I have to say that the Sony A7II on its own already looks very good, but partner it with the Sony 24-70mm Zeiss and it looks even nicer.
The layout of buttons and connectors has definitely improved from the first iteration in the Sony A7 and A7R. I am hoping the subsequent E-mount full-frame cameras will take inspiration from the A7II and perhaps refine it even further.
So I have to say that the Sony A7II feels very good in the hand, and has many very useful features. I am not put off by the extra thickness of the body or the extra weight, which to be honest isn’t that much of a change from the A7R.
Now the questions I wanted to find answers to were: how is the image quality, image stabilisation and autofocus speed?
Here I have taken 100% crops from the jpeg files at ISO 3200 and 6400.
As you can see even at 100% crop, the image retains excellent detail and has very little noise. So the jpeg engine definite works well at least up to ISO 6400; this is similar in performance to the image quality of the A7R, which is capable of doing this with many more pixels – one big reason I like my A7R a lot.
For this test I took shots at 70mm with various shutter speeds. I found that I was able to get sharp images down to 1/5 sec, which is equivalent to about 4-stop of image stabilisation. This feature I do need to test further, particularly with manual focus lenses. But this is probably my favourite feature in this camera – well done Sony.
I was shooting the A7II indoors where the lighting was not very bright. Hence I am sure the autofocus defaulted to contrast-detect rather than the faster phase-detection autofocus. But it did perform as well as or perhaps slightly better than my Sony A7R, which is already good enough for me. So I would say that it does meet up to my expectations autofocus wise – and should focus even faster in brighter conditions when using the hybrid contrast/phase-detection autofocus.
I am impressed with the Sony A7II and the fact it now has the state-of-the-art (and one and only) full-frame 5-axis in-body image stabilisation in the world. First use of this camera has given me a very positive impression. The usability of this camera has been notched up another level, with better ergonomics and customisability.
I like the in-body image stabilisation (a lot). I really like that new grip. I like the feel and ergonomics of the camera and the extra buttons. I like the shutter sound. The image quality and autofocus performance are very good indeed. But I still would not trade in the A7R for this, as I would miss that 36 megapixel sensor too much. Now should Sony come out with a 36 to 50 megapixel E-mount camera with in-body image stabilisation and similar ergonomics to the A7II, then I will definitely be buying it.
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