Thursday, September 24, 2015

First Look: Sony A7R II–Holy $#!+

Sony Alpha a7R II Mirrorless 42MP/4k Video Digital Camera
Sony Alpha a7R II Mirrorless 42MP/4k Video Digital Camera

I’ve lost track of how many cameras I’ve reviewed, but it’s been a lot – including many Sony cameras. I’m not an easy guy to impress, but HOLY $#!+ this camera has my jaw on the ground and slobber dripping from my chin!

As a result, I couldn’t hold back and had to share a few photos I took recently with this much hyped camera – which I can honestly say deserves the praise. For my testing, B&H sent me this lens:

Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens
Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens

I wish I would have got the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II Vario-Sonnar T* Lens, but the f/4 hasn’t disappointed me thus far.

Real World Shots

These are 100% unedited shots taken straight from the camera using in-camera JPEG default processing. Only the shoes shot features studio lights, otherwise these shots are taken with available light and no additional light sources or reflection. All shots are handheld with in-camera stabilization turned on.

f/5 @ 70mm for 1/160 sec at ISO 4000

The detail and dynamic range are breathtaking, but when you notice it is ISO 4000 it’s impossible not to be blown away! No camera has ever touched my hands that has done this well at such a high ISO!

f/5.6 @ 40mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 6400

Again, ISO 6400 – Are you kidding me?!!!!
Super crisp foreground detail, gorgeous
bokeh and bang on color!

f/4 @ 30mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 3200

Even a crap shot like this becomes stare worthy in the excellent B&W creative style shown here with +3 contrast and +3 sharpness (in-camera)

f/8 @ 30mm for 1/160 sec at ISO 160

Having fun above, I decided to toss a spotlight on some black shoes to see the range of blacks in a dark scene – I wasn’t disappointed, but what was even more impressive was the detail that remained in the hot spots! Oh yes, there’s lots of potential for great things with this sensor!

f/5.6 @ 33mm for 1/30 sec at ISO 6400

This is a torture test for any camera, but what blew me away here is that this is the only camera to capture this much of the tonal range without losing detail – and it did it at ISO 6400 handheld! Imagine if I was using a tripod at ISO 100?!!!

f/5.6 @ 26mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 5000

No other camera I’ve tested, at any ISO, has captured this much detail in one exposure – and this was a super bright day with the sun coming in hard from the right. Imagine if you did HDR with this camera?!!!

f/5.6 @ 41mm for 1/100 sec at ISO 6400

Again, dynamic range like I’ve never seen – ever – yet this is ISO 6400!!!
The camera meter with default settings was bang on too!

f/9 @ 36mm for 1/25 sec at ISO 6400

The in-camera stabilization is impressive especially for such a high megapixel camera. While the in-camera noise reduction smeared the details pretty bad, it still did an admirable job of having something very publish worthy with no editing – well done Sony!

f/4 @ 70mm for 1/160 sec at ISO 12800

Yeah, ISO 12,800 – try that with a D810 or 5DsR! Nothing I’ve tested can touch this camera!

This isn’t my review as I’ll have more to come after I get out and do some more serious shooting, but I had to share some of my early results because I’m so happy with what I see!

For more files, visit the full gallery at which will be updated when I do my review.


See my complete a7R Mark II review here.

Where to order

Click here to learn more or order on the B&H web site.

Other articles you may enjoy

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these:


If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

NOTE: This site requires cookies and uses affiliate linking to sites that use cookies.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity


BasementOffice said...

No test photos show up on the page only "?". said...

Hi BasementOffice,

Try again - there must have been a hiccup between Google's server and yours. It's rare, but it does happen.


Self Image Related said...

Hi Ron,
Just wanted to get your feedback on the autofocus performance. said...

My autofocus thoughts can be found here and in my final review.