The world has been awaiting the Sony a7R II for a while now. The top-of-the-line DSLR-killer has created a buzz with mouth watering features like internal 4K recording, a 42 Megapixel sensor and internal 5-axis image stabilization. To know whether you should upgrade to the A7s, click here.
The good news is the a7R II has already started shipping in some parts of Europe, and will start shipping in the US from August 5th. The rave reviews have already started flowing in.
Here’s our roundup of the most interesting and relevant reviews (for a quick list of known issues, scroll to the bottom):
1] Davide Roveri tests the a7R II’s 4K video modes, dynamic range and picture profiles:
Here are various video modes and picture profiles of the Sony ?7R II in 4K:
1) FF baseline picture (PP OFF): 00:10
2) S35 baseline picture (PP OFF) (focal length matched to FF): 00:26
3) FF S-Log2/S-Gamut exposure set (±0, +1, +2 stops): 00:42
4) S35 S-Log2/S-Gamut exposure set (±0, +1, +2 stops): 01:14
5) FF S-Log2/S-Gamut XAVC S 100M vs 60M comparison: 02:21
6) FF baseline picture (PP OFF) under and over exposure set (±0, -1, -2, +1, +2 stops): 02:54
7) S35 baseline picture (PP OFF) under and over exposure set (±0, -1, -2, +1, +2 stops): 04:16
8) FF S-Log2/S-Gamut under and over exposure set (±0, -1, -2, +1, +2 stops): 05:38
9) S35 S-Log2/S-Gamut under and over exposure set (±0, -1, -2, +1, +2 stops): 07:01
10) FF picture profiles comparison: 08:24
11) S35 picture profiles comparison: 10:34
Here’s this next test comparing the a7R II to the A7s, and low light tests:
1) First impressions about the camera: 00:07
2) ?7R II 4K FF low light test: 06:38
3) ?7R II 4K S35 low light test: 08:01
4) ?7S 1080 FF low light test: 09:24
5) 4K S35 vs FF low light comparison: 10:14
6) ?7S 1080 FF vs ?7R II 4K FF comparison: 11:37
7) ?7S 1080 FF vs ?7R II 4K S35 comparison: 12:27
Download a higher quality version of the video here: http://we.tl/XBCZm1NsgK
2] Wayne Goodman, a photographer from Manchester, England created a video review of the Menu system explaining the various modes and options available within the camera.
He also has some more videos on his channel showing the a7R II’s various capabilities in live conditions. You can check it out. Here’s another example of a low light focus comparison of the Sony FE 35mm vs Canon EF 40mm lenses:
This video shows a low light comparison focusing test of the Sony 35mm FE f2.8 lens vs the Canon 40mm f2.8 Pancake lens (fitted to a complete adapter).
The Canon lens also exhibits noisy aperture stops and a noisier focusing motor in comparison to the silent 35mm Sony FE.
3] Alex Pasquini has a real world review of the a7R II:
…No color correction or grading applied. I used a customised version of Picture Profile 2 (details below and in the video)…
…Tripod and hand-held. 5 Axis Steadyshot was used with non IS lenses. Shutter Speeds: Various (Sometimes very High). ISO: 200 almost exclusively. Spot Metering. Occasional use of ND Filter on the 50mm 1.4 to achieve 180 degree shutter (1/50). I wanted this to be as run and gun and as fluid as possible. Shot in 4k 25p. Slow motion has been upsized. Original in-camera Mic. Editing in FCPX on a 5k imac…
And a newer video:
Again, like test 1, this is not a scientific test, just little experiments with the camera.
No color correction or grading applied (unless stated). A mix of Full Frame and Super35 modes.
Tripod and hand-held. Steadyshot was used with non IS lenses. Shutter Speeds: 1/50 and above. Spot Metering.
Occasional use of ND Filters ( Tiffen Variable NDs). 1 or 2 clips S-Log2. Date: 2nd – 4th August 2015.
4] And here’s a moire test by Roman Boensch:
…I tested noise and moiré performance at Vienna Mainstation, some moirè on the “test-chart-ceiling” even in this slightly out of focus area, Canon 17mm TS @ f 8, on metabones, iso 3200, picture profile off, 4k internal XAVC S, crop mode, standard kontrast, saturation, sharpness, settings: 0,0,0
some aliasing and moiré is visible, even in the original footage at 1:1, some noise and softness is due to vimeo downsampling that is reducing detail and hard edge artefacts, so u don’t see what is going on here,..
Tons of reviews will be popping up in the coming weeks. Bookmark this page to get updated on the latest and most relevant reviews, as we’ll be adding more reviews here as and when they hit.
Confirmed Issues with the a7R II
Here’s a list of confirmed (by at least two sources) issues with the a7R II:
- The focus magnification sucks, and is not very clear
- Focus peaking is unreliable and hard to use, even for video
- The camera tends to overheat quickly while shooting 4K and might stop recording
- You can configure the record button, but you can’t configure the FF to APS-C switch, which is stupid
- The rolling shutter in APS-C mode is worse than the rolling shutter on the a7S in FF mode!
- You can’t take stills while recording video.
So far, it’s looking like a winner! No major problems reported, though as I have written before, Sony a7S users might be better off staying put for the a7S II.