Everyone figured it was coming sooner or later and the Sony A7S II has been officially announced. The new low light shooter builds on everything you loved about the original A7S and updates the body to match the rest of the A7 line. But this one goes to 409,600 ISO!! Hit the jump for more info.
The Sony A7S II Is A Low Light Monster!
The original Sony A7S capture the hearts of many photographers for its small size and incredible low light performance but many people thought the tiny body’s controls left a lot to be desired. But Sony’s upgraded A7 line-up has addressed many of the usability issues and the A7S II was the last piece in that puzzle.
The new camera inherits the 5 axis in camera image stabilization, larger grip and improved controls from the A7 II and picks up the improved T* viewfinder from the A7R II. It’s still holding on to the fat pixels of its 12 MP sensor but an upgraded processor means the A7S II can shoot at a whopping 409,600 ISO. Seriously, the camera is pretty much emitting light at that point!
From Sony’s press release:
The A7S II delivers an awe-inspiring sensitivity range of ISO 50-409600 thanks to the unique combination of its 35mm full-frame 12.2 megapixel2 image sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine. The sensor works to optimize the dynamic range across the entire ISO range, broadening the amount of tonal gradation in bright environments and minimizing noise in dark scenes. The BIONZ X processor features an upgraded image processing algorithm that maximizes the sensors capabilities overall, in particular at the mid-high end of the ISO scale, and results in extremely detailed still images and movies with minimal noise.
It’s unclear how this will play out in real world tests but this sounds promising for photographers and videographers alike.
The Sony A7S II can record 4K video internally using the advanced XAVC S codec4 with a bit rate of up to 100 Mbps and the uncompressed HDMI output allows pristine 4K recording with 4:2:2 sampling to an external recorder. The A7S II offers an impressive 14-stop latitude in the S-Log3 gamma setting, while also supporting other popular profiles for cinematographers including S-Gamut/S-Log2.
And one more thing – this little camera will shoot 120FPS in full 1080P HD. If video’s your thing then this camera is going to make you very happy!
The A7S II autofocus now offers 169 AF points for fast, precise focusing with greater accuracy compared to the original A7S. Because the image sensor produces such low noise, the AF system can detect contrast more easily and react quickly even in low-light situations where it might be difficult to manually focus. According to Sony, the AF performance is twice as fast as the predecessor model during video shooting
The Sony A7S II adopts the T* .78x viewfinder from the A7R II. The image is huge and clear and all reports indicate lag is not an issue. EVFs may never replace rangefinders or optical viewfinders for clarity but EVFs have the advantage of showing you exactly how exposure compensation, white balance and other selected settings are affecting the displayed image. And the OLED Tru-Finder in the Sony A7S II is top of the line in every way.
Better Start Saving
Of course all of this comes at a price and the Sony A7S II is going to set you back a pretty penny. The body alone will be $2998 USD when it is released sometime in October 2015.
The Sony A7S II can be ordered from your favorite retailer:
At first look, the Sony A7S II is a street photographer’s dream camera. It’s a lightweight full frame camera with incredible low light performance that takes Leica glass (with an adapter). Imagine setting your camera to aperture priority and auto-iso and just shooting. Anywhere. Anytime. Day or night. Would be amazing!
The only trade-off is the somewhat low sounding 12 MP sensor. But the reality is most of us are sharing our images digitally so this shouldn’t be an issue for most people. If you plan on printing anything this might be somethign to consider.
I’ve said from the start that if I hadn’t already invested in the Leica ecosystem that I’d probably be shooting with a Sony A7 something. And judging by the spec on paper, I’d proabably choose the A7S II. But honestly, I’m interested to see what happens to the price of the original A7S now that this one is out. It’s still a great little camera and if the price is right one might just follow me home before Xmas!
It never ends…
What’s your take on the Sony A7S II? The ultimate camera for street photographers? Or is the 12MP sensor a deal breaker? Post your ideas in the comments below and keep the conversation going!