Sony’s advanced mirrorless cameras have gained immense popularity amongst photographers and prosumers over the years. One of their most impressive feats is the inclusion of a full-frame image sensor on a small-sized mirrorless camera body. We had a chance to capture some moments with one such camera, the Sony α7R II and here are our thoughts on it.
It’s hard to believe that Sony managed to cram a 35mm full-frame image sensor in a body that’s reminiscent of smaller APS-C cameras. Full-frame cameras usually come in large bodies and lenses, and Sony’s offering provides great portability on the go. Let’s start from the top of the device.
On the top right side, you get the mode dial which holds the options for Auto, Program, Aperture, Shutter, Scene based, 2 customizable modes, a video mode, Panorama, and Manual. Also present next to it is the exposure compensation dial, along with two customizable C1 and C2 buttons. There is an extra C3 button on the rear side, along with another customizable dial that can be used to adjust ISO levels, Shutter Speed and so on. A multi-purpose shoe sits in the middle of the top side while stereo microphones are placed on the left end of the top portion.
Most of the portion on the rear side is taken over by the tiltable 2.95-inch TFT LCD display. Next to the handgrip is the Function Fn key, the Navigation dial with direct options for screen content and ISO adjustment, along with playback button, focus mode selector, dedicated delete button. The menu button is on the top of the main screen.
While the image quality of the XGA OLED viewfinder is amazing, we came across an annoying issue where the camera wasn’t able to automatically switch between the main display and the OLED viewfinder. The option was already enabled in the settings, so to use the viewfinder, we had to change the settings to “Viewfinder-Only.” The camera unit we had was updated to the latest firmware.
The handgrip of the Sony α7R II is comfortable to use with one had for taking pictures and recording video. The shutter button is conveniently placed within the thumb's reach. Below the hand grip, Sony has placed the storage media slot while Micro USB ports, micro HDMI and audio jacks are placed at the opposite end of the camera in a separate bay.
The one thing that confused us was the different product branding that Sony has used with the α7R II. While the product’s official name is Sony α7R II, the front logo portion only says α7R. However, there is a small branding in the back which says α7R II.