On June 10th, Sony announced the a7R II, the next addition to their disruptive line of full frame mirrorless cameras. While the camera will begin shipping to customers in the next day or two, I had the opportunity to put it to use for a few days. While there will certainly be no shortage of deep tech reviews of this camera, I’m going to spend a few minutes sharing photos and usability experiences with this fine specimen. I’m also making two untouched RAW files available for download and review. Both photos were taken with the Sony a7R II and the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 lens. I just ask that you honor my copyright and not distribute or sell them as your own. [RAW 01] [RAW 02]
To start, I’d like to address two logistical questions that I’ve been asked several times already. The first has to do with the file size of the a7R II’s RAW file. The native file size is 43.2 MB as reported by Mac OS Yosemite’s Finder app. The next question has to do with the native resolution of the output files. Adobe Lightroom reports each RAW file having a resolution 7952×5304.
On a superficial level, the camera feels wonderfully balanced when handholding it. If you’ve spent any time using Sony’s a7 II camera released earlier this year, you’ll be right at home with the A7R II, as the body is virtually identical with a size difference of .6mm. To put it into context, my Really Right Stuff L-Bracket that was custom fit for the a7 II fits perfectly on the a7R II, providing unimpeded access to the battery door and side ports.
As an owner of the original a7R, I’m happy to say that it’s newborn brother has been improved in just about every way. Between the quieter and more accurate electronic front shutter to the implementation of a 40% faster Phase Detection AF system, the a7R II does away with one of the biggest complaints of its predecessor. On top of that, several new sensor technologies have been implemented to make the camera’s massive 46 megapixels sing.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the inclusion of in-body 4k recording. I was fortunate enough to find a zen-like frog who happily posed for me as I filmed him in a creek at Wyeth Park. Be sure to change the video quality to 4k to truly appreciate the fine recording quality.
Another little feature that I am SO happy about is the implementation of a self-time with bracketing. Now, you can set a 2-, 5-, or 10-second timer that will execute a series of bracketed photos automatically. This has been a much requested feature by Sony users and it’s great to see that the engineers are listening.
Now, I can go on and on about what is great about this camera but I’d much rather hear from you. What questions do you have about the camera? Concerns? Excitement? Let me know!