Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers

Wide ISO range enables use from bright light to near complete darkness.

Sony's incoming α7S II full-frame mirrorless camera has a silent mode for discreet shooting.

Sony's incoming α7S II full-frame mirrorless camera has a silent mode for discreet shooting.

Sony's a7S II compact system camera is targeted at users that want to capture detailed stills in both bright light and near complete darkness, and videographers looking to record in 4K in Sony’s XAVC S format, which uses the highest level of the MPEG-4 standard. Sony is also trumpeting the α7S II’s Full HD filming performance for its full pixel readout sans pixel binning.

The Ultra HD (4K) recording is entirely processed within the camera, while Full HD shooting is available at 120fps at 100Mbps — Sony's best for an Alpha series camera — with full pixel readout. The ultra-high ISO sensitivity — a range of 50-409,600 — rounds off the flagship features of the new α7S II full frame mirrorless model.

Utilising the upgraded Bionz X image processor, the α7S II has improved sensor capabilities and depiction, especially in the mid-to-high range, and there is minimal noise and the latticing effect of moiré, with the resultant extra fine detail a signature feature outcome for the Japanese brand.

The α7S II has a 35mm full frame Exmor CMOS sensor with 12.2 effective pixels, 5-axis image stabilisation, 169 autofocus points and an XGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.36 million dots. Connectivity-wise, both Wi-Fi and NFC are on board, and there is compatibility with Sony’s PlayMemories mobile apps for enhanced “fun creative capabilities”. On the pro side, movie functionality includes S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3 (for negative-like colour reproduction, improving the capture of, say, shadows), new Gamma Display Assist (for checking focus when recording), and enhanced Zebra Function (for correcting over exposure).

On a utilitarian front, the design of this model, specifically the grip and the shutter buttons, has been altered for improved hand-feel; while the E- lens mount has been toughened up to better support third party lenses — a very un-Sony move considering its storied love of proprietary accessories. The α7S II can be charged by USB cable while in use.

Not as clear as the presumed images from this camera is the release date — Sony Australia says “before the end of the year” — and the pricing is also to be confirmed.

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