New the Sony A7R II with internal 4K recording.

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Sony-A7r2

Our guest blogger Peter Loughran has some interesting information about the newly announced Sony A7R II.

Peter “The newly announced Sony A7R II which features the world’s first back-illuminated 35mm full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor with 42.4 megapixels and no Anti-Aliasing filter, Fast Hybrid AF system (the A7R II features on-sensor phase-detect AF), 5-axis IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation …works with any lens, even non-stabilised and adapted Canon, Nikon etc.), 3.5 times faster sensor readout (little or no rolling shutter?), upgraded durable reduced-vibration mechanical shutter and/or fully electronic shutter option (for silent requirements and critical sharpness in stills mode…the mechanical shutter on the original A7R is notorious for its image-spoiling vibration and poor durability), and (at last!) …drum roll please …4K video with INTERNAL RECORDING! (XAVC-S 4K recording at maximum 100 Mbps bit rate [Full HD recording at 50 Mbps] to UHS-I compliant SD cards). Video can be recorded from the full-frame width or from a ‘Super 35mm’ crop area of the sensor which “processes readout data from every pixel without pixel binning” so effectively oversampling the image then down-sampling to the 4K format (similar to how the Samsung NX1 works) so should result in highly detailed images. Various video settings available including Picture Profile, S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut.
Video frame rates max out at 30fps in 4K, 60fps in Full HD 1080p and 120fps in HD 720p so not as good for slo-mo as the Samsung NX1 which can shoot good quality Full HD at up to 120fps (unlike the GH4s poor quality [oddball max 96fps] which I find unusable).
Clean HDMI out is available (uncompressed 4:2:2 8-bit) and can be used whilst recording internally.
The EVF (XGA OLED Tru-Finder) has been upgraded but, sadly, the upgraded rear LCD monitor remains tilt-only (not fully articulated) and still lacks touch-screen functionality. USB remains at USB 2.0 (why?) and the camera has a single memory card slot and no internal flash.
Overall the feature set of this camera appears to eclipse most others for those of us who desire a ‘hybrid’ camera system which can shoot both high quality stills and high quality video (including 4K recorded internally …no need for clumsy, ridiculous, expensive external recorders and flaky HDMI connections!).
It’s arrival (assuming the real world performance is as advertised) means that the A7s, with it’s low (stills) resolution, slow autofocus, no IBIS etc. starts to look very much like a one-trick pony …extreme low light performance where, I suspect, it will still reign supreme for those who need that specific capability and don’t mind having to use an external recorder for 4K.
Also of potential interest to users of the forthcoming A7R II (and any camera using HDMI out) is the just announced Sony CLM-FHD5, A compact 5.0 inch type Full HD (1920x1080p) LCD monitor with various video-specific shooting assist functions.
It appears that many of the A7R II function buttons are customisable but whether or not the shutter button (or another function button?) can be configured to act as video start/stop remains to be seen …if not there may be a greater market for your “Wee RED REC button” as the cameras video record button looks to be the same as on the A7s.”
More info here:
http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-gb/products/dkw5/index.html?contentsTop=1

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1 comment on this post

  1. I have expressed this same opinion elsewhere but please allow me to reiforce it here. At a moment when it becomes obvious that cameras don’t have that much room for improvement anymore… And at a time when alleged technical improvements are more of an excuse to keep sales afloat, than any significant added value to camera users and their businesses… I really don’t know what to say about this…

    NAB was just a few months ago and some of the announced cameras back in April are having their specs considerably outdated even before they hit the street. Buy the time those cameras are released, they are either partially obsolete or/and have to drop prices considerably. This is senseless. Manufacturers aren’t building cameras for the users needs… They are building cameras for their own needs against the competition.

    Ok, what’s new: Internal Full Frame 4K Recording… Tadaa!.. And now how am I gonna explain that to a customer who knows nothing about these things and only cares for the final product? How am I gonna explain that my work “is supposed” look better than the competition because of this? As if the talent of the shooter wouldn’t count 10x more than it another megapixel or yet another stop of dynamic range. At some point this all is becoming spec masturbation, imho… I’m sorry if my opinion comes across as gratuitous controversy. But it isn’t… It’s a thoughtful and honest reflection. These are not toys or gadgets… They should have a specific added value for the business… And I mean the content producers business, not the camera manufacturer’s.

    Will the camera fever/craze ever end? We can’t decide what to buy anymore and manufacturers don’t know what else to sell anymore. Competing brands are announcing new cameras even before their previous announcements hit the streets… Such is the despair to sell. And buyers have too much to choose from and once they decide on a model, something else with new “pseudo-specs” comes out just to build up on the confusion and brainstorming.

    Anyway… Impressive specs for the price on the A7R2 but… I still prefer to shoot RAW though, even if with a Super 35 sensor.

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