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Sony Announces The A7RII – A Speed, Sensitivity, & Pixel Powerhouse

By Kishore Sawh on June 10th 2015

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Today is a big day in the camera world as Sony once again made an announcement that leaves most of us wide-eyed. It was only a few weeks ago when the a7R caused some commotion because it had been listed on Sony’s site as selling for $200. The price alone had die-hards of other brands reaching for their wallets, but while they were reaching, the a7R disappeared entirely from Sony’s site. All of this led many to speculate if Sony was just trying to clear inventory or get our attention. Well, today it seems it was a bit of both as they have announced the release of the a7R successor, the a7RII – the world’s first back-illuminated full frame Exmor R CMOS sensor.

Sony is the world’s leading manufacturer of camera image sensors, and all that production gives them clout and expertise. This new back-illuminated sensor realizes a massive 42.2 effective megapixels, high light sensitivity with expandable ISO to ISO 102400, and brings with it a 40% increase in speed for AF response, according to Sony, thanks to 399 focal plane phase detection points that work together with 25 contrast AF points – all of this adds up to 5fps with continuous AF tracking.

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Additionally, this focal system will work on all Sony A mount lenses when using the Sony LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 adapters, which means that there are over 50 lenses that will boast this capability, and the first time a mirrorless system can achieve the same performance with DSLR lenses.

Keeping in line with the standard A7II, it includes 5-axis image stabilization which is the equivalent of shooting over 4 stops faster, making confidence in getting a steady shot in most any condition.

By harmonizing high resolution, sensitivity and speed, we’re delivering a high-level full-frame imaging experience unlike anything else in market today, with Sony’s newly developed, world’s first back-illuminated 35mm full frame CMOS sensor.

The a7RII also gets major video updates, as it shoots 4K video in multiple formats including full format and Super 35. This is a world’s first for digital cameras. (Some may bring up the Canon 1DC but it didn’t use the FF for 4K video). Not to be left out of mention is the newly tuned XGA OLED Tru-Finder with 0.78x viewfinder magnification, which is the world’s highest thus far. This isn’t meant to be a parlor trick either, as the camera boasts a variety of professional video abilities like clean HDMI output, picture profile, and 120fps in 720p.

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Photographers aren’t exactly used to being able to have their cake and eat it too. We are used to sacrificing weight for lens speed, form factor for full frame, high resolution, and high speed, or sensitivity, but this new sensor does away with some of that. Now, you can get sickeningly high resolution with speed and sensitivity.

The new A7 variant also carries with it the new BIONZ X image processing engine for high detail and little noise, and Sony has opted to do away with an optical low pass filter for the highest resolution, clarity and sharpness possible.

[REWIND: Cloud Spot Camera Giveaway | Sony A7II, Nikon D750 or Canon 7D Mark II]

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For those of you who didn’t get the original a7R for $200, sorry to say this won’t be priced the same, and will come in around $3200 when it drops in August. You can read the full press release here.  And enter to win an a7II from us and CloudSpot here.

It sort of makes you think and wonder, should Sony slow down or just tell everyone else to catch up?

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Tino Solomon

    When will manufacturers focus on providing what we actually need rather than more megapixels? ND filter/low iso performance which would allow long shutter speeds and infinitely faster shutter speeds using a non-mechanical shutter with no flash sync speed restriction? Anyone out there?

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    • Richard WILSON

      There’s difference camera that full each gaps for customers/PRO… Want a FF with low light capability? Get the Sony A7s… more megapixels? Get this one ( A7R-II )… You cant get the ALL IN ONE camera… Your needs is not the same as others

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  2. Tim Buerck

    Now we know the update for the a7s will have the bigger viewfinder and T* coating, plus something else new, then that will trickle down to the a7ii with something else a little knew then, so on…. The cycle for sony will never end, because they don’t put all the tech they can in the camera that they have at the time. They save it and put out incremental updates. However, I give them props, because people fall for it.

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    • adam sanford

      There will never be an end-all top-spec camera because jacking up one spec often punishes another. A camera can’t have highest resolution *and* highest burst framerate, or highest resolution *and* best high ISO performance. One metric limits the other.

      So you get a palette of options for different needs — one for detail, one for speed, one for low light.

      Sony is shaking that up with a BSI sensor here with the a7R II, but I still think an a7S II built-expressly for low light / video will still happen someday.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Tim, Adam is quite right, but then again you are too.

      Sony could have certainly done a lot better with all three of their first-gen A7-series bodies, from an interface and overall quality standpoint. In that respect, IMO they rushed to market just because they calculated the importance of “riding the wave” of mirrorless, and made that decision.

      Performance-wise, however, you can’t ask for “all the tech” at once, nor can you expect any company to bother worry about whether they’re ten steps ahead of the competition, or “ONLY” seven steps ahead. Either way, Sony is way ahead of the full-frame mirrorless competition. They had no reason to put 4K video in the A7 / A7R, even if they could have. I’d argue they should have put IBIS into their 1st gen, though, but that’s a nit-pick.

      The way they’ve developed three separate lines, in my opinion, is perfect. You cannot have a low-light champion AND a speed champion AND a resolution champion all in one camera. Or if you try to, each will be a slight compromise.

      So, yeah. Sony really should have put many of the A7R II features into the A7 II. They should have done a lot better job on the original trio. But they’re still 7-10 steps ahead of the competition, so at this point they can do whatever they want, and people will buy it. (Except me, lol)

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    • Kyle Stauffer

      I was just thinking the same thing in regards to Sony developing three specific cameras for three specific needs (The A7II being more middle ground do-all camera).

      Shooting Nikon, I was one of those hoping that the D700 replacement would be the simple update we were all hoping for in a low-light, robust camera for around $3K. I could be wrong, but I think Nikon hurt themselves worst by not creating a 5d Mk III “ish” camera in fear of hurting their D4 sales. I assume wedding photography is producing the most market demand. Therefore I would be sure as a company to capitalize on those sales. Unfortunately, most wedding photographers shooting Nikon are left with a retro low light camera, an awesome camera in a body that leaves many wanting, and a great body with a high megapixel sensor (assuming the majority of the market aren’t spending $6k on a camera). If I were Nikon, I would have been considering putting out a D810s rumor before the 5d Mark IV rolls out and they lose even more sales to a camera that appears to be designed by wedding photographers. I’ll bet ten dollars to a doughnut that the 5d mk IV sales make the 5ds look pitifully insignificant. Sorry for getting off topic.

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    • Richard WILSON

      “ The cycle for sony will never end, because they don’t put all the tech they can in the camera that they have at the time. They save it and put out incremental updates…” To be honest, most if not all corporation does this, from TV manufacturer to smartphones…

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  3. adam sanford

    Doggone it, why do the big announcements always drop when I’m gone on a business trip!

    Seems like a very high-end product offering for the mirrorless faithful. I keep reading stories of folks who bought the A7 also bought the A7R, then they bought the A7 II, and now they’ll buy this. The enthusiasts can’t pay Sony fast enough for new stuff, it’s crazy.

    I’m curious (a) what percentage of A7R II buyers are pros and (b) what the “average time until you buy another camera body” is for A7-platform owners. My guess is (a) small but growing and (b) only about 6-12 months. I believe this is an enthusiast-led buying craze, but if they get away from compressed RAW files and start offering more glass, that will start to change.

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  4. Brian McCue

    It took twice as long to read the comments as the original post, really good discussion!

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  5. Gene Gregory

    if this baby can do action and Sony up their game on the lens wars,

    gameover for canon and Nikon if that happens!, this should be a wake up call for the 2 giants!

    366 phase detect + Zeiss lens equals action!! sure hope they add a battery grip for this one

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    • fotosiamo

      Oh they’ll have a battery grip. In, I’m sure the one for the a7 II will be the battery grip. It’ s just like how the original a7/a7R/a7S all share the same battery grip.

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    • barbara farley

      Yeah right… everyone is going to dump their crappy old L glass now.

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  6. Rafael Steffen

    Image quality is just amazing!

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  7. Paddy McDougall

    Loads of great discussion on this and it really made me think about the camera and whether the jump to mirror less would be what I hope. Firstly hats off to sony for pulling all this into one body, it sounds like a great camera. However, for me personally, when I thought about what I shoot, weddings, landscapes and occasionally portraits, do I really need loads of focus points? Generally I use the middle one and one or two others. 4k video? my laptop nearly blows up when I process my gopro 4k video and I am a stills shooter 99% of the time. My 6d is 27 oz and 20mp seems ample for even large prints. Battery life, I can nearly shoot a full day on one battery. It’s taken me years to build up my L glass, can I start that process again? Probably not. I think I will give my wallet a rest and get back to taking pictures…

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    • barbara farley

      “It’s taken me years to build up my L glass,” I think that is where a lot of the insecurity some photographers seem to have is coming from but I don’t think Sony’s mirrorless offerings are a threat. Those lenses that you have are going to be valuable for as long as they last. They are great lenses and always will be. I doubt you are going to have trouble finding a great body to mount them on. If I had such a collection, I would do as you say and get back to taking pictures while appreciating any innovations from any manufacturer. I really think it’s a good thing for the industry to be moving and shaking and challenging each other.

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    • Dave Haynie

      Yeah… laptops are not for video work. My six-core home system was built for easy HD editing (the six cores), large photo work (the 64GB RAM), and of course, video storage (1TB SSD + 6TB RAID in the box, 16TB RAID in a separate box). And this IS long GOP AVC, it will really be 4x as CPU/GPU intensive to edit versus typical HD video. I’m not sure I even want to think about a 24-core desktop :-)

      Far as resolution goes, I also have a 6D that pretty much does it. Though I’ll admit that I have played around with the hires mode on my OM-D E-M5II, and find that kind of compelling.. though as much for the lack of Bayer interpolation as the higher effective pixel resolution.

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    • Dave Haynie

      I’m not expecting Canon to put 4K video into any DSLR that’s not an EOS 1D C replacement this year. I’d love to be wrong. Nikon might, grabbing the advantage over Canon, particularly if they get this sensor from Sony.

      But I’m really waiting for one of the DSLR companies to build a hybrid viewfinder. When you look at this Sony, it’s really clear that nothing but the EVF is different than a DSLR. I mean, Pentax has done IBIS with DSLR, Canon’s done 4K, Nikon and Canon have done high pixel counts. So maybe you love the EVF and switch to Sony because of that, maybe that’s not even a concern and you’re switching to Sony because, like most of the mirrorless companies, they’re just hungrier than Nikon or Canon. Or maybe you stick with DSLR.

      But put a nice transparent OLED in a conventional DSLR viewfinder (Samsung just showed off full TV-sized transparent OLED displays, it’s definitely possible) and you’re there. Used in “optical mode”, the OLED will give you mirrorless-like information as an overlay to the normal optical view if you want it. Flip to EVF mode, the mirror locks up, darkening the viewfinder, and now your OLED is the full display. All of a sudden, a more capable system than just a mirrorless, no significant increase in weight, the option for a thousand shots per battery in optical mode (versus the usual 300-or-so in a mirrorless), and no change in lens mount. That might be the camera that gets to buy a new Canon body.

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  8. Kyle Stauffer

    From my comment above… I didn’t mean shutter speed, I mean frame rate*

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  9. Kyle Stauffer

    There is only 2 thing that really makes me envy mirror-less (Sometimes). One is the ability to see the exposure before the shutter button is released. I’m thinking of getting a Sony for my wife for this very reason as she struggles with what buttons/settings does what. The second is the ease of high shutter speed attainability. Perhaps the second is a misconception and has nothing to do with a mirror.

    Other things I wouldn’t mind in Nikon that Sony does
    -Manual Focus tools such as focus peaking and manual focus assist
    – Quieter shutter (My D800 sounds like a truck door in some situations)
    – Better Live View focusing
    – Wirelessly controlling the camera from my phone and also instant mobile transfer of photo’s from camera to phone. Sure this is gimmicky, but could be useful in some situations

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  10. Jason Switzer

    I was really jazzed about this new Sony until I read the comments. For me, adding a mirrorless system to my Canon system has always been about getting a high quality sensor in a lightweight body that can use lightweight lenses. I know the battery life sucks with the Sonys, but I was prepared to deal with that. Now that I’ve learned that the A7R II weighs almost the same weight as a D750, I’m really rethinking the benefits of adding a mirrorless system to my kit. I’ll wait for Canon to release their 5D4 and 6D2 before making any purchases.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Jason, if you’re looking to save weight or money, Sony has been continual proof that full-frame is simply not gonna make that happen. Sensor size is by far the biggest way to save money, weight, and space.

      I would only add a Sony full-frame system to my kit if I needed its other features, such as 4K video and the in-body stabilization, etc.

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  11. Lloyd Grace

    I will never understand all the Canon/Nikon snobs. Are you that insecure with your purchase decision that you have to bash all others for theirs? Sony is pushing the advancement of technology in the photo industry. That forces EVERYONE to compete which is good for ALL photographers. You bought what you thought was the best for you. Why do you feel the need to belittle others for doing the same? {Every bully is insecure}

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Where are the Canon/Nikon snobs?

      Nobody is belittling anybody’s choice. There are people that don’t understand what this “mirrorless” camera has to offer over DSLRs? Why are mirrorless snobs proclaiming the death of the DSLR because of this camera when for all practical purposes this camera IS a DSLR right down to the pentaprism shaped bump in the top center of the camera. The only thing the Sony has to offer AT THIS POINT is some newer tech that will eventually be found in a DSLR.

      The A7 isn’t a DSLR killer, it’s pretty much a DSLR camera without a mirror and with the drawback of a battery sucking EVF.

      If you feel bullied because some people are comparing and contrasting camera systems you must be overly sensitive. And calling people “bullies” is in itself a form of being a bully. You’re trying to bully people into not having discussions about cameras. Like I said nobody is bashing anyone’s choice of camera. The discussions have all been about the different feature sets of cameras.

      As far as I can see there are no comments stating that Canon/Nikon are superior to Sony and that nobody should buy this camera.

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    • Michael Young

      I know this comment isn’t about me, but for me, I’m always a little suspect about Sony’s release notes (any company, really), b/c they tend to be fluffy in nature when compared to the real world. “The A6000 has the fastest AF in the world!” Then you see it’s for it’s sensor size, and camera type, and under certain lighting conditions. Then everyone and their mom is running around the same misleading information. “I have 256 AF points, and your DSLR only has 51!” Yet the DSLRs focus better than mirrorless counterparts (for now).

      I don’t think it’s about being snobby (for me), I’m just not getting caught up in the spec hype.

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    • Stephen Jennings

      I’n a Nikon user, but I would switch in an instant to a system that was better. The Sony system isn’t.. it’s not up to par, it’s not “professional” for lack of a better word. Even when their bodies finally catch up, their lenses are lacking. I think most dedicated photographers have a brand they prefer, I also think most would switch allegiances if it meant a significantly better system for the same price point.

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    • fotosiamo

      No, J. Dennis Thomas. It is only YOUR OPINION that the Sony a7/a7R/a7S system is not “professional.”

      And you are a Nikon Snob. It’s fine, you published books on Nikon. Good for you.

      You see, not everybody needs a range of 30-40 lenses in their repertoire for their professional needs. If you’re a sports photographer, sure, that missing high end telephoto is not on the Native E-mount. But that’s a niche lens.

      By the end of 2015, what Sony and others have for the e-mount lens will cover the majority of photographers needs out there. For everything else, we welcome Canon and Nikon as our favorite third-party lens suppliers for the Sony a7 system.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      FOTOSUAMO:

      Haha. Dude you’re all bent out of shape. Relax. Just because I wrote books for Nikon doesn’t make me a Nikon snob. Hell, I shoot Leica more than I shoot Nikon anyway.

      There’s no point in discussing this with you because obviously you feel Sony is somehow connected to your self esteem so when anyone is critical you get all hurt.

      Have fun. It’s only a camera. Nobody made fun of your kid or anything.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      By the way FOTOSUAMO before you flip out on someone you should READ the comments closer. I never said the A7 series wasn’t “professional”. Somebody else wrote that.

      So if you want to get all pissed about the camera not being called professional aim your misplaced aggression somewhere else.

      This only proves a point. You are so upset that not everyone likes “your” camera that you aren’t even reading the comments objectively.

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  12. Stephen Jennings

    This camera could tempt people to jump to Sony.. let’s be honest, it’s a technological masterpiece. In my opinion anyways. I don’t care about weight or the sound of a mirror slapping.. I do care about resolution, iso performance, auto focus and so on. If the innards of this camera where in a Nikon people wouldn’t have anything to pause about. It shows Sony, maybe not quite yet, but soon, is going to have to be taken very seriously when it comes to a “professional” system.

    Sony’s lens line up sucks though.. even the Zeiss lenses are crap compared to what they make for Nikon and Canon.

    Now I shall sit back and wait to see what Sony is making for Nikon. :P

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    • Richard WILSON

      Some few guys already did with the Sony 6000, Imagine this. youtube.com/watch?v=7wM_5nROeaw / youtube.com/watch?v=TLe6tjjBrjQ

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  13. Matthew Saville

    Has anybody else noticed the progression of size and weight from Sony A-body to A-body?

    The original A7 / A7R was ~14 oz.
    The A7 mk2 was 21 oz.
    The A7R mk2 is 22 oz.

    A Nikon D750 is 26 oz, and a Df is 25 oz.

    The Sony FE lenses are even more of a “mixed signal” with regard to mirrorless’ claims to weight / space savings. Heck, some FE lenses are even bigger / heavier than their DSLR competition.

    All of a sudden, something has become very apparent to me:

    Aside from the WYSIWYG of an EVF, (and even that can be achieved in live view anyways, if you get a HoodLoupe.) …every feature that is exciting about Sony’s whole FE system has very little to do with mirrorless itself, and more to do with Sony’s innovations in general. Seriously. Pick a feature, and ask yourself if its also possible in a DSLR. (Pentax already has IBIS, and they’re claiming 4.5 stops of stabilization too!)

    Really the only thing left is the ability to mount so many different lenses. This can indeed be a huge advantage to any folks who are currently dissatisfied with their current body offerings. However on the flip side, the lack of native FE lenses can be even more of a deal-breaker.

    It really depends on what type of photography you do, and what equipment you already own.

    Personally as a Nikon-shooting astro-landscape photographer, I’m not going anywhere, my D750 suits me perfectly. I’m far more interested in seeing what Pentax has up their sleeve, than Sony.

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    • fotosiamo

      Honestly, who cares if it’s not the lightest camera possible. The D750 barely have the technology crammed in the a7R II.

      Mirrorless camera is not all about super light weight or super small body. It’s having the versatility to go light as possible or bigger and full featured.

      And yes, the same can be said about DSLRs and have actually now come to fruition. Every technology on a DSLR, save the mirror, can be put into a mirrorless. Not only has Sony done it, but it has taken it much further than what Nikon and Canon dare to do.

      This year alone will cover 90% of photographer’s need in lenses, from macro (90mm) to wide angle (16-35mm). Hell you can even get the Mitakon 50mm f/0.95 with native E-mount if you want a Noctilux-type lens.

      And which FE lens are you referring that are bigger/heavier than their DSLR counterpart? Are they the same aperture? Same amount/quality of glass? The same build quality or is one built of cheap plastic (cough Canon 50mm f/1.8)?

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    • Matthew Saville

      That’s exactly my point, Joe. Mirrorless cameras aren’t even about being mirrorless, for the most part, if we start saying “who cares if it’s not the lightest camera possible”. Almost all of the technology implemented is tech that could also be done in any DSLR, especially for those who are okay with using live view and not an EVF. (As most cinema shooters probably are using external monitors anyways)

      Indeed, some of the Sony FE glass is clearly of a higher standard than its DSLR competition, (FE 55 1.8 vs any other) However the Sony 24-70 f/4 is barely any lighter than the Canon 24-70 f/4, and the Sony 70-200 f/4 is actually heavier than the Canon. And the Canon is known to be one of the sharpest lenses on the whole EF mount, so Zeiss or no Zeiss, it’s splitting hairs at that point.

      All in all, I’m impressed with what Sony is doing, but I feel compelled to point out that both the price and weight savings are not as common as the hype of it all would make it seem. Really, it comes down to whether or not you need the technology that Sony’s system is offering. Because total system price and weight, on average, are a complete toss-up.

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    • fotosiamo

      Price has never been the game for majority of mirrorless, especially the a7 series. They’re not going for the bargain FF.

      And as for weight saving, zoom lenses do have more glass and physics is still physics, so all that glass for full-frame will have to be factored in.

      What I’m saying is that just because it’s not cheaper or much much lighter than FF DSLRS doesn’t mean that the Sony a7 series is not worth getting. There are definitely all that technology in crammed in there, especially with this a7R II.

      All those feature is why it’s not a complete toss up between the a7R II, Canon 5D mkIII, or Nikon D810, because the a7R provides a whole more.

      High resolution, check
      4K internal recording, check
      5-axis IBIS, check.
      Back-illuminated sensor, check.
      399 phase detect AF, check.
      Ability to use practically any camera lenses under the sun with fast focus and IBIS, check.
      LOG recording for video, check.

      And you can say “almost all those technology can be put into a DSLR”, except they don’t or they won’t.

      If Canon or Nikon can provided a camera that comes close to all those features, then you can say it’s a complete toss up. Otherwise, they’re several laps behind Sony.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      ““almost all those technology can be put into a DSLR”, except they don’t or they won’t.”

      Dude, you’re talking about a camera that came out YESTERDAY. literally. You don’t think someone else is working on the same tech as we speak?

      40+ megapickels? – marketing hype, nearly nobody needs this.

      4K video? – meh for a niche market, still photographers don’t need it, real videographers are using real video cameras. 4K is there because although it’s usable for some it’s mostly marketing hype and won’t actually be used by the consumer set to full potential.

      5-Axis IBIS – Yeah, that’s good, but not Sony specific.

      BSI sensor – Great feature, about time someone finally did this. Sony gets props on this one.

      399 Phase Detect AF – Phase detect AF sensors and true PDAF that DSLR’s have are different. The latter being way more reliable. In real life the DSLR wins over this.

      Ability to use practically any camera lenses under the sun with fast focus and IBIS – Think again. Only Sony and Canon lenses are able to autofocus fast. The latter only with a very expensive piece of gear added. So you’re back to fast native mount lenses. The most desirable lenses are manual focus anyway. Why jam a full-frame Canon lens on a big adapter to get almost as fast focus on a Sony when you can do it better with Canon? Built-in IBIS is nice but really is only needed because the damn lenses are so big and the camera body is so small it’s getting difficult to hold it still. You can shoot a Leica M several stops slower and get a sharp image without IBIS. Not to mention IBIS isn’t going to freeze movement. It’s not a magic bullet.

      Sony isn’t several laps ahead of anybody. They are using bits and pieces of things that are done better in other cameras to make a good camera, but aside from the BSI sensor which WILL be used very soon by someone else.

      Honestly, there’s nothing to gain for most people by switching to this Sony, and I damn sure wouldn’t do it because no matter how much resolution you jam into that little EVF you’re still looking AT a tiny TV not OUT at the world. That makes a huge difference to someone who shoots for hours at a time. You’re focusing your eye on something very close and eyestrain is going to be a REAL problem.

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    • Michael Young

      Fotosiamo, you sound defensive. Matthew makes a solid point. They hype about mirrorless started off about size. You couldn’t read a review without someone pointing out the benefit of size while using mirrorless. Olympus even created a commercial about “DSLR arm.” Now it’s looking like the size benefits are going away with the increase of size and weight in the new Sony bodies and lenses.

      Yes. 36mp is still high resolution, and 42.2 is more, but seriously?
      Yes. 4k is a big benefit.
      Yes. IBS is awesome, but not new, preferred by all, and not exclusive to Sony.
      Yes. BIS is nice, but it did’t give Samsung better IQ than Sony’s a6000.
      Yes. 399 PDAF are nice, but not a big benefit if they don’t work as well as the 51/61 in DSLRs.
      No. You’re not going to be able to use fast AF with any lens under the sun, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The metabones adapters sucks for AF, and the Sony adapters do have limitations.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Yup, again, to be clear, I’m not slamming the camera at all.

      I’m merely pointing out that, as Sony makes efforts to deliver top-notch lenses and to improve body build quality and performance, they almost completely lose any weight or price advantage, both of which were originally very hyped as benefits.

      In fact a Nikon D810 and Nikon 35 1.4 G weigh and cost about the same as an A7R mk2 and the Zeiss 35 1.4. Over $4K, and about 3 pounds.

      What I wish to point out is that people are mistaking mirrorless itself, with Sony’s overall technology.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Personally I don’t want all the bells & whistles of the Sony or even the D810. Keep your overly high MP, EVF, 4K video, IBIS, fancy AF, and what not. Give me a Leica M and a 35mm Summilux any day.

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    • fotosiamo

      Good for you if you want a camera with a great sensor and no bells and whistles. That’s your preference, and your opinion are just that, not facts.

      Some of us wants a Maserati to drive around with, and others want a Lotus Elise.

      And since you’re only a stills photographer, you really have no idea how much bigger 4K is to us videographers. I’ve worked and shot with everything from ARRI Alexa to EPIC Dragon to Sony F5 to Sony a7S and Panasonic GH4.

      Having more resolution gives us more flexibility and better color fidelity. Our final delivery format may or may not be be 4K or more, but we sure rather have more resolution than less if provided the chance.

      Don’t pretend to know what you’re talking about in the video world and saying it’s “for a niche market, still photographers don’t need it, real videographers are using real video cameras. 4K is there because although it’s usable for some it’s mostly marketing hype and won’t actually be used by the consumer set to full potential.”

      I’ve worked on features where a 6K EPIC DRAGON is cut with a Sony a7S. Hell, I’ve DP’d a shoot of LA Philharmonics Orchestra using the RED EPIC at 5K and the Sony a7S to Shogun at 4K.

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    • Dave Haynie

      @J. Dennis Thomas: IBIS is way more than just a way to deal with a huge camera. Sure, I can hold a smaller camera steady much longer than a big camera. But how about a smaller camera with IBIS. I’ve got second-long hand-held shots with my Olympus E-M5II with no visible shake (yes, subject blur is another issue). These latest IBIS systems make you superman — whatever you could do without it, you can actually get 4-5 more stops with it.

      @Michael Young: sure, Olympus put out that “DSL-Arm” ad, and it’s funny. But it’s really targeted at full sized systems of any kind. FF mirrorless doesn’t really save you any significant weight or size — that’s not a surprise. Sony really should have upped their battery size, that’s the main general defect with the A7 system. More weight, sure, but their battery is just over half the capacity of Nikon or Canon DSLR batteries, and EVF cameras will always use much more power. So in a sense, they’ve cheated on the size, and still only save you a few ounces on the body over FF alternatives from the other guys. And in any real kit, it’s going to be the weight of the glass that really matters.

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  14. John Priest

    I would really like to be a fly-on-th-wall at ANY executive meeting for Canon or Nikon right now…

    I just can’t believe Canikon is sitting on their glutz and doing NOTHING… to answer Sony’s attack on the FF Mirrorless market space! They’re ignoring this market, like Newspapers ignoring the internet… for people getting the news.
    Sigh…

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    • Dave Haynie

      I’m still not sure Canon and Nikon see mirrorless itself as a real threat. Not sure that’s a correct view, either. But I do wonder, now that Sony’s finally gaining ground after all the years of hype over mirrorless without much real movement, is that because Sony’s mirrorless, or because they got aggressively innovative in a FF market that’s been so long dominated by the same two players and their more gradual evolution of things. I mean, I bought into mirrorless as a compact alternative, but you don’t get that with an A7 system. So you have either find the EVF really compelling, or you have to find everything else really compelling and the EVF not enough of a turn-off to drive you away. Size and weight don’t win here, and you take on limitations such as consumer class battery life (CIPA rating of 270 shots on the A7II).

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  15. Michael Young

    EH, I’ll just wait for the unbiased reviews to come out (Tony and Chelsea come to mind). Sony (like most companies) are good for putting marketing fluff in their releases. I just saw a video where a Sony shooter said DSLRs have better AF, but Sony’s are more advanced.

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    • Ben Perrin

      Tony has just released his initial review although it’ll be some time before they can actually get their hands on a camera. His initial thoughts are quite positive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7-RRqUsDMQ

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      “Tony has just released his initial review although it’ll be some time before they can actually get their hands on a camera. His initial thoughts are quite positive. ”

      How can you review a camera you’ve never had your hands on?

      I mean if I reviewed a McLaren F1 without actually driving it, what does it really mean? Short answer: Absolutely NOTHING.

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    • Ben Perrin

      Of course it’s not a proper review. It’s just his initial thoughts based on the information that has already been provided. He’s not trying to sell the camera just facilitate a conversation by giving his thoughts based on a sample video and marketing speak.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      You’re the one that called it “review” not me.

      Knowing Northrup the video is probably 45 minutes of non-sequiturs anyway.

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    • Matthew Saville

      J. Dennis Thomas,

      Did you just find a way to confuse Tony Northtrup, Ken Rockwell, and Jared Polin in one post? Well played.

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    • Thomas Horton

      “You’re the one that called it “review” not me. ”

      Technically, he called it “initial review”. Which is not uncommon in the photography world of publish firstest. :)

      I don’t think that anyone is making a serious purchasing decision based on any initial reviews. :)

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Northrup is a windbag. He babbles on and on and is more confusing than any other “reviewer” out there.

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    • Michael Young

      I really didn’t expect this to turn into a bashing contest. I saw Tony’s “tech overview,” which was fine. What I’m curious about is how it will perform in the real world. He’s one of the few reviewers who acknowledges shortcomings of a camera or system, and doesn’t get too caught up.

      As much as I think Jason Lanier is a good guy, I feel he’s too entrenched into the Sony lineup to admit shortcomings. Gary Fong is, well, Gary Fong; DRTV is more entertaining than they are informative; Kelby is bought out by Canon; and Jared doesn’t touch Sony. Tony’s a gear/tech head that doesn’t care about brand.

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  16. Ben Perrin

    The 4k video does look good on this camera. I do like that Sony seems to innovate on the a7 series. They are certainly causing a splash.

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  17. Uncle Bob

    I own some Fuji stuff and must admit that the Sony mirrorless line does look tempting but every time I consider going away from DSLRs I get stuck on a few dealbreakers…. 1) I don’t want to carry around 8-10 batteries for a single wedding, and 2) when I look at the size of the equivalent lenses I would need, the smaller size factor advantage goes out the window, especially for Sony which is so lacking in native lenses that you actually need to add in an adapter and DSLR lenses just to get a complete kit! At that point you’re really not much smaller than the DSLR you were trying to get away from in the first place.

    Sony is certainly doing well for itself with this line of cameras so I won’t be so ridiculous to suggest they need my business, but if I ever make the switch I’d need better battery performance, more lens selection AND then those lenses would have to be significantly smaller than their DSLR counterparts to even make sense.

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    • fotosiamo

      Actually, there are now a lot more native E lenses out right now. Sure, we can do with faster aperture (they’re already coming!), but for the most part the focal length have been covered for 90% of photographers out there.

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    • barbara farley

      I agree with you 100%. And this is why I am sitting back and waiting. If lenses can be crafted to be light and small to match the body, that will be a huge game changer, IMO.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      There’s a thing called physics. If you want small, light, high quality, autofocus, AND full-frame you’re not going to get it. The lens has to be big enough to more than cover the full-frame sensor which is twice the size of a crop. Therefore lenses MUST be bigger.

      You can wait forever, but physics dictates the size of the lens.

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    • Uncle Bob

      J. Dennis- I get that and it’s kind of the point.

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    • Dave Haynie

      The only real way to get smaller lenses is to use a smaller sensor. Sure, they can tweak the designs a bit, use more plastic to lighten the weight, use more expensive lens elements to shrink things a bit, but physics is physics. And there’s nothing Sony can do to shrink a lens that Nikon or Canon cannot.

      Even in smaller systems, there’s only so much you can do. My 40-150mm f/2.8 Zuiko PRO (80-300 equivalent magnification) for my OM-D system is 6.30″ long and weighs 31.4oz…. ironically, the longest, heaviest lens I own.

      My Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM is 5.6″ long and weighs 22.2oz, but the “L” version with the same basic specs, also 5.6″ long, weighs almost 37oz. So in a sense, at least here, I’m gaining 1-2 stops with no real size/weight advantage on the lens. No one makes a 70-300 f/2.8 for full frame, but you do see an even better weight advantage one you’re talking 70-200 f/4L or f/2.8L for Canon. And Olympus is one company traditionally giving attention to making a smaller system. All told, I have seven m43 lenses in a Lowepro Stealth Reporter bag with a battery grip and two bodies, versus the Canon 6D with five lenses in the next-size-up Stealth Reporter bag. They’re pretty similarly outfit, too. That’s a real world size win, but quite a bit of reduction in sensor size.

      For FF DSLR vs. Mirrorless, I really don’t think there’s a measurable size advantage for Mirrorless when building equivalent systems. It’s going come down to the specifics of your lens collection, and just how many extra batteries you need for the way you actually use your mirrorless camera.

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  18. J. Dennis Thomas

    I really don’t see the advantage that this camera would have over a DSLR with the same guts. If this camera is half as good as the raving “review” (which is really just gushing over Sony’s marketing) then using this technology with a true OVF and PDAF system it would blow every pro DSLR out of the water.

    Also remember, not everyone wants an EVF camera. The DSLR is not going to be killed by this over megapickled battery sucker.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I’m pretty shocked that someone is saying what I’m thinking.

      A Nikon D750 body weighs 26 oz, this thing weighs 22 oz. Nobody in their right mind could complain about that difference, especially considering the terrible battery life of the Sony that requires you to carry around 3-4 extras.

      With that in mind, imagine Nikon takes a D750 body, slaps in this sensor, adds in-body stabilization, focus peaking and whatever else to live view, and charges $3200 for it.

      All of a sudden, the uproar this Sony mirrorless system is receiving stops being about the “mirrorless” catchphrase almost entirely.

      TLDR, Sony is simply building a good system, and it happens to be EVF. Nikon and Canon, in my humble opinion, need to worry a little bit less about mirrorless VS DSLR, and worry a bit more generally about all the other technological innovations Sony is putting R&D into.

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    • fotosiamo

      Heh. To each its own. To be honest, one of the big advantages of mirrorless, besides the EVF (which I love, especially now with the largest viewfinder magnification of ANY full-frame camera), is the ability to adapt any lenses.

      The a7R II has 5-axis IBIS that will stabilize ANY lens, and its 399 phase-detect AF, according to DP Review, focuses a Canon 24-70mm on a Metabones adapter FASTER than a native Canon body.

      http://www.dpreview.com/articles/4329110043/alpha-dog-hands-on-with-sony-a7r-ii?slide=5

      Checkmate, Canon. But I’m sure they’ll be happy to be called Sony’s largest third-party lens supplier =D

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    • fotosiamo

      it doesn’t need OVF and a DSLR PDAF system to blow pro DSLR out of the water. It’s going to do that the Sony way, the mirrorless way.

      As for the batteries, they are super small and light anyways. Plus you can live with a battery grip with 2x battery all day long like I do and not feel exhausted with the weight that you’d have with regular full-frame DSLRs.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      FOTOSIAMO:

      To each his own indeed. How much is that Metabones adapter? Why does that matter to the Nikon contingent? And the biggest thing of all? “According to DPReview”, which is owned by Amazon and therefore pushing to to SELL, SELL, SELL. I mean c’mon, looking to DPReview for an honest opinion on gear is like going to the outlet mall looking for the cheapest prices. Ain’t gonna happen.

      And just because YOU love the EVF doesn’t mean everyone does. And the largest full-frame viewfinder magnification does NOT got to the Sony at 0.78, it goes to the Voigtlander Bessa R with a 1:1 VF.

      Honestly, with this Leica Q that just came out, in a few years Sony is gonna be scrambling. The IQ is better, the focus is faster, IBIS, better build quality. A secret sensor that may not be a kajillion megapixels, but performs better. A top-notch team of lens designers that can make a lens that outshines anything that Sony can come up with. Trust me Sony isn’t going to be on top in the full-frame mirrorless game for long. The next gen Leica is going to put the fear into Sony, because once that ILC Q hits, Sony will be the relegated to second best.

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    • Petr Kulda

      second and third frame in cart video shows some misses in focusing, its impresive, but i am staying with DSLR for AF-C(servo)

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    • fotosiamo

      J. Dennis, you sure about that? Considering that more than half of the digital cameras out right now, including most of Nikons and all the 50MP CMOS medium format cameras have Sony sensors, I think Sony is blasting all cylinders in innovation.

      And for the Leica Q being better IQ and faster AF, it better be since it’s a FIXED lens. Same thing was said about the Sony RX1 because they can specialize a sensor for just one lens.

      Why in the world would I trust you with your prediction that Sony will not be the top dog in the full-frame mirrorless game for long? Who’s challenging them? Canon? Nikon? Bwah, they’re too scared to cannibalize their DSLRs. At least Nikons don’t have aging technology like Canon because they use…. Sony sensors.

      And no, the next gen Leica will be a niche product. Always has been, always will be. Sony is not scared because it’s already moving too fast to look back at the competition.

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    • Thomas Horton

      “With that in mind, imagine Nikon takes a D750 body, slaps in this sensor, adds in-body stabilization, focus peaking and whatever else to live view, and charges $3200 for it.”

      I would sell my 800 for what ever I could get and grab this.

      From your keyboard to Nikon’s eyes. :)

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      “Considering that more than half of the digital cameras out right now, including most of Nikons and all the 50MP CMOS medium format cameras have Sony sensors, I think Sony is blasting all cylinders in innovation.”

      The really funny thing is that Sony is the only company that can’t seem to squeeze all they can out of their sensors. Every Nikon camera that shares then same sensor with a Sony blows away the the Sony version. And in the case of the D4/Df the sensor is a Nikon design and in order to best it Sony had to back all the way down to 12MP.

      “the next gen Leica will be a niche product. Always has been, always will be”

      Always has been a niche product? Maybe since you were born, but Leica was the de facto standard camera for all professional photographer shooting 35mm until the SLR came along and made focusing and framing easier. It may be a niche camera now, but it wasn’t always. And if you want to count out Leica just because of the name then you’re just having tunnel-vision like all the rest of the Fuji and Sony camp. Nikon and Canon aren’t challenging them because they realize that the demand for high-end mirrorless cameras like this only exists in a small niche in the camera nerd world. Regular consumers aren’t knocking down the doors to buy the A7, only a small but vocal group of advanced amateurs are making it seem to people like you that mirrorless is somehow more in demand than it really is. Spend some time in a camera shop and see how many consumers buy mirrorless cameras. They don’t care about legacy lenses and full-frame sensors. Give the masses a D5300/Digital Rebel with a kit lens and they will be happy.

      Give us pros that need a more flexible system that has actual tried and true PDAF that is predictable and accurate with an OVF that doesn’t suck batteries like Nosferatu sucks blood.

      Sure some pros have switched to mirrorless, but most of them are specialized and they are pushed to the forefront by marketing. Why do you think Fuji has so many “official” Fuji-X photographers? They get free shit and they tweet and facebook about it. Sony does the same.

      The regular working photographers and the average consumers that don’t hang out on camera forums are the majority of camera buyers and THAT is who Canon and Nikon are still marketing to. Not the 1% of camera forum dorks that have been screaming the “DSLR is dead” for the last few years.

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    • fotosiamo

      “The really funny thing is that Sony is the only company that can’t seem to squeeze all they can out of their sensors. Every Nikon camera that shares then same sensor with a Sony blows away the the Sony version. And in the case of the D4/Df the sensor is a Nikon design and in order to best it Sony had to back all the way down to 12MP.”

      Nope, it’s not night and day difference between a Nikon vs Sony cameras that shares the same sensor. Sure some can argue that Nikon may be a tad better, but it’s not night and day. I’ll take the other advantages that Sony provides over that 5% IQ improvement that Nikon may/may not provide.

      “Always has been a niche product? Maybe since you were born, but Leica was the de facto standard camera for all professional photographer shooting 35mm until the SLR came along and made focusing and framing easier. It may be a niche camera now, but it wasn’t always. And if you want to count out Leica just because of the name then you’re just having tunnel-vision like all the rest of the Fuji and Sony camp. Nikon and Canon aren’t challenging them because they realize that the demand for high-end mirrorless cameras like this only exists in a small niche in the camera nerd world. Regular consumers aren’t knocking down the doors to buy the A7, only a small but vocal group of advanced amateurs are making it seem to people like you that mirrorless is somehow more in demand than it really is. Spend some time in a camera shop and see how many consumers buy mirrorless cameras. They don’t care about legacy lenses and full-frame sensors. Give the masses a D5300/Digital Rebel with a kit lens and they will be happy.

      Give us pros that need a more flexible system that has actual tried and true PDAF that is predictable and accurate with an OVF that doesn’t suck batteries like Nosferatu sucks blood.

      Sure some pros have switched to mirrorless, but most of them are specialized and they are pushed to the forefront by marketing. Why do you think Fuji has so many “official” Fuji-X photographers? They get free shit and they tweet and facebook about it. Sony does the same.

      The regular working photographers and the average consumers that don’t hang out on camera forums are the majority of camera buyers and THAT is who Canon and Nikon are still marketing to. Not the 1% of camera forum dorks that have been screaming the “DSLR is dead” for the last few years.”

      Oh please say what you want, but Leica is STILL a niche product because of its pricing. It’s almost as niche as a medium format camera. And go ahead and keep thinking that the mirrorless market is really that small. It’s growing and it will continue to eat away the DSLR market. DSLR may not be dead yet, but it’s diminishing every year.

      And how fucking insulting that you think the only photographers who uses mirrorless cameras are “advanced amateurs” and “camera forum dorks.”

      My clients don’t care that I shot with an a7R vs a Canon or Nikon: http://www.fotosiamo.com

      I’ll give you another friend of mine who shoots automotive photography exclusively with the a7R. His clients? Toyota and Lexus of Canada:

      http://steho.ca/

      Go ahead, stay with your Nikon or Canon. But don’t go around saying us mirrorless users are fucking amateurs.

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    • Dave Haynie

      You have to decide if the EVF is of value on its own merits. There is no real size advantage when you’re full-frame and talking about a whole system. Sure, the body is more compact than D750 but lighter only by ounces. Same against my 6D, though of course, the sensor is in a different class. But add a battery grip to this, it’s now larger and heavier than the D750 or 6D, and still doesn’t deliver half the shot count (at least based on CIPA ratings). The reason I chose m43 for mirrorless was that I didn’t really want to replace my Canon system, I wanted an alternative that, conditionally, could deliver similar results at a fraction of the weight.

      If you’re shooting video at eye level, the EVF is an obvious advantage over a DSLR… though I’m not sure anyone ever does that. I know when I’m doing DSLR video, it’s camera on tripod, period. In the past, I’d add a real camcorder on a Glidecam if I needed to be mobile, but today, my Olympus OM-D E-M5II might do that job better, thanks to the IBIS. So it’s likely Sony’s got that, they’re claiming this IBIS is nearly as good as that of the Olympus, better than the A7II.

      There are times when I like EVF. The ability to see more information at eye level, like level indicators, histogram, etc. is pretty nice. The lag and “unreal” look detract, but honestly, going from older EVFs to the E-M5II really changed my brain’s rejection of the EVF. And from the spec, this will be the best EVF ever.

      It’ll also be an interesting test of the Nikon-Sony relationship, how fast Nikon gets this sensor. If at all. Until that happens, it will be a moot question.

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    • Dave Haynie

      I can’t help but thinking that at least a big part of the enthusiasm for adapting lenses from Canon, Nikon, etc. to mirrorless in general, and Sony in particular, is more the lack of those lenses existing in native Sony mounts than anything else. Yes, you can adapt just about any DSLR lens to just about any mirrorless camera, either on-the-cheap and fully manual, or on-the-expensive with at least some electronic controls and a Metabones adapter.

      Thing is, this was always possible with Canon EOS. I started out using Olympus OM-System lenses on my Canon EOS Rt way back in the day. Ok, there’s no room for an electronic adapter, but adapters for Nikon F, Olympus OM, Leica-R or M42, Pentax, Canon FE, etc. have been around for years. They’re cheap. But not all THAT compelling, because Canon already has a complete line of lenses, plus all that 3rd party support.

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    • Dave Haynie

      Actually, the best advantage a Nikon version of this might offer is the NEF format for raw photos. Unless they’ve made a change for the A7RII, Sony is still using lossy compression in their raw format. Not sure if that alone explains the difference in IQ between Sonys and Nikons with the same sensor, but when you’re shooting raw anyway, the effects of image processing should be minimal if there at all. Kind of the point of raw.

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  19. Paddy McDougall

    Looks great and the press release stated that more lenses on the way for next year. Looks like next year might be the year I jump to mirror less.

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  20. Anders Madsen

    Thet should not slow down. They should not tell everyone else to catch up. They should start releasing more lenses than camera bodies!

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  21. Kim Farrelly

    I got excited reading that & I’ve no idea why except it seams that Sony had found a good balance in their bodies finally, in terms of application. Fast AF in a full frame hi-res mirrorless camera, if it is as good as they suggest DSLR days just got a little bit more numbered.

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  22. Cameron Reynolds

    I am curious to see the video footage in a normal run and gun setting. Maybe with some interview footage too. On the photography side of things, I really like what Sony has done and if the video is clear of the moiré and aliasing that I have seen plague large MP sensors then this could be a real winner for folks like me that shoot both professional photography and video. Go Sony! Way to keep the pressure on Canon and Nikon.

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  23. Jesper Ek

    Looking good.

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