• SPECIFICATIONS
  • Sensor: 35mm full frame, Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • Resolution: 42.4-megapixel
  • Display: XGA OLED, 1.3cm electronic viewfinder
  • Connectivity: HDMI micro connector, Wi-Fi Compatible, micro USB
  • Storage: SD Card
  • Mount: E-mount
  • Dimensions: 126.9 x 95.7 x 60.3 mm
  • Weight: 625 g (With battery and memory card)
  • Pros:
  • E-mount
  • Solid build
  • Great eye-finder
  • Cons:
  • Battery life
  • Button placements

Full-frame Gloriousness

Sony’s take on improving the a7 by combining technologies from their other cameras to create this beautiful hybrid, the Sony a7R II, a palm-sized camera jam packed with features. At first glance, the body of the camera is beautiful, with its orange lens ring that stands out from other cameras. The camera is great to hold, as ergonomical areas of the camera are quite grippy, making it harder to slip out of your hands.

The build of the camera is impressive, as the body itself feels weighty and designed beautifully. However, take note of the button placements. For example, the on/off switch is located under the shutter button. It might take some getting used to when you are trying to switch your aperture, as you might accidentally set it off. By placing the menu button on the left of the camera, we sometimes find it difficult to switch settings on the fly. But luckily, Sony thought of that and gave us some menu shortcuts to access our favourites easily with just a button and navigating.

As per most cameras nowadays, menu is a hassle to navigate, but once you’ve set everything to the settings that you are used to, there is rarely a need to reach into the menu to dig up options that you need to configure.

For review purposes, we were handed a gigantic lens, a Sony G Master FE 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, which is much heavier than the a7R II body alone (wow!). Luckily, for the a7R II, it is a versatile camera that can take almost any 35mm full frame lens, regardless of the age of the lenses or brand. Brands ranging from Leica, Canon, Zeiss can be used with this camera, provided you have the adapter for it.

The a7R II is equipped with 42.4-megapixel count, which allows you to take clearer and more vibrant images. And with its Exmor R CMOS sensor, your images will still look amazing even in low light settings. Fast Hybrid AF increases the speed and tracking of your fast-moving subjects easily, especially with its 399 AF cover points, and with the help of 5-axis image stabilisation, your shot will stay on target. However, we noticed that due to its megapixel count, the images take longer to process after you press the shutter button. It’s not too distracting when you’re taking a single picture, but it might prove troublesome when you’re trying to take multiple pictures with continuous shots.

This camera can also shoot in 4K, but upon testing, we found that the battery life is not as great as we wish. It would be a good idea to carry more than 1 spare battery for the a7R II if you are looking to shoot continuously for the whole day, especially if you are aiming to shoot 4K.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Overall an amazing camera that you can attach almost all 35mm lenses onto with the right mounts, but comes at a price.

(previously published in issue June 2017)

Sony a7R II