Sony a7R II: A Brief Review
I’ve been a fan of the Sony a7 series bodies for a while, and I’ve been incorporating them into my paid work slowly but steadily. I was lucky enough to already try the new Sony a7R II at a wedding I was second shooting for Well Worn Co. I figured that would give me a good idea what I could do with the improved AF system, high ISO noise performance, and higher resolution. And I have to say, I was not disappointed.
Image quality was great, exactly what I was hoping for out of such large files. Candids and portraits look fantastic at 100%, and making prints should be a breeze. Here are some samples from the wedding day, before the ceremony:
I was most intrigued by the AF system. It was supposed to be much better than the bodies that came before, and it seem to be living up to the hype. I left it in AF-C for most of the wedding and reception. I don’t know if I’d trust it for a sporting event, but walking, dancing, and the chaos of a wedding reception were all easily handled by the a7R II.
Those last three are at ISO 12800, which I thought I was going to have to convert to b&w to keep them usable, but even at 100%, they’re grainy but really not bad at all. And then when you realize they’re 42MP, well, I’m impressed, to say the least. You can click on that last image to see it full size.
As an added bonus, the new AF system even improves performance with A mount lenses on the LAEA3 adapter, and Canon lenses on the Metabones adapters. Here’s a video showing the AF speed using a Canon 24-70 II on a Metabones IV:
If you’ve ever tried using your Canon lenses with the previous generation bodies and the Metabones IV, you’ll see right away how much faster things are now. Do note that in AF-C with either the Metabones or the LAEA3 there is no lock-on tracking option, only wide, center, and flexible spot. To get the full advantage of the improved AF, you have to use native E mount lenses.
I really think Sony nailed it with this one. Maybe I wouldn’t shoot roller derby with it yet, but for pretty much everything else, I think this is going to be my go to camera, especially once the lens line up is filled out more. I absolutely love the Sony FE 28mm. The Sony FE 90mm macro is nice, but it’s slow. I had good luck with M mount lenses, though, with the Leica 90mm APO-Cron and Leica 21mm Lux really knocking it out of the park on this high res sensor. If you’ve been waiting for a better alternative to your big, bulky DSLR, this might finally fit the bill. I’ve been hesitant to say that for the a7S, a7R, and the a7 II, even though I love those cameras, but the a7R II, I think this is the one. Try it out ASAP!
Author: Joey Miller
I’m Joey. I love cameras, especially old film cameras, and I can’t remember the last day I didn’t take a photo. Digital cameras are great, and they keep me employed, but I also still like processing my own film. I’m stuck somewhere in the middle. I shoot every single day, no matter what.