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Sony Alpha A7R Mark II Hands-On Preview

We go hands-on with the new Sony Alpha A7R-II with 42.4 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and 4K video.

|  Sony Alpha 7R II in Mirrorless Cameras
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Sony Alpha A7R II (10)

We have a hands-on look at the new Sony Alpha A7R II - an update to the A7R (Mark I) - it features a new 42.4 megapixel back-illuminated full-frame CMOS sensor, 4K video recording, plus a 399-point hybrid AF system.

Sony Alpha A7R-II Features

Sony Alpha A7R II (6)

The new 42.4 megapixel back-illuminated (BSI) full-frame CMOS sensor is the World's First full-frame BSI CMOS sensor, and offers more light collection, as well as giving 3.5x faster readout than the Sony Alpha A7R.

Worlds First Bsi Full Frame Cmos Sensor
Worlds First BSI Full-Frame CMOS Sensor

The 42.4 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor offers high ISO sensitivity up to ISO102400, relatively fast continuous shooting at 5fps, plus full-pixel readout 4K movie recording. The camera features the Sony BIONZ X image processing engine, which includes diffraction reduction, plus area specific noise reduction for improved image quality. The sensor does not feature an optical low-pass filter, so that it should be possible to get the best image quality possible.

The camera is weather sealed, and has a newly developed shutter unit which is designed for vibration suppression, plus silent shooting, and is rated for 500,000 shutter releases! There are currently 13 FE lenses, with Sony planning on having 20 lenses available by early 2016.

Sony Alpha A7R II (11)

The 399 phase-detection AF points cover 45% of the image area, and is said to give 40% faster AF when compared to the Sony Alpha A7R. Continuous shooting is at 5fps with AF/AE tracking enabled. Phase-detection AF will also work with the LA-EA3 Alpha mount adapter with Sony A-mount lenses. 

4K video recording offers full pixel readout without pixel binning when using the Super 35 (cropped) format, which can be recorded internally to SD card (4:2:0 8bit). This over-samples 1.8x as many pixels as needed for 4K movies resulting in improved movie quality. Increased quality (4:2:2 8bit) recording is possible when recording to an external recorder using HDMI out. 

Sony Alpha A7R II (12)

Sony Alpha A7R-II Key Features

  • 42.4 megapixel Exmor R Full-frame BSI CMOS sensor
  • 399-point wide area fast hybrid AF
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilisation - 4.5 stops
  • Internal 4K movie recording - full pixel readout without pixel binning
  • XGA OLED viewfinder, 0.78x magnification, 100% coverage
  • Dust and moisture resistance
  • Enhanced grip and shutter button
  • Robust lens mount
  • Customisable buttons
  • New mode dial with locking mechanism

Sony Alpha 7R II Hands-On Photos of Equipment

Sony Alpha 7R II Specifications

Image Sensor
Pixels42.4Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)7952
Pixels (H)5304
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor SizeFull-frame
Sensor Size (width)35.9mm
Sensor Size (height)24mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution1,228,800 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/8000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity50 - 102400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Flash
  • Shade
  • Fluorescent
  • Incandescent
  • Cloudy
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Bracket
  • Manual
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp+/-5
Viewfinder Resolution2,359,296 dots
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting5fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 4K
Video FPS30p, 24p, 60p, 60i
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • Memory Stick (Sony)
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeNo Data
Battery Life (CIPA rating)340shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data

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Photographs taken using the Sony Alpha 7R II

AnglesBoy racerMy generationHazy daysDeco linesBoyhood dreamsA world of discoveryWhoopsy daisyLiver lightsAlong the quaysideBuachaille Etive Mor And Lagangarbh Cottage.Mixed MediaEvening fry-upSchiphol stairwayZwolle

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parallax 11 204 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2015 7:09PM
Lots of improvements and upgrades. Slight extra weight but worth it for the in-body stablisation.
The new 5 series Canon looks to have some very interesting competition.
themak 7 1.0k Scotland
16 Jun 2015 11:33AM
Not camera tester-proof, judging by the tape over the card slot cover.
joshwa Plus
10 923 1 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2015 12:34PM
This was put on to stop people from putting in their own memory cards, as the cameras were pre-production, they did not want us to take photos away with us.
aardvark7 13 1
17 Jun 2015 5:33PM
Just one small observation:

In the specifications you have 'Image sensor - CCD pixels'...

Sorry, but as you most surely know, they're CMOS, along with most cameras for a good number of years!
joshwa Plus
10 923 1 United Kingdom
17 Jun 2015 7:08PM
Updated Smile
AlanWillis 11 67 England
17 Jun 2015 8:45PM
The reason card slot was taped up was because the photographic press abused Sony when the A77 was launched. When I tested and tried out the pre-production A77 it had not the final firmware installed, and was not a true reflection of the final production cameras. I gave my photographs to Sony to choose which they would use for their marketing.
The A7R mk2 is a ground breaking advance in photography. Sony have made these far reaching improvements available to Canon and Nikon users , through a means of a third party adaptor, usable with their lenses. Well done Sony by setting the bar to a level, other camera manufacturers will try to emulate.

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