Thursday, November 27, 2014
Sony announces Alpha 7 II in the US
Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging, has today introduced another exciting addition to its full-frame α7 lineup, the α7II camera (model ILCE-7M2).
The new mirrorless model is the world’s first full-frame camera to feature 5-axis image stabilization1, allowing it to compensate for camera movement in five different directions to produce extremely sharp handheld images. The α7II camera is equipped with a 24.3 effective megapixel 35mm full-frame sensor, and adds 30% faster AF responsiveness, enriched video shooting capabilities, redesigned ergonomics and more.
“The new α7II is simply the latest example of the impressive innovation we’re bringing to the industry, particularly in the mirrorless space” said Neal Manowitz, director of the α interchangeable lens camera business at Sony. “We’re continuing to push the boundaries of what can be accomplished with a full-frame sensor, consistently delivering ‘world’s first’ technologies that no other cameras – DSLR or otherwise - can accomplish.”
New Image Stabilization Technology
The innovative 5-axis image stabilization on the new α7II detects and corrects camera shake along five axes during shooting, including angular shake (pitch and yaw) that tends to occur with a telephoto lens, shift shake (X and Y axes) which becomes noticeable as magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects shots at night or when recording video. The 24.3 MP full frame sensor moves to accommodate all of these types of shake, with stabilization equivalent to up to 4.5 steps faster shutter speed of correction2.
Additionally, the 5-axis stabilization works cooperatively with Sony α lenses with optical steady shot (OSS) to provide maximum stabilization and clarity, while also performing admirably with Sony α A-mount lenses and third party lenses3 without on-board stabilization. Effects of the stabilization can be previewed via live-view on the LCD or OLED viewfinder of the camera.
Speedy, Accurate Autofocus with Hybrid AF
The new α7II employs a 117-point focal plane phase detection AF sensor with 25 contrast detection AF points, with approximately 30% faster AF responsiveness and 1.5 times more accurate subject tracking than the original α7 model4 thanks to a series of new algorithms for detecting subject distance and predicting motion. Additionally, AF and now automatic exposure (AE) is provided while tracking subjects during high-speed continuous shooting at up to 5 fps.
Enriched HD Video Functionality
The new full-frame camera shares the powerful BIONZ X image processing engine with several other high-end Sony cameras, and adds a variety of advanced video functionality including the addition of XAVC S5 codec, which records video at a high data rate of 50 Mbps with advanced compression for impressive video quality.
For the professional and prosumer customers, the α7II adds picture profiles for convenient in-camera tone adjustments and supports the S-Log2 gamma function which preserves a wide dynamic range. It also includes Time Code (useful for editing), Rec Control (for synced recording with external recorder) and dual video recording.
Design, Controls, Wi-Fi® and New Accessories
Ergonomically, compared to the original α7, the α7II model has a larger shutter button that has been moved closer to the front of the camera for optimal finger position. It is constructed with sturdy magnesium alloy on the top, front cover and internal panels for a sturdier, more solid feel in the hand, and boasts about a 40% faster start-up time compared to the α7 camera.
The new α7II camera is Wi-Fi® and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories application available for Android™ and iOS platforms. New accessories designed for use with the new α7II include the VG-C2EM vertical grip and LCS-ELCB soft carrying case.
New α A-Mount 70-300mm F4.5 – F5.6 G SSMII Telephoto Zoom Lens
Sony has also introduced a new telephoto zoom lens for it’s α A-mount line, the 70-300mm F4.5 – F5.6 G SSMII (model SAL70300G2). Ideal for outdoor sports and wildlife photography as well as tightly cropped portraits, the lens features approximately 4x faster AF tracking than the current lens model 70-300mm F4.5 – F5.6 G SSM. It also has Nano AR coating to minimize flare and ghosting and improve rendering, and is dust and moisture resistant.
Successors to the α A-Mount 24-70mm F2.8 ZEISS and 16-35mm F2.8 ZEISS
Sony has also announced the development of the α A-Mount Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II and the Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II lenses. The second generation of these acclaimed lenses will improve upon the speed of AF tracking, reduce flare and ghosting and incorporate a dust and moisture resistant design.
Pricing and Availability
The Sony α7II full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera will be available beginning on December 9th as body-only for about $1700, or as a kit with the 28-70mm F3.5 – F5.6 OSS zoom lens (model SEL2870) for about $2000.
The new 70-300mm F4.5 – F5.6 G SSM II telephoto zoom lens for α A-mount cameras will be available for about $1150 in February 2015.
Pricing for the Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II and the Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II lenses has not yet been determined, however target ship timing is Spring 2015.
Among 35 mm full-frame interchangeable-lens cameras, according to Sony research as of November 2014.
Based on CIPA standards. Compensates for angular shake (pitch and yaw). Measured using a Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA lens, with long exposure noise reduction off.
Some lenses are not compatible with 5-axis image stabilization.
Compared to the α7. Based on Sony’s internal metrics.
An SDXC memory card with a Class 10 or higher speed rating is required for XAVC S recording.