Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: A look at the SONY A7R Mark II

  1. #1

    Default A look at the SONY A7R Mark II

    When I choose a camera, I would take the size and quality of the sensor as the top consideration. The Canon 1D was my choice for many years until I found my first Leica – the M9. Together with the Leica lens, they brought me new interest into a more serious photography hobby. Because of the nature of a manual system, it has a lot of limitations.

    When the A7R was launched in end 2013, it was the “perfect” camera of my dream, so much so that I actually owned two units to play with. This was the camera that awoke all the other major camera makers as well as professional photographers and hobbyists to have a serious choice on extreme mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras.

    The A7R was already a perfect machine except for some crucial weaknesses. First, the Auto-Focus system is sub-standard. Second is the loud shutter noise (due to the vibration-inducing shutter), thirdly, the lens mount is weak and fragile looking, and finally the bad battery life.

    With the launched of the second generation A7R Mk II in July 2015, Sony has surprised the world again with a small camera that is closer to perfection.

    It was a casual meet with a “bro” that brought me to the use of the A7R Mk II, and inviting me to test it out. I was about to attend a wedding in Brisbane and a working trip to Shanghai, I thought it was a good chance to test out this wonder machine.

    As it was a very short trip, and there were much travelling and entertaining to do, resulting in not much time was available for any serious shooting or testing this awe-inspiring monster. As this is the first time I am holding this camera, there are a lot of hidden functions I must have missed or did not make full use of them to enhance the enjoyment of using this camera.

    I will write a personal review of my short experience with the A7R Mk II with the FE16-35mm F3.5/F5.6, FE55mm f1.8 and the FE70-200mm F4.
    always the Light, .... always.

  2. #2

    Default Re: A look at the SONY A7R Mark II


    Sony A7R Mk II was launched about 100 days ago, and much have been written, reviewed and commented on numerous forums on this Sony’s masterpiece of 2015.

    Any more technical reviews by non-specialists would probably attract a plagiarism charge from the readers, and so I will just briefly highlight some of the outstanding technical specifications.

    Also as I do not shoot video at all, I will NOT be writing anything about the 4K (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) movies feature, and particularly in Super 35mm format capability. As I understand, this feature is a "big bonus" to add to a camera and especially useful to those amateur photographers/videographers and tinkerers.

    Sony A7R II specifications

    • 42.4MB Full Frame BSI CMOS sensor (back-illuminated)
    (A back-illuminated CMOS sensor has all the wiring and circuitry that's used to carry the electronic signals from each pixel is positioned at the back of the sensor instead of the front, resulting in that cameras fitted with them have the capability to record images in lower light levels and with much less digital noise.)

    • 399 on-sensor Phase Detection AF points
    (In theory, if a camera has only a single AF point, then it will be difficult to focus on an off-center subject, without recomposing after autofocus. So having more AF points seems really useful but to most shooters it may not be necessary. Just to give you an idea, the capable Canon 5D Mk III has 61, Nikon D800 has 51.)

    • High speed AF with the FE lens and some non-native lenses (with correct adaptor)
    (A7R Mk II works best with the Sony FE lens, and there are many available now. There are many adaptors in the market and practically you can use any lens available, even with old, manual lens.)

    • Continuous Shooting (with AF) – 5fps
    (This is considered acceptable for most shooting styles, but the Canon 1Dx can do it in 14fps)

    • 5-axis optical image stabilisation with 4.5 stops of stabilisation
    (I have never taken notice of this feature until last month when Olympus launched a new camera. Upon testing the OMD10 MkII, I found that this is a very helpful and useful option as one tends to gain a few stops, and as such one will have more versatility with the F stops, Speed and ISO. Briefly, Olympus and Sony co-developed a very good OIS, but have to part ways as the Olympus’s system was developed for the Micro Four Thirds world. It is much harder for a full-frame OIS but as usual, Sony achieved it.)

    • Full magnesium alloy architecture
    (Magnesium vs Aluminum : The new, very expensive Leica SL has an aluminum body. The difference between aluminium
    and magnesium is based upon many factors, such as brittleness, heat dissipation, tool life, die casting and cost. Magnesium, when compared to aluminum, is 30% lightweight and more expensive, whereas forged aluminum is stronger.)

    • Dust and moisture resistance
    (This is a very important feature for people who shoot at different places and weather conditions, such as travellers, sports, outdoors, etc.)

    • 2.36m dot OLED viewfinder with 0.7x magnification

    • ISO 100 – ISO25600, extends to ISO50 – ISO102400

    • Internal 4K recording from full sensor width

    always the Light, .... always.

  3. #3

    Default Re: A look at the SONY A7R Mark II


    Let us start with the core selling point of the A7R Mk II - the megapixel

    Not too long ago, anyone who needs more pixels in their images have to turn to the large or medium format cameras or films, etc. Every major manufacturers are now gunning for more megapixels in their cameras – A7R MkII 42.4MB, Canon 5DS/SR 50.6MB, Nikon D810 36.3MB.

    A megapixel count is a measurement of the camera’s ability to increase the resolution of its images. The other very important factor is the build quality of the lenses and glasses, as the lens used by the camera will impact on the ability for it to resolve fine details in the images.

    It is funny that the roadmap is toward having more megapixels, but many photographers are saying that they do not need or want more pixels than the current available, for valid reasons such as, they do not print big images, if any at all, and they only post their images online, and many are like me, we do not use much photoshop or related softwares, and we are fearful of big files (I shoot mostly jpeq).

    To me, the only reason one MUST work with megapixels war is: either you are employed to produce images, or you need or appreciate the finer details of your images.

    The first is obvious, the second is very much overlooked and misunderstood. From my personal experience, when I looked back at some of my older images, I could only wish that I could turn back the clock and re-shot them with the maximum megapixels available at that point in time. Remember those times when 1.5MB file is considered a “wow” image?

    To illustrate how one can get more from their megapixels photos,

    Note: All my images in this thread are direct from the A7R Mk II, and have not (or minimal if any) been photoshopped.

    Camera: A7R Mk II
    Lens : FE16-35mm F3.6/F5.6 @35mm F5
    Original File size: jpeg 14.5MB (imagine what you can do with a 42.4MB image).
    Location: Brisbane, Queensland

    100% cropped image
    (I assure you that this crop image is an acceptable 6R print-quality photo)

    Shall give you another illustration as the above might induces some readers to lose their concentration and purpose.

    Camera: A7R Mk II
    Lens : FE16-35mm F3.6/F5.6 @35mm F8
    Original File size: jpeg 20.6MB
    Location: Mooloolah Fish Markets, Queensland

    insert 100% cropped image
    Last edited by Canonised; 25th October 2015 at 11:08 AM.
    always the Light, .... always.

  4. #4

    Default Re: A look at the SONY A7R Mark II


    With the right lens, the correct focusing techniques, and the perfect light source, one cannot believes the details the A7R Mk II can produce. The only way to describe is to show you some images taken by the A7R Mk II. However, the best method to know the capability is to shoot with the camera yourself in a Sony Camera centre.

    The images attached are all shot with the A7R Mk II and the respective lens. The images are direct from the camera and have not (or minimal) been photoshopped. I did not used the highest resolution available as it was the first time I was using this Sony and was not familiar with the countless options available, as well as I did not bring any additional SD cards during my short trip.

    You can use your imagination how much better your images can get with a RAW + extraFine settings.

    Camera: A7R Mk II
    Lens : FE 55mm F1.8
    Original File size: jpeg 7.4MB
    Model: Ms Lihuan Tan (she is going to kill me with a totally unedited personal photo in a forum, so be kind to me).

    Camera: A7R Mk II
    Lens : FE 70-200mm F4 @70mm@F4
    Original File size: jpeg 24.7MB
    Model: Old man outside his house in the Bamboo Forests, Zhuji, Zhejiang China

    Camera: A7R Mk II
    Lens : FE 70-200mm F4 @200mm@F4
    Original File size: jpeg 29.3MB
    Location: (outside temperature about 16deg) Houses around Zhuji city centre, Zhejiang China
    always the Light, .... always.

  5. #5

    Default Re: A look at the SONY A7R Mark II

    A Short visit to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha

    With an hour free, decided to go for a short walk at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, just beside Mount Coot-tha. This is a small place and has very few visitors and so it was an enjoyable look-see-look-see walkabout.

    All the images are from the Sony A7R Mk II with only the FE16-35mm lens.

    Students and teachers enjoying their excursion.

    Quite a number of these sun basking and are not shy with people. Shot with the FE16-35mm, which I could get so close, almost kissing it.

    This is just outside the entrance. Nothing much but I only cover about 30% as I was enjoying the view.
    always the Light, .... always.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts