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Andrew Reid

Sony A7 II review - 5 axis stabilisation in video mode

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The Sony A7 II is the first full frame mirrorless camera with 5 axis stabilisation inside (sensor shift based).

It also gets some ergonomic and video upgrades such as XAVC-S at 50Mbit/s, S-LOG and 120fps. But how does image quality compare to the Sony A7S and how effective exactly is the much anticipated "SteadyShot Inside" for video?

Read the full article here

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

"The A7S remains by far the best option for video shooters and filmmakers. At the time of writing it is not much more than $500 off the price of the A7 II. It’s worth the extra." Yep just what I taught, I hope the A7s II will get some of the ergonomics issues fixed! And have a better In Body Stabilization, right now I don't see the use of it for video!

 

Great article btw Andrew!

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Well this is a disappointment. Everything I was hopeful about - IBIS and improved ergonomics, mainly - seems to be lackluster. The jittery-ness of the stabilization is really noticeable.

Thanks for the review, Andrew. Well done as always.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Wow I don't like what I am seeing here at all. The stabilization is very steady as in to shoot stills with but not video suited at all with this kins of weird, robotic, stcato motion. And pretty disappointed it has any aliasing or moire, I mean everybody solved these last decade effects years ago now, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, even Samsung. And hey what the hell was that green line? O.o

I guess I am disappointed because every Sony release has been a true steal lately so they set the bar pretty high for themselves with the A7r, A7s, A6000, and fs7.

Thank you heaps for the early straight forward review. Just what we needed to know, Aliasing performance and IS performance in video mode.

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I'm not really disappointed, while it's unfortunate that the IBIS on the a7 II isn't great I am glad that SONY have stepped in this direction and I hope they keep pushing forward as they have been doing.

Hopefully the a7S II will be an improvement again ontop of what they have already done.

And if SAR is anything to go by I am highly anticipating the a9 which is supposed to be aimed more at pros than the a7 series.

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I didn't the demo video looked that bad.  Yes there were some micro-jitters, but when Andrew seemed to have the camera steady it looked very nice.  

 

About the aliasing, guess I have a bone to pick here :)  Without full sensor pixel binning (which requires a lot of processing/energy) aliasing/moire is always to be expected in full-frame with high pixel counts (unlike a7S).  I feel most people on this forum understand this.  Can we knock Sony for aliasing in a 24mp full-frame camera?   Video-wise, you choose either shallow DOF/aliasing or Not-so-shallow DOF/cleaner image.  There are some low-light and saturation issues in there too.  Even with the A7S, you give up some dynamic range in low ISO.

 

For the consumer market, I see this as another win for Sony.  

 

Of course, great review as always!  I'd like to understand more about XVACs and S-Log.  How does it compare to say the ProRes you get out of a BM camera.

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Yeah, the jitteryness was the first think I noticed.   Its weird that it corrects well for big movements but not for shake, I would have thought that with stills-where you are trying to keep the camera still, that high frequency shaky movement would be the most important thing to tackle.

 

Did you have the camera held out in your hands all the time or are there shots where you used he viewfinder giving three points of contact?

If the latter, that is even more dissapointing.

 

Ultimately I think the image quality lets it down anyway, but like you said it would be good if they could get it improved for the a7s 2

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This worries me, Im the proud owner of the A7S and Im very happy with it, however, I was really hoping to see some firmware updates in the future that fix the most stupid things like no programmable shortcut for aps-c or direct link to framerate settings. Simple things like that make the camera a joy to use and should be addressed if you want your customers to be happy.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Can we knock Sony for aliasing in a 24mp full-frame camera? .


The thing is other companies are doing it. The D750 has a 24mp full frame sensor with no aliasing or moire, even the 36mp D810 has absolutely none, the Canon 22mp full frame in the 5D has none, and the 18mp in the 1Dx/1DC.

This makes me believe that the sensor in the D750 is in fact designed by Nikon and is a better technology than Sony ones. I always thought the D750 had a Sony chip therefore expected the A7 II to get the same one naturally without any aliasing or moire, so a bit disappointed. I don't think cameras should be aliasing from now on.

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The thing is other companies are doing it. The D750 has a 24mp full frame sensor with no aliasing or moire, even the 36mp D810 has absolutely none, the Canon 22mp full frame in the 5D has none, and the 18mp in the 1Dx/1DC.

This makes me believe that the sensor in the D750 is in fact designed by Nikon and is a better technology than Sony ones. I always thought the D750 had a Sony chip therefore expected the A7 II to get the same one naturally without any aliasing or moire, so a bit disappointed. I don't think cameras should be aliasing from now on.

 

Hi Ebrahim, all the aliasing tests for the 750 I've seen were not shot in a way that I feel suitably tests it.  Are you using a 750 and can you, have you, shot bright thin lines in hard light?  I'd love to be wrong, but I'm not convinced ;)  Especially from Nikon.  My 600 could create moire with a bowl of porridge!  (of course, big Nikon stills fan).  And if there is no aliasing I'm going to wonder if the resolution is paying the price.

 

BTW, now that I have a better idea how S-Log works, I WANT IT BAD!  It seems to solve my biggest complaint about most of these cameras (lack of dynamic range detail).  BH is having a deal on BMPCCs where you can get camera and $400+ lens and some other stuff for $995.  Thinking of getting back into RAW misery.  $2,500 for the A7S, body only, ouch!  :(   However, the a7II opening with a $1,700 price.  Not an easy decision here!  The video from the a7 ain't bad.  And I have lots of old lenses that wouldn't mind a little stabilization.  

 

Will be curious to see what Andrew thinks after more time with the camera.

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The jittering looks the same as with certain Panasonic POWER OIS lenses (14-140mm v2 and 35-100mm 2.8). It still seems that the jitter is not bothering the reviewers and the majority of users. I have GH4 and 14-140mm v2 and the jittering ruins my handheld video shots and I am very unhappy.

 

Stabilization program makers would be pleased if this is the future trend of OIS.

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Thanks for the review, I was curious about this cam. I do have an Olympus EM1 and like you already wrote; the 

stabilization of the EM1 looks much better, this jitter is horrible.. But if you are looking for mainly pictures it's

maybe really useful. And it shoots video.., but I wouldn't buy it for that.

  ;)

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Thanks for this first look . . .

 

Too bad the stabilization seems a bit disappointing!

 

One other thing:

Did you have an opportunity to look at the autofocus accuracy and speed improvements, if any?  This was the other BIG headliner for the A7 II - that (especially for stills, perhaps) the autofocus now matches the speed and agility of the a6000.

 

Do you have any thoughts you could share on this aspect of the A7 II, regarding improvements in autofocusing with stills and video?

 

Thanks!!

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Thanks for the review Andrew. Regarding your High ISO comments about the A7s's ISO 12,800 being equivalent to the A7 at ISO 3,200, my tests indicate the A7s doesn't start pulling ahead until ISO 12,800, at least for stills (which is the context you made your comments in). Video of course a different matter. Here's a carefully-controlled High ISO stills comparison I did between the A7r/A7/A7s, all normalized to the same resolution (stills): http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/54031579

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Thanks, That's great!

 

 

I am not disappointed at all.

 

A7s is a video camera that can shoot nice stills, unlike the A7s, this is a nice stills camera that can shoot video to a nice amateur level with many of the tools to make it more usable.

 

I have been happy with the existing A7 but this just improves things.         IBIS for stills at least is something I love.     Better 50/60p is a bonus.

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