2015-06-15

Sony launch the stunning new A7R II with 42MP full frame sensor!

The Sony A7R has been replaced at the top of the A7 range with the new A7R II. The A7R featured a
36mp sensor whereas the A7R II moves to a 42.4mp Back-illuminated CMOS sensor.

The A7R II also adds the superb 5-axis Image stabilisation system first featured in the A7 II plus will shoot 4k video internally. Silent shooting and fast Hybrid AF area also featured.

Featuring the worlds first 42.4mp Back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, the A7R II shoots up to 102,400 ISO and has a high speed AF system (40% faster than the A7R) aided by 399 focal plane phase detection AF points.

With the ultra-high ISO capability and improved AF system plus the 5-axis Stabilisation system from the A7 II the A7R II should produce superb results in any lighting conditions.

The excellent viewfinder featured in the A7R has been further refined with a double spherical lens to now provide the worlds highest (0.78x) viewfinder magnification and features Zeiss T* coating.

Another key upgrade from the A7R is a totally new shutter mechanism promising low noise and crucially low-vibration as well as a rating of 500,000 actuations - impressive! The shutter features an electronic first curtain option to eliminate vibration as well as a totally silent all-electronic option.
Continuos drive at up to 5 frames per second should be adequate for most requirements though with a CIPA battery life of 290 shots you probably will want to carry extra batteries.

Returning to the sensor, the 42.4mp chip with no low-pass filter allows data transfer around 3.5x faster than the A7R and features a gapless on-chip design and an anti-reflective coating on the sensors glass seal to dramatically improve light collection efficiency. Sony claim the A7R II is now a true all-rounder with photographers able to choose this model for all applications rather than going for a model aimed at high resolution or high ISO performance.

The A7R II is a perfect match for the range of Sony FE full frame lenses and can accept  Sony A-mount lenses via the LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 adapter which then auto-focus using the 399 focal plane phase-detect AF points for high speed focussing and tracking performance. This is the first time DSLR lenses can achieve high AF performance on a mirrorless camera. It will be interesting to see how the Metabones Canon-EF adapter works with this new capability which allows coverage around 67% of the frame in each direction.

The 5-axis image stabilisation system has been fine-tuned for the requirements of the 42.4mp sensor and compensates for angular shake (pitch and yaw), shift shake (X and Y axis) and rotational shake. The system offers a 4.5 stop benefit allowing considerable lower shutter speeds in hand held shooting.

Any Sony lens with optical image stabiliser built in works cooperatively with the in-camera system for best possible results.

The 4K movie capability allows shooting in QFHD 3840x2160 quality in either Super 35mm crop  mode or full-frame mode.

In Super 35mm mode the A7R II collects about 1.8x as many pixels as 4K to produce 4k movies with minimal moire and jaggies.

In full-frame mode the A7R II uses the full 35mm width of the sensor and becomes the world first digital camera to offer this in-camera full frame 4k recording capacity.

The video shooting XAVC S (vii) codec records at 100Mbps during 4K recording and 50Mbps during full HD shooting and the camera features a number of features to support professional workflow including S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut, clean HDMI output and 120fps HD (720p) movie shooting.

Naturally, the A7R II features WiFi and NFC and is fully compatible with the Sony PlayMemories Mobile application for Android and iOS platforms.

The body design features a re-designed handgrip and shutter button and a rigid magnesium alloy construction for lightness combined with strength. A new locking mechanism for the mode-dial and an expanded range of customisable functions and buttons allow you to set the camera up exactly how you wish.

So overall, this looks to be a stunning addition to the A7 range and a true all-rounder with it's high ISO performance, 5-axis stabilisation, superb AF system and 4K video shooting capability stand-out features. The A7 range has continually improved from an already very high standard and the A7R II takes the best features of the range and further enhances them.

Park Cameras will be receiving some of the first available A7R II cameras in the UK so to pre-order or express your interest please contact us on 01444 23 70 70 or visit us in our Burgess Hill or Central London stores.

Sony have indicated that stock will be expected 'Summer 2015' and the price is yet to be confirmed (although here at Park Cameras, we will of course be competitive!) .

You can learn more about the current line-up of products from Sony by visiting Park Cameras at our Imaging Festivals on Saturday 20th June (Burgess Hill) or Saturday 27th June (London) where a technical expert from Sony UK will be in store! Learn more at www.parkcameras.com/festival2015.

Steve
Park Cameras

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