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First looks: The Sony Alpha 7R II

By Bryan Chan - on 29 Jul 2015, 10:58pm

First looks: The Sony Alpha 7R II

Earlier, we brought you news about Sony unveiling the Alpha 7R II, Cyber-shot RX100 IV and Cyber-shot RX10 II. We then gave you juicy details about the RX100 IV and RX10 II. Now, we're completing the set by presenting you with a First Look of the Sony Alpha 7R II (A7R II).

From L-R: The Sony Cyber-shot RX100-IV, the Alpha 7R II and the Cyber-shot RX10 II.

As you would have read previously, the A7R II sports a new (and very interesting) sensor that boasts 42.4MP (effective) and a native ISO range of 100-25,600 (expandable to 102,400). What's interesting about this sensor is that it makes use of Sony's Exmor R concept, making it a back-illuminated sensor. What this essentially means is that you can really push up the ISO on this camera, whilst keeping noise levels at a minimum, and buffering speeds are incredibly fast. According to Sony, the A7R II's readout speed is 3.5 times faster than its predecessor, the Alpha 7R.

The A7R II is the world's first full frame camera to have Exmor R technology, AKA BSI (Backside Illumination)

There's a problem though - most experienced photographers will know that having such a high megapixel count will likely lead to blurry hand-held shots, because even the slightest of vibration can affect the sensor's ability to capture details. To combat this, Sony's engineers developed what they call a low vibration shutter unit. Put simply, they put a brake for the shutter, effectively cutting vibration by about 50 percent. The end result? extremely sharp photos (even when cropped to 100 percent!) without the need to use a tripod.

To fully utilize its high megapixel count, Sony's engineers had to develop the low vibration shutter unit

Another feature that we didn't elaborate on earlier was the camera's autofocusing system. It features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF point. This, according to Sony, is  the world's widest AF coverage on a full frame sensor. The 399 phase-detection points work in tandem with 25 contrast AF points to make the A7R II focus about 40 percent faster than its predecessor.

A live demonstration was given to showcase the effectiveness of the A7R II's AF system

The A7R II is a full frame camera, and yet it's lightweight and highly portable

Even these ladies found the A7R II to be irresistable

Other notable features include Wi-Fi and NFC technology, as well as the ability to record 4K video in either Super 35mm crop mode or full frame mode. In case you're curious, this camera uses the XAVC S codec.  

It has been confirmed that the A7R II will make its way to Malaysia sometime in mid-August and will retail for RM11,999 (body-only). Pre-orders begin August 1.