Sony Alpha 7S II

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By Jim Fisher

Sony continues to take a 3-camera strategy with its second-era full-body mirrorless system. At one finish of the spectrum sits the high-decision, 42-megapixel Alpha 7R II, and on the different is the 12-megapixel Alpha 7S II ($ 2999.99, physique solely). The low pixel rely goes a great distance to enhance image high quality at extraordinarily high ISOs—the camera might be set as high as ISO 409600—and in addition improves the standard of 4K video. Our Editors' Selection for full-body mirrorless cameras continues to be the Alpha 7 II. This third musketeer within the group features a 24-megapixel image sensor, a low price, and strong all-round efficiency, nevertheless it does not help 4K video seize.

The Alpha 7S II shares the identical bodily design, interface, and controls as its two twin siblings. For info on how the camera handles, you'll be able to check with our review of the Alpha 7R II.

Sony Alpha 7S II : Sample Image

Performance and Picture High qualitySony Alpha 7S II : Benchmark Tests
The 7S II begins, focuses, and fires in about 2.2 seconds—that is slower than the Alpha 7R II, which does the identical in 1.6 seconds. When capturing in brilliant mild the autofocus velocity is suitable, if a bit bit sluggish, at 0.15-second. However it slows to only 0.3-second in very dim circumstances, which is a effective end result. The Alpha 7 II focuses in simply 0.05-second in shiny mild, however slows to 0.7-second in dim circumstances. The 7 II makes use of a hybrid focus system, which includes each part and distinction detection, whereas the 7S II makes use of solely distinction detection for focus.

When set to Velocity Precedence mode, the camera can shoot at 5fps. The period at which it shoots varies based mostly on file format. For those who're capturing uncompressed Uncooked pictures you will get 25 Uncooked+JPG or 29 Uncooked photographs earlier than the speed slows. Utilizing the compressed Uncooked format extends that to 35 Uncooked photographs or 26 Uncooked+JPG. In case you're a JPG shooter you'll be able to rattle off 84 Additional Wonderful or a vast quantity of Effective JPGs earlier than the Alpha slows.

Sony Alpha 7S II : Sample Image

The 12-megapixel image sensor is usually a bit limiting should you're trying to make massive prints, particularly when you think about that 24 megapixels is the anticipated norm for full-body our bodies, and which you can get a 42-megapixel Alpha 7R II for a number of hundred dollars extra.

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However the sensor shines in dim mild. When capturing JPGs at default settings, Imatest tells us that noise stays underneath the 1.5 % threshold by means of ISO 25600. What's higher is that, even when seen at 100 % on a calibrated display, particulars stay crisp, with simply slight proof of smudging. There is a bit extra blur at ISO 51200, however it's not till you push the camera all the best way to ISO 102400 that high quality critically drops.

Sony Alpha 7S II : Sample Image

You'll be able to squeeze extra image high quality out of the camera at high ISOs by capturing in Uncooked. You possibly can see extra wonderful strains in ISO 25600 Uncooked photographs, and whereas ISO 51200 is definitely grainy, particulars are sharp and crisp. There is a particular drop in constancy at ISO 102400, however the Uncooked photographs are a lot stronger than JPGs. Regardless that you'll be able to shoot at ISO 204800 and ISO 409600, pictures are extra noise than info when the camera is about that high. However it's unimaginable that you simply're even capable of push it that far.

The unique Alpha 7S captured video in 4K, however solely with assistance from an external recorder. The 7S II can even output uncompressed 4K video to a subject recorder by way of HDMI, nevertheless it has added the power to save lots of XAVC S 4K video to a memory card. You possibly can report at 24 or 30fps, with a selection of 60Mbps or 100Mbps high quality. When cropped to the usual 16:9 video facet ratio, the image sensor matches the decision of 4K video precisely, so there is no want for interpolation, line skipping, or pixel binning—the result's footage that's simply implausible in high quality.

XAVC S can also be out there at 1080p, at 24, 30, or 60fps, all at 50Mbps. These body charges use your complete width of the image sensor. You may also document at 120fps, at 60 or 100Mbps, however the fame is cropped when doing so. Capturing at a high body fee lets you sluggish the footage right down to quarter-velocity whereas sustaining clean movement. AVCHD and MP4 video can also be obtainable, however at lesser high quality than the XAVC recording choices.

There are a selection of video features obtainable that may make professional cinematographers joyful. Audio degree management is on the market, as are zebra stripe warnings for blown highlights and embedded time code. You'll be able to document footage in a normal colour profile, which is able to share with minimal colour correction. S-Log profiles are additionally obtainable; they seize video with a flat, low-distinction look that's excellent for colour grading. And in-physique stabilization helps to maintain handheld video clean—you do not have to lock the 7S II down on a tripod, so it may be used for handheld documentary work.

Sony Alpha 7S II : Sample Image

Uncompressed output is obtainable by way of the aforementioned micro HDMI port. There's additionally a micro USB connection, in addition to headphone and microphone enter jacks. Sony sells an XLR adapter for balanced audio enter; it mounts within the scorching shoe.

Two batteries are included. You possibly can cost a battery in-camera by way of USB, however Sony additionally consists of an external wall charger, so it is attainable to cost one when you use the camera, or cost each concurrently with out shopping for additional equipment.

Low-mild photographers and videographers are positive to swoon over the Sony Alpha 7S II. Its 12-megapixel sensor gives unmatched image constancy on the high ISO sensitivities you will use when capturing stills or video in dim mild. And the 4K video high quality is simply phenomenal, whether or not you are capturing in vibrant mild or dim circumstances. However, just like the high-decision Alpha 7R II, the 7S II is a camera that fills a distinct segment. Our Editors' Selection continues to be the Alpha 7 II—it is a extra balanced performer because of its 24-megapixel image sensor, and rather more reasonably priced at $ 1,seven hundred. However it does not help 4K. If that is what you need in a full-body camera, you will have to spend extra for the Alpha 7R II or the Alpha 7S II.

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