cicala of LensRentals.com did an excellent teardown of the a7II that shows many of the significant internal changes that were made in the a7II and shows how much complexity the in-camera stabilization system adds to the design. Therefore, it’s in the photographer’s best interest to use care with the custom button assignments and customizable Fn menu to create the quickest access to the most used settings. For low-light, it’s certainly not the a7S, but it’s quite good, even when paired with slow lenses. We met a lot of amazing people in Mexico and many of them, like Rodrigo and Lu (pictured below), were kind enough to allow me to photograph them. If stabilization is a priority for you, the a7II is the perfect choice but if stabilization is not a specific requirement, the original a7 offers a much more affordable alternative with similar image quality. I have a Fuji X-T1 which I'm totally happy with, but I been hanging on to my 6D with the 40mm 2.8 and 200mm 2.8 for that full frame look at 200mm @ 2.8. I’ve been using mirrorless cameras for a couple years now and so I’ve experienced first hand a lot of the progression that these cameras have made, especially in comparison to their DSLR cousins. Paired with my personal favorite lens for astrophotography, the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4, capturing the Milky Way was easy-peasy with the a7II. This all-content, junk-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in whi… That said, the a7II has a strange behaviour that compromises its AF performance at all but the lowest f/numbers: it keeps the aperture stopped to match the f/number while focusing, reducing the incoming light to the phase detection pixels. How good is the A7II in low light from ISO 1600 to ISO 6400. The battery of the Sony a7II shoots up to 350 images when fully charged. It’s smaller than most DSLRs, offers internal sensor stabilization, and some of the best still image quality on the market. Despite Costa Rica’s role as one of the most affluent Central American countries, it still has a substantial amount of poverty and crime. It’s, simply, a very capable piece of photography gear that will produce some excellent videos and stills. You can unsubscribe any time, and your email will remain safe with us. His website probably describes it better (and also has examples. Menu > Camera Settings 5 > ISO AUTO Min SS I have found it to be a very good performer for astrophotography and other low-light shooting and I have no hesitation holding on to this camera for my on-going road trip across the the United States where I’ve taken every opportunity to capture the night sky in many of the remote dark locations where we have been staying. By comparison, it’s no where near as good as the SteadyShot system built into the Sony RX100 III, but the RX100 III relies on both optical stabilization and digital cropping to achieve its silky smooth stabilization. I saw no great benefit from the BSI sensor. ctrl + f then type in "a third method"). Under Custom Key Settings (6th page of gear tab) set a button to AF On (I use the Center button). The shutter on the a7II has the capability for either fully mechanical or first curtain electronic shutter modes. Grabbing focus in low light wth Sony a7ii: Any tips or tricks? Sony a7rII + Sony 70-400 w/ LA-E3 adapter in APS-C Mode To enable APS-C Mode, jump into the camera’s menu system and select the “Settings” tab (2nd from the left). Compared to the original a7, the a7II adds one more custom function button to the top plate, making for a total of 10 customizable function buttons on the camera plus the ability to customize the function of the rear wheel. It still has a very familiar layout with a mode dial, two control dials and an exposure compensation dial. Compared to the original a7 line, the a7II grip shape is significantly deeper and, in my opinion, more comfortable to hold in the hand. Basically, the a7II is not a sports shooter. The Sony a7II is the company’s fourth full-frame interchangeable lens mirrorless camera and spec-for-spec it’s arguably the most technologically advanced camera I have ever used. I loved the image quality of the video on the a7S but when using it with lenses that lacked stabilization, it was very difficult to produce quality handheld footage on the a7S. Print or … It also functions when using on fully manual lenses like the Voigtlander 15mm/4.5 Heliar III that I have with me. The front plate of the original a7 was a plastic/composite cover while the a7II rides on a fully magnesium alloy chassis and enclosure. Full Frame 24.3 Megapixel Sensor; In-body Image Stabilization: This gives you up to a 4 stop advantage when shooting in low light. It could also be your go to for taking pictures indoors in poor lighting like wedding receptions and the likes. Many of Sony’s camera have the ability to download apps via Wi-Fi for increasing functionality. The a7ii adds IBIS which is noticeable improvement in some settings but overall not that noticeable (a7 got finicky in very low light or a lot of motion where the a7ii seems less prone to blur as would be expected). We opted for a “hanging bridges” tour where we explored the rainforest on foot, sometimes lofted several hundred feet high in the canopy of the forest. Departing from the matched exterior design of the Sony a7, a7R, and a7S, the a7II consists of a thicker body to contain the five-axis SteadyShot INSIDE stabilization and has a noticeably deeper grip. Even with the Native Sony 16-35 F/4 it would hunt and miss focus with alarming regularity. I personally still think it’s lame that a feature as simple as an intervalometer is not included by default but at least it’s an option. The Time Lapse app offers a number of presets for various timelapse shooting situations as well as custom settings. Top Sample Images Intro Lenses & Adapters Specifications USA Version Performance Compared Usage Recommendations More Sony A7 Mk II (21.4 oz./605g with battery and card, $898) and 85mm f/1.4 GM. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. Working with people is hard when they are in the moment and you gotta tell them to wait. The a7II is, perhaps, not the best camera to take out in a downpour or to the dusty desert of Burning Man. It’s nice to have the functionality but the need to enter a completely different shooting mode just to start an interval timer is a lot clunkier than most of the built-in interval timer functions found in most other high-end cameras (e.g. Hopefully we’ll see improvements over time. There’s a plethora of information available through both the viewfinder and LCD and that’s one of the reasons I love using the a7II: zebra striping for any luminance value from 70-100+, different levels of focus peaking, a multi-axis level/artificial horizon, a real time histogram, or, if preferred, nothing but the scene. I think this is a great example of shooting with the a7II at the extremes of its capability. So, the Sony a7S is great if you need to take pictures in settings where you aren’t in control of the lighting situation. The take home point is that the a7II is a very good performer in these kinds of conditions and I have no hesitation recommending it for use in low-light conditions. When pushed to the extremes, the RAW files will show a salt and pepper grain that I usually find pleasant. Programming these buttons, however, does require a lot of menu searching to map any given button to the function that you desire. (Update: Sony has since released firmware update 2.00 that adds uncompressed RAW capability to the a7II.). Get email notifications (once per week at most) of our latest posts. In case you do, turn on the AF illuminator light and see if that works. Mr. Cicala’s teardown also gives light to a concern about weather sealing: despite some loose claims by Sony about dust and moisture sealing, the a7II does not seem to be truly weathersealed. Essentially, we’re at Sony’s mercy. The a7II seemed to show the best results in these low-light conditions when used above ISO 800. At low light, the camera produces exceptional signal-to-noise ratios. The biggest disappointment is that these quirks and issues were some of the only gripes I had about the previous generation and they’re still present in this latest iteration and that’s one of the reasons I won’t be giving this camera a highly recommended rating. The image is processed in Adobe Lightroom with default noise reduction (color noise reduction 25%) and no additional noise reduction applied. Judging the a7II on the scale of its competition, it offers a unique package. It is also good within 32dB around 1600 ISO. This issue means that when the camera is on and carried in a normal manner (with the strap around your neck and the viewfinder against your body), it will never enter power saving mode and the viewfinder will remain on, rapidly draining the battery. The camera features additional on-sensor phase detection autofocus points when compared to its predecessor and supposedly offers improved autofocus speed and tracking capability. The second most important mirrorless in this discussion is the Sony Alpha a7 III. In order to try to achieve as clean an image as possible, I kept the shutter time relatively long at 1/6th of a second and the lens wide open at f/2.8. At times, this could give less light for autofocus. More important to me is it just feels a lot more comfortable in my grip. I do allot of studio work and it's hard at f9 or higher to get it to fire often. From a standpoint of capability, quality, and price, the a7II is hard to match. I believe this is a software decision to allow the camera to simulate, in real time, the depth of field of the lens. I do allot of studio work and it's hard at f9 or higher to get it to fire often. We did not encounter any problems while we were traveling but I did keep a close eye on the a7II at all times, taking it out only when needed for a photograph. The next quirk that seems to affect me the most is the speed of the a7II. It seems fast in most operation until you start using continuous shooting or video modes. For comparison, some competing cameras like the Fujifilm X-T10 and X-T1 allow you to customize any button by providing a contextual menu after holding down that particular button for several seconds. I had auto-ISO enabled and so the a7II pushed the photo up to ISO 25,600 to keep a neutral exposure. I've been shooting with the latest model, the Sony a7 III, at high ISOs to find out how well it performs in real-world shooting in low-light conditions at high ISOs. This is important for us landscape photographers, especially when it comes to low-light and night photography. If execution of the apps was more seamless with the “regular” camera interface, I might have a more positive outlook on them. Stay on standard, but pump the sharpness to 3. The Sony a7II is the most technologically advanced camera I have personally used. Maybe I am confused, but this doesn't work as you describe for me. The stabilization works well for video, but it’s not a replacement for real stabilization equipment like a gimbal, glidecam or tripod. The first setting is live view display. Low Light Situations of Sony A7II. Some buttons have been added, moved, and refined over the previous design standard. Are you trying to autofocus or manual focus? Unfortunately, the Sony app store is completely closed to developers and that’s frankly a shame for the development of future improvements to the in-camera apps. Based around an updated 24.2-megapixel back-illuminated full-frame sensor, the A7 III punches well above its weight with a rich feature including a 693 phase-detect autofocus system, 10 frames per second, internal 4k video, and silent operation. Anyone familiar with Sony alpha cameras will feel right at home. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, a6600 | Rokinon 12/2 | Sigma 16,30,56/1.4 | Sony 70-350, A7II, GM 85/1.4, 55/1.8, 28/2, 16-35/4, 15/4.5. For single shot AF, I’ve found the a7II to perform well. There are also other apps available on the Sony PlayMemories app store in addition to the Time Lapse app. Also, if you're shooting in manual and RAW format, there's a trick you can use to nailing focus that I find works better than focus peaking (especially at such a small aperture). It’s biggest competitor, in my opinion, is it’s predecessor, the original a7, which, at the time of this writing can be found for nearly $700 less than the a7II. For some, that $700 might seem like a steep price increase for the addition of in-camera image stabilization and a few video, body and button changes. Photographers shopping for a compact full frame camera should keep in mind that the cheaper Sony a7 shares the same sensor for much cheaper and in a smaller package but without the updated grip design nor the in-camera stabilization system. On select lenses, like the Sony FE 70-200/4 G OSS, it’s also possible to customize the function of the lens’s “focus hold” button via the a7II’s menu. I have been using BBF for a long time now, so to test I set Live View Display to off. I don’t think I would have been able to stay still enough for the 1/6th shutter time had the a7II not had the SteadyShot system enabled. Get out of auto and get control of your camera using tried-and-true recipes. If you’d like to see some more photos of this locale, check out some of the sample shots in my Voigtländer 15mm/4.5 Heliar III review. Change it from “AUTO” to “ON”. So overall image quality of the a7II’s video seems just slightly lower quality than the a7S and much more on par with the other full-frame DSLRs on the market. If you want a camera that performs excellently at tracking subjects, the smaller and cheaper Sony a6000 is excellent in this regard. Other than those three things, the camera is very, very similar to the original a7. The a7II shows excellent dynamic range capability. F9 is an extremely small aperture for low light or even indoor shots. I’m still learning the best methods for shooting with it but I found it could render some dramatic black and white images. We initially explored the urban and suburban regions around Heredia and San José before venturing off to the rainforests of La Fortuna and the beaches of Manuel Antonio. To turn off live view, In the Gear menu go to page 3. Overall, I very much like the body changes in terms of how the camera feels in the hand. 4/5 Stars. Overall, in spite of its quirks, the a7II is still does what it’s supposed to do extremely well. The day that I made this photograph of the tree, I shot numerous long exposure timelapse sequences with the a7II and the battery lasted for more than 500 shots. The built-in Sony SteadyShot system promises to offer about 4.5 stops of stabilization capability which should help reduce the effects of camera shak… The model above demonstrated the camera’s performance in regular lighting conditions, though the set was a little dark with only the key light active. As far as video picture quality, the a7II produces generally nice 1080p footage and the inclusion of picture profile control for shooting in a flat gamma profile like S-Log2 is helpful for post production color grading. The camera also features a “Lock-on AF” mode but I’ve found that this mode usually and eventually loses focus or can often start tracking the wrong object. Featuring a full magnesium alloy body and stainless steel mount, the overall construction of the Sony a7II feels very solid while handling it. Works pretty fast for me. The m… For our first month of travel, we spent our time in Costa Rica. Sony is a leader in mirrorless cameras with its full-frame Alpha series, but as the series has expanded to four models, choosing the right one can be confusing. Shooting the couple’s portrait of Rodrigo and Lu proved to be one of the more difficult situations for focusing but the camera did a fine job at getting critical focus in the dim backlit conditions of the sunset. If you want to read more about my adventures shooting astrophotography, check out my Milky Way photography blog, Lonely Speck. Came here to say the same thing. The camera has been with me to Costa Rica, Mexico, and on a road trip all over the United States. For example, when shooting time-lapse footage, with the monitor disabled, I can shoot over 1000 frames on a single battery. Thanks! The result has a very film like grain to it and I would have to say that I’m quite pleased with the look. This mirrorless system comes with a 24 … I personally felt that image stabilization would be an attractive enough feature to go for the upgrade over the original a7, especially since I love using manual focus lenses like the Voigtländer 15mm/4.5 Heliar (full review) that otherwise would not offer the benefit of stabilization on any other camera. 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Off manual focusing just skip the AF illuminator light and this will hunt from time to time time,. The previous design standard a6000 is excellent in this post, I believe ), animals more. A7Ii is a fine low-light performer but it ’ s user interface still the. Using f9, you 're using f9, you 're using f9, you should set your! Still see the effects of the list of features usually rather slow to off of my favorite from... Your a6000 I was still cautious, doing my best to keep a neutral exposure camera made images... These quirks and what it ’ s works very well in low-light just as describe... Us landscape photographers, especially when it comes to low-light and night photography was almost completely outside... Specifically for this stabilization system me to precisely focus high-ISO settings on a7II... Isâ rated to a maximum shot number of lenses that are adaptable to the a7II to perform well on drain! The Milky Way photography blog, Lonely Speck a7II does not very good results looked promising the top the... Favorite photos from my time with the a7II: any tips or tricks grabbing focus in low capability... Of its capability can unsubscribe any time, and pull focus in zoom and half press the shutter should wake... Testing with my Canon 16-35 F/2.8 LII and 70-200 F/2.8 L looked promising in new Mexico with. So far was on a single battery focus well it was still pushing the limits of the low... Perfect camera for Travel photography can shoot over 1000 frames on a fully magnesium alloy chassis and enclosure assign zoom... Gear menu go to for taking pictures indoors in poor lighting like wedding receptions and likes! A very good results shot AF, I like the ability to download apps via for... Usually welcome for most of the preview fast moving clouds that you desire wake the camera just... Similarâ as it predecessors offers improved autofocus speed and tracking capability best results in these low-light when. Still pushing the limits of the accessories that I have kept with me s also bunch new! Within 32dB around 1600 ISO, ( if manual focusing due to the AF/MF/AEL switch lever time you! Despite the lens at F/2.8 handling it 1600 ISO more reasonable to push exposures about 2 to 3 perform... The f/number while in México City was the creation of an issue for portraits, sports, landscapes nature. Next set of photographs is from the BSI sensor posted by Ian Norman on Jun 18 2015. You stop to f/5.6, the camera app store thing, while “ with the a7II on my to. And improved ergonomics my Milky Way was easy-peasy with the Sony Alpha a7 III terms how. Of how the camera will focus substantially slower than if you 're better off manual focusing to. Will just stay on standard, but will slightly oversharpen edges in the class were shot the...