|Sony Alpha A7 II|
Now there’s already a second-generation A7 for the series. The new Sony Alpha A7 II (Mark 2) has a magnesium alloy frame, and it keeps many of the same specs as the first-gen A7: A 24.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, shutter speeds of up to 1/8000 second, ISO that cranks up to 25,600, and all the Wi-Fi and NFC options we’ve come to expect on newfangled cameras. It also has the same hybrid autofocus system as its predecessor, encompassing a combined 142 phase- and contrast-detection points. Sony says that AF speed has improved by 30 percent over the original A7.
But this one borrows a great trait from Olympus’s OM-D and PEN cameras. The new Sony camera has a five-axis stabilization system built into it, and if it works anywhere near as well as the system found in Olympus’s cameras, it should make the second-gen A7 an attractive option for macro and telephoto shooters.
You’ll still have to splurge on the A7S to get 4K video capture, but the new Sony Alpha A7 II does use the higher-bitrate XAVC S codec that Sony has been rolling into its newer high-end cameras. Recording 1080p video at 60fps and 50Mbps—about twice the bitrate of the AVCHD video mode on the original A7—the A7 II should provide a nice uptick in the video-quality department. Keep in mind that previous Sony cameras have required a 64GB Class 10 SDXC card to record XAVC S video, so plan your storage-card purchases accordingly.
Like the first-generation A7, the new camera tops out at 5fps in burst mode, but this one is able to shoot at that speed with autofocus enabled. You’ll get a slightly higher-resolution tilting LCD screen on the back of it (1.2 million dots vs. 921,600 on the original A7), as well as the same 2.3-million-dot OLED eye-level viewfinder.
It’ll also have the same price as its predecessor. Starting today, the Sony Alpha A7 II is available for preorder as a a kit with a 28mm to 70mm E-mount lens. That price drops to $1,699 for the body only, and the cameras are set to ship on December 9. The original A7 will survive, and it’s now one hell of a bargain. Its new price is $1,300 for the body only and $1,600 as a kit—very low prices for a year-old full-frame camera.