The second generation of the A7 range of Sony has been completed with the more “sensitive”, the Sony A7S II , who arrives, a year later, without increasing resolution, with improved sensor and its splendid ability to shoot in low light (remember: up to 102,400 ISO, expandable to ISO 409,600).
As was the case with the A7 II and A7R II, we find slight improvements in design, ergonomics to improve it, but we must emphasize the inclusion of the stabilization system. A great value option for a camera designed for high-performance video recording (as already discussed in the previous model). We have tested this new Sony A7S II and detail our conclusions.
Remember to start its main features
|Sony A7S II||Characteristics|
|Sensor||Exmor CMOS full-frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm) with 12,2MP and Bionz X processor|
|Viewfinder||XGA OLED electronic 0.5 inch 2,359,296 pixels and 100% coverage and 0.78x magnification|
|Screen||3 inch TFT LCD with 1,228,800 dot resolution points and tilt (up approx 107 degrees; down. Approx. 41 degrees)|
|ISO||100-102400 and extensible 50-409600|
|Shutter Speed||30 s to 1/8000 s|
|Focus||169 points with contrast detection|
|Video recording||XAVC S / AVCHD version 2.0, MP4. XAVC S 4K: 3,840 X 2,160 (30p / 100 Mbps, 30p / 60 Mbps, 24p / 100 Mbps, 24p / 60 Mbps)|
|connectivity||WiFi and NFC|
|Dimensions||126.9 x 95.7 x 60.3 mm|
|Weight||584 g (body) / 627 g (with battery and card)|
Sony A7S II: Design and ergonomics
With the third sister of the A7 series renewal of the second generation that should be noted is completed few aspects in design. Improved grip, solid construction (although this A7S II is not as robust or sealed) and relocation of some of the controls, especially the trigger is now much more intuitive.
The viewer has improved slightly and remains excellent, with a large magnification (0.78x). The LCD screen remains the same in resolution and with his swing (and prone to getting dirty with fingerprints) capacity.
The rest is identical to her sisters A7 II and A7R II, maintaining a remarkable ergonomics with a very comfortable and solid to work for a long time grip. There is also a slight increase in weight; just a few grams intuit that the inclusion of the stabilization system, but still remains a compact and lightweight.
We return to something that already affect negatively in the first generation include the location of the video button. Not convenient to operate and intuitive, it is not easy to accidentally trigger it, but against it is not easy to find to start or stop recording a video clip.
THE VIDEO RECORDING BUTTON SHOULD BE MORE COMFORTABLE AND INTUITIVE
We understand why they want to maintain a uniform and consistent design for the A7 family, but this camera focused as a professional user video recording should have a more fitting, comfortable and highlighted button. It is something that has not been improved and that should have been achieved without fail, especially when the price paid requires that the design is very functional in all aspects.
Focus, speed, and autonomy
This model system has autofocus by contrast with 169 points. Works with precision and speed in most situations, even when the situation is more critical, with little light, it is when it is not as accurate. Here too we miss that counted at least quality system A7 II and, for that matter, with the excellent of the A7R II.
AF SYSTEM HAS INCREASED POINTS 25-169
However, it should be noted that the phase detection points have been significantly increased compared to the first generation (now 169 points against 25 in the first A7S) and are a good system. But this camera is designed for advanced and demanding professional users, price, and should be even better. As for burst shooting is still not its strongest point, perhaps by its resolution capacity could have increased but it seems enough to catch still images, as long as it does not involve action scenes or sports, for which it is not designed. Although, in general, both the focus and the shutter speed is at a good level, make it a very versatile camera photo, considering that is very designed for users who exploit their capacity video.
The autonomy is another aspect that cannot be overlooked. At this point, it should be noted that Sony has not changed the type of battery and optimized energy consumption. In this Sony A7S II and its high sensitivity is a major consumer. To get an idea, the specifications indicate that it is capable of reaching 350 shots but in practice, this would be the maximum without abusing check on screen or navigate to through menus on the screen. At the time, we increase the ISO values the energy consumption soars and carry a spare battery is very necessary. Yes, Sony provides this model with two batteries. The only option for improving this is that we can charge it through the corresponding port using an external charger or even or power bank, something useful when you do not have to hand any plug. However, to have an extra battery is required for anyone who intends to use the camera in long and intense sessions photo or video.
Performance and image quality
As we see the results of the first shots expected to find a substantial improvement over the first generation, but, despite having an improved sensor, not shown in the excess improvement in quality still images. The full frame sensor Exmor 12.2 megapixel high yields, with a dynamic range and color reproduction, as long as you accompany good optical, where the quality of the sensor comes out.
IMAGE QUALITY FEW DRAWBACKS YOU CAN PUT, OFFERING PROVIDED SATISFACTORY RESULTS IN DIFFERENT SITUATIONS
Few drawbacks can put in this sense as it meets its purpose well, providing satisfactory results. As paste, the fact of only 12.2 megapixels may be limited for certain jobs picture. On the contrary, we benefit from two options that offer us many possibilities in critical situations: the combination of great image stabilization with high sensitivity of the sensor. This makes shooting in low light as easy as in scenes broad daylight.
We have photographed indoors and in night scenes and the results show its good performance. Despite the difficulty of working in low light good image quality, sharpness, contrast … at the height of which may require a professional is achieved. It is surprising to reach values as high as 51,200 ISO with a noise signal that other cameras it seems to ISO 6,400 equivalent. This is outstanding and brilliant. Yes, in general, the feeling is that this Sony A7S II not as surprising as it did the first generation advances in image capture do not seem sufficient to justify a renewal.
The video is another matter. Here we do find improvements, now with the option to record live 4K, which is very convenient, easy and very interesting options that can be expanded with accessories to achieve outstanding results (we speak of an external microphone, for example). In addition, the stabilizer works and record pulse and moving very acceptable results are achieved (although always improvable for the most demanding). Along with the ability to achieve maximum sensitivity value, remember 409,600 ISO (forced).
Of course, here we have to point out that the requirement regarding memory cards is high and will need a minimum capacity of 32GB, high transfer rate (for this test we used an SDXC Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB ).
Regarding the white balance we have found that in certain situations (low light and various sources) is improved in automatic mode (more reliable when preset modes scenes where works really well used).
Sony A7S II, The opinion
The first A7S was a milestone in photographic technology. A small, compact, full frame sensor and a very high capacity ISO sensitivity that had not been seen camera was a surprise its entry into the market. This renewal comes with few new features, some not so noticeable (viewfinder, focus or sensor improved …) put in comparison, and more consistent and that really justify the renewal (internal stabilizer and recording 4K).
THE SONY A7S II REMAINS A DIFFERENT CAMERA TO WHAT WE CAN FIND ON THE MARKET
The Sony A7S II remains a different camera to what we can find in the market. It has low resolution and therefore not appropriate for certain photographic requirements (but not in quality is concerned), but has an ability to work with the little light still spectacular. And find other models that are also betting on high sensitivity, but this A7S II is designed for it and is where most shining and justifies its price. In conclusion, this is a camera that works out well in any scenario, but especially highlights photography in low light and is very designed for the most demanding in terms of video. So potential users should be who we really need to work in low light situations and who often work in video, the price, of course , is another of its handicaps the body, is a high price.