5 Must-Know facts about the Sony α7 II
Riding on the success of the α7 series, Sony has announced its newest member into the “7” family tree, The α7 II. DCM team has got a chance to attend the grand event in Singapore on 11 Dec 2014 to witness the launch and hands on with the test units during the event. So what is so great about the α7 II? Is it worth the money to upgrade? We take a look about the 5 facts of the new α7 II.
1. World’s 1st Full Frame Camera with Optical 5-Axis Image Stabilisation
Detects and corrects various camera shake along five axes for still images and video, including angular shake (pitch and yaw) that tends to occur when shooting with a telephoto lens, shift shake (along the X and Y axes) that becomes noticeable as photographing magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects shots at night or when recording video. The full-frame image sensor moves to compensate for these kinds of camera shake. For still images, stabilisation is equivalent to up to 4.5 steps faster shutter speed of correction.
2. Speedy, Accurate Autofocus with Fast Hybrid AF
Wide AF coverage with the employment of a 117-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor (in combination with a 25-point contrast detection AF points) 117-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor and 25 contrast detection AF points are placed over a wide area of the screen, making use of the superb tracking capabilities of the phase detection AF and therefore enabling clear capture of moving subjects that might otherwise evade focus. A more advanced algorithm is used in a variety of scenarios, autofocus is very responsive – 30% faster than in previous models.
1.5 times the tracking ability of previous models with an improved motion-prediction algorithm. Additionally, AF and automatic exposure (AE) continue to track the subject during high-speed continuous shooting (up to 5 fps), so that a sudden movement or expression of the subject is never missed.
3. Superior full-frame sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine
35 mm full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor for high resolution and sensitivity, with minimal noise with approximately 24.3 effective megapixels. Loaded with an advanced BIONZ X image processing engine, the α7 II enhances images in several ways: through “detail reproduction technology”, which recreates natural-looking textures even in the minute details of an image; “diffraction-reducing technology”, which prevents loss of detail when aperture stopped down; and “area-specific noise reduction”, which greatly reduces noise while maintaining exceptional detail and texture even under low light conditions such as night time and indoors.
In addition to recording in AVCHD Ver. 2.0 Full HD (1920×1080) 60p (50p)/60i (50i)/24p, the camera records in XAVC-S, a consumer format derived from the professional XAVC format. This offers outstanding Full HD video quality at a high bit rate of 50 Mbps. Long GOP compression is used, targeting differences between frames, along with the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video. Regarding audio recording, linear PCM is used and files are saved in the MP4 format.
Picture profiles enable convenient in-camera tone adjustment. The α7 II also supports the S-Log2 gamma function, which preserves a wide dynamic range, and a wide S-Gamut mode. Other features include Time Code/User Bit (useful in editing), Rec Control (for synced recording with compatible external recorders), marker display/settings, and dual video recording.
4. Upgraded Usability & Reliability
– Grip shape and height keep the camera steady even when using a large telephoto lens. The shutter button has been shifted toward the front, to a position that feels more natural. Ten customisable buttons can be assigned to any of 56 functions. The tilting display features a White Magic LCD screen for exceptional visibility even under bright sunlight.
– An XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder with a 2.36 million dot equivalent resolution and high contrast, enabling faithful reproduction of setting adjustments, fine-tuned focusing using magnified display or peaking features, and bokeh effects.
– Sturdy magnesium alloy construction of the top, front cover, and internal structures. Main buttons and dials are also sealed to help keep out moisture and dust, and an interlocking double layered construction of media and port covers as well as body seams ensures greater moisture and dust resistance.
– 40% faster startup time.
5. WiFi & NFC
Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity for mobile linking and features can be expanded with PlayMemories Camera Apps. By installing an updated Lens Compensation app (enabling the storage of lens information in Exif data, compensation of recorded video, and import/export of lens compensation values), users can manually set correction values for lens peripheral shading, chromatic aberration, and distortion
Prepare to fork out RM5299 (body only) for Sony’s new Ace!
Here are the summary of the specification:
Sensor: 35mm full frame (35.8×23.9mm), “Exmor” CMOS sensor, Approx. 24.3 megapixels
Anti Dust : Yes
Storage: Memory Stick, SD memory card
Focusing: Fast Hybrid AF(phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF), 35mm full frame: 117 points (phase-detection AF), APS-C: 99 points (phase-detection AF)/ 25 points (conotrast-detection AF)
ISO: 100-25600 equivalent (1/3 EV step)
Viewfinder: 1.3 cm (0.5 type) electronic viewfinder (color), 2,359,296 dots
Display: 3 inch LCD, 1,228,800 dots with adjustable angle pp by approx. 107 degrees, Down by approx. 41 degrees
Shutter: Still images:1/8000 to 30 sec, Bulb
Continuous shooting: Hi: max. 5 fps, Lo: max. 2.5 fps
Stabiliser: Image Sensor-Shift mechanism with 5-axis with 4.5 steps compensation
Connectivity: WiFi & NFC
Video : 1920 x 1080 (60p)
Dimension: Approx. 126.9 x 95.7 x 59.7 mm
Weight : Approx 599 gram