News: Sony α7R II – available now in Singapore

The new α7R II will be available in Singapore from today, 6 August 2015, onwards at all Sony Stores, Sony Centres, and selected Sony authorised dealers at a recommended retail price of S$4,099 (body only).

In conjunction to the launch, from 6 to 9 August 2015, customers who purchased the α7R II will receive the following free gifts:

  • Leather Camera Strap (worth S$139)
  • 64GB SDXC Memory Card (worth S$196)

 

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The newly-developed 42.4-megapixel 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-megapixel 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 102400.

Furthermore, 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 approximately 3.5x faster compared to the original α7R.

An ideal match to 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 videos 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 realises 50 per cent less vibration from shutter movements compared to its predecessor, and has a cycle durability of approximately 500,000 shots. 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 sensor – that work together with 25 contrast AF points to achieve a focus response speed that is approximately 40 per cent faster than the original model. The α7R II utilises an advanced motion-detection algorithm combined with this Fast Hybrid AF system to achieve up to 5fps continuous shooting with AF tracking.

The focal plane phase-detection AF system on the α7R II also works well with Sony’s 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.

The new flagship α7R II model is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilisation 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 stabilisation 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 faster.

The impressive video credentials of Sony’s new α7R II camera include the ability to record movies in 4K quality (QFHD 3840×2160) 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 α7R II uses the full width of the 35mm sensor for 4K recording, allowing users to maxmise 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 capacity.

The camera utilises the advanced XAVC S codec during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of 100Mbps during 4K recording and 50Mbps during full HD shooting.

The new full-frame α7R II 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 available 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 an improved and 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 customisable functions and buttons to suit the most demanding photographers.

The new α7R II camera is Wi-Fi and NFC-compatible, and is 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 adds 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 that allows users to easily add pan, tilt and zoom to time-lapse images without any additional shooting equipment or PC software required. More information can be found here: www.sony.net/pmca.

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 eight 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 α7R II 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 Sony α7R II full-frame interchangeable lens camera is now available in Singapore at all Sony Stores, Sony Centres and selected Sony authorised dealers at a recommended retail price of S$4,099 (body only).

For more information, please visit – Sony a7R II.

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Thanks to Sony Singapore team, we had a hands-on session last week to try out the a7R II for ourselves.

The built and feel of the a7R II was brilliant, with a more comfortable grip and positioning of the shutter button (no fingers cramp issue). As for the 399 focus point, I’m impressed and at a loss with what to do since I’ve not shot with a dslr camera for almost 1.5 years (yes, that rusty).

Having seen how the a7R II works with a 3rd party lens (+ mount adapter), we saw the potential and possible brilliant images that could be produced with it.

As a hobbyist or occasional user, the camera wouldn’t see much daylight if own by me (too lazy to bring out a camera these days).

But if it’s in the hands of professionals or true photography enthusiast, I’m sure it’ll be able to produce brilliant works.