The Sony Alpha A7S Mark II is a replacement to the A7S, with enhanced video functionality, a faster AF system and extraordinary low-light capabilities that will appeal both to photographers and video specialists. In addition to internal 4K video recording with full pixel readout, the A7S MK II also offers S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3, new Gamma Assist Display, enhanced Zebra Function, Full HD at 120fps, and 4x/5x slow motion recording. At the heart of the A7S MK II is a full-frame 12.2 megapixel image sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine that work in tandem to deliver 5-axis Image Stabilisation and an outstanding sensitivity range of ISO 50-409,600 to facilitate even greater shooting control in challenging lighting conditions.
- Sony has announced the follow up to its popular video-specialist alpha mirrorless camera, the Sony Alpha a7S, with the new a7S II. Here’s what we know so far.
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- The Sony alpha A7S II combines some of the company’s pro video excellence and impressive stills capabilities. Our very own Stuart Dennis takes a look at some of this camera’s features.
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Key Features: Sony Alpha A7S II
- Full frame compact system camera
- 12.2MP CMOS sensor
- BIONZ X image processor
- Slow-mo & in-camera 4K video recording
- ISO 100-102,400 (exp. to 50-409,600)
- Full HD 1080p video
- 3.0" tiltable LCD, 1.22million dots
- OLED viewfinder, 2.35million dots
- Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
- 169 AF points
- Great low light performer for stills and videos
- Takes Sony E-mount lenses
Features in more detail:
- Ultra-high sensitivity up to 409600i with low noise across the whole range
- Wide dynamic range across entire ISO range delivering smooth tonal gradation from dark to bright conditions
- In-camera 5-axis optical image stabilisation for expanded shooting possibilities
- Internal 4K movie recording featuring full pixel readout without pixel binning in full-frame format
- Wide range of professional movie functionality including S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3, new Gamma Assist Display, enhanced Zebra Function, Full HD 120fps recording, 4x/5x slow motion recording, and full pixel readout without pixel binning in full-frame format
- High-speed AF with enhanced accuracy in wide ranging scenes and advanced shooting functions
The A7S II can record 4K movies internally in the XAVC S format, producing content that is wonderfully detailed. Because information from all pixels is utilised without line skipping or pixel binning, the camera can maximise the expanded power of the full-frame image sensor and produce 4K movies with higher image clarity and negligible moiré. Full pixel readout without pixel binning is also employed when shooting Full HD movies which means that it collects information from approximately 5 times as many pixels than are required to generate Full HD and condenses the information to produce extremely high quality movies.
In a first for the A7 series, the A7S II can record 120 fps at 100 Mbps with full pixel readout, without pixel binning, in full frame format which can be edited into wonderful 4x/5x slow motion footage in Full HD. The A7S II also has the ability to shoot 4x/5x slow motion footage internally which can be immediately reviewed on the camera screen.
Video functionality has been further enhanced with new profiles – S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3 and S-Gamut3/S-Log3. These new profiles deliver wide dynamic range and colour correction is easier to perform. The A7S ll even offers impressive 14-stop latitude in the S-Log3 gamma setting. The camera also supports S-Gamut/S-Log2 which is very popular among cinematographers and videographers. Gamma Display Assist is a new function which allows users to monitor images or check focus when recording S-Log movies, and the Zebra function has been improved for even greater control.
Note: Sony recommends using an SDXC Class 10 UHS-1 U3 memory card that is 64GB or above when shooting movies in the XAVC S format.
5-Axis Image Stabilisation
The new A7S II is equipped with the innovative 5-axis image stabilisation system that's proving extremely popular in the A7 II and A7R II cameras. The system corrects camera shake along 5 axes during shooting: including angular shake (pitch and yaw), which has the greatest impact on image quality and 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 night shooting or video recording.
The autofocus system on the A7S II has been upgraded and now offers 169 AF points for fast, precise focusing with greater accuracy. The power of the image sensor means that the absence of noise in generated images enables the Fast Intelligent AF to detect contrast more easily and react speedily even in low-light situations (as low as EV-4), when it’s even tough to check with the naked eye. When shooting video, the AF performance is twice as fast as the predecessor model.
The XGA OLED Tru-Finder in the A7S II has been upgraded and offers the world’s highest viewfinder magnification of 0.78x (roughly 38.5 degrees in diagonal field of view) and shows clear images across the entire display area. The use of ZEISS T* Coating ensures sharp reduction of reflections on the viewfinder and, unlike an optical viewfinder, the OLED Tru-Finder can be used to instantly show how exposure compensation, white balance, and other selected settings are affecting the displayed image.
A number of enhancements have been made to the look and feel of the A7S II to make it more user friendly, reliable, and intuitive. Its magnesium-alloy body is both light and highly robust and the grip and shutter buttons have been re-designed so that the camera feels more natural in the hand. For situations when you just want to blend into the background, silent shooting mode can be activated for 5fps continuous shooting and reliability has been enhanced with reduced-vibration shutter movement. The lens mount has been further reinforced to ensure greater resilience, particularly when attaching third party lenses and users can now charge the camera via a USB power supply whilst the camera is in operation, thus extending battery life. For greater comfort and safety, Sony is also launching the LCS-EBF; a new premium leather body case for the A7S II which is also compatible with the A7R II and A7 II.
Sony A7S Mark II Sample Images
A7S II - 4K low-light ISO comparison movie
a7S II - 5x Slow Motion "Landscape" in Full HD
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