Why the Sony A7R II is Generating Even More Buzz Than the Sony A7s

The Sony A7s has taken the world of 4K independent filmmakers and enthusiasts alike by storm since the camera officially hit the shelves more than a year ago. Now it seems that the successor to the large megapixel A7r, the A7R mark II is going to exceed the popularity of both its predecessor and the A7s for video considering the internal 4K recording, Slog-2 and many other exciting improvements. The first footage samples already started to pop up here and there and obviously, Sony are going to dominate the market for compact mirrorless cameras once again with their latest flagship the a7R mark II.

Before we discuss some of the possible reasons let’s first see some of the available footage and tests that are already available for consideration.

First and foremost, kudos to Johnnie Behiri from Cinema5D.com for the excellent work, yet we should admit that the camera itself is capable of producing some quite appealing imagery in 4K video mode as well. If you want to read the full camera review of Behiri head over to Cinema5D.

And, here is the ungraded version of “Reflections”m that you can also download in 4K.

“Reflections-ungraded” Shot on Sony A7rII from Johnnie Behiri on Vimeo.

The capability of recording 4K video internally on any of the Sony’s compact mirrorless cameras was a long-awaited feature and it’s great that finally it becomes reality.

The camera utilises either the Super 35 crop mode, with no pixel binning, or the full-frame readout in this mode. Additionally, the a7RII benefits from the inclusion of the S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut settings as well as fully customizable picture profiles.

This was another demanded feature by a majority of videographers that was highly appreciated with the release of the A7s in the first place. In the middle of 2015, the ability to record 4K internally is somewhat an industry standard already, so we are excited to finally see a Sony camera in this segment providing the feature.

Secondly, from the test below it’s quite obvious that the rolling shutter artifacts of the a7R mark II are significantly reduced. This was another major issue of the A7s. Despite its unbeaten low light capabilities, the rolling shutter in 4K Full Frame mode is still atrocious.

Another big selling point for the new A7R II is the 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization. This is a massive improvement, especially for those who plan to use the camera mounted on some of the popular pistol grip gimbals such as the Nebula 4000, Pilot Fly H1 or CAME Single.

We already know that these tools are not perfect and having a lens or a camera providing any images stabilization is highly welcomed.

The ability to shoot S-log 4K video internally with the possibility to bump up your ISO and make great shots even in the most challenging low-light situations is another feature of the A7R II that attracts the attention of many 4K Shooters. The a7S still remains unbeaten in those terms, yet considering all the other improvements that the a7R mark II provides I think the buying decision becomes a lot easier now.

In terms of price the A7R II can be pre-ordered for $3,198 at B&H which is more than $700 than the current retail price of the A7s, however, you won’t need to invest money in external recorder which is another serious reason to consider the camera as a viable option.

It’s expected that the A7R II will hit the shelves in the U.S. on Wednesday.

[source: Cinema5D, Noam KrollDavide Roveri]

B&H Link: Sony Alpha a7RII Mirrorless Digital Camera – $3,198

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  • Erwin Hart

    There will probably be a Sony A7S mark II within the next 6-12 months. One would expect that that camera is even more optimized for shooting (4K) video than the A7R II, including for low light. So for video purists, that A7S II might be an even better solution. Anyway, for now, there always seems to be a better camera on the horizon. Thanks Panasonic (GH4) and now also Sony (A7R II) to bring 4K internal recording to the new (mirrorless) camera generations.

    • Ogy Stoilov

      agree, there will always be new stuff coming out. I’d rather work with what I have, and when the time comes consider if worth upgrading. Cheers,

  • marklondon

    I think Sony have done a superb hype job here. Hey look, a decent 4k hybrid camera! Hang on, wasn’t that the A7s?? 🙂
    No 4K slowmo, even externally. No 1080 slowmotion. US$3k+. No, and no.
    I really like Cinema5D and the newshooter guys, but they’re getting snowed here.