Sony α7R II 42.4 megapixels BSI Monster

ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovinSuper Moderators Posts: 22,304 moderator
edited December 25, 2015 in Cameras
Sony releases a Monster new ILCFE camera, but this monster will give you sweet photographic dreams. :clap

http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-us/products/dkw5/index.html

New back-illuminated full-frame CMOS sensor, world's first1 35 mm full-frame CMOS image sensor with back-illuminated structure, which achieves approx. 42.4 effective megapixel resolution, widely expanded sensitivity range, and extra-low noise performance, and no optical low-pass filter.

High-speed BIONZ X image processing engine, Sony's best image processor to date, with diffraction-reducing technology to maintain clarity even at smaller apertures, and area-specific noise reduction to reduce noise adaptively and reproduce greater detail.

5-axis image stabilization, with shake compensation equivalent to using a 4.5-stop faster shutter speed, allowing you to take advantage of a wider range of shutter speeds.

Higher-resolution 4K movie recording, with full pixel readout, and without pixel binning, in the Super 35 mm format exhibits higher resolution and superior clarity than typical 4K movies. Also, the XAVC S5 format allows 4K recording at 100 Mbps maximum bit rate.

Fast Hybrid AF, with 399 focal plane phase-detection AF points to cover 45% of the image area — the most coverage among digital still cameras3 with full-frame image sensors. 25-point contrast-detection AF coverage is also included.

Durable reduced-vibration shutter, with braking mechanism cuts mechanical front/rear curtain vibration by about 50%. Also, use the electronic front curtain for even less vibration. Shutter durability increased to approximately 500,000 actuations.

Silent Shooting, with an electronic shutter that causes no vibration, so you can shoot high-resolution images without camera shake. This mode also operates without a sound, so it's very convenient for shooting without disrupting indoor performances and outdoor wildlife, and in all other situations where silence is essential.
ziggy53
Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums

Comments

  • Tom FosterTom Foster Major grins Edinburgh, UK.Registered Users Posts: 286 Major grins
    edited June 11, 2015
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    Sony releases a Monster new ILCFE camera, but this monster will give you sweet photographic dreams. clap.gif

    http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-us/products/dkw5/index.html

    New back-illuminated full-frame CMOS sensor, world's first1 35 mm full-frame CMOS image sensor with back-illuminated structure, which achieves approx. 42.4 effective megapixel resolution, widely expanded sensitivity range, and extra-low noise performance, and no optical low-pass filter.

    High-speed BIONZ X image processing engine, Sony's best image processor to date, with diffraction-reducing technology to maintain clarity even at smaller apertures, and area-specific noise reduction to reduce noise adaptively and reproduce greater detail.

    5-axis image stabilization, with shake compensation equivalent to using a 4.5-stop faster shutter speed, allowing you to take advantage of a wider range of shutter speeds.

    Higher-resolution 4K movie recording, with full pixel readout, and without pixel binning, in the Super 35 mm format exhibits higher resolution and superior clarity than typical 4K movies. Also, the XAVC S5 format allows 4K recording at 100 Mbps maximum bit rate.

    Fast Hybrid AF, with 399 focal plane phase-detection AF points to cover 45% of the image area — the most coverage among digital still cameras3 with full-frame image sensors. 25-point contrast-detection AF coverage is also included.

    Durable reduced-vibration shutter, with braking mechanism cuts mechanical front/rear curtain vibration by about 50%. Also, use the electronic front curtain for even less vibration. Shutter durability increased to approximately 500,000 actuations.

    Silent Shooting, with an electronic shutter that causes no vibration, so you can shoot high-resolution images without camera shake. This mode also operates without a sound, so it's very convenient for shooting without disrupting indoor performances and outdoor wildlife, and in all other situations where silence is essential.

    Looks very nice! Also pretty expensive though, might think about getting one a year or two down the line...
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited June 25, 2015
    I had my pre-order in at B&H as of 11:03 am last Wednesday :jfriend

    mailbox1.gif
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft GWC for hire Portland.ME.USARegistered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
    edited June 26, 2015
    ^ Aha, that little tryst with m43 didn't quite pan out now did it? mwink.gif
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • ThelensspotThelensspot Mentally grainy! Registered Users Posts: 2,041 Major grins
    edited June 26, 2015
    I had been looking at the Nikon D810 as my first full frame DSLR camera. I started with the D90 and now use a D7100. Should I consider a move to Sony as a result of this Sony technology?
    The specs look really great! What would you do as a first time FX purchase?
    "Photography is partly art and partly science. Really good photography adds discipline, sacrifice and a never ending pursuit of photographic excellence"...ziggy53

  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Registered Users Posts: 3,503 Major grins
    edited June 26, 2015
    Andy wrote: »
    I had my pre-order in at B&H as of 11:03 am last Wednesday :jfriend

    mailbox1.gif

    Why am I not surprised? Please report back when it arrives.
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited June 26, 2015
    ^ Aha, that little tryst with m43 didn't quite pan out now did it? mwink.gif

    I'd say it panned out perfectly
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155823505795235&set=a.204104355234.261166.500035234&type=1&theater
  • bike21bike21 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 836 Major grins
    edited June 26, 2015
    Impressive specs but comes with a price it seems. Looking forward to seeing what it can do.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,304 moderator
    edited June 27, 2015
    I had been looking at the Nikon D810 as my first full frame DSLR camera. I started with the D90 and now use a D7100. Should I consider a move to Sony as a result of this Sony technology?
    The specs look really great! What would you do as a first time FX purchase?

    A camera is simply a photographic tool to achieve particular photographic goals. Specific camera systems are more indicated than others to achive specific goals. You should first define what your photographic needs are and what properties are most important to meet those needs.

    If you want a qualified answer to your questions above, we too need to know your needs and prioritized properties.

    Is this a system to satisfy scenic landscapes, product photography, sports/action, combat and/or severe environmental conditions, etc.?

    Also, do you currently own any Nikon lenses and accessories you might wish to also use on a Full-Frame 135 format body? If so, are the lenses AF-S or AF-D type autofocus?

    Please elaborate.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ThelensspotThelensspot Mentally grainy! Registered Users Posts: 2,041 Major grins
    edited June 27, 2015
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    A camera is simply a photographic tool to achieve particular photographic goals. Specific camera systems are more indicated than others to achive specific goals. You should first define what your photographic needs are and what properties are most important to meet those needs.

    If you want a qualified answer to your questions above, we too need to know your needs and prioritized properties.

    Is this a system to satisfy scenic landscapes, product photography, sports/action, combat and/or severe environmental conditions, etc.?

    Also, do you currently own any Nikon lenses and accessories you might wish to also use on a Full-Frame 135 format body? If so, are the lenses AF-S or AF-D type autofocus?

    Please elaborate.

    Ziggy, thanks for utilizing your time and knowledge regarding my question. I shoot primarily landscapes, wildlife and indoors such as at museums, shops, displays, craft stores etc. I don't do sports or portrait photography except on very rare occasions. I do use Nikor AF-S lenses...35mm, 50-300mm and an older 18-200mm lenses. I am presently shooting with the D90 and D7100 Nikon DX bodies...mostly using the D7100. If I go the Sony I was thinking of initially a primary lens (Sony FE 55/1.5 ZA and later a mid range telephoto (Sony 24-240/3.5-6.3 OSS).

    So in brief, I haven't shot FX yet and do mostly landscapes/scenery/indoor shooting with the Nikon equipment noted above. The specs that catch my attention are the backlighted CMOS sensor, the BIONZ-X high speed processing engine, the 5 axis image stabilization feature, 4K high resolution video recording and the fast hybrid AF (for flying birds and rapidly moving wildlife). In addition, the small camera size I see as an advantage with traveling which I do frequently.

    I totally agree that the most important part for taking a good picture "is the twelve inches behind the camera"(...Ansel Adams), however; I do wish to make use of technologies which might be advantageous to my style of shooting. What do you think?
    "Photography is partly art and partly science. Really good photography adds discipline, sacrifice and a never ending pursuit of photographic excellence"...ziggy53

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,304 moderator
    edited June 28, 2015
    Ziggy, thanks for utilizing your time and knowledge regarding my question. I shoot primarily landscapes, wildlife and indoors such as at museums, shops, displays, craft stores etc. I don't do sports or portrait photography except on very rare occasions. I do use Nikor AF-S lenses...35mm, 50-300mm and an older 18-200mm lenses. I am presently shooting with the D90 and D7100 Nikon DX bodies...mostly using the D7100. If I go the Sony I was thinking of initially a primary lens (Sony FE 55/1.5 ZA and later a mid range telephoto (Sony 24-240/3.5-6.3 OSS).

    So in brief, I haven't shot FX yet and do mostly landscapes/scenery/indoor shooting with the Nikon equipment noted above. The specs that catch my attention are the backlighted CMOS sensor, the BIONZ-X high speed processing engine, the 5 axis image stabilization feature, 4K high resolution video recording and the fast hybrid AF (for flying birds and rapidly moving wildlife). In addition, the small camera size I see as an advantage with traveling which I do frequently.

    I totally agree that the most important part for taking a good picture "is the twelve inches behind the camera"(...Ansel Adams), however; I do wish to make use of technologies which might be advantageous to my style of shooting. What do you think?

    The Sony α7R II is just announced and there are no formal reviews posted yet, much less reviews which include a Birds-In-Flight (BIF) autofocus speed analysis.

    I suspect that the Sony α7R II may do well regarding most subject matter but BIF is especially demanding of autofocus and Sony's implementation of Hybrid AF may not be as fast as, say, the Nikon D4 autofocus system, and that's especially true when the light starts to fade and when many birds come out to feed.

    The reason why conventional Phase Detect AF may still be king for AF speed is because Sony Hybrid AF is really two steps;

    Specially designed pixels are split into 2 "sides" which provide a small mesurement base for the phase-detect initial AF steering, but final AF steering is done using the Contrast-Detect function of the imager, which is highly accurate but much slower. (This information is from a Sony description of their Hybrid AF*.) Also, Hybrid AF lacks any cross-type AF capability.

    Compare this to the AF system of the Nikon D4 with 15 cross-type sensors and using phase detect AF through the entire AF steering cycle (with a lens of effective f5.6 or larger). The Nikon D4 AF system is also rated to work down to -2 EV, which is truly low light.

    Still, the Sony α7R II may excell in both fine detail and dynamic range at base ISO, which would be nice for many landscape opportunities like scenic and vista landscapes.


    *https://us.en.kb.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/37075/~/what-is-fast-hybrid-af%3F

    https://youtu.be/UfhKtwbqbfc

    Also note that only some Sony lenses are able to use the Sony Hybrid AF (the lenses with an "FE" prefix are the FF lenses currently available):

    https://us.en.kb.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/37074/session/L2F2LzEvdGltZS8xNDM1NDkxODU2L3NpZC9QLTc1dipwbQ%3D%3D
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ThelensspotThelensspot Mentally grainy! Registered Users Posts: 2,041 Major grins
    edited June 28, 2015
    Ziggy, thanks for the feedback. The AF information was very helpful. I'm not decided as of yet but this helps with having a little more insight into the Sony system. Thank you very much. I always enjoy your detailed explanations when reading these camera equipment posts. bowdown.gif
    "Photography is partly art and partly science. Really good photography adds discipline, sacrifice and a never ending pursuit of photographic excellence"...ziggy53

  • bjcoolphotobjcoolphoto Brians Photos Registered Users Posts: 15 Big grins
    edited July 3, 2015
    Really Ziggy 53, is the comparative battleship D4 anything like a correct comparison, and at about $1000 or 20% more really? D4 is a superb piece o equipment, but in my mind not worth the extra $'s including the oversized gear bag needed.
    I dont have an A7r11, but do have other Sony gear, all of which was cutting edge when purchased, and never regretted it. If you have Nikon glass, would need an adaptor, I have one for a Sony a6000, works great, if drops the speed about 1 stop.
    Good luck with your decision Thelensspot
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,304 moderator
    edited July 4, 2015
    ... flying birds and rapidly moving wildlife
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    ... I suspect that the Sony α7R II may do well regarding most subject matter but BIF is especially demanding of autofocus and Sony's implementation of Hybrid AF may not be as fast as, say, the Nikon D4 autofocus system, and that's especially true when the light starts to fade and when many birds come out to feed.

    The reason why conventional Phase Detect AF may still be king for AF speed is because Sony Hybrid AF is really two steps;

    Specially designed pixels are split into 2 "sides" which provide a small mesurement base for the phase-detect initial AF steering, but final AF steering is done using the Contrast-Detect function of the imager, which is highly accurate but much slower. (This information is from a Sony description of their Hybrid AF*.) Also, Hybrid AF lacks any cross-type AF capability.

    Compare this to the AF system of the Nikon D4 with 15 cross-type sensors and using phase detect AF through the entire AF steering cycle (with a lens of effective f5.6 or larger). The Nikon D4 AF system is also rated to work down to -2 EV, which is truly low light.

    Still, the Sony α7R II may excell in both fine detail and dynamic range at base ISO, which would be nice for many landscape opportunities like scenic and vista landscapes.


    *https://us.en.kb.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/37075/~/what-is-fast-hybrid-af%3F

    https://youtu.be/UfhKtwbqbfc

    Also note that only some Sony lenses are able to use the Sony Hybrid AF (the lenses with an "FE" prefix are the FF lenses currently available):

    https://us.en.kb.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/37074/session/L2F2LzEvdGltZS8xNDM1NDkxODU2L3NpZC9QLTc1dipwbQ%3D%3D
    Really Ziggy 53, is the comparative battleship D4 anything like a correct comparison, and at about $1000 or 20% more really? D4 is a superb piece o equipment, but in my mind not worth the extra $'s including the oversized gear bag needed.
    I dont have an A7r11, but do have other Sony gear, all of which was cutting edge when purchased, and never regretted it. If you have Nikon glass, would need an adaptor, I have one for a Sony a6000, works great, if drops the speed about 1 stop.
    Good luck with your decision Thelensspot

    I also have a Sony a6000 and several lenses, plus a Canon EF-NEX lens adapter (Commlite), and a couple of Pentax-NEX passive lens adapters (for old manual focus Pentax M42 and K mount lenses). The a6000 is a really wonderful body and in good light it works spledidly. In low light AF slows rather dramatically, and for BIF and fast moving wildlife Nikon and Canon AF works much better.

    If the Sony α7R II AF section is similar to the a6000 AF section, as the specifications suggest (same image processor and similar hybrid Phase Detect plus Contrast Detect AF sequence), then AF performance overall may be similar too.

    If so, the Nikon D4 has considerably better AF in low light, when some of the best BIF and wildlife opportunities present themselves. Since user "Thelensspot" already has a Nikon DX system started, it might make sense to add a Nikon FF body and more Nikon mount lenses, which makes a very versatile system.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ThelensspotThelensspot Mentally grainy! Registered Users Posts: 2,041 Major grins
    edited July 4, 2015
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    I also have a Sony a6000 and several lenses, plus a Canon EF-NEX lens adapter (Commlite), and a couple of Pentax-NEX passive lens adapters (for old manual focus Pentax M42 and K mount lenses). The a6000 is a really wonderful body and in good light it works spledidly. In low light AF slows rather dramatically, and for BIF and fast moving wildlife Nikon and Canon AF works much better.

    If the Sony α7R II AF section is similar to the a6000 AF section, as the specifications suggest (same image processor and similar hybrid Phase Detect plus Contrast Detect AF sequence), then AF performance overall may be similar too.

    If so, the Nikon D4 has considerably better AF in low light, when some of the best BIF and wildlife opportunities present themselves. Since user "Thelensspot" already has a Nikon DX system started, it might make sense to add a Nikon FF body and more Nikon mount lenses, which makes a very versatile system.

    Ziggy, this is actually the way I'm starting to lean. Thanks for confirming I'm not off track! rolleyes1.gif
    "Photography is partly art and partly science. Really good photography adds discipline, sacrifice and a never ending pursuit of photographic excellence"...ziggy53

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,304 moderator
    edited August 22, 2015
    As an update to the AF capabilities of the Sony a7R II, Rishi Sanyal @ DPReview has tested the a7R II in very low light with a Sony FE 35mm F1.4. His experience is pretty well summed up by this single sentence: "Bright lenses allow the a7R II to continuously focus in -2EV."

    This is truly exciting, especially when native FE lenses with large apertures become more prevalent and commonplace.

    WTG, Sony. thumb.gifthumbclap.gif


    Ziggy note: I should add that the Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA is a $1600USD lens, so not a trivial expense. However, as a system, overall Total-Cost-of-Ownership (TCO) should be similar to other professional camera systems.

    For instance, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor is an even more expensive lens at $1800USD, and a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM is just under $1500USD.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • NikonsandVstromsNikonsandVstroms *and Olympus Boston, MARegistered Users Posts: 990 Major grins
    edited August 23, 2015
    That is impressive. Does anyone have any experience shooting it at low levels equivalent to 1/200 f2.8 ISO 25,600? Since it looks like the AF does well in the dark I'm curious to how the EVF works under conditions like those. How degraded is the image quality?
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,304 moderator
    edited August 23, 2015
    That is impressive. Does anyone have any experience shooting it at low levels equivalent to 1/200 f2.8 ISO 25,600? Since it looks like the AF does well in the dark I'm curious to how the EVF works under conditions like those. How degraded is the image quality?

    To understand what you are asking it's important to understand that the Sony a7R II is designed to autofocus down to -2 EV with an f2 lens.(1) (The EV is calculated at ISO 100). An EV of -2 and f2 indicates a shutter speed of around 16 seconds (again at ISO 100.)

    This is also a specific Light Value and exposure setting, namely f2, 16 seconds and ISO 100.

    While it is possible to choose an equivalent "exposure" for the camera:

    f2, 16 seconds and ISO 100 = f2.8, 32 seconds and ISO 100 = f2.8, 1/8th and ISO 25600, for instance (somebody double-check my exposure math please)

    ... you can see that we are still waaay far away from your goal of "... low [light] levels equivalent to 1/200 f2.8 ISO 25,600".

    Worse, the Sony a7R II equivalence of on-imager PDAF (Phase Detect Auto-Focus), needs both a large aperture lens* (on this Sony body which was engineered for maximum accuracy with an f2 aperture lens or larger) and with enough illumination at that aperture so that noise levels don't overwhelm the AF data sample. (Just as any other CMOS sensor, the PDAF capability of the imager on the a7R II will get higher sensor noise at low light levels and a specific sampling rate. In this case the sampling rate is probably whatever the refresh rate is for the Live View of the a7R II.)

    *A large aperture lens is necessary in order to provide a wider baseline for the electronic rangefinder component of the PDAF system. An f2.8 lens will not provide as wide a baseline.


    In short, I believe that an exposure of 1/200th, f2.8 and ISO 25,600 is still considerably far away from "any" current PDAF system capability, and even the vast majority of CDAF (Contrast Detect Auto-Focus) systems.

    The very best PDAF systems on certain current Nikon and Canon bodies** are no better than f2.8 and -3 EV, as I recall, which is only somewhat better than the Sony a7R II AF rating of -2 EV with an f2 lens.

    **I am only aware of the Canon 7D Mark II and the Nikon D750 bodies which allow AF @ f2.8 and -3 EV.


    (1) https://developer.sony.com/devices/cameras/a7r-ii/
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • NikonsandVstromsNikonsandVstroms *and Olympus Boston, MARegistered Users Posts: 990 Major grins
    edited August 24, 2015
    Thanks Ziggy for the detailed explanation. Looks like we still have a ways to go to conquer the darkness. Luckily I'm not in that situation too often but it's pretty much the most extreme that I'll run into. The D700/7100's AF sort of works there but the hit is very noticeable especially with a slower focusing lens like my Tamron 28-75.
  • sabeshsabesh Shutter Bug Registered Users Posts: 194 Major grins
    edited September 3, 2015
    Andy wrote: »
    I had my pre-order in at B&H as of 11:03 am last Wednesday :jfriend

    mailbox1.gif

    Andy, how are you liking it?

    I'm slowly phasing out my Canon 5D3 system, as I don't shoot professionally anymore and it's too darn big & heavy to carry around. I was using a Sony A7S as strictly a still camera and loved it, especially since it performs well in low light (ISO 12,800 was great and it can focus down to - 4EV).

    However, I couldn't resist "upgrading" to the Sony A7R II, as it's AF is quite decent with my existing Canon Lenses via Metabones. Heck, even it's crop mode repurposes FF lenses to function as APS-C lenses of a different focal length. I still get 28mp on crop mode!

    This is the first mirrorless camera that's given me no desire to reach for my Canon 5D3 at any time. I'm absolutely loving it. My only peeve is the lock button on the mode dial. There's really no need for it and slows me down at times.

    Some things I like about the A7R II - Excellent IQ, very good dynamic range, in-body image stabilization, big & bright EVF, fast AF, fast startup time, USB charging and overall system response time.

    Sent using my Samsung Galaxy Note 4
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,304 moderator
    edited December 25, 2015
    Brett1000 wrote: »
    I'm not so interested in more megapixels as seeing a full frame mirrorless with 7D AF capabilities in a sub $1,000 package. For that I would do backflips

    Right now the best AF implementation in a mirrorless ILC body goes to Sony and the α7R II camera body (way over your $1000 budget). However(1), this is somewhat limited to f2 aperture lenses in that smaller aperture lenses seem to lack the same AF properties.

    Mirrorless AF technology is also currently limited (if my understanding is correct, no guarantees) to horizontal line AF only, which is great for images of subject matter with high-contrast vertical lines, but it is less sensitive to subject matter with primarily horizontal lines. (It still works on tests with my Sony a6000 body, but is very much affected by available light levels and greatly slows at lower light levels and ultimately reverts to contrast AF, which is much slower.)

    However(2), Sony does have this "Eye AF" and "4D Focus" continuous autofocus mode with the α7R II mirrorless ILC body as well as RX100 IV and RX10 II. People are saying that the continuous Eye AF really does work with these cameras and with human and some animal eyes. (I don't own any of these cameras myself.)

    However(3), Sony does say that if you use that mode and, for whatever reason, the camera loses track of the subject's eyes, it (the camera's AF) reverts to Face AF, which is less accurate. Additionally, the Eye AF is only available in continuous AF (AF-C), and that mode is really not suitable for other subject matter, meaning that you would need to switch AF modes for other subject matter; sounds like a bit of a pain and that's what people are reporting too (from what I am reading).

    Soooo, current mirrorless AF technology is improving dramatically over two years ago, but still pretty far away from the better and best dSLR AF technology, which often includes Cross-Type AF, Dual-Cross AF and High-Precision AF, all of which often works with f2.8 aperture lenses or faster (which opens the capabilities to a much broader base of lenses, including older lenses and professional zoom lenses).

    It looks like you (Brett) are doing a wonderful job with the Canon 60D and I encourage everyone to take a look at Brett's work at the link of his signature. thumb.gif
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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