Sony a7II Brief Review



  • 24.3 megapixel full frame sensor
  • JEPG and 14-bit RAW
  • Manual modes
  • Picture effects and creative styles
  • 1080p HD video at 50 Mbps
  • 117-point phase detection autofocus
  • ISO 100-25600
  • Maximum shutter speed 1/8000
  • 5 fps burst shooting (up to 50 frames in extra fine JPEG or 25 frames RAW)
  • 100% field of view electronic viewfinder
  • Tilting LCD screen
  • Focus peaking
  • Wi-fi
  • Battery life rated at 270 shots
  • Release Date: 2014-11-20
  • Final Grade: 93 4.65 Star Rating: Recommended

Sony a7II offers first full frame camera with five-axis image stabilization
Sony's solid full frame mirroless line now has a stabilized big brother.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 4/27/2016

Sony's product announcements are typically filled with brags like “first ever,” “smallest,” “fastest” and the like, but they really impressed with the first full frame mirrorless in 2013. The Sony a7II is the predecessor to that initial model and looks to make some exciting boasts itself.

The Sony a7II is the first full frame camera to offer five-axis image stabilization, which helps to steady not just up and down motion, but pitch, yaw and roll too. Sony is claiming the stabilization is good to 4.5 stops—that means you should be able to slow the shutter speed down 4.5 stops without blur.

Sony has also improved the processor a bit over the original a7, saying the autofocus is about 30 percent faster. The body also looks a bit different with a larger grip and new front dial.

The improvements look to be excellent changes to an already good camera. Potential consumers should be aware though that there's some trade-offs to using a mirrorless full frame over a DSLR (take a look at our hands-on a7 review to get an idea). The battery life is just a frightening 270 shots—so using this camera for a wedding or all-day event would require keeping more than one extra battery on hand. The autofocus also doesn't seem quite up to par yet, though that updated processor may have helped out a bit. And while mirrorless models tend to have faster burst speeds, the a7II sits at a very unexciting 5 fps.

There are still plenty of reasons to consider the a7II—the size and portability for one. It also has an electronic viewfinder with focus peaking to guide shots taken using manual focus. Image quality on the predecessor was solid, and with the same sensor, the a7II should have solid images as well.

The Sony a7II is available for about $1,700 USD.

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Sony Reviews

Sony has been at the forefront of the market for consumer electronics for the past 30 years by offering innovative imaging products in response to changes in the market. Sony has made cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to implementing the most current technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.

Sony was the first to put a full-frame sensor inside of a mirrorless camera, the A7 and A7R, and a little later, the A7S. While the first-of-its-kind cameras aren't without flaws, Sony executed their ideas fairly well and made some pretty solid cameras to start the new line.

Speaking of first-of-its kind, Sony also designed a “camera-without-a-camera,” the QX10 and QX100. These cameras have a sensor and lens, but no operating system—instead, consumers use their smartphone via wi-fi or NFC to operate the camera. While the cameras certainly have flaws (mainly in the slow response due to operating through wi-fi), we still have to applaud Sony for the way they've responded to the rise in smartphone photography (plus the cameras have actually sold remarkably well).

Sony has also been highly successful with the RX compact camera line that began with the RX100, a compact camera with a 1” sensor, excellent image quality and full manual modes. The camera has since seen some solid updates, and remains a good option. Sony also added the RX10, a camera with a 1” sensor but instead of focusing on compact size, adds a much bigger zoom.

While their focus is on more advanced models, it’s usually a pretty safe bet to pick up a Sony compact, even a budget priced one, and still get a lot of bang for your buck. We're also big fans of Sony's designs, making their cameras easy to use and adjust, like the HX400 that has an automatic sensor on the electronic viewfinder as well as a control ring around the lens.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.