Sony’s A7II Features Five-axis Stabilisation

Sony A7II FrontSony’s announcement of the A7II was not a complete surprise to me; the aggressive discounts which were quite widely advertised for the A7 recently gave the impressions that something was up.

Now that the camera specifications are quite well-known, I guess the big upgrade that everyone is talking about is the 5-axis stabilisation. While reports have Sony saying that this is not Olympus’s technology, I can’t believe that they did not have some help from them. If it performs as well as the E-M1’s, it should be very effective for many uses, including videos. Expect an A7SII soon? One can hope!

Sony A7II TopThe other upgrade I like is the redesigned grip. The placement of the front dial is one that I favour, and Sony has done a great thing in putting two accessible buttons behind the shutter button that are also user-customisable. As a long time Nikon user (and now Panasonic GH3 user), it irked me that these buttons could not be customised. On Nikons one of them is reserved for exposure compensation, which is useless to me as I enable Easy Exposure Compensation, which allows me to engage exposure compensation by turning the seconday dial. On the Panasonic GH3 and GH4 the buttons are for White Balance, ISO and Exposure Compensation. I shoot raw, so WB is not so useful, and once again I turn on Panasonic’s version of Easy Exposure Compensation, so that makes that button redundant. That makes two of three very useful and convenient buttons useless! So having those buttons being customisable is a great design win in my book. Now if only there is a way to adjust the focus point directly.

The Sony A7II is scheduled for release in Japan on December 5th with no pricing information. I guess Sony wants to clear the A7 from inventory in the rest of the world first.

CK: The 5-axis image stabilisation is definitely a nice addition, especially with so many people using adapted lenses on the Sony A7/A7R cameras. You usually don’t get the use of the lenses’ image stabilisation capabilities once you adapt them to another mount, so having it in-body would be a big advantage.

Speaking of lenses, Sony should make more native lenses for the full-frame E-mount. There are only a handful of them now compared to other mirrorless offerings (hence the number of photographers adapting lenses.) Sure, you can also use the Sony LA-EA4 adaptor and use their A-mount lenses, but that makes for a bulky and unwieldy setup which defeats the purpose of going mirrorless in the first place.

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