Sony A7R II Review

September 29, 2015 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Sony A7R II is the company's new flagship full-frame compact system camera. It features a newly developed back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor offering a resolution of 42.4 megapixels and no optical low pass filter, built-in 5-axis optical image stabilization providing up to 4.5 steps faster shutter speed of correction, high-speed auto-focusing with 399 focal plane phase detection AF points and 25 contrast AF points, an ISO range of 100 to 25600 that is expandable to 50-102400, 4k video recording in Super 35mm (without pixel binning) and full-frame formats with XAVC S and S-Log2 support, shutter cycle durability of approximately 500,000 shots, XGA OLED Tru-Finder with a magnification of 0.78x, weather-resistant magnesium alloy design, and built-in Wi-Fi and NFC compatibility. The Sony A7R II retails for around $3200 / £2600.

Ease of Use

The aluminium bodied Sony A7R II is virtually identical to the A7 II camera, measuring 126.9 x 95.7 x 60.3mm and weighing 582g (26g more than the A7 II) without a lens, battery and memory card fitted. The A7R II has a large handgrip which protrudes forwards and is more DSLR-like than on the original A7R. We found it easy enough to get to grips with the A7R, but the new grip on the A7R II makes for an even more secure hold. Sony have taken advantage of the bigger surface area to re-position the shutter release, which now sits in a much more logical position on top of the handgrip, with a new command dial also more conveniently located on the front. All-in-all, we're impressed with the ergonomic improvements that have been introduced on the A7R II, and feel that the resulting increase in size and weight is a worthwhile compromise. Also located on the front of the A7R II is the newly reinforced lens mount using magnesium alloy and a small porthole on the left for the self-timer/AF illuminator.

The Sony A7R II is the world’s second full-frame camera with optical 5-axis image stabilization. Most image stabilization systems compensate for camera shake by correcting yaw and pitch. Sony claim that camera shake is actually caused by five different kinds of motion, and their image stabilization mechanism additionally corrects for horizontal shift, vertical shift and rotary motion (rolling) for both still images and movies. The A7R II offers 4.5-stops of compensation, slightly behind the Olympus OM-D E-M5 which offers 5 stops, but very impressive considering that the A7R II has a much larger sensor. Furthermore, the in-body system ensures that the A7R II can stabilize all kinds of lenses, not just those with the FE designation, including E-mount lenses without Optical SteadyShot (OSS) and A-mount lenses as well, although third party lenses without any electronic contacts only benefit from three axes of compensation, and you need to input which focal length you’re using.

On top the A7R II has an external hotshoe, dubbed the Multi Interface Shoe, for attaching one of a range of accessories, including an external flash. Thanks to its electronic front curtain shutter, the A7R II has a sync speed of 1/250th sec, making it well suited to flash-based portrait photography. Turn the On/Off switch on the top plate and the Sony A7R II readies itself for action in under a second, noticeably quicker than the A7R. The adequately sized shutter-release button has a definite halfway point, determining focus and exposure with a bleep of affirmation and focus points highlighted as green rectangles on the LCD. When you do fire the shutter, it's much quieter than the original A7R, and there's also a new silent mode too.

The A7R II uses a hybrid AF system which employs both phase-detection and contrast-based auto-focusing, with 399 phase-detection points that cover 45% of the frame and 25 contrast-detection points. Despite being up to 40% faster than the original A7R according to Sony, the A7R II still takes slightly longer than we'd like to lock onto the subject compared to a comparable DSLR or a class-leading compact system camera like the Olympus OM-D E-M1, but it's definitely the fastest A-series camera to date.

The new 399-point focal plane phase-detection AF system on the A7R II works very well with non-native lenses, including both Sony A-mount lenses when they are mounted on the camera using an LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 mount adapter, and a wide variety of third-party lenses via a suitable adapter. We tested the A7R II with a large number of Canon lenses using the Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Smart Adapter (Mark IV), and remarkably AF speeds were often the same as using the lens mounted on a Canon DSLR. Note that Eye AF, which can be used in conjunction with the AF-C mode, is only available with native lenses.

Sony A7R II
Front of the Sony A7R II

When you choose to manually focus, a distance scale is displayed along the bottom of the LCD screen, MF Assist can be turned on to magnify the image and help you get sharp results, and there's also the a convenient Peaking function that highlights sharply-focused areas of the image on the LCD screen. Go on to take the shot and JPEG or Raw images are quickly committed to memory in a single second, the screen momentarily blanking out and then displaying the captured image before the user can go on to take a second shot.

The A7R II has a brand new reduced-vibration shutter with an electronic first-curtain that produces 50% less vibration from shutter movements than on the A7R, a very welcome improvement. The new shutter also offers an impressive cycle durability of approximately 500,000 shots, comparable to most pro-level DSLRs. The new Silent Shooting mode does exactly what its name suggests, taking the picture quietly without any sensor vibration or movement via the new all-electronic shutter.

A round shooting mode dial with a knurled edge and positive action is also located on top of the camera with a new locking button at its centre, which is a little annoying in practice as you now need to use two fingers to change the shooting mode.

Despite ostensibly being a camera aimed at professionals, Sony has still included Intelligent Auto scene recognition, which works in virtually identical fashion to the intelligent auto modes of Panasonic's and Canon's compact ranges. Simply point the A7R II at a scene or subject and the camera analyses it and automatically chooses one of a number of pre-optimised settings to best suit.

Adding to the A7R II's snapshot simplicity, these features accompany face recognition and smile shutter functionality on board, the former mode biasing human faces in the frame and the latter mode firing the shutter when it detects a smiling subject. The Face Detection system automatically adjusts the focus, exposure and white balance for people in the frame, and can even be set to distinguish between children and adults. Smile Detection offers three self-explanatory options, Big, Normal and Slight. Used in conjunction, the Face and Smile Detection systems do result in more hits than misses, especially in contrasty lighting conditions. The self-portrait options in the self-timer menu work by automatically taking the shot with a two second delay after either one or two people have entered the frame.

In addition to the regular Program mode, which provides the full range of camera options and additionally allows you to change settings like the ISO speed and metering, is the welcome inclusion of Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority and fully Manual modes which let you independently set the aperture and shutter speed, making the A7R II instantly appeal to the more experienced photographer. The ability to choose from 30-1/8000th second shutter speeds opens up a lot of creative potential. There's also very welcome support for the RAW file format, which is really the icing on the cake for serious photographers, although we don't like the fact that you still can't capture Extra Fine JPEGs and Raw files at the same time. Two Custom modes on the shooting mode dial allow you quickly access different combinations of settings.

Sony A7R II
Rear of the Sony A7R II

The proven Sweep Panorama mode lets you capture a panoramic image very easily without the use of a tripod. All you need to decide is whether you would like to start from left or right, top or bottom. Then press and hold down the shutter release while doing a "sweep" with the camera in hand. Exposure compensation is available before you start the sweep, but the exposure is fixed once you depress the shutter button. After you are done with the sweeping, the camera does all the processing required, and presents you with a finished panoramic image. There are two modes, Standard and Wide. Note that if you do the sweeping too slowly, or you let go of the shutter release button too early, the panorama will be truncated.

In the clever Hand-held Twilight and Anti Motion Blur scene modes, the A7R II takes six shots in a rapid sequence, typically at a high sensitivity setting and a (relatively) fast shutter speed, and then combines them into a single image that has somewhat less noise than a single shot taken at the same ISO and exposure settings. In our experience, the difference between the two modes is that in Anti Motion Blur mode, the camera is more willing to pick a really high ISO setting like ISO 6400 to maintain a fast shutter speed, whereas in Hand-held Twilight mode, it will only go as high as absolutely necessary to avoid camera shake at the chosen focal length. If light levels are truly low, however, the A7R II will pick a high ISO speed even in this mode.

The Sony A7R II can shoot and record 4K video in multiple formats including cropped Super 35mm (without pixel binning) to reduce moire and the full-frame format. The Sony A7R II can output uncompressed UHD 4K, 3840 x 2160 pixel video (30p/24p/25p) at a 4:2:2 color depth without downsampling to either the inserted memory card or over HDMI to compatible third party recorders. The A7R II also supports the XAVC S format, which is based on the professional XAVC codec and records full-pixel readout 4K footage at 100Mbps and Full HD video footage at up to 50Mbps. In addition 720p HD footage can be recorded at 100fps in XAVC S mode for slow motion replays.

There's the ability to change the EV level, white balance, metering, ISO speed, DRO/HDR, creative style and picture effect, plus various audio recording options. If you set the shooting mode dial to Movie, you can also choose from Program, Aperture or Shutter priority and Manual modes, giving you full control over exposure for both stills and movies.

The clean HDMI output from the camera also allows video to be viewed on an external monitor or recorded on another device. High-resolution still images can be displayed directly on a 4K television, offering four times the detail of Full HD. The A7R II incorporates extensive customizable color and gamma controls, offering the ability to adjust the gamma, black level, knee, color level, and more, as well as use the same S-Log2 Gamma Curve that is found on high end Sony Cinema cameras, plus it offers multiple timecode recording options to meet different workflows.

Sony A7R II
Top of the Sony A7R II

The Sony A7R II can shoot full-resolution 42 megapixel pictures at up to 5fps with continuous AF, quite a fast rate for such a high megapixel 35mm full-frame camera. To achieve the full 5fps you need to set the drive mode to the Speed Priority Continuous option, which locks the focus and the exposure at the first frame. The A7R II's regular continuous burst shooting can change the focus and exposure between frames but provides a slower rate of 2.5fps.

Sony's long-standing D-Range Optimizer and HDR functions are present to help even out tricky exposures, for example where a bright background would normally throw the foreground into deep shadow. You can see from the examples on the Image Quality page that these features produce a photo with noticeably more dynamic range than one taken using one of the standard shooting modes, but at the same time without replicating the often "false" look of many HDR programs, and both offer a wide degree of customisation.

Completing the top of the A7R II is a second prominent dial for setting the Exposure Compensation and two small button marked with C1 and C2, which as the names suggest can be customised to access one of the camera's key controls.

On the back, instead of the bulky optical viewfinder of a conventional DSLR, the Sony A7R II has an electronic viewfinder. The XGA OLED electronic viewfinder on the A7R II has been further upgraded to offer a large 0.78x magnification, 100% field of view, and a staggeringly high 2,359,000 dot equivalent resolution, resulting in a display that's virtually indistinguishable from a more traditional optical viewfinder.

As the EVF is reading the same signal from the image sensor as the rear LCD screen, it can also display similar information, with a choice of five display modes. For example, you can view and operate the A7R II's Function Menu, giving a true preview of the scene in front of you and quick access to all the key camera settings while it's held up to your eye. The various icons used to represent the camera settings are clear and legible. The icing on the viewing cake is the clever built-in eye sensor, which automatically switches on the viewfinder when you look into it, then switches it off and turns on the LCD monitor when you look away.

Sony A7R II
Tilting LCD Screen

The A7R II's EVF system also performs very well indoors in low light, typically the scourge of most EVFs which have to "gain-up" to produce a usable picture, resulting in a noticeably grainier picture. The A7R II doesn't suffer from this unwanted effect at all, making its electronic viewfinder the equal of and in many areas better than a DSLR's optical viewfinder. The truest testament to the A7R II is that we almost exclusively used it by holding it up to eye-level, something that we wouldn't do unless the EVF was of sufficient quality.

There's also a 3-inch, 1,228K-dot resolution White Magic panel LCD screen which can be tilted up to 41° downwards to shoot over crowds or up to 107° upwards and comfortably used outdoors even in harsh sunlight, although it still can't be rotated to the side. Located above the screen and to either side of the EVF are the Menu and C3 buttons.

Press the Menu button and a number of shooting and set up folders appear on screen, with white text on a black background aiding visibility. The seven shooting folders allow users to select image size, ratio and quality and - if JPEG (RAW and RAW+JPEG also available) - compression rates too, plus features like long exposure and high ISO noise reduction - all in fact activated as a default, and also contains the video quality and audio options, while the six Customise folders allow you to tweak the A7R II to your way of working. Wi-fi, Apps, Playback, and Setup folders complete the long list of configurable options. By default the C3 button allows you to change the Focus Mode, but as the name suggests it can be customised to another function.

To the right is the slimmed-down rear control dial and a useful one-touch movie record button embedded within the edge of the rubberised thumb-rest. Underneath is the combined AF/MF and Auto Exposure Lock (AEL) switch/button, and underneath that the Function button which accesses up to 12 customisable options that appear on in two horizontal columns along the bottom of the LCD screen. The Function menu proves to be a very handy way to quickly change the A7R II's key settings and one of the main ways of setting the camera to suit your shooting style.

The traditional round navigation pad can be used to navigate through menus and options, in conjunction with the small button in the middle which activates whatever it is you've chosen. Three of the four directions on the navigation pad can also be customised to provide a quick way of setting various options. The navigation pad doubles up as a control ring that's used to navigate through and set menu options, and usefully also has a new setting to choose the ISO speed. The ring is a little small, but it's not too over-sensitive and the ability to take full control of the A7R II is very welcome. In total the Sony A7R II offers 10 customisable buttons and 56 assignable functions, making it very easy to configure to suit your particular requirements.

Sony A7R II
The Sony A7R II In-hand

Underneath the navigation pad is the Playback button, which gives users the ability to dip in and out of created folders of images or the calendar view, view thumbnails, select slideshows and choose transitional effects and accompanying music, or delete shots. Press the shutter button halfway and you're helpfully catapulted back into capture mode. And that's basically it. With a press of the Menu button in playback, users have access to a few in-camera retouching effects, including the ability to crop and sharpen an image and apply red-eye correction. Completing the rear of the A7R II is the self-explanatory Delete button, which doubles up as the customisable C4 button (accessing the wi-fi options by default).

As denoted by symbols on the side of the camera, the Sony A7R II is wi-fi and NFC capable and the functions can be adjusted in the Wi-fi main menu. You can choose to transmit the images to either a smartphone computer, or a compatible TV set. One cool feature of the wi-fi is being able to link the camera to your smart phone using the PlayMemories Mobile app. You can then use the phone as a remote so those outstretched arm 'selfies' will be a thing of the past. The A7R II also features NFC (Near Field Communication) technology (the same technology that's used for mobile payments), which allows you to connect it to a compatible internet enabled device or another NFC-enabled camera by simply tapping them together. You can also use the WPS Push option to locate a hot spot, access settings, edit the device name, display the MAC address or format all settings if you wish.

In addition to the built-in wi-fi/nfc connectivity, the A7R II supports PlayMemories Camera Apps. As the name suggests, this is a downloadable service that lets you add new functionality to the camera, either via wi-fi or USB connection. Smart Remote Control, which allows you to control the exposure and shutter release via your smartphone, is preinstalled on the A7R II. Other optional apps available include Picture Effect+, Bracket Pro, Multi Frame NR, Photo Retouch and Direct Upload, and Sony plans to provide more new apps in the near future. Note that only some of the apps are free.

The bottom of the Sony A7R II features a standard metal screw thread for attaching it to a tripod that's inline with the centre of the lens mount. A lockable plastic cover protects the lithium-ion battery, officially good for 340 shots. In practice we only got around 200 shots when using the electronic viewfinder and LCD screen, which obviously draw on the battery for power. Sony have included not one, but two batteries and two separate chargers in the box, but it's still a good idea to invest in some extra batteries for an all-day shoot, and you can also recharge the battery in-camera via USB. The A7R II is also the first A-series camera to be able to use an external USB power source to charge it whilst still taking pictures, which is very beneficial for time-lapses or longer video clips.

The removable memory card is housed within a compartment located on the right of the A7R II (when viewed from the rear), with the A7R II supporting the SD / SDHC / SDXC format in addition to Sony's own proprietary Pro Duo Memory Stick format. Positioned on both sides of the A7R II are prominent metal eyelets for attaching the supplied shoulder strap. On the left are two unmarked, sturdy plastic covers, underneath which can be found the Multi port, HDMI port, and the external headphone and microphone connections.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 42 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 10Mb.

The Sony A7R II produced images of outstanding quality during the review period. The Sony A7R II has an extensive and very usable ISO range of 50-102,400. ISO 50-3200 is virtually noise-free, while ISO 6400 and 12800 produce more than acceptable results, and even ISO 25600 and 51200 are OK for emergency use. The RAW samples illustrate just how much processing the camera does by default, though, as they're much noisier at all ISO values than their JPEG counterparts.

The 42 megapixel images are a little soft straight out of the camera using the default creative style and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera sharpening level. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and the Bulb mode offering lots of scope for creative night photography.

The effective Dynamic Range Optimizer function extracts more detail from the shadow and highlight areas in an image, without introducing any unwanted noise or other artifacts. The High Dynamic Range mode combines two shots taken at different exposures to produce one image with greater dynamic range than a single image would produce. It only works for JPEGs and for still subjects, but does produce some very effective results. Sony's now tried-and-trusted Sweep Panorama is still a joy to use. The various Picture Effects quickly produce special looks that would otherwise require you to spend a lot of time in the digital darkroom, while the Creative Styles provide a quick and easy way to tweak the camera's JPEG images.


There are 10 ISO settings available on the Sony A7R II. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and RAW formats:


ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

iso50.jpg iso50raw.jpg

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

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ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

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ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

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ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

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ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

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ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

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ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

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ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

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ISO 102400 (100% Crop)

ISO 102400 (100% Crop)

iso102400.jpg iso102400raw.jpg


Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

The Sony A7R II has 3 different image quality settings available, with Extra Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

42M Extra Fine (21.9Mb) (100% Crop) 42M Fine (10.4Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_extrafine.jpg quality_fine.jpg
42M Standard (4.12Mb) (100% Crop) 42M RAW (42.3Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_standard.jpg quality_raw.jpg


The Sony A7R II's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's also a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 100.


Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Image Stabilisation

The Sony A7R II is the world’s second full-frame camera with an optical 5-axis image stabilization. Using the FE 55mm f/1.8 lens, we were able to obtain sharp results shooting handheld down to 1/8th second, about 4 stops below the "recommended" shutter speed of 1/50th second.

1/30th Sec

1/15th Sec

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1/8th Sec

1/4th Sec

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Dynamic Range Optimizer

D-Range Optimiser (DRO) is Sony's solution to improve shadow detail in photos taken in contrasty light. There are 5 different levels and an Auto option.


Level 1
drange_01.jpg drange_02.jpg
Level 2 Level 3
drange_03.jpg drange_04.jpg
Level 4 Level 5
drange_05.jpg drange_06.jpg

High Dynamic Range

High Dynamic Range Optimiser (HDR) is Sony's solution for capturing more contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining two exposures into one image. There are 6 different EV settings and an Auto option.


hdr_01.jpg hdr_02.jpg
hdr_03.jpg hdr_04.jpg
hdr_05.jpg hdr_06.jpg

Creative Styles

There are 13 Creative Style preset effects that you can use to change the look of your images.



creative_style_01.jpg creative_style_02.jpg



creative_style_03.jpg creative_style_04.jpg



creative_style_05.jpg creative_style_06.jpg



creative_style_07.jpg creative_style_08.jpg


Night Scene

creative_style_09.jpg creative_style_10.jpg

Autumn Leaves

Black & White

creative_style_11.jpg creative_style_12.jpg



Picture Effects

The Sony A7R II offers a range of thirteen creative Picture Effects.


Toy Camera

picture_effect_01.jpg picture_effect_02.jpg

Pop Color


picture_effect_03.jpg picture_effect_04.jpg

Retro Photo

Soft High-key

picture_effect_05.jpg picture_effect_06.jpg

Partial Color (Red)

High Contrast Mono

picture_effect_07.jpg picture_effect_08.jpg

Soft Focus

HDR Painting

picture_effect_09.jpg picture_effect_10.jpg

Rich-tone Mono


picture_effect_11.jpg picture_effect_12.jpg



picture_effect_13.jpg picture_effect_14.jpg

Sweep Panorama Mode

The Sony A7R II allows you to take panoramic images very easily, by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching and even successfully compensates for moving subjects.

Standard (8192x1856 pixels)
Standard (12416x1856 pixels)

Video Samples

We've shot some sample videos with the Sony A7R II at all of the available settings, from 4K, then AVCHD, through to MP4. All of the A7R II sample videos were shot hand-held using the Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 lens with APS-C/Super 35mm set to On.

You can download the original file by clicking the title of each video to open it on the Vimeo site, then clicking the Download button underneath the video to display the Original option.

Sony A7R II XAVC S 4K 100M from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sony A7R II XAVC S 4K 60M from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sony A7R II XAVC S HD 50p 50M from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sony A7R II XAVC S HD 25p 50M from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sony A7R II XAVC S HD 100p 50M from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sony A7R II AVCHD 50i 24M (FX) from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sony A7R II AVCHD 50p 28M (PS) from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sony A7R II AVCHD 25p 24M (FX) from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sony A7R II AVCHD 25p 17M (FH) from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sony A7R II AVCHD 50i 17M (FH) from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sony A7R II MP4 1920x1080 50p 28M from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sony A7R II MP4 1920x1080 25p 16M from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sony A7R II MP4 1280x720 25p 6M from photographyblog on Vimeo.

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Sony A7R II camera, which were all taken using the 42 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Sony A7R II enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Sony RAW (ARW) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840 x 2160 pixels at 25 frames per second in the XAVC S format. Please note that this 25 second movie is 161Mb in size.

Product Images

Sony A7R II

Front of the Sony A7R II

Sony A7R II

Front of the Sony A7R II

Sony A7R II

Side of the Sony A7R II

Sony A7R II

Side of the Sony A7R II

Sony A7R II

Side of the Sony A7R II

Sony A7R II

Side of the Sony A7R II

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Rear of the Sony A7R II

Sony A7R II

Rear of the Sony A7R II / Image Displayed

Sony A7R II

Rear of the Sony A7R II / Turned On


Sony A7R II

Rear of the Sony A7R II / Turned On

Sony A7R II
Rear of the Sony A7R II / Status Screen
Sony A7R II
Rear of the Sony A7R II / Main Menu
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Rear of the Sony A7R II / Function Menu
Sony A7R II
Tilting LCD Screen
Sony A7R II
Tilting LCD Screen
Sony A7R II
Tilting LCD Screen
Sony A7R II
Tilting LCD Screen
Sony A7R II
Top of the Sony A7R II
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Bottom of the Sony A7R II
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Side of the Sony A7R II
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Side of the Sony A7R II
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Front of the Sony A7R II
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Front of the Sony A7R II
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Memory Card Slot
Sony A7R II
Battery Compartment


The Sony A7R II is a remarkable camera, both on paper and in practice. Offering a mouth-watering list of desirable features, the A7R II delivers on almost all of its promises, and in many ways out-performs the two cameras that it's most commonly compared to, the Canon EOS 5DS/R and the Nikon D810. Whether you're shooting stills or video, the A7R II certainly delivers the goods, and in a surprisingly wide variety of shooting situations. Sony have given us everything but the proverbial kitchen sink with the A7R II, and amazingly it works as a cohesive package that really challenges the big two manufacturers.

The A7R II's new 42 megapixel sensor provides excellent results from ISO 50-3200 for both JPG and RAW images, with noise starting to become apparent at ISO 6400, while 12800 produces more than acceptable results, and even ISO 25600 and 51200 are OK for emergency use. The A7 II's full-frame sensor and the faster lenses that we tested it with hit the sweet spot between portability and image quality, and commendably Sony are finally expanding their lens range, a criticism that has always been leveled at the overall system in the past.

Perhaps even more important is the ability to use lenses from other systems, most notably Canon, and in some instances for them to autofocus as quickly as on a Canon DSLR. Sure, it's something of a minefield to find a combination of adapter and lens that works reliably well, but being able to use modern DSLR lenses, classic rangefinder lenses, and older Sony/Minolta A-mount lenses whilst enjoying a fantastic manual-focus experience and fast auto-focusing is a real eye-opener. There's even an adapter for Nikon lenses on the horizon...

The Sony A7R II features a very effective 5-axis image stabilisation that's strikingly similar to the system that Olympus have used on the OM-D E-M1 and E-M5/II, perhaps not surprising given that Sony have previously invested in Olympus financially. While not quite as effective as the E-M5 II's 5-stop IS, the Sony A7R II is remarkable given the sensor size (more than 4x bigger than the Olympus' Micro Four Thirds sensor), and it also works with any lens that you care to attach to the camera for both stills and video.

The A7R II has addressed most of its predecessor's flaws. Poor battery life, lack of touchscreen functionality, and a non-articulating screen are the main negative points that we'd hope to see addressed on the next model, but we can live without them given everything else that the A7R II has to offer.

The Sony A7R II certainly succeeds in its attempt to turn the heads of DSLR owners. It won't satisfy the needs of professional sports shooters, the menu system isn't as refined as the competition, and some people will still put their trust (however blindly) in a more conventional DSLR, but the A7R II is a undoubtedly a break-through camera for Sony, both in terms of the promises that it makes, and the realisation of those promises...

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 5
Value for money 4.5

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Sony A7R II.

Canon EOS 5DS R

The Canon EOS 5DS R DSLR boasts a massive 50 megapixel sensor with a low-pass cancellation filter to maximise the sharpness of the camera's sensor. Does the brand new Canon 5DS R offer the best image quality from a DSLR? Read our detailed Canon EOS 5DS R review to find out...

Canon EOS 5Ds

The EOS 5Ds DSLR camera has finally arrived, boasting a massive 50 megapixel sensor and proven design. Does the brand new Canon 5Ds offer high enough image quality to justify its £2999 / $3699 asking price? Read our detailed Canon EOS 5Ds review with full-size JPEG, Raw and video samples to find out...

Fujifilm X-T1

The Fujifilm X-T1 is a brand new compact system camera that looks, feels and performs very much like a classic DSLR that''s been shrunk in the wash. Is this the best X-series camera that Fujifilm have released, and can it compete with the likes of the Sony A7/A7R and Olympus OM-D E-M1, not to mention DSLRs from Canon and Nikon? Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-T1 review to find out...

Leica Q (Typ 116)

The Leica Q (Typ 116) is a new serious compact camera, offering a 24 megapixel full-frame sensor, 1080 60/30p HD video recording, fast f/1.7 28mm lens, 10fps burst shooting, EVF and a 3-inch touchscreen. Read our in-depth Leica Q (Typ 116) review now...

Nikon D810

The Nikon D810 is a brand new 36 megapixel full-frame sensor DSLR camera with no optical low pass filter. The D810 also offers 1080/60p HD video, a 3.2-inch LCD screen, an optical viewfinder with 100% coverage and 5fps burst shooting. Read our in-depth Nikon D810 review to find out if it can emulate the success of the previous D800/E cameras...

Olympus OM-D E-M1

The Olympus O-MD E-M1 is a new professional compact system camera. Targeting its DSLR rivals, Olympus are promoting the E-M1 as a smaller and more capable camera. Read our expert Olympus E-M1 review to find out if it really can beat the competition...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 is the first compact system camera to offer 4K video shooting. The exciting GH4 also features a 16 megapixel sensor, 12fps burst shooting, 3 inch swivelling touchscreen, electronic viewfinder, built-in wi-fi and NFC connectivity, a weather-proof body, and an extensive ISO range of 100-25600. Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 review complete with with sample photos, test shots, videos and more...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 is a new premium compact system camera aimed firmly at enthusiast photographers. With a new 20 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, dual lens and in-body image stabilization, built-in tilting electronic OLED viewfinder, 3 inch free-angle OLED touchscreen, 4K video and photo modes, integrated wi-fi and NFC connectivity, and a weather-proof rangefinder-like design, can the Panasonic GX8 live up to its early promise? Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 review complete with sample images, test shots, videos and more to find out...

Samsung NX1

The NX1 is the new professional model in Samsung's compact system camera range. The weather-proof Samsung NX1 features a DSLR-like design, 3-inch tilting AMOLED screen, electronic viewfinder, 4K video recording, built-in wi-fi, bluetooth and NFC connectivity, 15fps burst shooting, and an APS-C CMOS sensor with 28.2 megapixels. Read our in-depth Samsung NX1 review, complete with sample images and video, to find out if this is a serious proposition for professionals...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Sony A7R II from around the web. »

Sony has had ambitious plans for the camera market ever since it bought Konica Minolta's camera business in 2006. But after some initial excitement there were only sporadic periods of activity, and the attention of many photographers and industry observers waned somewhat.
Read the full review » »

Sony's Alpha A7r Mark II is the successor to the original A7r and becomes the fifth full-frame mirrorless camera in the series. Announced in June 2015 it becomes Sony's highest resolution camera to date boasting 42 Megapixels to its predecessor's 36.
Read the full review » »

The 42MP Sony a7R II has got to be one of the most anticipated camera systems in the history of cameras, and for good reason.
Read the full review » »

The Sony Alpha A7R Mark II is the World's first full-frame camera with a 42.4 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, which should deliver improved noise performance. The camera also offers internal 4K video recording, plus a 399-point hybrid AF system, and an updated design compared to the 36 megapixel A7R.
Read the full review » »

The Sony A7r Mk II has to be the most talked about camera on the market right now. Many are giving up their DSLRs for it, and people are raving about how amazing it is and falling in love with photography all over again. When I first got my hands on the camera, I was skeptical, but I had to be. It’s the job of a reviewer to do that and not immediately give in to let their inner fan boy scream and melt all over a camera as if they’d fallen in love with their soul mate. But in many ways, this camera is like a soul mate.
Read the full review »


Size & Weight

Dimensions (W x H x D)
126.9 x 95.7 x 60.3 mm
582 g (Body Only) / 625 g (With battery and media)


View on Smartphone
View on TV
PlayMemories Camera Apps™
Wireless & Network Capabilities
NFC One-touch functionality, Wi-Fi


Lens Mount
Lens Compatibility
Sony E-mount lenses


Sensor Type
Sensor Type
35mm full frame (35.9 x 24.0mm), Exmor R CMOS sensor
Number Of Pixels (Effective)
42.4 MP
Number of Pixels (total)
Approx. 43.6 megapixels
Image Sensor Aspect Ratio
Anti-Dust System
Yes (Charge protection coating on optical filter and image sensor shift mechanism)


Smart zoom (Still Image)
35mm full frame: M: Approx 1.5x, S: Approx 2x, APS-C: M: Approx 1.3x, S: approx 2x
Digital zoom (Still Image)
Approx: 4x
Digital zoom (Movie)
Approx: 4x

Recording (still images)

Recording Format (Still images)
JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver.2.3, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)
Image Size (pixels), 3:2
35mm full frame L: 7952 x 5304 (42M), M: 5168 x 3448 (18M), S: 3984 x 2656 (11M), APS-C L: 5168 x 3448 (18M), M: 3984 x 2656 (11M), S: 2592 x 1728 (4.5M)
Image Size (pixels), 16:9
35mm full frame L: 7952 x 4472 (36M), M: 5168 x 2912 (15M), S: 3984 x 2240 (8.9M), APS-C L: 5168 x 2912 (15M), M: 3984 x 2240 (8.9M), S: 2592 x 1456 (3.8M)
Image Size (pixels), Sweep Panorama
Standard: Horizontal 8192 x 1856 (15M), vertical 3872 x 2160 (8.4M), Wide: Horizontal 12416 x 1856 (23M), vertical 5536 x 2160 (12M)
Image Quality Modes
RAW, RAW & JPEG, JPEG Extra fine, JPEG Fine, JPEG Standard
RAW Output
14 bit
Picture Effect
13 modes: Posterization (Color, B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R, G, B, Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, Illustration
Creative Style
Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, Sepia (Contrast -3 to +3 steps, Saturation -3 to +3 steps, Sharpness -3 to +3 steps) (Style Box 1-6 also provided)
Dynamic Range Functions
Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level (1-5)), Auto High Dynamic Range (Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure Difference Level (1.0-6.0 EV, 1.0 EV step))

Recording (movie)

Recording Format
XAVC S / AVCHD format Ver. 2.0 compliant / MP4
Video Compression
Image Size (pixels)
[NTSC]: XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (30p/100Mbps, 30p/60Mbps, 24p/100Mbps, 24p/60Mbps), XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (60p/50Mbps, 30p/50Mbps, 24p/50Mbps), 1280 x 720 (120p/50Mbps), AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (60p/28Mbps/PS, 60i/24Mbps/FX, 60i/17Mbps/FH, 24p/24Mbps/FX, 24p/17Mbps/FH), MP4: 1920 x 1080 (60p/28Mbps, 30p/16Mbps), 1280 x 720 (30p/6Mbps), [PAL]: XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (25p/100Mbps, 25p/60Mbps), XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (50p/50Mbps, 25p/50Mbps), 1280 x 720 (100p/50Mbps), AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (50p/28Mbps/PS, 50i/24Mbps/FX, 50i/17Mbps/FH, 25p/24Mbps/FX, 25p/17Mbps/FH), MP4: 1920 x 1080 (50p/28Mbps, 25p/16Mbps), 1280 x 720 (25p/6Mbps)
Audio Recording Format
AVCHD: Dolby Digital (AC-3) 2ch, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, MP4: MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2ch, XAVC S:LPCM 2ch
Picture Profile
Yes (Off / PP1-PP7) Parameters: Black level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode, Saturation, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset
Other Movie Functions
Audio Level Display, Audio Rec Level, AF Tracking Sensitivity, AF Drive Speed, Auto Slow Shutter, HDMI info. Display (On/Off selectable), Time Code/User Bit, Picture Profile, Creative Style, Picture Effect, Rec Control, Dual Video Rec, Marker Setting, PAL/NTSC Selector


Face Detection
On / On (Regist. Faces) / Off, Face registration, Face selection (Max. number of detectable faces: 8)
Clear Image Zoom
Still / Movie: Approx. 2x
Lens Compensation
Peripheral Shading, Chromatic Aberration, Distortion
Smile Shutter
Yes (selectable from 3 steps)

Storage Media

Compatible Recording Media
Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro(M2), SD memory card, SDHC memory card (UHS-I compliant), SDXC memory card (UHS-I compliant), microSD memory card, microSDHC memory card, microSDXC memory card,
Storage Media Slot
Multi slot for Memory Stick Duo/SD memory card

Noise reduction

Noise Reduction
High ISO NR: Normal/Low/Off selectable, Long exposure NR: On/Off, available at shutter speeds longer than 1 sec.
Multi Frame NR
Auto/ISO 100 to 102400

White balance

White Balance Modes
Auto / Daylight / Shade / Cloudy / Incandescent / Fluorescent (Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Daylight) / Flash /Underwater/ Color Temperature 2500 to 9900K & color filter G7 to M7(57-step), A7 to B7(29-step) / Custom
AWB Micro Adjustment
G7 to M7 (57 steps), A7 to B7 (29steps)
3 frames, H/L selectable


Focus Type
Fast Hybrid AF(phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF)
Focus Point
35mm full frame: 399 points (phase-detection AF) APS-C: 357 points (phase-detection AF) / 25 points (contrast-detection AF)
Focus Sensitivity Range
EV-2 to EV20 (ISO100 equivalent with F2.0 lens attached)
AF Mode
AF-A(Automatic AF), AF-S (Single-shot AF), AF-C ( Continuous AF), DMF (Direct Manual Focus), Manual Focus
Focus Area
Wide (399 points (phase-detection AF), 25 points(contrast-detection AF)) / Zone / Center / Flexible Spot (S/M/L) /Expand Flexible Spot/ Lock-on AF ( Wide / Zone / Center / Flexible Spot (S/M/L) /Expand Flexible Spot)
Other Features
AF illuminator (built-in, LED type, range: Approx. 0.30-3m), AF ON, Eye-start AF and AF micro adjustment (both only available with optional LA-EA2 or LA-EA4 attached), Focus lock, Lock-on AF, Eye AF, Predictive control
AF Illuminator
Yes (with Built-in LED type)
AF Illuminator range
Approx. 0.3m - approx. 3.0m (with FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS attached)


Metering Type
1200-zone evaluative metering
Metering Sensor
Exmor™ R CMOS sensor
Metering Sensitivity
EV-3 to EV20 (at ISO100 equivalent with F2.0 lens attached)
Metering Mode
Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Modes
AUTO (iAuto/Superior Auto), Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M), Movie (Programmed AE (P) / Aperture priority (A) / Shutter-speed priority (S) / Manual (M) ), Sweep Panorama, Scene Selection
Scene Selection
Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, Anti Motion Blur
Exposure Compensation
+/- 5.0EV (1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps selectable) (with exposure compensation dial : +/- 3EV (1/3 EV or 1/2 EV steps))
Auto (AE) Bracketing
Bracket: Cont., Bracket: Single, 3/5/9 frames selectable. With 3 or 5 frames, in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0 EV increments, with 9 frames, in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1.0 EV increments.
AE Lock
Can be disabled from the Menu., Locked when shutter button is pressed halfway. Available with AE lock button. (On/Off/Auto)
ISO Sensitivity
Movies: ISO 100-25600 equivalent, AUTO (ISO 100-6400 equivalent, selectable lower limit and upper limit), Still images: ISO 100-25600 (expandable to ISO 50–102400 for shooting still images), AUTO (ISO 100-6400, selectable lower limit and upper limit)


Viewfinder Type
XGA OLED, 1.3cm (0.5 type) electronic viewfinder (color)
Number of Dots
2,359,296 dots
Brightness Control (Viewfinder)
Auto/Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2)
Color Temperature Control
Manual (5 steps)
Field Coverage
Approx. 0.78 x (with 50mm lens at infinity, -1m-1)
Diopter Adjustment
-4.0 to +3.0m-1
Eye Point
Approx. 23mm from the eyepiece lens, 18.5mm from the eyepiece frame at -1m-1 (CIPA standard)
Viewfinder Display
Graphic Display, Display All Info., No Disp. Info., Digital Level Gauge, Histogram
Real-time Image Adjustment Display (Viewfinder)

LCD Screen

Screen Type
7.5 cm (3.0-type) TFT drive
Total Number of Dots
1,228,800 dots
Brightness Control (LCD)
Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2), Sunny Weather mode
Adjustable Angle
Up by approx. 107 degrees, Down by approx. 41 degrees
Display Selecter (Finder/LCD)
Yes (Auto/Manual)
Real-time Image Adjustment Display (LCD)
Peaking MF
Yes (Level setting: High/Mid/Low/Off, Color: White/Red/Yellow)
Quick Navi


Shutter Type
Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type
Shutter Speed
Bulb, Movies: 1/8000 to 1/4 (1/3 step), NTSC: Up to 1/60 in AUTO mode (up to 1/30 in Auto Slow Shutter mode), PAL: Up to 1/50 in AUTO mode (up to 1/25 in Auto Slow Shutter mode), Still images: 1/8000 to 30 sec.
Flash Sync. Speed
1/250 sec.
Electronic Front Curtain Shutter
Yes (ON/OFF)
Silent Shooting
Yes, On/Off

Image Stabilization

Image Sensor-Shift mechanism with 5-axis compensation (Compensation depends on lens specifications)
Compensation Effect
4.5 steps (based on CIPA standard. Pitch/yaw shake only. With Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA lens mounted. Long exposure NR off.)


Flash Control
Pre-flash TTL
Flash Compensation
+/- 3.0 EV (switchable between 1/3 and 1/2 EV steps)
Flash Modes
Flash off, AutoflashFill-flashSlow Sync. Rear Sync.Red-eye reduction (on/off selectable) WirelessHi-speed sync
External Flash Compatibility
Sony α System Flash compatible with Multi Interface Shoe, attach the shoe adaptor for flash compatible with Auto-lock accessory shoe
Wireless Control
FE Level Lock


Drive Modes
Single shooting, Continuous shooting, Self-timer, Self-timer (Cont.), Bracketing (Cont., Single, White Balance, DRO)
10 sec. delay/5 sec. delay/2 sec. delay/Continuous self-timer (3 frames after 10 sec. delay/5 frames after 10 sec. delay/3 frames after 5 sec. delay/5 frames after 5 sec. delay/3 frames after 2 sec. delay/5 frames after 2 sec. delay)/Bracketing self-timer (Off/2 sec. delay/5 sec. delay/10 sec. delay
No. of recordable frames*2 (approx.)
Continuous shooting Hi : 24 frames (JPEG Extra Fine L), 30 frames (JPEG Fine L), 37 frames (JPEG Standard L), 23 frames (RAW), 22 frames (RAW & JPEG)
Speed (approx. max.)
Continuous shooting Hi : Max. 5fps, Continuous shooting Lo: Max. 2.5fps


Playback Modes
9/25-frame index view, Auto Review (10/5/2 sec, off), Delete, Enlarged display mode (Maximum magnification L: 24.9x, M: 16.2x, S: 9.4x), Folder selection (Still / Date / MP4 / AVCHD / XAVC S HD / XAVC S 4K), Forward/Rewind (movie), Image orientation (Auto/Manual/Off selectable), Panorama scrolling, Protect, Single (with or without shooting information, Y RGB histogram & highlight/shadow warning), Slideshow


Yes (NFC Forum Type 3 Tag compatible, One-touch remote, One-touch sharing)


PC Interface
Mass-storage, MTP, PC remote
HD Output
HDMI micro connector (Type-D), BRAVIA Sync (link menu), PhotoTV HD, 4K movie output, 4K still image playback
Multi Interface Shoe
Multi/Micro USB Terminal Multi Interface Shoe Microphone minijack Headphone minijack Vertical Grip Connector
Multi Interface Shoe


Built-in stereo microphone or XLR-K2M/ECM-XYST1M (sold separately)
Built-in, monaural


Compatible Standards
Exif Print, Print Image Matching III, DPOF setting

Custom function

Custom Function Type
Custom key settings, Programmable setting


Supplied Battery
NP-FW50 Rechargeable Battery Pack
Battery Life (Movies)
Actual: Approx. 50 min (Viewfinder) / Approx. 55 min (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard), Continuous: Approx. 95 min (Viewfinder) / Approx. 95 min (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard)
Internal Battery Charge
External Power
AC Adaptor AC-PW20 (sold separately)
Battery Life (Still Images)
Approx. 290 shots (viewfinder) / approx. 340 shots (LCD screen) (CIPA standard)


Body Material
Magnesium alloy, High rigidity engineering plastic exterior
Operating Temperature
32°-104°F / 0-40°C

What's In The Box

  • Power Cord
  • Rechargeable Battery NP-FW50 X 2
  • Cable Protector
  • AC Adaptor AC-UD10
  • Battery Charger BC-VW1
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Body Cap
  • Accessory Shoe Cap
  • Eyepiece Cup
  • Micro USB Cable

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