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Sony A7R II: Assessing IBIS at 280mm: Is Handheld Shooting at 42 Megapixels at 1/125 Second Viable?

Sony A7R II

Get Sony A7R II at B&H Photo.

The Sony A7R II offers IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization): the sensor moves to compensate for vibration and camera movement.

Leica 280mm f/4 APO-Telyt-R

IBIS is a compelling feature, one of those features that may justify purchasing the camera and switching brands: it adds image stabilization to any lens, native or adapted.

IBIS allows shooting lenses that would simply not be viable to shoot handheld, and it blows away what Nikon and Canon have to offer (no sensor stabilization, so no Nikkor or Zeiss ZF or specialty lens can be stabilized).

For years, I had such a high failure rate trying to use the Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R and Leica 280mm f/4 APO-Telyt-R on either Nikon or Canon that these were left in a drawer gathering dust: impossible to focus accurately with the optical viewfinder and handheld was not an option.

But with the EVF on the Sony A7R II, not only can these teles be easily focused, but outstanding results can be obtained handheld. This is serious value from the IBIS technology and two compelling reasons that some shooters are best off abandoning the DSLR.

Five frames are shown with a very large crop, all taken at 1/125 second using IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) on the 42-megapixel Sony A7R II.

Sony A7R II: IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) Handheld at 280mm

It is essential to set the focal length for SteadyShot. See note on the above page.

An actual pixels view can be somewhat misleading: with a 42-megapixel sensor, the pixels are notably smaller than at 24-megapixel sensor. One must ask about sharpness relative to print size which is equivalent to asking what 43MP looks like downsampled to 24MP (in terms of fairly comparing the two sensor resolutions). Accordingly, the images are also shown at a 24-megapixel resolution (downsampled).

Handheld at 1/125 second (uneven lighting is just that)


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