At a penthouse press conference and demo in the Parker Meridien Hotel overlooking midtown and Central Park, Sony gave us the camera I was wishing for: The α7R II (model ILCE-7RM2). It does everything I was whining about at Cine Gear:
- Full Frame 24×36 mm sensor that shoots 4K video (beautifully).
- Windowed S35 format that also shoots 4K video (also truly beautiful).
- E-mount 18 mm flange focal depth
- 42.4 megapixel sensor
More impressions follow tomorrow. Meanwhile, here’s the excerpted official Sony press release:
NEW YORK, Jun. 10, 2015 – Sony Electronics has introduced their new full-frame mirrorless camera, the α7R II (model ILCE-7RM2).
The new α7R II interchangeable lens camera features a back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor, (42.4 MP approx. effective megapixels), high sensitivity (expandable up to ISO 102400) and high speed AF response up to 40% faster than the original α7R thanks to 399 focal plane phase detection AF points.
The camera also includes a 5-axis image stabilization system as seen on the α7 II model and can shoot and record 4K video in multiple formats including Super 35mm (without pixel binning) and full-frame format. Additionally, it has a newly refined XGA OLED Tru-Finder with (0.78x) viewfinder magnification.
High Resolution, High Sensitivity and High-Speed Response
The newly developed 42.4 MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor allows the α7R II to reach new levels of quality, sensitivity and response speed, combining both high-resolution and high sensitivityr.
The 42.4 MP sensor combines gapless on-chip lens design and AR (anti-reflective) coating on the surface of the sensor’s glass seal to dramatically improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range. This allows the camera to shoot at an impressive ISO range of 100 to 25600 that is expandable to ISO 50 to 1024002.
Additionally, the sensor’s back-illuminated structure, with an expanded circuit scale and copper wiring design, enables faster transmission speed and ensures content can be captured in high resolution without sacrificing sensitivity. Data can also be output from the sensor at an approximately 3.5x faster rate compared to the original α7R.
Sony’s and ZEISS’s large collection of FE lenses (35mm full-frame compatible E-mount lenses), fit the α7R II e-mount. There is no optical low pass filter on the camera.
The α7R II has a new highly durable reduced-vibration shutter that realizes 50% less vibration from shutter movements compared to its predecessor, and has a cycle durability of approximately 500,000 shots4. The camera can also be set to Silent Shooting mode in order to shoot images quietly without any sensor vibration or movement.
The new image sensor features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points – the world’s widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensor1 – that work together with 25 contrast AF points to achieve focus response that is about 40% faster than the original model. The α7R II utilizes an advanced motion-detection algorithm combined with this Fast Hybrid AF system to achieve up to 5fps continuous shooting with AF tracking.
5-Axis Image Stabilization Optimized for 42.4 MP
The new α7R II model is equipped with a 5-axis image stabilization system. It corrects camera shake along five axes during shooting, including angular shake (pitch and yaw) that tends to occur with a telephoto lens, shift shake (X and Y axes) which becomes noticeable as magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects video recording. This camera shake compensation system is equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed approximately 4.5 steps faster5.
The α7R II camera shoots video in 4K (QFHD 3840×2160) in either Super 35mm crop mode or full-frame mode.
In Super 35mm mode, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning and oversamples the data resulting in images with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’.
In full-frame mode, the α7R II utilizes the full width of the 35mm sensor for 4K recording. It is the world’s first digital camera to offer this in-camera full-frame format 4K recording capacity.
The camera uses XAVC S codec during video shooting, which records at a bit rate of 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shooting.
Additionally, the α7R II model features Picture Profile, S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut, 120fps high frame rate shooting in HD (720p), time code, clean HDMI output and more.
Design, Operability and Reliability
The new full-frame α7R II has an upgraded XGA OLED Tru-Finder with a double-sided aspherical lens that delivers the world’s highest viewfinder magnification of 0.78x for crystal clear image preview and playback across the entire display area. ZEISS T Coating is also utilized to reduce unwanted reflections that interfere with the shooting experience.
The camera has a re-designed grip and shutter button compared to its predecessor. There is also a new mechanism to conveniently lock the mode dial, and an expanded range of customizable functions and buttons to suit the most demanding photographers.
Pricing and Availability
The Sony α7R II full-frame interchangeable lens camera will be available in August for about $3200 at www.store.sony.com and a variety of Sony authorized dealers nationwide.
The α7R II is compatible with Sony’s growing lineup of α -mount lenses, which now totals 63 different models including 12 native ‘FE’ full frame lenses. By early 2016, Sony will add an additional 8 new lenses to its FE full frame lineup, bringing the FE total to 20 lenses and the overall α -mount assortment to 70 different models.
A variety of exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the flagship α7R II camera and other Sony α products can be found at www.sony.com/alpha, Sony’s new community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.