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Sony’s A7 series refresh is complete: introducing the updated A7S II

By Marcus Wong - on 18 Sep 2015, 3:35pm

Sony’s A7 series refresh is complete: introducing the updated A7S II

The last of the Sony A7 series cameras has just been refreshed with the arrival of the A7S II. Like the A7 II, the A7S II gains improved 5-axis image stabilization capabilities for greater control when shooting in lowlight or rapidly moving environments, and it now is able to shoot 4K video with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in full-frame format, making it also extremely appealing to video professionals.

As with the original A7S, the A7S II is able to go up to the insane limits of ISO 409600 and down to ISO 50 (upon extension), but the new model gains the advantage of upgraded image processing algorithms of the BIONZ X processor, allowing it to maximize the capabilities of the sensor. 4K movies are recorded internally in XAVC S format, and now full pixel readout without pixel binning is applied to Full HD videos too, so the camera can get information from approximately five times more the pixels.

All three A7 series cameras have now been refreshed.

The A7S II also now records 120fps at 100Mbps7 with full pixel readout without pixel binning in full frame format, which means you can now get 4x/5x slow motion footage in Full HD from the camera, and review it immediately on the LCD screen because the camera can also process slow-motion videos internally.

Video functionality has been further enhanced with new profiles - S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3 and S Gamut3/S-Log3 - that deliver wide dynamic range and allow for easier color correction. The camera also supports the popular S-Gamut/S-Log2, and can offer an impressive 14-stop latitude in the S-Log3 gamma setting! Gamma Display Assist is a new function that allows users to monitor images or check focus when recording S-Log movies and the Zebra function has been improved for even greater control.

The A7S II is said to boast much faster AF performance.

The autofocus system on the A7S II has been upgraded and now offers 169 AF points for fast, precise focusing. The upgraded image sensor brings less noise in images generated, and allows the Fast Intelligent AF to detect contrast more easily in low-light situations (as low as EV-4), thus making it react faster.When shooting video, the AF performance is twice as fast as the previous model, and the XGA OLED Tru-Finder has also been upgraded to offer a magnification of 0.78x (roughly 38.5 degrees in diagonal field of view) so you really get a real-time update of how your settings affect your picture.

Like the other A7 series cameras, the A7S II’s grip and shutter buttons have been re-designed so that the camera feels more natural in the hand. Silent shooting mode is also available with up to 5fps continuous shooting for less conspicuous operation. You can now also charge the camera via a USB power supply whilst the camera is in operation, thus extending battery life.

Also announced, is the ability to choose between compressed and uncompressed 14-bit RAW capture, which will also be added via a firmware update to additional Alpha series cameras, including the new A7R II.

The A7S II will be available in selected Asia Pacific countries from October 2015, but pricing has yet to be announced.

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