Sony introduces a game changer with its latest mirrorless monster (A7RII, A7RMII, A7R II)
This is a very biased review as I am a convert — a Sony believer. I now own and use this camera regularly. The A7RII is a newer release into the Sony Alpha family and it provides flawed perfection — read on!
I am a professional photographer, videographer and educator in the media field. I am also a long-time Canon user. I can find flaws in every camera I have ever owned, both in the image quality as well as the functionality.
Does this camera have flaws? Yes, of course. At least in my world, however, those flaws are easy to move beyond. There are few scenarios where this camera can’t be made to work at a highly professional level for both photo and video. Over the last few months, I made the decision to sell off all of my Canon gear and move to the mirrorless model. The release and purchase of this camera has further solidified in my mind that I have made the right decision.
Make no mistake though, this is not a camera for the amateur. Yes, it has an “auto” setting but this camera is meant for professional or at least by those with a professional understanding.
Unboxing, Sample Footage and Pics
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It is also the first camera at this level to offer onboard 4K recording. Sure there is the Panasonic GH4 and a few other cameras, but the SonyA7RII is a full-frame beast offering an immense level of quality for both photographers and videographers.
This camera also has some unbelievable features such as a 42-megapixel sensor and silent mode that works to perfection. And, while heavier than the previous A7R, it is still considerably lighter weight than any Canon DSLR I have ever owned, used or tested.
The camera body is a bit pricy, coming in at $3,199 in most stores. The lenses, too, are expensive, but a camera like this truly needs quality lenses or the flaws of cheap lens will stand out.
I primarily shoot weddings, landscapes, some cinema, and some live events and the Sony line of products is fantastic for my purposes. When I am shooting photography, this is now my favorite camera (I love shooting with it quite a bit more than Canon’s 6D, 7D or 5DMIII). It is great for video in staged and cinema-like settings, but for live events, I prefer to use dedicated, light-weight, mobile video cameras such as the AX100 anyway, so the overheating issue has yet to surface for me in real world situations.
Until I hear there is a fix for the overheating, I will avoid any such scenarios, as I would advise anyone making this purchase to do. There is still an enormous difference in how dedicated video cameras and any type of SLR handle video in a live setting.
I hold no brand loyalty. I will happily switch allegiances to whichever brand best suits my needs professionally. I will say this in regard to the actual companies, when I have had issues with Canon gear, the company has always helped quickly, efficiently and relatively cost-effectively.
However, Sony has not provided me with the same service experience. Regardless, I have never been so happy to buy and shoot with a camera the moment it came out as I am with the SonyA7RII. Pixel peepers aside, this is as near a perfect camera as there is on the market right now.
By Brian Barsuglia