Get Leica Q at B&H Photo.
I’m a fan of fixed-lens cameras, because the lens can be highly optimized for the sensor, offering the promise of exceptional image quality versus a general purpose interchangeable lens camera.
Now Leica enters the high-grade fixed-lens compact market with the Leica Q, the only relevant competitor being the Sony RX1:
- 24.2 MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
- Leica Maestro II Image Processor
- Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH Lens (autofocus or manual focus)
- 3.68 MP LCOS Electronic Viewfinder
- 3.0" 1,040k-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor
- Contrast-Detect AF System
- Full HD 1080p Video at up to 60 fps
- ISO 50,000 & 10 fps Continuous Shooting
- Aluminum & Magnesium Alloy Body Design
- Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
- Dynamic range of 13 stops (claimed)
With a 24-megapixel sensor and a 28mm f/1.7 Lens, the Leica Q is likely to deliver high grade imagery with a pleasant viewing experience using the 3.6 megapixel built-in EVF. I’m less thrilled about the omission of a built-in flash, since adding a flash turns a compact into an awkward blob.
My other thought is whether Sony will soon have an RX2R with a 42 megapixel or larger sensor—where would that leave the Leica Q other than higher-priced and lower resolution? Iliked the Sony RX1R a lot, and its 35mm f/2 lens is first class. But I’d still prefer the 28mm focal length in a compact, and that may be true for many shooters, so the Leica Q offers appeal.
A no compromise compact, the Leica Q (Typ 116) Digital Camera wields a full-frame 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor within its exceptionally portable, and beautiful, body. Leveraging the power of the Leica Maestro II series image processor, high-resolution, low-noise imaging is possible at sensitivities up to ISO 50,000 and at a continuous rate of 10 fps. Also, the camera utilizes a Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens to allow users to dramatically separate the subject from the background as well as work in difficult light conditions.
Design is benefitted by Leica's classic simple aesthetic and the body has easily read laser engraved lettering, numbers, and dials. Construction is solid with a solid machined aluminum top plate and a lightweight magnesium alloy body. Also, it has a large thumb rest on the back and a diamond pattern on the front leathering to ensure a firm, comfortable grip over the camera. Further, the Q (Typ 116) has a built-in 3.68-megapixel LCOS electronic viewfinder which provides a live through-the-lens image with handling similar to that of a rangefinder.
In addition to fully manual control with physical operation using the aperture and focus rings on the lens, auto focus is possible using a contrast-based system. This enables fast, sharp imaging at the click of the shutter. The rear 3.0" 1,040k-dot touchscreen LCD monitor helps by allowing users to quickly take control of their focus by just tapping on their subject. Focusing aids are also available in the form of Focus Peaking and Live View Zoom.
Another benefit of the updated Maestro II processor is full HD 1080p video capture at 60 or 30 fps. A built-in stereo microphone enables high-quality sound recording and an integrated wind filter limits extraneous noise. Full manual control will then allow users to dial in the exact look they want or need for their shot.
Share your photos and videos instantly thanks to an integrated Wi-Fi module which allows you to link the camera to a smartphone, tablet, or computer. The Q also has an NFC chip for tap-to-connect functionality with certain devices and the free Leica Q app lets you take remote control of your camera for adjusting exposure while you shoot from odd angles and positions. Additionally, a copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is included for professional-level management, editing, and export of your stills and video.
Get Sony RX10 Mark II and Sony RX100 Mark IV at B&H Photo (about $3198).
The Sony RX10 and RX100 share the same sensor size. The RX100 is a diminutive powerhouse; the RX10 is a larger camera more with more optical reach.
Amazingly, even the diminutive RX100 shoots 4K video (up to 5 min). What the heck are the dinosaur companies (Nikon and Canon) thinking when their Big Black Bricks can’t do more then crap-quality 1080p? I recently shot a time lapse video with the Nikon D810, and its brain-dead firmware can't even give me a 4K output (1080p only), from a series of stills. It’s insane in this marketplace to stagnate like this.
The technology that Sony is putting into these cameras blows away the Leica Q (EVF excepted)—the Q can’t even do 4K video.
Sony RX10 Mark II
Get Sony RX10 Mark II at B&H Photo, about $1298.
- 20.2 MP 1" Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
- BIONZ X Image Processor
- Internal UHD 4K Video & S-Log2 Gamma
- Carl Zeiss 24-200mm f/2.8 Lens (35mm Eq)
- Slow Motion Video at 960 fps
- 3.0" 1228K-Dot Tilting Xtra Fine TFT LCD
- XGA OLED Electronic Viewfinder
- Built-In Wireless and NFC Connectivity
- Low-Light Sensitivity to ISO 12800
- Super Sonicwave Motor for Fast Autofocus
Sony RX10 II
The Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II Digital Camera from Sony is a compact, point-and-shoot camera that features a large 20.2 MP, 1" Exmor RS BSI CMOS sensor producing high resolution still imagery and internal-recording UHD 4K video up to 30 fps, and super slow-motion full HD video up to 960 fps. This sensor's design utilizes a stacked CMOS image sensor with a DRAM chip and backside-illuminated technology to improve clarity and image quality when working in dimly-lit conditions as well as low-noise imagery and a sensitivity range of ISO 100-12800. The DRAM chip is integrated into the sensor, and combined with the BINOZ X processor allows for fast readout speeds, burst shooting up to 14 fps, and a maximum physical shutter speed of 1/3200 sec and a maximum electronic shutter speed of 1/32000 sec.
The built-in, Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T*, 8.3x optical zoom lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-200mm, covering a broad range of focal lengths to provide versatile, multi-functional shooting from one zoom lens. A constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 is effective in low light and provides shallow depth-of-field focus control. Optical SteadyShot image stabilization is also available to help minimize the effects of camera shake when working in dimly-lit conditions and with greater zoom magnifications. The lens also features 7 aspherical elements including an Advanced Aspherical lens to minimize aberrations and distortion and Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating, which helps to reduce surface reflections, lens flare, and ghosting in order to produce imagery that is rich in contrast and clarity.
A Direct Drive, Supersonic Wave Motor (SSM) provides fast and smooth autofocus action while Eye AF enables precise eye-detection focusing with confirmation that a subject's eye is in focus even if their head is partially turned. Flexible Spot areas allow precise focus placement, and Lock-on AF keeps focus locked on a moving subject, even if that subject leaves the frame momentarily. Seamless close-up shooting is also supported, which no longer requires the need to switch to a dedicated macro mode, for focusing on subjects as close as 1.2".
For image composition and playback, the RX10 II features a large 3.0", 1228K-dot, Xtra Fine LCD monitor with a tilting design to better serve working from high and low angles. WhiteMagic technology is incorporated into the display to increase the effective brightness of the screen. Also, the XGA OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder integrates four aspherical elements for sharp eye-level composition. An automatic eye-sensor recognizes when an eye is at the viewfinder and illuminates the EVF while turning off the LCD.
UHD 4K video is supported up to 30 fps in XAVC S format thanks to a high-speed front-end LSI which processes the data with full pixel readout with no line skipping or pixel binning. The XAVC S format allows for high-bitrate shooting up to 100 Mbps. A built-in stereo microphone and an external mic jack are provided as is a headphone jack from audio monitoring. Professional features such as full manual exposure control and uncompressed off-camera recording are also supported.
Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC (Near Field Connectivity) allow for easy wireless connections to smartphones and tablets in order to transfer images for sharing as well as to use your smartphone as a remote control via the free Sony PlayMemories app.
The compact magnesium alloy body of the RX10 II is moisture and dust resistant. It offers a built-in pop-up flash as well as the Sony Multi-Interface shoe for connecting flashes, microphones, lights, monitors, and other accessories. A multi-compatibility card slot enables the use of SD series, micro-SD series, and Memory Stick memory cards. A selectable click or click-less manual control ring on the lens lets you adjust numerous camera settings without taking your eye from the image and customizable buttons provides fast access to the camera settings that you need most.
20.2 MP 1" Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
The 1" stacked CMOS image sensor with DRAM chip offers a fast electronic shutter speed of up to 1/32000. The Exmor RS sensor not only enhances efficiency and speed of A/D conversion through its stacked structure with more circuit sections; it also realizes over five times faster readout speed of the previous RX10 thanks to a DRAM chip integrated into the sensor structure. This processing speed allows for 20.2-megapixels at up to 14 fps continuous shooting, 4K movie and super slow-motion HFR (High Frame Rate) recording of up to 960 fps (40x) movie clips - not to mention better low-light low-noise capability.
BIONZ X Image Processor
Also benefitting the image quality, as well as overall camera performance, is the BIONZ X image processor. It faithfully reproduces details and rich tones with lower image noise than was previously possible. Performance speed is also impressive including full-resolution continuous shooting up to 14 fps, high-speed auto focusing and UHD 4K video recording. Still images can be recorded in JPEG or RAW file formats or both simultaneously.
UHD 4K Video Recording
High quality 4k is achieved by a high-speed front-end LSI, which processes mass volume image data from the 1" Exmor RS CMOS sensor - with full pixel readout and no line skipping or pixel binning - resulting in images that exhibit higher resolution and less moiré and jaggies than typical 4K movies. Moreover, the XAVC S format is incorporated to maximize high-bitrate shooting up to 100 Mbps for professional quality video. The RX10 II also includes functions such as; Picture Profile, S-Log2/S-Gamut, TC/UB, Rec Control, Dual Video Recording, and marker display function.
Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 8.3x Optical Zoom Lens
The built-in Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-200mm, covering wide-angle to full telephoto perspectives to suit working in a wide variety of situations. The fast constant f/2.8 maximum aperture enables enhanced low-light capabilities as well as greater control over focus placement for selective focus imagery. The lens also features 7 aspheric elements including one Advanced Aspheric element for reduced aberrations and a Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating to help minimize lens flare and ghosting in order to produce imagery with rich contrast and clarity.
Super-Speed Anti-Distortion Electronic Shutter
In addition to the physical shutter's max speed of 1/3200 sec. even faster shutter speeds of up to 1/32000 sec. are possible thanks to a dramatically accelerated sensor readout. The accelerated electronic shutter readout minimizes distortion caused by rolling shutter phenomenon. This new fast Anti-Distortion Shutter system can capture shots of swiftly moving subjects without altering their shape as conventional CMOS sensors tend to do. Additionally, the super high-speed shutter gives you freedom to shoot photos with de-focused backgrounds by using large aperture settings under very bright lighting conditions. This is achieved by a combination of 1/32000 super high speed shutter and built-in ND filter that allows photos to be shot in extremely bright light at a maximum of EV19 with a fully open aperture.
Built-In Wireless and NFC Connectivity
Built-in wireless connectivity enables the RX10 II to instantly transfer imagery to mobile devices for direct sharing with social networking sites, via email, and to cloud storage sites. NFC (Near Field Communication) is also supported, which allows for one-touch connection between the camera and compatible Android mobile devices; no complex set-up is required. This technology when used with the free Sony PlayMemories Mobile app also provides the ability to use Smart Remote Control, which provides for remote shutter release that is controlled by a smart device.
High-Resolution LCD Monitor
For live view monitoring, image playback and review, and menu navigation, a 3.0" 1228K-dot LCD monitor is integrated into the camera body and features a tilting design to promote easier use from high and low angles. The screen can tilt approximately 84° up and 45° down, giving a wide range of viewing angles. The LCD also employs WhiteMagic technology, which enhances the brightness of the display for easier use in bright conditions. Real-time image adjustment can be seen on the monitor and Grid Display and Peaking can be customized for better image control.
XGA OLED Viewfinder
See spectacular clarity, contrast, and detail in every scene, regardless of conditions, on the built-in, bright, high-resolution OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder. Four dual-sided aspherical lenses provide a big, 33º view angle and maintain excellent edge-to-edge visibility of the electronic viewfinder. An eye-sensor on the viewfinder senses when your eye is at the finder and illuminates it while simultaneously turning off the LCD monitor.
Smooth High Speed Autofocus
Aided by the rapid throughput of the BIONZ X image processor, auto focusing on the RX10 II is fast and accurate. The Direct Drive SSM (Super Sonic Wave AF Motor) provides fast and smooth autofocus action, and Flexible Spot frames enable versatility and precision when choosing your focus spots.
Precise Autofocus Tracking and Eye AF Function
Lock-on Autofocus precisely focuses on moving subjects by continuously adjusting target frame size based on its recognition of subject characteristics. Even when a subject goes out of frame temporarily, tracking resumes at the moment that it is recaptured after re-entering the frame. Advanced Eye Detection technology creates Eye AF Function which detects and focuses on the subject's eye even if the head is turned slightly.
Close-up shooting is seamless and no switching to macro mode is needed. The minimum focus distance for the RX10 II is 1.2".
Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization
Optical SteadyShot image stabilization works to minimize the appearance of camera shake when working in low-light conditions or with greater zoom magnifications. The system can counter the effects of both vertical and horizontal movements, and, furthermore, Active 3-Way stabilization adds digital rolling control that balances both clockwise and counter-clockwise movements while recording videos.
Built-In Flash and Multi-Interface Shoe
A convenient pop-up flash with several flash modes is provided but the RX10 II features the advanced Multi-Interface Shoe that dramatically expands compatibility with Sony digital imaging accessories such as flash units and microphones, thus increasing the potential of your photo and movie shooting.
Selectable Click/Click-Less Manual Control Ring
The manual ring gives you direct control of certain settings, zooming, and focusing, according to the focus mode in use. In addition, before turning the aperture ring to set f-stop, you can turn Aperture Click Switch on for clicked aperture adjustment or off for a quiet, smooth feel when setting the aperture. A display panel on top lets you see key settings without moving the camera as you look through the viewfinder.
Multi-Compatibility Memory Slot
The one memory card slot on the RX10 II is compatible with Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro, Memory Stick Micro Mark 2, SD, SDHC, SDXC, microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC memory cards.
Sony RX100 Mark IV
Get Sony RX100 Mark IV at B&H Photo, about $998.
- 20.1MP 1" Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
- BIONZ X Image Processor
- Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/1.8-2.8 Lens
- 24-70mm (35mm Equivalent)
- 1440k-Dot OLED Tru-Finder Pop-Up EVF
- 3.0" 1229k-Dot Multi-Angle Xtra Fine LCD
- Full HD Video in XAVC S, Clean HDMI Out
- Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
- ISO 12800 and 10 fps Continuous ShootingManual Control Ring & Built-In ND Filter
Sony RX100 IV
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV Digital Camera is a versatile and advanced point-and-shoot featuring a large 20.1-megapixel 1" Exmor RS CMOS sensor to produce high-resolution still imagery and 4K video. This sensor's design utilizes a stacked backside-illuminated design to improve clarity and image quality when working in dimly-lit conditions as well as to increase its sensitivity to a native ISO 12,800. By completely placing the camera's photodiodes over the sensor's processing structure, the light-gathering ability of the Exmor RS CMOS sensor is further improved over previous backside-illuminated devices and faster image processing capabilities are added as well. 16 fps of continuous shooting is made possible as well as UHD 4K movie recording with the option of Super Slow Motion frame rates of up to 960 fps. Also benefitting the performance of this sensor is the BIONZ X image processor, which helps to produce images with smooth quality and tonal gradations.
To make ultra-high definition video captures convenient, short 4K clips of up to five minutes can be recorded with no line skipping or pixel binning as well as with minimal moiré and visual aliasing. Furthermore, the XAVC S format is utilized to maximize high-bitrate shooting up to 100 Mbps for professional-quality video. When recording, creative potential is further extended with the ability to capture Super Slow Motion High Frame Rate movies at up to 40x slower than real time. These slow motion clips are recorded at 960 fps, 480 fps or 240 fps and can then be played back at 1920 x 1080, in either 60p, 30p or 24p. While recording at video resolutions lower than 4K, such as Full HD 1920 x 1080p, video clips up to 29 minutes in length can be saved.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV Digital Camera's enhanced Exmor RS CMOS sensor also helps to supplement the camera's top mechanical shutter speed of 1/2,000. It does so by enabling electronic shutter speeds of up to 1/32,000 second which minimizes distortion caused by "rolling shutter" which can become apparent when shooting fast moving subjects. Additionally, this high-speed shutter provides the ability to shoot photos with defocused backgrounds even while using large aperture settings under very bright lighting conditions. This is achieved by a combination of the 1/32,000 second electronic shutter speed and a built-in, three-stop ND filter that allows photos to be shot under extremely bright light at a maximum of EV19 with a fully open aperture setting. The built-in Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 2.9x zoom lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-70mm, covering wide-angle to portrait-length perspectives to suit working in a wide variety of environments. An f/1.8-2.8 maximum aperture benefits working in low lighting and controlling focus throughout the zoom range. Optical SteadyShot image stabilization is also available to help minimize the appearance of camera shake when working in dimly-lit conditions and with greater zoom magnifications. The lens also features a Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating, which helps to reduce surface reflections, lens flare, and ghosting in order to produce imagery that is rich in contrast and clarity.
Complementing the imaging capabilities of the RX100 IV is a sleek body design featuring both an electronic viewfinder and an LCD screen. The 0.39" 2,359k-dot SVGA OLED Tru-Finder has provides a bright, clear means for eye-level viewing. It features a unique pop-up mechanism that helps to maintain the compact form factor of the camera when carrying or if preferring to work with the rear screen. The 3.0" 1,229k-dot Xtra Fine LCD incorporates WhiteMagic technology for easier visibility in bright conditions and at multiple angles. Furthermore, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC allows instant image sharing to, as well as remote camera control and monitoring from, linked mobile devices.
20.1 MP 1" Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor
The large 20.1-megapixel 1" Exmor RS CMOS sensor features stacked backside-illuminated technology to enhance its low-light capabilities over previous designs to a native ISO 12,800 while still retaining vivid clarity. By placing its photodiodes between the rear of the lens and sensor's underlying processing structure, the light-gathering ability of the Exmor RS CMOS sensor is further improved over previous backside-illuminated devices and faster image processing capabilities are added as well. 16 fps of continuous shooting is made possible as well as UHD 4K movie recording with the option of Super Slow Motion frame rates of up to 960 fps. Also benefitting the performance of this sensor is the BIONZ X image processor, which helps to produce images with smooth quality and tonal gradations.
UHD 4K Video Recording
Ultra-high definition video capture is made convenient with the ability to record short 4K clips of up to five minutes with no line skipping or pixel binning and with minimal moiré or visual aliasing. The XAVC S format is utilized to maximize high-bitrate shooting up to 100 Mbps for professional-quality video. When recording, creative potential is further extended with the ability to capture Super Slow Motion High Frame Rate movies at up to 40x slower than real time. These slow motion clips are recorded at 960 fps, 480 fps or 240 fps and can then be played back at 1920 x 1080, in either 60p, 30p or 24p. At resolutions below 4K, including Full HD 1920 x 1080p, movies up to 29 minutes in length can be saved.
Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Lens
The built-in Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-70mm, covering wide-angle to portrait length perspectives to suit working in a wide variety of shooting conditions. An f/1.8-2.8 maximum aperture benefits working in difficult lighting conditions throughout the entire zoom range and also enables greater control over focus placement for shallow depth of field imagery.
Nine aspherical elements, including two AA (advanced aspherical) elements, are incorporated into the lens design to minimize chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range to benefit creating sharp, clear imagery. The lens also features a Zeiss T* anti-reflective multi-layered coating to help minimize lens flare and ghosting in order to produce imagery with rich contrast and color neutrality.
Benefitting the 2.9x reach of this lens, as well as supporting working in difficult lighting conditions and with longer shutter speeds, is Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, which helps to offset the effects of camera shake. Additionally, a neutral density 0.9 filter is incorporated into the camera's design, which provides a reduction of three stops in exposure to enable working in bright conditions with wider aperture settings and for greater control over how subject movement is rendered.
Within the compact design of the RX100 IV is both a high-resolution electronic viewfinder and a large rear LCD monitor. The 2,539k-dot SVGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF provides a bright, clear means for eye-level monitoring, which is well-suited to critical compositions and working in bright conditions. It features 100% frame coverage, and a unique pop-up mechanism. Alternatively, a 3.0" 1,229k-dot Xtra Fine LCD screen is also available and is particularly convenient when photographing from angles where the camera must be held away from the body.
For intuitive, SLR-like adjustments over a variety of camera settings, a manual control ring surrounds the lens and features a smooth, click-less design for quick and quiet changing of settings. The ring can be assigned to control a variety of features, at different values, such as zoom, aperture, and Picture Effects. A step-zoom feature can be utilized, too, to allow instant switching between commonly used focal lengths.
Super-Speed Anti-Distortion Electronic Shutter
While a mechanical shutter featuring a top shutter speed of 1/2,000 second is suitable for most subjects, an electronic shutter provides the ability to capture at 1/32,000 second. This minimizes distortion caused by "rolling shutter" which can become apparent when shooting fast moving subjects. This high-speed shutter also provides the ability to shoot photos with defocused backgrounds even while using large aperture settings under very bright lighting conditions. This is achieved by a combination of the 1/32,000 second shutter speed and a built-in, three-stop ND filter which allows photos to be shot under extremely bright light at a maximum of EV19 with a fully open aperture setting.
Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity enables instant transferring of imagery to mobile devices for direct sharing online to social networking, via email, and to cloud storage sites. NFC (Near Field Communication) is also supported, which allows for one-touch connection between the camera and compatible mobile devices, with no complex set-up required. Once connected, the linked mobile device can also display a live view image on its screen and, using Smart Remote Control, remotely control the camera's shutter release.
Additionally, PlayMemories Camera Apps are also supported via the built-in Wi-Fi connection, and allow you to personalize the camera's features depending on specific shooting styles. Apps are available to suit creating portraits, detailed close-ups, sports, time lapse, motion shot, and other specific types of imagery.
Get Sony A7R II at B&H Photo (about $3198).
In a bit of a surprise, the sucessor to the Sony A7R has only a 42-megapixel sensor, not a 50 or 56 megapixels sensor. The goal seems to be higher image quality with modestly more pixels (resolution is only 8% greater). The price jumps by about 68% over the current selling price of the A7R, presumably reflecting the 4K video features and class-leading resolution.
It seems that the A7R II incorporates an electronic front curtain shutter (EFC shutter), for zero vibration exposures. This was my #1 concern with the Sony A7R predecessor, since the Sony A7R shutter vibration destroyed a lot of my work at key shutter speeds, forcing workaround hassles and rendering the use of long telephotos unworkable.
Also a huge plus is the in-body-image-stabilization (IBIS), which is really excellent for handheld shooting with classic telephoto lenses (and other purposes). Just be sure to turn it off for tripod use.
A bit disappointing is that the A7R II does not incorporate an Olympus OMD E-M5 Mark II style sensor pixel shift capability (for 84 - 120 megapixel) images.
- 42MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
[DIGLLOYD: a bit puzzling as I was expecting a 50-56 megapixel sensor, but welcome nonetheless. Shutter vibration even more critical with more megapixels]
- BIONZ X Image Processor
- 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
[DIGLLOYD: HUGE plus, I adore this feature on the Sony A7 II]
- 399 Phase-Detect AF Points & 5 fps Burst
- Internal 4K XAVC S Video & S-Log2 Gamma
[DIGLLOYD: Hooray, 4K video in a very compact camera!]
- 0.5" 2.36M-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF
[DIGLLOYD: Disappointing, wanted 3.6 megapixel EVF as in the new Leica Q]
- 3.0" 1,228k-Dot TFT LCD Screen
[DIGLLOYD: same old, I want a retina grade display]
- ISO 102,400 and Silent Shutter Mode
- Durable Reduced-Vibration Shutter Design with EFC shutter.
[DIGLLOYD: excellent, the #1 issue is now resolved]
- Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC.
All in all this looks great. However, there are some issues with the A7R that appear to remain in the A7R II, such as the 11+7 bit lossy file format.
Nikon and Canon, are you awake to this existential threat? Sony just keeps breaking new and better ground.
Sony A7R II
Hooray! At last an oversampling camera (see the video features).
Highlighted points below added by Diglloyd.
Sony’s New α7R II Camera Delivers Innovative Imaging Experience with World’s First Back-Illuminated 35mm Full-Frame Sensor
Sony’s Flagship Mirrorless Camera Features 42.4 MP Back-illuminated CMOS sensor, In-camera 5-axis Image Stabilization, Internal 4K Video Recording, Silent Shooting, Fast Hybrid AF and more
NEW YORK, Jun. 10, 2015 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their new flagship full-frame mirrorless camera, the α7R II (model ILCE-7RM2).
The new α7R II interchangeable lens camera features the world’s first back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor(1), which realizes high resolution (42.4 MP approx. effective megapixels), high sensitivity (expandable up to ISO 102400)(2) and high speed AF response up to 40% faster than the original α7R thanks to 399 focal plane phase detection AF points.
The camera also includes a 5-axis image stabilization system borrowed from the acclaimed α7 II model and can shoot and record 4K video in multiple formats including Super 35mm (without pixel binning) and full-frame format, a world’s first for digital cameras1. Additionally, it has a newly refined XGA OLED Tru-Finder with the world’s highest (0.78x) viewfinder magnification(3).
“Sony continues to deliver game-changing imaging products that are changing the way imaging enthusiasts, hobbyists and professionals can see and capture the world,” said Mike Fasulo, President of Sony Electronics.
Kimio Maki, Senior General Manager of Digital imaging Business Group for Sony Corporation, added “By harmonizing high resolution, sensitivity and speed, we’re delivering a high-level full-frame imaging experience unlike anything else in market today, with Sony’s newly developed, world’s first back-illuminated 35mm full frame CMOS sensor.”
High Resolution, High Sensitivity and High-Speed Response
The newly developed 42.4 MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor is the most advanced, versatile and highest resolution full-frame image sensor that Sony has ever created, allowing the α7R II to reach new levels of quality, sensitivity and response speed. In the past, many photographers have been forced to choose between high-resolution and high-speed or high resolution and high sensitivity when selecting a camera. The new α7R II eliminates that sacrifice thanks to its innovative image sensor.
The 42.4 MP sensor combines gapless on-chip lens design and AR (anti-reflective) coating on the surface of the sensor’s glass seal to dramatically improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range. This allows the camera to shoot at an impressive ISO range of 100 to 25600 that is expandable to ISO 50 to 1024002.
Additionally, the sensor’s back-illuminated structure, with an expanded circuit scale and copper wiring design, enables faster transmission speed and ensures content can be captured in high resolution without sacrificing sensitivity. Data can also be output from the sensor at an approximately 3.5x faster rate compared to the original α7R.
An ideal match for Sony’s extensive collection of FE lenses (35mm full-frame compatible E-mount lenses), the new α7R II features a high-speed BIONZ X image processing engine that allows images and video from the camera to be captured with supreme details and low noise. There is also no optical low pass filter on the camera, ensuring that scenery and landscapes are captured in the highest possible resolution and clarity.
The α7R II has a new highly durable reduced-vibration shutter that realizes 50% less vibration from shutter movements compared to its predecessor, and has a cycle durability of approximately 500,000 shots(4). The camera can also be set to Silent Shooting mode in order to shoot images quietly without any sensor vibration or movement.
The new image sensor features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points – the world’s widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensor1 – that work together with 25 contrast AF points to achieve focus response that is about 40% faster than the original model. The α7R II utilizes an advanced motion-detection algorithm combined with this Fast Hybrid AF system to achieve up to 5fps continuous shooting with AF tracking.
Additionally, the focal plane phase-detection AF system on the α7R II works well with Sony A-mount lenses when they are mounted on the camera using an LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 mount adapter. This allows users to enjoy the wide AF coverage of 399 focal plane phase-detection AF points, high-speed response and high tracking performance with a wider range of lenses. This marks the first time that the AF system of a mirrorless camera can achieve high performance with lenses originally designed for DSLRs.
5-Axis Image Stabilization Optimized for 42.4 MP
The new flagship α7R II model is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilization system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity.
Similar to the system launched on the acclaimed α7 II model, this advanced form of image stabilization corrects camera shake along five axes during shooting, including angular shake (pitch and yaw) that tends to occur with a telephoto lens, shift shake (X and Y axes) which becomes noticeable as magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects video recording. This camera shake compensation system is equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed approximately 4.5 steps faster5.
Additionally, the 5-axis stabilization works cooperatively with Sony α lenses with optical SteadyShot™ (OSS) to provide maximum stabilization and clarity, while also performing admirably via a compatible mount adapter with Sony α A-mount lenses6 without on-board stabilization. Effects of the stabilization can be previewed via live-view on the LCD or OLED viewfinder of the camera.
Unrivaled 4K Movie Shooting Performance
The impressive video credentials of Sony’s new α7R II camera include the ability to record movies in 4K quality (QFHD 3840x2160) in either Super 35mm crop mode or full-frame mode.
In Super 35mm mode, the camera collects a wealth of information from approximately 1.8x as many pixels as 4K by using full pixel readout without pixel binning and oversamples the information to produce 4K movies with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’.
In full-frame mode, the α7RII utilizes the full width of the 35mm sensor for 4K recording, allowing users to utilize the expanded expressive power of the sensor. It is the world’s first digital camera to offer this in-camera full-frame format 4K recording capacity1.
The camera utilizes the advanced XAVC S7 codec during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shooting.
Additionally, the α7RII model features a variety of functions to support a professional video workflow including Picture Profile, S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut, 120fps high frame rate movie shooting in HD (720p), time code, clean HDMI output and more.
Enhanced Design, Operability and Reliability
The new full-frame α7RII has an upgraded XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ with a double-sided aspherical lens that delivers the world’s highest viewfinder magnification3 of 0.78x for crystal clear image preview and playback across the entire display area. ZEISS® T* Coating is also utilized to reduce unwanted reflections that interfere with the shooting experience.
The camera has an extremely solid, professional feel in-hand thanks to its light, rigid magnesium alloy design, and has a re-designed grip and shutter button compared to its predecessor. There is also a new mechanism to conveniently lock the mode dial, and an expanded range of customizable functions and buttons to suit the most demanding photographers.
The new α7R II camera is Wi-Fi® and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ application available for Android™ and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™, which add a range of creative capabilities to the camera. For example, there is more creativity available now for time-lapse photography thanks to a new “Angle Shift add-on” app allows users to easily add pan, tilt and zoom to time-lapse images without any additional shooting equipment or PC software required. Learn more at www.sony.net/pmca.
Sony has also introduced a new LCD monitor model CLM-FHD5, an ideal companion to the α7R II for video shooting. A compact 5.0 type Full HD (1920x1080p) LCD monitor, the CLM-FHD5 features enlarging and peaking functionality for precise focusing, false color and video level marker for adjusting exposure and S-Log display assist to assist S-Log shooting.
Pricing and Availability
The Sony α7R II full-frame interchangeable lens camera will be available in August for about $3200 at www.store.sony.com and a variety of Sony authorized dealers nationwide.
The α7R II is compatible with Sony’s growing lineup of α -mount lenses, which now totals 63 different models including 12 native ‘FE’ full frame lenses. By early 2016, Sony will add an additional 8 new lenses to its FE full frame lineup, bringing the FE total to 20 lenses and the overall α -mount assortment to 70 different models.
A variety of exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the flagship α7RII camera and other Sony α products can be found at www.sony.com/alpha, Sony’s new community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.
The new content will also be posted directly at Sony global sites https://www.youtube.com/c/ImagingbySony and https://www.sony.net/Product/di_photo_gallery/.
1. Among 35 mm full-frame interchangeable-lens cameras, according to Sony research as of June 2015
2. Expanded ISO range available only for shooting still images
3. Among digital still cameras. The viewfinder magnification is approx. 0.78x (with 50mm lens at infinity, -1m-1). As of June 2015 based on Sony research
4. According to Sony internal testing, with the electronic front curtain shutter activated.
5. Based on CIPA standards. Compensates for angular shake (pitch and yaw). Measured using a Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA lens, with long exposure noise reduction off.
6. Some lenses are not compatible with 5-axis image stabilization.
7. An SDXC memory card with a Class 10 or higher speed rating is required for XAVC S recording and UHS Speed Class 3 is required for recording at 100Mbps