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a7 II Announced, Sony Makes Surprise Announcement

By Anthony Thurston on November 20th 2014

This won’t be much of a surprise if you have been following the rumor mill in the last day or so. I don’t know if anyone expected an announcement so quickly, but, here it is. Sony has announced the followup to the A7, the A7 II.

Sony A7 II Announced

As you can see in the announcement video above, the new A7 II has some pretty sweet improvements over the original A7. The biggest of which is obviously its new 5-axis in-camera stabilization good for up to 4.5 stops. This is the first full frame camera to have such a feature.

The neat thing about this in-body stabilization is that it will work with your lenses that have stabilization built-in for an even more stabilized shot. Check out this video below for a cool demonstration of the 5-axis stabilization.


While the 24mp sensor may be the same as the original A7, the AF system has received some attention in this new version. According to Sony, the AF will now track 1.5x better and lock focus up to 30% faster than the original A7 body. A welcome improvement for sure.

Sony didn’t forget about A7 videographers either; though you won’t have 4K, you will get some upgraded codecs to make your 1080 capture even higher quality. Overall, this is an exciting update to the A7, though it is also one that will likely annoy A7 owners who now have to think about upgrading barely over a year –if that– after purchase.



The new A7 II has been announced, but technically only in Japan. As of now, there is no information about a US release of this body, neither availability nor pricing. But, if you want to try and snag a Japanese version (which, obviously, wouldn’t be serviced by Sony USA) you should be able to do some come December 5th for around $1600 US.

You can get all the details from Sony’s website here. Stay tuned and we will update you about any news regarding US/worldwide availability or pre-order links once they are announced.

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Duc Hong

    it seems like Sony is doing the same thing with what they’ve already done with their mobile products ( aka. Sony Xperia Z models, months ago they announced Sony Xperia Z3, and now rumor has it that Z4 is already on the way ), keeping up the pace is kinda of Sony typical thing to do and now they’re spreading it to DSLR. I really hope with new models, they really have some nice upgrades but not to mention that this may lead to one thing, too many choices can confuse their customers, especially to those who are new to photography and gonna pick one for their first camera.

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  2. adam sanford

    I’ve always read of IBIS with other mirrorless rigs (was it Pentax? Olympus?) but it always started flame wars between body IS and lens IS proponents.

    Help me understand! At face value, IBIS seems like a wonderful add, but I honestly don’t know how it works. So please clarify a few things for this IBIS neophyte:

    1) Does IBIS ‘stack’ with lens IS? Can I get 7-8 stops of IS with some combinations?

    2) Does IBIS take significantly more battery power than not offering it? Mirrorless battery life is a big deal for some folks.

    3) Does IBIS affect focusing speed at all? Does the AF system have to do some heavy lifting on deciding about subject movement rather than camera shake? Or is the IBIS only in effect while the shutter is open? (I ask because the IS on my Canon lenses is active the entire time the shutter is half-depressed. So for me right now (and I’m not saying this is better), it’s ‘IS decision making is on the lens’ and ‘AF decision making is on the body’. So, now — if the body has to do both — does IBIS make AF more demanding / harder to pull off / less accurate?)

    Thanks in advance for educating me. I find this stuff fascinating.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I am hardly an IBIS expert, so can’t really shed much light on that for you. But according to the information Sony is putting out, the IBIS will work with the lenses that have OSS, but they don’t go as far as to say that its “stackable”. So I am sure there is some additional benefit to combining the two, its just unclear how much that is at this point.

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    • Joseph Wu

      IBIS have been around for quite some time. Remember the old Sony Alpha cameras? They worked quite nicely. I still remember playing with demos at circuit city back in the day.

      Given the video provided, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work along side IS in lens, in fact, maybe you will get quite a few stops of additional IS. This is big.

      It will take more battery life, focusing speed should not be affected, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no logical sense that having a more stable sensor that counteracts small movements would cause decrease in AF performance, in fact it should improve it, as YOU’LL be able to track subjects easier with a stable view finder.

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    • Joseph Wu

      Super big boon for video guys. If they bring this to the A7S and A7R, well…. game over.

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    • Arnold Ziffel

      I think, if I’m not mistaken, Pentax which has always had IBIS, uses sensor shift to that effect.

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    • fotosiamo

      Having own Olympus mirrorless cameras, they typically turn off the OSS on the lens since the they may create cross-conflict and make the image worse.

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  3. Greg Silver

    Too bad no 4K but the improved image stabilization is great! Right now I’d think Sony is #1 for innovation.

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    • Holger Foysi

      For me it’s more an evolution, as IBIS was already used in A99, for example, or in Olympus cameras. So all they need to do is implement it in an other body. Doesn’t matter if there is a mirror or not. Nevertheless nice move.

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    • Greg Silver

      True – but it’s the first time in a FF camera and correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s also the first time IBIS can be used in conjunction with IS on a lens. That’s a pretty big innovation and the combination of two looks pretty impressive.

      I would long for the day when IS is perfected to the point where tripods are no longer needed.

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  4. Nick Buchholz

    I don’t own a a7, but I would be really annoyed if a new model came out less than a year later.
    (I know, we don’t always need the newest and best… but less than a year and your old camera’s resell value just drops big time! Ouch)

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    • Neal Smothers

      I almost bought a a7 but I kept hearing about the possibility of a new model coming out. I hate when they come out with new models so fast!

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    • Pye

      Yeah, this is kinda super quick for a upgrade already =(

      I have an A7r, and I am sure that is going to be worth even less after this announcement, not to mention in a month when they “surprise announce” the A7r II

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    • John Cavan

      I don’t know, I think I’d rather see the improvements happen as they happen and then jump aboard when the changes are enough to convince me.

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    • Peter Nord

      The technology is changing fast. You can’t get on this ride if you want to save money. I tell my students in ten years, or maybe it’s five, the new cameras we love today will be dinosaurs. Love the print, not the tool.

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    • adam sanford

      I love the commitment to innovation, but I worry with the FF camera machine gun releases of Sony:

      1) Are they *really* promoting/supporting/improving it if it only has a year of being ‘new’? (i.e. why dial in the AF system with a firmware update if a new model is just around the corner?)

      2) How much field testing can really be happening with such a mad pipeline of products moving forward? They may not be dialing in the useability, ergonomics, menu systems, etc. as much as they should. Case in point (and this is not to start a fight): the A7/r/s *sensors* and the wonderful RAW files they capture are coveted by nearly everyone, but I hear few people saying “Wow, I top-to-bottom love this *camera* — everything has been so well thought through.”

      I want a third major company to get up to Canon/Nikon levels of pro market share so that the two majors will get worried and step up their performance. So please understand my criticism of Sony is in hopes of them succeeding, not failing.

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    • Jean-Francois Perreault

      I agree with Adam. Although it’s nice and fun to see new products every year, it might cast a shadow on the products we bought last year in terms of support.
      Why offer a firmware upgrade for last year’s product if it takes away some of the value of our new shiny camera we’re releasing today?

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    • fotosiamo

      I own the a7R and I LOVE that they don’t just rest on their laurels and relative success. And instead of offering minor, incremental improvements (*Cough Canon Cough*), they present real upgrades.

      I rather have movers and shakers than fat cats that move like molasses.

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  5. Neal Smothers

    With all of these amazing features that really take the A7 to new heights, I wonder if they improved the batter life at all?

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