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Sony Alpha A7R Mark II (ILCE-7RM2) Review - Performance

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Sony Alpha A7R II Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide 35mm - Focus / Shutter Response 0.4secs (35mm)
Telephoto 55mm - Focus / Shutter Response 0.35secs (55mm)
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.8secs (MF)
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.7secs
Shot to Shot with Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
4.2fps (30 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - RAW 5fps (20 shots)

Focus is relatively quick, although this does depend on the lens used. It's possible to take 30 shots before slowdown when shooting JPEG images, and it takes roughly 10 seconds to write 30 JPEG images to memory. (Lens compensation auto, same speed when off). Shooting raw it took 18 seconds to write 20 raw files to the memory card. A high-speed Panasonic SDXC UHS:3 card was used during testing.

Sony Alpha 7R II Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The camera takes photos with impressive levels of detail, and exposure is reliable, with good colour and saturation. DRO (Dynamic Range Optimisation) improves detail in shadow areas, and can be left on Auto or set to one of five levels. A HDR shooting mode combines a number of shots for extended dynamic range, and this can be left on Auto or set to one of six levels. JPEG images are sharp straight from the camera, and can be further sharpened with image processing software, or by processing the raw files, for impressively sharp results. 

Sony Alpha 7R II Lens test images

Lens Performance - Using the right lenses with the Sony Alpha A7R Mark II results in images that have excellent levels of detail, both in the centre and in the corners of the frame, and we would recommend the use of prime lenses to get the best results from the 42.4 megapixel sensor. The camera's built-in image stabilisation system does a good job of keeping shots sharp even with slower shutter speeds. 

There is an increasing range of lenses available for the Sony FE (Full-Frame) mount, with high quality primes from Sony such as the Sony FE 28mm f/2.0, Zeiss ZA (Sony made) lenses like the Zeiss Sonnar 55mm f/1.8 and Zeiss Distagon 35mm f/1.4 as used in this review, as well as Zeiss Loxia (MF) 35mm f/2, 50mm f/2 lenses, plus more recently the autofocus Batis 25mm f/2 and Batis 85mm f/1.8 lenses. 

Lens compensation is built into automatically correct for: Peripheral Shading, Chromatic Aberration, and Distortion, and we found results were good shooting with prime lenses. Chromatic aberrations were more noticeable when shooting wide-open but quickly disappeared as the aperture was closed down. There is also correction for diffraction when using smaller apertures. Both the 35mm f/1.4 and 55mm f/1.8 lenses can be prone to flare due to the large front lens element when shooting into / towards the sun. View more sample photos from the Zeiss Distagon 35mm f/1.4 T* lens

Sony Alpha 7R II ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - For the lowest noise and best detail possible we would recommend using ISO50 to ISO1600, as images have low levels of noise and good levels of detail. For lower light situations, ISO3200 to ISO6400 still provides good results, although noise increases slightly and detail is reduced. At ISO12800 and ISO25600 noise levels become stronger and we would recommend avoiding these settings if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web. ISO51200 and above is best avoided as noise is high, and detail is low, particularly at ISO102400. There are noise reduction options of Off, Low and Normal, with Normal being the default setting.

Sony Alpha 7R II White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well with a slightly warm result under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a more accurate result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a more accurate result.

Sony Alpha 7R II Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a large number of picture effects which are preset colour modes, and these can be customised by altering contrast, saturation and sharpness. In addition to this there are a large number of creative effects, that let you apply digital filters to images including Toy camera, miniature and selective colour to name a few.

Sony Alpha A7R II Panoramic DSC00020 | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
Sony Alpha A7R II Panoramic | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100

Panorama mode - The camera features an automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other. Results are very good, and well stitched together, with a high-resolution image produced.

Video - The camera records 4K (3180x2140) video to an internal memory card, and a high-speed memory card is recommended for 4K / High-quality video recording, and the camera will not let you record 4K video internally without a UHS:3 SD card. An ISO range of ISO100 to ISO25600 is available in the video recording mode. Picture profiles let you customise the black level, gamma, black gamma, knee, colour mode and saturation. You can adjust the audio recording level to one of 31 settings. Audio out timing can be set to live or lip sync. Video quality is good, and when recording videos handheld the image stabilisation system does a good job to keep the video stable. Additional video examples recorded with the Sony Alpha A7R Mark II can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel

There are numerous video options as well as compression choices including:

  • XAVC S 4K - 25p, 100Mbps, 25p, 60Mbps
  • XAVC S HD - 1920x1080 50p, 50Mbps, 25p, 50Mbps, 1280x738 100fps, 50Mbps
  • AVCHD - 50i, 24Mbps, 50i 17Mbps, 50p, 28Mbps, 25p, 24Mbps, 25p, 17Mbps
  • MP4 - 1920x1080, 50p, 28Mbps, 1920x1080, 25p, 16Mbps, 1280x720, 25p, 6Mbps

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Photographs taken using the Sony Alpha 7R II

Distinguished Saturday shadowsAnglesBoy racerMy generationHazy daysDeco linesBoyhood dreamsA world of discoveryWhoopsy daisyLiver lightsAlong the quaysideBuachaille Etive Mor And Lagangarbh Cottage.Mixed MediaEvening fry-upSchiphol stairway

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