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Any Sony A7 II users here - how bad is it really?


jase
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I really really would love to use the Voigtländer Nokton 40mm f1.2 and therefore I am in the market for a Sony FF body. I dont want to live without IBIS (although I am aware it is not as great as the ones of Panasonic / Olympus) and I would like to invest as little as possible into the body, which means that the Sony A7 II is the cheapest solution, followed by the A7R II.

I know that @Andrew Reid reviewed the A7 II and found it pretty bad because of moire et al. On top of that, it is only 1080p and not 4k. However, I am not a pro by any means and history has shown me that my audience doesnt care whether I film in 720p with a GM1 or in 4k with a GH5. So my question is if there are any A7 II users out there that are/have used this camera and can tell me how bad it really is? I think I remember that @Mattias Burling reviewed it a while ago, but I cant find the post anymore...

Say your audience are your friends and all you do is filming stuff in your leisure time and you dont do any paid work, does the A7 II do the trick or should I really invest more money into the A7R II body? 

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I am sorry that I don't own an a7 II and can't give you exact advice.

My a6500 has poor quality 1080p and for me it is very annoying. My understanding is that the 1080p out of the a7 II is supposed to be as bad or worse than out of my a6500.

You might search youtube for things like:

a7 II cinematic

a7 II test

a7 II 1080p

a7 II grading

a7 II voigtlander

And look at the clips that show up. That should give you a pretty good idea of what kind of quality you can expect from the a7 II.

Of course, the best solution would be to rent one from a place that has an option to buy it if you like it.

 

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36 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

If you are into video you don't want a A7 mkII at all.

Did you ever use the camera? What are the things you didnt like if you had it?

23 minutes ago, cantsin said:

You're better off with a $500 Panasonic GX85 (with 4K & IBIS) than with the A7ii.

I actually own that camera. The point is I want to use that lens - and m43 cant offer me that.

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If you're just shooting for fun, don't care about 4k, the a7II is a great option IMO. I'd get it over the original a7s just for the IBIS and 24mp stills. The a7II skips lines, so its not as sharp as the a7s, but IBIS is a difference maker. Noise starts to creep in at 6400, 12800 is worse, but with a f/1.2 lens you should be able to keep ISO's down. Used prices (looking at Fred Miranda's buy/sell board) are in the $700 range, the a7rII's have bottomed around $1300-1400. I just sold mine for $1425 and that included the Meike battery grip, a few extra batteries and a couple chargers. That difference almost gets you the 40/1.2 - which looks like a great lens, I want one too. The a7rII's video is pretty mushy at all FF resolutions, but the 40 gets a little long in s35 mode where the video is much better.

Cheers

Chris

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31 minutes ago, jase said:

Did you ever use the camera? What are the things you didnt like if you had it?

I actually own that camera. The point is I want to use that lens - and m43 cant offer me that.

Most people choose a camera first. To say the least it's unusual to choose a lens & then choose the camera based on that one lens.

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If it were me, I'd be tempted to get the Leica M mount version of it instead.

Reason being that if you stick with Sony then down the line you can buy a TechArt Pro adapter and get it to auto focus and if you don't stick with Sony (or want to use it with other cameras) it can adapt to every other mount cheaply. 

Whereas with the e mount you would be locked in.

Steve Huff did a shootout between the two versions and found some differences but frustratingly it's not clear whether he did the retest with some setting changes that might have been the cause of it.

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2018/02/22/quick-shoot-out-voigtlander-40-f-1-2-m-mount-vs-voigtlander-40-f-1-2-e-mount/

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2 hours ago, jase said:

Did you ever use the camera? What are the things you didnt like if you had it?

 

I have had a Sony A7, A7r, and now the A7s. Not had the A7 mk II. But I have looked and read a Ton about it. And if you are into video it is not worth having because of the not so hot at High ISO, 1080p is not near a good as the A7s is. Other than the IBIS I see no use for it other than a Photo taking camera.The Only cameras to have from Sony for video work is the A7s, A7s mk II, and the A7r mk II in the s35 crop mode , and now the A7 mk III. I don't know much about the A7r mk III for video, way out of my price range. Even the Sony A9 is not so hot for video. It is pretty much the A7s series or go somewhere else for video. Other than  the A7s series you can use the A7r mk II using it in s35 mode and use a speedbooster and bring it back up to FF. Footage looks great and the Rolling Shutter is helped a lot. The original A7s, A6300, A6500 are the poster child for the definition of Rolling Shutter. But you learn to not swing them around like a wild man, point them out the window driving at 100 MPH at a 90 degree angle Lol.

The A6300 are terrible for 1080p unless you shoot in 4K and downsample. Why bother having it. Now the A6500 is Really good in 4K and has IBIS and the half ass touchscreen. 1080p again, not so hot. There is no cheap way out on anything video related that doesn't have some big compromise. Even a Arri Alexa is a wounded whale rigged up, eating memory up faster than you can feed it, and takes 3 people to run it well. But the Panny G7, GH4, original BMPCC can get the job done. Hell a new iPhone is not so bad any more to be honest. Skill overcomes money and lack of knowledge. I am as guilty as anyone, but I believe if you know any camera inside out, every trick it has to offer, every hurdle is has that can be overcome, you can get magic out of Any camera. You have to shoot, shoot, shoot with it. Hell actually read the manual.

We all know you can go on YT or Vimeo and find fabulous footage from every camera imaginable. It can be done with skill ,and knowing the camera you have inside and out. And well the real weak point most of us have is editing, and editing well, coloring well. Heck it is more important than the camera in a sense.

A person that was super good at editing and had a BMPCC hell you could have Great footage, Jaw dropping stuff. It just takes practice, over and over. It doesn't require a lot of money, just the drive, desire to make stuff that is Wow, that is Impressive.

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You should get a a7rii or wait a bit a a7sii price will drop as well.

To give you an idea I sold my ursa mini 4.6k after getting a a7rii ( I initially got it for photo) because the it was excellent in video and could not justify keeping the URSA over it ( yes the URSA have better codec, but they both have fairly similar DR and the A7rii have better iso/autofocus /stabilisation and form factor)

A7ii is definitely great for photos, but as other said it s not great for video.

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1 hour ago, cantsin said:

Back to the A7ii... This clip has been shot by an extremely competent amateur filmmaker (who's also shot excellent material with the BM Pocket and A7s):

If you're happy with this image quality, buy the camera. (I wouldn't.)

Thanks, that definitely helps!

1 hour ago, BTM_Pix said:

If it were me, I'd be tempted to get the Leica M mount version of it instead.

Reason being that if you stick with Sony then down the line you can buy a TechArt Pro adapter and get it to auto focus and if you don't stick with Sony (or want to use it with other cameras) it can adapt to every other mount cheaply. 

Whereas with the e mount you would be locked in.

Steve Huff did a shootout between the two versions and found some differences but frustratingly it's not clear whether he did the retest with some setting changes that might have been the cause of it.

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2018/02/22/quick-shoot-out-voigtlander-40-f-1-2-m-mount-vs-voigtlander-40-f-1-2-e-mount/

I did consider the M mount variant, but it lacks tue close focus and the automatic magnify option although i dont really care about the latter..

3 minutes ago, Laurier said:

You should get a a7rii or wait a bit a a7sii price will drop as well.

To give you an idea I sold my ursa mini 4.6k after getting a a7rii ( I initially got it for photo) because the it was excellent in video and could not justify keeping the URSA over it ( yes the URSA have better codec, but they both have fairly similar DR and the A7rii have better iso/autofocus /stabilisation and form factor)

A7ii is definitely great for photos, but as other said it s not great for video.

Thanks, maybe i just need to try it by myself.

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Of course like most cameras these days it's possible to get good results. There are better options clearly when it comes to video but here is a vid I shot on the a7 ii a year or 2 ago. (To see something by someone with less talent than the example above)

Mostly just to put some video to my music and it's the cam I had with me in Kazakhstan at the time. 

 

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There are way too many armchair professionals around here so @jase, I think it will be difficult for you to get an honest opinion of this camera based on YOUR criteria for wanting one.

I shared your interest in this camera about a year ago and scoured Vimeo and YouTube for video samples and honestly, I found some pretty good stuff shot with it, so for the price... go for it.

You’ve proven time and time again that you are more than capable enough to produce quality work with whatever camera you have in your hands.

If you don’t like it, you can easily sell it and get your money back, or very close to it... so where’s the harm? Or maybe you’ll like the lens so much that you’ll want to upgrade to the a7iii. I see no harm in a good old fashioned test. 

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