Boxing day with the Sony A7II
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I was at first not going to review the Sony A7II. The 24.3MP Exmor CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor are the same as in the original A7. After reviewing three different models in the same line-up in 2014, I felt this blog was starting to look like a Sony advertising page. A few things had me intrigued though: of course the 5-Axis sensor stabilisation, better autofocus capabilities and the reports of better ISO performance. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Sony A7II is what the Sony A7 should have been from the start: a very usable and capable mirror-less camera.
Boxing day, in case you’re interested, is what the English traditionally call the day after Christmas. It’s the day when servants and employees would receive their Christmas gift from their boss, in a gift box, hence the name. I decided to test out the Sony A7II at the traditional Christmas market in the medieval city of Ghent.
It was a beautiful and sunny day with, and I got to test this camera in various lighting conditions as the sun set. I shoot in RAW, did some very basic editing in Lightroom and exported them in JPEG in full resolution, so if you’re interested in noise levels, you can click to view them in full size.
The firmware in this camera has vastly improved compared to the early A7 series. Autofocus seems snappier and works a lot better in low-light, and the stabilised sensor makes it useable for a range of shooting scenarios from indoors to street photography with a non-stabilised lens.
Another significant advantage of this 5 Axis stabilisation is that the Sony A7II keeps ISO low with useable shutter speeds, meaning you get the best possible performance out of that full-frame sensor. Noise levels remain very much under control at medium ISO, and indeed looks more pleasing to the eye than earlier A7 incarnations.
Image quality is still excellent with this 24MP sensor, although I did find the picture rendering somewhat uninspiring. This feeling might have something to do with the “been there done that before” feeling I have after extensively using the original A7 last year. One big plus is that you rarely miss a shot with the Sony A7II.